By SYDNEY MORWENG
“The Reef Hotel Gold offers not only a place to stay but most importantly, all tools required to conduct business in a smooth, seamless and professional manner,” said Iris Hambloch General Manager at Reef Hotels Gold.Hambloch, who has been in the hospitality industry as far back as 1984, said managing such an establishment in the City of Gold is no small feat but huge task with calculated responsibilities.
Asked why they chose to convert what was office space into the burgeoning hotels in the City, she said as part of the African Sky Hotel group mandate to invest in the city as championed by the government to revitalize Johannesburg, this has paid dividends in that we have created jobs, contributed in the uplifting of the GDP in the province, and so forth, says Hambloch, with a German accent but adept in expressing her self in the Queens language.
The Reef Hotel Gold’s attractive yet unique features such as the artistic component which comes in the form of photographic artwork themed “Celebrating the City” has the city’s architecture, historical gold mines which made Johannesburg what it was then to evolve to what it is today.
Streaming down her brown, shiny, thin hair she boasted, in her own words, that “all the designs and furniture from reception up to the rooms are all Italian imported, you see,” she said sipping coffee which seemingly has also been imported. Each floor and room has its own theme such as Bridges ( named after Mandela bridge), Peace (named after Ghadi Square), Power (after Turbine Hall) and all rooms depict full wall mural following the respective theme.
“That’s what we call preserving culture and unfortunately don’t compromise when coming to quality”, noted Hambloch, although she originates from Germany but has been transversing from Spain to Swirtzerland from Cape Town and finally settling in Joburg.
Talking of class, the hotels boasts 80 business suites and 40 executive deluxe; free internet; option to download movies; and can access online through television; use Skype; VOIP and online video calling through TV, and so on. However, the only snag is that, the rooms has shower only which could be a draw back for ladies who would prefer taking a long and soothing bath after a long day at the office. Staff complement is 50+ with a 5: 7 ratios both female and male mainly comprising young staff from college and school leavers.
Apart from their daily errands at the hotel, they will be contributing in the hotel’s Social Programmes to be unveiled soon.As part of the hotels Greening Policy when you enter your room the access card must be inserted for lights and when leaving it turns off immediately.
This was the case when we entered the passage when all lights were dim but as soon as you reach your door, everything turns-on splendidly. “You’ll get used to it,” said one of the staff braggingly when she took us for induction course on how to use the most ever complicated coffee machine in my room. Be warned!
For the uninitiated, Reef Hotels Gold which is owned by the internationally renowned African Sky Hotel Group led by Gustav Krampe is a joint venture partnership with Joburg entrepreneur Isaac Chalumbira, who is the CEO of Lionshare Holdings.
According to Hambloch -although the hotel is not yet launched- the main objective was to ‘lurch-on’ the 2010 FIFA World Cup and it paid dividends, because we had a good turn out from visitors and subsequently, the bookings rate has improved.“We use word of mouth, internet and feature articles to market this brand,” she opined but we plan to host monthly events as soon as the Roof Bar and other features such as the conference room and boardrooms are complete to conscientious our target market such as decision makers, corporate companies, government departments and individuals about the Reef Hotels Group brand awareness.
Wellness Center, steam room, sauna, gym, the beautiful @ Ikes’s dining restaurant are some of the attractive features. But the most adored and talked about Bar stylishly decorated just behind the reception, yes behind, and its Italian imported lights- crockery look-alike sets the hotel apart from others.And yours truly went gaga on the layout of the splendid ‘psychedelic’ lights. This is where guests will get the exclusive 360 degree view of the serenade, quite city indulging in ‘forbidden-waters’ especially on weekends as we experienced.
Future projections are that the group intends to flood the Jozi market by opening other branches such as the Platinum- Five-Star and Silver- Three-Star hotels, respectively. In her parting shot, Hambloch says the hotel’s maxim ‘Do business Better’ is a clear philosophy exemplified by the Reef Hotels Gold offering be it in marketing or preserving the culture of the hotel.
For bookings call 011 689-1000 or visit: www.reefhotels.co.za