THE N1 HOTEL GROUP NOW HAS FOUR PROPERTIES IN ZIMBABWE. THE FIRST HOTEL OPENED IN BULAWAYO IN 2004 AT 114 JOSHUA NKOMO STREET. THE SECOND HOTEL OPENED IN VICTORIA FALLS IN 2008 AND IN 2013 THEY OPENED THEIR THIRD HOTEL ALONG SAMORA MACHEL AVENUE IN HARARE NEAR THE INTERSECTION WITH FOURTH STREET. IN MAY THIS YEAR THEY OPENED THE NEWEST ADDITION TO THEIR GROUP – THE N1 HOTEL ROTTEN ROW.
All four hotels are conveniently situated close to the respective town or city centres and along the main access roads. They all offffer no frills, comfortable, clean and affordable accommodation for discerning travellers on a budget. The Bulawayo and Samora Machel hotels offffer in-house breakfasts. The Victoria Falls hotel has a small restaurant for breakfast, an outdoor pool and comfortable camping facilities. The Rotten Row hotel has teamed up with Simbisa Brands so there are two options for meals on site – Haefelis, a great coffffee shop for breakfast, pastries and light meals and Chicken Inn for more substantial meals and takeaways. Since all their branches are close to the city centres there are a variety of other restaurant choices available close by.
The Rotten Row hotel opened on the 13th of May this year after 16 months of extensive renovations and refurbishment. The N1 Hotel Group has their own team of in-house tradesmen tasked with the construction and maintenance of their group of hotels (which incidentally also includes the luxurious and upmarket Nesbitt Castle in Bulawayo.) They also have sub-contractors whom they work with regularly for specialist services including Synergy Electrical, Betta Electrical, Generator .In its previous life the Rotten Row hotel was a block of flats which had become quite dilapidated and run down, so it’s interesting to see the old structure brought back to life and revitalised. It’s in a prime location close to a number of amenities so it was an obvious choice for N1 to upgrade the existing building. Having been originally designed as individual studio apartments it was ideally suited to be converted and repurposed to become hotel suites without major structural changes. Travelers at the Rotten Row and Samora Machel intersection will also notice a vast upgrade to the sidewalk gardens on both sides of Samora Machel, courtesy of The N1 Hotel Group.
Most of the plumbing and electrical work had to be completely gutted and modernised to bring it up to code and make it more up-to-date and comfortable. The original tiny kitchen space is now a stylish entrance lobby with a luggage rack and a simple space for storing and hanging clothes, a tea or coffee station and a wall safe.
The lobby opens to a generous bedroom area with rooms featuring either single or double beds dressed with crisp white linens and comfortable pillows. Every room has a large flflat screen TV with DStv connection and a desk for working at. There’s also high speed Wi-Fi in each room for guests’ convenience, making it ideal for business travellers. The rooms have new, larger windows with a view across the street, making them feel bright and light – and the windows are specially glazed so they’re completely soundproof. Despite the traffiffiffic outside, the rooms are quiet and restful.
Heavy drapes help to block out the outside world day or night so guests can relax and enjoy some peace and quiet whenever required.
New wood grain ceramic floor tiles have been fitted throughout so the rooms feel fresh and welcoming. Most rooms have a central overhead ceiling fan while the ‘Superior’ rooms also have airconditioning.
Each room has its own fully tiled, spotlessly clean en suite bathroom with a large shower, a basin and a toilet. There are 32 rooms in total – 8 rooms per floor spread over 4 floors. There are 8 twin rooms, 20 double rooms and 4 ‘Superior’ rooms – although all have been designed to the same high standard. There’s a staircase as well as a newly installed elevator from the lobby to each floor. The elevator was installed by Schindwe with the latest metallic finishes inside and black granite cladding at the lobby level resulting in a glamorous feel.
The reception area in the lobby is very smart with a granite and timber desk, marble flfloor tiles and a small seating area. The reception can be accessed from the street entrance or from the parking space behind the hotel. The parking space has a small water feature to greet guests and is sa The N1 Hotel Rotten Row is ideally suited for businessmen and travelling sales reps, or tourists on their way to other destinations within Zimbabwe. As an added facility for businessmen there’s an in-house conference room which seats 10 and is equipped with modern electronic equipment for presentations. There’s even a small outdoor terrace next to the conference room for tea breaks.
Bookings can be made online at www.n1hotel.co.zw
text by Michael Nott
photos by N1 Group,
additional photos by Structure and Design