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Ambassador lives up to its name

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The carefully considered selection of Koi is a continuation of the change in philosophy since the hotel’s owners took over full management from Newmark in December last year.

The stylish Ambassador Hotel, in Bantry Bay in Cape Town, is pressing ahead with its service and facilities upgrade with the opening of Koi, a restaurant that is known for its exemplary Asian cuisine.

Nikki Vardan, general manager at the Ambassador, said that this landmark restaurant represented a well-known and prestigious brand that was a perfect fit with the Ambassador. “We were looking for the ideal match for our guests. We wanted to offer something special, but not unaffordable. Koi was looking for a good location in Cape Town with sea views. This is the perfect partnership.”

The carefully considered selection of Koi is a continuation of the change in philosophy since the hotel’s owners took over full management from Newmark in December last year. In keeping with the name of this grand 40 year-old hotel, the new management team has set out to make it a true ‘ambassador’ of goodwill to guests in keeping with the growing trend towards the personalised family oriented service that exemplified the extra ordinary hotels of yester year.

“We aim to become known for our special, traditional service offering and hospitality which is focused on creating memorable experiences for all our guests. In a tough economic climate, both international and local guests are more aware of getting value for their money and are moving away from a more traditional, mass market hotel experience. We offer luxury – at reasonable rates – and the perfect base from which to explore the Mother City,” says Mary Steward, owner representative at the Ambassador.

After six months of intensive market research since the Ambassador gained its ‘independence’, both Steward and Vardan are optimizing the all-female management team’s ‘we specialise in you’ philosophy through a hands-on approach.

Vardan, who has been general manager for the past eight years explains: “We are a family run hotel with a strong family value system based on trust, loyalty, honesty and integrity.”

Steward, who has been in the hotel’s permanent employ for the past year and has consulted to the hotel for two years, believes that key to the Ambassador’s popularity with both locals and visitors alike is the commitment of its owners. “The hotel is a unique space.  It has a soul. I love the people aspect and the opportunity to make a difference.  We are always looking for ways to improve the hotel and the team. We are invested in proving that we can make meaningful and sustainable improvements.”

In just six months, the Ambassador has expanded its reach and accessed new markets. In May alone occupancy was 27 percent up on last year.

The Ambassador offers 68 elegantly appointed en-suite hotel rooms as well as 27 fully equipped and serviced apartments. Sea facing rooms offer spectacular views. All rooms are tastefully decorated and equipped with air conditioners, king or twin beds, tea and coffee making facilities, fully stocked mini bars, electronic safes, satellite television and complimentary wireless connection.

The one and two bedroomed self-catering apartments are comfortably decorated and are equipped with air conditioners, king, queen or twin beds as well as fully fitted kitchens. They are located directly across from the hotel and guests have access to full hotel service.

The appointment of Koi comes on the back of a soft refurbishment of the conference facilities two months ago. According to Steward, the Ambassador has focused on increasing its share of the corporate travel market and has increased the number of conferences hosted up 10 percent month on month during the first half of 2013.

The upgrade of its conference facilities has enabled the Ambassador to optimize its ‘inspirational’ sea front location and complement this with its tasteful decor, luxurious furnishings, crisp white linen and all the accessories that can be expected of a premier conferencing facility. Three newly refurbished inter-leading conference rooms can accommodate intimate strategic meetings or medium sized conference groups of up to 100 guests.
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