Quick Fire Questions with 137 High Street Guest House Manager, Rala Scotney

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Friday, 9th July 2021

Makana Tourism caught up with 137 High Street Guest House Manager, Rala Scotney to talk about her passion for the hospitality and tourism industries, the Covid-19 pandemic and her love for family.

When was 137 High Street Guest House Established?

The guesthouse was built in 1823. The house itself belonged to Piet Retief many years ago and fits in perfectly within the popular Frontier Country route.

Andy and Cavel Mullins have owned the building for 28 years.

Please tell us why you decided on a career in the hospitality industry?

Tourism plays a big part in the South African history so it’s a good idea to invest or own a business in this industry.

And why was Makhanda your chosen location?

Everybody loves Makhanda/Grahamstown - the City of Saints as it’s called. Do I need to say more? From the schools to the University and the High Court there is always a buzz and everybody needs a place to sleep when they travel away from home.

When a guest leaves 137 High Street Guest House, what are the three things they would have experienced?

1. Value for Money

2. Comfortable stay

3. Home away from home so when they do stay again on return they will know where they will be welcomed and with a smile at that.

Please tell us about the features of 137 High Street Guest House.

137 High Street Guest House has recently been renovated and boasts of beautiful solid and original yellow wood floors and ceilings. The guest house also had an original fireplace and a stone wall in the outdoor area which have been around since the house was built in 1823.

Each of our bedrooms have a king size bed which can be converted into two twin beds, if required. In addition, two rooms can accommodate one extra single bed making it ideal for parents visiting their children. Rooms are serviced daily. Each room has a flat screen Television with DSTV, tea/coffee making station, wall heaters and ceiling fans for making your stay comfortable.

Safe secure off-street parking is provided.

What is the inspiration for the look and feel for the 137 High Street Guest House?

Old historic charm with a modern relaxed feel in each bedroom.

How has Covid-19 changed the way you do business?

Covid-19 has been a real eye-opener for us because in a wink things can change. You learn to deal with your guests better in this difficult times and you appreciate each and every call, and booking you receive. You also make sure you give the best service possible to insure your guests do return again.

What lessons has this Covid-19 pandemic provided?

That nobody is untouchable. This pandemic brought the whole world to a standstill, so appreciate all you have and make sure you treat people right.

What systems have you set up in your business to help it grow?

Keep your website and social media pages and all your booking sites up to date with new information; and

Run promotions now and again to attract guests to your business.

Now let’s get to know Rala a little better:

What does a day-in-the-life of Rala consist of?

Busy mommy to an almost four year old little boy, Leo Bradley and loving my job in the hospitality industry.

Where were you born and when did you arrive in Makhanda?

I was born in Kroonstad in the Free State. Arrived in Makhanda in 2008 to take a job a Graham Hotel.

What was your previous occupation before becoming Manager of 137 High Street Guest House?

I have always been in the hospitality industry and tourism for the past 18 years. I can’t see myself doing anything else.

What would the title of your autobiography be?

What if…

What is your greatest hope for your career?

That I will own my own guest house in the future.

What would you be doing right now if you weren’t on duty at 137 High Street Guest House?

Spending some time at home with my family and relaxing.

What is the best piece of advice that you have been given?

Never quit! Keep going – it only makes you stronger.

Are you a traveller or homebody?

I am both. While I love being at home with my family, a break-away from home now and again is good for the soul.

Why do you do what you do?

I just love interacting with guests and love the industry. I will not be able to do a normal office job. Hospitality is in my blood, I live for it.

Which emoji do you use the most?

The ‘care’ emoji.

Learn more about the 137 High Street Guest House.

Meet 137 High Street Guest House owners, Andy and Cavel Mullins by clicking here.

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