Covid-19: A real hit back to home, says 137 High Street Manager Rala Scotney

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Friday, 9th July 2021

“Covid-19 has been a real hit back to home. We all just went on with our daily lives, never expecting a pandemic like this to hit” said 137 High Street Guest House Manager Rala Scotney. She said that this abrupt shift from what was considered normal made her realise how delicate life was and how quickly things can change. “It makes you appreciate what you have in life,” she added.

“2019 was booming and tourism was excellent in Grahamstown (Makhanda) and it kept on getting better and better. Just as an example, when Covid-19 hit in 2020 and now in 2021, business (in the hospitality industry) has gone down dramatically. I think the main reason is that guests are terrified to stay in hotels because they are not quite sure if the protocols are followed.”

Scotney said there the bed and breakfast and guest house establishments had an advantage in this new scenario. “We are trying to provide a more intimate feel for our guests that stay with us, making them feel that we actually do follow the protocol to the 'T' which is required from us, to make their stay safe and don't have to worry about Covid-19 when they arrive at our guest house,” Scotney said.  

137 High Street Guest House continues to serve a generous and lovely full English breakfast ensuring all Covid-19 protocols are followed with guidance from tourism authority bodies. “So what we have actually done at the guest house is we have changed the breakfast option completely. Previously, we used to just serve the breakfast and now when the guest arrives at the guest house, they get a breakfast sheet which they get to complete at the reception and they get to choose exactly what they want to have for breakfast.” Scotney said this not only cuts out unnecessary wastage as the guest receives food that they want to enjoy but also ensures the absolute care in food preparation is undertaken. “The food gets prepared from the kitchen. It is prepared by a certain person in the kitchen that follows the protocol so that when the food comes out of the kitchen it is the way it needs to be and the guest does not need to worry.” She added: “Your juice, your fruit, your yogurt - everything is portioned directly from the kitchen so that it is not touched by everybody in the dining room." Scotney said that the coffee, tea and sugar sachets as well as the cutlery are sanitised and individually wrapped to ensure each guest has their own breakfast items to use and feel confident that they can safely enjoy their breakfast. Scotney said that she takes quality assurance very serious to ensure everything from the cutlery to the crockery has been sanitised on a daily basis and apply the necessary social distancing in the dining room.

“And our breakfast is also value for money. I actually had a compliment from one of our guests the other day. She was completely surprised about the amount of food that was on the breakfast sheet... and that there are so many options to choose from,” she said adding “Our business guys that travel to Grahamstown (Makhanda), they actually are looking for guest houses that serve a breakfast because they are always on the go, they always have to leave early in the morning ".

Learn more about the property.

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

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