Review On The ZuiderZee Guest House

There is a serious mistake some Bed and Breakfast and other holiday establishments make when it comes to publishing their websites.

Most often they will utilize a website which gives the barest information possible to users who are in search of accommodation. It is almost impossible for users to learn anything from the limited information available.

Such is the case of some of the establishments I will review in this series of reviews. Since I did not visit them personally but tried to glean information from their websites and reviews, it might not be so informative.

During my reviews, I have used the same criteria which are used by the Tourism Grading Council of South Africa. I have taken the establishment’s current star grading and compared it with the 5-star grading requirements of the Grading Council.

That should give you as the reader a bit of an idea on what to expect from such an establishment.

ZuiderZee Guest House – 3 Star

Description

This guest house with modern amenities is located in Salt Rock, 3.1 mi north of Ballito and half an hour’s drive from Durban, South Africa’s premier holiday Mecca.

In the near vicinity, there are shopping, recreational and restaurant facilities, but the surrounding landscape is the main attraction.

This residence houses 4 distinct, private rooms with attached bathroom. All of the rooms feature their own unique character in terms of style and décor.

There are also 2 self-catering log cabins, which offer panoramic sea-views overlooking the valley below and the golden beach of Salt Rock that embraces the warm Indian Ocean.

1 – Building Exterior

3 Star

Very good appearance/Maintenance/Condition.

No obvious maintenance issues.

5 Star

Outstanding appearance/Maintenance/Condition.

No maintenance issues. The establishment has an attractive and inviting impression that creates a sense of luxury.

2 – Grounds and Garden

3 Star

Seasonal changes, environmental concerns, water availability and water usage must be considered.

Grounds and gardens attractively maintained, kept tidy and safe.

Good quality and functional garden furniture provided in garden area for guests use.

5 Star

Seasonal changes, environmental concerns, water availability and water usage must be considered.

Grounds and gardens in pristine condition with attention to detail, including landscaping, driveways and architectural features, e.g. gazebo, pergola, summerhouse etc.

Well finished and outstanding quality garden furniture provided in all garden areas for guests use.

3 – Parking and Driveways

3 Star

Provision of all onsite parking should conform to local municipal by-laws inclusive of signage which needs to be of an acceptable condition, be clearly visible, ensuring guests are correctly

always guided to the appropriate entrances, with appropriate safety measures in place.

Provision of adequate, fit for purpose, on site and/or designated parking areas, which must be tidy, in very good condition, clearly defined and well-lit with clear signage.

5 Star

Provision of all onsite parking should conform to local municipal by-laws inclusive of signage which needs to be of an acceptable condition, be clearly visible, ensuring guests are correctly

always guided to the appropriate entrances, with appropriate safety measures in place.

Provision of adequate, fit for purpose, on site and/or designated parking areas, which must be tidy, in very good condition, clearly defined and well-lit with clear signage.

Provision of adequate, fit for purpose, on site and/or designated parking areas, which must be tidy, in outstanding condition, clearly defined and well-lit with clear signage.

4 – Safety and Security

All Stars

Appropriate safety and security measures throughout the establishment always.

Person responsible for safety and security on call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Emergency information, procedures and after-hours contacts for assistance clearly displayed in English and in pictograms.

Guests to have secure access into facility / establishment.

Emergency evacuation procedures considering the needs of guests with functional auditory, visual and mobility limitations. It is essential that emergency evacuation procedures are developed and provide in written format.

Emergency evacuation procedures provided orally or by an audio system.

An area of refuge or holding area has been provided for use by guests in case of emergency evacuation and egress. Such an area of refuge must conform to the requirements of the

SANS 10400-S and must be inspected on a regular basis by the relevant local authority.

Upon arrival provide familiarisation tours on all emergency exits and provide key emergency information to guests.

5 – Rooms

3 Star

Printed information on summoning assistance and evacuation procedures in the event of an emergency to be displayed in every bedroom. Multilingual emergency procedure notices clearly displayed in every bedroom using English and pictograms.

Means of securing bedroom doors from the inside and outside of the bedroom. Secondary security device to be provided where bedrooms have direct external access.

In-room safe required.

5 Star

Printed information on summoning assistance and evacuation procedures in the event of an emergency to be displayed in every bedroom. Multilingual emergency procedure notices clearly displayed in every bedroom using English and pictograms.

Means of securing bedroom doors from the inside and outside of the bedroom. Secondary security device to be provided where bedrooms have direct external access.

In-room electronic safe required.

6 – Furniture

3 Star

A bedside table or shelf should be provided and be located beside all permanent sleeping positions. One bedside table between the beds is acceptable in a twin room. This may either be an ‘all in one’ fixture with a bed headboard or free a standing table.

Very good quality and condition in the standard of furniture, furnishings, fittings and décor.

5 Star

A bedside table or shelf should be provided and be located beside all permanent sleeping positions. One bedside table between the beds is acceptable in a twin room. This may either be an ‘all in one’ fixture with a bed headboard or free a standing table.

Outstanding quality and condition in the standard of furniture, furnishings, fittings and décor.

Chairs to seat the number of people per room that are appropriate and fit for purpose, given the quality star grading on offer.

7 – Bedding and Linen

3 Star

Purpose designed mattress protectors and pillow protectors are required to be fitted to all beds.

All bedding must be the appropriate size, free of stains, holes and fraying. This will include sheets, pillowcases, blankets, bedspreads/quilts/duvet on all beds.

All linen must be of a very good quality and clean.

Two sheets, one blanket and a bedspread OR one/two sheets and duvet with cover per bed.

Two very good quality pillows per sleeping position, with spare pillows available on request.

Spare bedding and extra pillow to be available on request.

5 Star

Purpose designed mattress protectors and pillow protectors are required to be fitted to all beds.

All bedding must be the appropriate size, free of stains, holes and fraying. This will include sheets, pillowcases, blankets, bedspreads/quilts/duvet on all beds.

All linen must be of an outstanding quality and be immaculately laundered.

Two sheets and duvet with duvet cover per bed.

Two outstanding quality pillows per sleeping position with an additional pillow and blanket in the room. Special requirement pillows should be available on request.

Other outstanding quality spare bedding and pillows should be available on request.

8 – Temperature Control and Ventilation

All Stars

Adequate ventilation in the room. Heating and cooling system appropriate to the level of star grading being applied for, that can be individually controlled by the guest to their comfort levels based on the geographical location of the establishments and for all seasons.

9 – Accessories

3 Star

Adequate protection against insects in the form of netting, window gauze and / or insecticide should be provided in each guest room.

A pictogram / diagram for fire evacuation procedure.

List of emergency numbers available.

Tea and coffee making facilities provided in all rooms. Adequate crockery and cutlery should be provided for each guest in the room. An electric kettle must also be available.

Complimentary sachets of tea, coffee and sugar (at least two sachets per guest per day) are required. Adequate preparation space located near a dedicated power point in the bedroom

is required. Preparation space and power point in the bathroom is not acceptable.

Local Tourism Information and Entertainment Guide.

Information on surrounding restaurants and take-away menus.

5 Star

Adequate protection against insects in the form of netting, window gauze and / or insecticide should be provided in each guest room.

A pictogram / diagram for fire evacuation procedure.

List of emergency numbers available.

Tea and coffee making facilities provided in all rooms. Adequate crockery and cutlery should be provided for each guest in the room. An electric kettle must also be available.

Complimentary sachets of tea, coffee and sugar (at least two sachets per guest per day) are required. Adequate preparation space located near a dedicated power point in the bedroom

is required. Preparation space and power point in the bathroom is not acceptable.

Local Tourism Information and Entertainment Guide.

Information on surrounding restaurants and take-away menus.

Laundry/pressing/dry cleaning service where available.

Iron and ironing board advertised as available.

Instructions on how to use the television (where provided) and heating/cooling system.

10 – Bathroom

3 Star

All basin, bath and shower taps to be in working order with sufficient hot and cold water supply.

Baths and showers provide a strong and easily adjustable flow of water.

There are enough towel rails for the number of guests in the room.

There are enough racks/shelves for the number of guests in the room.

A mirror must be situated above or adjacent to the hand basin.

Bathroom facilities should be en-suite. If not, exclusive use of bathroom facilities per room is mandatory.

5 Star

All basin, bath and shower taps to be in working order with sufficient hot and cold water supply.

Baths and showers provide a strong and easily adjustable flow of water.

There are enough towel rails for the number of guests in the room.

There are enough racks/shelves for the number of guests in the room.

A mirror must be situated above or adjacent to the hand basin

Bathroom facilities must be en-suite.

11 – Breakfast Quality and Presentation

3 Star

All hot foods well-presented and served at the correct temperature.

All cold foods (yoghurt, fruit, cold meats) also well-presented and served at the correct temperature.

Menu items modified to consider dietary requirements (e.g. food allergies, diabetic-food requirements).

A good range of hot and cold items offered for breakfast. (Hot breakfast should include a minimum of 6 items; cold breakfast should include cereals, breads, cold meats, fruit and cheese)

Guests are offered a wide choice of how their eggs are cooked; including fried, poached, boiled and scrambled.

5 Star

All hot foods well-presented and served at the correct temperature.

All cold foods (yoghurt, fruit, cold meats) also well-presented and served at the correct temperature.

Menu items modified to consider dietary requirements (e.g. food allergies, diabetic-food requirements).

A good range of hot and cold items offered for breakfast. (Hot breakfast should include a minimum of 6 items; cold breakfast should include cereals, breads, cold meats, fruit and cheese)

Guests are offered a wide choice of how their eggs are cooked; including fried, poached, boiled and scrambled.

An extensive range of hot and cold items provided for breakfast and presented in an attractive manner with an emphasis on homemade components

Provision made for a variety of dietary requirements, e.g.: Kosher, Halaal, diabetic, vegetarian, etc.

12 – Welcome, Friendliness and Attitude

All Stars

Guest to be met on arrival by host.

Clear communication regarding what the establishment has to offer should be made available whether by advertisement, brochure, word of mouth or other means to all guests upon

request. This should include:

Full details of cancellation policy and in-house rules, e.g. smoking or pets, to be on hand.

An honest description of all amenities, facilities and services offered.

All the above should be communicated before, or at the time of reservation.

All requests, correspondence, enquires and complaints should be handled in a friendly and efficient manner.

A designated meet and great area with a representative on call. An afterhours key service must be provided.

Reception must be available for guest check-in with minimal delay. Hours of operation for reception are to be displayed in a prominent position indicating contact information.

5 Star

Guest to be met on arrival by host.

Clear communication regarding what the establishment has to offer should be made available whether by advertisement, brochure, word of mouth or other means to all guests upon

request. This should include:

Full details of cancellation policy and in-house rules, e.g. smoking or pets, to be on hand.

An honest description of all amenities, facilities and services offered.

All the above should be communicated before, or at the time of reservation.

All requests, correspondence, enquires and complaints should be handled in a friendly and efficient manner.

A designated meet and great area with a representative on call. An afterhours key service must be provided.

Reception must be available for guest check-in with minimal delay. Hours of operation for reception are to be displayed in a prominent position indicating contact information.

A clearly designated area, spacious and impressive entrance foyer or lobby. A representative must be available 24 hours a day,

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