Contactless Stay During COVID at the Courtyard Hotel Port Elizabeth

COVID has increased the creativity and the way the Courtyard Hotel Port Elizabeth has adapted to the healthy and safety regulations during lockdown. 

Courtyard Hotel Port Elizabeth
Photo Credits Ziyaad Plaatjes

 

On our recent trip to Port Elizabeth (which has recently been renamed Gqeberha), our first stop was the Courtyard Hotel Port Elizabeth.

The boutique-styled hotel which is located in the Boardwalk precinct, overlooks the beautiful Summerstrand beach. 

There are 91 rooms which all offer sea-views in the three-level site which the hotel occupies.

View of the rooms from the garden at the Courtyard Hotel Port Elizabeth
Photo Credits Ziyaad Plaatjes

 

We had booked a few days in advance and communicated with Ronique Roberts, who assisted us with some pre-arrival information.

In order to reduce contact, we were asked to complete an Online Guest Screening Form and an Online Guest Registration Form, which we did prior to our arrival.

Both forms can be completed on arrival at the Courtyard Hotel Port Elizabeth with your smartphone via QR codes which are located at the entrance of the hotel.

 

(Top) Inside Lounge Area and (Bottom) Pool Area Entrance at the Courtyard Hotel Port Elizabeth
Photo Credits Ziyaad Plaatjes

 

Check-in

We arrived from Cradock at the Courtyard Hotel at 12:40 (a little early for the usual 14:00 check-in). At the entrance we were welcomed by the manager on duty, Matthews Ncanywa who took our temperature before we entered the premises.

The staff were still busy with our room as we had arrived earlier than we anticipated, and Matthews mentioned that we would be able check-in within 15 minutes.

We did not mind the wait, as it gave us some time to enjoy the scenery of the beach from the pool deck of the hotel.

 
(Top) Pool and (Bottom) View from the Pool Deck at the Courtyard Hotel Port Elizabeth
Photo Credits Ziyaad Plaatjes

 

After a few minutes of being mesmerised by the waves crashing against the rocks at the Summerstrand beach just across the road from the hotel, we returned to the reception area where we were greeted by Lelethu.

Lelethu advised us that our room was ready, offered us a colouring book for our little one (with colouring pencils and a sharpener), and took us through some of the important information pertaining to our stay at the Courtyard Hotel Port Elizabeth.

The hotel has tried its best to limit contact with guests and any food or services that need to be ordered can be done via QR codes. Assistance is also available via a dedicated WhatsApp line.

Courtyard Hotel Port Elizabeth Club Lounge and eat-in Menus accessible via QR Codes
Photo Credits Ziyaad Plaatjes

 

A sparkling splash pool is on the premises at the hotel, and the pool needs to be booked in advance - again to limit contact between guests. Only one family is allowed in the pool at all times.

The hotel has the Club Lounge (lunch and dinner area) which serves meals from 12:00 until 22:00, and located opposite it, is a breakfast area which serves hot and cold breakfast meals, as well as pastries from 07:00 until 11:00.

 

(Top) Club Lounge and (Bottom) Breakfast Dining Area at the Courtyard Hotel Port Elizabeth
Photo Credits Ziyaad Plaatjes

 

Hotel Facilities

The facilities offered are abundant such as:

  • Complimentary WiFi
  • Personal shopping service
  • Club Lounge (serving lunch and dinner)
  • Full English and Continental breakfasts daily
  • In room dining by arrangement with local restaurants
  • 24 hour security and Secure parking
  • Boardroom and Conference Room
  • Personal use of guest office
  • Gym
  • Pool
  • Same-day laundry and dry cleaning service, as well as Laundrette

Safe and Secure Parking at the Courtyard Hotel Port Elizabeth
Photo Credits Ziyaad Plaatjes

 

The Room

All the rooms are accessed from a private entrance (not through the reception area) via the safe, secure gated parking lot, which is manned 24/7 by a security guard.

There are two room options at the Courtyard Hotel Port Elizabeth:

  • Studio Room from R1350 per room per night
  • One Bedroom Suite from R1500 per room per night

We had a One Bedroom Suite for the night, in the corner of the second floor (there are ground floor, first floor, and second floor units). 

The suite was decorated with beautiful ocean inspired paintings, is comfortable for a small family, and is equipped with everything you need to enjoy a lengthy stay.

At the entrance of our room was an enclosed kitchenette with a:

  • wash basin
  • cupboard, drawers, and shelves
  • bin inside the cupboard
  • cutlery in the drawers
  • crockery on the shelves - dinner and side plates, teacups, coffee mugs, serving dishes, juice, high ball and flute glasses 
  • coffee machine with pods
  • mini fridge with bottled spring water (in an eco-bottle), and 200ml juice cartons
  • kettle with milk, tea bags, instant coffee sachets, sugar, creamer, and biscuits
  • toaster
  • ice bucket
  • microwave
  • salt and pepper dispensers

Opposite the kitchenette was a square dining table with four dining room chairs, a torchère (floor lamp), and an air-conditioner mounted on the wall behind it. The dining area was fully tiled.

Lounge and Dining Area in One Bedroom Suite at the Courtyard Hotel Port Elizabeth
Photo Credits Ziyaad Plaatjes 

 

The lounge area was carpeted and had a:

  • two seater couch
  • two wing backed chairs
  • two seater sleeper couch
  • coffee table with the sanitised and covered remotes for the TV and airconditioner
  • side table with a lamp
  • TV with a small DStv bouquet on top of a chest of drawers
  • work desk with two side drawers, an extra dining room chair, and a bottle of hand sanitiser - our desk also had a delicious fruit platter and cans of sparkling apple juice on it when we arrived
(Left) Sleeper Couch and (Right) Fruit Platter in One Bedroom Suite at the Courtyard Hotel Port Elizabeth
Photo Credits Ziyaad Plaatjes

 

The aluminium sliding door from the lounge area opens out to the balcony which over looks the Summerstrand beach. There is a push-out top hung window within the sliding door should you wish to not open the door on those windy Port Elizabeth days.

On the balcony is a cast aluminium 2 seater outdoor patio set to better enjoy the views.

Walkthrough Courtyard Hotel Port Elizabeth
Video Credits Ziyaad Plaatjes

 

The bedroom also has access to the balcony via a similar sliding door to the lounge area.  

Our bedroom was also carpeted with:

  • two single beds pushed together with two pairs of slippers and two bath robes
  • a fabric ottoman at the base of the beds
  • a dressing table with a drawer, a glass, a bottle of spring water, a lamp, sanitised and covered remotes for the air-conditioner and TV, and a vanity stool under the table
  • a mirror above the dressing table
  • a pedestal with a lamp, a glass, and a bottle of spring water
  • a closed TV unit
  • an air-conditioner mounted on the wall leading to the bathroom

Bedroom in the One Bedroom Suite at the Courtyard Hotel Port Elizabeth
Photo Credits Ziyaad Plaatjes

 

There were sliding doors to close off the bedroom from the lounge, as well as a set of sliding doors to close off the bedroom from the bathroom area.

The bathroom was fully tiled with:

  • built in cupboards for your luggage, with an electronic safe, an iron, and ironing board
  • a bath (but there is currently a water crisis in the region)
  • an enclosed shower unit
  • an enclosed toilet
  • a basin with a mirror above, and two glasses, two face cloths, and eco-friendly toiletries; body cream, hand soap, shower cap, hair an body bar
(Left) Bathroom and (Right) Bathroom Cupboard in the One Bedroom Suite at the Courtyard Hotel Port Elizabeth
Photo Credits Ziyaad Plaatjes  

 

Breakfast

Breakfast is an additional charge to the room rate, and is calculated at R150 per person (prices may vary) for a full English and Continental breakfast, which are served daily.

We arrived for breakfast just after 07:00 and warmly welcomed by Florence. Florence looked after us for the duration of our stay at the breakfast area. Bongiwe, the chef at the hotel assisted with our hot meal, and also brought the meal to our table.

The breakfast buffet selection has not changed, and everything is still available. The only difference is the way it is served.

Breakfast Selection and Breakfast Area at the Courtyard Hotel Port Elizabeth
Photo Credits Ziyaad Plaatjes 

 

All the pastries, cereals, yoghurts, and fruits are all pre packed and covered or packaged for one item per person - the risk of any contamination or spoilage of food is very low. Hot and cold beverages can be ordered from one of the staff, but there are stations (which are regularly sanitised) where you can help yourself.

The tables are social distanced, but guests also made sure that there were at least one table in between them and the next guest. Both the breakfast and dinner areas are well ventilated, with doors opening out to the pool deck, and views of the ocean.

Table and the View from the Table at the Courtyard Hotel Port Elizabeth
Photo Credits Ziyaad Plaatjes

 

Verdict

We were impressed with the way Courtyard Hotel Port Elizabeth has adapted to a more contactless approach, but should the need arise the staff are always ready to assist, with a friendly welcome (because we can't see a smile through a mask).

There is a great selection of well-prepared breakfast choices, including options for Vegetarians, which we thoroughly enjoyed.

The facilities offered by Courtyard Hotel Port Elizabeth cater for both business and family trips - and we appreciated that because although it was a business trip, we were blessed to spend some quality family time as well.

Special mention needs to be made about the comforts of the suite; the privacy (both to access the room and while in the room), the ample space, the picturesque views from the balcony, and the little things that we take for granted at home which are always nice to have on holiday, all managed to be catered for in the suite.

We had a lovely stay and will be back, when we visit Gqeberha again. 

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Ziyaad Plaatjes is the Co-Founder of iloveza.com.

He is a Bachelor of Commerce Honours graduate and has been running businesses since the age of 13. Ziyaad is a registered Financial Advisor, but has taken on many roles in various industries over the years. With his entrepreneurial skills and vast knowledge he assists individuals and businesses to grow and achieve their goals.  

Find him at: Instagram: @ziyaad_86 / @ilovezacom Twitter: @ziyaad86 / @ilovezacom Facebook: iloveza.com  LinkedIn: Ziyaad Plaatjes / iloveza.com YouTube: iloveza.com  SoundCloud: iloveza.com E-mail: ziyaad@iloveza.com

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