This year’s Valentine’s Day celebrations will be a first in the ‘new normal’ way of life, in light of covid-19. Lovers will be expected to adhere to social distance and Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs).
At Lake Elementaita Serena Camp, they are adhering to travel safety guidelines, including having all linen sanitised in high-temperature wash, ensuring that all guests and their staff members wear face mask in public areas.
Floors are marked for social distancing and hand sanitisers are available to guests and staff who are encouraged to regularly sanitise in high-traffic areas. The high-end hospitality facility enjoys five stars for location, cleanliness and service on TripAdvisor, an online travel platform.
Travel Mint Safaris which is marketing the facility, states that the properties on their portfolio have taken the liberty to protect both their guests and staff as per the health protocols.
Their valentine’s offer is a gate away at the coast, in Naivasha and Nairobi. You can stay for three nights and pay for two nights only this Valentine’s weekend at Chui Lodge in Naivasha for KShs52, 440 per couple, per night.
You receive valentine’s chocolates and a card, a bouquet of flowers for your lady and a sundowner special on the 13th.
At Lake Elementaita Serena, the valentine’s day offer is Kshs32, 000 per couple, per night on full board accommodation that includes flowers for your lady during dinner, room petals and strawberries, a glass of bubbly during dinner and discounted rates on messages.
Communication expert, Charity Katago, of Riverwood Communications in Kenya says that people are gearing up for valentine’s day with noticeable psyche on social media.
Her clients Thika Green Golf Resort are hosting a treat dubbed ‘Lover’s Weekend Gateway’. For two nights of accommodation, breakfast with champagne, dinner and a complimentary round of golf, a couple will part with KShs27, 000.
Walk-in clients will pay less. For the ‘Valentine’s Day love and Music Affair’, a couple will pay KShs4, 800 while singles will pay KShs2, 500 which will entitle them to a glass of wine on arrival, a sumptuous five course a la carte menu, rose flowers for all ladies.
There will be entertainment by Saxo Jazz Band. Anjelica Evans, director of Let’s Go Travel/BCD Travel in Uganda observes that Ugandans would take their loved ones away during valentines – out of the country to tourism destinations like Mombasa, Zanzibar, Dubai and South Africa.
“On a romantic getaway, we are seeing Ugandans opting for Staycations- traveling in Uganda. Valentines is no different and we’ve been taking booking already for weekend getaways at lodges in the national parks and hotels in Entebbe and Jinja. Even Kampala hotels are seeing booking coming in,” Evans explains.
He adds that staycations will be so beneficial in two folds to Uganda, first money is being spent in Uganda by Ugandans instead of being taken out and used on overseas holidays.
Additionally, Ugandans are experiencing the beauty and learning about their wonderful country and what attractions it has to offer. With this, Evans is optimistic that they will be opting to staycation more in their home country.
It is slated to be a ‘Love is in the air’ affair at Endiro Coffee, at their branches at Tankhill Road in Muyenga and at Kisementi, in Kololo. Lovers will have a three-course with complementary an unplugged acoustic session at USh70, 000.
The coffee house manager, Joyce Nyamwenge-Okila observes that they have recently signed on a second delivery company but encourage sit-in clients.
“Covid-19 is still on people’s minds so we must provide the option of delivery for those that don’t want to come in to dine.
As a business, we have to incur an added cost implication with extra sanitisation of shop spaces. We will need to employ an extra service person per location on Valentine’s day specifically for seating and sanitisation,” Nyamwenge explains.
The Mythos Hotel in Kigali will not be celebrating Valentine’s Day the way they have done before. Management says that due to the facts that restaurants won’t be working in Kigali, they have resorted to capitalise on accommodation with special packages on the hotel rooms on valentine’s day.
Guests will pay for one-night accommodation and enjoy in-room dining.
Like many hospitality facilities in East Africa, the hotel cites the pandemic which has created fear among patrons to the extent of thinking twice about dining as a major element and trait for celebrating the day when lovers choose to go out and celebration their union.
Southern Palms Beach Resort Kenya is open for business and will be hosting a ‘Valentine’s Gate away’ that is valid from Friday 12th to Monday 15th. For KShs17, 999 per couple per night, there will be a treat of romantic beach dinner for two.
At Baobab Beach Resort, be sure to observe and adhere to all covid-19 protocols as a prerequisite by management to enable patrons enjoy the valentine’s day celebrations.
With that in mind, you can show your love by visiting the beach this valentine’s day and be part of ‘Baobab’s Love Affair’ where the deal is that you pay for three nights and stay for four nights.
The three nights are on an offer of KShs6, 900. There will be valentine’s themed buffet dinner. “Everyone is to take precaution and protect their loved ones,” reads a response from White Sands Resort Dar es Salaam to this reporter.
In their ‘Valentine’s Weekend Escape’, the Tanzania based facility you can book your romantic stay at US$280 for two nights that is in sea view, a welcome drink on arrival, special turn down service, a gift for each couple, free boat trip to Mbudya Island, buffet dinner at TShs99, 000 per couple with a glass of sparkling wine.
EDGAR R. BATTE