Top Cape Town hotel, The Twelve Apostles, has come under fire after a blog post exposed alleged racism. Well to be clear, the incident occured at the Azure restaurant at the hotel and involved someone who attempted to book a table for 6, but was told they were fully booked. Suspecting racism, the patron asked a white friend to call who had no problem getting a booking for the same number of people. It doesn’t end there though. The original caller still decided to go, but when he arrived with his dinner companions he was told no booking was made. Here’s an excerpt from the original post.
“Sorry, we don’t have a booking under that name.
My phone rang, as I was bathing my kids. My friend only says: “Apparently you did not book…” and hands over the phone to a flustered receptionist, who clearly did not expect those black people she was about to send away to have a white back up at the other end of that phone.
I don’t think she got the first word in before I literally lost the plot.”
The general manager of the Twelve Apostles has responded saying it was an unfortunate reservation error, but read on and decide for yourself.
The party in question still ended up eating at the restaurant, but not without further drama after they were placed in a corner of the restaurant and had to deal with a rude waitress. You can go read the full account of what happened HERE.
As for the hotel’s response…the general manger left this as a comment.
“Thank you for your recent posting, highlighting the very unfortunate event occurring with your friend, and also yourself, as a result of a reservations error that took place on our part at The Twelve Apostles Hotel and Spa over the holiday season. The allegations put forward are taken very seriously, personally, and deeply by the owners, management and staff of the Twelve Apostles and we strongly refuse to accept being branded as a racist hotel.
Before I explain what happened, I think it is important that it must be categorically stated that The Twelve Apostles Hotel and Spa, and the owners who are proud South Africans themselves, have zero tolerance when it comes to prejudice of any kind, be it racism or any other form of discrimination. Our hotel is one of South Africa’s leading luxury hotels, admired, awarded and visited by guests from across South Africa and the world.
As a result, during peak seasons of Christmas and New Years, we are fortunate to have high demand on the hotel. When this occurs, as is the case in many leading hotels and restaurants across the city, country and world, challenges and mistakes occur due to overbookings, lack of confirmations of bookings, last minute cancellations, unscheduled arrivals, or erroneous bookings. Still, when such problems occur, the staff of Twelve Apostles goes out of their way to find solutions to ensure guest satisfaction.
Having conducted a thorough investigation in the case of the event that occurred with your friends, on the 27th December 2014, it was ultimately and exclusively due to pure human error on the part of our reservations and for this we are truly sorry and we have already apologized to the party involved.
When your friends arrived at the hotel for their much anticipated dining experience, the table that they believed to have been booked was unfortunately reallocated. The error was, no question, ours.
Still, in an effort to find a solution, they were offered the exclusive private dining venue on a complimentary basis, as at the time, it was the only available table in the house. Your friends declined this offer, preferring to remain in the restaurant for dinner. As yet another cancellation occurred , the Asst Manager quickly seated your friends, where they then stayed on for dinner. This was a difficult predicament and we are sorry it was interpreted for rudeness.
Once again we are truly sorry for what happened and I have personally taken the matter up with your friend, making clear the source of the error, apologising for their disappointing service experience. We hope and look forward to inviting you with them to showcase what we really are famous for.
Michael Nel, General Manager “
What you reckon, pure human error as per his explanation or something more than several coincidences?