Many people have reacted negatively to hotels and lodges that offer short time accommodation.
Often referred to as Rest Inn, this service allows one to pay a small fee and rest for a few hours, saying this kind of service encourages cheating amongst partners, especially married people as they usually share homes with their spouses.
The state is currently appealing a case in which a man accused of raping a sixteen-year-old girl at a Lamila Lodge in Mogoditshane during broad daylight, after booking for a short time.
“This happens mostly at lodges and Guest houses and it’s not fair to couples; encourages promiscuity,” said citizen Obert Kaisara. “If one has a live-in partner like me, this makes it easier if not tempting to cheat.”
His words are echoed by Dintle Kgosi who wonders why a person would pay money for a hotel just to relax for a short time. “Government should not allow such type of behaviour, how are we going to overcome this H.I.V pandemic?”
Though many lodge owners interviewed by this paper refused to comment on the issue, Sunday Standard investigations have, however, revealed that such a service is openly available, especially in Mogoditshane, where one lodge run by an expatriate couple who did not seem very conversant in English told me “short time is fifty pula for one hour and seventy pula for two hours”.
According to an employee who spoke on condition of anonymity, their establishment is very popular because of these short time rates.
“We get very busy during the day. Most of our clients just come for a short time. We have all types of people coming here all through the day and at night,” she says.
Though she could not confirm it, the people who come to their lodge are not married couples but rather young lovers as well as elder men accompanied by young ladies.
Another employee at another lodge in Mogoditshane, who also preferred to speak on condition of anonymity, says they charge seventy pula per hour. She says though this is illegal, they do it for the money.
“Since the recession business has been bad, we have to take every thebe that comes our way.”
She says though most of the customers that make use of this service are couples, it is difficult to tell what they do once inside the rooms so they don’t care much either as long as they get paid and nothing is damaged in the rooms.
Godfrey Kalanke works as a Front Office Manager at Big Five Lodge where they charge four hundred pula for three hours.
He says they charge so much to avoid clients from abusing the cause. “We do it mainly for tourists passing through our city and who just need a place to relax and or freshen up,” he said.
According to Kalanke, they often get “pilots who come to the lodge to relax and take a nap between flights”.
He says he knows of lodges and hotels that charge as little as fifty pula for short intervals, something he says is intolerable as it tarnishes the image of the hospitality industry.
Yarona Lodge banqueting Manager, Malebogo Kebualemang, says they don’t offer short-term rates and a client would have to pay the full rate even if they wish to stay only for a while.