The hotel’s Facebook page makes it clear that the hotel wants to resume operations as normal, offering luxurious service and what it says are rooms fit for a king. Recent publications since the Taliban takeover have advertised its cafe, restaurants and reception halls.
Staff said the Taliban had inherited a dozen guests and that a few foreigners taken from the capital had already stayed there, including a German guest.
Waiters in black shirts and slacks continued to bustle around the lobby cafe, but Mr Tayeb said the hotel was understaffed as large numbers of people were made redundant in the weeks leading up to the fall of Kabul.
“We welcome our staff again,” he said.
Taliban guards may now be securing the hotel, but it is the Taliban themselves who have posed the greatest threat in recent years.
The building perched on a hill and set in the middle of several acres of garden became a high target during the bloody Taliban insurgency, with gunmen breaking in twice to assassinate guests and staff.
In January 2018, the hotel was stormed by gunmen who killed 22 people, including 14 foreigners. This attack was blamed on the Haqqani faction of the Taliban, led by Sirajuddin Haqqani, who is now the interior minister.