When did you know you wanted to be a hotelier and in particular, a General Manager? 

Aged 8, I went out for lunch in a hotel. My family were being hosted by another family. I was the youngest at the table and no one was paying any attention to me. I remember feeling very grown-up in this fancy hotel restaurant, but because I was little, my feet didn’t touch the floor and I remember swinging my legs as I watched everything around me. I was entranced by the immaculate table linen, pretty flowers and handsome waiters with their jackets and bow ties. From that day, I never wanted to do anything other than work in hotels.

Of course, I realized later that there is more to hotels, than table linen and handsome waiters.

Where have you served thus far as GM?  

London, Thailand, Langkawi, Sanya (China), Kuala Lumpur, Dubai and now Cape Town.


Have you had any mentor(s) along the way & how important were they to your development?

The biggest impact on my personal growth started when I left UK and started to travel. You quickly become very humbled by the learnings of different cultures.


Have you ever had to open a hotel or lodge and would you say that requires a unique skill set? If not, would you be interested in doing so or not? 

I have done 3 openings in Thailand, KL and Dubai. The key to successful openings is to be relentless – you develop lists of tasks and action points…all accompanied by relentless follow up.

From the first day you served as a GM, until today, you must have learnt so much. If you could share any one piece of sage guidance, to new GM’s, what would it be? 

I have learned that when “things go wrong” (which they do from time to time), it is the team that gets you through the challenge and out the other side. Everything can be fixed, everything can be solved…but not on your own… it’s all about the team.


I imagine that being the GM of a property, in a small town,  would come with different dynamics to being the GM of a property, in a big city. The same would go for managing a beach property on an island or a bush lodge in a remote corner of the world. Can you share how one adapts to managing in different locations (environments)?

The biggest headaches for operating a hotel come when there is a problem with basic resources – power, internet or water. In a remote location these can be harder  problems to solve. In urban locations, you tend to have more resources to pull on, more help, materials to hand.

But regardless of location, you need a network of good connections who can help you get connected again… or who can lend you a pump or an inverter or sandbags!


Being the general manager of a hotel, during the Coronavirus Pandemic, must have been very challenging. What was the key to survival, and did you gain or learn anything from the adverse situation? 

At One&Only we took advantage of the downturn in business to renovate all our rooms, the lobby and Vista lounge. We were very lucky to have ownership who were willing to invest in the resort at this time. It meant that we kept ourselves busy and could have more jobs, positions and hours for our team while we were bringing rooms out of inventory and back again.

In planning the renovation, we consciously sought to work with local SA businesses and craftsman. 89% of the total investment was spent in local SA businesses.


Your favourite thing about serving, at your current post? 

Every time I stand in the One&Only lobby and look at Table Mountain. Takes my breath away.


How important is it for general managers, such as yourself, to visit other properties?

Essential that we visit other resorts and try new restaurants and bars. It is critical to reset your standards by seeing new concepts and meeting innovators and entrepreneurs. It helps better understand the expectations of our guests.


How is your establishment contributing to the greater good & making the world a better place?

Last year we started a partnership with Two Oceans Aquarium next door to help raise funds on the rehabilitation of baby sea turtles. It’s not a public project and so not many people know about the excellent work done at the Aquarium to aid and rehabilitate baby sea turtles. We offer “insider” guest experiences to see this unique project. And in February, we are doing a fund-raising dinner to assist with this important facility.


Interesting Insights about the General Manager:


What is your ideal or favourite vacation destination?

Luang Prabang in Laos


What is your favourite wine?

Umsasane by Ntsiki Biyela


What is your favourite dish?

New style salmon sashimi at Nobu


What favourite hidden gem, near your establishment, should we visit?

The Baby Sea Turtle rehabilitation facility at Two Oceans Aquarium


Best question you were never asked or a fun fact about yourself?

I’m trying to win a travel bet with a friend… “who can do the A-Z of countries first!”.

The rules are that you can do them in any order, but you must visit one country beginning with A, one country beginning with B etc. So far, I’ve got 23 letters of the alphabet. I just need to go to a country beginning with D and one beginning with V and I’ll win!