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

I have always loved planning and being the designated “organiser” but fell into hospitality by chance. It started with what was supposed to be a 6 month “find myself” receptionist job at a lodge and grew into a career.


Where have you served as GM? 
  • Sandibe Okavango Safari Lodge
  • Hartford House
  • Walkersons Hotel & Spa
  • The Turbine Hotel & Spa


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

Too many to mention – the directors at &Beyond who took a chance on me and helped me develop from a receptionist into a lodge manager. I have learnt so much over the years from so many people I’ve worked with.


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 not yet opened a hotel or lodge, but have been involved in several large upgrade projects in remote areas. Working in remote areas requires quick thinking, creative problem solving and often a calm practical approach. I’m always up for a challenge.


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?

Patience and learn to listen before reacting … this was not always my strong point! This applies to staff, guests, suppliers and pretty much everyone a GM would interact with.


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 environments?

The challenges are often similar, and I’ve found that being closer to civilisation is almost more difficult at times. Relationships with neighbours and suppliers is paramount, knowing you can pick up the phone (or radio in some cases!) and ask for assistance. Whether it be borrowing ice because your ice machine is broken, to getting a reference for a staff member. Sometimes these relationships are easier to form in remote environments. It boils down to communication and a practical approach, get to know who is reliable in your area.


What is your favourite thing about serving at your current post?

The diversity of people I get to interact with … of course the location isn’t bad either.


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

Extremely important. From building relationships with others in the industry to learning how others may be tackling situations you are looking for solutions to. Sometimes just being “on the other side” opens your eyes to what your guests see at your property.


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

To start with, we have a team of over 60 permanent employees, many of whom are the breadwinners of
the family. Over the last 18 months the hotel has taken huge steps in terms of energy efficiency with equipment in the hotel, installation of solar panels and inverters in order to do away with use of the generator during load shedding. We also recycle as much as possible.


What is your ideal or favourite vacation destination?

Anywhere in nature.


What is your drink of choice?



What is your favourite savoury dish?

A good home cooked roast meal.


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

There are so many and having only been here less than a year, I’m still exploring myself. Next on my list is a visit to the Featherbed Nature Reserve.