“I wanted to be a hotelier from age 4. I registered at the Lausanne Hotel School at age 14 and graduated in 1992. I then went on to study at Cornell, the sister school in Paris.
First, tell us about the pigs, how many are currently in your collection?
Altogether probably 300! Some of which can be found in and around the hotel. The last one was given to me by a dear friend, she got it in Portugal, it smokes a cigarette and even has long, gorgeous eyelashes!
What do you wish people had told you about going into the hospitality business?
I knew what I was getting myself into and do not regret it one bit. Only downfall is that in South Africa our hotel jobs are not valued enough… by this I mean as in waiters and housekeeping are not proud jobs but rather a case of ‘until I find something better’. It should a very regarded profession with decent education.
What inspires you on a day to day basis?
My staff and of course the objective and positive guest feedback.
Who do you look up to?
Horst Frehse is my hotel hero, I was lucky to call him my boss when I started working in South Africa at the Grande Roche. Many will relate.
What has been the best business advice anyone has ever given you?
Do what people want and not what you like… although I still battle with that sometimes!
How do you balance being a mom, wife and career woman? Don’t take yourself too seriously, go with the flow, be sure that all decisions taken are made in the interest of everyone involved. Do not doubt that ever!
Your advice for women wanting to climb the career ladder in hospitality?
Work bloody hard and stay in places, don’t hop and jump jobs.
It’s your day off… where can we find you?
Playing golf with my boys, eating out, connecting with my few friends… maybe too much eating!