Atlantic Seaboard Protea Hotels appoint General Managers

Four Protea Hotels on the upmarket Atlantic Seaboard of Cape Town have new General Managers, who officially took up their positions this month.

All four GMs have extensive management experience within Protea Hotels and know intimately the ins and outs of the market that prefers to stay on this exclusive stretch of coastline that contains some of the most expensive real estate in South Africa.

Pieter Buitendag, former GM of the recently refurbished Protea Hotel Victoria Junction in Green Point, has taken over as GM of the substantial and luxurious Protea Hotel President on Bantry Bay’s Platinum Mile.

It’s a case of coming full circle for Buitendag, whose first formal posting after completing his 3-year in-service management training programme was at the Protea Hotel President, where he soon proved his mettle and became F&B Manager.

In 2003 Buitendag became GM of the Protea Hotel Keurbooms River in Plettenberg Bay, then took over the reins at Protea Hotel Stellenbosch. He left the company in 2007, but realised within a year how much he missed the company’s corporate TEAM structure and returned as GM of the Protea Hotel Victoria Junction, which he managed until the transfer this month.

Buitendag’s shoes at the Protea Hotel Victoria Junction have been filled by the GM of Protea Hotel Breakwater Lodge in the V&A Waterfront, Charl van Wyk. Van Wyk oversaw a massive R60m refurbishment that has taken Protea Hotel Breakwater Lodge from it from a basic business hotel to a luxurious all-round executive and leisure property that still offers the best value in the Waterfront area.

Van Wyk joined Protea Hotels in 1993 as a switchboard operator, then completed the 3-year in-service management training programme and worked at various hotels within the group.

His first GM posting was in 2001 at the then Landmark Lodge Midrand, now Protea Hotel Samrand. His other GM positions include Protea Hotel Shakaland, Protea Hotel Simunye, Protea Hotel Wilderness and Protea Hotel Sea Point.

Van Wyk’s position at Protea Hotel Breakwater Lodge has been taken over by Colin Naiker, former GM of the Protea Hotel North Wharf adjacent to the CTICC.

Naiker joined Protea Hotels in 1999 and worked at properties across South Africa before becoming Front Office and Rooms Division Manager at Protea Hotel Victoria Junction. His first GM posting was at Protea Hotel Tyger Valley six year ago, followed by the move to Protea Hotel North Wharf. This will be his third and arguably most challenging GM posting.

Naiker’s shoes at Protea Hotel North Wharf are being filled by Leigh Morrison.

Morrison has varied experience across many divisions within Protea Hotels. She joined the company in 1998 at the then Protea Hotel Capetonian. She moved from there to Protea Hotel Sea Point where she worked as Banqueting Manager, Reservations Manager and Deputy GM before moving to Protea Hotel Tyger Valley for her first GM posting in 2005.

Morrison relocated to Protea Hotels head office from there and was part of the New Development TEAM that launched 15 new hotels, before she moved into the training division and implemented an e-learning solution for Protea Hotels that is rolling out to 15 000 STAFF in eight countries.

Protea Hotel North Wharf marks her “truly exciting” move back into Hotel Operations.

Protea Hotels Operations Director Bill Ford said the company had the utmost confidence in all four GMs.

“Collectively they have close to 70 years’ experience within the Protea Hotels TEAM. They are top-notch managers, have a service ethos second to none and understand intrinsically that exceeding GUEST expectations is the only acceptable service standard.

“These four hotels will flourish under the new leadership, and we expect even greater things from them in the year to come,” Ford said.

Author: Muzi Mohale

Hi there, am your host and I blog about the tourism industry in South Africa. You're also welcome to contribute your expert content on matters affecting the industry. You can reach me on muzi[at]tourismedition.com

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