Meet Twelve Apostles Hotel Guest Relations Manager

This is my eighth edition of meet the hotel front office personnel series, where I afford them the opportunity to shine and share their career aspirations. Today I’m chatting to Candice Grobbelaar who is currently climbing the corporate ladder at The Twelve Apostles Hotel, find out about her future plans…

What is your name and which hotel do you work for?

My name is Candice Grobbelaar and I work for The Twelve Apostles Hotel and Spa in Cape Town.

Candice Grobbelaar, Guest Relations Manager, The Twelve Apostles Hotel and Spa

Candice Grobbelaar, Guest Relations Manager, The Twelve Apostles Hotel and Spa

How did you get into your current position? 

I have an absolute passion for people and ensuring that we exceed their expectations. I worked very closely with our previous Guest Relations Manager, so when she moved on, I decided to pursue this higher position and try to further my career at The Twelve Apostles.

What were you doing before your current position? 

I joined The Twelve Apostles Hotel and Spa in June 2008 as a hotel school trainee from the CUT Hotel School in Bloemfontein. After completing my internship, I was permanently appointed as a Guest Liaison Officer in January 2009.  In March 2012,  I was promoted to the position of Assistant Guest Relations Manager.

What do you like about your job? 

There is never a dull day in the life of a Guest Relations Manager at The Twelve Apostles! Every day is different with new people, exciting new challenges and new memories being made and you are part of it all.

What challenges are part of your job? 

  • You have to be a jack of all trades and extreme multi tasking during our peak season can take its toll, but I think it is something that we have adapted to and learned to cope with very well.
  • Bad weather, which is obviously an issue for guests who have come from cold countries looking forward to some days of sunshine.
  • Lost luggage.
  • The fact that my parents still do not understand that I won’t be joining them for Christmas or New Year’s Eve!

What is your long term goal with your career?

I love my current job, so I would like to stay at The Twelve Apostles for the next few years to gain more experience and grow in my current role, hopefully climbing up the hierarchy. Then, one day, I would love to have my own Sports Bar! I am passionate about people and entertaining, so I’d be looking to create something modern and out of the box, where sports stars can come to relax after their game and hang out with some of their fans, live entertainment, ultimate service and its own designated drivers to get you home safely. This is of course a very long term goal but I know that the knowledge I am gaining at The Twelve Apostles will be a fantastic platform to lay the foundations for my future business.

What milestones have you achieved since being part of the hotel front office team? 

I was nominated as ‘Employee of the Year’ last year, which secured me a spot in the Annual Staff Appreciation party in London where we stayed in one of the beautiful Red Carnation Hotel Collection hotels, the Rubens, for a week.

How do you handle rude guests? 

I remain polite and ensure that I know my facts. I listen, smile, stay professional and kill them with kindness!

What is your educational background? 

I grew up in Bloemfontein and attended both primary and high school in Bloem, where I matriculated in 2005 from Sentraal High. My education continued at the CUT Hotel School where I studied Hospitality Management for 3 years. This included a 6-month stint at Fancourt Hotel and Country Club Estate, and the last 6 months I spent at The Twelve Apostles Hotel and Spa to complete my practical training section of my Diploma.

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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