Stability returns at Sante Hotel Resort & SpaMay 28th, 2012 by Andrew Moth | Categories: hotels, industry, legal, people, tourism
Franz Gmeiner’s Orion Group which owns and/or manages around 14 hotels all over Southern Africa has taken over the running of Sante Hotel Resort and Spa near Franschhoek in the Western Cape.
Bruce Walker, who has wide experience of the hotel and restaurant industries in South Africa, is GM of the hotel, which first opened about 10 years ago under Southern Sun management.
Since then the hotel has been in the news as part of the Fidentia scandal involving J Arthur Brown and more recently in liquidation proceedings instituted by Lance Sherrell, a former rugby player.
With Orion taking control of the hotel and spa operations, Sante appears set for a period of stability following restructuring.
Walker has previously run other Orion properties, including the Coach House near Tzaneen, and is well known throughout the hotel industry.
Having taken over as GM at the beginning of April, he is implementing tried and tested procedures at the hotel and reports that the spa is doing good business.
“Awareness and brand-building are important but in these times – when there is so much competition in the five-star market in the Western Cape – sales and marketing are the key,” Walker says.
He has introduced winter specials for both the hotel and the spa, which are on a 160ha estate. One of the tricks of marketing these, he says, is to make sure that consumers are tempted to make an immediate inquiry.