Gloria you are one of the longest serving staff members at AtholPlace Hotel & Villa. You must be very proud of this achievement….? Yes, I am very proud! I’m lucky to be able to call AtholPlace my second home and I have been fortunate to receive so much encouragement from everyone here.
Tell us where you are originally from and a little about your immediate family? I am originally from the Eastern Cape in a small town called Indwe which is situated between Dordrecht and Elliot. The Eastern Cape is the traditional home of the Xhosa and the birthplace of Nelson Mandela! I have a beautiful family of five – my husband, daughter, son and a lovely granddaughter.
What type of training have you received? AtholPlace is part of the Relais & Châteaux portfolio which means standards are very high and guests have definite expectations. I have been formally trained by representatives from Relais & Châteaux and I continue to receive plenty of ongoing guidance and instruction from the AtholPlace team. I believe there is always something new to learn.
Housekeeping is one of those departments in a hotel which must tackle their tasks without being seen or heard too much…how do you stay motivated to keep the establishment in tip top shape? Housekeeping is my passion and I’m self motivated to give of my best everyday. I am committed to making sure every small thing is observed and tended to. This is what makes AtholPlace a leading hotel. It is the attention to detail and understanding the needs of our guests.
In all your years of experience have you seen many changes in how hotels operate? International changes in the hospitality industry have certainly had an effect on every aspect of how any hotel operates. Technology now plays a huge role and we are also more environmentally aware and we look for sustainable solutions in everything we do. Here at the hotel each time a new member joins the team it causes a slight shift but this is great as it adds new ideas and methods to how we do our jobs.
Do you have a mentor at AtholPlace and how have they impacted on your work and personal life? I’m really lucky in that during my long career I have been inspired by many who have worked here so I can’t single out just one person. There is an Nguni word Ubuntu which translates as “I am because we are”. This sums up how I am what I am today because of everyone who has crossed my path, both personally and professionally.
If you could choose any destination in the world – where would you like to travel and why? I would love to travel to Zimbabwe to see the Victoria Falls, the Zambezi and Lake Kariba – I have heard so much about these natural attractions from fellow staff members and guests. Zimbabwe sounds like a perfect destination for a trip.