Tag Archives: Grand Roche

Why do hotel restaurants not have better patron support and win awards?

five hundred dishIt was a recent article by Nick Lander, husband of renowned wine critic Jancis Robinson and restaurant critic in the UK, about restaurants in hotels he had visited in Dubai that made me consider once again why hotel restaurants fare so poorly in patron support and in the Eat Out Top 10 restaurant awards in our country.
Lander writes that specific rules about restaurants and liquor licences force restaurants to be linked to hotels in Dubai.  In our country no such rules apply, and as a service to guests, hotels have over the years added dining facilities, in early days being the only restaurants offering tea and cake, and lunch and dunner.  My parents drove us with overseas visitors to Franschhoek’s Swiss Farm Excelsior (now the Le Franschhoek Hotel), the benchmark of restaurants in those years.

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Bosman’s at Grande Roche: business is ‘booming’, don’t need patrons’ payment!

Bosman's Grand Roche View from terrace Whale CottageI don’t visit Paarl very often, usually disappointed with the restaurant offering of the town.  Last week I spent a day there, to visit Jan Willem & Seuns, and Melissa’s newish branch. I had given up on Bosman’s at Grande Roche, after repeated poor experiences in the restaurant. However, a chance meeting of Bosman’s new Restaurant Manager and its Sous Chef at Maison in Franschhoek a few days prior led me to return.

During the busy festive season days I took a break at The Kitchen at Maison in Franschhoek, and sat next to a table with a couple, which turned out to be Austrian Chef Christoph Terschan and Restaurant Manager Onwaba Maholwana of Bosman’s.  We chatted for ages, talking through the whole Eat Out Top 20 restaurant list, and our respective experiences with the restaurants.  Onwaba was well-informed about my previous Bosman’s disasters, and Continue reading →

Service counters credit crunch

Sol Kerzner, celebrating his 40 th anniversary of hospitality with the opening of his new One&Only Cape Town last week, told students of the University of Johannesburg that excellent service is one of the most important ways in which hospitality establishments can combat the credit crunch, reports Business Day.   He also recommended patience, in weathering the financial crisis.

Kerzner started his career in South Africa in 1969, and made his mark when he developed Sun City and the Palace of the Lost City in the Eighties.   He left the country when potential legal action was threatened in relation to casino hotels he set up in the then independent “homelands”.    He attracted attention when he opened the Atlantis resort in the Bahamas, setting himself up as one of the world’s most successful hotel and casino operators.   He created the One&Only brand, standing for so-called “6 star” service, with hotels in Mauritius, Dubai, Maldives, Mexico, the Bahamas, and now also in Cape Town.

Stating that he made the decision to erect a One&Only in Cape Town in 2003, he speculated that he may not have gone ahead had he known that the world would be in a credit crunch at the time of his hotel’s opening,   “….if I’d known that we’d be 10 to 15 percentage points down on occupancy.”   Some of the One&Only projects have been put on hold due to the world economic crisis, but the Cape Town and Mexico hotel projects went ahead.

Kerzner stated that it was vital that international service standards be maintained at South African hotels.    Therefore well-trained hotel staff is vital for the hospitality industry, as the best planned and best designed hotels can only be as good as the staff that run them, he said.

Many of Kerzner’s staff have been attracted from other leading hotels in Cape Town, including The Table Bay, the Cape Grace, the Mount Nelson, the Grand Roche, and Steenberg Hotel.