Umhlanga resort is country's best

Started by Newshound, February 20, 2004, 20:05:19

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Umhlanga resort is country's best

Umhlanga's famous Cabana Beach has just won the most prestigious award of all - the coveted RCI Resort of the Year title.

"You always hope you'll get it, but it still came as a surprise to learn we'd won," said delighted general manager, Ron KlŠmbt.

It was the first time that Cabana Beach has taken the top title.

RCI (Resort Condominiums International) is the largest timeshare and resorts exchange in the world with more than 2 000 resorts worldwide.

Against more than 140 resorts in South Africa, Cabana Beach was deemed to have performed the best in all aspects of service, from customer facilities to courtesy and friendliness.

The Southern Sun resort has 217 suites, ranging from "small" rooms - they are actually doubles - to large three-bedroomed duplexes.

Some 42 000 guests stay at the resort every year, a large number of them coming from Germany and Britain during the European winter. More and more Americans and Asian guests are also visiting.

Cabana Beach has a high 93% occupancy rate, and has a waiting list of people wanting to buy timeshare at the Spanish-themed resort which offers "a good, quality family holiday".

The resort also won two other honours at the awards ceremony in Gauteng: one in recognition of the front-office team, and a "gold crown", the highest achievement for service excellence. Cabana Beach has won more than 10 gold awards over the years.  

Why did Cabana Beach pick up more votes from satisfied guests than other worthy contenders?

KlŠmbt put it down to his "brilliant" staff, many of whom have 20 to 30 years' service.

"I'm very happy for the staff. This award is such recognition for them," said German-born KlŠmbt who, with his wide international and South African experience, impresses on his staff the importance of everyone - from porters to receptionists and the cleaners - having a smile on his or her face.

"Everyone greets everyone here with a smile. And the answer 'no' is not an option to a guest's query."
Good staff selection was "everything", KlŠmbt said.

"Everything is about personality. It's much harder to teach someone to smile than it is to teach them to make a bed."
KlŠmbt says that everyone will have to maintain the hard work to stay "at the top of the hill".

The resort undertakes a big project every year and this year will be renovating one of the pools and building a new restaurant.

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