Meet Caron Van Rooyen — General Manager at Hotel Verde Cape Town

Caron Van Rooyen, General Manager at Hotel Verde

The name Caron Van Rooyen is, for everyone who meets her, synonymous with dedication, passion, and service excellence. From the staff she manages and mentors, to the guests she welcomes into Hotel Verde daily, the response is the same — Caron has the answers because she knows what it’s all about.

“I entered the hospitality industry as a young, naïve hotel-school trainee. Now a seasoned professional with over 25 years of experience in luxury hospitality, I can look back at my career and be proud to still be classified as an ‘old school’ hotelier — someone who firmly believes in spending quality time with employees and hotel guests alike to build and maintain long-lasting relationships,” Caron reminisces.

And what a career it has been so far! A host of household-name hotels adorn her CV: Emperors Palace, Sun International’s The Palace of the Lost City at Sun City, and AVANI Victoria Falls Resort in Livingstone, Zambia among others.

Most recently, of course, she has stepped into the role of GM at Hotel Verde, where she has been at the helm of daily operations since 2019.

A unique perspective on the hospitality industry

“Hospitality is tough. I have faced many challenges throughout my career — the toughest being a woman, in management, in what has always been considered a ‘man’s world’. However, if I could do it all again I would. My experiences, both good and bad, have led me to this point today,” she says thoughtfully. “Through hard work, passion, and dedication to the industry I have managed to climb the so-called hospitality ladder and had the opportunity to watch it evolve.”

Her commentary comes with the weight of multiple awards, recognising both her own career excellence, as well as the outstanding hotels she has managed. In fact, Hotel Verde was named Best Luxury Airport Hotel in Africa by the prestigious World Luxury Hotel Awards in 2021.

“We know full well that the feeling and notion of luxury is something that is not attained easily. It is only with the support of our efficient and dedicated staff members that we are able to create a space in which every guest feels valued,” affirms Caron.

Walking the talk & other secrets to success

Recognising the significance of her team is one of the many contributions to Caron’s success. “I strive daily to lead and inspire my team and ensure that by doing so we all have the same goals and objectives and that the needs and requirements of the guest come first,” she states.

The Hotel Verde team had a great deal to say about her leadership as well, with many of the staff fondly referring to her as “mother”.

“We as the Hotel Verde team are grateful to have such an inspirational leader for our GM. She is a true example of our core values: honesty, respect, care, passion, and sustainability. Caron is a leader that walks the talk and this is why we listen. Leadership is an action, not a position.”

Caron’s no-nonsense approach demands excellence. After all, that is what Hotel Verde strives for. However, she has also helped to build a positive corporate culture and a strong foundation for personal growth and ambition within the team. Caron always recognises and compliments those who go the extra mile and has implemented a host of incentives to award staff members who go above and beyond. She also actively fostered the skills development of the team, helping them grow and further their individual careers.

Caron concludes by saying, “Efficient management of any hotel requires the fundamental principles of hard work, passion and complete dedication, no matter where the hotel is situated. Focus must be predominantly on guest experience and staff happiness.”

There is no doubt she knows what she’s talking about — this approach has provided our team with the structure and backbone to achieve amazing things, and we look forward to seeing where her firm, focused guidance allows us to go (and grow) next.



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