Happy Women’s Day! We’d like to introduce to you, a few of the wonderful women that make working at The Vineyard Hotel such a treat!
“I started as a waitress and worked myself up from there,” says Amanda, who is now Banquet Floor Manager. “I’ve been at the Vineyard Hotel for 27 years. It’s like a second home to me… a home away from home. The environment here is also very motivating. There is respect and understanding among us as staff. That is what I love about the team here.”
Amanda says to be happy in hospitality, one must have a passion for the work and enjoy the challenges that come with it. “I love meeting new people and making them feel welcome,” she says.
During her time at the Vineyard, Amanda met President Nelson Mandela and, during the 2010 Soccer World Cup, famous soccer player Ronaldo. But when it comes to her role model, she immediately answers: “I admire Robyn van Oudtshoorn. She is Conferencing and Events manager at the hotel. She always guided me when I worked under her. She is really someone to look up to.”
Amanda mentions that many business women return again and again to the Vineyard. Of course, it could be the convenience of the hotel, the health and wellness centre, and the peace to be found in the Vineyard’s seven-acre gardens, but Amanda believes it is because they feel at home here, just as she does. “The ambience, atmosphere and setting attract women to our hotel. We love to spoil our guests, and who doesn’t love being spoiled?” Also, with so many members of staff who, like Amanda, have been at the hotel for years, guests are always welcomed by familiar faces.
Amanda’s Women’s Month advice to young women is to always be respectful: “Sometimes you just need to sit, understand and take in the advice given to you.”
When Odette was 16 years old, she started working as a part-time cashier in the restaurant at the Townhouse Hotel (one of the Vineyard’s sister hotels). After she matriculated, the general manager asked her to continue working at the hotel.
Odette started in the accounts department then moved on to the switchboard, before settling in the reservations department where she spent 15 years. She worked in guest relations for a bit and then applied for a management position. Odette has been the manager of the Garden Lounge at the Vineyard Hotel for over a year now, a challenging and rewarding position. Our guests love her and often leave comments like this one, “Special mention must go to Odette who was always courteous & efficient!”
“I love interacting with people and working with them,” says Odette. “Giving them what they want and making them happy is very satisfying.”
As a young woman, Odette received great advice from her more experienced colleagues. She worked very closely with owner Kitty Petousis, who sadly passed away last year. Kitty became a mother figure to her but her sister, Ruby Abrahams, is Odette’s role model. Their parents passed away when Odette was four years old, and Ruby gave up a lot to raise her siblings. “She is such a strong woman,” Odette says. “I respect and look up to her, and even today I still ask her for advice.” Keeping it all in the family, Ruby also works for the Petousis Group!
Odette’s Women’s Month advice is: “Respect yourself. If you don’t have respect for yourself, no one else will have respect for you. Stand your ground – nobody should have power over you. Do things for yourself, because nobody else is going to do it for you.”