CAPE TOWN - A quality service cannot be delivered without having the right staff no matter how “fancy” the hotel.

This is according to John van Rooyen, Tsogo Sun operations director for the Cape region.

Van Rooyen was speaking at the 20th celebration event for the hotel group’s two iconic Cape Town hotels, Southern Sun The Cullinan and Southern Sun Waterfront, which was held at The Cullinan on Wednesday night.

Both hotels opened in the city, 20 years ago in September 1998. 

Van Rooyen said both hotels have gone through significant refurbishments over the past years as part of Tsogo Sun’s policy of continued investment in all its properties.

“As a group we have invested in a huge amount of money but the biggest thing here tonight is that you can have all these fancy hotels but if you don’t have the right staff you cannot deliver on a service of quality. We exceeded expectations by having staff that are well trained, well educated, well groomed. We opened our latest hotel (Tsogo Sun’s SunSquare and StayEasy hotels) on the corner of Buitengracht, Strand and Bree in August last year and every single staff member except for three or four of the management team and the chef never worked before,” said Van Rooyen.

He said representatives of the group went to areas such as Gugulethu and Khayelitsha to recruit staff for the new hotel, resulting in employing 95 percent of people who never worked before.

Cape Town deputy mayor Ian Neilson said The Cullinan and the Southern Sun Waterfront hotels have become an intrinsic part of the city’s landscape over the past 20 years.

 Neilson said an interesting fact is that both hotels were built before the Cape Town Convention Centre (CTICC) was built.

“That meant that the owners had a vision for what was to come in this part of the city and made a commitment that despite the fact that inside the waterfront was really the rage at that time, not that it stopped being the rage. It was quite something to come to this undeveloped part of the city and now its become a very firm part of the city precinct,” said Neilson.

Southern Sun Waterfront Cape Town has 567 rooms and Southern Sun The Cullinan, 394 rooms, representing a significant proportion of Tsogo Sun’s total 2 000. Rooms across its six hotels in Cape Town’s city centre, including the Southern Sun Cape Sun, SunSquare and StayEasy Cape Town City Bowl and SunSquare Cape Town Gardens.

Ravi Nadasen, Tsogo Sun’s COO of hotels,, said the group has always maintained a vested interest in its hotels and is committed to ensuring that they remain relevant, fresh and internationally competitive.

“The aesthetic appeal and the offerings at our hotels are key to our efforts to consistently deliver great experiences for out guests,” said Nadasen.