The Peech Hotel in Johannesburg has appointed Oliver Richter as their new General Manager. Picture: Supplied.

The Peech Hotel in Johannesburg has appointed Oliver Richter as their new General Manager. Richter, who has been in the hospitality industry for more than 2 decades, will bring a fresh outlook to the hotel, especially with their current upgrades that is expected to be complete by the end of the year. 

IOL Travel caught up with him to hear about his new role and his travels…

How does it feel being at the Peech Hotel? I have been here for 5 weeks now and it has been great. The team is amazing and I am looking forward to working with them.

There must be some challenges. Can you tell us about them? Every place has its own challenges and nuances. There definitely needs to be staff training so that they are properly equipped to handle international and corporate travellers.

Tell us about a day in your life? The first thing I do when I get in is greet the members of the team and find out if there are any issues that needs to be addressed. After a morning meeting, I interact with the guests. 

Guest satisfaction is very important to me, therefore we find ways to make their experience better - whether it is to offer tips to plan their day trips or to better our service to them. The rest of the day is spent dealing with maintenance issues and admin.

What is the most rewarding part of your job? Having the guests smile and be satisfied with our service. There is no greater feeling than knowing that the guest enjoyed their stay, the staff and their time with us. 

What is your favourite place? I have been all around Europe and explored South Africa so it's hard to choose a single favourite spot. I like to experience new places, whether it is the wine region of Cape Agulhas or a bistro on the West Coast.

What do you do to unwind after a long day? I love spending time with my wife and two children, aged 18 months and 3 years. We look for any reason to be outdoors.

Where do you see yourself in 10 years? I want to still be at Peech Hotel and also help my wife follow her dream of entrepreneurship.  

Lastly, what is your advice for people getting into the hospitality industry? Never lose the value of personal interaction. If you can, try to speak to guests personally rather than via email or social media. Please and thank you goes a long way!