Dudu Hlabangani has been appointed as the new Hotel General Manager at Tsogo Sun’s Garden Court Blackrock Newcastle. Picture: Supplied.

Dudu Hlabangani has been appointed as the new Hotel General Manager at Tsogo Sun’s Garden Court Blackrock Newcastle. Clinton Moodley spoke to her... 

How does it feel being the new GM for Garden Court Blackrock Newcastle? I am delighted at this opportunity. It is good to be in a different environment because you get to meet different people and understand the diversity and culture.

How did you enter this profession? I had just finished my Diploma in Marketing Management and was in search of a job. I started as a receptionist and feel in love with the industry. After an internship at some theme parks and food and beverage outlets, I was back in South Africa. Since then I have been with the Protea Hotel group before joining Tsogo Sun.

What are some of your plans for the hotel now that you have taken the position of GM?  I want to enhance service quality, value proposition and make it the signature destination in Newcastle.  Those who visit should have a memorable experience.

Can you describe a typical day for you? I meditate, exercise and try to make time to have a balanced meal. This helps me to overcome physical demands that come with my job.

What has been your biggest achievement? Being where I am in a professional level and undertaking many projects in the hospitality industry.

What is your favourite holiday destination and why? Jamaica. I love the feel free spirit of the island, its nature and culture.

What is the one thing you cannot live without while on holiday? My camera. I love capturing moments to show my loved ones back at home.

How do you unwind after a long day? I try to have as much me-time as I possibly can. I try not to use my cell phone or watch television. I sometimes like to have a Thai massage as a way of unwinding, especially after a long day at the office.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years? Probably in a director level position.  

What is your advice for people wanting to get into a career in the tourism industry? Nothing worth having comes easy, but you can do anything you set your mind to it.

What are the 5 activities people can do at Blackrock? Stay at the hotel, indulge at one of our restaurants, play tables and slots in the casino, have cocktails in the pool area or enjoy our conferencing facilities.  

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