Arisha Stanley has been appointed to steer the Golden Horse Hotel gracefully into a new era. Her appointment as the hotel’s new General Manager comes after leading Southern African gaming and hospitality group Tsogo Sun’s acquisition of the hotel at the beginning of May 2013.
Stanley is charged with managing the hotel’s evolution into a four star Southern Sun Hotel. Various upgrades and enhancements will be made at the hotel to bring it to standard before it is officially rebranded. These include the completion of an up-market restaurant / coffee shop; the installation of WiFi; a new Guest Business Centre, a new entrance, and aesthetic changes to the rooms. Every room will be equipped with a mini bar fridge, a safe, 26 TV channel line-up, and complimentary tea/coffee making facilities. The conference centre will also undergo minor changes.
Stanley is the right woman for the job. She has over 14 years experience in the hospitality industry having started her career as a hotel school trainee at the Holiday Inn Johannesburg International, now the Southern Sun OR Tambo, in 1998. During her career, she has gained invaluable experience in some of Tsogo Sun’s most prestigious hotels, including the Beverly Hills Hotel in Umhlanga where she worked first as receptionist, then as Assistant Food and Beverage Manager, and then as Front Office Manager.
While she was there, the Beverly Hills Hotel won Southern Sun Hotel of the Year for two consecutive years, and she deputized in the absence of the General Manager. Her attention to detail, professionalism, management style and work ethic was quickly identified and she was appointed as Assistant General Manager at the new Garden Court Umhlanga in 2010. This, she describes, as an extremely challenging role.
“I was part of the inaugural team at the Garden Court Umhlanga when it opened. It was an extremely challenging role since we were tasked with opening the hotel and putting the right people and procedures in place. It was a highly successful opening and we managed to win the Hotel of the Year Award in the Garden Court Hotel’s Awards Programme in our first year of operation,” she recalls.
She says she has been fortunate to be part of winning teams during her time at Tsogo Sun and has had the privilege of mentorship from some of the company’s finest and strongest managers. Stanley knows that the task ahead of her is a challenging one. But, she is tackling it with enthusiasm.
“I am excited about leading the Golden Horse Hotel into a new era and to bringing it up to Southern Sun’s high standards of service and accommodation. My success comes from taking on any opportunity to learn something new. I never turn down a challenge. It is always intimidating at first but there is nothing better than seeing a project through and making it a success. I’ve worked with many great GM’s in the last 14 years and have honed in on their strengths to make me a better leader,” she says.
The Golden Horse Hotel will be rebranded as a four star Southern Sun Hotel from the 1st of September 2013, and like all the properties in Tsogo Sun’s portfolio, will be marketed under the group’s Sun Burst brand. Tsogo Sun’s portfolio now includes 14 casinos and over 90 hotels incorporating the Deluxe, Southern Sun Hotels, SunSquare, Garden Court, StayEasy and Southern Sun Resorts hotels.