Tsogo Sun’s 2014 Guesthouse of the Year winner is Carol Sanderson, chosen from among five worthy finalists as the programme’s most outstanding entrepreneur. She has won prizes of R10,000 from Tsogo Sun and an opportunity to attend Master I, The Awareness Process and Master IV, Master of Success from Beyond Coaching and will represent the Tsogo Sun Book a Guesthouse entrepreneurial development programme as an ambassador for the forthcoming year.
This eagerly-anticipated announcement was made by Tsogo Sun CEO Marcel Von Aulock, at a glittering black tie awards ceremony hosted on 16 May at the Riverside Sun Resort, situated on the banks of the beautiful Vaal River.
The awards ceremony was preceded by two jam-packed days of exciting activities that included a valuable conference, various entertainment events such as a sunset cruise on the Vaal River and an island bonfire under the African stars.
The five finalists, who were groomed for the position of Tsogo Sun Guesthouse of the Year, were Ntombekhaya Swartbooi from Blessed Corner Guesthouse and Mbuyisile Kondile from Edge Lodge – both in the Eastern Cape; Carol Sanderson from Casambo Exclusive Guest Lodge and Nosipho Malope of Ekhayalethu Guesthouse – both in Mpumalanga; and Jenny Govender of Sanchia Luxury Guest Lodge in KwaZulu-Natal.
At the awards ceremony and banquet, guests were entertained by the divine voices of Diversity, whilst Emmah Makatu of Zwinoni Lodge in Milnerton Ridge, Western Cape, gave a speech reflecting on her year as the face of Tsogo Sun Book a Guesthouse.
“We congratulate Carol on this exciting achievement and look forward to the forthcoming year of working closely with her, spreading the message of entrepreneurial development through the Book a Guesthouse programme,” says Candy Tothill, Tsogo Sun’s Group Internal Communications & Special Projects Manager. “At the same time, we are also immensely proud of all our entrepreneurs and what they are achieving in their respective businesses and we’re delighted to be able to contribute towards their success.”
Casambo is situated on 10 hectares of land on the outskirts of Nelspruit in Mpumalanga. Owned and run by Carol Sanderson and her family, which includes her five children, the guesthouse was established after her entrepreneur husband planted the idea that she could be a successful business woman in her own right, giving up her life as a radio journalist.
The lodge boasts exquisitely landscaped gardens and swimming pool, complimented by the unique 115@Casambo venue. This is a stylish multi-purpose event space showcasing a cigar lounge and a trendy VIP lounge, which can host a myriad of diverse events, from fashion shows to art exhibitions and poetry readings.
Social investment is important to the business. The guesthouse supports local women who do beadwork as well as the local Uthingo Primary School, providing uniforms and other school requirements for the children who come from disadvantaged homes.
“It was a privilege to give our hardworking and successful entrepreneurs the valuable opportunity to gain powerful new insights through the conference and experience the hospitality of our Riverside Sun Resort,” concludes Tothill.