With over two decades of valuable industry experience, George brings a wealth of expertise to the position of GM and is excited to take over the responsibility of positioning Bakubung Lodge as one of the world’s premier timeshare destinations. He shares his journey in timeshare and vision for Bakubung Lodge.
Q: Tell us a little about your background and how you came to work in the timeshare industry.
In 2005, I joined Legacy Hotels and Resorts working at Kwa Maritane Lodge. Over the years, I took on more challenging roles, which included Front Office Manager at the prestigious Michelangelo Hotel. In 2013, I expanded my horizons by joining the Peermont Hotel Group as Front Office and Hotel Manager at D’Oreale Grande Hotel. However, the allure of the bush and timeshare beckoned once more, leading me back to Legacy Hotels and Resorts. In 2014, I started out as the Rooms Division Manager at Bakubung Lodge, responsible for both the Hotel and Timeshare divisions, and later the luxurious Villas. I am grateful that my dedication was recognised when I was promoted to Deputy General Manager of the resort in 2018. Now, five years later, I have the honour of accepting the position of General Manager.
Q: As the new GM, what is your vision for Bakubung Lodge?
Looking to the future, my vision for the Resort revolves around three essential pillars. Firstly, to continue creating memorable guest experiences by ensuring every visit is a cherished memory. Secondly, to maintain the resort with excellence, upholding the highest standards in facilities and service. And lastly, to drive increased productivity and profitability, while continually striving to position Bakubung Lodge as one of the best timeshare resorts in the world.
Q: In your opinion, what is special about Bakubung Lodge that keeps owners and guests returning year after year?
I firmly believe it’s the consistent commitment to excellence that sets Bakubung Lodge apart and has earned it the love and loyalty of owners and guest. By aspiring to be one of the world’s premier timeshare destinations, the Resort has excelled in maintaining its facilities to the highest standards – which create unforgettable guest experiences.
Q: What’s the best advice you’ve ever received and from whom?
The best advice given to me is a timeless mantra in the hospitality industry: ‘Be authentic, Lead by example, and Prioritise the wellbeing of guests and staff’. This has been shared by various mentors and colleagues throughout my career. However, it was my predecessor, Joel Papenfus, who played a pivotal role in my journey to becoming General Manager. I am profoundly grateful for the opportunities he bestowed upon me. Embracing authenticity in all interactions has been the cornerstone of my approach. Prioritising the wellbeing of guests and staff creates an environment that values people above all else, and happy motivated staff naturally translates into exceptional guest experiences. This advice has not only shaped my career but has also helped me create a thriving and harmonious atmosphere at Bakubung Lodge.
Q: What do you appreciate most about the staff who work at Bakubung Lodge?
Their dedication and passion. Most of our team members have remained loyal for many years, which plays a pivotal role in the success of the resort. Their expertise and unwavering commitment contribute to the warm and welcoming atmosphere that our guests treasure.
Q: What’s the best part of your day as GM?
What I cherish most about my work is the opportunity to serve and interact with our valued guests, creating unforgettable memories and ensuring that every part of their Bakubung experience is extraordinary. The joy of making each guest’s stay special is a source of immense satisfaction.
Q: In closing, what’s your ‘go-to’ to unwind after a long day at the office?
My favourite way to unwind is by spending quality time with my family, engaging in heartfelt evening conversations and assisting my kids with their homework. Spiritual nourishment is important for me, so I go to church and also find inspiration in reading material such as Chief Amazement Officer Shep Hyken for customer service insights, Dr Myles Munroe and Bishop TD Jakes for spiritual upliftment and Dr Bill Price and Vusi Thembekwayo for business advice and mentorship. To add a touch of light-heartedness to my relaxation, I occasionally watch soccer and stand-up comedy. I love how stand-up comedy sheds light on life’s serious aspects with humour, it’s a great way to find laughter and relaxation amidst life’s challenges.