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Meet the Team

Michael Nel

Michael Nel, General Manager at The Twelve Apostles Hotel and Spa

Michael Nel

  • General Manager
  • generalmanager@12apostles.co.za

Michael's journey with Red Carnation Hotels began over 10 years ago. He started as a Reservations Agent at the Rubens Hotel in London and climbed his way up the career ladder in various hotels and positions within the Red Carnation family in the UK before returning home to South Africa to join The Twelve Apostles as Duty Manager in October 2006. He was promoted to Reservations & Revenue Manager in February 2008 and Revenue Manager in March 2010, before being named Deputy General Manager under Horst Frehse in July 2012.

With Horst’s appointment as Executive Director in April 2014, Michael was the obvious choice to take over as General Manager. Strongly believing in Red Carnation’s philosophy ‘no request too large, no detail too small’, his goal is to ensure that guests’ needs are not only met but always exceeded, and to make every single guest a RCH Ambassador through service excellence.

Christo Pretorius

Christo Pretorius, Executive Chef at The Twelve Apostles Hotel and Spa

Christo Pretorius

  • Executive Chef
  • executivechef@12apostles.co.za

Christo joined The Twelve Apostles Hotel and Spa as Executive Sous Chef in November 2012 and was promoted to Executive Chef in September 2013. A graduate of the 1000 Hills Chefs School in Durban, his work experience includes positions held at the five-star Relais & Châteaux properties Kurland Hotel and Tsala Treetop Lodge, and the Cape Royale Hotel where he was Sous Chef at Bistro 1800°.

Christo has competed in several high profile cooking competitions; he won ‘Junior Chef of the Year’ at the Unilever Food Solutions and placed second in the prestigious Sunday Times ‘Young Chef of the Year’ competition in 2012. His contemporary South African menu is all about creating lasting memories for guests who experience the magical setting of Azure Restaurant.

Nardus Buys

Nardus Buys

  • Head Concierge
  • headconcierge@12apostles.co.za

I moved back to South Africa in 2013 after working at Hilton Hotels in London for 9 years. I obtained my Les Clefs D'Or membership in June 2011 and was selected as a candidate for the Concierge of the Year London 2011. Realizing my passion for excellent service in hospitality, I spent the next couple of years running the concierge desk at Hilton Heathrow Terminal 4 and managing the staff house for 30 Hilton staff members. After spending nearly a decade overseas I decided to move back to South Africa to raise his young family.

Not wanting to neglect or lose his Golden Key membership I decided to build the Les Clefs D'Or South Africa, since 2015 I have been directly involved in the pinning of three new members in South Africa, with the help of fellow five-star Concierge in Cape Town I established the Cape Town Concierge Forum and to this day is one of the few or only Forums in Cape Town that helps build relationships amongst other hotel groups and thus strengthening the service we all offer visitors to Cape Town and greater South Africa. The Cape Town Concierge Forum makes sure elements that are not performing or that damage tourism in South Africa are pointed out and dealt with through the correct channels we also praise and highlight excellent performance of members and suppliers.

Sally Shap

Sally Richards. Banqueting Coordinator, 12 Apostles Hotel and Spa

Sally Shap

  • Banqueting Co-ordinator
  • banqueting@12apostles.co.za

My passion for hospitality started when I went overseas to America to work in some of the most prestigious 5-star golf courses in the United States, spending a lot of time with high end clients, this got me excited and I knew that this was the beginning of a very exciting career. After spending some time in in the United States. I decided to move back to Cape Town and take all my knowledge and work experience and started to work at some amazing 5-star hotels here in Cape Town.

A great opportunity came my way to join the Twelve Apostles Hotel & Spa as Banqueting Coordinator. My passion is to understand our guest’s needs and together with my team we will make sure our guests feel the Red Carnation Care and personal touch with every occasion.

Gregory Mutambe

Gregory Mutambe, Sommelier at The Twelve Apostles Hotel and Spa

Gregory Mutambe

  • Sommelier
  • sommelier@12apostles.co.za

Gregory is a diploma graduate from the Cape Wine Academy. Mutambe was named by the academy’s principal as one of the most talented students in his class. Mutambe started his career working as a cellar-hand in a Zimbabwean winery, after which he trained and worked in a Johannesburg restaurant and, most recently, as the Sommelier at the Vineyard Hotel and Spa in Cape Town. He advises diners in the Twelve Apostles Hotel’s Azure Restaurant on the ideal wine pairing during meals, working closely with the Executive Chef.

Sally Gray

Sally Gray, General Manager Sales - Red Carnation HotelsSouth Africa

Sally Gray

  • General Manager Sales, Red Carnation Hotels South Africa
  • sally@rchmail.co.za

Sally has extensive experience in the hospitality and travel industries, having spent the past 20 years, in various capacities, working within the Thompsons Travel Group. Most recently she has held the position of General Manager: Global Sales for Thompsons Africa and brings a wealth of skill and experience to developing both the international and domestic travel markets on behalf of the Red Carnation Hotel Group portfolio. She is integrally involved in the day to day running of the business, from formulating strategy, to the building of the brand, establishing and maintaining relationships with Clients. Based at The Oyster Box in Umhlanga, Sally is responsible for the Sales of all the Red Carnation Group’s South African operations.

Nicole Smith

Nicole Smith, Sales Manager at The Twelve Apostles Hotel and Spa

Nicole Smith

  • Director of Sales, Red Carnation Hotels South Africa
  • nicole@rchmail.co.za

Nicole, who has been with The Red Carnation Group for the past ten years, brings both operational and sales experience to her new role as Sales Manager. In May 2008 she was promoted to Guest Relation Manager of The Twelve Apostles Hotel, specifically looking after in a sales capacity, the Key Consortia Relationships with large corporates such as Virtuoso and American Express, before becoming Assistant Sales and Marketing manager at The Twelve Apostles Hotel in 2009. In 2010 Nicole was appointed as Sales Manager for the Red Carnation Hotel Collection overseeing all sales activities for both The Twelve Apostles Hotel and Spa and Bushmans Kloof Wilderness Reserve & Wellness Retreat.

Hilton Ruch

12A-Hilton-Ruch-250x266

Hilton Ruch

  • Deputy General Manager
  • foodandbeverage@12apostles.co.za

Graduating from the Cape Town Hotel School in 2007, I started my career as a first year student at the Twelve Apostles Hotel and Spa - I always knew that I would come back and work at this beautiful property. My first job out of university was in Beverly Hills, California, where I was lucky enough to be a part of the opening team at The Montage Beverly Hills. I then returned to Cape Town and went straight into a second hotel opening where I opened Taj Cape Town as a part of the Food and Beverage management team. After spending three years at Taj, I was approached to go over to the Seychelles and work on one of the most prestigious island resorts in the world called North Island where I oversaw the Food and Beverage operation. After my time in the Seychelles, I returned to Cape Town and took over the Food and Beverage team at the Cellars Hohenort Hotel in Constantia. I then moved and spent two years at the Table Bay Hotel in the V&A Waterfront. 

Gina Marziani

Gina Marziani

Gina Marziani

  • Pastry Chef
  • executivechef@12apostles.co.za

Gina Marziani graduated from The Culinary Academy at Backsberg wine estate in Cape Town. She has perfected her craft at some of Cape Town’s most prestigious hotel’s including the Mount Nelson Hotel and the Delaire Graff Estate where she was Sous Chef at the Indochine Restaurant. A stint at the Velvet Cake Company further established her passion for baking and her love of chocolate. Gina says she ‘fell in love’ with pastry while doing her in-service training at The Mount Nelson and the ongoing affinity is evident in all the positions she has held since.Fascinated by the intricate detail, textures and skill required for creating ‘edible artwork’, Gina continues to extend her proficiency and work her passion for pastry, as the Pastry Chef at The Twelve Apostles Hotel and Spa.

Jennifer Buchanan

Jennifer Buchanan- Reservations Manager at The Twelve Apostles Hotel and Spa

Jennifer Buchanan

  • Reservations Manager
  • jennifer@rchmail.co.za

With more than 10 years’ experience in reservations and an attention to detail second to none Jennifer ensures every guests experience is enjoyable. Always striving to exceed expectations teamwork is her mantra which is reinforced daily.

She was introduced to reservations shortly after completing her studies at the cape Peninsula University of Technology and it quickly became her passion. In her career post studies she has added value some of the most prestigious properties moulding reservations teams and eventually decided to become a member of the Red Carnation Hotel family, where she like her guests always feel at home.

Joanne de Wet

Joanne de Wet, Spa Manager  at The Twelve Apostles Hotel and Spa

Joanne de Wet

  • Spa Manager
  • spamanager@12apostles.co.za

Joanne joined The Twelve Apostles Hotel and Spa as Assistant Spa Manager in July 2012, having previously gained international experience as a beauty therapist and Spa Manager on cruise liners. Proving herself a real asset, she was promoted to Spa Manager only 18 months later.

Joanne is in charge of the busy spa operations, managing a team of 12 therapists, four receptionists and seven spa attendants. Her aim is to create a unique, highly individualised journey for both hotel guests and day spa visitors to ensure a highly memorable experience at The Twelve Apostles. Her favourite part of the job is to see guests leaving The Spa feeling relaxed, pampered and completely stress-free. 

Stephanie Hall-Tarling

Stephanie Hall Wedding Planner at The Twelve Apostles Hotel and Spa

Stephanie Hall-Tarling

  • Wedding Planner
  • weddings@12apostles.co.za

Having completed a diploma in International Hotel Management, Stephanie began her hospitality career in the food and beverage sector within the Protea Hotel Group, before moving on to Cape Town’s V&A Hotel. Two years later she joined the management team at Hunter Hotels’ Country House in the Western Cape, where she was quickly promoted to Assistant General Manager. Her role at the boutique property was multi-faceted and included the coordination of weddings and functions.

Stephanie first joined The Twelve Apostles Hotel and Spa as Assistant Food and Beverage Manager in 2009, before applying for and obtaining the role of Wedding Coordinator in late 2010. She is now the dedicated Wedding Coordinator for both The Twelve Apostles Hotel and Spa and sister property Bushmans Kloof Wilderness Reserve & Wellness Retreat.

Stephanie’s role is to organise the big day and ensure that each couple experiences the perfect wedding. From flowers to entertainment and customised menus, she will assist the bride and groom with planning even the smallest detail, making sure that they have the most memorable day.

Vanda Swart

Vanda Swart

Vanda Swart

  • Human Resources Manager
  • hrmanager@12apostles.co.za

My passion for hospitality started at a young age. I loved the excitement of visiting new hotels and restaurants and always hoped that one day I would work at this beautiful property. After graduating from the International Hotel School in 2007, I was involved in the opening of the Lagoon Beach Hotel, Cape Town and was then offered a management role within a five star boutique hotel in Camps Bay. It was during this time that I realised my focus and passion lay in developing people and shifted my focus towards Human Resource Management. I spent the next five years specialising in Hospitality Recruitment.

In 2012 I was honoured to join the Human Resources team at the Twelve Apostles Hotel and Spa, where I have held numerous positions within the team. I am very proud to be part of the Red Carnation Hotel Collection, and together with my incredible team we strive every day to create a home away from home for all of our team members and build a supportive environment that encourages teamwork and personal development.

Tamsyn Wiggill

Tamsyn Wiggill

Tamsyn Wiggill

  • Corporate Sales Manager, Red Carnation Hotels South Africa
  • tamsyn@rchmail.co.za

Tamsyn joined the Red Carnation Hotels group in April 2012, fresh from a two-year stint as Corporate and Conferencing Sales Executive for the hotel sales and marketing company Extraordinary.

In her capacity as Corporate Sales Executive, she represents The Twelve Apostles as well as sister properties Bushmans Kloof and The Oyster Box, calling on the corporate, retail and PCO markets covering the Western and Eastern Cape regions. Tamsyn supports the Sales Manager in all sales activities. Her outgoing personality is well-suited to the position, which requires an engaging, empathetic communication style in order to connect with people and to motivate and inspire them to achieve results.