Interview: Nicole Swart, co-owner of Rivonia B&B

Martha Elwell By Martha Elwell
Uploaded 24 January 2018

Rivonia Bed & Breakfast won the 2017 BoHo for best international hotel with 21-50 guestrooms. BHN caught up with co-owner Nicole Swart to find out what impact the award has had.

• What has the win meant for Rivonia Bed & Breakfast?
"For Rivonia Bed & Breakfast, this has put us on the international map.  We have been able to advertise the win to potential international guests. These guests make up around 20% of our clientele and we would like to grow this opportunity."
• What did the win mean to Rivonia Bed & Breakfast staff?
"When we brought the reward home, all the staff celebrated! We filled them in on the professionalism and prestige of the event, and also emphasised that the award was based on guest feedback - which is all thanks to the staff. We always perform exceptionally well on guest service, delivered by everyone in our establishment."
• What's the role of the BoHos in the boutique hotel sector?
"This is a unique award. The group of properties who can enter is specific to the smaller establishments and also, the award is not based on industry votes. Rather, the guests vote. We look forward to more establishments entering and thereby boosting the recognition of the award even further."

• What are your plans for Rivonia Bed & Breakfast in the year to come?
"We continue to review guest feedback via GuestRevu on a daily basis, and do our own analysis, expanding on the analysis presented by the system. Based on this, our plans are to plug the few slips we have in parts of our service delivery. We have not taken up all the suggestions, as some don't meet our strategy or budget, but where we can, we plan to make our guests even happier. Secondly, we are  pushing the marketing size, using the BoHo Award where audience appropriate.  We expect a slow recovery in the local market and want to be positioned to take advantage of the upswing when it happens."

• What advice would you give to hotels considering entering?
"We would say it's a no-brainer. Enter, and start setting the benchmark for your establishment. And you may even win!"

Click here to enter the awards and here to buy tickets for the Summit and BoHos ceremony.

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