Cape Town to host conference of international hoteliers

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Relais & Chateaux marked the launch of its new office at The Cellars-Hohenort Hotel in Constantia, Cape Town, with a cocktail party hosted by the organisation's CEO Jacques-Olivier Chauvin this week.

He also announced that the Relais & Chateaux annual congress will be held in Cape Town in November.

The cocktail party and another in Johannesburg the previous day also marked the launch of the 2010 Relais & Chateaux guide to 475 member hotels with 11 190 rooms in 57 countries all over the world. This year there is one new South African member - Karkloof Spa, a wellness and wildlife retreat near Pietermaritzburg that is owned by Fred Worner and managed by Jonathan Lithgow.

Three South African hotels which were members of Relais & Chateaux last year are not included in the guide this year. There are a total of 31 new member hotels this year.

Among the guests at the Cellars-Hohenort were:

Liz McGrath, owner of the hotel and two others, the Plettenberg and The Marine Hermanus, all of which are R&C members;

Susan Huxter, owner of Le Quartier Francais in Franschhoek; the GM of the hotel, Linda Coltart; and multi-award-winning chef Margot Janse;

Tim Cumming and Nick Dreyer, who manage Ellerman House in Bantry Bay. Cumming is due to retire soon and Dreyer has been promoted to GM by the owner of the hotel, Paul Harris;

Horst Frehse, GM of Asara Wine Estate and Hotel and a member of the board of R&C directors; and Clayton Howard, GM of The Cellars-Hohenort.

Opening the new office, Chauvin emphasised that the organisation was not a chain of hotels but a family of hoteliers who share the same values about the craft of hospitality.

The office, designed and decorated by Hot Cocoa, is headed up by Relais & Chteaux Southern, East Africa and Indian Ocean Islands director Annie-Claude Bergonzoli. A notable feature of the room is the pressed metal ceiling, which is probably about 100 years old.

Published with the help of Young & Rubicam, 780 000 copies of the Relais & Chateaux Guide are distributed in five languages (French, English, German, Spanish and Italian) in almost 60 countries.

Relais & Chateaux was established in France in 1954.

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