Camp Jabulani, situated in Hoedspruit, renowned for its pioneering educational and conservation experiences, has been awarded the prestigious Relais & Châteaux Passion Trophy at an awards ceremony held in Turin, Italy.
Managing Director of Camp Jabulani, Adine Roode said: “Firstly, we are very proud to be part of the Relais & Châteaux family, which offers us enormous support on all levels, and to be recognised with this trophy marks another beautiful milestone in Camp Jabulani’s history.”
Every year, Relais & Châteaux joins forces with 11 prestigious brands from the world of spirits, fine dining and beauty, to award trophies that reward the diversity of the properties in their respective areas. From the Welcome Trophy, sponsored by Hennessy, which recognises the sense of hospitality, to the Innovation Trophy which highlights creativity, they cover the entire range of Relais & Châteaux values.
Commitment deserves recognition for those who carry aloft the values of Relais & Châteaux and who fully engage themselves with their property and their guests. These are qualities recognised by the Passion Trophy.
What does winning the Passion Trophy award mean to you?
Winning the Passion Trophy is validation, pure and simple, that we are on the right track! To be recognised by an association such as Relais and Châteaux which is built on the back of precision, excellence and the values that we hold dear, is a real feather in the cap for us. We are very proud, and if anything could push our passion score to even higher levels, this would be it.
For what reason is this award relevant to the jobs/work you perform on your property?
It goes without saying that Camp Jabulani represents the “Five C’s” that define the Relais and Châteaux experience. Being a small, luxury operation, each and every guest is treated individually. Many may say that running a camp of no more than 20 people is child’s play. What they do not realize is that for us, each guest is the only one. We believe that people visiting us are accustomed to the extraordinary, and this is what we promise.
We would not be able to do this without the commitment of each and every team member, each of who tirelessly work towards excellence. We have attracted highly skilled, talented and passionate people who are prepared to go above and beyond the call of duty.
We truly are a family at Camp Jabulani, both literally and figuratively. Mother and daughter team, Lente Roode (owner) and Adine Roode (Managing Director), are integrally involved in the day-to-day running of the camp. We have an exceptionally low staff turnover, and many of the current staff contingent have been with the company well over ten years. For example, the Maitres de maison Carl & Elsie Olen have been with the family for 19 years and 23 years respectively and Isaac Shiburi head butler of Camp Jabulani started as a gardener with the family 16 years ago.
This sense of spirit and community is something that does not go un-noticed by the visitors to Camp Jabulani. We feel that it is part of the experience. Our guest book makes mention frequently of “one big family”.
How does this award capture/reflect the spirit of Relais & Chateaux?
In our view, the fact that, through an award like this one, Relais and Chateaux recognizes the importance of engagement on a number of levels (with guests and staff members alike) is testament to their focus on customer-centricity. Without the customer, there is no company. Without good people internally, there is no company. For us, this is perhaps the most important pillar on which their success is built.
How long have you been working at the property you represent today?
We (my wife, Elsie and I) have been at Camp Jabulani since it opened (insert date), and have worked with the Roode Family for 19 and 23 years respectively.
Do you have any other comments about winning the award?
And we are honored to be recognised for our work by an organisation which sets the precedent of excellence in the global hospitality industry. We have no doubt that an accolade such as this one will further promote Camp Jabulani to clients around the world, and for this we are truly grateful.
We are humbled and motivated to continue doing what we do.