- General Manager
Wayne has extensive experience in the hotel industry including time spent at a private game lodge and abroad. He has been with the Oyster Box for eight years and is one of 30 employees retained from the old Oyster Box to oversee the opening of the new property, having undergone extensive training within sibling hotels in the Red Carnation Hotels Collection both in SA and overseas, during the two-year renovation period. Wayne’s passion for the ethos on which the original Oyster Box was based, continues to fuel his energies for providing outstanding service, as well as in his relationships with staff and guests alike.
- Executive Chef
Award-winning executive chef, Kevin Joseph has been at the Oyster Box for six years and is one of the original 30 staff retained during the refurbishment period. He started his career in the South African Navy where he received his basic chef training and since then has accumulated a wealth of hands-on experience at leading hotels in South Africa and around the world. These include The Peninsula Hotel in Cape Town, the Raffles Hotel in Singapore and the Michelin-starred ‘Tamarind’ and ‘Claridges’ Restaurants in London. He has spent the invaluable time in various hotels within the Red Carnation Hotels Collection including The Milestone and Summer Lodge Hotels in London, both with AA Rosette award-winning restaurants, and within South Africa’s Red Carnation portfolio, the international award winning Bushmans Kloof Wilderness Reserve & Wellness Retreat and the Twelve Apostles in Cape Town. Kevin is a member of the South African Chef’s Association and the International Wine and Food Society. He is the current chairman of the Chaîne des Rôtisseurs, KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) branch and was recently awarded a prestigious Blazon by the Chaîne.
- Resident Cat
Skabenga (which means hooligan or vagabond in Zulu), the resident cat at The Oyster Box, has made Umhlanga’s ‘grand old dame’ his permanent home, for over10 years.
It all started when he wandered onto the property as a stray, was fed tasty (expensive!) titbits (prawns & seafood!) by the guests and he never left, except briefly during the building operations when he was cared for by a cat-lover over the two year renovation period.
- Front Office Manager
Geoffrey Bergh-Lloyd, joined the Oyster Box management team from Trump International Hotel & Towers in Chicago, where he worked for two years, as Night Relief and then, Housekeeping Manager.
Born and educated in South Africa, Geoffrey completed his formal hospitality education at NQtac Hotel School in George. During his career Geoffrey has worked at all levels of hotel operations. From front office receptionist, to night manager, front office service manager and acting fron office manager.
Bergh-Lloyd’s South African experience has been garnered at some of the country’s most prestigious five-star properties. These include the Radisson Blu Hotel Waterfront in Cape Town, where he spent three years cutting his teeth and where he got his first management experience and then a two-year stint at African Pride Crystal Towers Hotel & Spa, leaving to pursue an opportunity to gain international hotel experience in the USA.
- Spa Manager
Originally from the Eastern Cape, Jackie has been working in the spa industry internationally for the past 11 years. Her extensive experience includes assistance in developing an award-winning Eco Spa in Peru, Assistant Therapist Coordinator for a Leading Luxury Spa of the World in Egypt and working on luxury cruise ships in the Caribbean.
Following a stint as Spa Manager at an exotic spa resort on Kuredu Island in the Maldives for the Duniye Spa Group, she joined The Oyster Box as Spa Manager. Her passion for the spa industry has led her to continue studies in the field of eastern and western modalities.
- Maitre’d - The Grill Room
Maitre’d of the Grill Room, Hendry Pakiri is still hard at work, after 50 years! Almost as famous as the hotel itself, his reputation for making Crepes Suzettes, Flambés and Steak Tartare is legendary. Hendry has met and waited on almost every celebrity that has visited the hotel including Cliff Richard, Prince Albert & Princess Charlene of Monaco, former President FW de Klerk and comedian, Leon Schuster.
Hailing from Verulam, Hendry started his relationship with the hotel in 1964, as a waiter in the children’s dining room. Hendry says the best thing about his job is that while it is different every day, he looks forward to seeing ‘the regulars’, that return time and again. Many of them have been dining in The Grill Room for so long that Hendry knows exactly what they are going to order without even asking them!
- Executive Housekeeper
As Executive Housekeeper at The Oyster Box, Michelle Kocke brings extensive experience, at all levels of the hospitality industry, to the position.
From running dive operations in Mozambique, to the management of a hotel in Swaziland, front and back operations at leading hotels in Cape Town, Michelle has hands-on experience in operations and management. Her expertise and understanding of the real issues ‘behind the scenes’, coupled with her eye for detail, are all essential attributes that contribute to the success of a property of this stature.
- General Manager Sales, Red Carnation Hotels South Africa
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.
- Deputy General Manager
Tyler’s hotel career started 16 years ago as a receptionist at the Sandton Sun Hotel in Gauteng, where she was involved in the opening of the Sandton Towers Hotel for the Southern Sun Hotel Group. From receptionist, to executive floor attendant to duty manager, the ‘hotel bug’ had bitten. In 1997 she moved over to the Hilton Hotel in Sandton as executive floor manger, progressing to assistant front office manager and shortly thereafter to front office manager. Tyler spent 10 years with the Hilton group gaining valuable experience travelling and training regionally and internationally. She was part of the opening management team of The Oyster Box in 2009.
- Revenue and Reservations Manager
Having worked in the hospitality industry for the past 14 years, I am no stranger to the rigorous attention to detail required by my new role as Revenue and Reservations Manager at UmHlanga’s iconic Oyster Box Hotel. After completing my International Hotel Management Diploma at Varsity College in 2004, I did my in-house training with City Lodge Hotels and The Cullinan Hotel in Cape Town.
I fulfilled various front office, reservations and food and beverage roles at a series of luxury hotel properties in South Africa and the USA before starting as Reservations Agent at The Twelve Apostles Hotel and Spa in June 2008. A few years later I became Reservations Manager for both The Twelve Apostles and Bushmans Kloof Wilderness Reserve & Wellness Retreat until 2014. Looking to shores beyond our borders, I joined The Residence by Cenizaro Resorts firstly as Reservations, Revenue and e-Commerce Manager at The Residence Zanzibar and then to The Residence Mauritius as Revenue Manager. I re-joined the Red Carnation Hotels Collection, though my appointment at the Oyster Box in October 2017.
- Conference and Events Manager
Jennifer has spent seven years honing her skills as a banqueting co-ordinator, two of which were spent on cruise ships including the Queen Mary 2.
She also spent a period doing hospitality recruitment, which deepened her understanding of the industry at every level.
Most recently she was events & operations manager at Suncoast Events, before taking on the position of senior banqueting co-ordinator at the newly opened Oyster Box.
- Food and Beverage Manager
Jameel Suleman’s career in hospitality began at the Royal Hotel in Durban where he completed a three-year management programme as a trainee manager, while studying towards an international diploma in Hospitality Management. On completion of his course he was appointed as Restaurant Manager for The Royal Coffee Shop and the Royal Grill at the Royal Hotel, where he worked for a further two years. In June 2011 he joined the newly re-opened Oyster Box as an Assistant Grill Room Manager, which set the foundation for his career trajectory, at the iconic property. He soon progressed to Grill Room Manager and was then appointed as Assistant Food and Beverage Manager in October 2012. His passion and drive to exceed in his role did not stop there and in August 2015 he was appointed Senior Assistant of the Food and Beverage Management team. Having successfully led the team, working closely alongside former Food and Beverage Manager and Executive Chef, Jameel was ready for the next challenge that presented itself in May 2018, as Food and Beverage Manager of The Oyster Box.
- Wedding Planner
Hailed as the ‘Conference Guru’ Ginny Eslick successfully managed and implemented some of the largest conferences that have taken place in Durban.
Ginny has been the Wedding Consultant for The Oyster Box since 2010 and says that her passion for what she does, combined with the logistics experience gained from working on conferences and events, contributes to her success. Working closely with a number of hotel departments, Ginny likens her role to that of a conductor of an orchestra, pulling all the elements together and offering the bridal couple an exceptional experience.
- Maintenance Manager
Jonathan is responsible for all the maintenance and mechanical repairs for the hotel. This includes the electrics, fire sprinkler systems, water pumps, pipe-work, air-conditioning and the Building Management System. His role also includes all the landscaping aspects of the luscious gardens and the protection of the indigenous flora. In addition,
management of the maintenance team and liaison with outside contractors fall into his realm of responsibility.
Jonathan is the custodian for The Oyster Box’s green programme and environmental initiatives and the implementation of these at all levels of the operation.
- Human Resources Manager
Sharmaine has over 15 years of human resource experience, as well as an MBA in HR Management, under her belt. With much of her previous career involvement being garnered in the leisure / Casino industry, she brings a deep level of skill and understanding to her demanding role in hospitality at The Oyster Box.