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WINNER of the inaugural#THINCAfrica Awards General Manager of the Year - Kais Mbarek GM at The Resort Group plc's Meliá Dunas Beach Resort and Spa #CapeVerde.

Celebrating Best Hotels, GMs and Students in Africa

The inaugural THINC Africa Awards were designed to honour and celebrate the best hotels, professionals and students in the industry. The winners were announced at the second annual THINC Africa conference, on Wednesday night.

“Congratulations to the winners! The THINC Awards are our way of promoting the very best in Africa to ensure the rest of the world is aware of the extraordinary experiences they can enjoy when they visit this great continent,” said Tim Smith, managing partner of HVS in South Africa. “It is up to the industry to nominate the hotels and people they believe are deserving.”

The award categories are:

  • Hotel of the Year Award – The nominations will be categorised by positioning and rated on both qualitative and quantitative measures.
  • General Manager of the Year Award – General Managers will be categorised by the hotel’s positioning and rated on qualitative and quantitative measures.
  • Student of the Year – To celebrate and promote the best of the next generation in the industry, the shortlisted students will be given free entry to the conference.

And the winners are:

  • Student of the year: Aldair Borges, Stenden University Port Alfred
  • Hotel of the Year: The Maslow Hotel Johannesburg South Africa
  • General Manager of the Year: Kais Mbarek, Meliá Dunas Beach Resort and Spa in Cape Verde.
  • Special Recognition Hotel of the Year: Once in Cape Town
  • Special Recognition GM Chris Godenir: The Peninsula All-Suite Hotel in Cape Town

Sponsor Ecole Hoteliere Lausanne (EHL) has given prizes to the winners:

  • Summer Academy for Student of the Year.
  • 1 x 50% Scholarship on MBA online (or Advanced Certificate Online) for GM of the Year.
  • 10% Scholarship for all staff of The Hotel of the Year for single Certificate or Advanced Certificates.

“For both Hotel of the Year and General Manager of the Year, we asked for self-nominations. The quality of the nominations was exceptional in both categories, right across the continent,” says Smith, who launched the South African arm of the global hotel valuation and investment consultancy in 2015. “We want to give Special Recognition Awards to one hotel and one general manager who’ve gone over and above their line of duty for the work that they’ve done. They are exceptional guys that deserve the recognition.”

Smith emphasises that it is important to give back to the industry. “For the Student of the Year we would like them to receive amazing opportunities; for GM of the Year, opportunities to further enhance their CV and boost the performance of their hotel with acknowledgement of great service and guest experience. And for Hotel of the Year, global exposure to highlight some of the best hotels in the world are in Africa. This is our way of acknowledging greatness and thanking them for all they do for our industry.” he says.