by Nick Dickson, Chief Executive Officer

The journey continues…

Here’s a lesson we continue to learn at Dream Hotels & Resorts: change is always possible when you consciously choose to adapt your actions.

Understanding that our future is determined by the decisions we make today, two years ago we made the conscious decision to explore new ways of driving greater accountability across our operations. We set about the daunting, yet necessary task of redeveloping our systems and procedures, challenging

our core beliefs and values, and asking ourselves the difficult and uncomfortable questions about the legacy we want to leave behind.

What has surprised us most throughout this journey to create a brighter future, is the renewed sense of joy and purpose we now carry. For the first time in a long while, we have a real shot at greatness – to create something of consequence. And in the spirit of collaboration, we are excited to share our achievements in the hope of inspiring industry players to join us along the way.

Our efforts at Dream Hotels & Resorts have resulted in the establishment of a specialised business unit, the ‘Art of Creation’ collective. Initially referred to as the ‘Art of War’ with its primary goal of risk prevention management and planning post-COVID. Over time it has taken on a life of its own, expanding as a support structure for all business units within Dream Hotels & Resorts.

Led by Chris Godenir, long-time Custodian of The Peninsula All-Suite Hotel, Art of Creation sits at the heart of our business operations. It ensures that everyone in the company is well taken care of while steering us forward with impactful projects reaching beyond the realm of hospitality. Our world is at a turning point where it is so easy to lose our way. Art of Creation keeps us grounded in our mission and vision. It prompts us to remain accountable. It also encourages us to willingly make use of our resources, and established business networks to create community opportunities for brighter futures.

Art of Creation keeps us grounded in our mission and vision

The key to driving progress and launching our projects successfully, lies in our willingness to collaborate. This is why we remain committed to working closely with aligning organisations towards shared ambitions.

To nurture collaboration in 2023, Art of Creation pioneered an informative Think Tank at the Maslow Hotel, which consisted of solution-based discussions with tourism leaders around current challenges within our sector. This session concluded with our Dream the Impossible Dream gala dinner, where funds raised were directed towards our collective registered NPO, Touching Dreams.

As one of our national projects launched in 2023, Touching Dreams reflects our internal values on social responsibility, allowing us to help those who need it most. Through our official partnership with Reach for a Dream, we have created an impactful platform to drive real change and foster a sense of hope and resilience as we help turn dreams into reality.

We are looking forward to spearheading unified opportunities for our industry to come together and move towards a common goal instead of working alone in silos. This is our chance to exercise our commitment to sustainable change and to define a new era in tourism.

Our partnership with Reach for a Dream changing young lives

The unbelievable talent showcase at the Touching Dreams Gala dinner

A recent project we are so proud of is our Dream Diaries series. It comprises a collection of feel-good community stories celebrating the everyday unsung heroes at Dream Hotels & Resorts working to make things better for those around them.

From Gliden at Mount Savannah Game Reserve, who overcame the devastating setback of a wildfire incident that almost destroyed the property, to Gemma and Ryan at Nibela Lake Lodge (Chapter 5), who personified true resilience through severe drought and flood damage. Each chapter spotlights the sheer power of the human spirit, honouring inspiring individuals who live out our company mission and vision each day.

Mount Savannah post fire refurbishment of the pool and deck

Most notably, the journey of former tourism students Jackey, George, and Mpho, who we have officially welcomed into our Dream Hotels & Resorts ‘tribe’. We are also pleased to report that Kauthar, based at The Peninsula All-Suite Hotel (Chapter 4), achieved above 80% in all modules for her Stellenbosch Graduate Institute Leadership Course.

The chapters mentioned here are a mere snapshot of what we have achieved and are looking forward to honouring even more inspirational projects and remarkable individuals across our portfolio.

With most of our properties located in eco-sensitive areas, Dream Diaries further highlights our efforts to safeguard our animals and wild places. Finfoot Lake Reserve comes to mind here, with Sarel and Melani at the helm of a rewilding project aimed at protecting their legacy for future generations to enjoy (chapter 7).

Special mention also extends to the Rave Rhino team based at Tala Collection Game Reserve, whose consistent efforts have revived the white rhino population within the Reserve from four to 11 (chapter 6).

Our collection of stories chronicles philanthropic efforts – the birth of Touching Dreams (chapter 10) and our support of Langkloof Orphanage (chapter 3), which provides a safe refuge for vulnerable children near Little Switzerland Resort. Additionally, Dream Diaries recognises growth and development.

As we turn a new corner into 2024 and reflect on the past two years of this transformative journey of growth and change, we stand tall with immense pride in what we have achieved in this short time. We further recognise that there is still much to accomplish, remaining dedicated to bringing about long-term change across our industry, our nation, and the world.

Here at Dream Hotels & Resorts, we are actively reimagining our future together. As we look to the road ahead, we are filled with enormous gratitude for the unwavering loyalty and support expressed by our teams on the ground. The official 2024 launch of our business unit, Art of Creation, is a further testament to how we are committed to being an employer of choice for generations to come.

Our Kamo the chameleon merchandise range is expanding

Langkloof Orphanage Christmas party

Gemma Linforth living her dream with her trusty old Landrover