& Our Team
George, WC, South Africa
30+ Years Old
17 Rooms, 40 Guests
In 1990 Nelis and Lenie Stander opened the George Lodge at 86 Davidson Road in George, with only 10 guest rooms and 4 staff members. In 1995 they bought the adjacent property to add more guest rooms, giving them 22 rooms in total as well as a restaurant/ bar and a breakfast room. After the passing of Nelis in 2000, their daughter Reinette Marais joined the business to assist her mother in running the lodge. The two ladies worked very hard to expand the guesthouse and soon added conference facilities which became a very big part of the business.
Over the past 30 years, George Lodge has grown in leaps and bounds to a team of 15 staff, including Reinette’s two sons, Richard and Michael. Richard joined the lodge in 2015 after matriculating and started working in the family business straight away. He soon was in charge of many of the day-to-day operations including managing front of house and accounting. Michael joined the team in 2019 after completing his chef’s qualification. He was appointed as the chef for conference lunches and he also started to serve lunch and dinner for guests who stayed on the property.
But in 2020 everything changed for George Lodge yet again…
In 2020 the global Covid-19 pandemic hit the world and knocked everyone off their feet – especially the tourism industry. Due to Covid, Reinette and her mother could no longer work at the lodge because of health concerns and decided it would be safer for them to stay at home. During the lockdown, Reinette started sewing face masks to sell in order to help the lodge’s staff financially since no one had any other means of income. This ignited a spark and her sewing machine hasn’t stopped working since. In 2020, Reinette opened her own online business called Nettatjie where she makes beautiful handmade baby items, and her products are adored by thousands of mothers and grandmothers all over the country.
Due to the restrictions, the lodge couldn’t host conferences or do catering for a long time, and Michael also had to find an alternative form of income. He recently turned his favorite hobby of playing airsoft with his friends into a successful business called Jesters of War. He has his own airsoft field in George where he hosts airsoft games, birthday parties & events for groups on a weekly basis.
Richard has since taken over managing the guesthouse on the family’s behalf. He and his wife live on the property along with running their own web & graphic design company Cybergeek SA. Over the past year, the guesthouse has had to scale down in many areas due to the decrease in business. Out of 22 guest rooms, we only have 17 currently servicing guests as 3 are being rented out to full-time tenants, and we are renting out one of the rooms to a hair salon that recently opened on the property.
We know this past year has been extremely difficult for everyone, and we are sincerely grateful for every client and company that has continued to support us during this time. We will continue to work hard, give our best every day and we believe we will get through this stronger and better than before.
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Our WhatsApp Number
+27 (82) 378 9834
Meet the Team
These are the faces behind the day-to-day operations of our guesthouse.
Receptionist & Conference Coordinator
Graphic Designer & Social Media Manager
Visit The Garden Route
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