Jean Hanekom has been appointed General Manager for The Capital Menlyn Maine and The Capital Trilogy, joining The Capital Hotels and Apartments group at an exciting time in its growth. Hanekom takes over the leadership at these two properties from Nelson Rodrigues, who has moved to lead the new team at the refurbished The Capital Zimbali.
Bringing his 27 years of general and operations management experience across all sectors of the hospitality industry to The Capital’s Menlyn properties, Hanekom is a multiple award-winning sector stalwart who has always placed a priority on guest experience and innovation in product offering.
“Joining The Capital Hotels and Apartments is a career highlight for me, and I’m excited to be joining this dynamic, forward-thinking hospitality industry leader, with its people-centred culture,” he says. “Nelson led a strong ship at these two properties, and it’s been immensely rewarding to see how they’ve continued to perform well since I took over, particularly given the challenges facing the hospitality industry broadly, and the restaurants in our precinct specifically,” he says.
Even though his original dream job was to chase the adrenaline rush of being a fighter pilot, the thrill of the hospitality industry attracted his attention, with a summer holiday job confirming his career choice. His passion for the industry is unmatched, as he says, “To me there is no greater reward than being able to give something, to serve someone else, to make an impression in someone’s day that they will remember fondly and share, long after they have left. This industry makes it even better: you get to do this every day, and every day is a different opportunity that gives you the canvas to paint a different experience for your guests.”
A history lover at heart with a passion for scale models of World War 2 aircraft and combat vehicles, Hanekom is married with three sons. His passion for aircraft remains, and he gets his adrenaline rush from mountain biking and hiking, with his next bucket list goals being the Camino de Santiago in Spain, and the Great Pacific Trail in the United States. Jean also loves cooking, and loves experimenting with different elements to create new and innovative dishes.
He holds a Hospitality Management Diploma through The America, Hotel and Motel Association, and an International Hotel School Diploma in Hotel Management through Three Cities, when he lived and studied in the iconic Carlton Hotel.