Skip links

About Hospitalians


Exceptional service starts with the individual

We want to put the ‘I’ back into hospitality, teaching our Hospitalians that exceptional service starts with the individual. The idea of starting Hospitalians came to me after working in many different areas of a burgeoning tourism industry in Africa. I was struck by the fact that there was a tremendous focus on service, but that an authentic, unscripted hospitality offering was lacking. All too often hospitality establishments are focussed on professional service and yet fail to understand the value of insightful, and effortless hospitality to their business.

Traditionally, the benchmark for sophisticated service has been set by European hospitality experts. Many of our staff have never been exposed to the world of fine dining and fine establishments, making it impossible for our staff to compete with these Western standards. As Africans we will need to pioneer our own unique brand of exceptional service so that we can stand up to or even eclipse our European counterparts. I believe our hospitality training should focus on what we do exceptionally well and what comes as second nature to us. The big, warm hearted, sincere, and caring African sense of hospitality. We want to infuse Hospitalians with a sense that their ‘jobs’ are not just ‘jobs’, but passions or callings and we want to encourage them to live, breathe and love this philosophy.

Photography by Because Life Photography

We are on a mission to start a transformative training revolution that turns traditional hospitality staff into true Hospitalians, all around the globe!

Being a Hospitalian means that he/she will not only deliver on the brand promises of the respective establishment, but strive to exceed every guests’ expectations, every single time to form a truly unforgettable experience!
We strive to be the leading luxury hospitality training organization globally – empowering staff to offer warm and authentic hospitality!

In our training sessions, Hospitalians will learn that they are a vital part of the whole experience. No job, not even the simplest one, is unimportant and we achieve this by learning to embrace the ethos of ‘it all starts with me’, ‘I am the transformation’, ‘I make a difference’

We all know who the service ‘superstars’ are – we’ve seen them – the guide adorned with leatherman, spare bullets and the all too short khaki shorts, or the chef who is frantically flambéing and fricasseeing and working everything up into a furious froth! They are there at the front working their magic and regularly interacting with guests, but what about the secret service stars in the back who may never interact with guests but who contribute to make the magic happen? We all love the spectacle of a boma dinner. We can be enthralled by the singing, dancing choir, have our senses tickled with exotic gastronomic aromas or be mesmerised by the guide regaling stories of adventure and danger. But where would the boma dinner
experience be if that particular service star in the background didn’t prepare the lanterns and the wood and there were no matches to ignite the magic. We want this philosophy of putting the ‘I in hospitality’ to be infectious and become our culture so that we continue growing, developing, going further and reaching higher.

Hospitalians shoot_5Feb2018_LOW RES-93

Getting to know Yolande

Yolande has over 20 years’ international experience in the hospitality and travel industry, 15 of which were spent working in various departments and locations for the biggest tour operator of boutique properties in Africa. Yolande started at grass route level as a receptionist and worked her way up to senior management.

She has a unique understanding of how these high-end establishments operate and understand the challenges they face. She then moved to the head office to fulfil a centralised support function for 40+ lodges.

In this capacity Yolande provided operational support and she was the custodian for brand standards and for all training material.

More recently, she joined an international start-up boutique hotel group where she spearheaded the company staffing, training and implementation. She was tasked with creating the service philosophy and compiling the company’s best operating standards. As a person who believes in ‘paying it forward’, Yolande was also part of the team that created the vision for the company’s sustainability initiatives and practices.

Yolande’s greatest passion is inspiring and empowering people and delivering exceptional service, winning guests over and converting them into the brand’s biggest fans!

Yolande’s values are fun, empowerment, integrity, sustainability, passion and spirit of excellence!


The end result we aim for

Any establishment would say yes to:

  1. Improved positive guest feedback and reviews
    • more word of mouth marketing at no marketing cost
    • saving costs of unhappy guests, e.g. refunds, complimentary stays, products or services
    • protecting your brand from potential damage (power of social media)
  2. Improved staff performance and efficiencies
    • motivated and inspired staff – forming a new culture and connection
  • Staff feel more invested-in with training – plus this is fun training!
  • Become better team players – better understanding of communication and support
  1. Potential for improved profitability
  • Higher staff retention
  • Lower staff recruitment fees, training costs, etc.
  • Increased revenue with the promotion of services and products
  • Culture of care, means lower operational costs as people are more invested in the product


Benefits and value of Hospitalians training

  • It’s fun, different and hands-on. Mix of practical and theoretical, focus on the individual as well as the team
  • Affordable. No need for investment in expensive equipment and security thereof. With the training provided on site there’s no costs for transport, boarding & operational pressure for trainees to attend
  • Flexible. Training is tailor-made
    • according to your establishment’s requirements – departments, duration, etc.
    • according to the daily operations and timing – training is not in set hours
  • Ongoing support and commitment. With a training plan


What's the next step?

Step 1. Pre-training requirements

  • Signing of service agreement and 50% deposit payable
  • (Highly recommended) Site visit to experience what guests experience
    • I always recommend doing a pre-inspection to allow me to get a good understanding of what the setup – in essence, getting the the ‘lay of the land’. I also like meeting with the stakeholders to get a comprehensive understanding of what the training requirements are.
  • A comprehensive overview of the particular requirements and strategy, providing company values, objectives, information on culture, etc. This can be done during site visit, telephonically or via email and need to involve all relevant stake holders
    • I find that when I engage with clients many of the same questions are asked from both sides with our first meeting. I’ve created a questionnaire with the most pertinent questions to start an effective conversation with you as a potential client. Please provide as much information and as concisely as possible. The more useful information you can provide, the more prepared I can be. After I have reviewed the answers we will set up a call to discuss the expectations, my proposal and then start planning the process. I will then quote on my rate for the project and we will compile a strategy for the following months.
  • Strategising and planning of actual training including timing, objectives and follow-up training sessions

Step 2. Actual training as scheduled takes place

Step 3. Post-training feedback and support

  • Training feedback is required from the managerial team for us to assess the effectiveness of the training – guest feedback scores, staff morale, budget improvement, etc.
  • Refresher courses is highly recommended to ensure consistency for trained staff. Considering leave cycles, there are always staff on leave who will require training to ensure all staff are on the same page, works to towards the same vision and objectives, and feels equally valued and invested in.
  • Ongoing support is provided until the next session

Step 4. Follow-up training scheduled and actioned

  • Training feedback is required from the managerial team for us to assess the effectiveness of the training – guest feedback scores, staff morale, budget improvement, etc.
  • Ongoing support is provided until the next session




Fees are negotiated per project, the requirements and duration of the contract.


  • The daily fee is for the overall training assessment, strategy and planning of the training requirements
  • On-site training as required by the establishment. It includes all presentations and meetings.

A 50% non- refundable deposit is payable immediately upon signing of the agreement. The remainder of the fee is payable immediately upon the completion of the onsite training.


  • All international and domestic flights and chartered flights to and from site
  • All car hire, road/water transfers to and from site
  • The trainer’s travel time to and from site
  • All meals and guest accommodation outside of Gauteng whilst on site
  • Medical travel insurance and emergency evacuation insurance whilst on site. The trainer is considered a guest and the same policies and procedures regarding emergencies should be followed.


Best way to keep in touch

The nature of my work takes me out of city regularly where connectivity is intermitted, and I have found that email correspondence is the most reliable. Although I endeavour to be responsive to emails, please allow for a 24-hour response time.