Colin White was born on 19 September 1966 and was raised and schooled in Vereenging in Gauteng as the eighth addition to a family with five siblings. (don’t worry I had to think about that to!). Virgo’s apparently make good managers and this was evident by an early age when Colin became Head Boy of Riverside High School.
Whilst I am not sure if Virgo’s are confused sorts, they are methodical and structured so in seeking out a career Colin progressed through early interests which ranged from motor car design and architecture to theology, teaching, psychology, accounting and law to work out what he wanted to do. He decided to enter the hospitality industry in order to establish whether the passion was real and the lifestyle sustainable and luckily for De Noordhoek, Colin confirmed this for himself instead of commencing a law degree at university!
A thirteen year association with Karos Hotels commenced, and in the final two years saw the company becoming part of the Swiss hotel chain, Movenpick. The first four years were spent training for a hotel management qualification ‘in-house’ and through the Wits Tech Hotel School. During those four years Colin moved around Tzaneen, Pretoria, Johannesburg, Pietermaritzburg, Mont Aux Sources and Wilderness.
However after qualifying Colin embarked on a one year adventure to the Middle East and Europe – clearly testing the passion and magic of travel!!! During his adventures he travelled to Israel, Greece, Italy, Switzerland, Monaco, France, Spain and England. This time was interspersed (and financed!) with work activities in banana and paw-paw plantations, vineyards, fabric cutting rooms, kitchens, restaurants, hotel banquets, door to door sales, washing car windscreens at traffic lights, furniture removals, house sitting, restaurant minding and English language classes. I have a delightful image of our innkeeper picking bananas!
Upon returning to South Africa after his year of ‘unpaid leave’, Colin spent the next eight years working around Southern Africa – he went back to Wilderness, then Richard’s Bay, Sossusvlei (Namibia) and Karos Lodge at the Kruger Gate.
During this time he had gained a wealth of varied experience, met and had the opportunity to be of service to many lovely people, well known personalities, artists, leaders and statesman, the most notable of which is our own Nelson Mandela. Durban was set to be his next destination at The Edward Hotel, however meeting Tania was reason enough to change course. Tania had worked with Colin at Karos Lodge and had a career in hospitality spanning the same amount of time as his own.
At that point Colin was General Manager of Protea Hotel Hazyview, and five years after having met, Tania and Colin were married on the banks of the Sabie River serenaded by hippos & hyenas. The next 20 days spent on honeymoon in Corsica would result in us deciding to set a course for the best fusion of the Mediterranean and Africa, and settle in Cape Town, where Tania was born, as soon as possible.
Six months later, Tania had secured a position in Cape Town which could sustain the relocation, and four months later Colin joined Tania in the Cape. He loved their beautiful little Gardens apartment in the lap of Table Mountain, and although he often still hankers for the beautiful sights, sounds and fragrances of the African bush where they fell in love, Colin was once again in love – with their new Cape Town home. For Colin, not having been prepared to wait any longer for the ideal position before moving to Cape Town, the freedom of not having to work immediately afforded him a lovely opportunity to explore his new surroundings from the bottom up. He worked as a waiter at V&A Waterfront and Gardens restaurants, earned his keep as a movie extra and TV commercial ‘actor’ and sold some properties as an Estate agent with Pam Golding Properties. The onset of the property boom, and the scramble for real estate of his own, drove Colin back to a salaried position in the hospitality industry, and the next three years were enjoyed at the City Lodge V&A Waterfront.
By now Colin and Tania had moved from Gardens to Table View and on to Simon’s Town. Their love for the outdoors, nature on their doorstep, beautiful walking and vistas abounding had endeared the couple to Cape Town’s gem, the peninsula.
A great opportunity arose with the meeting of Willem Botha, an entrepreneur and gentleman who developed De Noordhoek Hotel, at Noordhoek Farm Village. A friendship and partnership arose whereby Colin could exercise the dream of having “my own hotel” with a unique character and based on values close to his heart. The project allowed Colin to exercise his passion for design in respect of the building and gardens, interiors and the overall environmentally sound ethos and character of De Noordhoek Hotel. The collective experience of Willem, Tania & Colin has resulted in the humble ‘manor house’ of Noordhoek Farm Village being a leader in terms of embracing the responsible tourism ethic.
The sourcing of only local personnel for De Noordhoek Hotel has provided varied opportunities for entrants to the hospitality industry, and resulted in the character of the hotel to reflect the relaxed warmth of Cape Town’s peninsula inhabitants. One of these personalities, who has added to De Noordhoek Hotel, and to Colin’s own revived spirit of adventure, is Nick Stevens, now at The Toad In The Village. Nick inspired Colin to run the 2011 Comrades Marathon. Having now done so (to his surprise) Colin is energized for the road ahead. Carpe Diem!
Noordhoek Farm Village is proud to have Colin White – with his experience, passion, values, expertise and talent as the GM of De Noordhoek Hotel.
Contact details for De Noordhoek Hotel:
Tel: 021 789 2760
Online reservations: CLICK HERE
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