April 17, 2023
LSM interviews Alexander Band General Manager of Walkersons Hotel & Spa
Luxury Safari Magazine is thrilled to interview the General Manager of Walkersons Hotel & Spa, Alexander Band, we ask a few business questions and one or two personal ones to find out more about the inner workings of such an elegant and charming hotel featuring that old-world atmosphere reminiscent of a Scottish Country Manor, as well as a little more about Alexander:
What is your biggest aspiration/goal that you would like to reach?
I would like to do my part in making Walkersons Hotel & Spa the ‘Ultimate Gateway to the Lowveld’ and bring rich experiences to both local and international tourists.
What makes Walkersons Hotel & Spa stand out above the rest?
For me, there are three things that stand out …firstly, the unique character of the hotel’s architecture which delivers a Scottish country manor experience like no other on the African continent; secondly, our wonderful staff and the renowned, personalised service that they deliver to each and every one of our guests, and lastly, the stunning location of the hotel, with beautiful countryside views, well-stocked trout dams and a plethora of outdoor activities to enjoy… and did I mention we have Zebra?
The hotel offers a wide variety of activities, are there any plans to expand on this?
We’re always looking to introduce new experiences for our guests. We have begun work on overhauling our walled vegetable garden and our ambition is for this to become a sensory experience for our guests to enjoy. In addition, we’re exploring various partnerships with some of the other businesses in the area to curate bespoke experiences for our guests, whilst supporting the local community. We understand that modern travellers place a large importance on their health and wellness – and as such, we’re planning on expanding our fitness offering at the hotel.
What is the best part of managing the inner workings of Walkersons Hotel & Spa?
Having the opportunity to work alongside our fantastic staff in curating special moments for our guests to help them make meaningful memories.
What was the vision behind creating this stunning hotel?
The hotel was first established by the Walker family in 1993. I can’t speak for the original owners but I believe the intention was to try match the beautiful surroundings of the location whilst offering a unique Scottish country manor experience to travellers.
Where do you want to take the company in the future?
We want to bring unique experiences to our guests in a way that uplifts the community and inspires others around us. We want to continue to celebrate all that Dullstroom has to offer and push ourselves to keep improving on the guest experience at Walkersons Hotel & Spa.
What is your strongest passion?
Motivating our staff in a way that allows them to express themselves and take ownership of the guest experience.
What is your biggest achievement to date?
Honestly speaking, been given the great responsibility of being the caretaker to one of South Africa’s most iconic hotels.
What is your current target market and do you plan to expand it?
We position ourselves as the gateway to the Lowveld as a lot of our guests stop over for a couple of nights when travelling to and from the Kruger National Park. We’re also attracting more and more guests from Gauteng who are looking to escape the city for a relaxing or adventurous escape. We are working to attract more interest groups to the hotel by hosting various events / activities.
On a personal level, how do you relax?
I simply take time out to enjoy all that the natural surrounds have to offer. I’ll go fishing in one of my secret spots or tackle one of my favourite hikes up the hill behind the hotel.
Do you ever find time to indulge in a spa visit yourself?
I think my girlfriend, Fiona, indulges enough for the both of us. Although, that said I do admit to enjoying a steam room session from time to time.
How does the property stand on the sustainability front?
There is always more to be done but we are very proud of the strides we have taken over the last five years from a sustainability point of view. For example, we’ve introduced solar energy and made the important switch to recyclable glass bottled water – two of some of the initiatives that have been implemented by the team.
Is there anything else you would like to add or want people to know?
This year we celebrate the 30th anniversary of Walkersons Hotel & Spa. We would like to thank all our loyal guests for supporting us and all of our staff for their tireless dedication to the hotel. We are looking forward to another 30 years of providing exceptional service to both new and returning guests.
For more information, please visit the website
Reservations: +27(0)13 253 7000 or email here
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