Radisson Blu’s front-desk manager, Charl Schoeman, considers himself an entertainer, which is why he fits in so well in the hotel industry.
“Working in a hotel was the last thing I wanted to do.
“I wanted to be a tour operator or a stand-up comedian.
“I’m a born entertainer, and I love socialising,” he says.
Charl grew up in Worcester, and moved to Brackenfell when his father got a job in Cape Town.
He studied BCom Tourism, and during his second year, he landed an opportunity to work at a four-star establishment in Tamboerskloof.
“I fell in love. I loved engaging with the people. It gave me a rush of excitement, especially when hosting or receiving guests, and when you exceed their expectations, their gratitude is the best for me.”
He then started working at various hotels in the Protea group, now called Marriott, doing various jobs in hospitality.
Getting promoted to the Cumberland hotel in Worcester as a marketing manager was his “big break”.
“People started noticing me here because we hosted lots of weddings and expos. Also, the sales calls. People got used to hearing my name.”
After his stint in Worcester, Charl started at a different hotel group on the West Coast, and spent two years living in Langebaan, managing a hotel and 12 self-catering properties.
“It was the best time of my life. It was also a challenging time because I was building relationships in the community of Langebaan. Sometimes I felt like the mayor. People really enjoyed my company.”
The next stop was Hermanus for a few months until early 2017 when he received a call from Radisson Blu, which had just opened.
“I started as a night manager and then I became duty manager. Now I’m the front office manager.”
Charl says that while he wanted to move around, he also wanted to return to the city because he missed the city life and his family.
“Now I work a block away from the hotel I worked at before I left to go to Worcester. The Radisson is very central, and that’s the best thing.”
He says there is always opportunity in the hotel industry.
“It’s growing so fast that the opportunities are endless.”
He also enjoys visiting other hotels around the city and meeting people.
“I also love doing the ‘tourist’ thing, like going on the red bus and walking tours, and trying new things.
“I also always meet up with friends because in the industry we work in, when we have time off, we make the most of it.”
Charl says he loves the city as there are so many new things happening every day and many things to recommend to guests.
“Traffic is a huge problem, but it’s not such a big deal because it happens in major cities everywhere.”
But what he loves most about the CBD is the diversity.
“When people from all over come to the city, then it’s like they are all one. It’s a great crowd to be around.”