Linda Reddy’s consummate hotel management skills have seen her move rapidly through the ranks at Tsogo Sun to her newest position as GM of the group’s flagship hotel at Montecasino, The Palazzo.
Durban-born Reddy joined Tsogo Sun in the late 90s doing part time work at Garden Court South Beach in Durban and there gained experience in every aspect of running a hotel, while studying finance. A move to Johannesburg in 2005 saw her take up the position of Deputy GM at Garden Court Morningside, then to Garden Court Sandton as GM, and on to one of the busiest hotels in the group, the large 444-room Garden Court Sandton City, for three years. In August 2016 she was appointed to the helm of the elegant 194-room Southern Sun Montecasino and the Pivot Conference Centre, and less than a year later to The Palazzo.
The Palazzo Montecasino has a staff of 180, and offers world-class facilities for leisure and business travellers, with 246 rooms that vary from the palatial 600m2 Penthouse to luxurious deluxe, superior and standard rooms catering for every travel requirement, and a wide variety of dining options, all set in beautiful surrounds.
Says Reddy, “I am ecstatic about the move to The Palazzo. The elegance and allure of this hotel leaves me in awe every day, and it’s hard to believe that I, along with an amazing team, now run one of the most beautiful city hotels in the country.” She aims to rejuvenate the image of The Palazzo and grow the business in new ways during her tenure there.
She maintains that the strengths that make her so good at running hotels is her respect of people. “Therein lies the success to any service industry; respect your team and respect your guests.” Her strong leadership skills ensure that she focuses on hiring the right people, empowering them to give of their best, and watching the team deliver. Very importantly, she’s also always calm during times of pressure, believing that nothing is insurmountable.
Working within the Montecasino precinct is also a real perk for Reddy. “This precinct is a hive of activity every day with theatre shows, world class events, conferences, promotions, and giveaways constantly taking place, so there really is never a dull moment. It’s also a great learning experience to work closely with the casino operations, appreciating the pace at which business happens.”
Her advice to anyone starting out in the hotel industry is to, “Ensure that you appreciate the hard work that goes into making the hotel industry glamourous – and be ready to be of service to others.”
Reddy adds that the best advice anyone has given her in her career is to stop feeling guilty about loving her job, “…so I tell my daughter how lucky she is to visit a hotel every weekend and drink lemonade”. Her spare time is taken up cleaning up after her 9-year-old daughter who loves to bake and golfing with her husband.