fbpx

Suzette Meyer from Casa Mia Health Spa and Guest house gives some great insight into being a accommodation provider in South Africa today.

Please tell us about yourself, your history and your connection to your property.

I am Suzette Meyer, the founder and business owner of Casa Mia Health Spa & Guesthouse from October 2004. After I completed my studies at Total Concept Academy, as Health and Skincare Therapist, at the age of 38, I decided to follow my dream and passion. We renovated a farmhouse and converted it into a health spa. The guesthouse followed soon thereafter, and now is a thriving health spa and guesthouse recognised among the best in South Africa.

Suzette Meyer

What do you think makes your property unique?

Despite our location, the business firmly competes for a wide market. We are situated on a working citrus farm, with natural areas and a sense of tranquillity. We are well-known for our encouraging respect for the environment and nature.

What have you learned in the accommodation industry, that you wish you knew five years ago?

Believe in your business and what you are doing and always keep the faith. Believe in your products and keep ahead of the rest.

What do you think you are doing right that makes your establishment stand out?

Despite our location, the business firmly competes for a wide market. We are situated on a working citrus farm, with natural areas and a sense of tranquillity. We are well-known for our encouraging respect for the environment and nature.

What is your approach to marketing?

Marketing is key, we do radio campaigns, social media, online booking system specials, in the past we even did adverts on Kyknet-Ontbytsake. We also attend golf days, social events and I am a member of the Business Women’s Association, and this all helps to bring incorporate business. But I still believe that “word of mouth” is your best advert and marketing tool.

What do you do in the off-season to make your business work?

Before the pandemic, we had normal trading hours during winter months, we did some maintenance during the off-season, due to reduced activity, but focused mainly on the training of staff and keep them updated. During the winter months at the spa, we use heated towels, soft blankets and cosy gowns to provide a different atmosphere than hot summer months. The guests like to curl up in front of the fireplace in the dining room giving a cosy feeling of warmth and relaxation.

Do you do any overseas marketing, and if so, how do you approach it?

We are 4-star Tourism Graded accommodation and the council does advertising, and we also get support from SATOUR.
We have an online booking system, that is linked up with all the accredited booking systems. In the past, we did attend trade shows etc. In the hospitality sector, we have to “Stick together to grow”.

How do you stay in touch with previous guests?

We do keep all our data on file, each client completes a client consultation before spa treatments, as well as for accommodation. We like to keep all our clients updated with specials and newsletters every month, but also respect the privacy of all guests.

What do you do to get bookings directly from guests?

I always aim to increase our communication platforms. We do Facebook adverts, Instagram as well as WhatsApp messages directly to our clients on our database. We like to involve the team when changing the treatment plans. Guests like to know that we support local brands.

Employees are very important what are your biggest criteria when employing somebody?

I invest in training my staff frequently because you are constantly competing with other business in this industry. We are very proud that most of our staff members received 10 years and more long service rewards at the guesthouse.

How did you adapt to the circumstances of the past year?

My motto: “Adapt and embrace the change”

I also attend webinars to keep up to date with products and knowledge, to inspire myself and my staff with online business coaching. From the beginning, we stayed in touch with our clients and promote the fact that we have stringent health and cleaning protocols and guidelines.

Is there something that stands out in your philosophy concerning the industry, something you can teach people, or particular insight you have gained that you would like to share?

“Good Business leaders create a vision, articulate the vision, passionately own this vision, and relentlessly drive it to completion”