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Butler training at Rhulani: we learned a lot, and laughed a lot

  • August 02, 2014 | Rhulani Safari Lodge

The week of 19-27 July 2014 will go down in Rhulani's history as one of the most special. Under the professional guidance of Newton Cross, of the South African Butler Academy (SABA), all employees took part in the intensive butler course. It had the aim of perfecting all aspects of the organisation and service quality, and to meet the high expectations of 5-star lodge guests.

Exclusive Butler Training at Rhulani with SABA

"We are now a bit exhausted, but incredibly inspired to implement the many new ideas immediately," says Rhulani's owner, Marisa Silva, who also actively participated in the course. "We got so much more than we originally expected," Marisa says enthusiastically.

Morning wake-up with a class of yoga

Indeed, Cross showed the staff not only how to properly say "Good morning" to a guest, how dinner is served correctly or how the end of a toilet paper roll has to be folded, he gave useful tips for the organisational set-up, including the processes in cleaning and housekeeping, in the kitchen, for menu planning or for front-of-house.

“Our guests will be very pleased about all the new details and creative ideas with which we will surprise them on their next visit!” – Girl Modise, Chef

Newton Cross shows how to serve a bottle of wine properly

Rhulani Owner Marisa learns new folds of napkins

Cross is an experienced butler who founded SABA two years ago. In the preceding 16 years, he had the opportunity to work in many interesting places and properties, including the Queen Elizabeth II and Queen Mary II  luxury cruise liners, Fancourt in George, New Market in England in a private residential household in New Market in England, as a residential butler in Boston in the US, as a professional butler at Montecasino in Johannesburg, and most recently in Bali, Indonesia.

While we had no doubt that Newton possessed the perfect knowledge we needed, we were impressed with his great humour. In fact: if you looked Rhulani's staff in their eyes, there was always a mix of curiosity and smiles.

At the end of the course, Marisa was adamant that the learning must be reinforced and repeated. "We will continue on this learning path in any case, and so we have already booked a continuation course with SABA for next March," says Marisa. "Our guests will be very pleased about all the new details and creative ideas with which we will surprise them on their next visit!"

Watch the video to get an insider’s view of our exciting week of training.

At the end of an intense course the Rhulani team received a certificate