James Theunissen has been appointed as the General Manager of Royal Palm effective from 1 February 2020.
Described as “dedicated and passionate” by peers and with more than two decades of seasoned experience under his belt, Durban born Theunissen will lead the team overseeing structure, procedure and controls.
“I plan to lead our exceptional team at the Royal Palm hotel so that they can provide unforgettable experiences for our guests .My service standards align perfectly with those of Royal Palm,” he says.
After completing his schooling at Beachwood Boys High, Theunissen went on to study at UKZN. After graduating, he moved into the hospitality industry, starting out at the The Famous Fish Company and then John Dorys. An opportunity of a life time took him to uShaka Marine World 16 years ago as part of the original food and beverage crew. “Being part of uShaka in the early days was such an accomplishment, as the team was catering to the needs of 6000 guests per day, literally pressing the restart button each and every day seven days a week,” he remembers.
James played an integral part in growing the division before moving on to Sibaya and then to Coastlands Umhlanga as General Manager.
Theunissen, doesn’t relax, and everyone who knows him says he is constantly driven by his passion to create new experiences and lasting memories for his guests.
He is also a team player. His advice to those wishing to enter into the hospitality industry is to remain dedicated and to learn and listen. Some of his greatest lessons were learnt through listening to those who were older and more experienced than he was as he believes that wisdom is created over time.
His vision for Royal Palm is to offer his guests a five star service as well develop and grow the hotel’s culinary offering through creating a bespoke dining experience.