The Private Hotel School

The Private Hotel School is the official license holder of the American Hospitality Academy in South Africa (AHA – SA).

The American Hospitality Academy has a 22 year history of offering quality educational programmes and structured internship opportunities to thousands of students from the United States and around the world.

We welcome the opportunity to serve you at The Private Hotel School, Stellenbosch campus, where we offer three exciting diploma programmes in international hospitality management, culinary arts and culinary entrepreneurship; and professional certification short courses at a modern and technologically advanced educational facility.

The Private Hotel School provides students with an international campus opportunity with small classes, personalised attention and qualified instructors interested in not only developing great hospitality professionals but great people as well.

“The motto of this unique hotel school which opened its doors in January 2006 is “developing tomorrow’s best today”

Everyday is an Open Day at The Private Hotel School. Please contact us to make an appointment.

Three Diploma courses:

·        Diploma in International Hospitality Management
·        Diploma in International Culinary Arts
·        Diploma in Culinary Entrepreneurship

About Us

Hein Olckers – Director: Operations

Hein Olckers has over two decades of extensive management experience in the hotel and entertainment industry. His comprehensive knowledge and skills were employed to project manage the entire hotel management component for the inception of the five-star Santé Wellness Centre in Simondium, Paarl which opened in September 2003. This commission followed upon his return from America following a successful two-year contract as hotel manager of the highly acclaimed, prestigious Peninsula Beverly Hills Hotel in California, which hosts global industry leaders, celebrities and Hollywood stars.

His ability to teach and transfer knowledge saw him develop and start up a hotel management course for the Free State Technikon (Bloemfontein). He also lectured at the Technikon’s Hotel School. He holds a National Diploma in Hotel Management(Wits Technikon) and an internationally recognised Certified Hospitality Educator (by the renowned Educational Institute of the American Hotel and Lodging Association). Hein also completed courses in Strategic Marketing and Strategic Hospitality Management at Cornell University (Itacha, New York, USA) in 2001.

During his career locally he managed both resort and specialised hotels ranging from Kruger Park Lodge (Hazyview), the Strand Hotel (Swakopmund, Namibia), the Alpine Heath Resort and Conference Village (Drakensberg) as well as Sun International’s Thaba ‘Nchu Sun Hotel and Casino and luxury Western Cape hotels Lord Charles (Somerset West) and Cape Sun.

His project management skills and ability to enable team work saw him refurbish the prestigious Carlton (Johannesburg) and Royal (Durban) Hotels as special projects manager for Three Cities Hotels. Apart from seasoned people and management skills, his career saw him develop computer literacy, marketing and advertising acumen and, above all, the discipline to ensure customer satisfaction and delivery by both staff and suppliers.

•    American Hospitality Academy Master Licence holder.
•    AHA Certified Educator.
•    Associated training properties include:  Hilton, Hyatt, Marriott, The Ritz Carlton, Sheraton and Westin.

Susina Jooste – Director: Academic Development

Susina holds a B. Ed Home Economics (University of Stellenbosch), B. Ed Honours (University of Potchefstroom) and has just finished her Master’s degree (University of Stellenbosch) with research topic: A Curriculum Framework for Continuous Professional Development in Culinary Studies.” She has also completed four continuing-education programmes at The Culinary Institute of America(New York), as well as a short course at Le Cordon Bleu (Paris), and the Diploma in Professional Cooking from “City and Guilds” (London).She is one of the most dedicated culinary professionals you will ever come across.

Susina is also very involved with the school subject, Hospitality Studies. She pioneered the implementation of this subject in the Northern Cape where she was also the chief examiner for 5 years. Susina is currently consulting the Western Cape Education Department and individual schools, on the implementation of Hospitality Studies and is engaged in the training of their educators. Since 1998 Susina has been co-ordinating annual workshops during the winter holidays for educators from all provinces of South Africa and Namibia.

Susina is an expert in food and wine education. With over 20 years educational experience and a passion to inspire others to grow as culinary professionals, she is living her dream. Having been a science teacher for 12 years, Susina has a very unique ability of combining the art of cooking with a scientific understanding. By exposing students to a disciplined but fun learning environment, she has trained many to be successful and honourable in what they do.

After her teaching career, Susina was a senior lecturer for five years, head of department, and head of continious education at the Institute of Culinary Arts at Spier, in Stellenbosch. She recently started her own company, Joy of the Table, which mainly focuses on short courses, fun-filled cooking classes and skills training.

Susina Jooste is co-owner and one of the directors of The Private Hotel School. Susina will ultimately be responsible for the Academic side of The Private Hotel School and will be in charge of the culinary education, training and development arm of the business.

Annelie Gresse – Academic Dean

Dr Annelie Gresse was appointed as Academic Dean from 01 June 2008 and is responsible for academic operational matters. Dr. Gresse obtained an Honours B Sc Home Economics at the University of Stellenbosch, a M Sc Home Economics at the University of the Orange Free State and D Sc (Dietetics) at the: Potchefstroom University of Christian Higher Education. She lectured at various Universities since 1983 and held various management positions at academic institutions since 1992. Since 1985 she was involved in more than 20 research projects of a nutritional/dietetic or educational matter and one of the main authors in five peer-reviewed articles and a number of manuals that were published. She reported on research projects at national and international conferences in South Africa and Australia, was the main speaker at different symposiums, offered workshops at conferences and participated in many workshops. She completed additional courses in facilitation and assessment, moderation, curriculum design, quality management and departmental leadership. She undertook various study tours, to Australia, Belgium, Netherlands, Austria, Germany, England and Ireland.

Jeanne-Marie De Wet – Lecturer: Hospitality Management

Jeanne-Marie studied at the Technikon Free state (Bloemfontein) and completed her three year diploma in Hospitality management in 1999. During her studies she received recognition for best student in her class for all three years of study. Thereafter she completed an accelerated management programme at Sun City during which she was a co-ordinator for the Nedbank Golf Challenge 2000 and 2001, Dimension Data and assisted in the opening of the Sun International Resort – Zambezi Sun and Royal Livingstone in Zambia. She was then offered a position of Assistant Food & Beverage Manager at Cascades, Sun City for a year before broadening her horizons overseas to Sopwell House, St. Albans, UK as Assistant Banqueting Operations Manager, Threadneedles Botique Hotel in London, UK as Restaurant Floor Manager and Banqueting and Park Plaza Leeds, UK as Events Co-ordinator.??Jeanne-Marie then had the opportunity to work in the Middle East at SNTTA Dubai, UAE as a Project Manager for an Incentive House for inbound tours, for 18 months. Upon her return to South Africa, she worked at the ABSA KKNK as Hospitality co-ordinator and then a consultant and trainer for a Lodge group in Limpopo before joining the Private Hotel School in December 2008.??Her extensive international operational hospitality experience will enrich the curriculum linking theory with practice.

Juliet Mc Anda – Faculty Co-ordinator

Juliet started her Hospitality career at The Private Hotel School in 2006, where she did in-service training at The Lanzerac Hotel & Spa. During her in-service training she has worked in all departments of the hotel gaining full knowledge of hospitality operations at a five star hotel. ??Through the guidance of the school and her knowledge obtained, it has qualified her for the position of Restaurant Supervisor at The Asian Games. She has achieved this position and worked the month, starting end November 2006 until beginning December 2006 for the company Compass at The Asian Games in Doha, Qatar in the Middle East. ??Juliet now shows her patronage towards The Private Hotel School by assisting in all aspects of administration and co-ordination of operations at the school.

Glenda van Wyk – Bookkeeper

Starting her work experience with Kelly Girl Temping agency as an all rounder temp, Glenda gained the opportunity to broaden her experience office management and bookkeeping. Completing a Business Computing Diploma course with Coopers & Lybrand in 1996 and a Pastel Accounting Certificate later that year, she has worked as bookkeeper and office manager for various companies and industries. Glenda joined the Private Hotel School in May 2009 as our new Bookkeeper.

Donna Lohbauer – Lecturer: Hospitality Management

Donna Lohbauer obtained her National Diploma in Hotel Management from the Central University of Technology – Free State. The hospitality industry opened many doors for
her, including the doors of The Bay Hotel in Camps Bay, The Hydro at Stellenbosch, those of the majestic Noordhoek Manor, a private residence on the Good Hope Estate, and the famous Coach House at Agatha near Tzaneen. Her career allowed her to run with the wild dogs of the Okavango Delta, tip-toe through the Tzitizikama Forest and to serve the local community of her hometown Bultfontein, in the heart of the Free State Platteland.

At the 2006 Asian Games in Doha, Qatar, Donna was one of the five restaurant managers for the master caterer’s team who was responsible to serve up to 40 000 meals per day at the Athlete’s Village. On a more intimate note she had the opportunity to coordinate ex-Springbok, Chester Williams’ wedding at Villa Via, Gordon’s Bay. Her involvement with education and training started in 1999, when she trained unskilled workers at her small á la carte restaurant. In 2001 she became a full time lecturer and academic coordinator at the Institute for Hospitality Training and qualified as an assessor and moderator. In 2003 Donna qualified as a Dale Carnegie Instructor and was fortunate enough to train management at the Table Bay Hotel in the V&A Waterfront, as part of her assessment. Donna is also an amateur play writer/actress who uses the performing arts to inspire and develop others and to teach and cross cultural borders.

Louise Theron – Assistant Manager

Louise studied at The Private Hotel School from 2007 until 2008. Apart from her academic studies, she has also gained knowledge and experience at a 5 star property where she worked in various departments as part of her in-house training. Her work experience and studies at The Private Hotel School well prepared her for the hospitality industry. ??After successfully completing her studies, Louise wanted to broaden her horizons in the hospitality industry, and worked as assistant manager at a 4 star guest house in Stellenbosch. Louise joined The Private Hotel School once again in June 2009 as the assistant manager at our new campus, 33 Stellenbosch.

Founding Partners

For founding partners Cindi Reiman, Dr. Corazon Gatchalian, Samir Thapa and Gene Cordova, AHA International Hotel Management Schools are a “natural next step” in their dual vision to provide tomorrow’s hospitality leaders with an innovative and comprehensive practical training and academic experience, and to create a better world through education, integrity and cultural understanding.

Cindi Reiman

As Founder and President of the American Hospitality Academy, Cindi Reiman has spent twenty years perfecting the art of practical hospitality training. Her practical methodologies, inspirational philosophies and dedication to excellence have earned her the respect and admiration of hospitality industry leaders, hospitality educators, and literally thousands of young people around the world. Today, more than 1000 students from academic institutions around the world participate annually in the AHA’s United States training programs.

Corazon Gatchalian Ph.D. CHE

A recognized academic leader throughout the Philippines, and in the Asia Pacific region, Dr. Corazon F. Gatchalian is a Professor of Hospitality Management at the University of the Philippines, the country’s premier university and where she was the former Chair of the Department of Hotel, Restaurant and Institution Management. A Certified Hospitality Educator, Dr. Gatchalian serves as the Academic Director for AHA-IHMS Corporate, ensuring that all academic curricula attain and maintain a consistent high quality, in accordance with AHA- IHMS standards.

Samir Thapa CHE

As Founder and Principal of the AHA Silver Mountain School of Hotel Management in Kathmandu — the premier hotel school in Nepal — Samir Thapa brings a wealth of experience, expertise and multi-cultural enthusiasm to his position as Co-Founder of AHA-IHMS. A Certified Hospitality Educator, Mr. Thapa holds an MBA in Hospitality Management from the United States. Prior to founding AHA Silver Mountain School of Hotel Management in his home country of Nepal, Mr. Thapa completed a comprehensive post-graduate program in Switzerland.

Chef Gene Cordova

Chef Gene Cordova is a graduate of top culinary schools in Europe and USA – Le Cordon Bleu-Paris, Ecole de Ritz Escoffier-Paris, Culinary Institute of America – and holds a Degree in Business Administration from Fordham University, USA. He was a pioneer, faculty instructor, administrator and marketing director of Center of Culinary Arts Manila (CCA), and Chef Instructor of the International School for Culinary Arts and Hotel Management (ISCHAM) and the University of the Philippines.


1 thought on “The Private Hotel School

  1. Wow, that open day at the Hotel School in Stellenbosch looked like a lot of fun. I studied Hotel Management in Antwerp, Belgium; things didn’t look so nice as here.

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