L’Avenir lives: Elmarie Swarts
If you page through the guest book at the L’Avenir Country Lodge, a definite recurring message is the friendliness of Elmarie Swart. First impressions last and the warm welcome that guests receive from Elmarie has touched many – to the extent that they become regulars and close friends.
Elmarie will celebrate her second decade at L’Avenir next year and has seen the lodge develop through different phases of the Estate’s history. She started working at the lodge as part of the housekeeping team, but she started to thrive, when she was appointed as receptionist in 2005. “I love working with people and making sure that they are happy. Hospitality therefore fits like a glove,” explains Elmarie, who also has experience in the restaurant industry.
“Because I’ve worked my way up from the kitchen to housekeeping to front of house, I understand different aspects of hospitality and the golden thread is to be able to make people happy by understanding their needs. You need to be observant and solutions-driven”.
Elmarie says that she feels as if she has travelled around the world, because she works with guests from around the world. “There are not two days that are the same. Every guest is unique and I love working with diverse clients, who also share their culture, interests and stories with me. That’s what energises me in my work!”
Like most boutique winelands accommodation, the L’Avenir Country Lodge has not been open to receive guests for since March, which means that it was not open for a significant part of the high tourism season. “We have to look at the bright side. We still have jobs and are able to do renovations. It’s still awfully quiet and I really miss the guests. Our hope is that regulations will be relaxed so that we can receive guests in spring. And trust me, they’ll get a warmer welcome than ever!” laughs Elmarie.
– Dr Edo Heyns