Orient-Express Africa’s regional MD, Sandro Fabris, has announced the appointment of Xavier Lablaude as the new GM of the Mount Nelson Hotel in Cape Town.
Lablaude has worked in top hotels in Paris, including the Hotel Royal Monceau, Hotel de la Tremoille, Le Meridien Paris Etoile, and the Trianon Palace in Versailles. He then worked in the US as assistant GM at Hawks Cay Resort in the Florida Keys. His next move was to Orient-Express’s Hotel de la Cite in Carcassonne, France, as GM, where he stayed for ten years.
Lablaude says of his move to other side of the world to manage La Nellie – as he will probably think of it: “The Mount Nelson is a wonderful hotel, perfectly located in the heart of Cape Town. The staff is truly dedicated and service levels have improved spectacularly over the last few months. The refurbished rooms are beautiful and Planet Restaurant is a vibrant, contemporary restaurant, matching the equally glamorous and much loved Planet Bar. The market in Cape Town is challenging right now, but as this is such a fabulous destination, there is no doubt that it will turn around shortly.”
His love for his new job is not solely about The Nellie: “I love the area around the Mount Nelson. Kloof Street and Long Street are always abuzz, full of locally owned boutiques, restaurants and art galleries. My wife and daughters have already found some lovely fun boutiques and it is so very convenient to have the Labia movie theatre next door which offers an excellent independent film programme.”
Lablaude adds: “I love living in a wine region. I just left the Languedoc-Roussillon wine region and it has been very exciting discovering the wines of South Africa ever since I have arrived in Cape Town a few weeks ago. I left many winegrowing friends in France and I hope to meet many new ones in this beautiful country. But I still hope that France will win the rugby world cup!”