Michael Kewley rejoined The Fairlawns Boutique Hotel & Spa as Managing Director in December 2013. Michael, who gained valuable expertise at the Hyde Park Tsogo Sun, Beverley Hills Hotel in Umhlanga, The Saxon Boutique Hotel in Sandton and the Palazzo Hotel in Johannesburg, is a self-confessed hands-on manager.
He is also a member of the prestigious Chaine des Rotisseurs. “It is good to be home at Fairlawns,” he says. “After running the hotel for three years as general manager, I felt I needed to extend my journey as hotelier by joining Tsogo Sun. However, the owners of Fairlawns and I stayed in touch and when they approached me to rejoin the hotel, this time as Managing Director, I was thrilled. I look forward to achieving new goals and working with our dedicated team in creating new attractions at this unique urban gem set in leafy Morningside Manor.”
The owners of Fairlawns, John and Anna Thacker, expressed their delight in having Michael back in their fold as he has a fundamental understanding of their investment and passion for this award-winning 5-star property. Some of Michael’s new plans for the hotel include lavish extensions to the Fairlawns Spa, including the new Spa hydro facilities, as well as the launch of the exclusive Villa Residence, complete with private garden and pool, to be launched in January 2014 to add to the ultimate luxury on offer at this serene and elegant establishment.
When Michael initially joined the hotel in 2010, he launched the soft refurbishments of the original Courtyard Suites, the sophisticated improvements of The Terrace Restaurant and the 20 new suites in the Grand Chateau, taking the hotel’s accommodation to 40 individually designed suites, including the plush Presidential Suite.
While Fairlawns is sought-after for its timeless Palladian design and bespoke décor, resulting in classic charm blending with contemporary flair, Michael is also introducing new ideas through staff training to take the property to new heights.
Catering to the guests’ every comfort is key and appreciated by the hotel’s regular guests as well as new discerning visitors seeking a hotel offering intimacy and refinement. “The understated elegance teamed with contemporary influences at The Terrace Restaurant make for the ideal venue for alfresco dining for any occasion. Keith Frisley, whom I employed at Fairlawns as executive chef four years ago is still heading up the kitchen team and we are planning further improvements to our menus and employing the services of a sommelier to further enhance the dining experience,” says Michael.
“It is important for local visitors to realize the hotel being at their disposal for delectable dining, scrumptious breakfasts, sinful ‘tea’ and sundowners, as well as day-spa facilities on their doorstep. Yes, Fairlawns is a fashionable haven for international and celebrity visitors but we’re always keeping abreast of local trends to ensure our South African guests are assured of an exceptional experience.”
Recent achievements for Fairlawns include:
- Diamond Diners Club Wine List of the Year Award for 2013;
- Best Luxury Hotel Spa Award 2013; Andrew Harper’s recommendation for 2013;
- Platinum Diners Club Wine List of the Year Award in 2012;
- Virtuoso Resorts and Hotel member.