Randy Moniez, a Bermudian by birth and British by citizenship, heads up the Cedar Park Hotel and Conference Centre. "Born of British and Portuguese parentage in Bermuda in 1958, I have been an extensive traveller, choosing to settle in the spellbound continent of Africa.
After 2 years at The Bermuda College, Department of Hotel Technology, it was time to travel to Aberdeen Scotland to complete my degree in Hotel Management. Accompanied by several classmates from Bermuda College, we invaded Robert Gordon's Institute of Technology and were sure to have left a Bermudian mark. Everyone passed and returned to the islands except myself. Through the kind assistance of Paul Leseur of Lantana Colony Club I was given the opportunity to work and experience the Magic of The Beau-Rivage Palace in Lausanne, Switzerland under several Directors, one of whom was Bodo Von Albenslaven, previously General Manger of The Elbow Beach Club in Bermuda. It took me 5 and a half years to get itchy feet and move on to new challenges and greater opportunities.
Holiday Inns travelled to Europe annually in search of skilled hotel staff to run their South African operations. It was with the acceptance of a 2 year work contract that my new Scottish wife, Karen and I came to South Africa - to grow and develop under the banner of an Internationally respected Hotel Chain in Africa which in itself had to be an adventure. Each year we stayed brought new challenges and greater opportunities. The changes were dramatic and the future had to be bright - how could we leave?
Holiday Inns transferred me from City to City within South Africa over a 6 year period until the Balalaika Hotel and Crown Court, a Protea Franchise Hotel, offered me the position of General Manager. On joining the Hotel in 1990, the Hotel had 120 bedrooms. When I left 6 years later, it boasted 325 Internationally styled bedrooms as well as extensively refurbished public and conference areas.
In 1996 it was time for me to go it alone. The business known as The Duneden Hotel and Conference Centre in Edenvale, a quiet safe suburb of Johannesburg just 7 minutes from Johannesburg International Airport, was available for sale. A lifelong dream was becoming a reality.
In the 5 years at The Duneden, much changed at the Hotel in physical product and market focus. Not only did we service many Government departments such as Dept of Education and Dept of Health, but organisations like U.S. Aid, Old Mutual, South African Municipal Workers Union, South African Football Association, Kyalami Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce and Industry amongst dozens of others. We also did much in the way of outside catering for Politicians, and Government and Corporate clients and created Ritz Catering for this specialized area. Our catering team take the equipment as well as the food and drinks to the client’s venue. Past clients include former-president Nelson Mandela, Former Present President Thabo Mbeki, the Johannesburg City Manager, the Mayor of Johannesburg, the Inkatha Freedom Party, the ANC, The Dept of Housing, Kohler Flexpack and many others.
Our new venture, the Cedar Park Hotel and Conference Centre (CPC) allowed us to offer excellent conferences and functions, with accommodation where required in townhouse styled apartments. Ritz Catering is an integral part of the CPC setup, providing catering for all functions at the Centre and for outside events. We have been through an extensive renovation programme and will shortly embark on a further expansion programme. We are now positioned to offer comprehensive conference and function facilities to everyone”.