Adrian Gardiner tells how he began career
A highly successful life in the hospitality industry has come full circle for leading hotelier Adrian Gardiner, who last week launched a boutique hotel offering at premises owned by the family who first employed him in Port Elizabeth.
A prolific entrepreneur and the founder and chairman of the international Mantis Collection, Gardiner was the host at the launch of The Windermere.
Positioned as a luxury boutique hotel, it is situated in Humewood Road, a few minutes’ walk from the beachfront. The existing 10-room hotel – being leased from the McWilliams family – was recently taken over by Mantis and now forms part of the hotel group’s collection.
Mantis says it is the only hotel group in the world operating on all seven continents Friday’s launch was attended by a range of hospitality and travel industry professionals.
At the launch, Gardiner said the group was working hard at entrenching the Mantis brand around the world which was a challenge that had arisen from the fact that “Mantis products became far bigger than the brand”.
An example of this is Gardiner’s development of the Shamwari Game Reserve, which continues to enjoy a global reputation as one of Africa’s premier game lodges.
Expressing his pleasure at being involved in The Windermere, Gardiner revealed his long history with the building’s owners, the McWilliams family. “I was employed by the McWilliams family in 1969.
This is where I learnt to work.” Gardiner said he was proud of the fact that Mantis had its headquar ters in Port Elizabeth. “I love Port Elizabeth – this is a great city.
Each time I leave, I can’t wait to get back,” he said. “I travel all over and find that we have fantastic beaches and facilities, all within a convenient distance,” Gardiner said.
Touching briefly on one of his most important projects to date – an accommodation offering on the isolated St Helena island in the Atlantic Ocean – Gardiner said he had been working on the project for 10 years, and that it was progressing well, despite having faced a number of challenges.