Legendary Horst Frehse to retire

Horst Frehse
Horst Frehse

Red Carnation Hotels South Africa has announced the retirement of one of its most beloved hoteliers, Twelve Apostles Hotel executive director Horst Frehse. Following a stellar career in the hospitality industry which spanned more than 40 years, Mr Frehse is due to begin this new chapter of his life in December of this year.

He leaves in place a competent management team led by Michael Nel, who took over as general manager when Mr Frehse was promoted to executive director in April 2014, and deputy general manager and food & beverage manager Gavin Ferreira. Mr Nel and Mr Ferreira are long-standing members of the Red Carnation Hotel Collection, with a combined 22 years’ service for the group. Having guided The Twelve Apostles Hotel and Spa with expertise, true passion and genuine love for his employees, Mr Frehse leaves behind a great legacy and a team that is confident in its abilities and ready to soar to new heights.

Horst Frehse has led many of the country’s most successful hospitality establishments throughout a career that has seen him working in leading hotels in Hamburg, Munich, Geneva, Namibia, Cape Town, Johannesburg and Paarl. He held managerial positions at the five-star Grande Roche Hotel, Singita in the Kruger National Park and Singita Grumeti Reserves in the Serengeti (Tanzania), and Asara Wine Estate & Hotel in Stellenbosch before joining the family-owned Red Carnation Hotel Collection in December 2010, first as general manager and then as executive director of the award-winning Twelve Apostles Hotel and Spa. In this most recent role he focused on further promoting and developing the hotel’s business side and providing support with sales efforts for sister properties The Oyster Box and Bushmans Kloof.

During his tenure, The Twelve Apostles was included in Condé Nast Traveler USA’s Gold List year on year as one of the best places in the world to stay; was continuously voted one of the world’s best hotels in the Condé Nast Traveler USA Readers’ Choice Awards, as well as Travel + Leisure USA ‘World’s Best’ Awards; and was listed as one of the Top 20 Leisure Hotels in Africa, Middle East and Indian Ocean in the Condé Nast Traveller UK Readers’ Travel Awards.

His many career highlights include being unanimously elected onto the International Relais & Châteaux Board of Directors in 2007, a position he held until joining Leading Hotels of the World member, The Twelve Apostles. In 2011 he was awarded the Officier Maître Hotelier du Bailage d’Afrique du Sud de la Chaîne des Rôtisseurs’ Award for his contribution to the Chaîne and the hospitality industry in South Africa. Earlier this year Mr Frehse was bestowed the ultimate honour at the annual Red Carnation Hotels Staff Appreciation Awards Gala, receiving a ‘Lifetime Achievement’ award for his accomplishments, passion and dedication to the South African hotel industry.

Says Red Carnations managing director Jonathan Raggett: ‘Horst Frehse has been instrumental in The Twelve Apostles Hotel and Spa’s success over the past five years, thanks to his phenomenal industry connections, his devotion, vivacious nature, and the compassionate heart that he generously shares with his staff, clients and guests from around the world – all of whom will miss him dearly.’