Masood Sadulla (31), Head Concierge at the five-star Twelve Apostles Hotel and Spa in Cape Town, has become one of 12 South Africans only to receive the coveted ‘Golden Keys’ as a member of the prestigious international hotel concierge association Les Clefs D’Or. He officially received his Keys from the association at the Hilton London Metropole. Only two days later, he was named ‘Concierge of the Year’ at the annual Red Carnation Hotel Collection Staff Appreciation Awards Gala in London, adding to this special moment in his career.
Mr Sadulla is now able to proudly showcase the keys on his uniform lapels, confirming that he is part of an elite group of professionally trained concierges around the world. In order to obtain the sought-after Golden Keys, he had to undergo a challenging interview process to measure his knowledge, competency and passion.
In fact, it was Mr Sadulla’s passion for people that inspired him to embark on a career in hospitality. Born and raised in Cape Town, he started to work in the Alphen Hotel’s Food & Beverage department in 2005 while studying at the Institute for Hospitality Education of South Africa. After his graduation, his journey with The Red Carnation Hotel Collection commenced when he obtained a place on the group’s Management Training Programme, at the Montague on the Gardens Hotel in London. There he had the opportunity to experience various departments first-hand, but it was when he landed at the hotel Front Desk Concierge Department that he knew he had found his true calling. ‘Once I started liaising with guests in that five-star environment I realised that this is what I was really meant to do!’ In 2007 he was nominated to attend the Chartered Management Institute’s ‘Ambassadors in Management’ course at Chelsea and Kensington College in London, which he says laid a further foundation for his future career path.
Having returned to Cape Town in 2008, he accepted the position of Guest Liaison Officer at Red Carnation’s The Twelve Apostles Hotel and Spa. Here he was promoted twice in quick succession, first to Front Office Shift Leader in 2009, and then to his current position of Head Concierge in 2010.
As if being Head Concierge in one of Cape Town’s most prestigious hotels isn’t challenging enough, Mr Sadulla also acts as ‘Duty Butler’ to some of the hotel’s most prominent VIP guests, who have ranged from celebrities such as Lady Gaga to some of the world’s top business people, and royal families. Rubbing shoulders with guests at this level, does have its perks. After their stay at The Twelve Apostles Hotel and Spa the Saudi Arabian Royal family invited Mr Sadulla to visit them at home and to attend the spiritual five-day Hajj as one of four million pilgrims at the time. He counts this experience as a personal highlight of his career.
Masood Sadulla is elated about becoming a member of Les Clefs d’Or: ‘I have known about the association for 10 years and was aware of its tremendous reputation. It has been a goal of mine to become a member and it is an incredible honour to be a part of it. Expectations are now sky-high as the Golden Key concierges are renowned to be the best of the best and deliver outstanding results each time – I’m ready for this challenge!’