In charge of the
running of all aspects
of hotel operations.

MJ Birch

GENERAL MANAGER gm@plettenberg.co.za

About MJ

Describing himself as driven, passionate and energetic, hotelier veteran MJ Birch brings with him over 20 years of hospitality experience. He started his career as a trainee in Cape Town in 1997, before heading to the UK, where he spent three years working his way up to Assistant F&B Manager. Returning back home in 2002, he joined Londolozi Private Game Reserve as Camp Manager, and in 2004 was appointed Assistant GM at Bushmans Kloof Wilderness Reserve & Wellness Retreat in the Cederberg. Before joining The Plettenberg in 2016, he spent eight years in Cape Town as Senior Manager, F&B and Operations Manager for Ellerman House. As GM for The Plettenberg, MJ ensure that the highest possible standards are met in terms of guest experience and service delivery: “I continuously push myself and my team to be better, so that we can offer our guests a truly unique and tailor-made stay.”

Ensures the smooth
running of the hotel by
managing all departments

Wiida Swiegers

ASSISTANT GENERAL MANAGER assistantgm@plettenberg.co.za

About Wiida

Wiida’s hospitality journey began in 2002, working at The Balmoral in Edinburgh. Two years later she returned to South Africa and ended up managing a function venue located on Altydgedacht Wine Estate in Durbanville. From there she moved to Asara Wine Estate and Hotel in 2014, located just outside of Stellenbosch, which allowed her to hone her management skills in the position of Executive Housekeeper. In 2016 she made the difficult decision to leave Asara to manage La Cabrière Country House in Franschhoek. After having left Franschhoek in mid-2017, Wilda knew it was time for a different challenge - which she found as Assistant General Manager at The Plettenberg. Considering herself to be a highly organised person, Wiida loves to manage a team and says that administrative tasks appeal to her orderly nature, while interacting with guests keeps her grounded and provides the fun part of her job – with guest satisfaction being her highest priority.

Creates innovative menus
and oversees the smooth
running of the kitchen

Kaylinn Shabalala

EXECUTIVE CHEF executivechef@plettenberg.co.za

About Kaylinn

Kaylinn joined The Plettenberg in May 2019 from Grande Provence in Franschhoek. She previously honed her skills at Grande Provence as Pastry Chef de Partie from 2011 – 2013, following on from two years as Chef de Partie at the award-winning Waterkloof in Somserset West. Other career highlights included working as Head Chef at pan-Asian eatery Buddha Ta in Johannesburg, and Head Chef positions at The River Club in Zambia and Denis Island in the Seychelles.

Cooking was very much part of Kaylinn’s upbringing - she vividly remembers standing on a step to cook scrambled eggs with her granny, and rolling rotis and making curries with her mum. Fast-forward a few years and today she develops new menus for discerning guests from around the world, aiming to give them an unforgettable dining experience. In order to do so she works closely with her team: “It’s all about feeding off each other’s energy, skills and knowledge”.