The famous Hotel Numbi in Hazyview, Mpumalanga, celebrated its 60th year in business in October.
Today, incorporating the Hotel Numbi and Garden Suites, Little Pilgrims Boutique Hotel, Woodlands Guest House, Pioneers Butcher Grill, Topolinos Italian Restaurant and Regional Tourism Consultants, the Hazyview Hospitality Group looks back on a long history of growth.
After buying the Hazyview Motel in 1963, the Fick family soon increased its hospitality footprint with the opening of the hotel complex in 1968, changing the name to the Hotel Numbi and Garden Suites during that year.
Willem Fick, Group Chairman, says he worked in the hotel as a child, studied hotel management and has been a hotelier for his whole career. “It’s in my blood now. I trained with industry stalwart Erwin Winkler who taught me that in hospitality, everything you do, do it with perfection, passion, enthusiasm, and consistency. There are no other ingredients in this recipe should you wish to become successful in the hospitality industry. Nothing can be half-right, and most importantly, do it yourself.”
He recalls that when the erstwhile Hotel Board was formed in 1968, the Numbi was one of the first hotels to be graded. It selected a two-star grading. During 1978 the Numbi upgraded to a three-star hotel to enjoy the so-called ‘international’ hotel status which then allowed establishments with three-star and higher grading the right to welcome and accommodate guests of all races.
Numbi – believed to mean ‘meeting’ or ‘place of gathering’ in Shangaan – became an accurate description of the establishment, which has welcomed thousands of international and domestic tourists as guests over the years, also playing host to hundreds of special events and functions.
“We have been hosting many events such as motorcycle, classic cars, golf, and light aircraft rallies, all because we understand these passionate people. Some groups are celebrating their annual get-togethers for more than 40 years at the Numbi,” says Fick. “Still today, the more mature petrol heads’ choice of venue in the ET (term used by these enthusiasts) is this landmark in Hazyview. In fact, the Numbi and the Lowveld have become synonymous as a destination to escape to on your wheels.”
‘Trusted place of employment’
Over the years, the Numbi has also earned a reputation as a trusted place of employment for the local people. “There are many second-generation staff members who have followed in their parents’ footsteps. We have a very low staff turnover and invest a lot of time in maintaining good staff relations. We are proud, for instance, that we paid staff retirement fund benefits in full throughout the COVID pandemic and no staff were retrenched,” says Fick.
Fick, not known for boasting about his achievements, has won national and international hospitality awards.
While many members of the Fick family have worked at the Numbi over the past 60 years, today’s core management team members are Willem, Edna, Denee and Laureen Fick. The slogan, ‘Family owned, family run’ has established the Numbi as one of very few hotels in South Africa privileged to claim this status.
The Hotel Numbi and Garden Suites and the other hospitality establishments in the group, are situated in Hazyview, less than 10 minutes from the Kruger National Park. The group has a mixed configuration of accommodation types suitable for all budgets, also offering guests a wide choice in dining options at the restaurants.
The conference facilities cater for up to 150 delegates and the cocktail bars at the properties have always guaranteed “good times with good memories”.