According to the dynamic Thuso Moroe, newly appointed in 2017 as General Manager, the resort is soon to undergo refurbishment – creating the perfect opportunity to keep its standard high and so maintain its competitive edge as a sought-after timeshare destination. “Nothing excites a general manager and his team more,” he said, “than when you have a refurbishment coming up.”
Thuso explained that the refurbishment, a periodic sprucing-up of soft items in all 34 of Pine Lake’s chalets, is to be carried out over three years, the reason for the longer-than-usual timeframe being to avoid having to raise a special levy. The project is set to begin in earnest in 2019, although preparatory work is being done in the meantime.
“We’ll be changing things we think can be changed immediately,” he said, pointing out that work on the chalets’ braai areas has been completed already. These used to be open-roofed, “but guests can now enjoy their braais under roof-covering and safe from the rain”.
Pine Lake is also currently field-testing its new-look chalets in mock-up rooms open for inspection by guests. Plenty of feedback has been received, and this will be factored into the final refurb plan ahead of resort-wide implementation.
Once the refurbishment gets fully under way, the emphasis will be on convenience, spaciousness and style. A big change Thuso highlighted is that kitchens have been redesigned to include a modest but crucial new piece of technology: dishwashers. Pine Lake’s chalets are self-catering, and although the resort provides a scullery service, nobody wants to spend even a moment of their holiday washing up dishes, least of all bickering about the matrimonial division of labour. The introduction of dishwashers promises to be a convenience in more ways than one.
In a similar vein, the TV set in the lounge will be complemented by one in the main bedroom, which is particularly handy for families with differences in viewing preferences. As for the lounge TVs, these are to be wall-mounted, thus saving space, and below them will be a one-stop facility for recharging cell phones, laptops and other devices – and, not coincidentally, for decluttering the living area.
This focus on spaciousness is the most evident in the new colour scheme. Thuso said aspects of the chalets will be repainted in pure white, the idea being “to make them look much better and bigger”.
Overall, the look-and-feel is lighter, airier and roomier, an effect accentuated by the attention given to lighting, both natural and electrical, as well as by new furnishings and decorative touches such as cushions and throws. To round it off, carpeting is to be removed and the pre-existing wooden flooring underneath it laminated, giving a crisp, clean shine to the rooms.
“There are exciting times ahead for Pine Lake,” Thuso said. “When we go through refurbishments, we are not only enhancing this or that part of the accommodation – we’re enhancing the experience our guests have … and when we enhance the experience we offer, it puts us ahead of competitors. That’s what we’re about: giving people excellent holiday experiences.
“So, refurbishment keeps our product and service up to speed with the standards timeshare owners expect of us. Pine Lake currently has Gold Crown status, and this soft refurb will help to ensure that we stay at that level and, in fact, move ahead. We want to be the number-one destination in White River in particular and a solid player in Mpumalanga as a whole.”