Birchwood Hotel

The Birchwood Hotel is the brainchild of 46-year-old Kevin Clarence and it is his commitment to his idea and its levels of excellence that have made it one of the largest conferencing facilities in the southern hemisphere. The hotel caters to more than 4500 people in accommodation per night and has venue capacity for up to 3000 people at any given moment in time.

“We can accommodate just about any event request which can include meetings, conferences, expos, banqueting and training,” says Clarence. “We pride ourselves on making each event as easy as possible and offer almost everything on site, including an in-house technical team, dedicated event planners, décor specialists and catering.”

In 1998, Clarence worked for the Grinaker building company on a project in the hospitality industry and learned a great deal about the technical aspects such as room rates, occupancy and lease agreements. He immediately saw the potential for growth within business tourism in South Africa and, together with his late father Brian Clarence, started to look for the perfect spot.

“We looked at three sites – Boksburg, Sandton and Nelspruit,” he says. “We chose Boksburg because of its proximity to the airport, the large industrial and commercial sector in the area, and the shopping and entertainment options nearby. We’ve never looked back.”

The hotel grew from 86 to 665 rooms and from two conference centres in 1999 to 60 mixed-use venues by 2019. Clarence loves improving the company and keeping it ahead of the curve.

“As a mega-business traveller hotel, my role is to analyse and adapt to the ever-changing needs of the business traveller and to make investment decisions in adapting or offering accordingly. I also oversee the general running of the hotel to ensure that we maintain our service standards in line with our values,” he concludes. “When we started, we had 12 employees and at our peak we have 900 employees – one of my biggest challenges is to ensure that our staff are happy and are on the same page. In saying that, I really enjoy helping people grow; many of our employees have worked their way up from internships to board level positions through their persistence and dedication to the vision for the hotel.”

PW Botha wagged his finger and banned us in 1988 but we stood firm. We built a reputation for fearless journalism, then, and now. Through these last 35 years, the Mail & Guardian has always been on the right side of history.

These days, we are on the trail of the merry band of corporates and politicians robbing South Africa of its own potential.

To help us ensure another 35 future years of fiercely independent journalism, please subscribe.

Tamsin Oxford
Tamsin Oxford
I am a professional editor, journalist, blogger, wordsmith, social junkie and writer with over 19 years of experience in both magazine publishing and Public Relations.
Advertisting

‘My biggest fear was getting the virus and dying in...

South African Wuhan evacuee speaks about his nine-week ordeal

Border walls don’t stop viruses, but a blanket amnesty might

Why South Africa should consider amnesty for undocumented migrants in the time of the coronavirus outbreak.

Mail & Guardian needs your help

Our job is to help give you the information we all need to participate in building this country, while holding those in power to account. But now the power to help us keep doing that is in your hands

Press Releases

The online value of executive education in a Covid-19 world

Executive education courses further develop the skills of leaders in the workplace

Sisa Ntshona urges everyone to stay home, and consider travelling later

Sisa Ntshona has urged everyone to limit their movements in line with government’s request

SAB Zenzele’s special AGM postponed until further notice

An arrangement has been announced for shareholders and retailers to receive a 77.5% cash payout

20th Edition of the National Teaching Awards

Teachers are seldom recognised but they are indispensable to the country's education system

Awards affirm the vital work that teachers do

Government is committed to empowering South Africa’s teachers with skills, knowledge and techniques for a changing world

SAB Zenzele special AGM rescheduled to March 25 2020

New voting arrangements are being made to safeguard the health of shareholders

Dimension Data launches Saturday School in PE

The Gauteng Saturday School has produced a number of success stories