Masood Sadulla has been in the hospitality industry for 13 years – having worked in London, Cape Town, Dubai and now in Johannesburg. He has been working at the Saxon Hotel, Villas and Spa as the Chef Concierge for the past few months and we chatted with him about his journey thus far.
Have you always wanted to do what you are doing?
Not particularly, at the beginning of my career, I worked at the front desk and I always wanted to pursue my career leaning towards Front Office Manager to Rooms Division Manager etc. But I was given the opportunity to be promoted to Head Concierge in 2010 and I grabbed it with both hands and I have never looked back. Being a Concierge has opened so many doors for me both professionally and personally.
How does one become a member of Les Clefs d’Or?
The first criteria is to be an active Concierge for 5 consecutive years. Then you go through a challenging application process where they really test your character as a professional to see if you are worthy of becoming a member. This involves testing your general knowledge and knowledge of your city, two current active Les Clefs d’Or members co-signing your application to vouch for you, finally culminating in an interview with the Les Clefs d’Or executive committee of Great Britain and the Commonwealth. It took me six years for my membership to be successful and it is safe to say that it was well worth the wait.
What do you think of Johannesburg’s regeneration and history?
Johannesburg really has an incredible history and is rich in culture. Our guests are absolutely fascinated when they enjoy the city tours and see what a wonderful city this is. I have said that Johannesburg is a city of the future as it has so many phenomenal places to experience and will soon be right up there with the world’s best.
What makes Johannesburg different?
Much like London and Dubai, I guess, in a sense that it’s a fast-paced city lifestyle which is the kind of environment I thrive in, everyone that I have met in this city has been very friendly and they are all driven and motivated to succeed.
Where do you feel most at home in the city?
I would say Parkhurst, I love 4th avenue! There are so many cool places to hang out.
What should more people know about Johannesburg?
It is a melting pot of cultures rich in history and tradition, it is a thriving diverse city with so many cool places to visit, world-class restaurants, incredible art galleries, shopping and tourist attractions.
A favourite spot for brunch or breakfast?
I haven’t been here long enough but I love Whippet Coffee in Linden for breakfast, it really is amazing!
How would spend 48 hours in Johannesburg?
The first day would definitely be a Johannesburg city tour starting with a panoramic view of the city, a drive through the central business district, a visit to traditional healing markets and the bustling Hillbrow. You will cross the Nelson Mandela Bridge into Newtown, the cultural district of Johannesburg, where you will visit Museum Africa and step into a typical shebeen of the 1950s. This includes additional experiences such as a visit to the historic Constitution Hill and the Apartheid Museum. Next will be Soweto, one of the world’s most famous townships and an important monument to Apartheid. A sprawling, self-sufficient home to millions, the spirit of Soweto resonates in a plethora of shebeens. The tour includes a visit to the Nelson Mandela Museum, the original Soweto home of Nelson Mandela in Vilakazi Street. Vilakazi Street is the only street in the world to have housed two Nobel Peace Prize laureates, namely the late former President Nelson Mandela and Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu ending off with a lunch at Vuyos Restaurant. Pre Drinks in Olive Bar and followed by dinner in our recently opened Grei Restaurant.
The second day would definitely include visits to, Keyes Art Mile, Rosebank Craft Market, Kim Sacks Gallery, Toguna lunch at David Higgs’ Marble Restaurant and then the District of Maboneng. End off the day with dinner at Marabi Club for amazing food and even better live Jazz!
Where would you take out-of-town friends for a drink?
Dreamy milkshakes at Craft Restaurant in Parkhurst. They are unreal!
We often overlook what’s on our doorstep, is there anything Johannesburg that you still need to do or see?
I am very new to the city and there are so many experiences that I still need to enjoy and that’s what makes me so excited to be here. There is always something happening in the city and new places opening all the time so I look forward to experiencing them all!
Three words to describe Johannesburg?
Thriving, Eclectic, Phenomenal
Masood Sadulla is the Chef Concierge at the Saxon Hotel, Villas and Spa in Johannesburg.