Mark Sawkins appointed as General Manager, Fairmont The Palm

May 22, 2014 9:24 am

Sami Nasser, Senior Vice President, Operations for FRHI Hotels & Resorts, Middle East, Africa and India is pleased to announce the appointment of Mark Sawkins as General Manager, Fairmont The Palm.

Sawkins1.jpg”Mark joins us at a pivotal time as the hotel gains traction since its opening in December 2012,” states Nasser. “His strategic vision combined with extensive operational experience in key markets will further elevate our brand presence within the community and the destination at large.”

In this role, Sawkins will be responsible for the strategic direction and subsequent performance of Fairmont The Palm, the 381-room luxury resort with eight restaurants and lounges, including the Brazilian churrascaria Frevo, and B? Restaurant & Lounge, featuring the regional cuisines of China; 2600 square metres of meeting space; outdoor leisure facilities with a pool complex; Fairmont Gold product, and a Willow Stream Spa.

Sawkins brings a wealth of experience to this position with a career spanning over 25 years, having held progressive management roles within leading hospitality companies, the gaming industry, and catering operations. Upon completing his hotel management degree in Germany, Sawkins enjoyed a meteoric rise at the young age of 19, taking on his first role as Hotel Manager of the Hotel Lippoldsberger Hof in Whalsburg, Germany. Key appointments soon followed in South Africa during the mid 1990s, with the Mount Nelson Hotel (part of Orient Express Hotels) in Cape Town, and The Marine Hermanus (part of The Collection by Liz McGrath), the latter of which he was General Manager with the bespoke brand.

In 2002, he joined Southern Sun Hotels, South Africa’s largest hotel company and operator of InterContinental Hotels, as General Manager of The Cullinan Hotel (2002), Santé Winelands Hotel (2003), and the Palazzo Hotel Casino (2006). Two years later, Sawkins moved to the Caribbean as Resort Manager of the Viceroy Hotel and Resort Anguilla and within another two years he was promoted to Vice President of Operations for Harlequin Hotels & Resorts.

His first foray with Fairmont Hotels & Resorts in 2012 brought the seasoned hotelier back to South Africa as the General Manager of Fairmont Zimbali Lodge and Fairmont Zimbali Resort. Together comprising of 230 guestrooms and suites nestled in the Dolphin coast of Kwa Zulu Natal province of South Africa, Sawkins worked to elevate the brand presence of the two properties, and to establish a foothold within the coastal community.

Sawkins is a graduate of Hotel Management program at the Elisabeth Knipping-Schule (School) of Hotel Management in Kassel, Germany. He lives in Dubai with his wife Michelle and their two children.

Alka Winter
Area Director, Public Relations
Fairmont Bab Al Bahr | Fairmont Dubai | Fairmont The Palm
P.O. Box 97555
Sheikh Zayed Road
Dubai, UAE
Tel +971 4 311 8246
Fax +971 4 311 8225