Radisson Blu Hotel Sandton Welcomes New GM And Exec Chef

The Radisson Blu Hotel Sandton has welcomed Danie Smit as its new General Manager and new Executive Chef Slobodan Stefancic.


  • The Radisson Blu Hotel Sandton is seeing a few major changes to its senior team.
  • Chef Slobodan is a qualified butcher turned executive chef – the Croatian native hopped off a celebrity cruise liner in the early 2000s and never looked back.
  • This appointment comes at the same time as the hotel welcomes a new General Manager, Danie Smit.
  • Visit for more stories.


Danie Smit has been appointed as the new General Manager of the Radisson Blu Hotel Sandton. He takes over the role with a fresh perspective from the travel capitol of Southern Africa: Cape Town. Danie is however no stranger to the Radisson Blu brand and in-sync with current hospitality trends, seeing the need for Instagram-able spaces and good times for the warmer summer months in Sandton.

A boom in the younger market has been noticeable to me. The role of social media and influencer marketing is clearly resulting in an increase in younger guests on the hunt for a unique experience. I’m hoping to tap into that market and make our product as aspirational as it can be.

// Radisson Blu Hotel Sandton General Manager, Danie Smit


But it’s not all fun for Danie. He has three overarching focuses for the hotel, as he takes up his new role: protect the business base line, cost efficiency over cost cutting and to increase the market share. While cost cutting seems like an obvious strategy to adopt when, cost efficiency is a tangible ideal.

This is achieved through a good business acumen coupled with a great people management. Staff overheads often times make up the bulk of the budget and it is the first place people look at to cut costs. This needn’t be the reality. People are at the core of what we do and focusing on the people that represent the brand is the first step, the rest will follow naturally. When you’re able to effectively manage your staff, the output speaks for itself.

// Radisson Blu Hotel Sandton General Manager, Danie Smit


Growing the market share is the other major focus. As corporate business returns slowly but surely, along with the international travel market, what saved Cape Town’s pandemic business was domestic travel. Within reason, people still wanted to explore their province. This could be a major area of growth for each province. Staycations and special events can be bread and butter for hospitality, according to Danie.


Radisson Blu Hotel Sandton
If cooking for Mike Tyson, Steven Tyler and Aerosmith wasn’t enough, he quickly climbed the ranks at popular restaurant, Pigalle, where he became the Head Chef cooking for various South African celebrities and politicians. Image: Radisson Blu Hotel Sandton

In the Radisson Blu Hotel Sandton kitchen, there is another kind of carving being done. Hoping to simply celebrate New Year’s Eve in South Africa before returning to the kitchen in the Atlantic, Chef Slobodan Stefancic fell in love with the country and never got on his flight back home. Shortly thereafter, he took up an opportunity in Johannesburg to cook at a popular restaurant and began his food journey in South Africa.

South Africa’s quality of meat is unrivalled. I feel lucky to be able to work with such produce. Only once you’ve tasted a steak overseas do you truly know appreciation for the cuts of meat we have here. From my 20-years of experience cooking for South African’s I can appreciate their love for good quality beef and poultry. I hope to allow that to shine through at Vivace.

// Radisson Blu Hotel Sandton, Executive Chef Slobodan Stefancic


Radisson Blu Hotel Sandton
With a keen focus on quality cuts of meat, aged-steaks and simple flavours, Slobodan is excited to bring a renewed sense of simplistic creativity to the Vivace Restaurant & Show Kitchen. Image: Radisson Blu Hotel in Sandton

Chef knows what our guests want and how to cater for their needs, but he’s also earned his international cooking stripes. With that brings its own critical edge to differentiate Vivace restaurant from other surrounding properties.

// Radisson Blu Hotel Sandton General Manager, Danie Smit


The Radisson Hotel Group portfolio includes Radisson Collection, Radisson Blu, Radisson, Radisson RED, Park Plaza, Park Inn by Radisson, Country Inn & Suites by Radisson and prizeotel.


Stand a chance to WIN with The Sandton Times.


Advertise on The Sandton Times today!


Head back to The Sandton Times Home Page for more stories.


Picture of Sandton Times Correspondent

Sandton Times Correspondent

Curated content from The Sandton Times newsroom desks.


Related Posts