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Tribute to a visionary who founded our company, Sun Resorts - Solomon (Sol) Kerzner, K.C.M.G. (23 August 1935 – 21 March 2020)

March 30 2020

Mauritius enjoyed the wisdom and visionary influence of South African Hotelier Sol Kerzner from the mid-1970s. His first venture beyond the boarders of South Africa was in fact in Madagascar which ended during their independence revolution and he was asked to leave. The refund of his investment was made through a Mauritian bank and so his Mauritian journey began.

When first arriving on the island, he met with Colin Hare the Chairman of Ireland Blyth Limited who introduced him to the then, charismatic Minister of Tourism, Sir Charles Gaetan Duval. Kerzner and Duval developed a lifelong friendship that led to the opening of the first Sun hotel in Mauritius under the banner of Southern Sun hotels. Le Saint Geran. Southern Sun followed the evolution of the Kerzner Company becoming Sun International and the development of Sun Resorts from the original Mauritius Southern Sun Hotels followed suite.

Under Sun International, iconic hotels such as Le Saint Geran, Le Touessrok, La Pirogue, Coco Beach and Sugar Beach became legends of their own in Mauritius with such unique and individual identities developing within the Kerzner brand. In early 2000, the luxury brand, One & Only was created in which our resorts Le Saint Geran and Le Touessrok were included as well as, Kanuhura in the Maldives followed by Reethi Rah a one of a kind island resort setting new beach resort standards.

Kerzner’s management brought a new level of hospitality and significance to the Mauritian Hotel industry, with the legendary Le Saint Geran setting standards of luxury that became the benchmark of the industry, along with Le Touessrok, La Pirogue and Sugar Beach.

As Sun Resorts grew with further acquisitions and developments we soon became the preferred employer locally attracting the best talent the island had to offer and earning the reputation of operating some of the finest hotels in the Indian Ocean.

The understanding of hospitality was one of Sol’s unique talents. As Andrew Slome, one of our General Managers who was transferred to Mauritius by Kerzner over 40 years ago says “if you were hosted for dinner by Sol you really understood the essence of great hospitality and what being a guest was all about, as the level of personal caring and attention you received was quite unique”

Sol will certainly be remembered not only for his remarkable visionary leadership but by the hundreds of people who worked with pride in one of the finest hotel companies the island had to offer. This DNA lives on in the daily lives of us all, as we continue to align with his important core values and many of our Associates will never forget his number one core value “Blow away the customer” which they still practice to this day. His legacy will remain as the person who contributed to putting the Mauritian hotel industry on the international level it now continues to enjoy.  

Kerzner International sold its shares in Sun Resorts in March 2007 and our Chairman at that time, Mr Christian Dalais, maintained a close relationship with him until recently; “Sol was a hospitality industry genius. He always kept Mauritius and Sun Resorts very close to his heart” he says.  Thanks to Sol Kerzner, our company has been a pioneer of the Mauritian hotel industry. More so than ever we will maintain the values of our founder, to help us through these troubled times and to kick start our recovery plans.