Case Study: Former hotel GM’s success at B&B Cathkin Cottage

After 15 years as a general manager with the Southern Sun hotel group, Roger Peyt was ready for a change of pace. An opportunity presented itself in October 2019 when he purchased Cathkin Cottage, a well-established bed and breakfast in the central Drakensberg region of South Africa.

Cathkin Cottage had been operating as a B&B prior to Roger taking over, already utilising the NightsBridge booking platform. “The previous owner was with NightsBridge, so the property has been on the system even longer than I’ve been here,” Roger explains. He figured if it was working well, no need to reinvent the wheel.

The B&B itself consists of five bedrooms with a maximum capacity of 10 guests, and all rooms have private entrances. As the owner-operator, Roger is extremely hands-on, personally overseeing everything from check-ins and checkouts to preparing and serving the daily hot breakfast himself. Menus rotate each morning to offer variety beyond the continental staples like cereals, fresh fruit, and pastries.

What really allows Cathkin Cottage to shine is Roger’s dedication to delivering personal service. “What’s critically important is the levels of service they experience from arrival to departure,” he emphasises. Rather than just providing a clean room and breakfast, Roger spends quality time with guests to understand their interests. He then curates customised activity recommendations, be it hiking trails, sightseeing, or restaurant suggestions, to ensure they get the full authentic Drakensberg experience.

His approach resonates with visitors. One grateful guest told Roger it was “the most friendly and hospitable bed and breakfast he’d stayed at after travelling extensively in South Africa”. The B&B’s peaceful country ambiance, lacking TVs in rooms, further encourages guests to unwind, socialise, and reconnect over games and drinks in the shared lounges.

While most bookings originate from online travel agencies, Cathkin Cottage’s prime location just minutes from major attractions like Canopy Tours and the Drakensberg Sun resort generates a steady influx of overflow corporate guests attending large conferences at those properties. Roger works closely with the hotels to accommodate their overflow and extend discounts to his guests at local activity operators.

His extensive hospitality background gave Roger operational experience and an insider’s perspective. “I know the area really well, which allows me to make personalised recommendations that you won’t get elsewhere,” he says.

Ultimately, Roger stuck with NightsBridge because of its reliability and user-friendliness. “I’ve never had any issues with the website integration or sync issues with listings,” he explains. He particularly appreciates the responsiveness of the support team, calling them “incredibly polite, courteous, and efficient” at resolving any technical hiccup.

While Roger loves that he can manage his property from his mobile through NightsBridge, his favourite features are NightsBridge’s browsability and channel integrations that seamlessly mesh his website with online travel agents.

The platform’s intuitiveness empowers him to market Cathkin Cottage effectively, leveraging promotions and need-based discounts to fill rooms during off-peak months like May.

Challenges at Cathkin Cottage include keeping occupancy rates healthy during seasonal lulls. However he says he turns those quiet periods into opportunities to indulge his own passions for hiking, biking, and simply being immersed in the Drakensberg’s stunning natural surroundings.


  • Keeping occupancy rates healthy during seasonal lulls.
  • Occasionally wanting to optimise their booking platform.


  • Leveraging promotions and discounts.
  • Fostering relationships with nearby hotels for overflow business
  • Counting on NightsBridge’s responsive support .


  • Investing in personal connections with guests and activity partners elevates a B&B well beyond just providing a clean room.
  • Solid foundational technology like booking platforms and channel management are pivotal for operational efficiency.
  • By effectively balancing both the personal hospitality touches and operational logistics, owner-operators like Roger can create exceptional boutique stays.
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