Inspired by Rani Grube, GM of Château du Sureau
In this edition of Empowered Women Empower, join us for a peek inside the inspiring world of Rani Grube. As the general manager of the enchanting Château du Sureau, Rani’s story is sure to empower anyone who reads it. The only luxury hotel option near California’s amazing Yosemite National Park, Château du Sureau is a true hidden gem. And one that shines even brighter thanks to Rani’s natural ability to create an environment of true luxury for the hotel’s guests. Read on and be empowered by Rani’s journey through life from the harrowing Rwandan genocide to GM of Château du Sureau and her passion for hospitality.
Inside the Empowering World of Rani Grube
Love Happens: As our name and the tagline of our publisher, KOKET, denotes, at Love Happens, we are firm believers that you cannot achieve any level of success without love. When did your love affair with hospitality begin? How did it make you feel?
Rani Grube: I am the eldest of 6, and this put me in a position of responsibility from an early age. I was fortunate to grow up in a house full of life and love, which attracted everyone who encountered it. Watching my mother and being her teammate as she entertained our guests, often with very little in our cupboards to offer, remains a fond memory of mine until this day. It was always such a fulfilling task to see everyone enjoy themselves. I realized my love for hospitality in those happy influential pre-teen years when I was gaining responsibility and respect. My parents’ house and my home, to this day, offer greater hospitality than kings and presidents have ever known.
Lh: Tell us a bit about your past. What led up to your current role as the general manager of Chateau du Sureau?
Rani: Funny enough, this is the question I get asked the most. I had a very happy childhood growing up on the little dirt roads in the center of Africa. My father had formed a trucking company that gave us access to some of the western luxuries, as the drivers could get certain items that wouldn’t normally make it to our little town.
It all changed with the Rwandan genocide—we lost everything. We were fortunate to escape, and I believe the displacement forced my love for languages as we moved back and forth across eastern Africa. Now we were the ones in need of hospitality. And we were fortunate to have friends, family, and often strangers help us. Throughout this part of my journey, I was taught to have compassion and empathy for the people who surrounded me. It was a very humbling experience.
We would eventually return to Rwanda. But everything about our old life was gone; our house was burned, and everything was stolen. We essentially had to start over. I worked as a translator for the British embassy when I met my husband. He was stationed in the country while serving in the United States Marine Corps, and after a few years of dating, we were married. We came to California after his exit from the military, and we landed near the Chateau du Sureau. I suppose it was only natural for me to be drawn to it.
Lh: How do the stories of your past inform your present role?
Rani: My past is what made me what I am today. I have been through such trials and hardships, which have forced me to know the value of teamwork. I have seen through my parents what great leadership can provide, but have been humbled enough to know that your team has to have competence in you and that only comes with a history of making sound decisions. If you can gain your teams’ trust and support, then success is the only option.
Lh: What do you consider your greatest achievement?;
Rani: Raising my two beautiful sons, maintaining a powerful bond with my siblings, and being able to provide for my family and parents. I’ll also add balancing a social and professional life and still being madly in love with my husband!
Lh: What empowers you most?
Rani: Providing inspiration to others and knowing that I have guided someone to a position where they have felt the same pride I feel in a job well done.
Lh: Who is Rani Grube the Woman?
Rani tries her best to stay true to herself, no matter where she is or what situation she is faced with.
Lh: Who is Rani Grube, the GM of Chateau du Sureau?
Rani: The General Manager needs to lead with empathy and respect for all and is approachable by all. I always try to identify with my team as employees and as individuals and ensure I am staying supportive of them. At the same time, I’ll be brutally honest. If high-end hospitality is not your strong suit, this has to be identified, and the General Manager needs to make adjustments.
Lh: What advice would you give to someone starting in the hospitality industry?
Rani: You need to stay ahead of the guest. Putting yourself in their shoes is an understatement and only one part of the equation. If you’re forced to make an executive decision, have empathy. And never forget to smile.
Lh: Do you have any mottos you live by? Or favorite empowering quotes?
We are made to persist, that’s how we find out who we are.Tobias Wolf
Lh: What is next for Rani Grube?
Rani: Build my own empire!