Kim Whitaker

CEO – Once Youth Hotels


Kim started her first tourism business age 23, inspired by a year of living and working around the world. In 2013, Kim co-founded "Once in Cape Town" with a dynamic team, and grew the Poshtel/ Youth Hotel concept from strength to strength. The Youth Hotel concept straddles the line between hotel and backpackers hostel, extracting the best out of these two accommodation types. The sleepy “Saasveld Lodge” on Kloof street (with a very low annual occupancy of 32%) was converted over 8 weeks into a bustling youth hub, by clever design, strategic partnerships with sub-tenants and hiring the “Ateam” staff who encapsulate the “Once in Cape Town” ethos and spirit. In 2016, the team went on to open the second property in Johannesburg, in the bustling Braamfontein area. Kim is current CEO of Once Youth Hotels and is passionate about South Africa, Entrepreneurship and growing the Once brand into the African continent.