“KNITTING BROKEN LIVES TOGETHER” WITH 67 BLANKETS FOR NELSON MANDELA AND GUVON HOTELS

Guvon Hotels proudly joined the Knitwits of 67 Blankets for Nelson Mandela movement three years ago. Since then our enthusiasm has grown for this heartwarming project and blanket contributions tripled, with the last donation this month totaling a whopping 183 blankets.

 

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Carolyn Steyn (centre) seen with Guvon Hotels head office staff at the blanket handover ceremony at Guvon Hotels & Spas head office

 

In December 2013, Zelda la Grange, late former President Nelson Mandela’s trusted assistant, presented Carolyn Steyn, with a challenge: knit, sew or crochet 67 blankets! These blankets would then be distributed to those in need on Mandela Day. One year later Guvon Hotels and Spas got wind of this great idea and picked up the knitting and crochet needles and joined the movement.

Since then, 67 Blankets for Nelson Mandela Day has transformed into what some are calling a  movement that has captured the attention of many South African and international celebrities as well as corporates and “KnitWits for Madiba”  in Australia, Belgium, Canada, Germany, Cyprus, London, the US and India.

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Carolyn Steyn and her team took ownership of 183 blankets at the Guvon Hotels head office which was a combined effort from all the hotels in the group as well as Guvon Academy. 

And the best part of the day after the staff excitement, the certificate handouts, the plethora of social media pics and hashtags? When Caroline stopped her car just outside our head office and handed one of our blankets to an elderly lady on the side of the road. That’s how we knit a nation together. One blanket at a time.

                See www.guvonhotels.co.za for winter accommodation and Spa specials.

 

SOME PLEASANT SURPRISES ON THE NEW BALATA RESTAURANT WINELIST

Few things are as truly South African as our beloved national flower, the Protea. Its exotic looks and longevity make this a treasured gift on any occasion.

Imagine my joy when select items from the Anthonij Rupert Protea wine range found its way to the newly launched Balata Restaurant wine list this month. Now Balata Restaurant is no stranger to fine wines and the Rupert & Rothschilds of the world are listed alongside the Meerlust Rubicons and its snobbish family members on the wine menu.

Reality is that many of our pockets are just not deep enough to mix and match Moet Chandon with  Salmon Vichyssoise every time we go for dinner.  It makes me pleased as punch to see that a more affordable option is available to grace our tables as we enjoy the new Balata Restaurant fine dining menu.

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“Everything about this range seeks to marry the old with the new”, Rupert Wines reports. “The heritage of the vines, innovatively tied into distinctive packaging designs, is made to be re-used and recycled, thus prolonging the lifecycle of the product.”

Now let’s just pause there for a moment.

Instead of the standard (yawn) traditional label, each Protea wine bottle has a gorgeous permanent label created by fashion designer Mark Eisen. This is printed directly on the glass with metal-free inks.

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Since drinking with a conscience is what we do best, leftover bottles can be re-used for storing oils, vinegar, juices and the likes. It also opens up a world of recycling options for those who are into creating wine glasses from bottles or fancy them as a candle holder on the dinner table.

For those of us who are really committed to recycling and repurposing, a delightful challenge awaits:  Any takers ?

 

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Image: homesfeed.com

 

If you can’t make it to Balata Restaurant this week, but you really should – it’s just been payday – the Rupert Wines website is sharing this divine Nectarine and Plum Caprese Salad, great with  their Protea Rosé wine:

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Follow this link for the recipe: http://www.rupertwines.com/product.php?id_product=115

http://www.thefairway.co.za | Tel 011 478 8000

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nectarine and Plum Caprese Salad

Enjoy It With

Protea

Rosé

2016

Order now

 

Total Time: 10min

Prep Time  0min

Yield:  2 – 4 people

Level:  Easy

Ingredients

Method

Cut the plum in thin slices removing the pit when you cut into it.

Cut the Nectarines into 8 wedges and remove the pit

Cut the bocconcini balls in half

Arrange the plums and Peaches on a beautiful plate

Scatter the tomatoes and the mozzarella on top and garnish with the basil leaves. The big leaves you can tear in half.

Lastly drizzle some extra virgin olive oil over the salad to dress.

If you want, you can serve it with some basil pesto and balsamic cream.

I strongly advise to make this salad fresh and serve it immediately.

 

SCHOOL HOLIDAYS: FIXES FOR YOUR DILEMMA NEXT WEEK

As much as moms have a love-hate relationship with school holidays, I rejoice. No traffic between 7h00 and 8h00 on the roads. No road rage from sleepyhead mommies in PJ’s with bed hair. My colleague who usually manages to crochet half a blanket on her way from Pretoria to Joburg, is at work before she can untangle the wool. (Read more about our Blankets for Mandela day project)

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As schools close 31 March only to reopen again after Easter, the workforce sighs with relief. Moms, on the other hand, are getting slightly panicky, especially if they are working moms.

WE HAVE SOME SOLUTIONS TO YOUR SCHOOL HOLIDAY DILEMMA:

Take a midweek break and book into Bush Willow Tented Camp with the kids and husband in tow. Set on the Glenburn Lodge & Spa property, this tented camp is more glamp than camp – the tents are already there, equipped with beds, a toilet and small kitchen.  Even hot water is included. Bring the mountain bikes and do the beginners trail with the kids, or get dad to teach them how to fish in the Blauwbank Spruit.

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Should Muldersdrift  feel too close to home,  instead search for Warthogs Bush Camp on Google Maps. Just over an hour from Johannesburg and Pretoria on the outskirts of Magalies, this small Bush Camp allows pets. If Rover and little Ronnie is inseparable, this will bring you heaps of joy. Pets stay for free while humans pay a budget-friendly self-catering rate. Warthogs Bush camp is 2km from Askari Lodge and Spa, and on a Sunday you can watch the two elephants from a distance as they play in the dam in front of the restaurant.

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Glenburn Lodge & Spa has great facilities to keep the kids busy  on the hotel property and at GlenPalms: A putt-putt course, a dedicated games room, tennis courts, play park and obstacle course. Chalets provide a friendly family set-up with self-catering options,  its own braai facilities and a lovely patio, several overlooking the river frontage.

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If by the end of April your nerves are frazzled and you can’t wait to drop the kids with the friendly school teacher, book your Mother’s Day Spa treat. In sympathy, we’ve loaded the special on the website so long, and made it valid from 1 May, for the entire month. You survived the school holidays. You deserve it.

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Editors Note/ Disclaimer: Opinions are totally my own as far as children go. We clearly have something in the drinking water at  Guvon Hotels head office with three pregnancies on the go, so brace yourself for baby boom blogs and news over the next few months. Our latest newsletter even includes baby room decor tips with an Easter theme! Click here to read our Easter newsletter – bunny alert!

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Bookings: Central Reservations Office: Tel  08611 48866 | Email: cro@guvon.co.za | www.guvonhotels.co.za

 

ROMANCE DOES NOT TAKE A VACATION. MAYBE IT SHOULD?

Fresh from a date night last night with my one and only, reading Ane Malan’s article “Romance does not take a vacation” on Date Night Ideas SA, made me think.  The sentiment is a good one because love shouldn’t take a vacation. It should be an everyday bread-and-butter essential in your life.

Fast forward to the real world where your husband works 12 hour days and fills the rest of the time with some random sporty activity. The washing machine breaks and it seems that the ceiling is about to collapse. Sadly the blue colour on the Plascon swatch looks nothing like the real thing – the bright turquoise bedroom wall gives me a headache when I lie on my left side. These are the times when romance definitely is on vacation. Absent With Out Leave.

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Romance needs a vacation as much as slap chips need vinegar.  The one is unthinkable without the other. We need to get away to remind ourselves why we fell in love in the first place. Without deadlines and pressures, surrounded by a beautiful natural setting, we take a step back and realise he is still looking pretty good for his age. His jokes are still funny. And he brews a mean espresso.

Journalist Susan Haydn delivers a compelling argument for relationships in  5 Things you need to know to live happily every after. The take home for me is

“Make kindness the default mode. What you have is special and might not come around again, so guard it with your life.

With Easter around the corner, take your romance on vacation. Book that special getaway; lie down on a Spa bed and massage the cares away. Heck, even a picnic in your back garden with a string of fairy lights mimicking the view of Cape Town at night from Blouberg will do the trick. Take your love on a vacation. Something or someone worth this much is worth the investment.

Click here for Easter accommodation specials at Glenburn Lodge & Spa, Fairway Hotel, Spa and Golf Resort, Kloofzicht Lodge & Spa

For Easter Spa specials, visit www.guvonspas.co.za

(Click HERE to read the lovely “  Romance does not take a vacation”. )

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TROUT FLYFISHING SEASON NOW OPEN AT KLOOFZICHT LODGE, MULDERSDRIFT

“Three-fourths of the Earth’s surface is water, and one-fourth is land. It is quite clear that the good Lord intended us to spend triple the amount of time fishing as taking care of the lawn.”
~ Chuck Clark

On 1 March the Kloofzicht Lodge flyfishing High season commences and we invite all levels of flyfishers to visit Kloofzicht Lodge in Muldersdrift for a day of fun or serious fishing, depending on your level of experience.

For any info, bookings or flyfishing teambuilding activities kindly contact  Wayne Sinclair:  info@sundowner.co.za  | www.sundowner.co.za  | www.facebook.com/MBHFlyfishing

The flyfishing season ends on 30 September.

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Another exciting event of the  FOSAF  calendar is the  6th Annual Kloofzicht Lodge & Spa Winter Flyfishing Competition:

Venue – Kloofzicht Lodge & Spa , Muldersdrift

23rd  July 2017

To book, contact – SFA central reservation – Wayne Sinclair

Email – info@sundowner.co.za / www.sundowner.co.za / www.facebook.com/MBHFlyfishing

For more info on Kloofzicht Lodge & Spa see our website  www.kloofzicht.co.za

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SURE WAYS OF FALLING IN LOVE WITH THE LOWVELD

Is the open road calling you? The peace and tranquillity at Umbhaba Lodge, along with the seclusion of the Lowveld provides a much-loved venue for short breakaways, especially as we head into winter, which is prime game viewing time in the Kruger Park.  With thirty suites each in individual style, many with open log fireplaces, ideal for those chilly winter evenings, Umbhaba Lodge should be tops of your stay-over list while in the Hazyview area.

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While the major tourist attractions such as the Blyde River Canyon, God’s Window, Bourke’s Luck Pot Holes and game watching in the Kruger Park, seems to steal the limelight while staying at Umbhaba Lodge, it’s worth noting that several waterfalls within the area, makes this hiker’s heaven.   The Lisbon Falls, Berlin Falls, Sabie Falls and Mac Mac Falls are all within 30 minutes drive from Umbhaba Lodge. Start your day with a hearty breakfast on the lodge stoep, strap on those hiking boots, pack a picnic lunch and head off in the general direction of Graskop for a day of scenic beauty.

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The Kruger Park is well-known for game viewing, but did you know that South Africa’s best loved Staffie, Jock of the Bushveld, was born on Voortrekker Road in 1885, which runs south of Pretoriuskop in the Kruger National Park, and is a short distance from the lodge?

A commemorative plaque has been erected to remind us of the bravery of Jock, which has captured the imagination of people for hundreds of year.  The 475-pager “Jock of the Bushveld” was first published in 1907 when it became an instant best seller and a local classic. Since then it has never been out of print and captured the hearts of a new audience with a 3D animation film. Heavyweights such as Bryan Adams and Johny Clegg have thrown their weight behind the ultimate story of a man’s best friend and the intense humanity of Sir Percy Fitzpatrick.

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School holidays are the best time to introduce your kids to the tales of Jock of the Bushveld and reading these stories at night around a fire in the Umbhaba Lodge lounge, your own African Tribal Suites or perhaps while traveling in the car following Jock’s trail, is a wonderful way of spending a few days in the Lowveld and bonding with the kids. (Click here for some great advice on traveling with kids.)

Sight-seeing and game viewing is hard work and enjoying a cocktail, glass of port or ice cold beer in the Burn Out Bar after a day of game viewing in the Kruger National Park comes highly recommended.  With an inviting fireplace, comfortable lounge and a wooden deck with great views, this is the perfect venue to reminisce about the day’s excitement.

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Umbhaba Lodge forms part of the Guvon Hotels & Spa’s group – a leading hospitality group offering a collection of hotels in Gauteng, Northwest and Mpumalanga. All properties offer excellent accommodation, conference, team building and wedding facilities. Kloofzicht Lodge & Spa, Glenburn Lodge & Spa and Bush Willow Tented Camp are in Muldersdrift, in the Cradle of Humankind. Askari Game Lodge & Spa, a Big 5 game reserve, and Warthogs Bush Camp are in Magaliesberg, while Umbhaba Lodge is situated in Hazyview. The Fairway Hotel, Spa & Golf Resort (Randpark Golf Club), and All Suite On 14th (Fairlands) add city retreats to our country collection of properties.

reservations@umbhaba.co.za | Tel 013 737 7636 | Central Res: 08611 48866 | www.umbhaba.co.za

 

 

 

3 REASONS WHY THE FAIRWAY HOTEL LOVES THE GOLF TRAVEL GURU

2017 will see the rise of combo trips, the “year of the grape” and the arrival of social media as top golfing trends and recurring themes, according to author Ed Schmidt Jr. AKA The Golf Travel Guru

Right on trend, The Fairway Hotel, Spa and Golf Resort and Randpark Golf Course has teamed up to bring golfers a “Play and Stay” package which caters for the golfer and his or her spouse. For R2475 per night golfers and their spouses are treated to accommodation, breakfast, one round of golf, a complimentary golf cart and a Fairway Spa voucher.

Three Spa combos are available and include treatments such as back, neck and shoulder massages, manicures, pedicures, facials and something to eat.

Single golfers can enjoy accommodation, breakfast a round of golf and a golf cart for R1725.  The golf villas which sport four private rooms per villa with a shared lounge and kitchen, are the ideal option for four balls traveling together.

Fairway hotel golf villas

The Golf Travel Guru further predicts that 2017 will be the year of the grape; packages combining golf and wine will do really well. “Countries that are heavily promoting incorporating wine experiences like tours and tastings with golf are Australia, South Africa, Italy, France, New Zealand and the U.S. (Napa Valley and Sonoma in California and Oregon). In the past year I’ve been to Napa/Sonoma, Italy and South Africa and I can fully attest that superb wines and great golf are an excellent pairing.”

Golfing wine connoisseurs are encouraged to pre-book for the food and wine pairing dinners at the Fairway Hotel which takes place once a month and features some of the top wines in South Africa: April 26 features Boschendal Estate with Vergelegen Estate on the 25th of May and  Vergenoegd Wine Estate on the 29th of June. This delicious four course menu and wine pairing is prepared by Executive Chef Jean-Pierre Siegenthaler in the award-winning Balata Restaurant.

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With social media increasingly playing a role in choosing golf courses and venues, The Fairway Hotel is proud to have been rated one of the Top 25 hotels in South Africa by Tripadvisor’s Travellers Choice 2017, while also being the recipient for the Tripadvisor Service Excellence Awards three years in a row. Follow us on Facebook and stay on top of all news from the Fairway Hotel, Spa and Golf Resort.

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www.thefairway.co.za | www.thefairwayspa.co.za |  Bookings  or Enquiries: 011 478 8000

I AM A VOUCHER KIND OF GIRL. ESPECIALLY FOR VALENTINES.

Groupon may have left the country, but I have definitely become a voucher kind of girl.

While Groupon made friends with bargain-seeking clients (who mostly stuck around for the one promotion) and made enemies of suppliers who were hung out to dry after massive discounts, there is another voucher scheme going. The old-school honest kind where you pay a specified amount and receive a great experience in return. Simple always win.

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5 TIPS FOR VALENTINES DAY

  • DONT, I repeat DO NOT, buy roses. Any florist out there will tell you (or maybe they won’t) that roses are heavily marked up for Valentine’s day, because of demand and supply issues.
  • Instead of buying cut flowers, why not invest in a  flower or other plant – plant it together, say a blessing and watch it grow as you shower it with water and love throughout the year. Married couples, we know you are in for the long run, so invest in a beautiful fruit tree. If married life gets tough you will always have lemons to go with the Tequila.  Click here for 24 Glorious Ways To Drink More Tequila.
  • Home-cooked breakfast in bed is always a good idea. Same goes for lunch or dinner.
  • Buy each other vouchers – it may seem less romantic but hey, what if she really needs a pair of Woollies knickers more than a box of imported chocolates?
  • Gents, I have three words for you: Massage, massage, massage. If food is the way to a man’s heart, so do the words massage and Spa light the flicker of love in any girls eye. Stress not if this is not your area of expertise because once again the lovely voucher comes to mind. For great Valentines Spa ideas, click here, and yes,  vouchers are available. Always.

Happy Valentine’s to all, and let the secretive planning be part of the fun.

Want to feel the love with us @guvonhotels? See our Pinterest board for inspiration:

www.guvonhotels.co.za | www.guvonspas.co.za

HOW TO BE THE BEST FATHER XMAS EVER.

In an age of less is more, I am still astounded by the number of friends who rent storage for the one-half of their possessions that don’t fit into their house. I bow deeply to the Millennials who have a pack-up-and-go lifestyle, and I get really grumpy at old school corporates who do not understand that most businesses can run on a bit of trust, Skype and WIFI.

Gearing up towards Christmas Day the question of Christmas gifts rears its ugly head.

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Wall Street Journal recently reported that “more than 20% of returns happen during the holiday season—about $60 billion in merchandise, according to Optoro, a logistics provider. The U.S. Postal Service handled 3.2 million returns in the two weeks that followed last Christmas and said there will be even more this year. United Parcel Service Inc. expects to handle four million returns the first full week of January, up 15% from two years ago as online sales continue to grow.”  Although these are American stats, South Africa is surely short on the heels of its international counterparts.

With so many unwanted or unfit gifts being returned, we surely need to reassess what and why we are giving gifts?

Joshua Fields Millburn & Ryan Nicodemus, known as “The Minimalists” to their 4 million readers, help people live more meaningful lives with less. They share some valuable tips on minimalist gift-giving:

Joshua explains: “I tend to avoid physical gifts, but I still enjoy participating in the holidays. I now give gifts of experiences, charitable donations, or, if I give material goods, I give consumables, such as a bottle of wine or a bag of coffee from a local roaster. It must be something someone can use, or, if it’s an experience, it’s a memory that can be shared, from concert tickets to an evening of watching the sunset together. It sounds cliche until you actually do it, and then you realize it’s great.”

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Being part of the hotel and spa industry certainly has its perks. Nothing fills my heart with more joy than enjoying a chilled glass of Chardonnay overlooking the mountains and dams, relaxing into a Spa treat, or just nibbling on something as simple as a snacky Ploughman’s Platter with the sounds of a waterfall close by. Would I choose any of the above instead of another set of wine glasses? Or another photo frame? Hell, yes.

So before you test your road rage levels and parking warfare skills, ask yourself if an online Spa/hotel voucher (or even a movie ticket, for goodness sake) would not be better for your own sanity and those around you. I hear a resounding yes all around.

Happy holidays and may the experience-gifting bring you much joy.

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http://www.guvonhotels.co.za | http://www.guvonspas.co.za

Click here to buy your Spa vouchers  | Click here to book now at one of eight Guvon Hotel properties.

 

Words: Christa Badenhorst | Group Marketing & PR |Guvon Hotels & Spas | Photo credits: @Four_cousins

#SUMMERSPA – GET YOUR BODY SUMMER AND SANDAL READY AT GUVON SPAS

1 December marks the unofficial start of the Christmas break and while some of us are still hammering away at the keyboard, chances are that work hours are a bit more lenient and you will be able to sneak away for an extended lunch or early afternoon.  We have some great suggestions for you…

Summertime also calls for summer drinks and we have compiled a whole Pinterest board for your pleasure. Scroll down to the bottom for  the link.

GLENBURN SPA | Muldersdrift

  • Matsimela Sugar Body Exfoliation 25 minutes
  • Swedish Back, Neck & Shoulder Massage 25 minutes
  • Jacuzzi
  • Foot Experience 30 minutes
  • Duration:  2 hours

R 650 pp | R 1300 per couple

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Valid for the summer months – Dec ‘16, Jan & Feb ‘17

KLOOFZICHT SPA |  Muldersdrift – SUMMER SIZZLER

  • 45min Tension Reliever Massage
  • 30min Hydrating Skin Treatment
  • 30min Mini Foot Grooming
  • Treat for home
  • Spa Café Lunch
  • Enjoy our Spa facilities at leisure

R1 000pp

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ASKARI SPA | Magalies

Choose any 4 of the following treatments to tailor make your pamper package.

  • 30 min Invigorating Body Exfoliation
  • 30 min Hawaiian Back, Neck & Shoulder Massage
  • 30 min Botanical Hair & Scalp Treatment
  • 30 min Express Facial
  • 30 min Express Manicure
  • 30 min Express Pedicure
  • Complimentary Tea & Coffee

2 hours  R795 pp

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FAIRWAY SPA | Randpark

  • 30 minute Back, Neck  and Shoulder Massage
  • 45 minute Manicure
  • 60 minute MediHeel Pedicure
  • Complimentary Gold Body Spritz valued at R150.

R900pp

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Summertime also calls for summer drinks:

Move the tab on the right up and down to view all the yummy summer cocktails

www.guvonspas.co.za | Follow us on Facebook  | Tag us on Instagram @Guvonhotels