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

Naby het nog nooit so vêr gevoel nie!

Die stad se lawaai kan maklik geraas in my kop maak. Voor ek weet voel dit of die stresvolle Johannesburg aan my begin afsmeer. Ek is ‘n sensitiewe mens (so sensitief dat ek dit nie sommer se…

Source: Naby het nog nooit so vêr gevoel nie!

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

KLOOFZICHT LODGE WINS RASA BEST COUNTRY RESTAURANT 2016

When newly appointed head chef Chris Tustian of Kloofzicht Lodge & Spa attended the 11th Annual RASA Red-carpet Awards ceremony at Montecasino this week, he had no idea that he would be walking away with not one, but two awards for the lodge!

Kloofzicht Lodge & Spa is the overall winner in the category Best Country Restaurant 2016, as well as the recipient of the RASA Rosetta Award for Service Excellence. Much of this is as a result of GM Mano Sequeira’s appointment of the talented Chef Chris Tustian who joined Kloofzicht Lodge & Spa earlier this year. Previously from Roots at Forum Homini, Chef Tustian has brought a fresh breath of culinary inspiration which has swept across the Muldersdrift countryside.

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GM Mano Sequeria and Chef Christ Tustian feeling proud with the two RASA awards

New developments at Kloofzicht Lodge include the introduction of an inspirational a la carte menu. Chef Tustian explained one of the new main course salmon dishes seen below: Salmon escabeche  is a Spanish dish, with tender salmon prepared in confit duck fat on a bed of pickled veg, sundried tomatoes and couscous, topped with a poppy seed twirl. It melts in your mouth!

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Salmon Escabeche from the new a la carte menu

According to Chef Tustian he is also “bringing finger braai items into the 20th century” and “working hard with the team to improve the level of food and service” for the newly introduced Boma area at Kloofzicht Lodge, overlooking the mountain and dams. Much-loved items such as pap and wors and even baby potatoes are elevated to a status unseen before.

It is, therefore, no surprise that the RASA Awards came Kloofzicht’s way. It is after all given to restaurants that strive for Service Excellence and upliftment of the Restaurant industry.

Kloofzicht Lodge & Spa is set to be the new hotspot on the restaurant scene – aside from the new a la carte menu, a new craft food and craft beer bistro called Oevermeer Bistro is set to open in the first quarter of 2017.

www.kloofzicht.co.za | http://www.oevermeerbistro.co.za | Tel 011 317 0600

Want to know more about Chef Christ Tustian?  Click here

Three luxury bush camp estates planned for Askari Lodge in Magalies.

Located on the magnificent Plumari Private Game Reserve at Askari Game Lodge & Spa, and ringed by the breathtaking mountains of the Magaliesberg, Ukuphila is set to become a leading destination for Gauteng investors and bush enthusiasts alike.

Giuseppe Plumari, CEO of Steyn City Properties and owner of Plumari Private Game Reserve has a dream: to create and share a space where families can take time out from the bustle of Johannesburg and experience the glory of nature together. It’s a dream based on his own experience as a young father, when he would bring his children to his farm, the Plumari Private Game Reserve to have a break from city life.

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The establishment of Ukuphila, a development presenting 75 luxury homes in three well- appointed  camps, has brought that dream to fruition. “This is a first,” says Plumari, noting that the 4 000ha reserve is one of the only Big Five game farms in Gauteng. What’s more, at only an hour’s drive from Johannesburg, Ukuphila is easily accessible, even for those who can snatch only a day away – holidaymakers would have to drive for at least three hours to experience a game viewing destination offering an experience of the same quality. “What makes this place truly special, however, is the fact that most Big Five reserves in the area don’t allow children. In contrast, Ukuphila is all about family. We love the fact that children will learn about nature here; hopefully, we will play a role in nurturing a passion for conservation amongst the next generation of South Africans,” says Plumari.

He reports that careful thought has been given to the planning and construction of the new private bush camps at the game reserve so that it has minimal impact on the land. This pertains to the aesthetic of the homes, too: DBM Architects, who were charged with creating a look and feel for the homes, have applied their ample experience in lodge design to come up with an organic, earthy style which sits softly on the soil.

DBM Architects’ Wynand du Plessis explains that the design takes inspiration from the Transvaal farmhouses of old, which have been reinterpreted in a more contemporary manner. “Ukuphila’s homes aren’t drastically different from the charming old houses in surrounding towns like Hekpoort – think thick stone walls, corrugated iron roofs and wraparound stoeps,” he comments, “but the use of modern materials, like exposed timber trusses and rough-hewn wooden beams, freshens the look.” The design is not only ideal for the environment; it’s also particularly well suited for the climate.

The homes have been positioned to ensure prime views and privacy and may be configured to suit each homeowner’s specific taste. Thus, although architectural guidelines are in place to protect the integrity of the estate and the environment, certain elements may be adjusted; homeowners may select their own colour schemes, for example, and may specify the number of rooms.

The homes – which measure up to 360m² on erven of up to 1 125m² – are designed around a central entertainment hub with open plan kitchen, dining room, lounge and bar. “This forms the core of the house, making for special family moments,” Du Plessis says. The hub opens out onto a wide veranda which is literally part of the bush, thanks to the absence of fences and gates. Again, homeowners can customise this space with the addition of a fire pit or infinity pool.

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The bedroom pods, separated from each other by courtyards, lead off the entertainment hub. Each boasts its own separate entrance, outdoor shower, en suite bathroom and wooden deck. The modular design of the hubs is a special feature, making it possible to isolate part of the home – perhaps to be used by different families holidaying together, or maybe to be rented out to other holidaymakers, creating a passive income stream for homeowners.

The homes are found in three groups of 25, in small nodes especially chosen for their sweeping views. The sites – Kudu Creek, Thorntree Hill and Magaliesview – have their own singular character and atmosphere, since the sheer size and diversity of the Plumari Private Game Reserve means that it is possible to experience many different types of vegetation and scenery during one game drive.

Although game drives are one of the major attractions at this one-of-a-kind reserve, other pastimes are available. Outdoor activities such as target and clay pigeon shooting are on offer. A world class equestrian centre is planned, while Poplar Country Village – another future attraction – will feature a microbrewery and artisanal food market. A breeding programme, established for such rare species as golden wildebeest, adds an extra dimension to an already special destination.

Guests will, moreover, be able to enjoy the four-star facilities of the luxurious Askari Game Lodge, located on site. These include a restaurant, pool and spa facility and, for those who have to mix pleasure with business, a fully equipped conference centre. The property also has its own chapel, making it ideal for weddings. Another highlight is the Plumari Museum, with exhibits tracking the history of the area, from the earliest inhabitants of the Magaliesberg to the brave Voortrekker Boers who established the first farms in the region.

The presence of Askari Game Lodge is significant for another reason, too: it is possible for homeowners to add their bush homes to the lodge’s pool of accommodation, providing yet another avenue for revenue.

“This place has always been a haven for my family, and we are looking forward to sharing its peace and the wonders of nature with others who love the bush as we do,” Plumari concludes.

 

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Press release issued  November 2016 on behalf of the Plumari Group by Marie Yossava | Grapevine Communications | http://www.grapevinecommunications.co.za

For further information, contact Daniela McCormick on 011 431 4092.

For images, contact Christa Badenhorst on christa@guvon.co.za

#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

#Fitness-at-TheFairway. Getting that body summer ready.

Photos of swimwear are doing the rounds in our office and we are all sighing with various degrees of  trepidation at baring of our bodies – after all it was winter just the other day! For those who need a bit of help in this regards, we are proud to offer the services of Gail Leschinsky,  personal trainer and wellness consultant at Fairway Hotel Gym.

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The Fairway Gym includes state of the art equipment overlooking the golf course and use of the gym facilities are free of charge for hotel guests. Personal coaching sessions are available from Gail from R400 per person or from R100pp for group bookings .

All equipment is supplied by Technogym. A shower and complimentary steam room is available,  as well as lockers. A new addition is the Momentum Multiply machine which was recently introduced at the Gym – swipe your card and save as you Gym.

If pumping iron isn’t exactly your thing, keep an eye on the Facebook event page where we regularly advertise pop up Yoga days on the Fairway Spa rooftop with the Roving Yoga Studio. The lovely Hadjira takes you through your yoga asanas with the expertise expected from a brilliant yoga teacher. First timers are welcome as the class is adapted to your own abilities and each yogi trains at his or her own pace.(Next pop up yoga date: 10 Dec)

Remember to check into the Fairway Spa after your gym or yoga session for the ultimate pamper session. Summer packages are now available as well as mid-week Spa spoils.

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With a luxury Spa and two golf courses on the property, this is a great training and relaxation getaway.  Rumours are abound that a running group will soon be established for joggers to enjoy the expansive golf course area.

Award-winning interiors meet excellent service and matching food quality, in this 5 star environment.  Dining options at The Fairway Hotel, Spa and Golf Resort include Balata Restaurant with its fine dining and wine pairing dinners, and Roundabout Bar which hosts happy hours on Friday and snacks all day round.

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

 

 

 

HAS XMAS COME EARLY AT FAIRWAY SPA?

With so many year end functions at the moment, we need to look our best. Fairway Spa in Randpark offers a FREE MANICURE or pedicure with every facial booked from Monday to Thursday – ideal to get you looking like a million dollars for your year end function.

Better yet – for every massage booked, you get one free. Even the gents will love this!

Call 011 478 8000 to book now. Offer valid for November only.

www.thefairwayspa.co.za

Jumpstart Christmas 2016 - The Fairway Spa

BENEFITS OF DATE NIGHTS. AND DO WE HAVE MANY OPTIONS FOR YOU!

On this sultry,  I’d-rather-stay-in-bed- with hot-chocolate Friday morning, we share a blog from Date Night SA who has single-handedly changed the face of date nights all over South Africa. As you sip on your morning coffee and read through all the brilliant reasons for a date night below, picture the myriad of options within the Guvon Hotel group – ranging from the Big 5 in Magalies, to riverbanks and dams at Glenburn Lodge & Spa  and hot-air ballooning over Kloofzicht Lodge & Spa. If you have the inclination or desperate need for a date night like I do at the moment, then we have the venue.

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Happy reading, with thanks to Leilanie Kuter and DateNightSA:

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BENEFITS OF DATE NIGHTS

1) A date night is an opportunity to communicate, and this communication may help couples “deepen their understanding of one another and the relationship.” Communication is important because “individuals continue to change,” and over time, “as they and their relationship develop, they experience new challenges and problems,” Wilcox and Dew point out.

2) Date nights are valuable for their novelty. Researchers are discovering that “couples who engage in novel activities that are fun, active or otherwise arousing – from hiking to dancing to travel to card games – enjoy higher levels of relationship quality,” the report notes. In this way, couples counteract a tendency to take each other for granted. Couples, it says, “may be particularly likely to benefit from a regular date night if they use it as an opportunity to do more than that old standby: dinner and a movie.” And couples are encouraged to choose activities that represent “a balance of each partner’s interests, rather than tending to do things (novel or not)” that reflect the same partner’s preferences each time.

 3) The report says “date nights may strengthen or rekindle that romantic spark that can be helpful in sustaining the fires of love over the long haul.”
4) Date nights may strengthen a couple’s sense of commitment to one another. The report says, “Partners who put one another first, who steer clear of other romantic opportunities and who cultivate a strong sense of ‘we-ness’ or togetherness are markedly happier than are less-committed couples.”
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5) Date nights are a way to relieve stress. They allow a couple “to enjoy time with one another apart from the pressing concerns of their ordinary life.” Date nights also may serve couples as an opportunity “to extend emotional support to one another in times of trial.”
Wilcox and Dew wonder if date nights are most beneficial when they focus on fun and engaging activities, and “steer clear of marital challenges or other stressful topics” such as family finances. The authors hope future research addresses this point.
Reference: For Your Marriage. Visit www.foryourmarriage.org for more interesting articles on marriage and date nights.  (Credit: original post :October 20, 2016, updated with Guvon Hotels images)
See our specials page for wonderful Spa and overnight specials, perfect for that date nights out or call Central Reservations to make your Last Minute Special booking:  08611 48866

 

 

 

SHARE THE LOVE – KLOOFZICHT LODGE XMAS COMMUNITY PROJECT.

An empty Xmas stocking must be the worst thing ever if you are still starry-eyed about Father Xmas and all the promises of better things to come.

Help Santa to put an ecstatic smile on the face of a three to six year old child right here in our community, by dropping off a small present at Kloofzicht Lodge next time you pop in for lunch or attend your conference or  year end function.

To fit in with Santa’s timeline and to get all the gifts delivered in time, we kindly request all gifts to be dropped off in the donation box by  Monday 5 December.

Ho-ho-ho. Happy Holidays! (Well, almost)

www.kloofzicht.co.za

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