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

 

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

HOW A SPA HIGH TEA CAN SOLVE YOUR YEAR END PARTY DILEMMA.

Askari Spa, a little hidden gem on the outskirts of Magaliesburg has just launched a High Tea menu. Call me crazy, but I can’t think of a nicer way to spend and afternoon with girl friends nibbling on mini doughnuts, chocolate fudge brownies (my all time favourite way of kilojoule intake) , mini milk tarts and chocolate dipped strawberries. And did I mention the selection of cupcakes – think: red velvet, vanilla and chocolate. Sounds seriously yum to me.

Feeling that you need to go the healthy route – then the cucumber sandwiches and Spinach and feta quiche will work for you. There is also a Tika Pizzamoosa on the menu which I have  absolutely no idea what it is, but my guess would be a cross between a dainty samoosa and pizza? (Mental note to self – have to ask the Spa a photo of what this looks like!)

At R150 a person its a steal – keep in mind that if you plan your day well, you could lay down your sorrows in the capable hands of a miracle-working massage therapist and still see the elephants drinking water in front of the main restaurant  during lunch.

Women rule the world and also the diary, so keep in mind that this also makes an incredible alternative for a year end function for the girls in the office. Send the men for some bush-whacking or a Big 5 game drive at Askari Game Lodge to keep them busy while you drink, pinky in the air, yet another cup of glorious tea.

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Still thinking about the chocolate fudge brownies like I am right now? Thought I should share my easy-peasy recipe with you (courtesy of Food24.com)

Ingredients: 250 g butter | 500 g icing sugar |250 ml good quality cocoa powder |1 egg, slightly beaten |1 tsp vanilla essence | 1 packet Marie biscuits broken into pieces (bash in a packet or use a food processor)

Method: Melt the butter in a large pot until melted. Remove from the heat and add the icing sugar and cocoa. Mix well until well combined and there are no dry bits.
Stir in the beaten egg and vanilla and mix until smooth.
Add the broken biscuit bits and stir until well combined and evenly coated with chocolate.
Spoon the mixture into a greased 24 x 24 cm and smooth out with a spatula.
Once cooled and firm (pop into the fridge to speed up the process), cut into 16 squares and keep in an airtight container.

I told you it was easy !

BOOKINGS AND  ENQUIRIES: spa@askarilodge.co.za | Tel 014 577 2658 | http://www.askarispa.co.za  |Valid 2016

 

KEEPING IT LIGHT, HEALTHY AND FRESH AT KLOOFZICHT SPA.

As you are catching up on your daily dose of social  media, the brand new Kloofzicht Spa Cafe Menu is going to print. We are super excited about using the freshest of ingredients, keeping it healthy while adding a touch of decadent sweetness just because we can.

My ultimate favourite must be the Parma Ham, fig and goats cheese,  crisp garden greens with  cocktail tomatoes, cucumber & olives, but the Camembert, pear & pecan nut with crisp garden greens, cucumber and feta come a close second.

Jamie Oliver calls his version of our parma ham and fig salad the “sexiest salad in the world”. (Although his version features Mozarella)

Want to try it out? Scroll down for the recipe.

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Ingredients

  • 4 figs
  • 4 slices quality Parma ham or prosciutto
  • buffalo mozzarella
  • green or purple basil
  • 6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper

I love his comment on prepping the salad:

“One thing I do is to criss-cross the figs but not quite to the bottom. Then, using your thumbs and forefingers, squeeze the base of the fig to expose the inside. At this point you’ll think, ‘Oooh, that looks nice, I think I’m quite clever …’ or at least I do. More importantly, it allows your dressing to get right into the middle of the fig. All these little things really help to make a salad special. Simply place the figs in a dish, weave around 1 slice of Parma ham or prosciutto per fig, throw in some slices of buffalo mozzarella and rip over some green or purple basil. Mix the extra virgin olive oil, lemon juice, honey and some sea salt and freshly ground black pepper together in a bowl and drizzle everything with this dressing. As far as salads go, it’s pretty damn sexy.”

For more Jamie Oliver inspiration visit this post: http://www.jamieoliver.com/recipes/fruit-recipes/the-easiest-sexiest-salad-in-the-world/

Or just pop  into Kloofzicht Spa and we will make you our version. It goes well with a full body massage, I hear.

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www.kloofzichtspa.co.za | Tel 011 317 0600 | www.guvonspas.co.za

SPRING HAS SPRUNG. OR HAS IT?

The tree outside my bedroom window is pushing out hopeful little green leaves and I don’t have to wear my puffer jacket to survive the 100 meter dash between the parking lot and the office front door anymore.

If you are feeling the start of Spring, which is only two weeks away, we have a few Spa suggestions for you. A little bit of forward Spa planning has never hurt anyone…

Spring Signature 2016 - Guvon Spas

FAIRWAY SPA

Enjoy your Spring Spa special while hubby plays a round of golf: 45 minute Back, Neck and Shoulder Massage | 60 minute Facial | 45 minute Classic Pedicure | Spring Mocktail | R850pp

 ASKARI SPA

Spring Indulgent Package

Combine your Spa treats with a Big 5 game drive or relaxed Sunday lunch – book this in addition to the Spa treat: 60 min Body brushing with Aloe Glaze Skin Soothing Body Wrap  | 60 min Massage of your choice | 30 min Spalicious Express Manicure | 30 min Spalicious Express Pedicure |Complimentary tea & coffee with rusks. Durations 3 hours

Price : R850.00 per person OR R1650.00 per couple | Valid from Sundays to Fridays only

 

GLENBURN SPA

Spring Fresh –  Ginger & Lime package 

Swedish Full Body Massage 50 minutes | Jacuzzi Session | Hand Experience 30 minutes | Foot Experience 30 minutes | Spa Lunch | Matisimela Body Butter  gift to take home.

Package Duration:  3,5 hours | R 1100 per person OR R 2200 per couple

KLOOFZICHT SPA

Enjoy your Spring Spa special while hubby tries his hand at fly-fishing:60min Aroma Massage | 75min Deluxe Pedicure | Spa Café Lunch | Spring Gift

Enjoy Spa facilities at leisure | R900pp

All the Spa Spring packages are valid from September to End November.

 

For more info or to view individual Spa treatments, visit our website: www.guvonspas.co.za

 

 

NOT TO BE MISSED. THERAVINE PRODUCT DAY AT GLENBURN SPA.

What do you get when you combine the magic of the vineyards and the peaceful surrounds of a Muldersdrift countryside venue – the Theravine Spa product day at Glenburn Spa, off course.

Join Glenburn Spa & TheraVine on 8 September for a great day out with the added bonus of winning some super prizes.

R350 per person includes :
Skin Analysis & Consultation with a TheraVine brand representative
30 min High Impact Flash Facial | Light snacks, coffee, juice and tea

RECEIVE A FREE 30MIN BACK, NECK & SHOULDER MASSAGE VOUCHER
when you bring a friend to the TheraVine Product Day!

WIN: Buy any two Theravine products on the day and stand a chance to win
a midweek couple’s escape package valued at R1900 (stay-over package),
a luxury Matsimela hamper or a special lucky draw prize from Theravine.

Booking is essential due to the limited space available: Ask for Spa Manager Geraldine on Tel 011  668 1615 | Email: health@glenburn.co.za

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ASPIRATIONS IN THE SPA WORLD? WHO DO YOU CALL? GUVON ACADEMY.

On a cold and dreary day like today with temperatures carelessly hovering around the six degree mark, a Spa seems to be a really nice place to work. Surrounded by soft music, beautiful fragrances and people talking in low whispers as to not to disturb the peace, beats any other office environment hands down.

Guvon Academy now offers Spa training for existing Spa staff who want to add to their skills, as well as anyone who wants to train as a therapist.

The huge interest in the hotel industry for staff wanting to upskill as Spa therapists is evident in the first student intake of 40 students, ranging from Mount Grace, Glenburn Lodge & Spa, Kloofzicht Lodge & Spa, Askari Game Lodge & Spa, Rosewell Spa and Valley Lodge.

Training is provided by the bubbly and energetic Donna Lira who is passionate about the Spa and training industries and places great emphasis on the need for therapists to be multi-skilled.

In a tight economy with job creation at its lowest in all times, it is comforting to know that all learners have the opportunity for practical experience within the Spa workplace at Guvon Spas.  Should a position be available to be employed by Huvon Spas on successful completion of the training, there is the added opportunity to grow within the group.

Training takes place at the Guvon Academy, based in Muldersdrift at Glenburn Spa or alternatively at Donnalira Academy based in Weltevreden Park.  Learners may attend the location which is most convenient.

The Spa courses can be completed on a full time or part time basis: Full Time is available for learners that can attend on a daily basis and prefer structured classes.  Part Time & Modular Training programs allows the learners to continue at their own pace while still providing a learning pathway to the full qualification.

The training is perfect for learners who want to enter the Beauty Industry, or therapists that are in full-time employment and wish to expand their skills. With both the Full Time & The Flexible Learning programs the training consists of contact tuition with a practical and theory component as well as self-study & self-assessment.

HOW TO ENROLL: Contact Sonia at Guvon Academy for further information:

sonia@guvonacademy.co.za, academy2@guvonacademy.co.za or (011)668-1621/8 -079 772 6886

Winding down? A Spa conference may be just the thing…

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While we are all keeping an anxious eye on the calendar with the days to Xmas  getting fewer and fewer, all of us are so acutely aware that this is the time to put all the planning in place for 2016.

“Fail to plan, plan to fail”

So how do we bring our brain-fatigue  and our end of year planning objectives in line?

I am a big fan of rewarding oneself. You know the scenario… skip the glass of wine tonight and have two on Saturday with the braai!

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So it makes total sense to spend a morning sussing out the 2016 plans and then settling in for relaxing Spa treat or two.

At Askari Spa, Glenburn Spa, Fairway Spa and Kloofzicht Spa conference package can be tailormade to your group’s requirements and range from R295 per person.

Spa Conference Signature 2016 - Guvon Spas

We look forward to hosting your Spa conference: www.guvonspas.co.za

 

 

LITTLE PRINCESS SPA MENU AT FAIRWAY SPA FOR SCHOOL HOLIDAYS.

With school holidays on our hands, Fairway Spa has a novel treat for moms who want to entertain their little princesses and perhaps their little friends. Fairway Spa is based at The Fairway Hotel, Spa & Golf Resort, at the Randpark Golf Club. Moms can relax alongside the little girls or have a well-deserved facial or massage of her own. Great autumn specials are in place at the moment and can be viewed on www.thefairwayspa.co.za Fairway Spa for girls

LITTLE PRINCESS MENU

Jaquzzi session 20min
Hand massage 10min
Foot massage 10min
Paint for hand OR feet  15min

R300 per princess

Bookings: Tel : +27 (0)11 478 8020
Email:spareception@thefairway.co.za

Terms & Conditions apply
Bookings essential | Subject to availability | Packages and promotions non-commissionable
All rates are inclusive of VAT | Maximum of 5 children and mommies
Princess Spa Pamper Parties can only take place from Mondays to Wednesdays
Child has to be accompanied by an adult who also needs to book a treatment