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

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

 

 

 

WIN A 5 DAY HONEYMOON ON THE KRUGER PARK’S DOORSTEP WHEN BOOKING A WINTER WEDDING AT GLENBURN LODGE.

Glenburn Lodge in Muldersdrift and Umbhaba Lodge in Hazyview, Mpumalanga have teamed up to offer three romantic five night honeymoon prizes to brides and grooms who book their wedding during May, June or July 2017 at Glenburn Lodge & Spa in the Cradle of Humankind.  A winner will be chosen each month.

With three spectacular wedding venues to choose from, brides are spoilt for choice for weddings from 60 to 250 guests.

Glenkyle overlooks an impressive waterfall, and is situated on the Blaauwbank River, while Glencove is nestled on the Crocodile River in a beautiful country garden setting. Glenwillow is situated at the foot of the majestic Zwartkops Mountain in the Bush Willow Tented Camp. (click here for our image gallery)

Winter wedding savings include: 

  • No venue hire  in June & July
  • 50% venue hire discount in May and August (Glenkyle & Glencove only)
  • One complimentary night’s bed and breakfast accommodation for the parents of the bride and groom (max 2 rooms) the night before the wedding,
  • Complimentary toasting bubbly
  • Complimentary lit fire in the venue

( and the chance to win a honeymoon)

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The Honeybee wedding package  (valid 2016 and 2017) is ideal for couples who prefer the no-fuss route when it comes to décor, as the R390pp includes the menu as well as décor items.

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After tying the knot at Glenburn Lodge & Spa, it is off to Umbhaba Lodge for five days of rest and relaxation in the beautiful town of Hazyview, a small farming town in Mpumalanga, South Africa which has been named after the shimmering haze that occurs during the heat of summer.

Just 5 minutes from the Phabeni Gate of the Kruger National Park,  this is the ideal departure point for Big 5 excursions, sightseeing at the majestic Blyde River Canyon, God’s Window and Bourke’s Luck Pot Holes. The Kruger National Airport is minutes away. This venue is very popular as an expat destination wedding for families who want to celebrate both their wedding and honeymoon with friends and family who traveled from far.  (click here for our image gallery) 

Please contact our banqueting department on 011 668 1600 / banquet@glenburn.co.za for a wedding site inspection.

Terms and conditions:

  1. Competition only applicable to weddings booked over May, June and July 2017
  2. Prize must be taken up within the week after the wedding Sunday to Friday
  3. Wedding must be paid in full prior to the competition draw date
  4. Competition draw; 1 April for May wedding / 1 may for June wedding / 1 June for July wedding
  5. Excludes long weekends, public holidays, peak holiday periods
  6. Alternative dates may be granted by the general Manager upon request
  7. Please note that this prize has no cash value and is not transferrable between Guvon Hotels
  8. Beverages, travel expenses and sundries are for winners own account
  9. Excursions such as Game Drives at neighbouring properties are for the winners own account
  10. Winners have to make their own arrangements getting to and from Umbhaba Lodge
  11. Photographs and guest feedback may be used by Guvon Hotels for promotional purposes

http://www.glenburn.co.za | http://www.umbhaba.co.za

 

 

IF YOU KNOW WHAT CLEATS ARE, READ ON. THIS IS FOR YOU…

I have just bought a mountain bike. Its black and green and very pretty. Don’t get excited, my intentions don’t stretch much further than 5km in and around the Cradle of Humankind. My husband suggested that I get a wicker basket and bell for my bicycle…I can see a French loaf and bottle of champagne fitting nicely and the sarcasm was totally lost on me.

So while I am clearly not part of the Argus Cycling brigade, I do recognise a good outing when I see one. And being in the Cradle of Humankind on a mountain bike is right up there with great things to do on a weekend.

I tend to work on a rewards system and therefore clearly planned my cycling route from bistro to restaurant to spa and perhaps back. Cycling is hard work after all.

So my suggested route includes:

  • A cappuccino with Garth Mes and his team at Bidon Bistro in Muldersdrift where there is ample parking for cars and a shower for cyclists. A caffeine kick start may be necessary.

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  • You could then take the long way around (for the serious riders, off course) which totals about 43km on the Cradle cycle route.
  • Or my version would be to  turn left coming out of Bidon Bistro and cycle about 2km down the road, past Kloofzicht Lodge & Spa where they do lovely Sunday lunches,  to Glenburn Lodge and Spa.

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  • Take a left and carry on for another kilometer to the main Glenburn Lodge gate. The lodge has two tracks on the property: the circular routes start and end at the universal sports field close the Glenburn Lodge’s entrance. Both scenic routes are just under 5km and takes the rider along the grass fields, mountain and riverside.
  • Then, move on to Glenburn Spa where Spa manager Geradline Veldman and her team have the most divine Spa package especially made for cyclists: 30 min steam room session | 30 min Swedish back massage | 50 minute CirculaeVine leg treatment

Spa Manager Geraldine Veldman explains the  leg treatment in more detail: “The specialised CirculaeVine invigorating foot and leg treatment uses manual lymphatic drainage techniques: The feet and legs are wrapped in a circulation-booster gel, followed by a hydrating body lotion. A perfect treatment to help relax and relieve tired or aching legs and a definite for anyone who participated in the 947 cycle challenge or does weekend races or leisure rides.”

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Now doesn’t that sound like the perfect training session? I will be on the lookout for kindred spirits on the route – especially those with wicker baskets  and who still have no idea what cleats are…

Book your Spa Cyclist Treat by calling the Spa directly on Tel 011 668 1620 | www.glenburnspa.co.za | www.glenburn.co.za

A WORD OR TWO ABOUT CLEATS – Michael O’Reilly

 http://www.executivestyle.com.au/why-do-cyclists-wear-cleated-shoes-11lm64

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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JINGLE BELLS IN JULY? GLENBURN LODGE CELEBRATES WITH A WINTER WONDERLAND.

We may not be quite ready for Jingle Bells in July, but Glenburn Lodge is celebrating the traditional Xmas in July celebrations with a new-look Winter Wonderland Evening in the stunning riverfront Glenkyle venue.

Belgian Chef Vincent will be wooing guests with item such as  Lamb, potato and pea korma with roti, Glazed gammon accompanied with crispy polenta,  Grilled Kingklip wrapped in smoked salmon infused with dill crème fraiche, Rolled turkey on a bed of spicy couscous with an orange and tarragon sauce and Gnocchi with a wild mushroom and truffle oil sauce, just to mention a few. For the full menu click here.

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Our Winter Wonderland Dinner & Accommodation Package includes the following:
– Winter Wonderland themed dinner on Saturday 16 July 2016  |  VIEW DINNER MENU
– Accommodation of your choice as listed below
– Breakfast the next morning

Winter Wonderland Accommodation options:
Hotel      |  Single: R 947.50 pp  |  Sharing: R1 490 per couple
Suites    |  Single: R1 325 pp      |  Sharing: R1 860 per couple
Chalets  |  Single: R 885 pp        |  Sharing: R1 415 per couple

Make a weekend of it:
Stay with us on 15 July 2016 and receive 50% discount on accommodation B&B
Dinner can be added at R210 per person

Bookings and enquiries:  (011) 668 1600 | reservations@glenburn.co.za

Terms & conditions apply
Winter wonderland accommodation package only available on 16 July 2016
50% discount on accommodation only applicable when staying for both evenings (15 and 16 July)

GUVON HOTELS APP-SOLUTELY LOVES THE CRADLE OF HUMANKIND TOURISM ASSOCIATION

Its always fun when tourism companies light up and make their products entertaining, and easily accessible for the man in the street. The Cradle of Humankind Tourism Company has done just that by introducing a very snazzy App. Wondering what to do in the Cradle of Humankind? Or where it actually is geographically? (No silly, it’s not only Maropeng). Then just download the App which is found on www.thecradleofhumankind.net

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With three hotels and Spas in the Cradle of Humankind catchment area, it is only fit for Guvon Hotels to be amongst the leaders in signing up Kloofzicht Lodge & Spa, Glenburn Lodge & Spa as well as Askari Lodge & Spa with the brand new local tourism association.

The Cradle Tourism Company (TCTC), was officially launched on Thursday 31 March 2016 at EnGedi Lodge, which also falls in the Cradle area.

“While we are around 400 plus competing tourism options in the wider Cradle area, we must not lose track of the fact that our main focus as hoteliers within The Cradle is to attract visitors to our destination”, says Group Marketing Manager of Guvon Hotels & Spas Christa Badenhorst. “From a marketing perspective, I am very excited about the packaging of the Cradle experience, which makes it fun and accessible for those who want to visit the area. The Cradle App which contains the Cradle attractions is also a first for our area and will come in very handy for guests who want to explore the multitude of offerings”.

The experiences include:

  • Adrenalin pumping (Adventure)
  • Craft and culture
  • Meet & Greet (Conferencing, Meetings and Events)
  • Spend the Night
  • Stones and Bones (Human Origins and the Evolution of Humankind)
  • Wedding Bells
  • Wildlife Wonders
  • Wine and Dine

The three Guvon Hotels will be sporting experience badges out of several categories in due course as  Guvon Hotels offer a number of the experiences promoted by the TCTC.

Glenburn Lodge & Spa, Kloofzicht Lodge & Spa and Bush Willow Tented Camp are all within easy access (approx. 10km) from Maropeng  where Homo Naledi, was discovered in a cave in The Cradle of Humankind.

Some fun promotional items which were visible at the launch event at EnGedi, portraying the different activities and elements in The Cradle:

Guvon Hotels Central Reservations: 08611 48866

IN A WORLD OF SELFIES, WE CELEBRATE THE MOST SELFLESS PERSON WE KNOW – MOM!

Mother’s day Sunday 8 May.

Do you want to take your mom or granny for a special treat this Mother’s day? Take her for a trip down memory lane at Askari Game Lodge & Spa which is decorated with South African décor pieces dating back to the 1800’s. Slipper baths, wash stands, luggage chests, antique Oregon cupboards and tables are subtly placed within the four-star surrounding, to emphasize the captivating history of the Magaliesberg area. Ox wagons, carts and other animal drawn vehicles from the period 1800 to 1900 are dotted around the property and inside the museum and make for a wonderful outing.

Mother’s day lunch Askari Game Lodge Mother’s Day includes sparkling wine and chocolates for mom for R250pp. Children under 5, which are likely to be the grandchildren, eat for free, while kids between 6 and 12 years only pay half price.

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Mother’s day lunch at Glenburn Lodge is always a feast. Aside from an expansive buffet menu at R230pp, Glenburn Lodge with its gardens and rivers  is ideal for a Sunday  lunch stroll. Birdwatchers will love the river deck and bird lookout points. Glenburn Spa has a special Mother’s day treat in store for moms for the whole of May.

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Kloofzicht Lodge & Spa offers beautiful views over the fly fishing dams and distant mountains along with its five star lunch at R280pp. Treat yourself to a Sunday night stay at a special “last minute” rate and stretch this lovely day for as long as you possibly can.

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The modern upmarket Fairway Hotel, Spa & Golf Resort offers Mother’s day lunch at R360 per person and caters for a sophisticated market who enjoy golfing and the finer things in life. Enjoy beautiful golf course views before your Mother’s day lunch and perhaps a spa treatment after lunch. Options to spoil mom at this golf resort is endless.

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For more info and images of the Guvon Hotels properties, see www.guvonhotels.co.za

Central reservations: Tel 08611 488661