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.

shutterstock_404237083-large

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.

irish-times

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.”

life-choices-1

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.

capture

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.

dreamstime_xl_34246910-copy

Happy reading, with thanks to Leilanie Kuter and DateNightSA:

date-night-logo

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.”
we-ness
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

 

 

 

INTRODUCING: SUNDAY, MONDAY, FUNDAY WITH KLOOFZICHT SPA.

The Cheetahs won on Saturday  and it rained over the weekend – many things to feel grateful for, right? But it is quite human to feel a little sulky on a Monday, especially if it was such a super-duper weekend. Thanks to Kloofzicht Lodge & Spa,we may just have the ‘rescue remedy’ for Monday morning sulks:

Sunday, Monday, Funday - KZ Oct and Nov 2016

Check in round 14h00 for a lazy afternoon, drinking in the beautiful surrounds, the dams, the views, the wildlife, followed by a sumptuous dinner. Awake refreshed after a good nights rest only to be spoiled at Kloofzicht Spa for the remainder of the morning, after your hearty breakfast.

At a ridiculous R1500 per person, I can see that next  Monday will have loads more happy chappies out there – spa-ing instead of checking their In boxes. Hope you are one of them!

Bookings:   Tel : +27 (0)11 317 0640 |  spaadmin@kloofzicht.co.za

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.

a fig

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.

Kloofzicht Spa Cafe Summer Menu wp - 2016.2017 large

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

Capture

  • 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.

Capture 2

  • 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.”

shutterstock_128560223 (Copy) (Copy) (Medium)

Capture 3

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

GIVE THAT MAN A BELLS!

Now wouldn’t that be the ultimate reward on day two of your conference or corporate teambuilding day?

At Kloofzicht Lodge & Spa this is not unheard of. Conference packages at this luxury lodge in The Cradle of Humankind goes hand in hand with the fly-fishing season. With six fly fishing dams on the property, one would be crazy not to make the most of this opportunity which only lasts until August when winter hopefully departs.

Under the expert guidance of Wayne Sinclair from Sundown Adventures, conference delegates learn the art of tying flies while a whiskey ambassador presents a variety of quality whiskies. He will further teach you to cast just far enough  to reel in the perfect catch for your participation in the trout cook off and wine pairing event.

CLASSIC FLY FISHING EXPERIENCE

Fly-fishing activities can be custom-made to your group size and requirements, but find below some guidelines to a brilliant day out. Spa treatments can be added to this life style package. A fly-fishing guide will instruct guests on the techniques required for fly-fishing.

These include how to:

1) cast and retrieve a fly 2) select a fly by understanding the life cycle of aquatic insects. Teams will then put their new skills to the test when they compete against each other in the “casting challenges”. Teams then have an opportunity to try catch a fish.

Duration 2.5 hours

TROUT COOK OFF AND WINE PAIRING

Enjoy a demonstration on how to prepare and cook a trout. A presentation during which fine wines should ideally be paired with the fish (based on the way it has been prepared). The teams then compete against each other by trying to prepare and cook the best fish.

Duration 1 hour

INTERACTIVE FLY TYING AND WHISKEY TASTING

Experienced fly-fishing guides demonstrate how to tie a fishing-fly while a whisky ambassador presents varies quality whiskies. Guests then have an opportunity to tie their own fly.

Duration: 1.5 hours

Sounds like fun? We think so.

 

For bookings or more info:  Wayne Sinclair | Sundowner Adventures | Cell: 0834140391 | Email: info@sundowneradventures.co.zawww.sundowneradventures.co.za

www.kloofzicht.co.za | conference@kloofzicht.co.za |Tel 011 317 0600

 

 

Gorgeous soft pastel wedding at Kloofzicht Lodge.

Nicole Scott & Warren Scott‘s gorgeous soft pastel wedding highlights have just been uploaded to Wildflower Photography’s blog and it is exceptionally beautiful.

GREAT WINTER WEDDING SAVINGS MAY TO AUGUST 2016

RECEIVE 50% DISCOUNT ON YOUR VENUE HIRE

Complimentary honeymoon suite
A discounted rate of less 20% on the accommodation

Contact us: 011 317 0600 | weddings@kloofzicht.co.za

Terms and conditions apply | Booking essential | Subject to availability

FOODIE ALERT! CHEF CHRIS TUSTIAN IS NOW ON BOARD AT KLOOFZICHT LODGE IN THE CRADLE OF HUMANKIND.

Foodies will be familiar with the name Chris Tustian who  has head up the likes of roots and Budmarsh locally, and Michelin star restaurants such as Chateu de Montcaud in France, Gravety Manor & Bovey Castle in the United Kingdom. More recently in South Africa  Dish at Le Franschhoek in the Cape Winelands was added to the list of restaurants to benefit from his flair.

“We are so pleased to welcome Chef Chris to our culinary team. His track record speaks for itself and we look forward to  experience his  creative twist. He always aims to please the palates of  guests and will add  a lot of enthusiasm and inspiration to our team,” commented Mano Sequira, General Manager of Kloofzicht Lodge & Spa.

_MG_5791

Chef Chris was born into a family of chefs and restaurateurs and from a very young age was fascinated  with the way in which food reaches the cutting board and how it is reflected on the plate and palette. Chris completed his formal training at North Oxfordshire College.

With over 18 years’ experience in the hospitality  industry, Chef Chris brings expertise together with a true passion for the culinary arts.  Chris has a love for producing food from raw and local produce, using nothing but the finest ingredients. His favorite ingredient remains fresh herbs.  In his new capacity, he will be overseeing all of the culinary operations and will showcase his extensive knowledge of food preparation with the best quality ingredients and contemporary cuisines to express his talent and passion.

With plans afoot for the opening of a Bistro overlooking the flyfishing dams and mountains at Kloofzicht Lodge & Spa this summer, this hotel within the Cradle of Humankind is heading for some great times in the company of an outstanding chef.

www.kloofzicht.co.za

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

Craft and culture

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