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

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.

 

*

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

SUNDAY NIGHT SECRET GETAWAYS WITH SPA TREATS – ASKARI LODGE & SPA.

Sunday nights are quickly becoming my favourite for little weekend getaways. You still have the whole of Saturday and up to Sunday lunch to sort out the boring detail of shopping, cleaning and all related domestic dread. And then off to a lovely destination for a lazy Sunday afternoon, a relaxing Sunday evening and dinner somewhere fancy.

We all get Sunday night blues and this little adventure totally bypasses the blues. Most hotels are open for breakfast from 7h00 onwards and if they are not, arrangements  can be made for a little take away breakfast pack. Trust me, nothing beats getting to the office on Monday morning (still in time, off course), knowing that you have just had a mini weekend breakaway.

START YOUR WEEK IN LUXURIOUS STYLE WITH THIS FANTASTIC SPA BREAK OFFER

Package includes:
– One night in an Executive Room
– Complimentary access to all spa facilities
– One hour treatment per person
– Dinner for two and breakfast

Please note: If a Deluxe room is available, we’ll upgrade you, with our compliments.

R1580 per person

www.askarilodge.co.za | www.askarispa.co.za

Contact us: Tel: (014) 577 2658/9 | Email: spa@askarilodge.co.za
Central Reservations: 08611 48866 | cro@guvon.co.za

Terms & Conditions:
Valid Sundays | Terms & Conditions apply
Bookings essential | Subject to availability | All rates are inclusive of VAT
Packages and promotions non-commissionable

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

 

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

WHEN YOU ARE 4 DAYS INTO NEXT YEARS LEAVE CYCLE AND NEED A BREAK. NOW.

Ever feel like running away by Tuesday? You are not alone…

In my case, I have just been told that I am already 4 days into next years leave cycle. Oh dear. So if no long vacations are on your horizon, why not sneak off for a midweek Spa Escape at The Fairway Hotel?

One nights luxury accommodation, a full body massage, use of the Rasul Chamber and a piping hot beverage of your choice is up for grabs at R3250 per couple!

Business teams, make use of this offer as a lovely add on to your conference. Your conference delegates will be eternally grateful!

Call Spa manager Slondile to make your booking on Tel 011 478 8000. Further Spa treatments can be viewed on the Spa menu by clicking here:

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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

KNITTING IS THE NEW YOGA #67blankets

 

You are invited to join this incredible initiative, which has become a ”Knitting Revolution for Nelson Mandela”!!  Stitch by stitch, Guvon Hotels & Spas has pledged to assist 67 Blankets for Nelson Mandela Day and are challenging you to make a difference to the lives of those less fortunate, who may not have the comfort of a warm blanket this winter.

 

Guvon Hotels & Spas  and its hotels will be knitting or crocheting 20 x 20cm squares which will be sewn into medium sized blankets (120 x 160 cm). Each colourful blanket will consist of 6 x 8 squares.

Are you up for the challenge? Last year Guvon Hotels donated over 70 knitted / crochet blankets to this great initiative. This year we are planning on donating even more! So get those knitting or crochet needles ready, grab some wool and start making a difference!

The deadline for submitting finished blankets or 20cm blocks to Guvon Head Office in Randpark Ridge is 30 June 2016.

Any enquiries may be directed to our HR Director Alta Thorpe on alta@guvon.co.za or Tel 011 791 1870.

Our 2015 blanket offering to  67 Blankets for Nelson Mandela Day:

If you still are not convinced that knitting or crocheting is for you, do consider these bits of humour which clearly illustrates that there are massive benefits to keeping the hands busy and the mind still!

Happy knitting everyone!

IF YOU HAD AN EXTRA DAY, HOW WOULD YOU SPEND IT? Kloofzicht Spa has great ideas for this leap day.

I have an old school boyfriend who turns twelve this year. Yes, you guessed it, a leap year baby. During my high school years the term cougar didn’t exist and buying a birthday present once every four years seemed like a great idea.

2016 brings its own brand of craziness with it, kicking off with an extra day exactly one month from today. According to the clever folks we would lose almost six hours every year, if we didn’t add a day on February 29, nearly every 4 years! That’s almost a whole night’s sleep, three movies or a drive to a holiday destination. That just won’t do.

Leap year  Blog pic

“Leap Days are needed to keep our calendar in alignment with the Earth’s revolutions around the Sun”, reports timeanddate.com. “It takes the Earth approximately 365.242199 days (a tropical year) to circle once around the Sun.”

If you had an extra day, how would you spend it? Kloofzicht Spa came up with some brilliant ideas to make the 29th of February a day to remember:

MEET: Stayover Sunday night 28th of February 2016 and your partner stays completely free.
TREAT: Book a 30min treatment and receive another of the same treatment for free.
EAT: Book a Spa Café Lunch at Kloofzicht Spa and get a Chefs choice dessert for free.
FREE FIZZBALL GIFT: And just to round off this leaping madness you will receive a free fizzball for every R50 spent on Matsimela Home Spa products.

So at the odd chance of my old flame reading this and responding publicly to this blog post: “My dear, let’s book you and your wifey in on Sunday night for a leap year birthday celebration at Kloofzicht Lodge & Spa. After all, it only happens once every four years!”

BOOKINGS: (011) 317 0640 | spaadmin@kloofzicht.co.za
Central Reservations: 08611 48866 | cro@guvon.co.za

ENDS
Words: Christa Badenhost (Guvon Hotels & Spas |Group Marketing) |
For high resolution images: Brenda Dooge | crm@guvon.co.za

Terms & condition apply | Valid for 29 February 2016 only
Only valid at Kloofzicht Lodge & Spa .Stay over Sunday 28th only – standard accommodation rates | Treatments Monday 29th only – standard classic 30min treatments
Spa Café Lunch only | Subject to availability | Non-commissionable | Pre-booking essential | Standard weekday specials not applicable on this offer