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Review: Gooderson Leisure Drakensberg Gardens Golf and Spa Resort

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On Wednesday the 25th of November, we left on a quick trip to Gooderson Leisure Drakensberg Gardens Golf and Spa Resort.

The resort is situated in the Southern Drakensberg, on an 860 hectare World Heritage site, and boasting the most beautiful scenery (in my opinion) that KwaZulu Natal has to offer.  There are 5 different restaurants, 4 different bars, it is the only 18-hole golf course in the Southern Drakensberg, as well as offering a vast array of activities and entertainment so that you WILL find something exciting to do or see.

After a light lunch in the the Bistro Terrace Cafe, I rushed to book an appointment at the Wellness Centre.  Gooderson Leisure Resorts make use of the Cellu-Beauty Spas – I was desperate for a massage.  After some discussion with the therapist, I decided to go for the Roman Royalty Swedish Massage – an hour long, full body massage using a combination of Swedish, deep-tissue and pressure point massage to ensure you leave relaxed and serene.  I like a deep massage, and can’t stand it when I have someone ineffectually massaging my stiff muscles with no pressure whatsoever.  This massage didn’t disappoint, and I left the spa in a state so relaxed, I felt like I was walking on a cloud.  I hopped straight into one of the warm jacuzzis in the centre, and continued to unwind. Possibly the best way to de-stress and just give yourself a pick-me-up before the mad rush of work at year-end.  As well as the spa and two jacuzzis, the Wellness Centre also boasts a sauna, a plunge pool, a fully-equipped gym, two steam rooms and a 24 jet heated hydrotherapy pool.

I’d had such a relaxing afternoon that I expected to pass out in the huge (and very comfy) bed in my hotel room, but I couldn’t possibly… I had more eating to do!  We all met for a quick drink in the Buck and Trout bar, before heading into the Eagle’s Roost restaurant – a family style restaurant with a buffet-style dinner.  I stuffed myself silly on some salads, the best roast beef and Yorkshire pudding I’ve ever had, and finished off with lemon meringue pie and tiramisu.  After this huge feast it was inevitable that it was now bedtime and I slept like a baby.

Breakfast was also at the Eagle’s Roost – another buffet with everything from pain-Au-chocolat, to fresh fruit and yoghurt, to warm oats, and a full English fry up.  A good cup of coffee and some fresh orange juice complimented this perfectly, seeing as we had a jam-packed day of adventuring around the resort to get through.

I watched the braver souls try out the resort’s zip-line in their new adventure park (not quite up and running as yet, but it will be very soon), taking photos of the hilarious facial expressions of those coming to the end of their ride, and I tried my hand at archery, determined to sink at least one arrow into the target.  I felt like Robin Hood as I handled the bow, and after MANY attempts, I got a couple of arrows in!  We also had a quick walk around the hotel area, and saw the bowls lawns, the adventure golf course and the animal farm (my personal favourite spot).  There are currently two baby lambs and a baby goat at the resort’s animal farm, so I of course had to snuggle one (or all three), and considered attempting a stealthy exit with the baby goat in particular.

Lunch was at the Glen Gary Country Club on the golf course this time, and was a delicious whole cooked Drakensberg trout with lemon and garlic butter, and chips, and was followed by a waffle with ice cream and syrup.  Both courses were absolutely delicious and perfectly cooked.

I also went on an out ride on horseback through the beautiful resort and cantering across the open stretches along the river was such a treat.  The guide can take anyone from beginners to advanced riders, and the horses are in beautiful condition – not something you always see at resorts.

Dinner was a braai that was set up for us on the patio of the Buck and Trout bar, with fruity cocktails and all the fixings of pap and sous, mielies, salad, garlic bread and delicious braaied meat.  We also visited the other bar in the main building, the Wildcat Sports bar, with pool tables, darts and karaoke.

The resort is in the process of building a wedding venue with the most beautiful pathway lined with white roses.  Even though it was still being finished when we visited, you can tell that it’s going to really be something special when the landscaping and other finishing touches are completed.

Other than the restaurants and bars that we tried out, the Drakensberg Gardens also has the Bergview Restaurant (a la carte menu), the Vine Knot restaurant (Italian) and the Glen Gary Country Club Bar.  There is no way you’ll get bored of eating at the same restaurant, and having sundowners at the same bar.

Accommodation at the resort also comes in many different forms. Hotel rooms where you can pay a bed and breakfast rate – Standard Room R875 pp per night, Superior Room R995 pp per night, and the Honeymoon Suite R2190 per couple per night.  There are also self catering chalets that sleep either 4 or 6 people, and they have a few areas with timeshares as well.

Above and beyond the activities that I saw, you can also hike, mountain bike, play golf, tennis, squash, adventure golf or bowls, or even just lounge by the pool in the sunshine.  The resort also has a weekly entertainment schedule, with activities for the kids, as well as bar games in the evening for adults.

The Gooderson Leisure Drakensberg Gardens Golf and Spa Resort truly is a home away from home, with delicious food, exciting things to do and see, and a relaxed atmosphere where you can truly unwind and enjoy quality family time.  I just wish that I’d had longer to try out more of the activities – but there’s always next time!

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Accomodation

Honeymoon in the most romantic place in KZN

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Planning the ideal honeymoon can be exceptionally daunting, not to mention expensive, but if you’re looking local, and want to continue the romance long past your wedding day, Granny Mouse Country House & Spa is a definite contender! Renowned for being one of the most romantic getaway destinations in the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands, this idyllic retreat offers the perfect setting for a romantic honeymoon, with its tranquil atmosphere, breathtaking scenery, world-class facilities and attentive staff.

Granny Mouse’s accommodation is luxury at its finest, ranging from their secluded garden rooms, nestled in their spectacular gardens, to their sprawling deluxe suites with private balconies overlooking the Lions River. Each and every room has been designed with comfort and luxury in mind, and are equipped with large bath tubs and aromatic bath salts and oils for those intimate evenings in.

Following the excitement of the wedding, what could be better than relaxing in their on-site, state-of-the-art spa, which offers an extensive range of treatments and therapies, including hydrotherapy to replenish your mind and body before you have to get back to reality?

One of the standout features of Granny Mouse is a culinary haven, offering guests a diverse range of delectable experiences. From their fine-dining restaurant, Eaves, with its sophisticated menu of modern fusion cuisine, to their open-sky Bistro, providing a more casual dining experience, and their wine cellar, which is undoubtedly the perfect spot for a romantic dinner for two. These, coupled with their award-winning wine menu, will have you toasting to your new life together. No matter where you choose to dine whilst on honeymoon, the Granny Mouse team will pull out all the stops to ensure the most romantic of occasions.

In addition to the fantastic facilities, Granny Mouse Country House & Spa is also ideally located for exploring the surrounding area. From picnics in the Caversham Valley to wine tasting, or just taking a leisurely stroll around the local stores to choose some new items for your home together, the list is endless.

Don’t miss out on an unforgettable honeymoon. Book your stay at Granny Mouse Country House & Spa today and let their team ensure a romantic and memorable experience for you and your partner.

BOOK HERE

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9 Reasons 1 Licorna Beach is the Ideal Umhlanga Stay

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In the heart of Umhlanga Beach lies a beautifully furnished, newly renovated beach house. Being a double storey with views and access to the ocean, 1 Licorna Beach is the perfect luxury getaway.

Suitable for both business and vacation rentals, this beachfront property will give you the “home away from home” relaxed feel with a pool, garden, outside braai area.

This beach house can accommodate up to 6 guests, and comprises of 3 bedrooms, 2.5 bathrooms, and an open-plan kitchen, dining and living area. Stay entertained with smart tv, dual view DSTV and free wifi.

We’ve listed 9 of the many reasons why 1 Licorna Beach should be your next stay in Umhlanga:

1. UMHLANGA PROMENADE ACCESS
Enjoy direct access to the Umhlanga Promenade: a stretch along the Umhlanga coast and nature reserve, perfect for walks or runs and home to restaurants, coffee shops, ice cream spots and local vendors.

2. DIRECT BEACH ACCESS
Go for a swim in the warm Indian Ocean or chill on the shore. With beach access and a choice of four beaches in walking distance, what more do you need? Make sure there’s a life guard on duty if you go for a dip!

3. UMHLANGA NATURE RESERVE​
Explore the coastal wildlife, birds and forest along the Umhlanga Nature Reserve wooden boardwalk and trail. Be sure to check out the Bike & Bean coffee shop at the Northside of the Umhlanga Promenade.

4. FINE-DINING RESTAURANTS
Spoil yourself with a dinner date at The Chef’s Table or the 14 on Chartwell, both just a stone’s throw away at Umhlanga Village.

5. FREE WIFI
Stay connected with 1 Licorna’s free wifi during your stay. Whether for business or leisure, you and your family or guests are covered.

6. DAILY HOUSEKEEPING
No one wants to do the dishes & sweep on holiday! What’s better than arriving back to your accommodation to find it’s been cleaned?

7. 24 HOUR SECURITY & SAFE PARKING
Safety is a priority at Licorna Beach. Relax knowing that you, your family & belongings are tucked away in a gated, access controlled estate.

8. POOL ACCESS 
The communal pool is available for a dip, if the sea isn’t calling. Whether you’re braaiing, chilling or just cooling off – it’s nice to have options.

9. SELF-CATERING
Explore new restaurants or enjoy the comforts of home cooking. Remember, you won’t have to do the dishes either. Don’t forget to have a braai while you’re at 1 Licorna.

To book your stay:
Cell: 083 492 3241
Website: www.1licornabeach.co.za

Address:
82 Lagoon Drive, Umhlanga

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Accomodation

Want to stay in the heart of Cape Town? Here’s why The Cape Milner should be your go-to.

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For Durbanites, a trip to Cape Town is always enthralling. White-sand beaches, throngs of restaurants, and sea life sightings are just some of the things we look forward to when visiting our Mother City. Of course, the various accommodation on offer forms part of said hype – and can either make or break your experience!

Well, we’re here to tell you this: If you’re looking for a hotel that’s contemporary, comfy, central, quiet and not too costly, we’ve found the place for you. Not to mention its fascinating decor, great hospitality, and luxury charm that just wraps you up and keeps you snug throughout your entire stay.

The opulent Cape Milner building matches Cape Town’s Victorian aesthetic. But inside you’ll find a mix of art-deco, modern and African chic; much like the feel of modern Africa today.

As if wedged at the bottom of Table Mountain, the views from the rooms and lounges are spectacular. We particularly enjoyed dining out in the swanky Glass Lounge, where you can look up into the blue sky or night stars while you enjoy a hearty lamb shank below.

Our homely rooms overlooked the serene Milner Road, with its impressive avenues of trees. We were given complimentary macarons on arrival and enjoyed them with tea as we watched the rain pitter-patter on the tails of unbothered squirrels — how cute! The Milner Hotel really is a place you can enjoy come rain or shine.

The hotel was the absolute, perfect base from which to explore pretty much everything and anything. Just a few minutes drive away lies Bree and Kloof  – two favourites, Metropolitan streets for tourists and locals alike. Over the few days of our stay we visited many great spots, all within 5-10 minutes away.

We sank our teeth into cheesy pizza at the much-hyped “I love the dough” and tried out “Mochi Mochi” for dessert; we ordered fizzing and steaming cocktails from “Cause and Effect” at the V&A; and of course, we spent a fun-filled evening at the cheeky and illustrious “Beefcakes” in Green Point.

After each jam-packed day, coming home to our state-of-the-art bathtub and luxurious linen was the cherry on top. It fitted in perfectly with our diverse range of activities we had planned, and matched the entire style of our trip.

We didn’t want to leave!

And of course, we can’t wait to stay again…

To book your stay at the Cape Milner, contact

Tel: +27 11 516 4367
Email: res@extraordinary.co.za

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