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REVIEW: Karkloof Safari Spa, Midlands

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Imagine a hidden paradise, with only a stone’s throw away from the city, rolling green hills and valleys adorned with waterfalls and lush vegetation. welcome to, Karkloof Safari Spa.

The Durbanite team were recently invited to experience Karkloof Safari Spa, where we got to stay overnight at Karkloof Safari Villas – a 5 star lodge.

Here’s what we had to say about their visit:

After getting lost along the way because we didn’t check the directions properly beforehand, we were finally at Karkloof Safari Spa. From the minute we drove in the main gate, we knew we were in paradise.

We drove up to the entrance where we were greeted by a friendly staff member. We filled in an arrival form and headed back to our car, only to find a game vehicle parked with all of our bags already packed in! My husband and I jumped in, and we were soon off to the main lodge.

Along the short drive to the lodge, I was ecstatic to spot a few animals roaming freely around us. I whipped out my phone to snap a few shots of zebra and warthogs!

We arrived at the main reception at the lodge where we were greeted by staff and taken on a short tour. With a wrap-around exterior deck for lounging that overlooks the breathtaking valley and cosy couches near the fireplace, we knew this would be a favourite spot of ours.

Linked to the lodge, were these wooden walkways which led you to your room for the night. We were escorted to our accommodation and walked in for the first time. I was blown away by how beautiful the place was! We had a luxurious king-sized bed, a connecting lounge, two bathrooms and a massive viewing deck with a breath-taking view.

Next up was the highlight of the day, our full day spa package. Karkloof Safari Spa is one of Africa’s largest and best spas, with 17 treatment rooms, saunas, steam rooms, indoor and outdoor Jacuzzis and Roman baths.

We opted for the Silk Package which is known for using pure organic ingredients that are blended with the healing properties of botanicals. We started off with a yummy continental breakfast before starting our spa experience. After we had eaten, we headed off to start the day. First up was a ceremonial foot bath cleanse and salt scrub followed by a 90 minute herbal thai poultice massage. After that, we had an incredible 75 minute authentic aromatic facial.

I’ve never felt so at peace and relaxed – I loved the different take on the massage, and had the most amazing Thai lady who made every effort to ensure I was comfortable!

We had a short break where we ate lunch and chatted over a delicious smoothie before continuing with the rest of our treatment.

What’s great about the spa is that with any package you choose, you get a light lunch,  a luxury gown, full usage of the hydro area, unlimited smoothies, coffee, and tea. Oh, and let’s not forget the complimentary cake when you’re celebrating a special occasion! (A great idea for birthdays or anniversaries, that’s for sure!)

The Karkloof Spa area includes saunas, steam rooms, an open-air jacuzzi, an indoor roman bath and kneipp pools! Sounds like heaven, right?

Check out their full spa menu here.

Our spa day ended off with a 60 minute lanna hot oil hair and scalp massage, before heading back to shower and get ready for our next adventure: A game drive!

We hopped into a private game drive vehicle and were whisked away on what was truly the best game drive I’ve ever been on. I was surprised at the fact that Karkloof Safari Spa has over 3,000 hectares of terrain. Never would I have expected such a massive place to be situated in the Midlands!

The animals we spotted were, white rhino, giraffe, buffalo, wildebeest, zebra, hippo, eland, nyala, biesbok, warthog, jackal, caracal and bushpig. My husband was so trigger-happy as he snapped photo after photo of everything we passed.

My favourite part of the game drive was when we stopped near a lake where the hippos were. Our game driver got out some snacks and drinks, and we were able to take in the views, with the sounds of the hippos in the background. It was truly an “this is Africa” moment. I’ve never felt so happy!

After the game drive, we had dinner. Not just any dinner though, but a 3-course meal where we were served prawn cocktails, biesbok steak followed by a chocolate fondant.

We headed back to our room with happy hearts and full tummies. We set our alarms for the morning to wake us up in time before our hike to the waterfall.

SUNDAY MORNING
We woke up and got ready for the hike – where we met our game driver at the lodge. He drove us for about 20 mins until we arrived at the spot where we would be hiking from. Now, I’m not much of a hiker and dread any form of exercise, but this hike was absolutely perfect for novice hikers!

We climbed up beautiful wooden walkways for about 25 minutes until we reached the top where a gigantic waterfall was. We took a few moments to take it all in and snapped a few shots before heading back.

As we headed back, our driver stopped on the side of the road, and again, whipped out some snacks for us to enjoy while we had a beautiful view of the valley.

When we arrived back at the lodge, we were escorted to our breakfast table where we were served a yummy meal – all while a few buck made an appearance in the foreground!

We raised our glasses filled with orange juice and saluted Mother Nature -what a beautiful country we live in!

After our breakfast, we decided to take one more trip to the spa to make use of their heated pools – and what a treat that was!

For more information, visit www.karkloofsafarispa.co.za 
Cell: +27 33 569 1321

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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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