A Luxurious Family Weekend Getaway
The weekend getaway could have not started off any better. Our little family of 3 got to check into the Garden Court Hotel in Umhlanga. We were greeted at the entrance by a humble porter, who kindly took our bags and escorted us to reception.
As we approached the front desk, we couldn’t help but notice the contemporary decor all around with colours and textures that gave off that feeling of relaxation. After the receptionist greeted us and handed us our stylish key cards, we were guided up to our suite on the 4th floor.
We entered the suite and had a little welcome package waiting for us. A nice bottle of Nederburg red wine definitely tickled our fancy, followed by a nice treat basket of fruits and chocolates, now that’s what I call a perfect midnight snack. The best part about the suite is how kid friendly they made it for our little 1 year old. A beautiful pink cot was placed in front of the bed, just for her. Not forgetting the little kiddies pack they provided with some kiddie treats.
The suite itself was so spacious and cozy. The space was perfect for our little one to play and crawl around in. Lets not forget, we cannot go without talking about our picturesque view of the Umhlanga coastline from our little balcony, truly beautiful.
The weekend at the Garden Court Umhlanga Hotel allowed us to explore as much as we could. The Mnandi Restaurant in the hotel, caters for breakfast, lunch and dinner and serves a variety of light meals and refreshing beverages throughout the day. We got to try the buffet breakfast everyday, and let us say it did not disappoint. With a little business meeting taking place by the table next to us, we could see that this hotel is the perfect place for business visitors on the go.
For our little one year old, I have never seen her so excited to be in the sand pit area, located outside by the pool of the hotel. There were little sand buckets and spades available to play with. Let’s not forget the large heated pool itself, perfect to swim in all year round, whether its hot or cold. They also have a little kiddies pool, which can be enjoyed by children of all ages. We, as a family definitely appreciate how kid-friendly Garden Court Umhlanga Hotel are. They made the stay so relaxing that we definitely felt like we were on holiday.
If one parent was by the pool playing with the little one, the other got to have a little workout at the fitness center in the hotel. The hotel definitely make it easy for you to stay in shape. Whether you want to de-stress after a busy day, burn off some calories or just keep up your workout programme.
Overall, our weekend getaway was definitely one to remember. With so much around like the popular Umhlanga beaches being the main attraction for visitors and guests where they can just soak up the sun, go surfing or head out for some deep-sea fishing. We cannot go without mentioning Gateway Theatre of Shopping, which is just walking distance away, making it easily accessible for guests looking for some entertainment or shopping
Garden Court Umhlanga definitely lives up to their expectations of comfort, convenience and affordability for families, holidaymakers and business visitors. We can see why they were given the 2017 TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence.
Want to stay in the heart of Cape Town? Here’s why The Cape Milner should be your go-to.
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
Tugela River Lodge – A must for your bucket list!
Tugela River Lodge is a self-catering eco-lodge situated in Winterton. They are completely off the grid, using solar power and gas to run their lodge.
Being pet-friendly, Tugela is the perfect place to bring the entire family, literally! As well as for singles, couples or friends.
With 5 cottages to choose from, you can either book the Main Lodge which sleeps up to 14, The Hideaway which is a 6 sleeper and The Rapids, The River House and Kingfisher Cottage which are all 4 sleeper.
All of the cottages don’t have any TV sets. Tugela River Lodge wants to instead encourage visitors to experience nature – which we definitely agree with.
We stayed at the River House which was a double storey house, ensuring we each had privacy as a couple.
The Green family have been running the lodge for over 20 years. They have a passion for mountain biking, trail running and the outdoors in general. Every year, The Berg & Bush cycle ride and The Oxpecker trail run take place.
Upon arrival, check in was such a breeze – we found our accommodation easily and settled in for the night.
For dinner we opted to have a braai. The boys loved catching up while us girls chilled on the comfiest couches with a glass of red.
We were joined by two of the owner’s dogs, as well as a cat, making us feel right at home.
Our double storey house had more of a modern feel than the rest of the cottages. We had a spacious lounge all to ourselves which was part of an open plan kitchen. The main bedroom had a double bed with an open plan shower and toilet, while the upstairs room had a double bed with the most gorgeous outside view.
We were fully equipped with high speed WI-FI too. A bonus if you’re needing this feature while on your trip away. The River House is the only unit to have this functionality.
The River House is also ideal for bringing your pets as the property is well fenced off – You don’t have to worry about losing your fur-babies!
WHAT TO DO NEARBY
You don’t really need to leave Tugela. With plenty of walking trails available, one can find themselves walking along the beautiful Tugela River.
If you feel like a drive however, we would recommend Spioenkop Nature Reserve. A popular water sport destination, it also offers a serene game reserve environment. We saw rhino, giraffe, zebra, wildebeest and many different species of birds.
You can also take a drive through the Tugela game reserve with a cooler box and watch the sun go down with views of the Drakensberg on one side and the Freestate on the other.
ACTIVITIES AT TUGELA:
Other activities at Tugela include trails for walking/running, kayaking along the river, daily animal feeding and use of their farmstall for any fresh produce.
BOOK YOUR STAY AT TUGELA RIVER LODGE:
Cellphone/Whatsapp: +27 82 823 4746
REVIEW: Hilton Hotel Umhlanga Arch
Hilton Garden Inn is the first of its kind in South Africa, situated at the new Umhlanga Arch, welcoming both local and international guests. Durbanite recently experienced first hand what they have to offer.
From the moment you walk in, you experience a relaxed environment, making you feel right at home. The Hilton Garden Inn Umhlanga Arch is a technologically advanced hotel, allowing guests to check in, select and unlock your room, as well as access the guest lift, easily from your mobile phone. The hotel boasts a fitness centre, outdoor swimming pool with a great view of the upcoming developments in the area as well as the stunning sea Durban has to offer, as well as a laundry room and currency exchange for international guests.
The staff at the Hilton Garden Inn Umhlanga Arch are friendly and extremely helpful and have adopted a “Brightheartered Hospitality” approach.
“It was amazing, the staff remember your name, they learn more about why you are visiting and really go out of their way to make your experience a memorable one.” Commented Bianca Hauser, Durbanite contributor.
There are 203 rooms kitted out with coffee and tea brewers, a flat screen HDTV, a hairdryer, iron and ironing board (perfect for out of town guests), along with a mini refrigerator. Hilton Garden Inn Umhlanga Arch ensure to adhere to Covid-19 safety regulations by cleaning rooms before check in as well as after check out. They are currently participating in the Hilton CleanStay Program with Lysol Protection to deliver an even cleaner and safer experience for guests.
“I really felt comfortable during these times, as once staff clean a room, they have the Hilton CleanStay Room Seal that indicates to us that a room has not been accessed since it was cleaned and disinfected.”
The hotel ensures sufficient spacing in the dining hall and hand sanitizers can be found throughout the hotel. Guests are encouraged to use disposable gloves provided when dishing up salad for the meals and the Chefs are responsible for dishing up dinner, limiting exposure.
Together & Co aims to bring people together, “one meal, coffee and conversation at a time”. Those who are not guests at the hotel are also welcome to dine at the restaurant or have a drink at the bar. Hilton Garden Inn Umhlanga Arch also boasts a 24-hour self-service retail space, “The Shop”, which offers snacks, locally sourced food and beverages as well as essential personal items, should guests need anything.
To book your stay, visit their website.
Durban, 4320, South Africa
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