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REVIEW: Gooderson Natal Spa Hot Springs & Leisure Resort

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Gooderson Natal Spa Hot Springs & Leisure Resort is situated between Vryheid and Paulpietersburg and is nestled in between the Cambrian granite boulders of the Bivane River. This resort will definitely make you feel like you are tucked far away from the hustle and bustle of city life.

A Durbanite family of three (mom, dad and a 1 year old) sought a family friendly and fun destination that would cater for all the diverse needs a young family and Gooderson Natal Spa delivered!

We left Durban at 1:30pm and the family holiday begun.
The drive was scenic with not much to stop for on the way, except for speed traps and we so arrived at the resort around 5:45pm.

We were greeted at reception by Christina, who was very friendly and helpful and were offered fresh juice or water. The check in process was quick and smooth and soon we were making our way to our room. Xolani was a saving grace and helped us with the truck load of bags we had (we all know travelling with a toddler is not “travelling light”).

With all the “stuff” we had we were worried about space in the room, however when we got to our Superior room (room number 207) the worries melted away. Our room was so spacious with two double beds, a seating area and extra space for the camp cot. Then we opened the doors to the balcony… and WOW… the view of the gardens, pools, valley and the river was incredible. At that point we knew we were going to have a spectacular weekend.

After settling in to our room, we then went down to the dining room for the amazing buffet dinner which had wide variety of options to choose from.

Off to an early start the next morning (toddler wake-up call), we took a walk around resort and were greeted by many very tame dassies, rabbits and guinea fowl. The staff were also all up and getting ready for the guests and the day’s activities.

There is quite a deep history to Natal Spa if you are a bit of a history buff, there’s no shortage of history documented on the walls of the resort. From the San People (and bushman paintings on one of the rocks) and the legend of the big black snake to Oom Piet Wessels. I even found out that our granny went on honeymoon there!

Later that morning I went on the quad bike adventure. There was so much to see and I was even lucky enough to view all kinds of game on the neighbouring game farm. The quad bike course was not too technical and so can be enjoyed by all ages, which I would highly recommend.

We spent the rest of the day pool hopping in the hot spring pools. They have pools of many varying temperatures – hot to cold pools and even an undercover pool that echoes! When our 1 year old realised the echo that the dome shaped roof made he went nuts listening to himself smash the water and shouting.

The Flight of the Eagle – The Zipline was the official name of the zipline that runs over the river. Wandisa and Linda are the two guys that run it, who are extremely professional, knowledgeable and friendly. They went out of their way to find a pair of sunglasses that went astray on the second flight, in a field of long grass and bush and the sunglasses were returned to us with a massive sense of achievement.

The zipline itself is no small zipline either with over 370m in length and 50m in height, this really is an activity for the “adrenaline junkies”. The views from the zipline halfway stop are amazing and Wandisa and Linda even gave some history of the resort and information about the fauna and flora. I would definitely suggest doing the zipline at least once, just secure your sunglasses before leaving the platforms.

A few more of the activities and amenities available at the resort: Supertube, Archery, Horse Riding, Adventure Golf, Fishing, Wellness Centre, Table Tennis, Tennis, Squash, Pool Tables, Volleyball, Guided Bird Walk, Paintball Arena, BMX Track/Mountain Bike Trail and Bike Hire.

With a wide range accommodation options from self-catering chalets to the amazing superior room with dinner bed and breakfast there is something for all budgets and family sizes. They also offer 30 camping and caravan stands, all with water and electricity and braai facilities on the stands. There are also 2 sets of ablutions and kitchen blocks at each end of the camping grounds.

There is something for everyone at Gooderson Natal Spa Hot Springs and Leisure Resort! If it is relaxation in beautiful hot pools tucked away in the banks of a scenic river and amazing service, then this resort is for you. It’s also a great venue for a company team building getaway with conference facilities or if you’re looking for a fun family holiday with adventure around every corner then you should definitely pay a visit.

www.goodersonleisure.co.za/NatalSpa

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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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Accomodation

Tugela River Lodge – A must for your bucket list!

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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.

ACCOMMODATION

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.

 

HISTORY

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.

THE EXPERIENCE

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:

Email: info@tugelariverlodge.co.za
Cellphone/Whatsapp: +27 82 823 4746

Website: www.tugelariverlodge.co.za

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Accomodation

REVIEW: Hilton Hotel Umhlanga Arch

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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.

Address:
1 Ncondo Place, Umhlanga Ridge Umhlanga

Durban, 4320, South Africa

+27-031-0070775

 

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