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Review: iNsingizi Lodge & Spa

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iNsingizi Lodge & Spa is a three-star lodge situated on a fifth generation, family-owned nature reserve and farm in Mid Illovo, just over an hours’ drive from Durban and King Shaka International Airport.

Tucked neatly away in Mid Illovo, lies iNsingizi Lodge & Spa, a hidden gem of inland KZN and a little piece of Africa. Durbanite was invited to experience the night spa package, which comprised of two massages in the late afternoon, dinner, a late night foot massage, an over-night stay and complimentary breakfast in the morning. Read on to hear what went down!

A leisurely 90 minute drive on the highway from Durban eventually lead us off the beaten track and onto a dirt path, where we followed the redbrick roads up, up, and into the lodge’s premises. Zebra, Wildebeest and rolling hills passed us by as we followed the many whimsical signposts to reception. Upon arrival, we were offered a glass of champagne and, seeing as it was fairly cold, my partner and I sat by the roaring fire while we chatted to our gracious hosts, Jen and Nadia, about what lay in store for us.

Our first massage comprised of a facial and head & shoulder massage and shortly after, we were to be treated to a full body, hot-stone massage. Engulfed in hanging fairy lights and cozily snug beneath the thatch roof, my partner and I filled out our massage forms and then went to check into our lovely rooms to change into our robes. Our room was well equipped with a King Size bed and electric blankets (which were already heated for us) coffee and tea, complimentary fudge on our pillows, mini Amarula bottles and a bottle of champagne for later in the evening.

At 5pm sharp, we were whisked away to our treatments within a cosy room out in the trees. Our masseurs, Sli and Phindile**, were absolutely heavenly to interact with and both my partner and I were pampered to the nines by them! We enjoyed 90 minutes of pure bliss while our muscles were massaged and all our knots rolled out. Afterwards, we dined in style – still in our robes! I ordered the salmon and cream cheese starter and the parmesan-crusted chicken for mains, and my partner ordered the veggie soup and the Oxtail. We indulged in red wine and pavlova for dessert, before making our way back to our rooms for our foot massage! Sli and Phindile had got our rooms ready for us while we were having dinner, even having drawn a romantic, candle-lit bubble bath! We enjoyed the feet TLC while we chatted to our masseurs and sipped on our champagne. Afterwards, the bath was calling our names and we enjoyed our Amarula on ice and ate our fudge – it was perhaps the most relaxed and at peace we had both ever felt…

After a 9 hour sleep in our cosy bed with relaxed muscles, we woke up feeling rejuvenated and revitalised, ready for the day ahead. We showered in the outdoor shower beneath the foliage, and then went to enjoy the breakfast by the pool.

We were thoroughly impressed by the service at iNsingizi, the beauty of the lodge and surroundings, and the amenities in the rooms. We just can’t stop talking about it and we recommend this mid-week treat to all.

For more information about iNsingizi Lodge and Spa, its offering and upcoming events, visit www.insingizi.co.za or contact (083) 414 1932 or info@insingizi.co.za.

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INSINGIZI LODGE AND SPA’S UPCOMING SPECIALS 2019
SPA SPECIALS

 

OCTOBER: NIGHT SPA PACKAGE – R1 700 per person

 

  • Full Body Massage with hot stones (45 minutes)
  • Foot Massage (45 minutes)
  • Head & Shoulder Massage OR Facial (45 minutes)
  • A delicious three-course dinner
  • Accommodation for the night
  • Breakfast the next day
  • https://www.insingizi.co.za/spa-specials/ 

 

NOVEMBER: GIRLS NIGHT OUT PACKAGE – R1 800 per person

 

  • Full Body Massage with hot stones (45 minutes)
  • Foot Massage (45 minutes)
  • Head & Shoulder Massage OR Facial (45 minutes)
  • A delicious two-course lunch
  • A hearty three-course dinner
  • Accommodation for the night
  • Breakfast the next day
  • https://www.insingizi.co.za/spa-specials/ 

 

DECEMBER: END-OF-DECADE SPA SPECIAL – R2 000 per person

  • Hand massage
  • Foot Massage
  • Facial massage
  • Full body exfoliation massage
  • Full body massage with hot stones
  • Head and shoulder massage
  • A delicious light lunch
  • A hearty three-course dinner
  • Accommodation for the night
  • Breakfast the next day
  • https://www.insingizi.co.za/spa-specials/

 

CYCLING SPECIAL

 

RIDE, RUB & GRUB

 

  • Experience iNsingizi Lodge & Spa’s off-road tracks (part of the Illovo Eston MTB Challenge). 
  • Enjoy relaxing foot, head or shoulder massage.
  • Choose from a delicious two-course breakfast or lunch.
  • Ride & Grub – R125 per person
  • Ride, Rub & Grub – R400 per person
  • https://www.insingizi.co.za/cycling/cycling-day-packages/
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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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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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