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Review: Penwarn Farm Lodge

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Due to its natural beauty, stillness and wide open farm lands, Underberg is an exciting and peaceful place to escape to.
One of our contributors, Bianca recently visited Underberg and stayed at the beautiful, Penwarn Farm Lodge.

Situated 25km from the little town of Underberg, one can find Penwarn Farm Lodge.
Penwarn farm is an up and coming accommodation venue,  ready and waiting to provide guests with a truly unforgettable getaway experience.

The farm lodge is over 3400 hectares and is surrounded by lakes and an exquisite valley where cattle and sheep are raised and maize and potatoes are grown. The farm is also home to Zebra, Hartebeest and Blesbok and a range of birdlife, including Cranes and Wild Geese that can be spotted from the comfort of the lodges.

Penwarn Farm Lodge offers a range of accommodation options that suit couples, friends and families alike. The accommodation, lawns and facilities are beautifully well-kept and provide a feeling of relaxed luxury.

“Every morning we were greeted with beauty and tranquility. We would sit outside and have our coffee and rusks kindly provided to us, and just enjoy the peace. We had no cellphone signal at the cottage we were in, and this was perfect because we got to enjoy each other’s company and switch off from the world. Allowing us to rejuvenate and relax.”

After taking up new ownership, the farm lodge is currently undergoing renovations, and have started with the self-service cottages. “We are in the process of renovating the 7 rooms inside the main lodge. We are however open for functions such as weddings and parties. Our bar “Bull and Ewe” is operational and we have recently updated the reception/function area to a more modern look. Penwarn has always been known for its rustic farm vibe and we have people coming back annually to experience it.” commented Katie, one of the new owners.

There are a range of activities on the farm that can be enjoyed, including hiking on the farm or surrounding areas, pre-booking for horseback riding, canoeing, swimming in the rock pool, river or dams, as well as fishing, and visiting the waterfall where guests can see the Bushman paintings. There are life jackets and canoes made available to guests upon request, free of charge, at reception.

Penwarn Farm Lodge are also looking into developing a beautiful mountain bike trail, but in the meantime, guests are welcome to bring bikes along to try out on the many farm roads through Penwarn Farm and onto Highlands farm.

There are five main self-service lodges on the farm, each with a fully fitted kitchen and utensils that would be necessary during your stay. Each cottage has been kitted with emergency lights in the case of loadshedding and braai facilities are provided, with charcoal/wood and firelighters.

Bianca added; “Penwarn Farm has so much potential and we expect to see it flourish in time to come. I love coming to Underberg because it is beautiful and peaceful, but I have not felt so relaxed and re-energized as I did at Penwarn Farm. From laying on the grass looking at the stars, to exploring the river while canoeing, this was an amazing place to switch off at.”

To all future and potential guests of Penwarn Farm Lodge, Katie has the following message:

“If you are looking for an outdoor family or couples getaway then Penwarn is a perfect spot. We have stunning cottages which are isolated and private for you to enjoy. We encourage families to bring along their bikes and a healthy attitude and enjoy the beauty around them. We like to think that the people that come here can disconnect from life and go home feeling refreshed. We have so many outdoor activities for you to enjoy and stunning views for the perfect sundowners to end off your day. Cottages have been renovated to a more modern yet rustic interior and we have kitted out our cottages with everything you need, a home away from home. We also add that special touch when you arrive and are on call if you need any information or help.”

To book your next stay:
www.penwarn.com
072 109 0283

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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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