Service Excellence - Accommodation Awards

Welgelegen Manor

The Manor is a little more than an hour’s drive from the 21st Century hustle of Jo’burg but we travelled more than 100 years back into the past when we arrived at Welgelegen Manor outside Balfour on the Mpumalanga borderlands. With a slightly surreal experience with a mix of modern comfort and old-time extravagance; a bit like spending a few days as guests at an elegant country house party or dipping into a fictional romance. Our Country House - the one-time residence of Andries Mostert is a stately mansion designed by Herbert Baker in 1912 as a replica of the original 1800s Mostert family home, Welgelegen, in Rondebosch, Cape Town. The enchantment starts when we enter the gabled gates of the estate and drive up alongside the “two-mile-long” oak avenue, which is no longer in use. Duikers, munching on the grass on either side, looked up quizzically and went on grazing. The restored 54-room mansion all wood panelled and elegantly furnished open fires, oil paintings, bronze statuettes and collector’s pieces in keeping with a gentleman’s residence overlooks an expansive tree-fringed lawn to the front. At the back, is the herb garden with a gentle fountain, surrounded by lawn. Beyond that a deodar forest and farmlands. To one side is the swimming pool with a vine-covered patio leading on to the rose garden with its masses of delicately coloured, sweet-smelling blooms, sheltered by huge jacarandas, which shed a mauve carpet along the paths. Accommodation is in the carriage House Suites, the Garden Suites or the Manor House Suites. Our Garden Suites overlooking the herb garden. It consists of a spacious bedroom, a lounge (with tea, coffee and fresh cookies and a fridge), a dressing room and a sizable bathroom with a shower and a ball-and-claw bath. Under-floor heating, chandeliers and oak tables and bureaus added to the sense of luxury as did the fluffy towels on a heated rack. Massive stable doors opened on to the lavender fringed garden. Dinner is served in the panelled dining room resplendent with candles and a table scattered with rose petals and glittering with crystal glassware. All very much in keeping with the past century ambience at Welgelegen. There is plenty to do on the estate. Croquet, archery, a variety of walks, billiards, chess, swimming, a golf driving range and bird watching are all on offer. You can also hide away with a book in the small library or enjoy a relaxing massage. Facilities at Welgelegen include wi-fi and a grass landing strip. Private dining can also be arranged for couples or groups in the courtyard garden, at the poolside or in your suite.

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Grand Dedale Country House

Grand Dédale is an exclusive and luxurious 5 star venue located in the historic and elegantly restored Doolhof Manor House in Wellington at the foot of the Bainskloof Pass surrounded by mountains. It consists of six individually designed en suite rooms and suites, a separate honeymoon cottage, spacious reception rooms and a large pool in landscaped gardens. The country house offers an outstanding personalized service, imaginative cuisine and numerous outdoor activities making it a stellar destination in the Cape Winelands.

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Africanos Country Estate

The newly renovated Africanos Country Estate is a mere 10km’s from the Big 7 World Famous Addo Elephant National Park and a 40 minute drive from the eclectic, multi-cultural Port Elizabeth.    Come wine and dine at our country chic restaurant or treat yourself to our Sushi Bar and Teppanyaki Plate which is also open to the public. Relax and unwind in one of our 12 luxury suites fully equipped with everything you would expect from a top rated establishment, including Satellite TV, air-conditioning, electronic laptop safes, outside showers and spacious bathrooms with 720 gsm cotton towels.  Room service is available from the restaurant kitchen, should you wish to rather relax in your privately entered suite, on a 100% leather sofa.  Loose yourself in the luxurious 300 thread count percale linen wrapped around ultra cozy duck down duvet inners on King Size beds (singles also available) underneath our starry ceilings.  For the corporate market there is a 16 seater, state of the art, boardroom facility available with free Wifi throughout the estate.  A 200-seater events hall can facilitate weddings of all shapes and sizes to make sure your special day is all that you dreamt it to be and more.  It can also be used for your company’s next year-end function. The professional team of staff will make sure all your needs are being taken care of.  Contact Karlien for more info or to make a booking for your next trip to the Malaria Free Eastern Cape.


Tenahead Mountain Lodge and Reserve

In a secluded region of South Africa where the hand of man has brushed it but slightly, you will find a secret gem, Tenahead Mountain Lodge.  A spectacular 5 star lodge situated 2500 meters above sea level and surrounded by the breath taking Drakensberg, Witteberg and Maluti Mountains.The spacious living areas of the lodge explicate classic and calm interiors that are elegantly decorated.  The grand seven luxurious en-suite rooms have been stylishly furnished to complement the lodge’s rustic natural appearance.  Tenahead is a magnificent treasure that offers a truly unique experience as if you were on top of the world.


Lord's Guest Lodge

Simply another world It is hard to imagine a more splendid setting for a supremely elegant venue that takes one back to a time of extravagant luxury and exemplary refinement. With 4 star management and exquisite style you can not help to feel like royalty during your stay. Inspired by the surroundings and its rich heritage, Lord's Guest Lodge overlooks the expanse of the Valley and the blue mountains beyond. Situated atop the Koningsrivier hills between Robertson and McGregor, just off the R62, Lord’s Guest Lodge welcomes you to a place where time stood still.

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Lythwood Lodge

Lythwood Lodge is a 4-Star country hotel, wedding & conference venue nestled in the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands. The perfect place to reconnect with family and friends or take a solitary mid-week break where you can escape and leave the world behind. Tucked away in the middle of farmlands and forest right on the KZN Midlands Meander, Lythwood combines big trees, open lawns, beautiful gardens, pastures of grazing cattle, natural forests and rolling hills, and plenty of fresh air and wide open spaces. Combine this relaxing country environment with a stay in one of the boutique hotel suites, rooms (two of which are wheelchair adapted) or fully equipped, self-catering family cottages and you have the perfect place where you and your loved ones can relax, have fun and make memories. Lythwood is close to golf courses, mountain biking trails, walking and hiking trails and other family friendly activities and the famous Karkloof Canopy Tours are located nearby as is fly-fishing for that elusive trout. If you prefer shopping or are keen to try out the local cuisine then Lythwood is perfectly situated along the popular KZN Midlands Meander where there are all kinds of unique arts, crafts and wares to be discovered. Once you’ve explored all the exciting activities on offer in the area you may just like to unwind in front of the warm fireplaces with a cup of tea and play board games or head to the bar area to watch the latest game and have a few drinks. Weddings and conferences are Lythwood's specialty where they can cater for up to 250 guests with ease.

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Dune Ridge Country House

Dune Ridge Country House is situated on a 600ha nature reserve between St Francis Bay and Cape St Francis in the Kouga District of the Eastern Cape. We pride ourselves on our service excellence, attention to detail and willingness to go the extra mile for the guests that stay with us. Our staff who will greet you and look after you will welcome you with open arms- proper South African style and will look after your every need, go above and beyond to ensure you have an unforgettable stay. Dune Ridge boasts 6 well appointed Garden Suites and Cottages and one Family Cottage- all with underfloor heating, Satellite, Flat Screen Televisions, Large spacious bathrooms with ball and claw baths, large separate showers and separate WC, mini bars, home made treats as well as fully appointed Tea Station. The large private patios that lead off the bedrooms are spacious and comfortable and the ideal place to sit back with a glass of wine or a sundowner and either take in the surrounds, read a book or do some bird watching or butterfly identification. Beautiful Dinners are served on a daily basis either on the main patio in Summer or in front of the fire place in the lounge in winter. Lazy Summer Braais or Al Fresco dining at the Swimming Pool are enjoyed every other night. Menus change on a daily basis depending on what we have in our little gardens or what we can source locally. The Country House follows Fair Trade principles and have a strict recycling system in place. All our kitchen matter is also recycled and used in our vermicomposters on site. The natural fertilizers are used on our own vegetable gardens and herb patches on the property and the rest of the kitchen matter is fed to our chickens who produce eggs for all our baking and breakfasts. Our outdoor Bush Spa draws inspiration from the natural surrounding. The smell of the sea air, the sound of the waves in the distance, the sound of the birds in the natural bush all add to the experience. All our products are natural keeping with our "Back to nature" theme. Each treatment starts off with a local Buchu and Rooibos Foot Soak and Massage followed by either a facial or relaxing massage or nail therapy. What else is there to do? We are all about conservation and educating guests and are fortunate enough to have a wetland that runs through a portion of the property. During the Summer months guests have the option of booking and going on a Frog Safari. Donned with headlamps, gumboots and fishing nets they head out with our guide to the frog hotspots on the property in search of frogs. We have about 10 different species at Dune Ridge which guests get to identify and release. Our Coastal Forest and Dune Walks are also popular. Walks go out in the early morning through the coastal forest. Tree identification plaques along the hike assist those that are interested in the coastal fynbos species. The walk then enters a large shifting dune field to the rear. Guests are shown the various plant species and if lucky enough Strandloper Middens dating back thousands of years. A lot of care and thought has gone into everything at Dune Ridge Country House from the small little things like our home made bath salts made by Siphokazi, our wine list that comprises of small boutique estates, the fynbos and protea bunches through out the house that is all natural and not cultivated, the little tea biscuits Novi bakes on a daily basis and Brandon our waiter/barman's amazing Home Made Geranium Spritzers that guests are offered on arrival. Its about their love for what they do and where they work and this shines through to the guests and makes a huge difference to the overall stay of our clients.

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Ganora Guest Farm & Excursions

GIVE US ONE DAY AND GET 280 MILLION YEARS! Experience true Karoo hospitality on Ganora, a working sheep farm 7km from the world renowned hamlet of Nieu Bethesda, 60 km from Graaff-Reinet, also near Middelburg and Cradock. Guided tours on the farm are done by ourselves that have a special interest in Anthropology and Palaeontology and like to share what we have discovered at Ganora. The excursions are to Anglo Boer War engravings, rock shelters with Bushman paintings and a visit to a private fossil & artefact museum with specimens dating back some 280 million years are offered on the farm. The Bushman shelters are only 200m walk from where the vehicle stops. A medicinal plant walk can be enjoyed with a local guide that was taught by his grandfather about plants used by Bushman in previous years. He will talk about the lucern lands, lambs or anything they will encounter on the walk too. We will also guide you on a fossil walk in the veld to show how fossils are discovered. Sheep shearing is explained and demonstrated on request. When families or school groups book we adapt the tours to their age and needs. If you are lucky you will be able to meet our orphan meerkats that have been rehabilitated in the area as we have been a meerkat rehab for more than 20 years. Comfortable 3 star graded accommodation ( the larger rooms offer more than your average 3 star) for self-drives or groups relaxing in the peace and tranquillity of the Great Karoo. Guests may choose between: 1. Standard en-suite rooms (Ou Kraal)with queen or twin beds that have tea and coffee facilities 2. Larger en-suite rooms with King or twin beds. (Sheds) These rooms can also become family rooms for small children. These rooms have a few more amenities as well as gowns and slippers. All the rooms were previously used farm outbuildings and renovated. At first it was used as sheep kraals, chicken rooms etc. Now these rooms, with their thick, uneven stone walls provide very comfortable Highly Recommended accommodation, full of rustic charm. Meals are available. Karoo cuisine with slow food is always available. After dinner you will have the privilege to enjoy one of the best star gazing opportunities in the country. For the more adventurous there are various marked hiking & cycling trails on the farm to enjoy or climb Compassberg (2502m). We can supply them with an extensive bird list of birds to be found here too. If not too adventurous they can relax at the pool. Furthermore you can explore Nieu-Bethesda, visit the Owl House of Helen Martins, Kitching Fossil Centre, enjoy the coffee & craft shops, taste local brewed beer or take a donkey cart tour. Day trips can be taken to Cradock where you can visit Olive Schreiner’s museum and the Mountain Zebra Park. In Graaff-Reinet you can visit many museums, the Obesa Cactus Garden, enjoy a walk through the town with the most historical buildings or experience the Valley of Desolation. You will be able to experience the magnificent Karoo sunsets on the farm with or without drinks & snacks.

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Oxbow Country Estate

Surrounded by harmonious nature and meandering trout dams, Oxbow Country Estate offers chic country style charm with relaxed sophistication. Oxbow is an oasis from the city offering idyllic wedding receptions, conferencing, midweek breakaways and trout flyfishing. The exceptional energy and warmth of the staff and family that work at Oxbow ensure that every stay is exceptional and memorable. With a focus on fresh exciting cuisine, the Oxbow chefs work hand in hand to create outstanding menus that accompany the tastes and sights of this wonderful estate.

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Hawklee Country House

This beautiful spot in the Midlands is a Country House which is owner run by Dean and Belinda found in the Fort Nottingham area of Nottingham Road. Hawklee Country House is known for its personalized service where nothing is too much trouble. All accommodation is en-suite and every Hawklee guest suite features a private Jacuzzi spa bath and flat screen TV with DSTV. Our cottages have beautiful views of the Lions River from the sitting areas, beds and spa baths. Our Garden Cottage has a lovely secluded garden where you can sit and enjoy the view while drinking your tea. We also have a beautiful private Honeymoon suite, The Mallard, filled with lots of luxury items to test your taste buds and your own private spa bath for that romantic occasion. We do Gourmet picnics along the banks of the Lion's river a stones throw from your cottage. We offer Breakfast, Lunches and dinner. Hawklee Country house is a place where people come to get engaged and take wonderful photos and we are often used as a Honeymoon destination or a couples break away. Hawklee is known for a place to unwind, de-stress and relax in. The sound of the running river all year makes it peaceful and harmonious with nature. The pied Kingfisher is seen flying along the river with the Fish Eagles calling overhead. The deck is used for sun downers as you look at the river and forest and enjoy your champagne. We offer breakfast, lunches and dinner. The Leopard's Lair bar is always open with Dean at the helm.Truly an idyllic and tranquil spot for a lovely romantic break or just to unwind from the city life. Beauty at its best


Days At Sea Beach Lodge

5 STAR BOUTIQUE HOTEL on Durban's South Coast DAYS AT SEA BEACH LODGE ONE OF THE 100 BEST HIDEAWAYS OF THE WORLD 2013 The gentle murmur of the Indian Ocean is a constant lullaby. Here, close to the city of Durban in South Africa's forgotten paradise, lies a true gem. Days at Sea“ a luxury hotel with just 6 suites, is a hideaway in the true sense of the word, a refuge for lovers of nature, first-class cuisine and fine wine. The European background of artist and photographer Dr. Guido Schoeldgen and his wife Annette, a fashion designer, is evident throughout. Clear-cut lines, refreshing pictures and sculptures with accompanying texts characterize the beachfront hotel. Each suite is a world on its own, a masterpiece of design in exquisite shades of aqua blue. The spacious pool set over the ocean is illuminated at night. Above it are the restaurant and lounge with projected images and music ranging from Pavarotti to Cafe Del Mar. The chef makes suggestions, the guests decide and then enjoy – fusion cuisine, a combination of Italy and France with a dash of Asia,fusion cuisine as Guido jokingly calls it. The five-star boutique hotel is surrounded by three world-class golf courses “ Wildcoast, San Lameer and Southbroom – and several leading game reserves, home to the big five, are within driving distance. The team of the hotel deals in a cheerful yet discreet manner with queries or requests. With breakfast served in bed or on the private terrace, the hotel is a haven not only for honeymooners. The owners philosophy? – there’s no such thing as no can do!


Lions Rest Country Estate

What do luxurious accommodation, magical weddings, productive conferences and rejuvenating Spa have in common?  The answer is Lions-Rest Game Lodge. Lions-Rest offers unsurpassed quality and value, all in one location.The Free State Province is home to some of the most scenic places, natural wonders and overwhelming hospitality and friendliness in South Africa.  Lions-Rest maintains the province's reputation by offering visitors supreme quality and a blissful and tranquil place to escape to.

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