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Property Review: Town Lodge Midrand

Location and convenience are the prime motivators for city hotel selection in business tourism. This pearl of wisdom occurred to me when checking into the City Lodge Midrand. By Des Langkilde. Before setting off on my business trip to attend ...

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The Worst Hotel in the World

Last month I wrote about the BEST hotel I’ve ever stayed at, which came down to ‘how did the hotel make me feel?’ and led to the importance of hotel entertainment. This got me thinking of the contrary. What is ...

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The Importance of Hotel Entertainment

At a recent hotel industry function, I was asked which was THE best hotel I have ever stayed at. This has been a common question over the years and one that has an easy answer. It’s also a question to ...

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Property Profile: Selborne Golf Estate, Hotel and Spa

Selborne Golf Estate, Hotel and Spa

R28 Million Restoration – A Success Story in The Making After acquiring and investing R28 million into the refurbishment of the Selborne Golf Estate, Hotel and Spa, new owners, First Hotels, is seeing the benefits of an eight-figure investment that ...

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The Old-school General Manager

John Cleese Faulty Towes

There’s been something fundamental missing in the last decade of hotel management: the unflashy, workaholic general managers, those who started their careers waiting tables, scrubbing kitchen counters and floors, climbing the ladder, slowly learning ALL of the necessary skills to ...

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Unpacking Star Grading

What exactly does the term “star graded” mean and what is the significance of such a rating for hoteliers and their guests? By Richard Bray. In a nutshell, the Tourism Grading Council of South Africa (TGCSA) has a set grading ...

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Five Steps to a Successful Towel & Linen Reuse Scheme

Hotel approaches to towel and linen sustainability vary considerably. Here are five simple steps to getting it right. By Jeremy Smith. 1: Use The Most Environmentally Friendly Materials Possible W Hotels in North America have launched a new range of ...

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Hotel Study: Plans for Attracting Guests

Improving guest experience through technology spurs 74% of hotels and resorts to implement location-based technologies to tailor services. By Jeff Schmitz. Results of the recently released global Zebra Hospitality Vision Study – a body of research that analyses the hotel ...

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The Metric That Can Impact Hotel Revenues

When most hoteliers consider their revenue management metrics, they most likely think about RevPAR, ADR and occupancy. Perhaps, they would also think about historical and current local demand. By Jean Francois Mourier. But for the majority of hoteliers, their property’s ...

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Exploring St. Lucia

The best way to get a proper sense of St. Lucia, it seemed, was to work my way up the island by foot, road and boat. And spend nights at the islands’ supurb resorts along the way. By Adam Jacot ...

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Child Friendly Safaris

Many parents dream of taking their children on a once-in a-lifetime safari adventure holiday, but most South African Big-5 game reserves and lodges have a minimum age restriction rule for children.  Fortunately there are exceptions to this and Lalibela Private ...

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Property Profile: Chilly Powder in the French Alps

Chilly Powder is an appropriate name for a 4-star ski hotel located in the famous Portes du Soleil region of the French Alps, where snow is almost guaranteed and average normal winter temperatures range around -1.6°C. Based in the heart ...

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The Value of Accredited Grading Assessors

What exactly does an Accredited Grading Assessor do, and why are their jobs so important? By Refiloe Mothibe. Main image credit: Long Lee Manor, Shamwari Game Reserve. One of the things that makes travel so exciting is its wild unpredictability. ...

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The Underestimated Value of Housekeeping

There are many factors that contribute to a guests’ enjoyable stay, however, one aspect that is often underestimated and overlooked is the housekeeping. By Paul Duverge. There are various departments in the workings of a hotel that greatly contribute to ...

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Lalibela Launches Enviro Rehab Project

A long term project that aims to eradicate alien invasive plant species and re-introduce endemic flora is underway at Lalibela Private Game Reserve, located in the malaria-free Eastern Cape province of South Africa. By Des langkilde. Following the sale of ...

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Exploring Antigua Resorts

“Back can wait, but not belly” is a well-known Antiguan saying. Whether this refers to a massage before lunch I never found out, but luxury is very much on offer in the following four Leeward Islands resorts of Antigua and ...

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Sale of Lalibela Heralds New Era

The recent sale of Lalibela Game Reserve, together with substantial parcels of land adjacent to Lalibela, is seen as a major vote of confidence in the Eastern Cape game lodge industry as a whole. By Vernon Wait. Land Acquisition Not ...

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6 of the Best Namibian Safari Lodges

This month’s Africa Adventure Travel GeoDirectory Project features six of Namibia’s finest safari properties. Tourism Tattler is offering South African travelers a chance to win a weekend breakaway voucher for two people sharing at any one of these lodges by ...

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Property Profile: Ibo Island Lodge

The award nominated and unique Ibo Island Lodge is the only luxury lodge on the island, and has been described as one of the most magical lodges in Africa. Located on a prime waterfront site, the lodge encompasses magnificent mansions ...

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Authentic Phuket

Tourism Tattler foreign correspondent, Adam Jacot de Boinod visited Phuket − a rainforested, mountainous island in the Andaman Sea − and reports on Thailand’s most popular beaches, high-end seaside resorts, spas and restaurants. On an island buzzing with tourists reminding ...

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Property Profile: Nuarro Lodge, Mozambique

Beautifully simple is the best way to describe Nuarro. This stunning property, located in northern Mozambique feels wonderfully off the grid. The owners have commendably tried to use local crafts and staff wherever possible to create this peaceful sanctuary on ...

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Property Profile: Bahia Mar Boutique Hotel

The Bahia Mar Boutique Hotel and Conference Centre is located on an amazing beachfront property in Vilanculos, in southern Mozambique. With panoramic vistas of the Bazaruto Archipelago National Park, the hotel boasts an infinity pool and bar, and elegant à ...

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Property Review: Inkwenkwezi Game Reserve

Inkwenkwezi Private Game Reserve, located in South Africa’s malaria-free Eastern Cape Province near East London, is more than just a wildlife sanctuary – it’s an experience! By Des Langkilde – Editor: Tourism Tattler Trade Journal. Inkwenkwezi (meaning ‘Star’ in isiXhosa) ...

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Property Profile: Nkwichi Lodge

A halcyon paradise, hidden in the ancient mountains of Lake Niassa, lies a place so secret, it’s been forgotten in the mists of time! Nkwichi Lodge is located in the north-western corner of Mozambique, on the easter side of Lake ...

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Property Review: Long Lee Manor in Shamwari

Reminicent of a bygone era in South Africa’s colonial past, Long Lee Manor is a meticulously renovated Edwardian era mansion, located in the Shamwari Game Reserve just seventy kilometres from Port Elizabeth, and 23 kilometres from the Addo Elephant National ...

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Property Profile: Travessia Beach Lodge

Located off the beaten track, with easy access from Inhambane airport or Vilanculos International airport, Travessia is an eco-beach lodge that is all about understated barefoot luxury. The lodge is built on raised wooden decks with timber or roll-up canvas ...

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African Cuisine

By Bennet Otoo According to Abraham Maslow’s theory of needs, food is one of the very basic necessities of life. So basic that inadequate intake or a complete absence of food causes various health problems or in extreme cases, death. ...

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Kenya’s Weird and Wonderful Hotels

Kenya has a wide range of weird and wonderful hotels – making the whole experience of travelling to Kenya, that much more exiting, writes Jessica Ndlovu. When people think of travelling to Kenya, they think of scenic sights and wildlife ...

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Part-time Online Hotel Qualifications

Many leaners are not able to study full time for a hotel qualification as the need to earn an income comes first. The current volatile situation at universities further makes e-learning an attractive option, writes Christa Badenhorst. Guvon Academy now ...

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Property Review: De Zeekoe

Farm Stays are growing in popularity and De Zeekoe in Oudtshoorn is more popular than most – and for good reason as it offers a truly unique South African farm experience to both domestic and international leisure travellers alike, writes ...

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City Lodge opens Downtown JNB Hotel

The City Lodge Hotel Group has opened the first phase of rooms at its exciting 148-room City Lodge Hotel Newtown, Johannesburg with the hotel expected to be fully operational by the end of February. The total development cost of the ...

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Diani Beach – Magical Kenya’s Hidden Gem

Kenya is renown as a Big 5 safari destination but not many are aware of its Marine 5, which abound along the country’s 1420 km coastline. Here, some truly unique hidden gems await international tourists to show off its marine ...

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The Fall and Rise of Tintswalo Atlantic

Tintswalo Atlantic was razed to the ground in March 2015 following a wildfire that blazed its way across the Cape Peninsula. Just three days shy of their eight-month rebuild deadline Tintswalo Atlantic re-opened to the public. This story shows what ...

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Property Review: Alfajiri Villas

From medical doctor to hospitality host to the rich and famous, the story of Alfajiri Villas owner Dr. Fabrizi Molinaro provides an interesting case study on marketing exclusivity, writes Des Langkilde. Alfajiri, meaning ‘dawn‘ in Swahili, is inappropriately named. I ...

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Restaurant Review: Balata

The Balata Restaurant in the Fairway Hotel is reputed to offer the best cuisine that the Johannesburg hospitality industry has to offer. Marjorie Dean finds out if its reputation meets her discerning expectation. Winter evenings in Johannesburg don’t really tempt ...

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Property Profile: De Hoek Country Hotel

Operated by Mantis, De Hoek Country Hotel is a luxury 5-star boutique hotel located in Magaliesburg , Gauteng South Africa, an hour out of Johannesburg and Pretoria, and surrounded by the Magalies river, mature trees and delightful birdlife. The original ...

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Hospitality Profile: Mantis Hotels

Mantis Hotels, EcoEscapes & Lifestyle Resorts offers travellers exceptional properties and authentic experiences across the globe. From beach, bush and city hospitality and spa’s, to experience packages like no other – Mantis has it all – and more. Mantis is ...

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Property Review: Gooderson Monks Cowl

Adventure into the Drakensberg at Gooderson Monks Cowl Golf Resort There’s nothing quite like an adrenaline rush against the backdrop of the breath taking Drakensberg and the 260,000 hectare Ukhahlamba Drakensberg Park World Heritage site and Mdedelo wilderness area, writes ...

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Hospitality Profile: Mantis Collection

As Mantis strives to offer travellers the most exceptional properties and authentic experiences imaginable, the company is proud to introduce Bush Lodge on ‘Amakhala Game Reserve, who join Oceana Beach & Wildlife Reserve and Plettenberg Park Hotel & Spa in ...

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Property Profile: Bush Lodge at Amakhala Game Reserve

Bush Lodge at Amakhala Game Reserve, located in the Malaria free Eastern Cape province of South Africa, near Addo Elephant Park, Grahamstown and Port Elizabeth, is a 5-star Game Lodge nestled in the bush at the top of a vast ...

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Property Profile: Oceana Beach and Wildlife Reserve

Oceana Beach and Wildlife Reserve is a luxurious haven in South Africa’s Eastern Cape, and the only combined ocean and game reserve in Southern Africa. The resort forms part of Mantis Collection’s ultimate Garden Route journey. A short drive from ...

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Property Profile: Plettenberg Park Hotel

Plettenberg Park Hotel & Spa is poised in exquisite beauty on the Robberg Peninsula in Plettenberg Bay. Here guests can escape to a natural paradise where time stands still as nature unfolds. Marketed by Mantis, the hotel is situated in ...

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Waffling on about Waffles

My misconception of waffles being a mere base for sweet desserts has been dispelled since visiting the Waffle House in Ramsgate, South Africa, writes Des Langkilde Waffle: (noun) ‘A light crisp cake made of batter and baked in a waffle ...

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Homestays: the Dreamcatcher Story

The concept of experiential tourism or community based experiences, whereby visitors are offered opportunities to interact with local people in their homes and neighbourhoods, has come in from the cold in South Africa, writes Anthea Rossouw. Put another way, it ...

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Thrivability in Green Hotel Development

A recently launched hotel management company plans to expand its ‘Greenest Hotel’ concept across Africa, and backs-up its claim with some convincing facts and figures, writes Des Langkilde. I’ve always known the verb ‘thrive’ as meaning to prosper or flourish, ...

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Property Review: Hotel Verde Cape Town

The airport industrial area of Cape Town, South Africa is not an address which inspires images of ‘environmentally-friendly’ or ‘carbon neutral’, but Hotel Verde is both these things, writes Kirsten Bohle. Nestled amongst the parking lots of rental car companies ...

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Fostering a Sustainable Hospitality Industry

In celebrating Earth Day 2015, a local green cleaning product manufacturer encouraged the hospitality industry to adopt sustainable practices to safeguard the environment, its guests and its employees, writes Raynique Ducie. How many beds are there in the hospitality industry ...

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Reviving Hotel Legends

The KwaZulu-Natal South Coast is well remembered by many through their childhood memories of warm sunshine, sandy feet, family hotels, the charm of seaside resorts and the sound of seagulls calling for their souci, writes Nikki Tilley. Fast forward to ...

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SA Hotel industry must embrace technology

South African hotels, like their global peers, must expedite the adoption of technology to meet customer-led demand, according to a new report from Grant Thornton, writes Lianne Osterberger. Internationally the hotel industry has lagged behind other sectors in adopting technology ...

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Big Data for Hoteliers

The Next Frontier in Revenue Management Big Data seems to have been the buzzword in most industries for the last five years. But unlike many other industries that have integrated Big Data as a key component of their operations, the ...

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Property Review: Grootbos

In South Africa there are ample hospitality establishments who provide 5-star accommodation combined with matching cuisine, but very few who excel in catering to all 6 experiential senses, namely sight, smell, taste, touch, hear and spirit. Grootbos Private Nature Reserve ...

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Why Deep Discounting Doesn’t Work

Hotels that participate in last-minute discount deals might not make the best business decision – no matter whether it is done to raise awareness or as a way to boost occupancy. By Tourism Tattler contributor, Jean Francois Mourier. Black Friday ...

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How to turn your Guesthouse into an Events Location

South Africa’s hosting of the 2010 World Soccer Cup left in its wake a range of businesses that sprang up to fill the needs of thousands of tourists brought to the event. Following four years of global economic recession, many ...

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How to Brew your own Craft Beer

Guests appreciate the unique aspects provided by their hospitality host, so why not try brewing your own craft beer. Brew master Dean Langkilde shows Tourism Tattler how. GETTING STARTED You have two options here: buy the beer kit, which provides ...

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Property Review: Wild Clover Farm

The likelihood of finding a four-leaf clover in nature is 1 in 10 000, and according to Irish superstition, brings the finder good luck. Tourism Tattler found both when visiting this unique hospitality establishment located in Stellenbosch, along Cape Town’s ...

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Property Review: Entabeni Safari Conservancy

A Legend(ary) Cultural Conglomeration Tourism Tattler correspondent, Renate de Villiers visited Entabeni Safari Conservancy in South Africa’s Limpopo province to discover what developments have taken place under the portfolio management of Legend Lodges, Hotels and Resorts. All over the world ...

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Wine Making and Cultivars

In Part 1 of this series, Belinda McLaughlin starts at the beginning − with six essential factors in wine making and cultivars (the types of grape). Part 2, which can be read on pages 24 – 26 of the July ...

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Growth Expected in Africa’s Hospitality Sector

Report Review: PwC 4th edition: ‘Hospitality Outlook: 2014-2018’ Despite South Africa’s economy facing headwinds, the hospitality sector is poised for further growth in the next five years in the wake of a number of inbound travellers into the African continent. ...

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Best Safaris in Africa Announced

Now in its sixth year, the 2014 Safari Awards, reveal the very best safari lodges, camps and houses alongside the most outstanding safari guides and operators in Africa – the ‘who’s who’ of the safari community. Sponsored by The Good ...

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Travellers Want Personalised Service

Primary research of 7,000 international globetrotters worldwide reveals the latest needs and desires of today’s traveller. The expectations of 21st century travellers are evolving – and the standards expected of global hotel brands are high, according to new research published ...

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Star Grading Unpacked

When talking about hospitality establishments like hotels and B&Bs, referring to their star rating is rather common – but how many of us really know what it all means? How do hotels get graded and what does each of the ...

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Floating Hotels of the Future

As fears of global warming induced population displacement are steadily realized, the allure of waterborne aquatecture becomes more and more enticing. Designed by Alexander Asadov, this incredible floating Aerohotel features a lighter-than-air aesthetic that sits serenely atop an elegant system ...

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Tourism Grading Council Provides Unique Benefits

The Tourism Grading Council of South Africa (TGCSA) claims that it is the only organisation in the country that can give hospitality businesses competitive advantages that include unique benefits, such as: Access to the multi-billion Rand Government business. Only Star Graded ...

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Hotel Scam Alert

Tourism Tattler received the following scam alert from a concerned reader: You arrive at your hotel and check in at the front desk. Typically when checking in, you give the front desk your credit card (for any charges to your ...

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South Africa’s Welcome Challenge

It’s the little things we do that make a big difference. “Even in the middle of the bush, making sure my visitors get the best service is essential – and that’s my responsibility. I’m attentive to all needs of my ...

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Property Review – Kwandwe Private Game Reserve

The word ‘Kwandwe’ is derived from the isiXhosa language and means “Place of the Blue Crane”, which is appropriate given that this endangered species is South Africa’s national bird, and ties-in well with the Private Game Reserve’s environmental and conservation ...

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Samara Introduces New Mandela Landscapes Tour

Samara Private Game Reserve in South Africa’s beautiful Eastern Cape, is delighted to announce a new seven day tour which will celebrate the life and origins of the great Nelson Mandela.  The Eastern Cape was the centre of the Apartheid ...

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Ndumu River Lodge

Ideally positioned along KwaZulu-Natal’s Route 22, between the village of Jozini and the Mozambique border, Ndumu River Lodge provides an ideal wilderness retreat for business travellers, incentive groups, wedding functions or just a long-weekend away. By Des Langkilde Researching the ...

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Property Review – Ubizane

Ubizane – The Place of Calling Ubizane Wildlife Reserve in South Africa lives up to its isiZulu name as a place that invokes natures call to experience her abundance of flora and fauna – natural assets that are as unique ...

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Restaurant Review – BiCE Hyde Park

Real Italian fine dining lights up Hyde Park Experience an authentic Italian journey of taste and flavour at BiCE Ristorante was the invitation. Who could resist that? Certainly not me, writes Tattler editor, Marjorie Dean. I have driven past the ...

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Hotel Industry’s Balancing Act

Seeing as much of the world as possible is on most tourist’s bucket lists. Experience and memories constitute the return on their life investment but being able to get their heads around justifying the costs involved can be a whole ...

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Putting Bums in Beds with Barter

How to trade unsold bed-nights for media (and improve cash-flow). We all know that advertising builds brands and generates new business leads, but when marketing budgets shrink and cash-flow dries up, we need to find practical solutions to retain top-of-mind ...

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The Rock that proved to be a Gem

Nestled in a tranquil suburb, African Rock Hotel is an exclusive five-star boutique property – the first and only one of its kind in Kempton Park, South Africa and just a short drive away from Johannesburg’s OR Tambo International Airport. ...

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Finding the perfect travel MEMENTO

After a lifetime in travel, my home is full of souvenirs and mementos of places I have visited. From the outrageously tacky to the downright bizarre, the list of trinkets sold to tourists is endless.  And the memories they bring ...

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Tsogo Sun develops entrepreneurs

I was privileged to attend a truly positive tourism event recently, writes Tattler Editor Marjorie Dean. This was the Awards and Graduation ceremony for those guesthouse owners who were fortunate enough to participate in the most recent Book-a-Guesthouse Programme run ...

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Republic of Hout Bay

Cape Town’s Hout Bay is not only famous for its fresh fish and busy harbour, but also as the “Republic of Hout Bay”. Back in the late 1980’s local businesses supported the Lions and Rotary Clubs to raise funds for ...

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Warm and Welcoming – Natal Spa

Gooderson Leisure – A South African company for South African people.  That’s what their marketing material says. And on a recent visit to the lovely Natal Spa resort by Tattler Editor Marjorie Dean there was an opportunity to see just ...

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From Post Office to Monarch Hotel

Converting a post office into a five star hotel may have been a challenge for some but not for the Mantis Collection who have retained the old world elegance of this historical landmark, writes Des Langkilde. Once the iconic 1930’s ...

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Art Deco Boutique Hotel

Adrian Gardiner’s Shamwari Townhouse in Port Elizabeth underwent a major Art Deco revamp and relaunched as No5 Boutique Art Hotel with some innovative features, writes Des Langkilde. In choosing the new identity, No5 Boutique Art Hotel, the Mantis Collection literally ...

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The Last Word on Constantia

Constantia in South Africa’s Western Cape provice is home to eight wine estates and three championship golf courses and The Last Word Constantia, writes Des Langkilde. Situated in the Cape’s oldest and most beautiful wine valley, The Last Word Constantia ...

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Luxury Apartments at the southern tip of Africa

Self-catering apartments may be plentiful in the ‘Mother City’ of Cape Town but few match the sheer luxury and aesthetic appeal as that offered by this gem in Mantis Collection’s bevy of fine African properties, writes Des Langkilde. Located in ...

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Origins of the Mobile Tented Safari

A safari experience is unique to Africa but what does it take to put together a truly memorable safari reminiscent of bygone colonial times? Tourism Tattler’s Bev Langkilde spoke to award winning entrepreneur, Peter Hayward who is acknowledged as being ...

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Garden Route Pearl with elevated sea views

The Western Cape province is home to South Africa’s Garden Route attractions and the tranquil village of Wilderness, famed for its indigenous fynbos, dense forests and picturesque ocean views, from which Views Boutique Hotel and Spa derives its name, writes ...

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The Smoke that Thunders – as the lion roars

For a classic bush experience reminicent of a by-gone era in the heart of Victoria Falls, treat your guests to a safari at the Stanley & Livingston Safari Lodge, writes Des Langkilde. The 6000 acre Stanley and Livingston Private Game ...

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Good Value, Good Fun

Memories you can afford As tourism statistics show, both local and international tourists aren’t staying at home but rather going back to basics and demanding value for their money plus memorable experiences that couple “fun” with good service. Gooderson Leisure, ...

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The TGCSA recognises its quality assurance ambassadors

“We are determined to work with the assessors to help them deliver outstanding service to our industry and to establishments that enjoy benefits of being star graded” says the TGCSA’s Chief Quality Assurance Officer, Thembi Kunene. Accredited Star Grading Assessors ...

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New grading fees

With the implementation of the new Grading Criteria and Minimum Requirements in October 2010, the Tourism Grading Council of South Africa (TGCSA) introduced an equitable grading fee structure in order to address the inequalities that existed in the previous grading ...

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Turnaround for South Africa’s Hospitality Industry

Turnaround for South Africa’s Hospitality Industry. Continued economic growth, rising tourism and slower growth in the number of available rooms will lead to a recovery in hotel occupancy rates, writes Nikki Forster. Despite the recent economic uncertainty, South Africa’s hospitality ...

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Barter Exchange – A viable solution for un-sold bed-nights

With barter having developed into a sophisticated business tool, barter exchange can help Africa’s hospitality trade to increase business efficiency by facilitating barter trade exchanges to move excess inventory, writes Des Langkilde. The advent of the Internet and sophisticated relational ...

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Green Mobility in the Hospitality Environment

Purpose designed or adapted golf carts are the preferred mode of shuttling guests from A to B within hospitality properties, primarily due to their compact size and manoeuvrability but more importantly due to their silent operation. Being battery powered, a ...

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Vacation Ownership Proves Resilient in Tough Economy

According to a study done by Grant Thornton on behalf of the Vacation Ownership Association of Southern Africa (VOASA), vacation ownership resorts – e.g. timeshare, fractional ownership and private residence clubs – had an average annual occupancy rate of 80,5% ...

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