The Secret to Shangri-La

Discover the secret to Shangri-LaSouth Africa, Limpopo; If the rat-race is wearing you out and you need a break not too far away from the city, possibly with the kids in tow, then Shangri-La Country Hotel & Spa (a mere hour outside Johannesburg and 14km from Modimolle) has everything you need and much more.

Named for a fictional, mystical place described in James Hilton’s 1933 novel, Lost Horizon, Shangri-La is synonymous with this hidden paradise – permanently happy and isolated from the outside world. Shangri-La means “the place of eternal youth”, and once you’ve entered the magnificent and impressive archways of this jewel in the Waterberg, time stands still and you are assured of leaving refreshed and restored. This Limpopo-based secluded sub-tropical paradise in the heart of the Bushveld offers all the amenities and cheerful service you’d expect from a four-star property – without the hefty price tag.

The hotel, which celebrates its 25th anniversary this year, is the ideal destination for families, offering child-care facilities, family-friendly restaurants and numerous activities for both young and old.

If you need to unwind, book a treatment in the spa or relax on a lounger on the pool terrace. Located at Shangri-La’s iconic sparkling pool, the Spa forms part of the relaxation area. Offering two calm treatment rooms – one customized for couples – guests can expect a range of services from an enticing variety of massages and skin and body care treatments, in beautifully soothing surroundings which will ensure a deeply enjoyable experience.

The hotel provides a unique country setting for your destination wedding, with an appealing brick-face wedding chapel, a variety of romantic venues to host your ceremony, and a myriad of hidden garden nooks and Bushveld backdrops, including the impressive Jacaranda Lane, offering excellent opportunities for capturing your special day.

Shangri-La offers modern and well equipped conference facilities on site, boasting three charming venues – an ideal place to foster creative and productive events. The wide selection of facilities and break away venues make company team-building experiences a worthwhile investment.

Another unique aspect is the hotel’s fenced game breeding programme. Guests are spoilt with views of springbok, impala, nyala and rare breeds of antelope. A hike to the majestic 350-year-old wild fig tree, situated on the outskirts of this earthly paradise, makes for an exhilarating outing for the entire family.

Up for something energetic? Then grab a tennis racquet or head for the onsite volleyball court, take the kids for a game of putt-putt within the hotel grounds or go for an early-morning run along one of the trails. Other family-friendly activities include a snooker table (pool) and a giant outdoor chess set.

For the more adventurous, there’s game viewing, zip-lining, 4×4 trails, hot-air ballooning, horse-riding and abseiling in the area which enjoys a mild year-round climate. Nearby Modimolle has numerous historical places of interest and Bela Bela, just under 25km away, is renowned for its therapeutic hot springs, spa and endless fun in the Forever Resorts Warmbaths water park.

During the school holidays, Shangri-La is offering supervised children’s activities to entertain the young ones. Budding junior chefs can don their chef whites and join a Junior MasterChef Class to learn how to conjure up delicious dishes, guided by the in-house culinary team. For the adventurous, there’s action cricket, touch rugby and action soccer. Other fun activities include clay building, “eye-spy”, painting, marshmallow golf, musical chairs and much more. In summer there are swimming pool games which are ideal for keeping the youngsters busy in a safe monitored environment.

At night, kids join in the a la carte dining experience which includes a selection of themed dinners including Greek, Chinese, Italian and braai evenings. If you want some alone time, book a child-minder to look after the little ones while you indulge in a romantic candle-lit dinner and the children are treated to a kiddies’ movie night to watch the latest animated and family-friendly blockbusters, complete with popcorn, sodas or pure fruit juices for the health-conscious parent.  Child-minders can also be pre-arranged for day-time baby-sitting duties, or to watch over youngsters in their dedicated children’s room, which is equipped with toys, the latest X-box, beanbags, a flat-screen TV, loom-bands and colouring books.

Families are accommodated in one of four family units, which have adjoining rooms for children, king-sized beds for the adults, showers or baths. Two of the family rooms have prime positioning near the game camps so you can see the antelope, indigenous Boschveld chickens, monkeys and baboons from the wide colonial porch. Besides the wildlife, the hotel’s resident water-loving Labradors and coy cats provide endless amusement and occasional friendly companionship.

Another fantastic family activity or dreamy couples outing is the highly recommended star-gazing in the rustic amphitheater or cosy boma. Wait for the stars to come out and showcase the Southern Hemisphere’s striking Milky Way; from the Southern Cross to Orion, depending on the time of the year, guests young and old will be amazed. The setting of both venues is on the edge of Shangri-La’s main building and the only light is the low gloom of a sombre fire that crackles in the background, while the sounds of the vervet monkeys, meerkats and owls creates the mood of being in the heart of Africa.

With three concurrent TripAdvisor Awards of Excellence in 2013, 2014 and this year (for consistently high ratings from its travelers), as well as two 2015 provincial Lilizela Tourism Awards for Service Excellence (including Best Visitor Experience), the hotel has recently undergone extensive refurbishments to its main building, which include an nguni-inspired promenade, a sun deck, cellar, an additional 100-seater restaurant aptly named The Bellows, the Baroque-themed Heritage restaurant and the intimate Barry’s bar.

For cocktails and pre-dinner drinks, head for the cosy Barry’s Bar amid antique furniture and oil paintings, or the sociable wooden deck, which provides seating among the treetops. This is the ideal spot for socialising over cocktails, exploring their Diners Club award-winning wine list, or for after-dinner cognacs and nightcaps. The hotel also boasts a beautiful wine cellar.

Afternoon tea, champagne breakfasts and light meals are served on the patio, while the more intimate Heritage Restaurant offers lunches and sumptuous dinners for up to 40 guests. In the morning, the Bellows Restaurant – a spacious, sunny venue with a big roaring fireplace, serves hearty traditional South African and Continental breakfasts.

Unwind, relax and reconnect at Shangri-La – where you can well and truly push the snooze button on life and leave refreshed and rejuvenated.

The following Family Package, which includes kiddies programme activities, is available during the October and December school holidays:

Pay only R2290 per family per night inclusive of dinner and breakfast in a two bedroom Family Room, offering one main bedroom, sleeping two adults, and an inter-leading single bedroom for one child.  (School holidays: 2 – 12 October 2015 / 11 December 2015 – 11 January 2016)

For more information and to book, call Shangri-La direct on (27) (014) 718 1600; email bookings@shangrila.co.za or visit http://www.shangrila.co.za . Visit the Facebook page and Follow on Twitter

For press assistance contact Monique Roux of Manley Communications on 0861 MANLEY (626 539), email to monique@publicity.co.za  or visit the Press Room of Manley Communications at www.manleycommunications.co.za
 
To contact Ian and Lise Manley call 0861 MANLEY (626 539), send us an email, join us on Twitter, find us on Facebook, or visit the Press Room of Manley Communications at www.manley-communications.com.

Great Easter Deals from South of Africa

holidayThe upcoming Easter Holidays are already on everybody’s lips!  Why not take advantage of South of Africa’s superb destinations with these fantastic Easter Specials, ranging from a 2 night stay at select Limpopo properties (including great Family Packages at the 4-star Shangri-La Country Hotel & Spa) to an unbeatable Bed & Breakfast offer from the 5-star Abalone House & Spa in Paternoster on the West Coast.

But hurry! Space is limited and rooms are selling fast.  Book online or call 087 820 5999.

Abalone House & Spa offer:

Get away these Easter Holidays and stay in the heart of the West Coast at Abalone House & Spa in Paternoster.  Book our Standard Superior or Luxury Superior bedrooms and indulge in the 5-star luxuries of the exquisite boutique hotel boasting a Reuben’s Restaurant and Healing Earth Spa on site.

Pay only R2390pn for our Standard Superior Rooms or R3190pn for our Luxury Superior Rooms.

Book online here or call 022 752 2044.

Valid 1 April 2015 – 3 May 2015.  Subject to availability.

 

Shangri-La Country Hotel & Spa offer:

Kids stay free when you bring the family to Shangri-La these Easter holidays to enjoy a fun-filled weekend getaway at the 4-star country hotel & spa.  Take advantage of the great range of activities available for the kids, including tennis courts, putt putt and volley ball courts, a kids play room with Xbox, toys and games, as well as the sparkling hotel pool with splash pool for the youngsters.

On Friday night enjoy the Table d’Hotel dinner, and on Saturday indulge in our wood oven baked pizzas and delectable pasta dishes.  Feast on our Full English breakfast each morning and get delicious hot cross buns in room on arrival.  On Easter Weekend kids enjoy our Easter Egg Hunt, while every other weekend kids enjoy our MasterChef Class where they create their own chocolates on the Saturday morning.

PACKAGE INCLUDES: 

  • 2 night’s shared accommodation in Family Rooms
  • Breakfast daily
  • Dinner on Friday (Table d Hotel) and Saturday (Pizza & Pasta evening)
  • Hot cross buns on arrival in room
  • Sunday morning Easter Egg Hunt for kids during Easter Weekend / MasterChef Class for kids on every other weekend

Pay only R995 per adult sharing per night.

TERMS & CONDITIONS:

  • Subject to availability.
  • Valid all weekends in March / April 2015.
  • Kids stay free – maximum of 2 children under the age of 12.  Children 12 + pay R330 per child supplement per day.

 

Modimolle Funky Stay offer:

Get away from the hustle and bustle this upcoming Easter Weekend!  Stay at Modimolle Funky Stay and pay only R490.00 per room per night inclusive of breakfast.

Call to book 087 820 5971 or 087 820 5999 or book online here.

Valid for the weekend 3 – 6 April 2015.  Minimum 2 night stay applies.

 

Birdsong Cottages offer:

Stay at the Birdsong Cottages this Easter Weekend. Take the family to enjoy a weekend away in the heart of the bushveld.  Kids are treated to an Easter Egg Hunt when you book our fantastic offer.

  • Owls Cottage B: Only R650 per night
  • Franklin or Guineafowl: Only R700 per night per cottage
  • Owls Cottage A or Sunbird Cottage: Only R800 per night per cottage
  • Flycatcher Villa or Kingfisher Cottage:  Only R1100 per night per cottage

Minimum 2 night stay applies.  Valid 3 – 6 April 2015 only.  Book here or call 087 820 5999.

Shangri-La opens its brand new Spa

spasl

The renowned Waberberg Country Hotel, Shangri-La, has crossed the threshold into the international hospitality arena. In response to the high demand from its loyal patronage of the past 24 years, the romantic Country Hotel in the heart of the bushveld has opened its very own Spa!  The long awaited move now elevates Shangri-La to new heights of decadence and service in an atmosphere of pure relaxation and sensual enjoyment.

Located at Shangri-La’s iconic sparkling pool, the new Spa forms part of the relaxation area.  “We have created a whole new space for our guests to enjoy the comforts of our well known destination,” says owner Johan Jansen van Vuuren, who has recently also opened a similar concept at the 5-star Abalone House & Spa in Paternoster.  “We have long been wanting to offer this service to our guests, and have the past 2 years been able to provide a mobile spa service with a local entrepreneur, however, the feedback has been extremely positive and the demand for a permanent offering high.  It was logical to take the next step.”

Elegant simplicity is what guests can expect from the upcoming Spa, which opened its doors on 1 July 2014 at Shangri-La.  The Spa offers two calm treatment rooms – one customized for couples. The services that guests can expect will range from a variety of massages and skin and body care treatments.  An enticing menu of face and body treatments is available to guests, and the beautifully soothing surroundings will ensure a deeply enjoyable experience.

The Country Hotel recently won its second consecutive Trip Advisor Award of Excellence 2014, which follows its first Trip Advisor Traveler’s Choice Award 2014 for top 25 Bargain Hotels in South Africa.  Shangri-La Country Hotel also boasts a Diner’s Club award winning wine list and has been hosting its popular monthly Food & Wine Pairing dinners to rave reviews this past year (read more about the next even further down).

Special Opening package:
To celebrate the launch of the new Shangri-La Country Hotel & Spa, the hotel offers an exclusive package to guests, inclusive of a Herbal-heated Hot Stone massage, 2 nights’ comfortable overnight accommodation with sparkling wine in the room on arrival, a 3-course dinner at the Heritage Restaurant and scrumptious full English breakfast in the Bellows Restaurant.  Both venues boast a fireplace which adds to the charm during winter.  Guests also receive a delightful bouquet of flowers and a special gift!  The package is valid from 1 July 2014 – 30 September 2014 for only R995.00 per person per night. Minimum two night stay.  Bookings essential.  Call 087 820 5999 or 014 718 1600 (direct).

Shangri-La’s Wine Tasting Dinners helps worthy cause

Sonstraal School representatives and children with Shangri-La Management

Shangri-La handing over a microwave to Mrs Hantie van Eeden and teacher Marie Mare from Sonstraal School

The award winning Shangri-La Country Hotel just outside Modimolle holds their monthly wine tasting dinners on the first Saturday of each month.  Already established as a culinary destination of choice in 2013, for both local and national visitors, Shangri-La’s first wine pairing dinner of the year was held on the 1st of March 2014.  Mr Chris De Klerk from Cape Wine Legends presented the acclaimed winery Zonnebloem.

During this monthly food and wine event, a bottle of the represented estate wine is auctioned off for charity, affording Shangri-La yet another opportunity to support the local community.  Sonstraal School is the latest recipient of Shangri-La’s passionate investment in those in need.  The school will now be able to conduct more effective culinary practical cooking classes for its students.

Mr Ken Strydom, General Manager of Shangri-La, said that he was thrilled by the opportunity that the hotel had to help those in need.  “Because this event has recently become a much talked-about dining experience in the local community, we decided that through involving the community in a way that not only enhances their awareness of the needs of local projects, but also allows them to assist, would certainly make the wine tasting dinners a worthy event to support.

Shangri-La’s Heritage Restaurant recently became affiliated with Chaîne des Rôtisseurs and also boasts an award winning Diners Club wine list.  The hotel is also proud to be the recipient of a Trip Advisor Traveler’s Choice Award for 2014 in the category Bargain Hotels.

Shangri-La joins fine dining giant Chaîne des Rôtisseurs

cdrThe Chaîne des Rôtisseurs is an international gastronomic society devoted to promoting fine dining and preserving the camaraderie and pleasures of the table with a strong commitment to the power of taste. Shangri-La Country Hotel, located between Bela Bela and Modimolle in the Limpopo Province, has recently joined this pristine membership boasting a typical bushveld menu with Gueridon service available on its new sundeck leading off the promenade.

Chef Nicolas Makwesa heads the team of talented Chefs constantly looking for creative and interesting cuisine from the local produce. Barry’s Bar has a wide variety of international cocktails to choose from including the signature “Nutcracker”.

Guests to Shangri-La can enjoy a pre-dinner canapé , afro-sushi or bushveld fondue whilst the sun sets. The Heritage Restaurant would then be your next destination for an exquisite fine dining evening of delight.

According to General Manager, Mr Ken Strydom, this is an exciting time for the Heritage Restaurant and Shangri-La Country Hotel, as there has been a huge demand for fine dining in the area.  “We look forward to offering both locals and visitors to our beautiful restaurant a dining experience they will never forget,” says Strydom.

Come and experience our true country hospitality and fine dining at the place of eternal youth.

Month of Love Packages

valentinesWe are proud to announce our superb Month of Love Packages for our Valentines- themed  celebrations this February.

Make your choice from our romantic secluded destination Shangri-La Country Hotel in Modimolle, the luxurious 5-star Abalone House & Spa in Paternoster, or the comfortable Elephant Springs Hotel in Bela Bela.  Each hotel offers its own unique pamper package valid for the month of February.

Visit our “Specials” page for more information on each individual package or call our Central Reservations office on 087 820 5999.

The incident with the pond at Shangri-La

Kgosi Dintlhoane during the course of Dr Bruce Copley at Shangri-La

Kgosi Dintlhoane during the course of Dr Bruce Copley at Shangri-La

Following Dr Bruce Copley’s recent AAHA course at Shangri-La this past spring, we received a heart-warming letter from one of the delegates, Mr Kgosi Dintlhoane. Take a moment to read of his experience with our pond.

The Pond, by Kgosi Dintlhoane
The message was very simple really, “Take note of me!” the pond whispered, but I was rushing to see the Zen garden you see, maybe this made the pond feel small that I passed without saying hi, without looking at it for a second. Rushing to see the Zen garden I could have noticed the chapel on the left and probably the bell too but did I not see the beautiful bird on the tree branch eagerly waiting to sing to me and I did not see green grass on the right waiting for me to rest on it a bit.

My mind focussed only on seeing the Zen garden and ignored the little pond that needed a second of my time. Is this not how we hurt those close to us focussing on our little work, worshipping only what would bring us more money whilst a child wants to play with us, whilst a friend needs a few minutes of our time, are we not always rushing to our Zen gardens.

Maybe the universe did hear the little pond’s cry and sent representatives to sort me out. Is this not how life unfolds sometime? Being stopped by some disease so that you could get the love of a child or wife or husband who waited desperately for you to come back from the Zen garden so that they could spend some quality time with you. Well as fate would have it, I was the first to go outside to check the attitude of the morning and found her to be in a pretty dark mood. I ignored her too and tried to find my way to the parking lot, walking with cheekiness really, thinking myself mightier than the dark morning and all its surroundings and thinking only of myself. Is this not how we normally are?

Well as fate would have it, the doors of the reception area were closed and I did not bother to go and test if they were locked or not because I always have a plan you see. I always ignore plans of others. As always I followed my plan to the letter and found myself walking all over the dark morning and thinking very little of her and very BIG of myself. Is this not how we normally are?

I found myself walking straight into this little pond as if with my eyes closed and headed straight for the water inside the pond with my feet facing up and my back resting on the surface of the pond. I could almost hear the pond finally say “Hi Mister!” Is this not how life unfold sometimes, finding ourselves at the very place we either avoided or paid little attention to?

I was furious of course, for my trouser and tekkies were all wet and my ankle was bruised and my ego was shattered. I wondered how could such a little pond manage to embarrass me like this. As you have been following this story you can realise I still did not get the lesson that life is not only about me and that there are others and other things that desperately needs your attention. Sometimes the universe will decide to help and strike that balance – the balance we all desperately need.

I went back to my room, very angry at what has just transpired. I changed clothes without thinking and left the wet trouser and tekkies on the bathroom floor and headed straight for the parking lot, minding the dark morning this time, paying needed attention to the surroundings. I tested the reception door which I deduced has never been locked but I missed this you see because I always have a plan better than anybody else’s.

As the day unfolded I came back from my walk a new man, because as I was walking I thought a lot about the pond and realised that all the pond ever wanted was for me to notice it and perhaps comment on it.

I started having a clear visual of that little pond whilst so far away from it. I started seeing it in front of my eyes whilst walking, started to see the beauty of its water cohabitating with little leaves in harmony and how the rocks made a heart like circle as if to say to all to passers by “Hey look I too can love you.”

This pond must have suffered a lot, watching all of us walk in and out of Shangri-La without paying homage to it, without spending a second to look at it. The real miracle happened when I made peace with the lesson from the pond. When I finally came to my room from a refreshing walk, ready for the day and ready to tell the story (so that others may learn something from my lesson) I suddenly realised that my trouser which I had left on the floor is not there. I looked for it everywhere in my room, thinking I am losing my mind.

I walked to the reception area, furious. I had forgotten about the lesson from the pond and went back to my normal habits and enquired in a dark mood about my trousers to the receptionist. She was confused and yet humble and willing to help but I had my agenda you see, my mind was full of ‘somebody will pay for my ignorance, lack of attention but most of all for my arrogance’. To my surprise, the housekeepers took liberty to take my trousers to the laundry to be washed. Right there at the reception, after hearing this, God returned to my heart and suddenly my eyes were filled with tears of gratitude. Some angels do not have wings attached at their back, they walk among us every day of our lives – ready to take our trousers and wash them, never expecting even a thank you in return.

Going Green at Modimolle Funky Stay

funkystay signModimolle Funky Stay is well known for its vibrant colours and unique style.  Our favourite colour though, is green!

The road side sign welcoming guests to Modimolle Funky Stay has received “green treatment” with the installation of a solar panel and LED power saving lights, with an automated day / night switch.

This brilliant initiative is not only a superb way to save on electricity usage (which we highly recommend), but it also helps as a long term investment in our surroundings, and in a very small way, the health of our planet.

Go green!  It’s funky, and the right thing to do!

Taking care of our animals at Birdsong Cottages

zebrasBecause of the superb bushveld location of Birdsong Cottages, a variety of wildlife is found on the premises.  The well being of our animals is a very high priority for South of Africa, and we have taken advantage of the generous assistance of farmers and nature lovers in our immediate surroundings.

Birdsong Cottages is a 32 hectare property, and with the good will of our neighbours, we have dropped the fences on both sides of the property, allowing the game to roam free in what is now a 100 hectare area!  We have 2 specified feeding points on site where these animals may be found during the late afternoon.

When you next visit Birdsong Cottages, ask our friendly staff to show these feeding points to you.  Pack a picnic basket and enjoy the beauty of nature in the heart of the Waterberg.

New Wedding Reception venue coming to Birdsong

devbsThere is a number of exciting additions coming to Birdsong Cottages in the next year.  Having recently launched the cosy Edwin Cameron Boma at Birdsong Cottages, the news of more developments therefore comes as no surprise.

A brand new Wedding Reception venue is currently being created at Birdsong, which is within close proximity to the glorious stone chapel on site.  Guests who have visited Birdsong in the past, may have noticed the “Koi Dam” in the covered building near Flycatcher and the Sunbird Cottage.  The “Koi Dam” is an old undercover swimming pool which have been turned into an aquatic home for our beloved fish friends.   This venue has been in development for the past year, with the first stages of renovations already completed.

Phase two has now commenced with reinforced steel frames, which will carry the exquisite wooden deck with a marvellous view of the surrounds.  The “Koi Dam” will be the main feature of this unique Wedding Reception venue.  A bar, seating area, and industrial kitchen on the lower level beneath the deck, will all be valuable additions to this fantastic venue.

Johan Esterhuizen, Project Manager, revealed the artist impression of the venue today and said that he is looking forward to adding more charm to the already beautiful wedding destination in the heart of the Waterberg.

The venue will also be ideal as a breakaway room for conferences.  A new conference venue is also in development near the swimming pool.  The development and progress of the Wedding Reception venue will be featured on our Facebook pages in the coming months.  Don’t forget to like both the Birdsong Cottages and South of Africa pages when you visit Facebook again.

Shangri-La’s Heritage Restaurant participating in Restaurant Week 2013

sldin01Shangri-La Country Hotel’s Heritage Restaurant has joined the annual international event Restaurant Week South Africa.

Restaurant Week South Africa will be held nationwide for the first time, after it has been successfully organized in cities like New York, London and Shanghai. The official partners are American Express, SAfm, Peroni, Good Fellas, Master Menus and SO WIFI. The South African Chefs Association is the charity partner and part of the revenue will be donated to their World Chefs Tour Against Hunger fund.

Restaurant Week is a set 2-course lunch menu and / or 3-course dinner menu offered by partners who participate.  Restaurant Week takes place 24 October to 3 November 2013.  For further information, rates and menus, visit www.restaurantweek.co.za.  You can also view the Heritage Restaurant’s page here.  Read the official press release here.

Wedding Expo Exhibition

blogexpoSouth of Africa exhibited at the Wedding Expo held at The Dome, Northgate, Johannesburg, during 24 & 25 August 2013.  Our representatives introduced all of our magnificent wedding and honeymoon facilities in both the Limpopo Province and Western Cape.

South of Africa’s superb corner stand was busier than ever, boasting our new branding, logo and marketing material.  Thank you to all who visited our stand.