Brookdale Estate has won the Accommodation category in the Best Of Wine Tourism Awards 2024, in recognition of the quality winelands guest experience offered by the Brookdale Manor House.
The Great Wine Capitals Best of Wine Tourism & Ambassador Awards programme celebrates innovation and excellence in wine tourism throughout 12 of the greatest wine regions in the world, including South Africa.
Set against the dramatic backdrop of the Klein Drakenstein mountains and hugged by a valley abundant with vineyards and fynbos, the Brookdale Manor House is a tranquil sanctuary on a working wine farm in the Paarl Winelands. With six guest suites, it is positioned as a world-class, winelands retreat to accommodate individual travellers, or small groups of family and friends travelling together. Built in a modern Cape Dutch style, it is elegantly furnished, featuring ample living spaces, extensive gardens, a pool house and terraces set around a magnificent swimming pool with panoramic views of the dramatic mountains and wine valley. Breakfast is included in the rate, with family-style lunches and gourmet dinner options prepared by the in-house chef and his team.
Yvonne Coetzee, the General Manager of Brookdale Estate says they are humbled and honoured to be amongst the high calibre of previous winners, such as Babylonstoren and Delaire Graff. ‘This award is not only for Brookdale, but for the Paarl Winelands, which deserves the recognition as it has so much to offer. We are very proud of this award which will highlight the quality wine tourism and hospitality experience on offer in this region. Around us are superb wineries, restaurants, nature trails and exceptional golfing, as well as interesting cultural and historical monuments – a myriad of attractions await to be explored from the Brookdale Manor House as base.’
Ever since its inception in 2021, Brookdale Estate has paid homage to its ethos ‘Stay Curious’. A true Cinderella story, the farm was once overgrown and underused. The Rudd family, originally from the United Kingdom, recognised the potential of the property and acquired the 67-hectare estate in 2015. In line with their vision to create a world-class country estate, today Brookdale offers exceptional hospitality and produces fine wines under the stewardship of talented young winemaker, Kiara Scott Farmer.
Recently opened on the estate, within walking distance from the Manor House, Executive Chef Gary Coetzee is at the helm of the Bistro at Brookdale Estate, which promises a relaxed, contemporary Paarl Winelands dining experience. Adjacent to the Bistro and the cellar, the Tasting Room invites guests to immerse themselves into the full Brookdale experience and sample the estate’s terroir-driven vintages, made in ever-evolving styles.
Mhondoro Safari Lodge & Villa has launched a new loyalty programme in support of each of its three community projects, which affords repeat guests the opportunity to give back in a meaningful and responsible way, whilst on a personal basis, enjoying a range of benefits and discounts.
Infrastructure for Mhondoro’s community projects is solely funded by the owners’ MF Foundation to provide employment, skills development and learning opportunities to staff members from the local communities and their children. These initiatives play an important role in job creation in the area; the sourcing of manpower from the immediate community; and upskilling workers to levels where they are employable, not only by Mhondoro but by other lodges and businesses too. Ultimately those with entrepreneurial spirit are encouraged and empowered to start their own businesses, or work in partnership with Mhondoro.
Located in the Welgevonden Game Reserve in the Waterberg (Limpopo province), Mhondoro recently purchased two large tracts of land adjacent to the reserve, where it has established an Eco-farm, and the soon-to-be-launched sustainable Farmhouse project. Back at the lodge, the Mhondoro Wilderness School operates from an old storeroom that was transformed to provide world-class schooling to a growing number of children from the local workforce.
Membership to the Mhondoro Loyalty Programme is offered in three tiers. In each case, members make a donation towards the community projects at a set fee and purchase accommodation credits to be exchanged for room nights. Discounts are offered at a rate of 15% for Silver; 20% for Gold; and 25% for Platinum membership. The discount applies to accommodation, spa treatments, premium wines, as well as curio shop purchases. Credits bought are valid for a year and once spent, members qualify for the additional benefit of free lodge nights at a rate of 2 nights per Silver member; 4 nights per Gold member; and 6 nights per Platinum member per year.
The CEO of Mhondoro Safari Lodge & Villa, Fritz Breytenbach shares his excitement about the project. ‘Our loyalty programme is designed to not only provide obvious financial benefits to our individual members, but holistically it creates the opportunity for repeat guests to contribute and become part of the greater good. The reserve is surrounded by several impoverished communities who will benefit directly from funds raised through our loyalty programme. A portion of the membership fee will go directly towards developing and running these community projects in a responsible and accountable way, aimed at creating more employment, upskilling talent and educating children. These projects are real and tangible, and we are proud of the fact that our guests have the option for site visits to these during their stay at Mhondoro, where they can witness for themselves the magic created by paying forward. In the words of Winston Churchill: “We make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give.”
TSWALU KALAHARI RESERVE FEATURES AMONG THE WORLD’S BEST RESORTS IN THE CONDÉ NAST TRAVELER 2023 READERS CHOICE AWARDS
Tswalu Kalahari Reserve has been included for the first time in the annual Condé Nast Traveler Readers Choice Awards, placing 12th in the Best Resorts in South Africa category for 2023.
Being voted onto this prestigious list reflects Tswalu’s continued commitment towards regenerative conservation supported by nature-based tourism in one of the most remote destinations in South Africa, the southern Kalahari.
By voting for Tswalu, guests have graciously acknowledged ongoing efforts to provide an exclusive wilderness experience in three, sustainably run, luxury safari camps spread across 114,000 hectares (280,000 acres). These representthe lowest guest footprint in a private reserve in South Africa, an experience further enhanced by the guarantee of a private vehicle, guide and tracker with every booking.
“Being acknowledged amongst our incredible industry colleagues is, in itself, an incredible accolade. Tswalu Kalahari Reserve showcases the richness and diversity of what South Africa offers as a wildlife destination and is driven by two ambitions: to create an inspirational experience for our guests and a conservation vision to restore the Kalahari to itself. With every guest contributing directly to the sustainability of the reserve in a true model of eco-tourism, I would like to express my sincere gratitude to each and every person who voted for us and for being such an integral part of our journey of restoration”, says Russel Binks, Head of Marketing, PR and Sales for Tswalu Kalahari Reserve.
In announcing all the winners, Condé Nast revealed that more than 520,000 Traveler readers shared first-hand travel knowledge by rating their best travel experiences of the top hotels, cruises, countries, cities, resorts, trains, airlines, airports, spas, islands, luggage, villas, and tour operators across the globe. Now in its 36th year, the Readers’ Choice Awards, with their unparalleled legacy as the travel industry’s longest running and most prestigious accolades, remain the ultimate symbol and acknowledgment of excellence within the travel sector, highlighting destinations that have made an impact on their discerning audience.
The 2023 Readers’ Choice Awards are now live on Condé Nast Traveler’s website at https://www.cntraveler.com/inspiration/readers-choice-awards and celebrated in the magazine’s November issue.
Having earned its reputation for delivering tailor-made celebrations that exceed all expectations, The Plettenberg Hotel has now gone the extra mile to focus on the ultimate ‘wedding celebration for two’. Known as a ‘Secret Escape’, it is essentially an elopement package tailored for couples seeking an intimate celebration without the stress and demands of a traditional, big wedding.
Part of The Liz McGrath Collection, the 5-star Small Luxury Hotels of the World property promises a unique wedding experience imbued with luxury and elegance, against the backdrop of Plettenberg Bay’s breath-taking vistas.
Every individual wedding-for-two is designed around the unrivalled setting, world-class cuisine and wines, and exceptional service, with exquisite accommodation to match. The Secret Escape offer comprises of two nights in the luxury of a Premier Suite with a bottle of wine upon arrival; and Full English breakfast daily, served on the terrace or in the restaurant overlooking the bay. A private wedding ceremony is included with thoughtful touches like an elegantly designed bouquet and boutonnière; a scrumptious small wedding cake; a bottle of Villiera Cap Classique to seal the deal; and the services of a skilled photographer to capture up to 36 treasured moments.
Set in the heart of the Garden Route, hugging the magnificent coastline, The Plettenberg also offers an unforgettable honeymoon experience. Graced with golden beaches, verdant forests, and a temperate climate all year round, Plett is a romantic destination that enchants every season. Within easy reach of The Plettenberg a myriad of adventures is waiting to be explored, including endless stretches of golden beaches, Robberg Nature Reserve and guided forest trails, as well as horse trails, skydiving, sunset cruises, ocean safaris and snorkelling with seals, to name but a few.
Back at The Plettenberg, the ultimate in seaside luxury awaits. Newlyweds can unwind at the Fresh Wellness Spa, soak up the sun at a choice of two swimming pools or take a picnic to Lookout beach. As the sun sets, sip on cocktails at The SandBar and savour seafood delights at the Restaurant at The Plettenberg, before the happy couple returns to their beautiful room where they may be surprised by a special romantic turndown service to celebrate their honeymoon.