With more than 756 hotels in 56 countries across Central America, Europe, Asia and the Middle East, Mercure Hotels was founded in 1973. The group was acquired by Accor Hotels in 1975. The groups ambition? To be the most loved locally inspired global midscale hospitality brand. Combining the best features of a local and personalised experience, the Mercure group of hotels in South Africa have a unique personality that is enhanced by their enthusiastic hoteliers, always offering a warm welcome and excellent knowledge of the hotel and local attractions in area, combined with a professional and efficient check-in process. The chain has 4 locally inspired midscale hotels that provide a stimulating sense of place for local and international travellers. Located in the exclusive suburb of Bedfordview and directly opposite Eastgate Shopping Centre, the Mercure Hotel Bedfordview invites you to enjoy an elegant and warm experience during your stay. This affordable hotel has 120 air-conditioned, comfortable rooms and apartments. Unlimited Wi-Fi is available to guests throughout and the hotel also offers 3 meeting rooms and a self-service business centre for guest’s convenience. The restaurant serves an all-you-can-eat breakfast buffet with access to the terrace and outdoor swimming pool with a bar for guests to enjoy. Adjacent to Ferndale on Republic (a new retail development opening in September 2019) and previously known as Brightwater Commons, the Mercure Hotel Randburg is ideally situated within close proximity to Sandton and Rosebank, two of South Africa's financial and commercial hubs. Whether on holiday or a business trip, guests can enjoy sundowners in the bar or on the outdoor patio, along with adjoining room that is open for breakfast, light lunches and dinner until 9:30pm. 104 stylish guest rooms are equipped with free unlimited Wi-Fi, air-conditioning as well as flat screen TVs. Two intimate conference facilities can accommodate up to 20 delegates for . . .
A case for the out-of-town conference Remember the days when going away on conference, whether it was an hour out of town or an international or domestic flight to a cool destination, when budgets were bold and bolstered and you could even take your other half, was ever popular? Not anymore! The past few years have seen in-house conferences or those close-to-home getaways becoming the norm and with bottom-lines being paramount, groups got smaller and time spent out of the office less and less. But with business slowly gathering momentum the conference landscape is once again changing and the out-of-town conference is gaining popularity for businesses large and small. Why? Well, it has enormous benefits, apart from an increase in employee retention and improved motivation – there is less absenteeism which all contributes to a better bottom line and therefore bigger budgets to get your team out of the office. Craig Scott, CEO of Langebaan Country Estate, a lifestyle estate and conference venue up the West Coast, says, “We have definitely seen an upsurge in conference bookings, particularly for destinations that offer more than just a room. Conference-goers are wanting to be able to work while they stay and play, and venues are having to up their game in terms of their offering.” Conferences may be expensive – from venue hire, to the plane ticket, car hire, meals and the ever-burgeoning bar tab, never mind the time away from the office where you could be doing ‘work’; however, conferences provide a unique opportunity to learn, engage, uplift and have some fun in a single package, allowing staff to grow and challenge themselves. And, if you are the boss man or woman, allowing your employees to get out of the office, gain confidence in their abilities and bring new ideas back into the business, is quite simply an investment for the company. Scott adds, “Many venues offer great specials and packages to accommodate any pocket, so even if you can’t swing an . . .
On 10 November 2018, AYANA Resort & Spa in Bali, Indonesia was the venue of the prestigious 12th anniversary of the World Luxury Hotel Awards. Over 360 guests flew in from around the world to attend the event, which awarded the world’s finest hotels for their luxury offerings and exceptional service delivery. Fairlawns Boutique Hotel & Spa won the award for the Most Romantic Luxury Hotel on the African Continent, adding to their already impressive collection of accolades. The World Luxury Hotel Awards is a recognised global organisation providing luxury hotels with recognition for their world class facilities and service excellence. These awards are the pinnacle of achievement in the luxury hotel industry, offering international recognition as voted by guests, travellers and industry players alike. Over 300 000 international travellers vote each year to select the winners. This auspicious award is a proud addition to Fairlawns’ 2017 World Luxury Awards including World Luxury Restaurant Award, Luxury Spa Hotel – Country Winner and Luxury Boutique Hotel, Regional Winner; South Africa. Fairlawns Boutique Hotel & Spa is a star in all aspects; food, beverages, accommodation, spa, service, decor and guest experience! For boutique living Fairlawns is second to none, offering opulent luxury for the discerning traveller, local and international alike. Discreet service and pure escapism ensure a truly romantic experience to spoil that someone special and escape from it all. Chic, luxurious accommodation, a tranquil and indulgent spa and the very best cuisine and fine dining add to the romantic experience. Fairlawns is a hidden oasis and gem within bustling Johannesburg offering 41 special destinations and spaces in one venue which is the ideal escape for couples! Experiencing all that Fairlawns Boutique Hotel & Spa has to offer will leave no doubt as to why it has been named the Most Romantic Luxury Hotel on the African Continent! Choosing . . .
Savour summer for longer at Constantia Glen Take advantage of extended summer opening hours and indulge in fine cool climate wines and delicious taste partners at Constantia Glen, the picturesque boutique wine estate in South Africa’s oldest wine growing region. The Constantia Glen tasting room is open daily from 10h00 until 20h00 for the festive season starting on 7 December. As the addition to their perfect foil for balmy sunny days, tender kudu carpaccio, seared tuna niçoise, and creamy burrata mozzarella caprese have made a comeback at the Constantia Glen tasting room in popular selection of generous platters and cracking Flammkuchen. These moreish summer specialities pair perfectly with Constantia Glen’s fine selection of wines. Framed by majestic mountain views, the tranquil Constantia Glen setting is the ideal backdrop for a sensory summer indulgence, whether you prefer to kick start your day with a vivacious Cap Classique breakfast, enjoy a laid back lunch or watch the sun set over outstretched vineyards. The burrata caprese and seared tuna niçoise are available at R180 each, while the cost of the kudu carpaccio is R125. There is a wide selection of wine tasting options to find you ideal summer favourite. All wines are available by the bottle and can be purchased by the glass from R60. Known for exceptional cool climate Bordeaux-style red and white wines, Constantia Glen’s dryland vineyards are farmed without any irrigation. The tasting room is open seven days a week from 10h00 till 20h00 from 7 December 2018 until mid-January 2019. Booking via http://www.constantiaglen.com is highly recommended. The tasting room will be closed on Christmas Day and New Year’s Day. Look out for the Constantia Glen signs towards the top of Constantia Main Road. CLICK HERE to submit your press release to MyPR.co.za. . . .
First Car Rental Partners with The Capital Hotels & Apartments GAUTENG, JOHANNESBURG, 22 NOVEMBER 2018 - First Car Rental, a pioneer in advanced customer-centric technology that enhances the renter experience, reducing effort, saving time and increasing efficiency, has announced a preferred partnership with The Capital Hotels and Apartments, one of the largest providers of fully-serviced luxury apartments and hotel rooms in the country. Announcing the partnership, Melissa Nortje, First Car Rental's Executive Head of Strategy, Development and Marketing, said, "This partnership is an unequivocal meeting of minds aligned to our business strategies, and a perfect fit within existing travel partners such as FlySafair, the most on-time airline in the world. I believe, together, we fulfil an efficient and affordable travel partnership, ideal for both the corporate and leisure sector, extending a first-class travel solution covering air and ground transportation as well as accommodation. The real deal." Since its inception in 2008, The Capital Hotels and Apartments has achieved outstanding success in the corporate hotel industry. Nationally, they have multiple properties in key locations, including eight apartment hotels. The Capital Empire, The Capital On The Park, The Capital 20 West, and The Capital Moloko, in Sandton. The Capital Menlyn Maine in Pretoria, in Rosebank, The Capital On Bath, Cape Town The Capital Mirage and Umhlanga the The Capital Pearls. The Capital Hotels and Apartments Managing Director, Marc Wachsberger, revealed he had already begun looking at countries in Southern Africa. "We aim to open two new properties every year, expanding to all the major cities across South Africa. We also have plans to expand into Southern Africa soon" he said. This dynamic brand, of similar size to First Car Rental with close on 500 employees each, is anchored in challenging hotel norms and fostering an entrepreneurial spirit, which means quick decisions, . . .
SOUTH AFRICA, Johannesburg – Thursday, 22 November 2018: Domestic Tourism enjoyed a significant upsurge in September 2018, with trips in and around South Africa increasing by 8,5% when compared to the same period last year. This also included an increase in holiday trips taken by South Africans during this period. In total, 12.9 million South Africans have travelled during the period of January to September 2018, with two million trips recorded for holiday purposes. The domestic and international tourism statistics were released by SA Tourism’s Strategy, Insights, and Analytics department this week. “These are encouraging signs for domestic tourism when one compares them to the same stage as last year,” commented Sisa Ntshona, SA Tourism CEO. “This recent statistic shows that despite the economic barriers facing South Africans, there is still an appetite for travelling and we need to work closely with our Trade Partners in South Africa to ensure that they continue to ensure competitive and favourable pricing towards local travellers.” While the signs on the Domestic front are positive, there were mixed returns on the International Tourism front for South Africa. Africa land market arrivals continued to grow, reflecting 3,1% growth when compared to the same period last year. Malawi and Zimbabwe arrivals showed significant growth. Africa air market arrivals also saw a 7,1% growth with arrivals from Angola and DRC leading the way with visitors to South Africa. “South Africa remains a favourite destination for African Travellers and we are excited to see this growth. When the new Visa reforms get implemented for travellers from the African continent in the near future, I am confident we will see even better growth,” said Ntshona. The Americas - North and South – have maintained growth in their region. North America, showed slight growth with an arrivals increase of 1,5% in comparison to the same period last year. South America was impressive . . .
With December approaching faster than a Boeing, here are your top ten tips to ensure that you get the best bang for your buck this travel season. “With so many competitors in the market, and so much travel information available to us all in this digital age, I want to cut through the clutter and give you some really helpful information about bookings, ticket prices, and airports,” says Benediction Zubane, head of Marketing at Mango. Mango’s 10 tips are: 1. The more flexible you are the more likely you are to secure a rock-bottom airfare. Booking as far in advance will secure the best-priced seats for you and your family. This means if you can fly out first thing in the morning, or last flight out, there is probably a bargain waiting just for you. The extra money you save can be put toward spending on those little extras that we all tend to forget about in our holiday budget. You know, like the ice-cream you just have to have, to cool off after a hot day on the beach. 2. Normally, booking a package deal, which includes either a car hire or a hotel – or both, can work out cheaper than trying to book all three separately. We have negotiated awesome deals with Car hire companies, and hotel partners that we package for various budgets. We’re all different, so it means we all need different holiday options. 3. If you are wanting to travel outside our boarders, why not consider Zanzibar. This magnificent island off Tanzania is the perfect destination for a ‘baby-moon’, or a honeymoon, we don’t mind which comes first! Those azure beaches and perfect temperatures all year round make for a one-in-a-million vacation. Mango has great packages to Zanzibar, and if you can fly out of school holiday season, you can generally get a great rate. 4. For Zanzibar you need a passport, and these days you can get it at most banks. Now that’s the best tip you’ll get, because it means no more long queues at Home Affairs (HA)! But if you your bank does not have this . . .
Fairlawns Boutique Hotel & Spa in Johannesburg, the award-winning urban oasis in Sandton, offers delectable experiences that will delight all your senses. Foodies, socialites and the “who’s who” all agree that being at Fairlawns is a culinary delight. Experience it for yourself! The setting is gorgeous, the food perfection and the beverages imaginative, varied and plentiful. Within one venue, a sanctuary in Sandton, there are multiple dining experiences to be enjoyed, decide what most appeals to your mood and taste buds and savour it. For Breakfast, Lunch or Dinner: Amuse-Bouche Restaurant boasts a sophisticated à la carte menu for the adventurous palate, paired with a Platinum Award Winning wine list. The restaurant offers breakfast, lunch and dinner. Their Harvest Table Buffet Breakfast starts from R 195 per person, a la carte and full breakfasts from R 235 per person, which offers a new spin on traditional expectations. Expect the unexpected from the a la carte lunch and dinner menus, priced from R 170. High Tea and Easy Eating: The Manor House Bistro features a more casual al fresco dining, in a contemporary setting with an eclectic appeal or the adjoining Terrace overlooking the immaculate lawns of Fairlawns. The restaurant is elegant, yet homely and welcoming, and features some of your favourite café style meals. The Manor House Bistro serves High Tea at its best: traditional with their signature five-star fun. Enjoy their high tea, in the morning or afternoon, served daily. The sandwiches are perfect, scones are fresh, and the mini cakes are mouth-watering. From R 325 per person. Into the Woods: Into the Woods, brings the garden inside the private dining room and offers a memorable experience for up to 12 guests under a chandelier in a re-creation of a Birchwood Forest. The culinary journey offers three set menu options; the 9-course menu starts from R 895 per person, the 7-course menu starts from R 695 per person and the 5-course menu . . .
Whether you’re in Cape Town for your #summerholidays from upcountry or enjoying a #staycation, head to the beautiful Boland town of Paarl for a spectacular summer holiday. Located within easy driving distance from Cape Town, this rural region is the perfect summer destination with a laid-back atmosphere, stunning scenery, fantastic food and wine and activities to suit the whole family. The arrival of summer means it is time to head outdoors and enjoy the magnificence of the Cape winelands. Picnics, al fresco dining, outdoor performances and events all ensure that visitors enjoy a memorable summer season. If you want to stay active during your holidays, there are several premier golf courses, MTB and hiking trails, kayaking, quad biking, fishing, horse-riding and even croc cage diving on the adventure menu. The Winelands Meander (http://www.winelandsmeander.org.za) is a convenient way of exploring the region with different routes to pick from highlighting specific places of interest and activities. In Paarl, you have six available routes, including the 8-Mile Route that explores exciting places of interest such as the iconic Language Monument, wineries, shops and restaurants along the Paarl Main Road – at 12,8km officially the longest in the country. The Gentleman’s Meander takes in golf courses, a polo estate, restaurants and top wineries as well as the statue of former President Nelson Mandela. Other routes will introduce visitors to destinations in Suid-Agter Paarl such as Fairview, Spice Route, Landskroon and the Alpaca Loom or alternatively to the Voor Perdeberg region with its award-winning wineries such as Windmeul and Perdeberg. Venture towards Simondium on the Simonsberg-Paarl route and discover gems such as Babylonstoren, Simonsvlei and Le Bonheur Reptile Adventures. Travel along the Dutoitskloof Meander and discover off-the-beaten track and historic wine estates with fabulous restaurants and outdoor activities. Paarl is the third oldest town in . . .
SOUTH AFRICA, Johannesburg – Friday, 9th November 2018: In a bid to advance and maintain a recognizable, credible and globally benchmarked system of quality assurance for accommodation and venues in South Africa, the Tourism Grading Council of South Africa (TGCSA) is pleased to announce that the new and revised grading standards for South Africa have been approved by Minister of Tourism, Derek Hanekom and is now gazetted for implementation from 01 April 2019. The new grading criteria include the introduction of two new categories in the form of “apartment hotels” and “small hotels” in which the luxury form (boutique hotels) would be encompassed. In addition to this, grading levels have been enhanced and will now also include a new 5-Star Premium grading level which is a recognition reserved for the pinnacle of luxury product in South Africa and will only be for those products that far exceed premium expectations with respect to quality standards and service excellence. The TGCSA has also introduced a new dimension to grading which allows for properties to capitalize on niche market differentiation. This new addition termed “accolades” includes insignia and criteria for niche markets such as child-friendly, pet-friendly, wedding venues, spa and wellness facilities, 4x4 etc. A full list of accolades will be available on the www.tourismgrading.co.za website in the coming weeks. Responsible Tourism also forms part of accolades offering, with the sole purpose of encouraging tourism businesses to operate more responsibly and limit the impact of their business on the environment. The South African National Standards(SANS) 1162 formed the basis of the compilation of the criteria attached to the Responsible Tourism accolade. The Responsible Tourism accolade is a recognition mechanism and not an accreditation nor a certification. “The approved enhancements to the grading system create greater value for our members and will further aid the Tourism Grading Council . . .