BACKGROUND: Tsogo Sun is one of Africa’s premier hospitality, gaming and entertainment groups with 14 casinos and entertainment destinations in six South African provinces and over 90 hotels in South Africa, Africa, the Seychelles and the Middle East.
WHERE IS IT? The resort sits a few kilometres from the Kruger National Park in Hazyview, Mpumalanga. The 450 kilometre journey from Johannesburg takes about six hours, depending on how often you stop along the way, and how many slow-moving trucks you travel behind on single-lane roads. You can also fly into the Kruger Mpumalanga International Airport or the Skukuza Aerodrome, both of which are an hours’ drive from the resort. For those commuting to and from Mozambique, Hazyview is an ideal stopover.
ROOM FACILITIES: Within the resort there are 60 rooms at the hotel and 104 self-catering timeshare units that sleep six. My double room was well appointed with two double beds, a desk, minibar fridge, kettle for tea and coffee, flat screen TV with the standard hotel DsTV bouquet, electronic safe and air-conditioning unit. A small private balcony overlooked the golf course. The bathroom was snug, but had everything I needed, including a decent-sized shower with good water pressure. Being that the room was near the end of the row, however, I did have to wait a little while for the hot water to reach me. Plugs have been installed for ease-of-access at the desk, with a USB port at the bedside table. Wi-fi is provided by Always On and guests are entitled to 500MB free per day. I had no trouble accessing the wi-fi and the speeds were decent.
RESTAURANTS & BARS: The Sesonke Restaurant off reception serves buffet breakfast and dinner, although you can opt for a la carte dining in the evening if your room rate doesn’t include meals. Offerings at both buffets is extensive, and tasty. I made up a large bowl of muesli and yoghurt with fresh, canned and dried fruit, toasted oats, nuts and seeds, and a healthy drizzle of honey. There was also the standard hot breakfast offering of eggs, bacon, toast, mushrooms, tomatoes and sausages, as well as cold meats, cheeses, porridge, pastries and waffles.
For dinner, I started with crumbed mushrooms, snails with garlic butter and smoked salmon on mini hash browns. The salad bar offered bowls of ingredients for you to make up your perfect salad. For the main course, I indulged in roast lamb and pork with rice, gravy and veggies. There was also soup, fish and pasta for vegetarian diners. For dessert I opted for crème caramel and carrot cake with cream cheese icing.
The restaurant fills up quickly in the evenings, especially on weekends as the time share rolls over on a Friday and weary travellers prefer not to cook after a long day in the car.
The Waterhole Bar, also off reception, serves lunch during the day, inside or out on the patio overlooking the pool. The bacon cheese burger is really delicious and they make a mean Long Island ice tea.
BUSINESS & MEETING FACILITIES: There are three conference rooms on site. The two smaller rooms can accommodate up to 30 people, while the large room has capacity for 200. The conference and events team has many outdoor locations within the resort and is more than willing to work with you to tailor-make your perfect function.
LEISURE FACILITIES: Onsite is the Eden Spa, which offers a wide range of treatments in a tranquil setting. The prices are really competitive and the signature ‘caviar’ pedicure is definitely a worthwhile experience – my feet have never felt so pampered. There is an 18-hole golf course, hiking trails for the energetic, and a jungle gym play area for the kids. Visit the resident hippo family at the watering hole. Pick up curios and supplies at the onsite shop.
VERDICT: The resort offers everything you need for a great getaway, whether you’re vacationing with family or conferencing for business.
T: +27 13 737 4600