Drakensberg Gardens Golf and Spa Resort

Conference venue DrakensbergI recently had the pleasure of being invited to an educational site inspection at one of The Goodersons properties in the Drakensberg, Drakensberg Gardens Golf and Spa Resort.

The last time I went there was probably 5 or 6 years ago and I was pleased to see that maintenance has been kept up at the resort. The rooms we stayed in were large family style self-catering apartments and they had been recently refurbished in both hard finishes and soft finishes.

These self-catering units are very pleasant with satellite TV, en suit bathroom, kitchenette with full self-catering facilities. They are suitable for both leisure guests on holiday or for conference groups. Because each unit has two separate en suite bedrooms conference delegates can lock their door between their unit and the shared lounge area resulting in two separate rooms. But if it is leisure that you are after, then the units are large and very comfortable. Each unit has a deck off the lounge area with beautiful views of the mountains.

The facilities at Drakensberg Gardens are also plentiful and we enjoyed some tennis, a play area for kids, pony rides and numerous walks into the hills. The benefits of these activities for leisure guests obviously speak for themselves and kids can be kept entertained for hours on end taking part in outdoor activities that they probably don’t get exposure to at home. A bit of fresh berg air and some exercise goes a long way in forgetting the TV. But for the rainy day there is DSTV to keep everyone entertained.

For your conference groups these outdoor activities can come in handy if you plan to do some team building or just some light-hearted interactive activities with your group. Often budget does not allow for a full-blown team building programme and the activities available here can be mixed and matched to create a fun-filled day for your conference group without the cost of bringing in a professional team building company. Should you require a team building company though, there is plenty of space and options for them to build a programme for you at Drakensberg Gardens Golf and Spa Resort.

The existing conference venues that I remember from my last visit there have all been maintained to 3 star standards and offer a wide variety of choices in terms of plenary and breakaway rooms. The addition of the new conference venue Mashai is also welcomed giving your group a wider choice now of rooms for your conference delegates. So with a total of two conference rooms and a boardroom seating a maximum of 180 pax in the Rhino room the venue lends itself nicely to mid-sized groups. The accommodation available matches the numbers that can be seated in conference and if need be spill over accommodation can be outsourced to the time share on site.

There is a Wellness Centre on site consisting of a sauna and plunge pool, two Jacuzzis, two steam rooms, a 24 jet hydrotherapy bath (heated) as well as a fully equipped gym with cardiovascular circuit, weight training and juice bar. The Wellness Centre also includes Cellu-Beauty Wellness Retreat, which offers 5 treatment rooms (booking is essential).

For the golfing enthusiast, the Resort prides itself in the renowned Drakensberg Gardens Golf Club, the only 18-hole golf course in the Southern Berg (NGU affiliated). Known to be challenging but fair, the course is ideal for all golfers from seasoned professionals to the first time player.

So if it’s leisure or conferencing you are after give Drakensberg Gardens Golf and Spa Resort a try, you won’t regret it.

Drakensberg Gardens Hotel, a conference venue in The Drakensberg, together with THE VENUE PAGES is … BACK-ON-THE-BLOG with more give-aways!

Conference venue Drakensberg

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We have yet another GOODERSON LEISURE RESORTS prize to give away to one lucky reader of our Blog articles. This voucher is offered by the renowned and popular Drakensberg Gardens Hotel and Golf Resort in the Southern Berg in the Sani Pass region.

In the body of this article will be the answer to the question we will ask you at the bottom. All you need to do is correctly answer this to enter the lucky draw which will take place on 5 March 2013! Follow the instructions at the end of where to submit your answers to. Good Luck!

Location, Location

The spectacular scenery of the magnificent Southern Drakensberg, crisp mountain air, rejuvenating clear streams and azure blue skies make Gooderson Leisure’s Drakensberg Gardens Golf & Spa Resort a fantastic holiday escape and an ideal location for conferences and golfing events.

Set on a scenic 860 acre World Heritage site, the resort is a one of kind retreat for guests to rekindle, relax and unwind. One can venture into the great outdoors – hiking, horse riding, canoeing or trout fishing – play a round on the Southern Drakensberg’s only 18 hole golf course or simply relax beside the swimming pool.

Conference venue Drakensberg

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Due to the growth and popularity of mountain biking, the Drakensberg Gardens has developed and custom built a single track at the resort. The route is 12km and passes by the resort’s picturesque dam, through the golf course as well as the lush pine forest and is suitable for all riders of all levels. Another new addition is the custom designed BMX track for children and adult-wanna-be-kids. Bikes are also available to hire – enquire at the Hotel reception desk.

Golf Course

Drakensberg Gardens Hotel Golf Club boasts the most spectacular views of the Rhino Horn Peak and Lake Kwanyoni, boating and trout fishing dam with a beautiful clubhouse, unspoilt fairways and arresting greens that are kept in perfect playing condition throughout the year. The Club’s membership has been increasing every year and now has over 1000 members.
Guests will notice the improved appearance of the course with new bridges, cart paths, the level of the tee-boxes, as well as the purchase of additional golf carts.

Conference venues Drakensberg

Give your delegates more than just a conference, give them inspiration. Break away from the norm to a venue where your team will be made to feel relaxed in comfortable natural surroundings and which will increase their ability to focus on the task at hand. Management will help you to get the most out of your conference with well trained onsite staff and their ability to deliver on the hotel’s promise to provide good value.

Two state-of-the-art conference and function venues that seat up to 200 guests easily accommodate day conferences, residential seminars or conferences, presentations, cocktail parties, gala dinners, special occasions, cocktail functions and weddings. With its array of activities and facilities, the resort is perfect for conferences which include teambuilding.

The three-star rated Drakensberg Gardens Golf & Leisure Resort offers spacious and comfortable accommodation with standard, superior and deluxe rooms. All have private bathrooms, television, telephones, tea and coffee making facilities and heaters. The deluxe rooms also include under floor heating for those cold winter days.

Guests also have the option of four, five and six sleeper fully equipped self-catering units which are ideal for family getaways. Parents, who need a break from cooking and child care, can request a babysitter at reception and enjoy a meal in the romantic atmosphere, indoors or out on the raised deck with spectacular views.

To enter the competition, please answer this question by leaving your answer in the comments section of this post.  Also please remember to hit the like buttons below.  Watch our Blog for the winner will be announced on 5 March 2013!

How many conference venues does Drakensberg Gardens Hotel and Leisure Resort have?

Watch this spot! We run continuous competitons on our Blog (http://blog.venuepages.co.za) and visit our user-friendly website when looking for conference venues in any of the South African provinces.

Brought to you in the interest of growing hospitality and service by Venue Pages (www.venuepages.co.za) together with Gooderson Leisure Resorts.

CONFERENCE CENTRES KWA ZULU NATAL – IN BIG-5 COUNTRY

Conference Centres Kwa Zulu Natal

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Conference Centres Kwa Zulu Natal

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For quotes and availability on conference centres in Kwa Zulu Natal please click here or the  green arrow or the map to the right.

When one thinks of Big-5 Country, I am sure, like me, visions that come up are of game, tourists, cameras, sun hats and sun creams, animals, bush camp accommodation which includes sumptuous local delicacies, game, as well as a wide variety of familiar foods. These are of course the main attractions to this area, however Big-5 Country has also become very popular as a conference and seminar venue because of the assurance of the peace and tranquillity for maximum benefit of the event itself – a given in the setting of the natural life-style of the bush, the space, the comfort, not forgetting the excursions in the reserves.

Nowadays, most of the reserves offer first class conference venues, all fitted with state-of-the-art facilities to ensure a successful conference and access by road to the many excellent conference-bush lodges has been improved immensely over the years so getting there is a breeze on good roads.

Day and night game viewing drives accompanied by qualified field guides are par for the course and visitors can usually expect to see white rhino, giraffe, zebra, in some reserves lion ,leopard and elephant and abundant birdlife.

The climate in this area is hot and humid in summer, cool, comfortable winters with a summer rainfall. Close to the coastal region of Maputoland / Zululand, this is a sought after destination for both conferences and holiday makers as the two vastly different lifestyles, climate and resources are a short drive away from one another.

Some Wildlife Reserves include Ubizane Bush Camp, Thula Thula Game Reserve, Zulu Nyala and the renowned Hluhluwe / Umfolozi Game Reserve, the oldest in Africa, where the Big-5 (lion, elephant, rhino, buffalo and leopard) freely roam and for those looking for closer encounters with nature are invited to embark on foot with a trained game ranger to experience the magical bush as it is … wild, unspoilt and home to the many creatures which abound here.

Richards Bay is the closest ‘big town’ / becoming-a-city to the Big-5 Reserves and Coastal Resorts in this region and is South Africa’s most modern, premier bulk port. Although originally built (in 1976) for coal export, it has since expanded into other bulk and break-bulk cargoes. Its location is South Africa’s most northernmost and easterly port, 87 nautical miles northeast of Durban and is a gateway to Swaziland and Mocambique.

Richards Bay Conference Centres – Richards Bay Hotel Accommodation

Richards Bay offers in abundance, conference and exhibition venues, including custom built conference centres designed to international standards. Conference facilities in Richards Bay, KwaZulu-Natal range from Home-from-Home Lodges to large Richards Bay Hotels and Conference and exhibition centres.

Article by Rosalie Howard – Venue Pages

DRAKENSBERG CONFERENCE VENUES

Conference venues Drakensberg

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Conference venues Berg

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For a database of conference venues in Drakensberg please click here, or click the map alongside.

When one considers the awesome Drakensberg region as a possible conference venue destination, it is the main route through the Central Berg to the Northern Berg that springs to mind. Understandably as there is no question of it, this area from the little Berg outside Pietermaritzburg all the way to the Free State is adequately ‘stocked’ with 3 and 4-star hotels and each one has excellent conference centres and ample accommodation. There is however, the sometimes forgotten Southern Drakensberg, on the Underberg side of Pietermaritzburg, which while it is a little off the beaten track, is a hop and skip from Pietermaritzburg and well worth consideration for your next conference if it’s country, solitude, golf, team building, beauty and some adrenalin you are after.

The Drakensberg in KZN is divided into three main regions which are the Northern, Central and Southern Drakensberg. The Northern Drakensberg is a continuation of the Central Drakensberg and the picturesque Champagne Valley from Winterton and Bergville (where the highest peak in this part of the Berg is at Mont-aux-Sources at a height of some 3,300 feet) to the border of the Free State. In the Northern most part of the Drakensberg, you will find the Royal Natal National Park with many popular and professionally run hotels with conference centres close by, several excellent golf courses, a variety of team building companies, including the unique ‘Adventure Centre’ at the lovely Montusi Mountain Lodge. Take a swing on the flying trapeze at the nearby Adventure Centre (as well as giant trampolining, abseiling and other interesting options).

Golf in the Southern Berg. The delightful setting of the renowned 18-hole course at Drakensberg Gardens Hotel is a mere hour and a half’s drive from Pietermaritzburg, a little way beyond Underberg, also offering large conference facilities and ample accommodation. A well manicured and fully equipped camp site for the holiday makers who prefer to rough it a little, set amongst shady trees forms part of the Gooderson Group and is managed by the hotel. En-route you will find many smaller hotel venues and camp sites with breath-taking views, lakes, trout fishing, wild life and unspoilt terrain. The beauty of this unspoilt area has not been interrupted much by commerce, still retaining its original uniqueness. Those who wish to take the tour through the Gateway to the ‘Roof of Africa’, for the climb up the mountain into Lesotho by road to ‘The Highest Pub in Africa’ will enjoy the ride, an excellent meal at ‘The Highest Pub’, drink and soak in the unrivalled beauty from this incredible height, and return to the warmth and hospitality of the Sani Pass Hotel in the evening or spend a night at the top. Passports are required for this relatively short journey. 4×4 vehicles are essential on this route.

The Sani Pass is a spectacular mountain road that is a well-known entry point into Lesotho from South Africa. The Sani Pass is the only border post between Kwazulu-Natal and Lesotho. A 4X4 vehicle is necessary for this road especially if the weather is bad. Never underestimate the likelihood of change in the weather in Lesotho. A common truth is that you can have four seasons in one day, so be prepared.

Trek or traipse this beautiful area of the Berg and stop at all the delightful little spots along the way.

Underberg accommodation is an ideal central point to explore the Southern Drakensberg. The Southern Drakensberg presents more fly-fishing opportunities than anywhere else in South Africa. The Underberg district further boasts three golf courses and plenty of opportunities for river rafting, canoeing and tubing. Horse trails and polo fields add a further dimension to the list of fun activities in the area.

Underberg accommodation directory

• Drakensberg Gardens Hotel and Golfing Estate
• Himeville Arms Hotel – Hotel accommodation near Sani Pass – Southern Drakensberg
• Sani Lodge – Drakensberg Backpackers
• Sani Pass Hotel – South Africa’s premier Drakensberg Resort
• Sani Top Chalet – Accommodation at the top of Sani Pass
• Moorcroft Manor – Accommodation near Underberg in the Southern Drakensberg
• Pennygum Country Cottages – Accommodation near Underberg – Southern Drakensberg
• Plum Tree Lodge – A country guesthouse offering B&B accommodation near Underberg in KwaZulu Natal
• Robins Nest Guest House – Bed and Breakfast – Guest House accommodation in Underberg
• Sani Lodge – Underberg Drakensberg Backpacker accommodation
• Sani Pass Hotel – South Africa’s premier Drakensberg Resort near Underberg
• Taylors B&B – Bed and Breakfast farm accommodation near Underberg Southern Drakensberg
• Tumble In – Bed & Breakfast accommodation in Underberg, close to Sani Pass, South Africa
• Valemount Country Lodge – B&B and Upmarket Self Catering Accommodation near Underberg in the Southern Drakensberg