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.

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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.

Win a weekend away for two to Woodridge Country Hotel and Spa, a conference and wedding venue in The Midlands KZN

Conference centre Midlands, KZN

Woodridge Country Hotel and Spa is sponsoring a wonderful prize for 2 adults, to win a weekend at their 4-star ‘home-from-home’ on a bed and breakfast basis. Enter our competition by answering the question below and follow our Blog until the draw which will take place on the 21st September 2012. Good Luck! Be a winner!

Location, Location …

Woodridge Country Estate is situated along the magical Midlands Meander, overlooking the rolling hills of the Balgowan valley and direct neighbour to the world-renowned ‘Michael House’. This delightful, luxury conference and leisure venue is waiting to welcome you!

Elegance, beautiful appointments, unsurpassable hospitality and excellent cuisine and service are enhanced by the diverse activities on offer at the property, amidst the naturally grown lavender fields and in the surrounding Midlands Meander. A perfect Team Building destination.

Facilities include a Wellness Spa, a beautiful chapel with awesome valley views and a Wildlife Nature Reserve which attracts not only local folks in conference, or attending weddings but also tourists en-route to the Drakensberg or further afield.

For assistance with your strategic or business planning contact us on 0861 262 262 or info@venuepages.co.za.

Conferencing and Functions, KwaZulu Natal Midlands

Woodridge Country Hotel and Spa offers tailor-made Conference packages to meet individual budgets and needs and these include the facilitation and organization of team building activities on or off site as well as an on-site specialist in Strategic Planning.

The White Mischief venue is ideal for smaller conference groups of 5-24 delegates or for a private, intimate dinner and the Crested Eagle Venue is the perfect venue for 60 – 120 delegates offering full internet facilities.

‘On A Clear Day, You Can See Forever’ … this is from the view-point of the ‘Isibaya’ A La Carte Restaurant which overlooks the Balgowan valley and extending from this is a spacious wooden deck where light meals are served. The restaurant, serving sumptuous home-cooked yet top-chef prepared meals, is open daily for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Within the Nature Reserve is The Boma where one may enjoy an outdoor African eating extravaganza surrounded by the unspoilt natural beauty of the property.

Accommodation Rooms at Woodridge Country Hotel:

Set in the picturesque gardens on the property, Woodridge Country Hotel & Spa offers luxury accommodation in 10 Deluxe suites, 5 Family Chalets and 27 Valley or Forest Suites.

Midlands Meander Activities …. These are numerous and varied, all a stones-throw from Woodridge Country Hotel and Spa – your Gateway to the Midlands Meander and the Drakensberg. Some ideas for the leisure guests, tourists and conference visitors to the venue include: (Follow the map or collect the printed version at Woodridge Country Hotel and Spa and spend a day on this magical mystery tour of the meander with a packed picnic lunch provided by the hotel!)

• African Bird of Prey Sanctuary
• Blue Caterpillar Art Gallery
• Dargle Valley Market
• The Brewery at Nottingham Road
• Culamoya Chimes in the Dargle Valley
• Fly Fishing at Kleinbosch Estate
• Africa Adventure Centre
• Guided Horse Rides at Kleinbosch
• Karkloof Canopy Tour
• Shop at Simply Sam Antiques

Now the moment you have been waiting for …..
Competition Corner (Answer this simple question to enter the lucky draw on the 21st September 2012)
What is the maximum number the Crested Eagle venue can seat in conference?

Article written by Rosalie Howard, Venue Pages

Conference centres Kwa Zulu Natal | Accommodation rooms

Conference centres Kwa Zulu Natal

Drakensberg (Photo credit: Craig Strachan)

For a full list of conference centres in Kwa Zulu Natal please click here.

A little history and geography on Kwa Zulu Natal

Kwa Zulu Natal, ‘The Garden Province’ is the lush, green, subtropical region, plum centre in South Africa, often referred to as ‘THE’ holiday destination where many international tourists visit, where many international conferences are hosted in light of the fact that KZN has the largest 5-star conference centre in Africa, namely the International Convention Centre in Durban, as well as several large and accommodating hotel venues with accommodation rooms, in the city and along the South and North Coast, in the Midlands and in the Drakensberg.

From Pongola in the North to Port Edward in the South, a direct route by road is +- 512 km and likewise from Port Edward to van Reenen, west of Durban beyond the Northern Drakensberg. The whole of KZN covers an area of 94,361 square km and shares approximately 7.7% of South Africa.

An interesting fact is that in the west, on the border of KZN and the Free State, the majestic and dramatic Drakensberg mountain range, with many peaks, up to 3000 metres high has been awarded a World Heritage status for its natural beauty and the wealth of San Bushman rock art found in caves, apparently the richest concentration of these in Africa.

KZN has summer rainfall and temperatures in this season that range from close to 40 degrees some days along the coast and in the mountains and plummeting to below zero in the mountains in winter. The Midlands, ‘though drier, can frequently be colder than the Northern Drakensberg.

Durban, one of the fastest-growing urban areas in the world with the busiest harbour in South Africa receives 30-million odd tons of cargo each year. The other harbour in the province, at the top most end of the KZN North Coast is at Richards Bay, largely a coal-export harbour. Richards Bay, over the years has also become one of Kwa Zulu Natal’s busiest and richest industrial towns. A pretty town which has been deliberately designed to preserve the beauty of the coastline and the picturesque setting of the harbour adds a refreshing feel to the what- was-once a little bay-side/ seaside resort.

Agriculture

The fertility of the soil and good rainfall ensure that agriculture remains healthy and productive. Along the coast, the sugar-cane plantations are the mainstay of the province’s agriculture, together with the large production of subtropical fruit in the north and south and dairy and vegetables in the west.

CONFERENCE CENTRES KWA ZULU NATAL

With the Durban International Convention Centre heading up the list of large, professionally managed, purpose designed conference centres in Kwa Zulu Natal, this little province offers a host of conference hotels, North, South and West of Durban, many non-hotel Conference Centres, Guest houses and Boutique hotels – Conference groups are literally ‘Spoilt For Choice’ with the selection of conference venues, exhibition venues, accommodation establishments and leisure activities available.

In Durban, uShaka Marine World, the largest aquarium in Africa and one of the most magnificent in the world (and where the recent ‘Pop-Idols’ auditions was hosted) not only offers visitors to Durban an awesome leisure day-outing, packed with activities but also offers unusual and beautifully appointed conference and event facilities.

In the north there are the Game Reserves, all of which offer conference facilities while in the south along the coast and inland are many resort hotels offering equally good conference venues together with ample accommodation rooms.

Some right on the beach, some at the foothills of the majestic Drakensberg mountains while others still more charming are those along the Midlands Meander between Pietermaritzburg and the Drakensberg.

Venues one might consider in the province are (amongst many more): –

Alpine Health Resort near Bergville
Cathedral Peak Hotel situated between Bergville and Winterton in the Central Berg
Champagne Sports Resort which nestles in the heart of the Champagne Valley in the Central Berg
And in the Southern Drakensberg, near Underberg, Drakensberg Gardens Hotel.
On the South Coast :

On the North Coast:

In the Midlands

and in Pietermaritzburg itself, several excellent city hotels and conference centres, sports clubs and budget venues.

Author: Rosalie Howard