Something to be proud of

Perhaps because of the stories of what goes on in “Vegas, stays in Vegas”, companies are electing to have team meetings and conferences over weekends and inviting spouses along.
Comfortable and ideal for a weekend getaway.
Comfortable and ideal for a weekend getaway.
One such meeting was at the African Pride Crystal Towers Hotel & Spa, Century City, while we were staying there. Even the locally based participants were staying in the hotel for the weekend – along with their partners.

I eyeballed a group of them while we were waiting to use the Day Spa’s Rasul Chamber – a 45-minute treatment where a couple in the exclusive-use mosaic tiled chamber first rubs off the dead-layer of skin with abrasive exfoliators and then applies a warm, mineral-rich mud. All the while, “healing energy vibes” emanate from a large crystal. Moments before the end of the 45-minutes, “rain” falls from the ceiling to wash off the mud. The seats should have been warm and the chamber should have filled with steam much sooner than it did. I’m told to expect delayed warming again if you book the 9am slot. It was fun and surprisingly rejuvenating and I’d do it again – just later in the day.

Highlights

Great for birdwatchers.
Great for birdwatchers.
As we were guests of the hotel, we were keyed in to some of the activities that conference goers experience like sushi making and a visit to Intaka Island. Both have remained highlights of our weekend.

I have new respect for well-made sushi as the time we spent just getting to grips with the rice, let alone the rolling, proved how difficult it is to get right. Up to 15 can learn the basic, basics at a time and for groups this can also be geared to teambuilding or skills development. At R150 a pop I think this is really reasonable especially as you get to eat what you make – salmon roses, nigiri, maki and California rolls.

Intaka Island is a revelation. Who thought we had a wheel-chair friendly, well organised bird-supported wetlands 10 minutes from the city centre?

Something to be proud of
We took the water taxi from outside African Pride Crystal Towers Hotel & Spa and enjoyed seeing Century City in a new perspective. The water taxi is R30 but that includes access to Intaka. If you arrive by car, which you can also do, you pay R10 to access the nature reserve. It is very well done. We had a guided tour (included in the price) and I flagged a number of spots suitable for a romantic picnic lunch.

Going the extra for the kids

I mentioned to the hotel’s Guest Relations that my brother and his young family were visiting us from London. I did have fears of having to re-cover the suite’s white leather furniture or replace the African masks in the suite’s entrance hall, or that the snazzy glass-topped tables might be shattered but when I returned to the suite the hotel had selected child-friendly DVDs and installed a Wii along with games which kept them placidly occupied.

Something to be proud of
I know many resort hotels have kid’s programmes but we wanted something to distract them while we were all together. It really worked well.

Almost every piece I write, nowadays, has me moaning about hotel room toilets that aren’t private. Why oh why oh why? Based on people I’ve chatted to, all prefer toilets that are completely enclosed. I do love, however, having three magazines in each of the suite’s two loos.

There are excellent specials at the moment that include a hotel stay and spa vouchers from R995 per person, sharing. Maybe consider a staycation for your next weekend away.