Elegant Places

Thursday, 28 February 2013

Grande Roche Hotel

Grande Roche Hotel celebrates a great year with Small Luxury Hotels of the World™


(London) - February 2013. Grande Roche Hotel has been a member of Small Luxury Hotels of the World™ (SLH) for a year and a half and is delighted to announce that after 21 years in the business, 2012 marked SLH’s best year ever. Reporting an increase of 10% from 2011, SLH delivered an unprecedented (in SLH’s past) number of room nights at 341,000 and $119 million in revenue. 

It’s a good news story all round – not only have reservations and room nights hit an all-time high but the recognition of The Club is also a great success story. In 2012 SLH added 56,000 members to their loyalty club, a 46% growth compared to last year, making The Club 190,000 strong. Activation rate for Club Members has also increased by 18% and Club Revenue by 38%.  

The home website, slh.com had an impressive 4 million visits in 2012, a 19% increase on 2011. Reservations through the site increased by 26% and slh.com increased its share of bookings by 15% compared to 2011. iPad visits, totalling close to 500,000 improved by 167% in 2012 and iPhone visits increased by 132% showing the growing trend towards new technology.

General Manager of Grande Roche Hotel, Anja Bosken remarked, “Often when forming a new alliance with a group such as SLH, it’s a while before one sees actual results. This wasn’t the case with SLH. Bookings started almost immediately when we went live on the SLH website. We’ve found there to be tremendous support, especially given that we are the only South African member - news and updates are always very forthcoming. We are also impressed with the way SLH make full use of the latest communications channels such as online and mobile apps as well as other modern technologies available to customers today. In an age of iPhones, iPads and other communication devices, it’s vital to communicate in a format that customers identify with and that both the supplier and customer can respond to in the shortest possible time.”

According to Paul Kerr, CEO for SLH; “It’s extraordinary that after over 20 years in the business we’re still managing to exceed the work we’ve done the year before, especially when you consider the current economic climate. The secret to our success is choice – put simply. With over 520 INDEPENDENT LUXURY hotels in more than 70 countries and multiple means of booking, we give the customer the freedom to choose how, where, when and why. Our Club is also a big part of the reason we have so much to celebrate – in 2012 our Club has accounted for 22% of our bookings, which is significant compared to last year.”

Grande Roche Hotel is looking forward to an exciting 2013 and as the hotel comes of age in its 21st year since opening, every event in the year ahead will be a celebration! March sees the start of the hotel’s monthly Culinary Innovations where words, wine and wonderful food are combined to highlight the talents of top local writers, wine makers and the culinary alchemy of Executive Chef Roland Gorgolosich. The celebrations will culminate in November with what has become an annual event at the hotel, the hugely popular Bubbly & Braai - truly South African way of celebrating the 21st year of the Grande Roche Hotel - where every reservation is the promise of a treat.


About Small Luxury Hotels of the World: The Small Luxury Hotels of the World™ (SLH) brand is an unrivalled portfolio of some of the world’s finest small independent hotels. Comprising over 520 hotels in more than 70 countries, the diversity of the individual hotels, and the experiences that they offer, is exceptional. From cutting-edge design hotels to palatial 17th century mansions, city centre sanctuaries to remote private islands, historic country houses to idyllic resorts, Small Luxury Hotels of the World offers only the very best. Reservations can be made at any Small Luxury Hotels of the World property online at www.slh.com, via the free SLH iPhone app or by contacting your favourite travel agent. You can also call a Small Luxury Hotels of the World reservations office; to view a listing by country please click here: http://www.slh.com/contact-us/.

Monday, 18 February 2013

The Red Cederberg, South Africa

A window to an ancient world that few people have seen.

Bakkrans in the Red Cederberg is one of the most remote places I've been to in South Africa. 

Situated in the Cederberg outside of Matjiesriver. We went via Ceres and then at Op-die-berg towards the fertile valley of Mount Ceder. Mount Ceder is an idyllic resort where kids can be free whilst kayaking, hiking and horse riding in nature.

We met our guide at Keurbosfontein which is an oasis of green. This  is gorgeous Cape Country Cottage that is perfect for a romantic getaway. (It is one of the few places in South Africa where  Tobacco was originally grown). From there we went in his landrover to Bakkrans which is only accessible by 4x4.

On arrival you'll see what few people have seen before. Largely unchanged for ages these rocks have stories to tell.

The stone buildings and thatch roofs gives this place the qualities that make it unique. The furnishings inside are rustic and comfortable with lots of blankets for cold winter nights and  cool thatch gives shade during hot summer days. I love the local dried fynbos indigenous to the area to give the rough edges a women's touch.

The stars are out of this world with no light or air pollution to dim their brilliance. The ancients thought that the sunlight peeked through holes in the sky. What a optimistic point of view.

In the evening we washed out feet in an old fashioned metal basin and poured water with the jug that is reminiscent of the past and for me the ultimate in luxury. A simple but reassuring act that has stood the test of time.

The next day we swam in the beautiful rock pool with views that stretch as far as the eye can see. Leopards although very elusive and shy, are spotted regularly taking a drink from the pool.

There are many rock paintings that are to be admired and hiking for the more adventurous.

Bakkrans is truly a 'gem' that shines brightly for you to see.

For more information, contact heather@elegantplaces.co.za
082 789 6392