We’re so glad to be sharing peace and harmony with you as we end off another remarkable year together.
2021 was filled with highs, lows, challenges, triumphs, worries, and more… but, we’ve gotten through it. No matter the trials that come, we are stronger together, and this year has proved that. We are so grateful to you, our First Group Family for being a part of this journey with us. So, in that same spirit, as we look ahead to 2022, we are filled with excitement: a new year, a fresh start, and the promise of the unexpected – let’s make it one for the ages, with plenty of vacays!
Christmas and New Year are a time for family, with good food, warm days, and plenty of R&R. Of course, the best place to do that is at one of our resorts, where you can unwind in unmatched bliss.
Festive au natural
When you think of Christmas, it’s easy to get swept up in the Eurocentric fantasy of snow, festoons of mistletoe, and chestnuts roasting on an open fire. Our Mzansi Festive Season is nothing like that – we’re more likely to have a shisa nyama than a turkey, the sweltering heat has us wishing for Winter again, and we’d probably have to replace our mistletoe with prickly succulents, which doesn’t have quite the same effect.
Differences are good, though. So take some time this holiday season to celebrate the unique beauty of our own country, from our craggy mountain peaks to arid stretches of savannah, bustling metropolises to quaint countryside villages, verdant tropical forests to golden beaches, and everything in between. We’ve been blessed to have the best of every kind of holiday right on our doorstep – whether you want to ski, surf, or simply relax down at the spa, let us help you do more for less.
If you’re a beach babe who loves the salty tang of the ocean, you’d be spoiled for choice with our gorgeous properties along the coast from Langebaan in the Western Cape all the way to St Lucia in Northern KZN. So head down to the picturesque Knysna lagoon or drink in the dramatic, rugged views of Hole in the Wall in the Eastern Cape.
Or if you’re more of a bush baby, preferring to retreat inland during the Summer, why not explore the Magaliesberg mountains or cool off at Hartbeespoort or Sterkfontein dams? There’s plenty of watersports to enjoy – and our resorts have sparkling, crystal-clear swimming pools that are begging you to dive into their calm blue waters.
Perhaps you’d prefer to ring in the New Year from the majesty of the Drakensberg, spending the first day of the New Year paddling in icy streams or rafting down mighty rivers before a leisurely hike to enjoy the full splendour of the scenic sky-blue panorama from the summit on high. But, of course, we also have gorgeous properties on the Midlands Meander where you can gaze out at the wonder of creation or explore the best of small-town life and sample farm-fresh produce.
Feast a la festive
Now that you’ve chosen your locale, the next essential question is…
Who’s cooking? Us or you? We might be a bit biased, but we have some world-class chefs on our side.
Plan your escape to include a lavish traditional Christmas dinner with turkey and cranberry sauce, or switch things up with an unconventional citrusy roast lamb. Cutting back on the carbs? Try our fish braai or a juicy steak. If you want to pig out with pizza, be posh with a prim-and-proper sit-down lunch, or cheer in the New Year with champagne, darling, we have you covered!
But, if you want to keep your traditions alive, choose one of our self-catering apartments or chalets where you can cook up a storm and take advantage of our fully-equipped kitchens to maximise your meal – think your natural cooking skills meets professional equipment. You can have all the comfort of a homecooked dinner in the luxury of our resorts – it’s the best of both worlds!
Fabulous Festive Fun
This time of the year is about celebrating the things that matter most to you – including the special people in your life. It’s better to give than to receive, so think about how you can spoil your loved ones with a host of holiday extras that’ll help to create a once-in-a-lifetime experience, something they can cherish forever.
Go on an epic horse ride and live out your fairy-tale dreams or cruise around the lagoon, taking in the sights of lush green coastal vegetation and stunning wildlife – from eland to exotic birds. Maybe you’d prefer to glide down the promenade, stopping by at the trendiest restaurants on Durban’s Golden Mile or Sea Point’s Millionaires Mile in Cape Town to live it up before catching sundowners on Clifton beach or cocktails in Umhlanga Village.
Want a guided tour of the Mother City, where you get to discover our rich cultural heritage? Or how about you get your adrenaline pumping while you soak up the sun at one of our waterparks. The adventures doesn’t need to end there, though – you could take it to the extreme with surfing, white-water rafting, kayaking, or even a helicopter ride.
If you prefer the air-conditioned indoors, why not take advantage of our well-stocked libraries or schedule a splendid spa day full of relaxing, refreshing treatments to get you feeling like a whole new you. Think about getting mum a massage, planning a day of tranquil flyfishing for dad, or treating your boo to breakfast in bed.
We have something for the kiddos too – your little ones will adore our Fred. Fred hosts games, singing competitions, and dance-offs that will leave the tiny humans giggling with delight while you get to enjoy some well-deserved time off from parental duties.
Safety First… Always
Last but not least – in fact, maybe the most important thing to consider is safety. Right now, a road trip is probably safer than a flight, and local is the most lekker! So think about exploring your province and planning a vacay closer to home.
With our Covid-19 safety protocols, we have made every possible effort to keep you and your loved ones safe while you holiday with us. All resorts are strictly compliant with government-issued Covid-regulations as well as social distancing protocols.
In addition, First Group has implemented the PristinePurposeCleaned programme to transform their resorts into Covid-safe zones, to ensure you can focus on your holiday. This includes cutting-edge organic health passages, sterilising foggers, a pristine door seal, and the usual masks, gloves, face shields, no-contact thermometers, and sanitisers. As a result, you’ll be safer with us than you would be at home! The other thing to think about is the space – you’ll be secluded in safety at your fully-equipped chalet, with private garden space and all the benefits of the great outdoors, far away from other humans. It sounds like bliss!
The choice is yours: however you choose to spend the Festive Season, we’re here to make your getaway dreams come true. Because you deserve it, and we love getting to do what we do.
And on that note, we want to take a moment to thank you. Your support means so much to us, and we consider it a very great privilege to be able to help you experience your dream holiday. Over the last few years, we’ve come to see that holidays aren’t just a luxury anymore – they’re an essential bit of self-care for both you and your loved ones. A holiday allows you to pause, breathe, and hit refresh. It gives you a chance to reconnect with yourself and the people around you or a brief moment to reflect and truly drink in the beauty, complexity, and fragility of the human experience. You need that – and we hope you get it soon.
So, here’s to a Festive Season filled with love, light, joy, and peace. We hope you have many more vacays in 2022 – and we can’t wait to make even more magical memories with you!
With all our love,
Team First Group