FAREWELL KEITH & CINDY WHITFIELD

We would like to express our appreciation to two very remarkable and exceptionally wonderful individuals, Keith and Cindy Whitfield. They have been with the Villa for 11 years and have been the greatest addition to this place we like to call – home away from home. So we extend a heartfelt thank you for their hard work and dedication to making the Villa what it is today. We send our best wishes to them as they step into their retirement and wish them nothing but the best as they travel, pick up new hobbies and enjoy the simple life. :) Thanks for all you’ve done for the Villa, and our lovely guests too!

IMG_4492

WHALE WATCHING IN HERMANUS, CAPE TOWN.

whales hermanus

Please be reminded that 1 June was the start of WHALE WATCHING SEASON.
The Southern Right Whales arrive in Hermanus around June and stick around until mid-December. During this time, Hermanus Whale Watchers run daily whale watching trips from New Harbour.

Hermanus Whale Watchers Futures:

  • All Ages Welcome, we are child-friendly
  • Choose from various daily departures
  • Wheel Chair Friendly
  • Included – Light Refreshments included (soft drink or still water and packet of crisps).
  • Guiding: You will be accompanied by one of our SATOUR qualified guides for the duration of the trip.
    Our guides have first-hand knowledge about the marine wildlife of this area.

An exhilarating two-hour voyage to discover Walkerbay’s wonderful wildlife, stunning coastline and famous whales.  Depending on conditions and recent sightings, you could find yourself exploring the coast towards De Plaat or the sandy beaches of Hawston, in search of the stars of the whale watching trip – Southern Right Whales. On the way to our whale watching area we regularly encounter two different whale species inhabiting these waters, Humpback and Bryde’s whales.   Each trip is different, which makes the experience even more exciting! !  When we set out from the harbour we never know exactly what kind of whales wait for us out at sea on that particular day. While you enjoy your whale watching we will serve you crisps and cold drinks.

For more info: http://www.hermanuswhalewatchers.co.za/

Knysna Oyster Festival


The annual Knysna Oyster Festival presents 10 days of food, fun and adventure in a sport-and-lifestyle festival that aims to offer something for everyone.

Activities include a variety of concerts, comedy, fashion shows and an adventure-filled kids’ programme.

This year’s sporting events include mountain bike events on Saturday 30 June (with 80km, 50km, 30km, and 15km routes); the Momentum Knysna Cycle Tour on Sunday 1 July (with a 115km & 50km route); and on Saturday 7 July two of South Africa’s most-hotly contested running races: the Momentum Knysna Forest Marathon and Half Marathon.

Venue: various around Knysna, see website for more info
Times: see website for more info
Cost: see website for more info

Website: http://www.oysterfestival.co.za/programme-of-events/

City-sightseeing Bus: Classic 3 for 1 Kids’ Special

Image result for city sightseeing
With their annual 3-for-1 Kids’ Special, two kids (under 18) can hop on for free with each adult Classic red bus ticket.
The special runs from 1 May to 8 October 2018 and will be valid on weekends, school holidays and public holidays.

Highlights

  • FREE tickets for two kids under 18 with every paying adult
  • 27 exciting stops at main attractions, hop on and off as many times as you like
  • On-board commentary in 15 languages (English, Afrikaans, Arabic, French, German, Dutch, Italian, Japanese, Mandarin, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Swedish, Turkish and Zulu)
  • A special audio channel for kids to enjoy
  • See discounts on the back of your ticket

Excludes

  • Entry fees to attractions

For more info: https://www.citysightseeing.co.za/cape-town/products/cape-town-open-top-bus-tours/classic-3-for-1-kids-special

The dogs of the Villa.

Here we have our lovely 3 Dachshund, who spend their free time at the Villa,
when they’re not out soaking up the sun or chasing squirrels in the park.

Monty, Black.
He loves to step out to welcoming you at the entrance. He expects a bit of fussing over as a reward. :)

Berty, Tanned brown.
Our rescue. A bit nervous at first, but loves a good head massage.

Taylor, Chocolate brown.
Our queen – as in Elizabeth Taylor we like to say, and the leader of the pack too.

IMG_7621 IMG_7960IMG_7957

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We also had the lovely Brandy, the Golden Retriever for many years.
Unfortunately we had to say goodbye to her in Feb – we miss her dearly.If she wasn’t out the front entrance, catching some sun, she waited patiently in the office for some belly rubs too.

IMG_7969 IMG_7970

Constantia Winelands Cycle Tour with AWOL Tours

Image result for Constantia Winelands Cycle Tour with AWOL Tours

AWOL Tours have created a 15-km cycle tour that introduces travellers to the Constantia Wine Valley in all its splendour.

This private tour, which can be customised to suit personal taste and cycling ability, treats cyclists to beautiful winelands scenery and includes visits to three of the wineries that make up the original, historic Constantia Wine Valley. You will also have the chance to stop at the Groot Constantia Manor House and at the Sheikh Abdurahman Kramat (Islamic holy shrine). Depending on time and participants’ interests, the tour can be extended to include an additional 3.5-km ride through the lower part of the Tokai Forest to experience all the colours and scents of the Cape Floral Kingdom.

And of course, a trip to the wine region would not be complete without a sip and swirl session and a gourmet lunch experience, and time is made for both during the excursion (wine tasting is included in the tour fee, but lunch is for participants’ own account).

For booking and information, call +27 (0) 21 418 3803 (office), +27 (0) 83 234 6428 or email info@awoltours.co.za

COFFEE AND CAKE ANYONE?

Petits fours Restaurant in Blaauberg

Treat yourself to a drive to the other side of Table Bay for coffee and cake or a light lunch (on a wind-free day because this can be a hectically windy beach setting). It’s well worth the trip!

Blaawberg coastline outside Petits fours Cafe

 

 

FACILITIES & SERVICES

Check-in: If you arrive earlier than 2pm, you can store your luggage with us at no charge. We will not be able to give you your room key until after your room has been serviced – at 2pm –  however.
Check-out from the room is 11am (luggage can be stored for you as on arrival). We MAY be able to offer you a day room at an additional charge if you request this at reception upon arrival, or during your stay.

In the room:
- Air conditioning/heating
– Flat screen TV – Satellite TV (news, sports, movies)
– Complimentary Wi-Fi access
– Hair Dryer
– Tea/coffee station with cookies
– Electronic safe
– Free toiletries
– Wake-up calls and packed breakfast for an early start.

In the house:
- Concierge
– Laundry (see note below)
– A communial honesty bar fridge
– Complimentary afternoon cake
– Port and sherry in the evenings
– Swimming pool (see note below)
– Small library with daily newspapers and book swap shelf
– Guest computer station for free emailing and browsing
– Gift shop with very carefully selected African curios
– Free public parking (see note below)
– Lounge

Please note the following:

Image result for swim logo hotelSwimming pool: The Western Cape is experiencing the worst drought in 100 years and the city has severely limited water usage. As from 1 October 2017, Level 5 water restrictions were introduced and thus the filing of swimming pools is now against regulations and all pools must be covered at all times to avoid water evaporation or drained completely. This means that our swimming pool will be out of commission until further notice. The city is looking at alternative water sources such as desalination and tapping into underground aquifers, but as things stand, we are forced to adhere to the city regulations to avoid heavy fines. Sadly this is something that is out of our control. Luckily we are a short drive away from the wonderful beaches of Cape Town and a large public sea water pool is situated in Sea Point.

On 5 Dec 2017, the City Mayor announced that Level 6 water restrictions will be implemented as from 1 Jan 2018 due to the sharp drop of water levels in our catchment dams.
This makes things more difficult as all citizens and visitors to the city have to reduce water consumption drastically.
We ask guests to follow some simple steps at our hotel to help us conserve water.
No more bathing, only SHORT 2 minute showers allowed – Soak, Turn off tap, Lather and Rinse.
Toilets, only flush when necessary. If it is YELLOW, let it MELLOW, if it is BROWN, flush it DOWN.
Every time you flush a toilet, it consumes 10 Lts of drinkable water (sadly the city does not use recycled water for toilets yet), think hard before you flush as every flush deprives a family/household of 10Lts of drinking water, meaning the poor will be hit the hardest as they are the least able to afford buying bottled water.
If we all do our bit, it will take a bit longer before we reach “DAY ZERO” as it is referred to in Cape Town – hopefully this is only a temporary measure, but let’s all help so you can still enjoy your holiday by protecting our most valuable commodity – WATER.

Image result for laundry logo black and white
Laundry service
  – Monday to Saturday. Inside your wardrobe are 2 laundry bags (for darks & lights), they are for your use whilst you’re with us. Place the laundry in the bag and drop it off at reception by 10am, to get it back the same day. Wash & Fold service only. If you require any ironing or anything extra, there is a small additional charge. Laundry is charged by weight and the rates can vary for heavier bags. Clothes are tumble-dried with HEAT, so if there are any delicate items, do not place them in the bag.

Image result for parking logo black and white


Parking
 – We do not have reserved parking. Free street parking in front of – or close to – the Villa. We recommend that guests do not arrange for a car rental for their first two or three days as parking in the city can be congested and cars tend to be a liability – not in our area so much but in the city center. Mostly rental cars end up being parked in the street unused as most city attractions are within walking distance.

ATTENTION HIKERS!

In the Cape Peninsula, we are truly spoilt for choice when it comes to hiking. Some locals spend their entire lives exploring these mountains and never see it all. Some hikes take you to a waterfall, grotto, yellowwood grove, shipwreck or spectacular viewpoint. The routes range from challenging climbs to the top of Table Mountain to leisurely strolls among the fynbos or along city beaches, and will appeal to hikers of all levels of experience – whether aspiring ramblers or diehard adventurers. For visitors, these hikes are the most easily accessible.

Lions Head
This short hike (about an hour up in general), gives a fantastic panoramic view of the city and beaches. Just a five-minute drive from the city’s centre, Lions Head is perfect for a sunrise or sunset hike. The full moon hikes are exceptionally popular too.
Cost: Free
Image result for lions head hikeImage result for lions head hike

 

 

 

Table Mountain
If you want to skip the cable car there are a range of different routes you can take to get up top on the flat top. The most direct route is up Platteklip Gorge, which is also arguably the most challenging one. India Venster has great views of the city all the way up and then there are alternative routes up from Camps Bay and Kirstenbosch too. Just remember, what goes up must come down. Find out more here and read a full description of Cape Town’s best hikes here.
Cost: Free
Image result for table mountain hike

Silvermine
A 20-minute drive from the city centre, Silvermine Nature Reserve is a popular spot for walking and hiking, as well as bird-watching, picnicking, and mountain biking. There are several short, easy-to-manage hiking trails that offer beautiful views of the landscape from False Bay to Cape Point. One such trail is the hike to Elephant’s Eye, a large cave so-named because the mountain looks like the shape of an elephant’s head and the cave the eye.
Cost: R50 for adults, R15 for children (age 1 to 11)
Operating hours: 07h00 – 19h00
Image result for Silvermine hike