Tsogo Sun Garden Court Kings Beach
The FinishTime crew travels the country extensively to whole host of events. Often that takes us to out of the way places. But we also are at events in the metropolitan areas and one which we keep on enjoying coming back to, is the Tsogo Sun Kings Beach in the Mandela Bay Metropole.
With most sporting events happening right on the beach front, the Kings Beach Tsogo sun is the perfect location for us, but also for anyone who wants to explore the area. The hotel is very easily accessible from the airport and is a mere 3.5km or five minute drive away.
The staff are famously helpful and the service is a cut above the rest as we found once again when we had a crew stay over on 23-25 November. FinishTime can certainly recommend the hotel to anyone wanting to travel to Port Elizabeth.
Bingelela Guest House – Bergville
At Finishtime we spend a huge amount of time on the road, timing events around the country and as such are priviledged to be able to stay at the most amazing venues. One of those is the Bingelela Guest House in Bergville.
A two and half hour drive from Durban takes you to the foot of the KwaZulu Natal Northern Drakensburg Mountains, a popular area for adventure seekers, trail runners, explorers, hikers and mountain bikers, or those who are just looking for some time away from the hustle and bustle from day to day life.
Your hosts Joss and Paula Joubert give you that feeling of being at home away from home and spare no effort to make your stay an experience to remember. “Amazing and stunning place,” says Donovan Miller of FinishTime who stayed at Bingelela to time the Drakensburg Extravaganza Cycle race. “I can see myself going back there for some time off and to recharge the batteries. Our hosts went out their way to ensure our comfort and needs were taken care of. Also, not to mention the most amazing breakfast packs they made for us each morning as we left for the event so early. Real little hidden gem just outside of Bergville.”
Set among giant Blue Gum trees, 10 thatched bungalows and 2 self-catering prefab houses at Bingelela are all private, free standing and individually appointed and provide guests the perfect spot to,relax and enjoy the splendour of this country retreat and all the exquisite beauty that are found in the Drakensberg.
Log onto the website of Midmar Chalets and you are greeted with the following words: “Take your boat, your bike, rod and takkies…..” and one glance at the Midmar Chalets and it evokes desires of long lazy days on the dam, incredible mountain bike, train run or hiking routes with the most spectacular scenery and the opportunity to completely unwind in tranquility and peace and quiet. Midmar Chalers is a veritable little piece of paradise.
The crew from FinishTime took accommodation at Midmar Chalets to time the annual Alley Roads Triathlon on 25 November. Upon waking on race day, the crew were greeted the most incredible sunrise over the dam, setting the scene for the rest of the day.
Midmar Chalets offer 14 two-bed and 13 four-bed chalets with two bedrooms; three five-bed chalets with two bedrooms and six two-bed chalets with three bedrooms. All chalets have fully equipped kitchen and braai facilities, come with a lounge/dining room area and have DSTV.
One of the six-bed chalets caters for disabled visitors. If you prefer camping, then Midmar Chalets also cater to that choice with rustic cabins and camping sites along the waters’ edge.
“For us it was the perfect place to stay to unwind before we knuckled down and set to timing the Alley Roads Triathlon. It is a place where you feel yourself unwind the minute you arrive,” says Rory Grenfell of FinishTime. “The perfect place to go to if you want an active or relaxed getaway.”
Sani Windows B&B
If you drive just over two and half hours from Durban, you will arrive at Sani Windows Bed and Breakfast in the town of Underberg. It is a popular place of accommodation for those who enjoy exploring the Underberg and Mzimkulu region with trips to the famous Sani Pass and into the Mountain Kingdom of Lesotho.
Sani Window B&B is the perfect base camp to explore the region. Visitors have the option of staying in the main house itself or in rooms set apart from the main house. All rooms offer incredible views of the Drakensberg and the service receives big accolades as one glance at their website will tell you.
Something which our staff can attest to after staying there on the 23/24 November 2018. “We were made to feel welcome the minute we walked in, despite out late afternoon arrival and early morning departure,” said Rory Grenfell. “Definitely a place I would come to for a quiet getaway.”
City Lodge – Byranston
The City Lodge on Peter Place in the suburb of Bryanston in Johannesburg was the perfect accommodation for FinishTime crew who did the timing for the CITY LODGE RAC TOUGH ONE, a popular 32km race held in November.
Situated a mere 4km from the race finish line, the City Lodge was perfect for the needs of our crew, comfortable beds in spacious air conditioned rooms; bathroom with shower (some rooms do have baths) and that all important wireless service at both the reception area and in the rooms.
Given that our crew arrive at accommodations late and leave early due to the work they do, the City Lodge in Bryanston ticked every box for us. Upon arrival our crew was greeted friendly and professionally; the check in process went swiftly and smoothly and the close proximity to various restaurants made grabbing a bite to eat very easy.
All in all, the City Lodge in Bryanston was the perfect venue for our crew stay for the race and we can highly recommend their accommodation, whether you need place for next year’s race, or are in need of accommodation that is central to Randburg, Sandton and environs.
11 on Karkloof
The KwaZulu Natal Midlands have rapidly developed into an area that is frequented by tourists, adventure seekers and those who just want a quiet time away from the hustle and bustle of city life. The Finishtime crew made 11 on Karkloof their base for the timing of the Mandela Day Marathon in August 2018 and found it to be the perfect venue from which to manage their operations for the event.
11 on Karkloof provides an option staying in the main house (Fall House – sleeps 15), the Round House (sleeps 12) and cottages (sleep four each). Because of the long hours and early morning departures required by Finishtime, the 12-member crew were booked into the self-catering cottage units.
The amenities allowed the crew their privacy while at the same time being able to keep the tight knit family environment that FinishTime have become accustomed too.
11 on Karkloof is the ideal getaway for families and friends who want to explore the KwaZulu Natal Midlands area and is only 4 hours’ drive from Johannesburg and 2 hours from Durban. A place well worth visiting. FinishTime will most certainly be going back their again.
Boutique Villa Guesthouse
Nestled close to the Helderberg Mountain with incredible views, the Guesthouse was the ideal venue for the crew to stay for the recent Helderberg Mountain Challenge. With the Finishtime crew spending many days on the roads to time a multitude of events, we always look for places and venues to host our crew that have all the amenities of home, especially with the long days required to ensure exceptional work and results. Coming ‘home’ to the hospitality of our hosts was relaxing and being able to sit by the pool while under the shadow of the Helderberg Mountain, was exactly what was required to rejuvenate us for the following days’ work.
The rooms were spacious (28m2) and very comfortable with all the amenities from home as well as the all-important free Wi-Fi.
There is no doubt we shall be returning here should our business take us back to Somerset West and we can highly recommend Boutique Villa Guest House to any of our friends or clients.
The Guesthouse is close to various wine farms and the sea, and offers exceptional views onto the mountains. An ideal place to base yourself for both shorter and longer stays. It certainly was good value for money and will be one of the venues we will be returning too.