Nothing to write home about – A TripAdvisor post about Khayalami – Nelspruit

So in April 2018, I travelled with two Afro-centric colleagues to Nelspruit. I was so excited that we were booked at a black-owned establishment!

Read all about it in my trip advisor review below:

“We stayed at Khayalami in Nelspruit. We had paid for our accommodation two weeks in advance but upon check-in we had to produce proof of payment before they could check us in.
The place is well-built, the rooms are specious. With a more attentive and friendly staff complement, it can only add value. My advice to the owner is to get experienced, qualified and professional front of office, booking and accounts personnel to make for a pleasurable, seamless and stress-free checking in experience. The wifi was not working the entire time we were there.
The aircons and curtains need a serious intervention, the curtains don’t fit those big beautiful windows and the aircons were leaking so much water that I feared for the electrical wiring and electronics in the room.
The breakfast was the biggest let down for me. Rubbery eggs and squash is not what I was expecting.
Room Tip: Request a room with a balcony for the best views of the rising sun!
Stayed: April 2018, travelled on business”

My take home here is:
1. Owner-managed lodges function best (The next best thing is getting hospitality-
trained employees)
2. Staff training and supervision is crucial in ensuring that standards are set and adhered to
3. A smile doesn’t cost a thing!

The Sticky Business of Property

For as long as I could remember, I have always wanted to own property(ies). It is no child’s play I tell ya.

So let me start from the beginning. Early 2018, my significant other calls me besides himself with excitement about this steal: A four bedroom penthouse in the city centre at a very reasonable price. Needless to say, I jumped at the opportunity. We arranged for a viewing, and we were taken, smitten with the place, excited and hopeful! The picturesque views of the city, all the way from the Union buildings; Arcadia; Sunnyside with Hatfield in the distance; the Telkom tower; UNISA… We fell in love with the property!

In our haste to outbid other potential buyers, we overlooked some pretty crucial elements to buying a property. Add a pathological liar for an estate agent to the mix, we found ourselves stuck in a money-pit. Property levies grossly underestimated by agent, I mean 75% higher than what the agent had estimated.

Just so we are clear, when I say money-pit I mean new windows, flooring, plumbing, cabinetry, fumigating, de-cluttering (more like clearing a dump) and cleaning. And when I thought the nightmare was over, a pipe bursts in the kitchen flooding the entire flat. Lets just say 2018 has given me a good smack across the face. As could be expected, having gone through this and many other stresses in this dreadful 2018 I haven’t had time or the energy to enjoy this wonderful property.

 *Mi casa*

2019 is gonna be the year, me and my penthouse live it up! That is my new year’s resolution. I’m about 30 days early I know.

TripAdvisor craze

I finally wrote a couple of reviews on tripadvisor, been contemplating it for years! check them out:

I recently visited KZN and stayed at Trancedi in Pietermaritzburg and Grey Goose Farm in Newcastle. I know the Natal Midlands like the back of my hand, haven’t studied there in the late 90’s and early 2000’s. It was fascinating to note all the changes that have taken place since the last time I was there. In Scottsville, the gaming and movies area at 50 Durban road is no more, beckoning the question: What do students do for fun nowadays?

The new Midlands mall seems to have taken over, I doubt people still find going to the Cascades fun. I sound so bitter about these changes. It’s all for the good of the city I suppose.

I had an unfortunate mishap with Debonairs Pizza while in Pietermaritzburg. I always order online, because I hate carrying cash around. This is South Africa after all. So, I was given a choice of three restaurants from which to order and the one I selected informed me that they do not deliver to the area where Trancedi is. Would have been simpler if they’d just rejected my order and prepayment.
Three hours later, the food came. Now I don’t know about you but I have a food curfew.

The heat was unbearable in Pietermaritzburg but one wouldn’t dare book in Bulwer or Donnybrook, the weather might be cooler there but not everybody is accepting of black guests. Let’s face it, some people have only ever interacted with black folks as maids and garden boys. We can’t fault them for that. We can’t even call them racist, or can we?

So we worked in Bulwer by day and made the trek back to Pmb to sleep on our Pmb leg of the trip.

Newcastle was our second and final leg. Excited at the prospect of cooler weather we made the 500km trip, ever so mindful of the speed traps that KZN is famous for. We stayed at the Grey Goose Farm there, about 5km from the CBD. Ostriches, rabbits, zebras and people coexist in harmony at Grey Goose! Please checkout the TripAdvisor review I wrote on the farm :). What bothered me was not being able to connect Newcastle to the rest of KZN in my mind’s map. I can tell you where it is in relation to Ermelo and Standerton (mpumalanga in other words). I need to travel the north-western parts of KZN frequently, to acquaint myself fully and enrich my internal GPS.

Manhattan Hotel Pretoria – What a gem

My short stay at Manhattan was pleasant and relaxing. I did a vlog about my room. check it out on my youtube channel. it is titled vlog 1: Manhattan hotel.

With all the comforts of a 5 star hotel; gym; spa; buffet meals and pristine rooms, I felt like a princess. If you are ever in Pretoria, South Africa – give them a try:

Phalaborwa :)

This town is fast becoming my favourite place in the Limpopo!

A tropical paradise, stone-throw away from Kruger National Park, warm weather, polite and friendly people.

I am staying at Elmecon B&B on Selati road ( Graded only 1 star but deserving of atleast 3 stars. Clean; friendly service; efficient check-in process; iron and ironing board; safe; tea/coffee facility; microwave; hair dryer; bottled water; rusks; swimming pool (clean and warm water!!!). Scrumptous and excellently presented food. Clear blue swimming pool, the weather is warm enough to swim all year round in Phalaborwa.

The owners support  the Natal Sharks!!!! Can this place get any better.

I was in the green room the first time I was here. Im in the yellow room this time around, loving it. With my yellow PJs, I feel right at home.

If you are considering visiting Phalaborwa, give Elmecon B&B a try!

FYI, Phalaborwa is home of Amarula *wink wink*

Until next time, cheers!

Testing 123!

Hi there,

This is evidently my first blog. I have been toying with the idea of sharing my thoughts and observations with the world for a while now.

Because of my many passions and talents, I was undecided about what to write about. I love swimming; shopping; dreaming about shopping; window-shopping (yes I love shopping that much!); traveling; facebooking; tweeting; gadgets; photography….

Anyway, I am at the Evander Villas in Evander, Mpumalanga (South Africa). This place is a little overpriced. R695.00 per night. Poor service at Reception; old carpets with an indistinct stench; ancient tv units and air conditioners; the drilling and banging noises from the next room…
In their defence though, they have bottled water and little packets of tissues, oh and most importantly free Wi-fi 🙂

Frankly, this place could use a little upgrade. Not to contradict myself here, but I have stayed at ‘Pendora’ and ‘Diamond frost’ guest houses here in Evander and they simply don’t compare to Evander villas. I give this place 3/5