adventure

Staying at Zeavola Resort, Phi Phi Islands, Thailand

Staying at Zeavola Resort, Phi Phi Islands, Thailand
Staying at Zeavola Resort, Phi Phi Islands, Thailand
Staying at Zeavola Resort, Phi Phi Islands, Thailand
Staying at Zeavola Resort, Phi Phi Islands, Thailand
Staying at Zeavola Resort, Phi Phi Islands, Thailand
Staying at Zeavola Resort, Phi Phi Islands, Thailand
Staying at Zeavola Resort, Phi Phi Islands, Thailand
Staying at Zeavola Resort, Phi Phi Islands, Thailand
Staying at Zeavola Resort, Phi Phi Islands, Thailand
Staying at Zeavola Resort, Phi Phi Islands, Thailand
Staying at Zeavola Resort, Phi Phi Islands, Thailand
Staying at Zeavola Resort, Phi Phi Islands, Thailand
Staying at Zeavola Resort, Phi Phi Islands, Thailand
Staying at Zeavola Resort, Phi Phi Islands, Thailand
Staying at Zeavola Resort, Phi Phi Islands, Thailand
Staying at Zeavola Resort, Phi Phi Islands, Thailand
Staying at Zeavola Resort, Phi Phi Islands, Thailand
Staying at Zeavola Resort, Phi Phi Islands, Thailand
Staying at Zeavola Resort, Phi Phi Islands, Thailand
Staying at Zeavola Resort, Phi Phi Islands, Thailand
Staying at Zeavola Resort, Phi Phi Islands, Thailand
Staying at Zeavola Resort, Phi Phi Islands, Thailand
Staying at Zeavola Resort, Phi Phi Islands, Thailand
Staying at Zeavola Resort, Phi Phi Islands, Thailand
Staying at Zeavola Resort, Phi Phi Islands, Thailand
Staying at Zeavola Resort, Phi Phi Islands, Thailand
Staying at Zeavola Resort, Phi Phi Islands, Thailand
Staying at Zeavola Resort, Phi Phi Islands, Thailand
Staying at Zeavola Resort, Phi Phi Islands, Thailand

Take a deep breath in, now let it out. Repeat. Do you feel that?

A momentary grounding.

Now picture white beach sand, crystal clear blue waters, tall shady palm trees, mind-blowing food.

You've just imagined Zeavola Resort, Phi Phi Islands.

A place to feel connected and grounded. A place where you can exhale.

Hands down one of my favourite destinations in Thailand; this resort is truly magnificent. Not only because it is surrounded by the most breathtaking scenery but because the resort is aware of their responsibility towards the environment and making their establishment one of sustainability. Zeavola does everything they can to look after the majestic nature that surrounds them.

Getting there is half the adventure and a flight into Phuket, a taxi to the harbour and a gorgeous boat ride later you will find yourself stepping onto the beautiful beaches with waves lapping the shores of the island.

Arriving at sunset, the golden light illuminated the limestone cliff faces and rocky outcrops that surround and make up the Phi Phi islands.

Taking in the bright pink skies is a memory that will stay with me forever.

The resort is really something special. Firstly it is a barefoot resort - yes you read correctly. This resort encourages you to get your toes sandy and feel the earth beneath you. Every time you enter a facility there is the opportunity to rinse your feet off in cleverly placed foot baths.

The resort recycles their water (which is pretty impressive considering they are on a tiny island in the Andaman sea)

They omit all single-use plastics and promote being eco-conscious in all that they (or the guests) do.

A green resort? Be still my beating heart.

The rooms are tucked away and surrounded by lush tropical plants and give a feeling of absolute privacy. You might find yourself harboring a sneaky suspicion that you have the only room on the island. They are constructed from glass panels and space is filled with natural light. With an outdoor shower and lounge area, I felt as if I could live there forever!

The resort offers additional options of rooms situated higher up on the hill, perched on stilts overlooking the canopy. The honeymoon suite sports a beautiful white marble pool while for the more minimal tastes, a beach facing room might be just the thing.

There is certainly something to satisfy every occasion and desire.

If you have a wedding request, this is the hotel for you.

The resort also proudly caters to the LGTBQ community by offering same-sex marriages.

The only thing enticing enough to get me to leave my comfortable room? Diving. As an avid diver, I opted to take myself on an adventure. Joined by a private Dive Master we took a boat trip out into the marine reserve. Whilst we were heading out seahorses were mentioned and I was sold.

From sea horses to lions mane jellyfish I was in heaven! If diving isn't your thing then you can also take a private boat ride out to the marine park for the day and go snorkeling with baby black tip sharks or simply swim in the tropical waters and bask in the sun. With a gorgeous pool, you can stay in or even make your way to their sublime spa for a treatment of your choice. I lost myself in the music that is a traditional massage.

Making my way back to the resort I was met with staff that is ready to help with anything, cue cocktail in hand and of course someone to escort me to lunch!

Wow. The food was simply incredible and eating on the beach with a gentle sea breeze in my hair, heaven. I realized after the food that Zeavola was fast crawling its way into one of my favourite destinations out there.

This five-star resort is beyond the standard five stars you expect to experience with that rating. With every detail thought out and every taste catered for, Zeavola was exceptional.

Did you know that there is a Thailand Tourism office located in Johannesburg? Don’t think only beaches (Phuket), as there is so much more to Thailand. So if you need info or digital brochures etc, be sure to contact them or better still follow them on Facebook and Instagram.

I would also like to give a special thanks to Singapore Airlines for flying me in style all the way to this dream destination!

-Melissa

AfrikaBurn - Play - A photo journal

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AfrikaBurn - Play
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The Blonde Abroad
AfrikaBurn - Play
AfrikaBurn - Play
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AfrikaBurn - Play - A photo journal
The Blonde Abroad
AfrikaBurn - Play - A photo journal
AfrikaBurn - Play - A photo journal
AfrikaBurn - Play - A photo journal
AfrikaBurn - Play - A photo journal
AfrikaBurn - Play - A photo journal
AfrikaBurn - Play - A photo journal
AfrikaBurn - Play - A photo journal
AfrikaBurn - Play - A photo journal
AfrikaBurn - Play - A photo journal
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AfrikaBurn - Play - A photo journal
AfrikaBurn - Play - A photo journal
AfrikaBurn - Play - A photo journal
AfrikaBurn - Play - A photo journal
AfrikaBurn - Play - A photo journal
AfrikaBurn - Play - A photo journal
AfrikaBurn - Play - A photo journal
AfrikaBurn - Play - A photo journal
AfrikaBurn - Play - A photo journal
AfrikaBurn - Play - A photo journal
AfrikaBurn - Play - A photo journal
AfrikaBurn - Play - A photo journal
AfrikaBurn - Play - A photo journal
AfrikaBurn - Play - A photo journal
AfrikaBurn - Play - A photo journal
AfrikaBurn - Play - A photo journal
AfrikaBurn - Play - A photo journal
AfrikaBurn - Play - A photo journal
AfrikaBurn - Play - A photo journal
AfrikaBurn - Play - A photo journal
AfrikaBurn - Play - A photo journal
AfrikaBurn - Play - A photo journal
AfrikaBurn - Play - A photo journal
AfrikaBurn - Play - A photo journal
AfrikaBurn - Play - A photo journal
AfrikaBurn - Play - A photo journal
AfrikaBurn - Play - A photo journal
AfrikaBurn - Play - A photo journal
AfrikaBurn - Play - A photo journal
AfrikaBurn - Play - A photo journal
AfrikaBurn - Play - A photo journal
AfrikaBurn - Play - A photo journal
AfrikaBurn - Play - A photo journal
AfrikaBurn - Play - A photo journal

I don't want to tell you how to survive Burn. You can read that on their site. It's called radical self-reliance (a practice that should be carried out in your everyday life). I want to instead, share with you ten points. I believe these points will help you thrive once all the prep is done and you have arrived in Tankwa Town, a magical place that will inspire you and leave you changed. 

1. Let go of comparing. 

2. Let go of competing. 

3. Let go of judgments.

4. Let go of anger. 

5. Let go of regrets. 

6. Let go of worrying.

7. Let go of blame. 

8. Let go of guilt.

9. Let go of fear. 

10. Have a good belly laugh at least once a day, especially about your inability to let go of any or all of the above. 

Remember this; be kind, don't litter, support each other and look after our planet - we only have one. 

-Melissa 

p.s Life is short. If you can go, GO!

Cederberg Mountains and the Wolfberg cracks!

Cederberg Mountains and the Wolfberg cracks!
Cederberg Mountains and the Wolfberg cracks!
Cederberg Mountains and the Wolfberg cracks!
Cederberg Mountains and the Wolfberg cracks!
Cederberg Mountains and the Wolfberg cracks!
Cederberg Mountains and the Wolfberg cracks!
Cederberg Mountains and the Wolfberg cracks!
Cederberg Mountains and the Wolfberg cracks!
Cederberg Mountains and the Wolfberg cracks!
Cederberg Mountains and the Wolfberg cracks!
Cederberg Mountains and the Wolfberg cracks!
Cederberg Mountains and the Wolfberg cracks!
Cederberg Mountains and the Wolfberg cracks!
Cederberg Mountains and the Wolfberg cracks!
Cederberg Mountains and the Wolfberg cracks!
Cederberg Mountains and the Wolfberg cracks!
Cederberg Mountains and the Wolfberg cracks!
Cederberg Mountains and the Wolfberg cracks!
Cederberg Mountains and the Wolfberg cracks!
Cederberg Mountains and the Wolfberg cracks!

So my friend Julie has this boyfriend named Ian. He is a really great guy that loves adventure more than anyone or anything. I like Ian. I didn't like Ian when he chose to have his 30th birthday in the Cederberg which involved the dustiest dirt road that was horribly rough on my little car and entailed a giant hike that was 6 hours long. Kidding (not really).
My car had beeping lights the entire way and I was convinced it was going to fall apart.

A four-hour drive out of Cape Town and we arrived at our campsite in Krom Rivier. Julie and I, of course, decided that Ian deserved a giant Steri Stumpie cake. For those of you who aren't South African; it is a local strawberry flavoured milk drink. Needless to say, the cake barely made it intact to the campsite. I was very impressed it survived the journey. The heat was absolutely unforgiving on my perfect buttercream! Eventually, I was happy to be safe in the camp site under oak trees, eating cake. 

The main event of the weekend was, of course, the Wolfberg cracks. I will let you guys in on a little secret. I exercise because I have to. If I didn't I would be morbidly obese with my career. Julie had spent the better part of the Saturday morning telling me that the hike wasn't that bad. That I could totally do it. The question was would I be able to walk after I had done it?

The answer, no.

I couldn't walk properly for two days afterward. Was it worth it? Absolutely yes. It was simply spectacular. The cracks are unlike anything I have ever seen. If you ever find yourself in the area - it is a must. The cool part is that once you are down you can go wine tasting and swimming in a crystal clear river. I couldn't believe that something so beautiful was right in our back yard. Often with my life on social media, I have this wanderlust for travel. Have you seen the Utah slot canyons? Well if you dream of them then this one is for you. If you are local, it is so affordable. For R100 per person you can camp and for R50 per person, you can get a permit for the hike! What a win. I spent the week dreaming of going back and believe it or not, I am booking it for my birthday in January despite the wide range of emotions I had on that mountain.

So in closing. Thank you, Julie, for lying to me and Ian for turning 30. I will return to this magical place and I am dragging you with me! 

Click here for details if you would like to book or read up more about this adventure! 

-Melissa 

 

 

Leopold7, expect the unexpected

There is a new kid on the block in terms of craft beer and I must say I am impressed! A beer that is made with the environment in mind is my kind of beer!

With the theme of “expect the unexpected” I was whisked away to a magical night in Elgin at the Old Mac Daddy Airstream Park. For those of you that don’t know that part of the country, it really is something special. The green rolling hills and quiet forest surroundings make you feel like you are 100 miles from nowhere. Perfect for a picnic and beer under an old oak tree!

Leopold7 is a craft beer that has come to South Africa from Belgium and has hit the shores with amazing flavours of citrus and floral notes. We were treated to tasting notes to get our taste buds going (from popcorn to chocolate truffles) through out the day, which started off by listening to opera in the middle of a farm field. Very much expect the unexpected!

To see a fusion of international beer and local inspiration come to fruition in leopold7 is simply, magical. One minute we were crossbow shooting the next watching synchronized swimmers perform in a lake. All that just to emphasize the boldness that is Leopold7. With a higher than normal alcohol level this beer truly is audacious and with 3 grains and 3 hops blended together with a secret spice (that none of us could guess, let me know if you can) you can truly expect a great tasting beer that is sure to rock beer culture in South Africa!  

-Melissa

The Conservatory Cellars Hohenort

The Conservatory Cellars Hohenort
The Conservatory Cellars Hohenort
The Conservatory Cellars Hohenort
The Conservatory Cellars Hohenort
The Conservatory Cellars Hohenort
The Conservatory Cellars Hohenort
The Conservatory Cellars Hohenort
The Conservatory Cellars Hohenort
The Conservatory Cellars Hohenort
The Conservatory Cellars Hohenort
The Conservatory Cellars Hohenort
The Conservatory Cellars Hohenort
The Conservatory Cellars Hohenort
The Conservatory Cellars Hohenort
The Conservatory Cellars Hohenort
The Conservatory Cellars Hohenort
The Conservatory Cellars Hohenort
The Conservatory Cellars Hohenort
The Conservatory Cellars Hohenort
The Conservatory Cellars Hohenort
The Conservatory Cellars Hohenort

I once read a saying, “You don’t have to have a silver spoon in your mouth to enjoy good food”

The last few weeks I have made a commitment to myself. It’s a commitment to start eating at the wonderful places Cape Town has to offer. I am on a food journey and that also means I cannot become a creature of habit, which for me is very easy to do.  I like value for the money I spend, so I tend to eat at the same spots all the time. I also realise that this is a silly habit. Why? Simply because all the odd coffees and random meals quickly add up to being able to eat at some of the best places Cape Town has to offer!

So this is my new adventure, to get out there and try something new.

My first stop was The Conservatory at Cellars Hohenort.

This restaurant is really something special. As you walk into the dining room there is a tree that is over 100 years old in the center of the room in cased by glass walls. You can look in on this majestic giant and the energy it offers the room is peaceful and calming. I really enjoyed sipping on my wine while watching the squirrels dart around on the tree. It feels like Cellars Hohenort has really respected nature and in fact, embraced it. The service is sharp and the dining experience 5 class.

I often get asked about the price of the experience and I must say they are brilliant for the amazing food that gets served up by the phenomenal Peter Tempelhoff and his team! I moved my way through the whole menu and there was not a moment of disappointment! The cheese soufflé (R95) is a must along with the confit duck (R195), which was all washed down with a crisp Chenin Blanc (my favourite.) The desserts were well thought out and the flavours spot on and it all was so well translated in the presentation. I had the banoffie marquis R70 which was not only beautiful to look at but also to eat!

After lunch I took a long slow walk through the gardens. It felt like I was walking with giants and I could not help but wonder the stories they could tell. To see the gardens is a treat and a perfect way to end an experience of world class dining!

So next time you want to spend money on an average take out, think of this; maybe if you save that money just twice you could end up experiencing something not only a different, but also something great!

If you would likt to book (which I recommend) here are the details: Tel: +27 (0) 21 794 2137

-Melissa