Travel Review: The View Boutique Hotel & Spa


When it comes to a getaway full of relaxation, quality time and attention to detail, The View Boutique Hotel & Spa is a perfect choice!

Driving up to the property you are welcomed with two entrances, a parking area that leads to the restaurant and another a little further around the bend which can accommodate 100+ cars. This area, I was told, has been newly renovated and off the road, the Hotel does not look like much – until you drive in. This truly is a hidden gem.

Upon check-in, the staff are extremely friendly and hospitable. You are not only welcomed with a smile but along with that comes a sugar bar complete with sweets and pastries – a signature offering courtesy of The View. Delish!


The General Manager, Tammy Bogusch is professional, yet with a warm demeanor that would have you feel as though you’ve known her for years.

She runs a staff contingency of around 50 people spread across, reservations, housekeeping, spa, maintenance and food and beverage. However, the owners, George and Joan Lithgow are very hands-on and can be seen in and around the property. The View Boutique Hotel & Spa started from a mere 2 rooms back in 1994. Since then, the hotel has grown into the prestigious establishment it is today.

Once we were checked in, the lovely lady at reception asked if we needed help with our luggage and we then retreated to our room.

When we arrived, we were stunned at how gorgeous The Grand Deluxe Room with a sea view was. The room boasts a four-poster bed, large TV, balcony and luxurious bathroom. Our Jacuzzi bath with jets (yes jets!) was filled with gorgeous pink petals, and I loved the signature touches of gold on the crisp white towels and leafy green accents, which gave it an exotic Island feel. The body wash, shampoo, and hand wash are all top of the range, that of, Charlotte Rhys – plus, there is a pair of toothbrushes with mini toothpaste which is a lovely touch.



When we moved further into the room, we were welcomed by a bed full of goodies, from a platter full of fruit sticks, olives and feta and other little niceties, to a complimentary bottle of wine, to water, chocolates, and rose petals scattered on the bed.


To celebrate our getaway, we popped open the wine and sipped it while nibbling on the platter and looking at the ocean from our balcony.


What is a getaway without a little exploring? So that is just what we did! The View Boutique Hotel & Spa boasts 6 pools, a terrace with an ocean view, a large spa with fully-equipped gym, an award-winning restaurant called Giorgio’s, and more – there is so much on offer at The View, you won’t even need to leave until check-out time.








Spa jacuzzi



Skin softening milk bath


During our stay, we were fortunate enough to be treated to a couples pampering treatment complete with a Swedish back, neck, shoulder and head massage and soaking in a skin softening milk bath. For me, this was probably the best back massage I had ever had. The ladies had a wonderful technique, communicated well and were professional. There was also the choice of enjoying a 30-minute session in the Jacuzzi/sauna – which comes standard with every accommodation booking.

When it came to dinner time, we couldn’t wait to try out the restaurant. Giorgio’s is a creation by father and son, George & Giorgio. The restaurant offers a fusion style cooking with Italian flair and boasts elegant décor with chandeliers, accents of silver and plush seating to ensure both luxury and comfort while dining.

The menu offers starters ranging from Snails, to Ostrich Carpaccio, and even Mussels Mariniere, to mention a few. They have also created a menu of designer pizza options, featuring the likes of Prada, Gucci, Giorgio Armani and more (see below). With the restaurant having an Italian influence, there is a wide selection of pasta dishes, as well as speciality dishes featuring their signature dish – beef fillet.


When we placed our order, we decided to skip the starters and go for a main and dessert.  I opted for a Fillet & Mushroom pasta – Giorgio’s creamy white wine sauce served with fillet strips and mushrooms on Italian linguine  – and hubby chose the speciality – Tender fillet of beef resting on a base of thinly sliced creamy potato & baby spinach topped with crispy onions and jus. Both dishes were fantastic. Plus, we were treated to a mini pizza as a pre-starter. For dessert, we were advised to try the Chocolate Brownie with Pecan Nuts, which was out of this world. We will definitely be going back to try some of the other dishes! Price-wise the rates are competitive and reasonable for the size of the dish you receive. It is well worth a try!

The restaurant also allows guests to get a glimpse of the history of the hotel and the restaurant itself with a  photo wall featuring memories of the family and the Hotel. There is also the wine cellar, which showcases the wide range of wines on offer (they recently won a Diner’s Club International Diamond Award for their wine list for 2017).

Photo wall
Beef fillet
Fillet & Mushroom pasta
Chocolate Brownie with Pecan Nuts

At breakfast time the next morning, we decided to order room service and eat on the balcony, which was so relaxing. We had the table set up for us and the breakfast selection was so vast, it was hard to choose what to eat. We both had a yoghurt and muesli starter and then hubby had the English Breakfast whilst I had a three egg omelette filled with caramelised onions, bacon, mushrooms, and cheddar – it was so appetising and it was complimented by a bit of “dolphin-watching” in the distance.

Room Service  – breakfast setup
The View's view
The View’s view

Overall our stay was 9.5 stars out of 10!

The room was spacious, the bed was extremely comfortable and we had a good night’s rest. The spa was amazing, the staff were hospitable and friendly, the venue itself is gorgeous, and the food was delicious. The only thing that may be a bug-bear for some, is that there are quite a few stairs, so it is important to note this when making your booking.

With Valentine’s Day around the corner, The View Boutique Hotel & Spa is hosting a Valentine’s special at Giorgio’s. Find out more here

Address: 9 Hillside Road, Doonside, Amanzimtoti, KZN, South Africa


Restaurant is open from 06h30 to 21h30. Prices and times stipulated here are subject to change

Contact: 031 903 1556




Starbucks Gateway is officially here!


Clive Liversage (Managing Executive for Starbucks SA) with Fawzia Peer (eThekwini Deputy Mayor) and Travis Scott (Store Manager) cut the ribbon to mark the opening of the Starbucks store at Gateway Theatre of Shopping, as the “partners” and the public look on.

The second Starbucks store in Durban recently opened its doors (December 5th) at Gateway Theatre of Shopping.

Starbucks Gateway, which boasts 436 sq/m, was inspired by the rolling green hills and sugar plantations in the uMhlanga area. It highlights the similarities between this and coffee plantations around the world. The artwork is unique and tells a story and the scenes that are used as wallpaper, depict lush agricultural scenes complete with banana palms while a statement artwork on a concrete wall includes a cut out world map and elements of the history of coffee.

Taking the coffee experience to another level, the store also extends to an upper level, allowing for customers to feel “at home” and embrace the mission of Starbucks South Africa – ”To inspire and nurture the human spirit – one person, one cup and one neighbourhood at a time.”

The opening saw the Durban Gospel Choir fill the Mall with their singing before the cutting of the ribbon at 9am, after which Bollywood Dance Troupe added a festive vibe to the entertainment for guests waiting to be served, which included Isabel (11) and Rachel Muller (13) from Cape Town who were first in line.

Seen at the official opening to the public were:

Clive Liversage with Isabel and Rachel Muller – the first customers in line to get their Starbucks
Sharon and Rachel Wilkinson, Shanis Haripersadh and Austin Naicker
Jess van Huyssteen, Tyde and Jordan Janse Van Rensburg, Nokwanda Mthembu and Ricky van Huyssteen
Unathi Matutu, Andiswa Dladla and Shanaaz Meth
Joelle Ganess, Talia Sardha and Kresan Moodley


VIP treatment as Starbucks launches its first store in KZN!

Logo courtesy of
Hostesses: Thobile Zibani, Kadija Makhanya, Gugulethu Khuzwayo & Noluthando Nzaca

Last night (Tuesday, November 21st, 2017), the famous American coffee company, Starbucks, opened its doors for a special VIP evening that saw hundreds of media and invited guests celebrating the first store to open in KZN and the third one in the country.

Located at 266 Florida Road, the new Starbucks store exudes Zulu influences with modern,  wooden decor accents, and patterns that seem to tell a story. Very importantly, the store also exudes a relaxed vibe, friendly staff and of course, delicious coffee,  which is sure going to appeal to a wide customer base.

If you were wondering when you are able to step foot into this awesome new “Instagram-worthy” space – the official opening to the public is this Saturday, November 25th – so, save the date! Doors open at 9am

There will also be a store opening in Gateway Theatre of Shopping early in December, just in time for the festive season!

On the night, when we arrived, media were invited to learn more about the coffee from the Barista of the evening, Ishan. He explained that the Florida Road store is one of only five in Africa that stocks reserve coffee in Africa, which means that this store has been chosen to serve premium coffee for avid coffee connoisseurs, over and above the standard menu! Fancy. The coffee reserve brands are that of Vietnam Da Lat, the aged Sumatra and Ethiopia Bitta Farm and we were given a sampling of food items which were infused with coffee and made especially for pairing with each coffee blend. 


Apart from the amazing menu with both food and beverage options, customers also get an overall shopping experience with a variety of items for sale.


Here is a sneak peek of what you can look forward to: 

Cheers to a happy Starbucks experience and many memorable “sharing” moments


The Durban Wellness Festival takes place on Saturday, November 11, 2017. It is a true celebration of all things healthy with live music and an expo that not only aims to raise awareness about the scourge of diabetes in South Africa but also to encourage people to look after the one thing that money cannot buy – their health.

Diabetes may be the second highest cause of death in South Africa after tuberculosis but people are still in denial.

As most people only begin to look after their health when they have a scare and are forced to drastically stem their intake of fast food and begin exercising, the Durban Wellness Festival supported by SASA and Lilly has been created to show people that they can make positive, fun changes before it is too late.

The strong message from Jenny Russell, branch manager for Diabetes SA Durban, a non-profit organisation that provides support and wellness education for both diabetics and communities at large, is that diabetes is both preventable and manageable.

“Get tested at the Durban Wellness Festival so you can manage this silent killer or, better still, learn how to live a healthy life the fun way,” she suggests. DWF logo chosen3

“Join us for either a 5km Run or Walk, a variety of entertaining activities, and a live performance by Durban singer and songwriter, Holly Wasserfall who also happens to be a type 1 diabetic. This is a family affair, so everyone is welcome – even your pet dog. But on a leash, of course,” says Russell.

Taking place at the Durban Amphitheatre at the Bay of Plenty, the Durban Wellness Festival will open for registration at 10am. The Durban Wellness Festival officially kicks off at 2pm with the 5km walk and run starting at 4pm with the entire event finishing at 6pm with lucky draw spot prizes.

Russell adds that despite the light mood of the day, Diabetes SA will not be pulling any punches when it comes to driving home the reality of the diabetes pandemic.  “Diabetes has become known as the Tsunami of the 21st century, killing more people worldwide than AIDS and cancer combined. Our main objective is to bring diabetes into the spotlight, in the hope that it gains the recognition it deserves, instead of remaining in the shadow of HIV, AIDS and Cancer.”

To bring the message even closer to home, Russell states that the latest statistics received from a podiatrist doing her Master’s degree are absolutely shocking. “In 2014, 1,288,973 diabetic patients were registered in state health facilities alone in KwaZulu-Natal.  An unacceptable total of 2323 diabetic lower limb amputations were carried out between 2013 and 2014 in KZN. This amounts to six per day!” she points out.

When you have diabetes, your body is either unable to make enough insulin, or it is unable to correctly use the insulin it does make. As a result, the glucose in your bloodstream cannot move into your cells to be used as energy and thus creates a build-up, resulting in high glucose levels.

Damage caused by elevated blood glucose levels is irreversible. Diabetes has been linked to cardiovascular disease, stroke, eye disease, kidney disease, nerve damage, lower limb amputations, sexual dysfunction as well as high blood pressure and high cholesterol.

2016 Statistics from the International Diabetes Federation, the World Health Organisation and the Centre for Disease Control paint an extremely depressing picture.

Worldwide, 415 million people were diagnosed as diabetic as opposed to 35 million patients with HIV and 14 million with cancer. Every six seconds a person dies from diabetes-related causes. Every 10 seconds two people develop diabetes and every 30 seconds, a lower limb is amputated due to diabetes related complications.

What is most startling, according to Russell is that statistics show that at least 50 percent of those with diabetes are unaware of their condition. “That means that those numbers are, in reality far higher. In some countries this figure may reach 80%. We have between 3 and 3.5 million diagnosed diabetics in South Africa. We also have an estimated 1.5 undiagnosed diabetics and approximately 1.5 to 2 million pre-diabetics in South Africa.”

Children are also not immune. Worldwide, every year, 70000 children under the age of 15 develop Type 1 diabetes. Type 2 diabetes in children is becoming a global public health issue with potentially serious outcomes. Thirty percent of children born since the year 2000 are expected to become diabetic if lifestyle changes are not made.

95 percent of all diabetics are type 2 with 90 percent of all complications experienced by type 2 diabetics. “What is so frustrating is that this is preventable if people eat healthy foods and exercise. Hence, it is important to get the message out there and to continually try to educate people to make good lifestyle choices for both themselves and their families,” she concludes.

Supporters of the 2017 Durban Wellness Festival are SASA who are committed to the prevention and treatment of non-communicable diseases in South Africa, as well as Lilly Diabetes, who have been a global leader in diabetes care since 1923 when they introduced the world‘s first commercial insulin. Ninety years later, they remain committed to meeting the needs of people with diabetes from medicines to support programs and more.

A major emphasis of Lilly’s work is to understand that people with diabetes should first be seen as individuals. Many of their programs and solutions are designed based on feedback from people who live with the illness every day.

The 5km Walk or the 5km Run costs just R60 per person with all proceeds going towards Diabetes SA Durban. Please note that this organisation is a self-funding organisation and does not receive any form of government funding and all proceeds raised go back into the education of this dreaded disease within KZN. The Wellness Expo is free to the public.

For further information about this event, please contact Pat Bonini on 082 499 5222 during office hours or via email at

An enjoyment of Beauty, Fashion & Style at the Essence Festival 2017

The Essence Festival 2017 recently kicked off in Durban, offering something for everyone, from fashion to beauty, music to lifestyle,  food and more!

This event serves as the sister event to the annual Festival in New Orleans and with the backing of the eThekwini Municipality that has been spearheading the annual Durban Fashion Fair for the past six years, they put together a specific programme for the festival as well as a Beauty, Fashion & Style Pavilion which was hosted in Hall 2 at the Durban ICC from 29 September to 01 October.

Hosted within the Beauty, Fashion & Style Pavilion there was much on offer, including panel discussions co-ordinated by Minnie Dlamini (29 & 30 September) and Selby Mkhize (01 October), beauty and hair demonstrations, fashion shows, exhibitors, motivational talks as well as a Young Designers Fashion Competition which saw Siyathokoza Zulu taking 1st place with her designer vision showcasing street style womens wear entitled 50 shades of Black; and Hayley Richards coming in 2nd with her storyboard theme showcasing cross-functional dressing targeting the professional businesswoman, inspired by the classic suit and tie. The competition was judged by an esteemed panel including Zama Mathe, Laduma Ngxokolo, Nthato Mashishi, Lindiwe Kuzwayo and Mikaelah Patterson.

Seen throughout the weekend at the Beauty, Fashion & Style Pavilion were:

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Heritage day braai ideas

Biltong, Mushroom and feta pap tert (Courtesy of

This Sunday, September 24th, we celebrate Heritage Day, which has also become a popular day to invite a few friends over to have a braai (with is being coined National Braai Day ‘n all) and cook up some braaivleis.

Americans do it in style with their state-of-the-art gas barbeques; the Australians, on the other hand, like to throw some ‘shrimp on the barbie’ but we South Africans know how to make the perfect braai – well, most of us do.

What is a South African braai without its best supporting acts: first up is the braai broodjie. This South African braai staple is usually served on white or brown bread; spread with lashings of butter on the outside, and filled with thick, juicy slices of tomato, onion and cheese on the inside. Yum! 

No South African braai is complete without the original South African toasties, otherwise known as “braai broodjies”.

The standard braai broodjie recipe incorporates the following steps:

  1. Butter the bread,
  2. Place lots of grated cheese on the bread, with sliced onions, sliced tomatoes, salt, pepper and,
  3. Be sure to braai slowly.

Apart from the standard option, food lovers are opting to try many different version of this delicious sandwich.

For a gourmet version, renowned Durban caterers Blue Strawberry have some gourmet variations for you to try.

  • Brie and fig Jam – add preserved fig and some crushed nuts for texture
  • Chip ‘n Cheese -slap chips, curry gravy and oozy cheese
  • S’more Variation – Nuttella, sliced banana and marshmallows
  • Peanut butter and Bacon – crunchy peanut butter in lashings with crisp bacon and some salted peanuts for crunch
  • Black mushroom and Haloumi – sliced and fried black mushrooms well drained with sliced haloumi and a little mozzarella for the stretch
  • Croque Monsieur – good quality ham, Dijon mustard, emmentale cheese and a lathering of béchamel sauce
  • Bacon with a bite – crisp bacon, tomato sambal- tomato, onion and chilli diced with a dash of vinegar, cheddar and mozzarella
  • Cheese and sweet chilli – combine three cheeses and a good splash of sweet chilli with chopped coriander

Now, one of my favourite SA side dishes at a braai – is Pap.

FYI:  The word pap in Dutch translates to “porridge”.  In KZN it’s also called phuthu in Zulu and ipapa in Xhosa.

It’s easily cooked on a stove in a pot or over a fire and is best to cook in a black cast iron pot.

I like my pap with a twist.  Throw in onion, mushrooms, bacon, and green pepper (all chopped finely) to add flavour to the pap. This is the gourmet slant on the standard pap and tomato gravy dish and Goodersons Drakensberg Gardens Golf and Spa Resort, Executive Chef Francis Hegarty gives us his take on this Creamy Cheesy Pap recipe dish:


Cook pap and set aside, chop 1 onion, packet of mushrooms and 250g bacon. Fry it all up in a pan and add clove of garlic and salt and pepper seasoning. Add a tub of 250ml cream to make a sauce, take the pap and put it in an oven dish, pour the sauce over the top and add lots of cheese, bake for 30 minutes. If you have a vegetarian in your midst then just replace the bacon with sautéed butternut or baby marrows.  Easy peasy!

The image above shows another, slightly different, option to the above with a Biltong, Mushroom and feta pap tert… Oh. Em. Gee! See for the full recipe.

So, will you be celebrating your Heritage day the braai way?



21151421_1517874914938059_1727263640661560250_nWith around 3,000 party goers taking to Hazelmere Dam in 2016, 2017 is sure to be bigger and better with a hot new lineup featuring 2 international artists and over 50 local acts – which is sure to be the biggest outdoor event on Durban shores this year.

Fun in the sun 2017 will kick off on Saturday, 30th September 2017 at Hazelmere dam in Durban – a mere 20km off the shoreline of Umhlanga. Gates open at 8am.

The annual Fun in the sun outdoor music festival will feature a lineup headlined by Lost Frequencies (Belgium) and supported by Nora en Pure (Switzerland).

Lost Frequencies
Lost Frequencies

Lost Frequencies, has soared to success in the international music industry. Releasing his global smash hit ‘Are You With Me’ back in 2014 and quickly cementing himself as a name to watch, the track rapidly ascended by hitting multi-platinum status and taking the #1 spot in 18 countries.

Lost Frequencies has brought his unmistakable sound to some of the planet’s biggest clubs and recently headlined his own North American Tour, hosted his own ‘Lost Frequencies & Friends’ at the renowned Amsterdam Dance Event and headlined his own sold-out arena spectacle in Belgium. He has also performed at some of the world’s largest and most notable music festivals, Tomorrowland and Coachella.

Local acts at the event include Chunda Munki, Hippie Mafia, Max Hurrel, Msizi James (5fm), Striptek, Jay Jabbs. Syzo, Hendrik Joerges, Mat od, Huckleberry, Park, Ches, Paul Marks, G Major, Rogue, Murray, Alex M, Dutchman, Beebz, Ryan Stylz, Finn, Zinc, Marc, and many more.

Fun in the sun 2017
Picture credit:

So, get your camping gear, tent, caravan, sleeping bags, sunscreen and sunnies ready for a full day programme of chilled fun with music, food and lifestyle elements including clothing stalls, a convenience store and more.

Come join us and thousands of fans from across the country and enjoy an unforgettable secure weekend party getaway experience.

Tickets cost R300 for general access and R700 for VIP which will get you onto the VIP deck with a cocktail bar & lounge, free selected drinks from 12pm till midnight and private toilets.

Limited tickets are on sale at, at Webtickets or at selected Pick ‘n Pay stores nationwide.

For more information on the event or to book for the available transport visit the Fun in the sun 2017 website.

The event is open to over 18’s and no plastic or glass will be permitted in order to safeguard the environment.

Terms and conditions apply