Best 5 Star Lodge in South Africa in KZN South Coast
The 5-star lodge, which prides itself on offering a serene, luxury experience in the spectacular Oribi Gorge, near Port Shepstone on the KZN South Coast, is thrilled. Says Mike Cross, Sales and Marketing Director at The Gorge “We are over the moon and very excited. It means so much to our valuable staff who give 120 percent 24/7. It’s almost like a reward for their commitment.”
The fifth Lilizela Awards, an initiative of the National Department of Tourism, spearheaded by South African Tourism, celebrates service excellence in the tourism sector. Finalists are mainly voted for by members of the public and winners are chosen by a judging panel made up of industry stalwarts.
Here are some of The Gorge’s guest reviews:
“The views are outstanding, the service is awesome and it’s a peaceful place to spend your holidays.”
“Amazing experience from the moment we arrived! The staff is incredibly friendly and helpful! The view… well I don’t need to say much about that, absolutely stunning! And if you think the views are good – the food is equally amazing! Probably the best kingklip I ever had! I will recommend anyone to come here and have a time of their lives!”
“From the superb villas, to the friendly and efficient service, excellent dining, fabulous spa treatments, comfort, remarkable natural splendor and tranquility – it doesn’t get better than this. A bucket list destination of note.”
South Africa is internationally renowned for its lodges, making this distinction even more special. Asked what he feels contributed to this, Cross summed up “Definitely our service, it takes huge effort to consistently deliver at the highest level. Added to the world-class service, is undoubtedly the amazing location and the luxury experience.”
The Gorge is no stranger to awards and have won TripAdvisor Travelers’ Choice (2012-2015); Luxury Travel Guide Service Excellence (2016-7) and World Luxury Hotel Awards (2014).
“This win is well-deserved and we congratulate The Gorge for its outstanding service and product. It also proves that the KZN South Coast, which is often associated with affordable, value-for-money accommodation, spans the entire range of establishments from self-catering, camping and caravanning all the way through to 5-star” says Justin Mackrory, CEO of Ugu South Coast Tourism.
This year the KZN South Coast had seven provincial finalists that were lauded as the industry’s “Best of the Best”, with two of the South Coast’s KZN finalists winning and going through to the national Lilizela Awards. Apart from The Gorge Private Game Lodge & Spa, the Days at Sea Beach Lodge represented the KZN South Coast at the national awards in the Country House category. The latter was won by Grand Dedale Country House from the Western Cape.
At the Awards, Tourism Minister, Tokozile Xasa, also unveiled a new public participation category for The Lilizela Tourism Awards 2018 – the “We Do Tourism” award, where, in the spirit of asking South Africans to rally around tourism as a catalyst for inclusive economic growth, South Africans from all walks of life will have the opportunity to nominate dynamic individuals who they believe deserve to be recognized for making South Africa more welcoming.
South African Tourism’s Chief Executive Officer, Sisa Ntshona, noted that it had not been an easy year for tourism, with natural disasters, a sluggish economy and other factors making the operating environment a difficult one to navigate. “But, despite setbacks, our tourism industry has forged ahead with remarkable resilience and has insisted that it will be business as usual. You are true examples of what it means to “do tourism” – our movement that encourages South Africans to place tourism and the broader tourism economy at the heart of all they do. You are helping us to stand tall and proud as a tourism destination,” Ntshona said.
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