Professional conference organiser, event planner and events co-ordinator Carla Rossouw of Vespasian Consulting, shares her top five picks with Liesl Venter.
- Kievits Kroon Country Estate
Often referred to as “the Winelands in Gauteng” this beautiful and tranquil spa resort is Carla Rossouw’s top resort. “It is conveniently close to Pretoria but still out in the country,” she says. “At the same time they offer a good balance between the size of conference venues and the number of rooms.” She says for her, it is the ideal venue for groups ranging between 100 and 150 delegates, although the facility can easily handle larger amounts. “They also offer a range of venues to add variety to any two- or three-day conference,” says Rossouw, while the immaculate and beautiful gardens only add to the allure of the venue. Kievits Kroon has 12 conference rooms available and a fully equipped business centre.
- The Indaba Hotel, Spa & Conference Centre
“This is an extremely well run hotel with staff who very much have a ‘can do’ attitude,” says Rossouw. “Even when they are fully booked, one does not feel crowded. Due to the variety and size of venues available they can manage many groups on a daily basis.” Situated in Fourways in Johannesburg, this resort is a good option for day conference groups as well as groups requiring accommodation.
The venue offers a real blend of business-like convenience and efficiency, along with a relaxed and warm country hospitality atmosphere that welcomes delegates immediately on arrival. The hotel features an impressive selection of 24 air-conditioned venues that can accommodate up to 2 000 delegates, with banqueting facilities for up to 500 people. It also has a state-of-the-art 200-seat auditorium along with a business and travel co-ordination centre.
- Champagne Sports Resort
This resort in the beautiful Drakensberg in KwaZulu Natal has gone from strength to strength during the past decade, says Rossouw. “A beautiful setting with excellent facilities. It is also well located between Gauteng and Durban and works very well for groups wanting a three-night or longer stay conference facility.” The resort has 16 conference venues and can easily handle, depending on configuration, up to 1 000 delegates at a time, while a host of mountain and sport activities are guaranteed to keep guests busy when not working.
- The Fairmont Zimbali Resort
Conveniently close to the King Shaka International Airport and the coastal town of Ballito, the Fairmont Zimbali remains one of the country’s impressive resorts, with a variety of options to accommodate conference groups, both large and small, says Rossouw. State-of-the-art conference facilities include two boardrooms, a 240-square-metre ballroom as well as a courtyard and pre-function space. These areas are perfect for accommodating a wide range of corporate functions
- Century City Conference Centre & Hotel
“Undoubtedly the new kid on the block,” says Rossouw, “but one worthwhile picking.” The Century City Conference Centre and Hotel (CCC&H) in Cape Town offers state-of-the-art conference facilities, plenty of hassle-free parking and the option of 600-plus hotel rooms within walking distance of the conference centre, with some lovely activities available to delegates in the immediate surrounding area.
At least 1 900 guests can be comfortably accommodated across 20 different venues at CCC&H.