Magnificent Zebula Golf Estate & Spa Joins Protea Hotels

March 2013: The stunning Zebula Golf Estate and Spa in the malaria-free Waterberg region of Limpopo Province will join the Protea Hotels portfolio on 1 April 2013.

This is the second hotel within a month to join Africa’s largest and leading hotel group; the newly renovated Manor Hotel in Pretoria returned to the Protea Hotels portfolio on March 1.

The Protea Zebula Lodge is situated on the stunning and totally unique Zebula Golf Estate and Spa, a mere two hours north of Johannesburg. In addition to the cozy free-standing chalets there are other accommodation options available on the estate including superior rooms at the Waterberg Lodge and numerous varied, spacious and luxurious private houses for those who prefer a more relaxed self-catering option.

Protea Zebula Lodge is a leisure, conferencing and adventure destination in its own right. The estate is located on 1600 hectares of pristine bushveld in the shadow of the Waterberg and commands a spectacular setting. Game drives are also able to be conducted over neighbouring reserves giving GUESTS an opportunity to view wild animals over thousands of hectares.

Undulating, indigenous tree-covered hills and wide-open grasslands are punctuated with a multitude of dams and waterholes – a diverse landscape that supports a wide variety of game, birds and small wildlife. Protea Hospitality Group CEO Arthur Gillis says the Protea Zebula Lodge is a magnificent addition to the Protea Hotels portfolio and will undoubtedly be one of the group’s superior offerings in the domestic and international leisure and MICE markets.

“Protea Zebula Lodge has everything; it ticks absolutely all the boxes. The accommodation offering is outstanding, as is the location, the setting and the range of activities on offer. “It already slots comfortably into our superior brand standard and I have no doubt its popularity will grow exponentially as we introduce it to our global audience of travel professionals and potential GUESTS through the Protea Hotels brand.”

Gavin Simpson Group Managing Director of Holiday Holdings and one of the senior partners/shareholders of Zebula Golf Estate and Spa said: “Despite the status Zebula has achieved as Africa's premier golf, game & spa destination, it has been difficult to attract international and domestic visitors with a limited marketing budget as a single stand alone resort. “Protea Hotels has the critical mass, global reach, strong brand identity and marketing muscle to present the attractions of Zebula as an important 'must see experience' for both domestic and international travellers wanting to visit Southern Africa. “Zebula is also a prime conferencing destination and with the Protea brand identity and marketing strength, as well as the superior conferencing offering, it will attract a far greater market share in a cluttered MICE market. GUESTS will return to Zebula time and time again because of the wide range of leisure, adventure and conferencing options on offer.

The Peter Matkovitch-designed golf course respects the environment, following the natural contours of the terrain, a masterful symphony of indigenous bush and landscaped areas. Surprising for its bushveld location, water supply is both abundant and sustainable, ensuring that the quality of the greens is unrivalled and that playing surfaces are always top notch.

Naturally occurring game include Kudu, Impala, Blue Wildebeest, Zebra, Blesbok, Red Haartebeest, Giraffe, Eland, Water Buck, Gemsbok, Nyala, Jackal, Warthog and Ostrich as well as many other indigenous species. The Zebula Activity & Adventure Centre offers GUESTS a range of bush experiences that will become lifelong memories, including elephant interactions and safaris, quad bike safaris, horseback safaris and game drives in the adjoining Mabalingwe Nature Reserve, where they may spy Rhino, Buffalo and Elephant. GUESTS can enjoy face-to-face animal encounters with elephants, lion and tiger cubs, while the famous Zebula Cheetah run takes the wildlife experience to a whole new level.

The Clubhouse is the estate's crowning glory, in prime position for sundowners on the deck while watching a blood-red African sunset over the distant Waterberg after a day spent on the golf course, languishing in the spa, or intimately interacting with the African bush. The Spa at Zebula is a tranquil haven complete with indoor heated splash pool, relaxation garden and health bar with awe-inspiring views. The spa offers a comprehensive range of therapies, including unique African and Asian inspired signature treatments, which will ensure that the stresses and strains of city living are effectively eased away.

Zebula also offers the most memorable African bush conferencing experience with six superior venues that offer luxurious spaces for everything from a board meeting or a brainstorming retreat to a company conference or product launch. All come standard with superior AV equipment. The largest of the venues is the Rhino Run, which can accommodate up to 180 delegates. The Waterberg Lodge, Eagle’s Nest and Zebu Lodge conferencing venues are located in stunning large private areas on the Estate and each can accommodate between 20 and 40 delegates in u-shaped seating.

Nyala Nook, situated on the upper level of the Clubhouse, can accommodate 40 delegates in a u-shape configuration, or 50 schoolroom style. Bushwillow is a brand new conference venue with spectacular views over the golf course to the Waterberg mountains. Situated adjacent to the Rhino Run venue, Bushwillow is a perfect breakaway venue for groups of up to 50 delegates and can also be used together with the Rhino Run room to host larger groups of up to 220.

The Protea Zebula Lodge also offers a range of team-building activities from archery and paintball to clay pigeon shooting or a Survivor Challenge. Zebula is located 40km west of Bela Bela (formerly Warmbaths), in the Limpopo Province, 2 hours from Johannesburg and 1,5 hours north of Pretoria. Access is via highway and excellent tarred road right until the Zebula Main Gate.

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