As one of the leading leisure and hotel management companies in South Africa, First Group prides itself on being at the forefront of the hospitality industry. It’s no surprise, therefore, that they recently added two resorts in the Western and Eastern Cape to their management stable.
Shaun Lamont, Managing Director of First Group says that the Group wanted to broaden their offering through the acquisition of two gems - Brookes Hill Suites in the friendly city of Gqeberha and Hermanus Beach Club in the idyllic coastal town of Hermanus, famous for its whale watching. “We are delighted that through these acquisitions, our guests now have the choice of two new destinations to visit in our beautiful country at quality, self-catering resorts with so much to offer.”
According to Shaun, Hermanus Beach Club, built on the rocky coastline of Hermanus in the Overberg district and just over 100km from Cape Town, is known as a home-away-from-home. “All units have their own built-in braai, selected DSTV channels and a private balcony or patio offering stunning, partial sea views. The well-equipped kitchens are self-catering for guests to cook up a storm!” He adds that The Beach Club has entertainment for all ages, including tennis and squash courts, adult and children's swimming pools, putt-putt, a gym, pool tables, and communal braai areas. Hermanus also has several tourist attractions apart from whale watching, with wineries including Creation Wines, the Village Square and the blue flag Grotto Beach.
The second new feather in First Group’s cap, Brookes Hill Suites, overlooks Algoa Bay in Gqeberha with beautiful ocean views and waves lapping a mere 200m away. Shaun explains that apart from being just a minute’s walk away from a top-rated beach, the resort features an outdoor pool, and each apartment has a patio or balcony with a gas braai available on request, WiFi, a fully equipped kitchen, flat-screen TV with satellite channels and private parking. Guests can also enjoy a communal braai area where firewood can be used next to the gazebo.
“Brookes Hill Suites lends itself to the traditional family beach holiday that never gets old and is well-positioned for keen walkers and bikers, but with the Boardwalk Casino, Shamwari Game Reserve, Splash Waterworld, dolphin and whale watching excursions, the 18-hole Humewood golf course, and Bayworld marine-themed museum all on its doorstep, it is also perfect for the adventure-seeker.”
“For more than 30 years, First Group has been delivering world-class holiday destinations that offer unique experiences and create magical, lasting memories for everyone, all the time. We are very proud of our two latest acquisitions which, like all our other hotels and resorts, were carefully chosen to ensure our guests can enjoy maximum relaxation and fun in beautiful surroundings. Whether your idea of a vacation is to lie at the pool enjoying a cocktail whilst watching the world go by, visiting local tourist attractions and experiencing “local is lekka” or on the hunt for adventure, we’ve definitely got you covered,” concludes Shaun.
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Ahead of yet another record-high fuel price increase in South Africa, FNB has announced additional eBucks incentives to help its customers offset the impact of high fuel prices. From 1 July until 30 September 2022, FNB will give qualifying Retail and Commercial customers an additional R2 per litre back in eBucks for fuel purchases made at Engen. This benefit is available to customers irrespective of their reward level and is in addition to what they would have ordinarily earned. To qualify for the additional benefit, customers have to pay with their FNB and RMB Private Bank Virtual Cards when paying for fuel at Engen, and also complete at least one online Virtual Card transaction per month at any merchant. With over 500 000 additional customers set to be eligible to earn eBucks as of 1 July this year, nearly 3.4 million FNB Retail and Commercial customers will automatically have access to the additional benefit. Customers who fill up at Engen and have vehicle instalments with WesBank are still eligible for the Double Up benefit, where they earn up to R8 p/l per quarter in eBucks; these customers will now earn up to R10 p/l per quarter in eBucks over the next three months. Raj Makanjee, CEO of FNB Retail, says, “Fuel is one of our customers’ largest expenses, and while eBucks has been helping customers to mitigate the cost for years, the recent fuel price increases are unprecedented. As a result, we encourage our customers to maximise this limited benefit to reduce the impact of fuel on their budgets, especially in light of other rising costs such as food, electricity and interest rates. Over the years, our fuel rewards with Engen have provided our customers with more than R1 billion in value, and we are delighted to continually increase the impact of our rewards to customers who bank with us.” CEO of eBucks Rewards, Johan Moolman, adds that, “Our efforts to provide eBucks members with fuel relief demonstrates the ethos of our rewards programme, which is to reward members for their behaviour while helping them save and stretch their budgets.” Moolman explains that with this extra benefit, “A customer who uses FNB Aspire would have earned 60 cents per litre at Engen, but due to this benefit, they could earn R2.60 in eBucks until 30 September 2022. Similarly, Private Banking and Commercial Banking customers who earn up to R4 per litre at Engen could earn up to R6 per litre for the limited period. Similarly, FNB customers who swipe their Clicks Clubcard at Engen when filling up will earn an additional 10 cents per litre in Clicks Clubcard points.” With the price of fuel in South Africa expected to reach yet another record high from the second week of July, FNB’s additional eBucks benefits will provide timely relief to many. FNB’s eBucks Rewards programme was recently recognised internationally for its Best Use of Technology and named the Middle East and Africa’s Regional Champion of the Year. It has also been ranked the Best Loyalty Programme in Financial Services for the last 3 years.
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