Travel – Escape the city
Less than an hour’s drive from Joburg lies a hidden gem on the banks of the Vaal River. The Riverside Sun Resort is the place to go for a stress-free family getaway.
Pack the car with your favourite goodies and select some sing-along tunes on the phone for the family and you’re good to go. Although the Riverside Sun is just 45 minutes outside of the city, it’s a genuine treat for the children – from playing punch-buggy in the backseat to spotting cows and marvelling at the amazing beauty with which South Africa is blessed. As the resort is tucked away in a little suburb of Vanderbiljpark, you are shocked when the GPS chimes, “You have arrived at your destination.” The service is impeccable as a concierge meets you at the door to take your luggage and surprises the kids with a treat. The rooms have recently been refurbished with modern finishes and views that will blow you away.
After checking in, there are various options to choose from. A light drink at the bar before dinner or taking a stroll on the well-lit paths of the venue. Dinner is in the cellar. A refurbished wine cellar transforms into a romantically lit dining space. The food takes you on a Tuscan journey – from home-made bruschetta, moorish pastas and, of course, fabulous red wine on a chilly evening. The kids are entertained with movies, popcorn and pizza in a private conference area – the perfect way to keep them busy till
they’re exhausted enough to long for their beds when you collect them after dinner.
The following day begins with an early start – a breakfast cruise on the Vaal Dam. It’s super-safe and steady on the boat so you don’t even feel it bobbing on the water. You are treated to an exquisite tour of what is known as the “millionaire mile.” It is literally a mile of phenomenal mansions, uniquely built according to each millionaire’s taste. After breakfast, all the guests have the afternoon to explore. We opt for a little lounging and drinks around the pool, while the kids entertain themselves in the kids’ playing area that has jumping castles, arrows and water sports.
You can choose to order from the extensive room service menu or you can sit at the bistro, which offers a worldclass buffet and a feast for the eyes as well as the taste buds. It’s perfect for a family meal, where you can sit around the table and catch up and have the added bonus of choosing what you’d like to eat. The Riverside Sun also boasts a health hydro for those in desperate need of RnR and is seven kilometres from the Emfuleni Golf Estate for golf lovers. As the end of the weekend creeps up on us, we’re sad to leave this tranquil retreat behind to drive back to the humdrum of the city.
Rates start from R1250 per room (sleeps two adults and includes breakfast) to R4 085 for a suite. Children under the age of 18 stay for free. For more info, visit tsogosun.com/riverside-sun.■