It’s hard to believe that another year is winding down and that 2016 is almost upon us. We have much to celebrate in 2015 with the lodges going from strength to strength, new suites, upgrades, long service awards, great support and much more.
One of the most exciting highlights was the opening of two stunning new Luxury Villas at Bush Lodge early in the year. Catering for guests with families or couples wanting a more exclusive and secluded stay, these villas have wowed visitors with their space, gorgeous interiors, facilities and privacy. Staying with Bush Lodge, the wonderful Mandleve presidential suite was substantially upgraded, with the new-look suite beating all expectations and now truly fit for royalty.
Our menus continue to delight and surprise guests offering a stylish dining experience out in the bush. Our collaboration with world renowned chef, Eric Chavot (Brasserie Chavot, London) continued and has seen our executive chefs broaden their approach to cuisine. While maintaining the philosophy of serving fresh local fare, menus have adapted to include international trends. If mouth-watering food isn’t enough, Sabi Sabi guests enjoy their meals in a range of beautiful settings, at one with nature accompanied by an award winning winelist – an award we proudly won by using boutique estates reflecting our culture of being a family owned business.
We are blessed with wonderful staff members, many of whom have been with us for decades. This year we have yet again celebrated many staff who have been with us for 30 years, 20 years and 10 year service awards. A true testament to our “family” with our longest serving staff member having celebrated 32 years this year.
During the year we also launched a new-look website which has been very well received and a photobook to showcase the many wonderful memories guests make on safari with us. Our ongoing programme to conserve our wildlife and fight against Rhino poaching gained momentum and we have had very notable successes in these areas.
Conservation being the core of our business and combining conservation with great community projects – we can definitely see and feel the pride and passion we all share for this land we are here to preserve. This is what ensures that our guests continue to enjoy that Complete Safari Experience when staying at Sabi Sabi. Each week brings a new high point in our sightings and safari experiences. Honey badgers, aardvarks, cheetahs, wild dogs, leopards, lions, ground hornbills are just a few of the amazing creatures that have featured in recent blogs. As we celebrate the end of the year and look forward to a new one so too do we celebrate the amazing wildlife that we share our home with.
Most notably – last but without a doubt not the least of our many changes this year has seen Hilton and Jacqui Loon announce their wish to travel the world a bit and spend more time with their children and grandchildren. Their retirement has come with a very clear message that we remain a family run business and we continue to offer our guests the luxury home in the bush experience.
Hilton and Jacqui – thank you for your vision that has made this proud establishment such a huge success. Thank you for teaching us the pillars of this business linking conservation, community and hospitality and by doing this influencing not just our environment, but those who call this area home. We speak on behalf of all our rather large extended family out there. Thank you and we wish you a well deserved retirement!
Best wishes to all Sabi Sabi friends for a peaceful and happy Festive Season and safe, prosperous New Year.
Rod Wyndham and Jacques Smit