I previously wrote about San Diego a bunch of times here. Being from Nelson Mandela Bay in South Africa (the east coast), I’m used to the beach. By the way, if you’re new to my blog, I love to travel and write + take pictures of special moments along my travels. For more on African moments, I highly suggest: Chasing Elephants in Addo Elephant Park. (more…)
The Courtyard Hotel in Port Elizabeth has 91 suites and studios and it’s located 8 minutes from the CBD and 10 minutes from the Airport. It offers stunning views of Algoa Bay + is a 5 minute walk from one of Port Elizabeth’s premier attraction, The Boardwalk Hotel & Casino.
Port Elizabeth, South Africa
City Lodge Hotel Group has a beautiful thing going here. The Courtyard Hotel was pretty on the eye, well-run and inviting. The staff were all very capable of making me feel safe, organised and welcome. They truly aimed to give me the best service and insight into the city’s tourist attractions for my convenience and pleasure. I had two dedicated receptionists – Pretty and Roniqu- who were cheerful and professional. A special mention must also be made to Matthews and Thabisa.
I found the room very clean and spacious. A large bathroom offering a bath and shower greeted me, as well as a self-catering kitchenette with coffee and tea making facilities. This was beyond my expectations for a standard room. I enjoyed the full DSTV bouquet and the balcony, overlooking Port Elizabeth’s gorgeous ocean. A thrilling sunrise greeted me when I woke up from a cold South African winter’s night – Thank goodness for the air conditioner to warm me up. I was also pleased with the cosy bed and the extra blanket.
The complimentary drinks and snacks at the fireplace in the hotel’s lounge relaxed me after I arrived to check in following a busy day! Complimentary hot snacks and drinks – alcoholic and non-alcoholic – are available to guests every night between 5pm and 7pm. The sight of their large, well-furnished lobby and seating area was a sight for sore eyes. I loved the modern feel of the whole hotel. I particularly remember how sweet the air smelt when I caught sight of their clean, blue pool overlooking the salty PE sea.
Breakfast offered a delectable selection for guests. There was an extensive buffet for both Continental and full English options. Here’s a tip: Try ordering a white omelette – the chef prepares it superbly.
If you like your Internet access, The Courtyard Hotel offers 60 minutes complimentary Wif-Fi daily. If you’re a health fundi, they also have a gym! For business travel, make sure to use their conference room.
Port Elizabeth has a lot to offer the tourist. A day trip to Kragga Kamma Game Park can be organised by the hotel. For R185 you can do a 2-hour safari and the hotel can organise transport for you. If you like wildlife, my other suggestions are:
African Dawn Wildlife Sanctuary in Jeffrey’s Bay (about 1 hour outside of Port Elizabeth)
Again, the hotel offers a “kind-cierge” which organises day trips for you.
For an experience at sea, I recommend Jester Cruises. They offer 90 minute cruises through the bay at R150 on Saturdays and Sundays between 3pm and 4:30pm. On Wednesday and Saturday evenings, their braai cruises are R100 more per person and run from 6:30pm-10pm.
If you’re anything like me, you would enjoy a true African Spa experience. I visited the Africology Spa – a 5 minute walk from the hotel. The hotel can organise a shuttle for you. This spa experience is definitely a must for the tourist if you need some pampering. I enjoyed a cleansing 35 minute “Majestic Spa Awakening” therapeutic massage. It treated my neck, shoulders and scalp. My therapist, Zola, is a true asset to her craft. Her massage ability is heaven-sent and her God-given ability will leave you asleep on the bed. Enjoy this for R400. During this month of July, they are offering a “Madiba” special, which includes an extra 20 minute foot massage. The spa also offers Hydrotherapy, Grooming Packages and Skin Wraps. For an added R150, enjoy a sauna, hydro-bath or steam therapy. End off your experience with a cup of mint tea in their relaxation room.
Other Tourist Spots in Port Elizabeth
Sun International’s Boardwalk Casino and Entertainment World
PE is also famous for its “Stanley Street” which can be compared to the Camps Bay strip in Cape Town. No ocean, but many pretty bars and restaurants. (Hint: Make sure to get a taste of craft beer at the Beeryard in the evening. A small tasting tray is only R25!)
Thank you City Lodge! And thank you to my photographer Kevin Ruth.
The Isle of Capri on the south side of the Gulf of Naples off the coast of Italy. About an hour ferry ride from Naples, this tiny Italian island is the beautiful summer playground of the world’s rich and famous. Here you’ll find glamour, sophistication and a touch of exclusivity in a stunning setting. Noteworthy landmarks are the “Marina Piccola” in the south (the little harbour), “Marina Grande” on the east (home to the ferries, hydrofoils and private yachts), the “Belvedere of Tragara” (a high panoramic promenade lined with villas) and the limestone crags called “sea stacks” that project above the sea (the Faraglioni). Not to mention the “Blue Grotto” (Grotta Azzurra) which is a famous sea cave on the coast of the island!
People have been asking me how expensive it is here in New York. I’ve taken the liberty to snap shots around the shopping isles in supermarkets and general stores here, to show you the prices we are talking! For my South African readers, the exchange rate right now is that R10 will get you 1 Dollar. So working on this, here are some interesting prices I noted:
- A small bottle of water here is around $1.99 which equates to R19.60
- Rice Krispies = $4.99 = R49.14
- Pringles = $2.99 = R29.44
- Toblerone (original) = $3.49 = R34.37
- A slab of Herschey’s = $2.79 = R27.47
- Marie Claire = $4.19 = R41.26
- Women’s Health = $5.29 = R52.09
- 2L milk = $2.59 = R25.50
- Loaf of bread = $3.99 = R39.29
- Packet of Lays (small) = $1.49 = R14.67
- 6 Pack of beer = between $11.99 and $13.99 = between R118.07 and R137.76
- 500g mince = $3.98 = R39.19
- 500g pork = $4.29 = R42.24
- 200g beef round steak = $2.10 = R20.68
- 500g beef steak bone-in = $12.59 = R123.97
- Bottle of Bacardi Rum = $18.99 = R186.99
- Bottle of Malibu = $22.99 = R226.38
- Bottle of Absolut Vodka = $26.99 = R265.77
- Bunch of flowers = $25 = R246.17
- OK! Gossip magazine = $3.99 = R39.29
- In Touch Gossip magazine = $2.99 = R29.44
- Slice of pizza = roughly around $2.75 = R27.08. But there are places in some parts of the city where a slice will be around $1 = R9.85
- Take-away coffee = around $1.75 = R17.23. But you can get a hot coffee for $1 at a vendor on the street = R9.85
- Can of coke = $1.50 = R14.77
- 500ml Coke = $2.19 = R21.56
- Nectarine = $2.99 = R29.44
- Apple = $1.99 = R19.60
- Banana = $1.29 = R12.70
- Watermelon = $5.91 = R58.20
- Metro (subway) ticket = $2.50 = R24.62
Out at the clubs, a glass of white wine can be around $9 which is R88.62! Drinks like vodka cranberry are $7 which is R68.93! The other night I ordered a Malibu and Coke which came to $13 which is R128.01!! Never in my life would I have imagined paying R130 for a Malibu and Coke. I must say, the restaurants and bars here do have drinks specials daily. Nearly every single licensed restaurant and bar will have a “Happy Hour” every day between 5pm and 6pm which offers drinks specials for cocktails. Cocktails are usually anywhere from $9 – $11 (R88.62 – R108.32), and during Happy Hour they become roughly $5 (R50). Cocktails this includes are ones like Frozen Margaritas, Sangria’s, Bloody Mary’s and classic Mojito’s. The most expensive I have seen for cocktails was at a rooftop bar I went to the other night called “Press Lounge” as part of 48 Ink Hotel on 48th and 11th avenue. Cocktails were $16. That is R157.50 per cocktail! What I must say is cheap, is clothing at “H&M“. Beautiful easy sun dresses are $13 which is R128! If I think in Cape Town in popular and trendy boutiques that me and my friends like to get sexy cute clothes at, such as “The Lot” or “Wardrobe” or “Traffic Clothing”, the T-shirts and blouses alone can easily start at R250. Nevermind shorts or blazers or dresses! Whereas at H&M, a beautiful patterned blouse can be only $14.95 which is R147.21. And a nice sexy pair of denim shorts is around R196.45 ($19.95). I better get shopping!
I discovered a gorgeous organic food market at Union Square this weekend… what a feast for the eyes! However, be prepared to fork out a bit… a single chocolate croissant will knock you back $3.50. For my South African readers, that’s R34,5O! And an average apple pie will be anywhere between $10 and $15 … that’s roughly between R100 and R150!
Meet Simone. She is a very creative writer and lives in my hometown, Port Elizabeth.Hi guys! I’m Simone. I graduated with my Bachelor’s degree in Law and Economics in 2012 and spent the remainder of the year gaining some invaluable international experience in London. I returned to South Africa this year to start my accounting degree and accounting articles. I love sport and music – I play squash and I love the piano. When I have free time, you’ll find me laughing with my friends or curled up with a good book!
Oh yes boys and girls, it’s that time of the year again… when shopping centres are bedecked in pink and red……..when florists and Hallmark make millions……. and when public displays of affection on Facebook reach a nauseating peak. For those of you who don’t know, Saint Valentine was the swag little dude who risked his life to secretly marry couples in love at a time when marriage had been outlawed. Over the years, this has morphed the 14th February into the day that is loved and feared by many. Valentine’s Day! Before I go any further, I’m going to tell you a little secret: I’m a hopeless romantic. But here’s the next secret: so is everyone else. It’s not human to dislike a little attention, so are you ready for my conclusion? Everyone loves Valentine’s Day. Oh, I’ve heard the cynics too, moaning about how miserable they are to be single on the 14th, or how commercial it is – but just watch them blush and smile when they receive an anonymous ‘please be my Valentine’. And that’s kind of what I want to encourage you all to do this year. Send a Valentine’s Day card to someone you like. And I know that there’s someone you like – there always is. A hand written card. Preferably anonymous. What’s the point, you’re wondering? There is only one. To make them feel special. To make their week. One small act, which will have ripple effects for that person. So you’re not really sending a card – you’re sending confidence, excitement, happiness, thrilling hours of guessing and blushing and giggling. And that’s a gift worth giving. May you all be someone’s Valentine, and have a happy Valentine’s Day!