Sitting in an airport lounge, Sunday morning middle of November, and I wonder, ‘where the year has gone?’  

Did we achieve all we wanted, is there still time to get some of the items on the list ticket off, or has the year just run out and the list for 2019 will just be that little bigger? Regardless of where you are, the year is basically over. It is like the short flight back to Durban that I am about to take. You take off, hit altitude and then told to get ready for landing – the gear is out, wings are trimming and 2019 – here we come.

So with my little poetic license used up, let me tell you our news so far – and what you can look forward to in the upcoming months.


Our 3 Umthunzi boys are growing and doing well, becoming little men in their own rights but, at the same time, ensuring that our grey hairs are slowly but surely taking over.

Thunzi, our hotel cat, still rules the front office and likely to greet you on arrival, if he is not sleeping on one of our famous King & Queen chairs.

Kim managed to win with her team in the Cape and has also managed to get the runner up position in the recent KZN ladies Interclub Golf Championships held at Port Shepstone Country Club at the end of October. We are so proud of her!  And the good job she does at the hotel too.

My 40th weekend will be one for the memory books.  We enjoyed a relaxed spit around the pool on the Friday night, followed by a friendly game of golf on the Saturday morning, whilst my wife sorted out the venue at the hotel with my team.  What a great job she did! It was amazing.  Thanks to all my friends who made the time to come and attend, as well as for putting up with my request of it being a black tie event, and actually arriving in style! Finally a huge thank you to my Umthunzi Team for making sure that all my guests and myself had an amazing night, delicious food and fantastic service.

Before I get to the action packed upcoming dates and things to look out for (see  below), I would like to share with you a little personal reflection and recent news – having turned 40. I took a few days off and went up to a family hotel in the Northern Berg for 3 nights. It was a great experience.  Braedyn loved it, the food was out of this world and the wine cellar, well, needless to say I might have spent a little more than I had budgeted for, but it was well worth it.  Following this short stay, in November I took my wife and son down the Wild Coast to another award winning family hotel where we had, quoting Braedyn, “The best holiday EVER!”  What a treat…good food, great wine and family time. Being on the Wild Coast is enough to rest the soul without all that.

I then flew up to Gauteng to stay at a 5* hotel in Sandton where Ilse Graydon (marketing manager) and I represented Umthunzi at the national Lilizela awards.  Firstly, the hotel was amazing with all the bells and whistles you would expect from a 5* venue.  Secondly, in case you haven’t heard, we won (yes, WON!) the best 3* Service Excellence award in the Regional Hotel category for Kwazulu Natal, and we were runners up of the National Award – another great achievement from a great team! Well done!

So you might be wondering where all this is leading. I am getting to the fact that in life we have needs & desires, and there are places that have the ability to meet these.  With this said, when you are thinking about your next romantic getaway, important conference or function, as well as your special wedding, Umthunzi is the way to go. Give us a call or email, or pop in and see one of the friendly staff at reception who will be willing to assist you and make sure your needs are met, remembering we have just won the best 3* Service excellence award for KZN.

We recently introduced our Blushing Friday Bride wedding package Special, and brought in some popular new elements into our Conference packages.  Do take a look at our website and social media (we love new followers!)

These last few months have been jam packed with wonderful Year End functions, some beautiful weddings, fun functions and corporate & travel groups staying over.  We truly appreciate all who choose Umthunzi. Our team loves hosting you and we always look forward to welcoming old and new visitors to Umthunzi!


So for those who wait to read my blog, or hear from me, let me tell you what is coming up and what you can look forward to in the next few months.

December holidays are filling up, but there is still space.  So, if you are wanting to visit the South Coast over December, make sure not to delay and give us a call. We have our BEEEEG special being revealed on the 1st December, going to be a great saving for the first few weeks of January, as well as an Early Bird Special for all our business followersSave on your 2018 Budgeted Conference expenditure at better than 2018 prices in 2019 – make sure you take a look.

Valentines for 2019 falls on a Thursday next year, but we have a weekend special with a South Coast Seafood Experience included in the discounted price for the Saturday. So, if you can wait 1 day to spoil your loved one, then make sure you take us up on this offer.

Lastly on the upcoming news, we are building a Teambuilding Conference Package for 2019 – this will include some amazing options, make sure you look, and take us up on it!  It will be one to not miss!

Again it has been an absolute pleasure in being a part of this amazing team.  I wish all those who are heading into silly season, all the best.  Keep your head down and push forward.  For those or you about to take a break, enjoy it, and let us know if we can help in anyway.

Until then……

Ryan Ringo

General Manager

Umthunzi Hotel & Conference

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