One would be hard-pressed to find a single person over the age of 30 who doesn’t silently sing along the old Paul Simon song when someone mentions that they’re going to Graceland. The Graceland under discussion is a little closer than the one in Memphis, Tennessee; let’s take a look at what Graceland Hotel Casino and Country Club Resort located in Secunda, Mpumalanga has to offer this chilly season.
Just an hour’s drive away from Johannesburg or Pretoria, Graceland conjures up the glory and grand scale of Colonial America. Besides the resort’s convenient location, its popularity can also be attributed to its full calendar of activities that will keep the whole family entertained.
1. Play a round
With a Gary Player-designed 18-hole championship inland links golf course, no trip to Graceland would be complete without at least one round of golf. The course features undulating greens, grass-faced bunkers and streams that wind through several of the holes and dams – attracting birdlife as well as the occasional golf ball.
2. Take in a show
Recently renovated, the ever-popular Buffalo Bill’s Showbar is a great place to enjoy some live entertainment and sporting highlights whilst soaking up the ambience of an old Wild West saloon. The winter events programme also includes shows such as the Double Up Comedy Special (7 August), featuring Loyiso Gola and Kagiso Lediga; the Country Legends and Friends Spectacular and an inspirational High Tea with Alison Botha in celebration and commemoration of National Women’s Day. For information and bookings visit www.graceland.co.za or call 017 620 1000 / 1102. Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter @GracelandCasino.
3. Unlimited fun for children
The Magic Company and the brand new Modular Play System at Graceland offer the little ones unlimited play time in a safe and secure environment. The large variety of games will ensure little ones never get bored. Adults too, are able to play away many hours in the Magic Company video games arcade which features a fantastic selection of games, including a few classics.
4. Meet and greet
If all play and no work seems to go against the grain, Graceland houses a variety of conference and meeting venues and is able to cater for up to 1000 delegates. The venues employ state-of-the-art equipment making Graceland a great option for meeting planners.
5. Unwind in style
Graceland features a 4-star Peermont Walmont Hotel with 98 rooms and suites, all capturing the charm and elegance of the Victorian-American theme that makes the resort so unique. Enjoy all the mod cons, such as air conditioning, satellite TV, free Wi-Fi and the all-important 24-hour room service.
6. Make a date with Lady Luck
Cashless gaming and friendly table rules ensure a secure and enjoyable experience at Graceland Casino. The casino offers a choice of slots and tables, including American Roulette, Arizona Poker, Texas Hold ‘em’ Poker and Blackjack.
7. Book a pamper session
Enjoy a variety of treatments featuring the latest therapeutic techniques and equipment at the newly opened Rootz Boutique Spa. Professionally trained therapists expertly carry out treatments ranging from healing reflexology and soothing massages to signature beauty treatments and wellness programmes, all using quality organic spa products.
8. Get a taste of Graceland
All these activities can work up an appetite. Luckily, there’s a variety of dining options available at Graceland. Light meals are served at the Augusta Club Lounge overlooking the golf course, as well as the Palm Terrace. The New Orleans-themed Blue Bayou restaurant offers an elegant dining experience inspired by international flavours, and for delicious family fare; Madison’s Bistro is a New York convivial loft-style restaurant with something for everyone.
9. Explore the area
Secunda has much to offer outdoorsy types, with fishing, birdwatching, hiking and mountain biking all popular choices with visitors to the area. Enjoy Mpumalanga’s magnificent scenery, fauna and flora and the infamous 1870s gold rush era, with its wealth of fascinating tribal legends, explore the mountains, panoramic passes, valleys, rivers, waterfalls and forests that characterize the landscape.
10. Get some retail therapy
Whether you’re after a souvenir or something to satisfy a sweet tooth, a choice of stores such as Sweets from Heaven, Biltong Paleis, within the Graceland resort covers all the bases.