Category Archives: The Inn

72Hours in Eswatini

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Easter is upon us and while some look forward to a long weekend of rest, no work and refueling for the rest of the year ahead, many others are looking for something more. Easter weekend is a great time to do some exploring. To finally take that trip you’ve been putting off and to discover new places on your map. We will be bold and make a very confident claim; Eswatini is the ultimate Easter weekend destination and if everything you’ve read already about our beautiful kingdom isn’t enough to convince you, we hope this blog will. Here’s a guide to spending 72-hours in Africa’s Eswatini. Day 1 Start your first leg of your Eswatini tour with something light and fun by visiting a cultural village. We recommend the tourist favorite, Mantenga cultural village, which showcases typical Swazi life, food and traditions. The cultural village hosts a dance twice a day. If you miss the 11 am one, be sure to catch the next one at 3pm. The cultural village also has trails, a stunning waterfall and craft stalls to shop from for Eswatini souvenirs. Maybe after leaving the village, take a drive down the Gables shopping center which houses numerous stores and a movie theater to meet your hearts delight then end your first day with a delicious dinner at the calabash restaurant which serves continental cuisine in with some Eswatini charm. Day 2 Now that you’ve familiarized yourself with the valley, why not visit the Mlilwane Wildlife sanctuary….

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What to pack for your trip to Mbabane

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Mbabane is quite the interesting city and that isn’t only in reference to its growing street fashion culture, lively shisanyama’s or its buzzing night-life. Mbabane is interesting in every sense. From its humorous people, to its quaint coffee shops. Its multi-cultural cuisine spots to its four seasons in one day weather habits. If you’re planning a trip to this micro-capital city of Eswatini here’s a quick guide of what to pack in order to get the most out of your trip; especially at this time of the year. Good Hiking shoes It is no secret that our terrain makes for the most fun outdoorsy excursions. Pack a good pair of hiking boots for all those trails and hikes you can explore while in the country. We recommend taking a short drive out of town, down into Pine Valley to experience our mighty Sibebe. Or even take a walk through Emafini’s scenic trails that lead all the way to a stunning waterfall. Whatever you choose to do though, just pack the hiking shoes. Camera Why visit one of the most gorgeous countries in Southern Africa and NOT carry a camera to capture the memories with. Smart phone may have made our lives easier now, but nothing beats a good long range lens camera to capture all those safari images or the orange rays of a sunset dipping behind the valley. If I may add, the city sits in a gorgeous panoramic view from the hill above our hotel in the evening….

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Renovation season at the Mountain Inn

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It’s the season of out with the old, in with the new at the Mountain inn as renovations continue to move ahead at the hotel. The famed poolside wing, a popular choice for many of our guests, is currently undergoing a facelift; one room at a time. This is the hotel’s latest project and follows the 6 executive rooms added onto the south wing just last year. The poolside’s facelift will see the once classically styled rooms receive a modern touch of sliding mirrors, new cupboards, refurbished interiors and awning windows. The project is estimated to run through-out the year and by working on one room at a time, this will ensure that the hotel’s guests can still access the poolside despite it’s revamp. The poolside renovations however aren’t all that the hotel has up its reno sleeve; the beloved Friar Tucks restaurant is also due for an expansion and redecoration. All revamp projects are part of the ‘inn’s revitalisation, with the goal being to move the hotel from its pre millennium look to a more contemporary aesthetic appeal. With all this busyness taking place at the hotel it’s safe to say that things are really moving on up at the Mountain inn and we cannot wait to unveil it all to our valued guests.

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Unpacking the Love Me Better seminar

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March is looking like quite the socially busy month, with a number of local events set up to keep us all very entertained. One interesting event of note is the Love me better seminar that will be taking place here at the Mountain inn this weekend. Not sure what it’s all about? We got Mbali Nxumalo, founder of FashionDashCouture and co-host of the seminar to unpack the event and give us the low-down of how they plan on merging fashion and self-love on March 2nd. Who Is Mbali? Mbali Nxumalo is a Fashion Entrepreneur who holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree, Accounting Major, but has a passion for fashion hence starting the clothing brand called FashionDashCouture. I was born and bred in the Kingdom of Eswatini and spent my adulthood in the capital, Mbabane. FashionDashCouture is a clothing brand which provides beautiful Ready-To-Wear pieces for the modern sophisticated woman. Fashiondashcouture the Brand The brand is a passion business, inspired by my love for beautiful and unique pieces. The idea behind it was to be able to express my personal sense of style while incorporating the modern everyday woman. As cliché as it sounds, but when a person looks good, then they feel good, and at FDC we aim to be a part of those special moments every other day. The brand has an online store www.fashiondashcouture.com  from which people from all over the world can shop. FDC Style Inspiration Our garments are mainly inspired by what we feel women want…

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A wedding, a stranger and a memorable encounter

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Encounters are interesting. Random ones that is. Work in an industry like this and you’re bound to have a lot of them. You meet people; all sorts of strangers with backpacks and suitcases of stories to tell. If you hold the conversation long enough, way past the pleasantries and formalities; you’re likely to unearth a lifetime of memories that leave you feeling somewhat different. Prospectively shifted. I have worked in the hotel industry for almost two years now and let’s just say a receptionist is as good as a bartender; with the right amount of politeness and a smile wide enough to brighten a dimly lit room; anyone can tell you anything. What inspired this blog post you might ask; well, one particular encounter of course. It was a gloomy day. Cold rainy, wet weather that I don’t like. I had barely gotten enough sleep and yet there I was running around sorting out last minute wedding preps and I hadn’t even had a cup of wake-up caffeine yet. Let me bring you up to speed; the Mountain Inn has a sister hotel called the Emafini Country Lodge. That is where the encounter took place. A random day, work as usual. People had already started arriving for the festivities; sound guys moving equipment in, bridesmaids running around in a frenzy. Commotion of all sorts but I sat in the middle of the chaos, oblivious to it all. Or rather purposefully oblivious. Carefully minding my business but lifting my head up…

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Foreign languages and a suitcase of memories: Why we all need to travel at least once in our lifetime.

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“não falo português” I managed to scramble out. The cashier standing in front of me looked mighty confused. Maybe I was saying it wrong, so I tried again; this time with a deeper pronunciation of each word. “não falo português” Slowing letting the words crawl out of my lips and into the musty air. Here I was, 38 Mozambican degrees out, painfully holding up a cue in a convenient store, struggling to piece together a simple sentence. I don’t speak Portuguese, is all I was trying to say and all I wanted was for someone to understand me. I’d been in Mozambique for close to a week now and this was my first solo trip out in the city. My first solo trip and I was failing at it dismally. My cousin, who was now an honorary Mozambican and a quite fluent in the language, had given me a few meticais and pushed me out of her UN office door. “Go explore” She had said and man the thought of all that freedom in one of the most colourful places on the continent had felt so exciting. And it was. I’d spent hours hopping from one street to the next. Pulling out my camera for a selfie or two every now and then and occasionally greeting a smiling local. Flavia, her housekeeper had spent the better part of the first two days of my visit teaching me basics of the language to help me navigate the city. But now, here…

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The Eswatini bucket list you cannot end your summer without

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What an interesting December it has been, with weather that’s been a tropical somersault, adventures that have been exhilarating and experiences that are totally worth writing home about. If you visited Eswatini this festive season, we have absolutely enjoyed hosting you in our pristine little country and although the post-Christmas days mark a looming end to your holiday, let me reassure you that the fun isn’t entirely over yet. Summer is only in its prime and because we understand how much you enjoy creating memories for your hearts and socials too; we have put together a list of six must see places you cannot end your holidays without. Mlilwane Wildlife Sanctuary I am super outdoorsy and a self-proclaimed nature freak too so there was no way I could have a list that didn’t have a nature reserve in it. Just think horse riding through rugged bush, hiking up scenic trails, cycling through the veld, visiting watering holes or simply enjoying a sunset game drive; That’s Mlilwane for you. Take a short right off the MR103 just before the Mahlanya Market and open yourself up to one of the country’s most beloved reserves. Although you won’t spot the big five there, as they only have small game, you will still undeniably find a tranquillity that is indescribably unmatched. Malolotja Tree top canopy Look, I’m no adrenaline junkie or anything like that, but I know a good thrill when I see it and the canopy tour might as well be considered synonymous….

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Happy Holidays with a Swazi twist

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I’m quite the Christmas person. Seriously. By Mid-November I’m already singing carols and asking when the tree is being put up. So of course, this year by default wasn’t supposed to be any different. The thing is, I was raised in a very sentimental home. Our family adopted a culture of celebrating everything. And I really mean EVERYTHING. Therefore, when the TV ads and the city started to a look a lot like Christmas, I should’ve been caught up in the hype of it too. But somehow, this year, I felt no excitement for the conventional happy holidays that the media has grown so accustomed to selling us. You know, the one where Santa is King and we are all putting up the same décor and excited about the same typical seven colour customary lunch. This year, this girl was feeling open to something different. Or better yet, something new. I had spent the entire year planning a trip with my best friend. We had chosen Maputo as our destination and after counting coins and checking savings we were ready to pack our bags and head on out. I wasn’t planning the trip because I was trying avoid the usual family crowd that seemed to have the same criteria of nosey questions as you got older. From back in university, struggling through a semester and being asked how school is going, to being a working millennial who seems to have everything moving as milestones should yet no plus one at…

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Wine Tasting

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“I’m curious” I ask her. “Which meals REALLY go well with the wines we had tonight?” She throws her head back and lets out a loud laugh. “I’m so glad you asked!” she animatedly replies. I’m sitting out on the hotel deck. It’s a breezy night and the lights down by the valley look nothing short of beautiful. Kim, the MC who has just finished taking us through an evening of MCC’s, Pinotages and the history of South African wine, is sitting right across me and talking about how traditional rules don’t apply anymore. At least in her world that is. “Back then, the perception was that white wines needed red meats and savoury dishes whilst red paired well with chicken and fish. But, honestly, shouldn’t you just have it with whatever you’re in the mood for that day?!” This time, the momentary chuckle is mine because I’m in full agreement. “It’s like clothes” I pipe in. To which she pops out her eyes dramatically, throwing in a grin and nodding in the most theatrical manner. I like her energy. High spirited and humorous. I recall a moment in the conference room where I turned to the photographer and comically told him how I thought the MC had had enough wine. He painfully had to keep himself from letting out a laugh. I jump off my train of thought and look back at Kim, as she ashes her cigarette, “Which wine is your favourite?” I inquisitively probe her. A non-hesitant…

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Tis the season to visit Eswatini

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The festive season is finally in full swing. December’s arrival has officially marked the start of happy days according to social terms and nothing says African summer more than a calendar filled with all sorts of activities and events. From street markets to carolling, fancy barbeques to dinners in vernacular restaurants, here’s a guide to must attend festivities happening in the country in the next two weeks. The first weekend of merriment sees its kick off at Alliance française de Mbabane. The Francophone cultural centre and language school will be hosting its Christmas edition lunch concert and flea market. Just imagine an afternoon spent in the atmosphere of great music, thrift shopping and delicious French cuisine. Guests will be treated to the classical sounds of the Mbabane chamber orchestra and the flea market will make for a great starting point for all your Christmas gift shopping. Entrance is absolutely free as well and if you are philanthropic at heart you will definitely want to add this event to your calendar as all funds raised by the flea market go towards a great organisation known as Ntjilo empowerment which teaches music to children in a local disadvantaged community known as Mahwalala. Then, on the 8th of December, save the date for the Gin and tonic affair that will be hosted at Swazi Lizkhar which is located in the beautiful Ezulwini valley. This event is a definite must for all cocktail lovers or pretty much anyone interested in enjoying a laidback day…

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