Category Archives: The Inn

01

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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01

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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01

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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01

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-01

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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season-01

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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featured

Mountain Inn meets Advocate Thuli Madonsela

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I’m sitting on my couch watching a repeat episode of one of the most coveted talk shows in South African broadcasting; Real talk on 3. The guest is a decorous woman with a hugely apparent aura. She’s sitting composed in an elegant manner, talking to the host about her childhood of growing up in a big family and being raised between two countries. She smiles warmly. Slightly unfolding her arms to gesture graciously, then interlocking her hands again. Her hair sits neatly on her shoulders, a monochrome blazer over a scarlet top and a courteous calm that’s well collected. Azania, the host, asks her a question motivated by an extract from an O Magazine issue that was a reflective piece on her 16 year old self. “I would’ve wanted her to know that she’s beautiful as she is” She says. “and that beauty comes in different packages. I also would’ve wanted her to know that she’s enough and that she’s designed for a particular purpose and she’s beautiful and adequate for that purpose” she finishes off her reply. This time, I smile. Five-time honorary PhD holder and former South African public protector, Advocate Thuli Madonsela is a radiant beam of positive energy and the epitome of social justice. Mbabane was recently abuzz with activity due to the 2018 Global leadership summit. The two-day split event held over a course of two weeks (7-8 November and 14-15 November) and hosted at the Emafini estate just outside the city was graced by…

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Poolside view of the Hotel’s main building

Mountain Inn: The Urban Haven

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My brain mostly functions in colour. I’m a right sider, so the first thing I notice as I walk into the lot are the jacaranda trees. Gloriously purple and tumbling off branches like violet confetti. I stop for a moment to greet the guard, who kindly waves me in. There’s a lot of cars parked out here today I note, as my introvert nature starts peeping through. A vehicle whizzes past me to settle right outside the big glass doors. A Benz of some sort and a gorgeous lady in business casual steps out. She struts gracefully into the hotel, and I trudge right behind her so to squeeze myself in before the door swings closed again. My awkward self doesn’t do too well with Push or Pulls. And as I slide past the familiar tall glass entrance, I am greeted by a sight I can never get enough of: Lemon walls, colonial furniture and a hive of activity. “Welcome to the mountain inn” a chirpy voice breaks in to greet a couple of guests moving about in front of me. I smile at them as I swimmingly make my way through the crowd. I’m more interested in the mouth-watering smell that’s wafting in from the breakfast room and I habitually walk towards it. I recall the first time I stepped inside the Mountain inn. It was about a year ago, in a black pleated skirt that doesn’t fit anymore more and 30 minutes way too early for a job…

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