Prevue September-October 2014 - (Page 72)

South Africa Nature facilitates teambuilding in Cape Town & the African bush S [ON LOCATION] JESSIE FETTERLING Spotting a cheetah in the South African bush is apparently rare. I quickly realized that on my third game drive, accompanied by three meeting planners, when our driver suddenly hit the gas in response to a walkie-talkie chat. Before we knew it, we were offroading, driving over small trees and whipping past larger ones that we had to quickly dodge. The ride in itself was an adventure, so much so that we didn't even question what we were after - until we saw the cheetah stalking its prey. It is this kind of bonding experience that meeting planners such as Kevin Devanney, president of Incentive Travel Solutions, are looking for when taking groups to a destination like South Africa. "There are three countries I suggest to a company that wants to take it to another level. Tahiti, South Africa or New Zealand are really the three top trips in our industry," says Devanney. "South Africa provides that 'wow' factor. It's something people have maybe dreamed about but never had the opportunity to visit before. You can't put a dollar value on the relationships that happen on these kinds of trips." Devanney was one of six meeting planners that I traveled with to Cape Town and the South African bush. Dragonfly Africa, an award-winning DMC, hosted us on the 6-day FAM trip, which gave us a glimpse into just how much "wow" this country really has to offer. CAPE TOWN Cape Town sits at the foot of Table Mountain, mixing nature with commerce. This city of about 4 million people is home to the more laid-back citizens of the country looking to find a "vibey" restaurant or club on any given night of the week, while surfing (usually the Indian Ocean; the Atlantic's too cold) or hiking Table Mountain on the weekend. The Belmond Mount Nelson Hotel, situated on acres of land decorated with gardens, sculptures and fountains, has one of the best views of Table Mountain in the city. Painted pink to bring joy to citizens after World War I, the hotel remains an icon in the area-so much so that people ask local paint stores for "Mount Nelson Pink" to use to paint their own houses. Scattered across several buildings are 121 rooms and 65 suites. The on-site Planet Restaurant & Bar has a private dining space that looks like a gazebo, with three walls made of windows that open onto the garden below. The ballroom can host larger events of up to 400 people for a cocktail reception. Located on the bay, the 329-room Table Bay Hotel directly connects with the shops and restaurants that make up the Victoria & Alfred Waterfront. The brunch served at the on-site Atlantic restaurant is one of the best in the city, with a meat-carving station and an entire room dedicated to juices. The Victorian-style pavilion stands out among the property's five meeting spaces because of its window-lined walls overlooking the water. It seats 120 people theater-style. The nearby 131-room One & Only Cape Town offers groups another waterfront location, with separate lodging on their own private island if they wish. Doormen wearing top hats greet guests as they enter the light-filled lobby. Guests staying in one of the 40 rooms on the island take a landscaped walkway to their rooms, which are adjacent to the largest infinity pool in the country. Celebrity 68 | prevue magazine 68-71-Africa 68 9/4/14 11:16 AM

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Prevue September-October 2014

Planner’s Pick: The London, Los Angeles
Fresh Meets: InterContinental Hotels
Bureau Buzz: Oakland CVB
Good Business: Virginia Beach CVB
Sea Shores: Meetings 2.0
The Future of Meeting Design
On Location: Phoenix
On Location: Park Hyatt Beaver Creek
On Location: Westin and Sheraton Kansas City
Checkout: Princess Grace Rose Garden, Monaco

Prevue September-October 2014