October 31, 2014

Sure Travel’s Santa Shoebox drop-off

Sure Travel's Santa Shoebox donation
Some Sure Travel elves lay down their tools for a while today to drop off the Head Office staff contribution for the Santa Shoebox Project.

Cape Town’s CTICC has been turned into Santa’s Grotto with hundreds and hundreds of brightly coloured shoeboxes, Christmas bunting, the smiles of previous recipients beaming from the walls and Santa Shoebox (SSB) volunteers running to and fro as busy as any Christmas elf. What a festive sight! It’s all very organised as well and dropping the boxes off didn’t even take a minute.

Santa Shoebox Project

Santa Shoebox Project

Santa Shoebox Project CTICC 2014

Each year Sure Travel Head Office staff take the time and effort and donate out of their own purses to support this amazing cause. The Santa Shoebox Project collects and distributes gifts at Christmas to underprivileged children throughout South Africa. View more info here and view their Facebook photos here.

Sure Travel Head Office

View our Facebook photos here.

Did you support Santa’s Shoebox this year? Comment below and let us know. We’d love to hear from you!

October 24, 2014

Flying Air Austral to Reunion Island

Have you been following all the #gotoReunion posts on social media, and wondering how you would get there? The good news is that with Air Austral, it’s as easy to get to Reunion Island as it is to fly to its neighbour Mauritius.

Air Austral flies twice a week from Johannesburg directly to Reunion Island’s Roland Garros airport (near St-Denis on the island’s north coast) using a Boeing 737. The flight is about 4 hours (bear in mind Reunion Island is 2 hours ahead of South Africa).

Air Austral flew the #MascaRun (read about it here) South Africa travel industry contestants to the island last month. Sure Travel Social Media Coordinator Jenna was impressed with the airline. “As one would hope, the plane was clean and comfortable, the crew attentive and friendly and the lunch on the way there was the best airplane lunch I have ever had. Delicious slivers of fresh smoked salmon and capers in the salad for starters – in economy class!” Air Austral has said that passengers often comment how impressed they are with the food.

“As I was part of the winning #MascaRun team, Air Austral kindly upgraded us to Comfort Class (this is Air Austral’s business class on their regional network) for our flight home. From the spacious seats to the champagne and snacks, it was wonderful getting to experience Air Austral in “first-class” style!”

On approaching Roland Garros airport, you are greeted with a view that sets the scene for your time on the island. The airport must surely have one of the most beautiful runways in the world. The views as the plane descends and lands on a runway running parallel to the ocean, are truly spectacular.

There is an airport shuttle bus that runs to Saint-Denis however the easiest way of seeing the island is hiring a car and doing self-drive tours. All the car rental companies are situated at the airport when you walk out towards the parking lot – very easy to find.

If you feel like adding on another trip after Reunion Island, (perhaps some more French flair?) Air Austral offers direct flights to mainland France and then connects to various destinations in Europe as well as flights to Perth, Bangkok, Chennai and other Indian Ocean destinations.

If you want to combine your island visits, the Indian Ocean Pass air ticket special allows you to book a ticket on Air Austral, Air Mauritius or Air Seychelles and enjoy reduced fares from one of the islands to the next (Comoros, Madagascar, Maldives, Mayotte, Mauritius, Reunion, Rodrigues and Seychelles). Ask your Sure Travel consultant for more info.

Flights to Reunion Island
Joburg>Reunion Island: Thursdays & Sundays. Departure at 11h30 – Arrival at 17h20
Reunion Island>Joburg: Thursdays & Sundays. Departure at 08h00 – Arrival at 10h15

Kind thanks to Air Austral for sponsoring our #MascaRun flights to Reunion Island.

Got a question regarding Reunion Island? Comment below or on our Facebook or Twitter pages for first-hand tips and advice.

Search and book Air Austral flights on the Sure Travel website
Find your nearest Sure Travel agency here.

October 17, 2014

LUX Le Morne in Mauritius

During the Sure Travel and Thompsons Mauritius educational this year, Sure Travel’s social media co-ordinator, Jenna, got to do site inspections at a different Mauritius hotel every day. One of the hotels she was lucky enough to spend a night at, was the stunningly beautiful 5* LUX Le Morne.

Sheltered by the Le Morne peak (a UNESCO World Heritage site) on the quieter south-west coast of the island, the hotel lies along a long stretch of sandy white beach surrounded by lush gardens. After being ushered into the foyer area (with the most magnificent views of the lagoon), we were welcomed with a glass of chilled bubbly – made even more delightful after being offered a quick demonstration of sabrage (opening the champagne bottle with a saber). Rona from Sure Aquabay Travel in Ballito wowed us with her perfect technique!

It was then time to discover just why LUX Le Morne deserves all of its 5 stars – and more! The hotel has everything you could want. The four large pools ensure that you won't feel crowded when taking a dip and dotted throughout the lush gardens are hammocks and comfy, secluded nooks to curl up and relax. The hotel has the usual array of complimentary water sports on offer, a stunning spa, airy gym and all sorts of classes and courses you could possibly imagine.

The hotel also has (what I think must be one of LUX Resorts' most fantastic ideas), a phone booth to call home. It's free to call any landline in the world for 3 minutes. It's not timed though so essentially you can speak for as long as you like. The only rule? You're not allowed to call the office (another brilliant idea!). Merville Beach Hotel (read about it here) also has this LUX phone home booth feature.  

There are 5 room categories to choose from, all housed in little villas.  I got to experience the largest room category - a junior prestige suite (63m2) with the comfiest bed I have ever slept in and a bathroom complete with indoor and outdoor shower. From the bath you could see the lagoon in the distance while the shutters ensured you could do so while preserving your modesty. A spacious terrace complete with table and chairs, daybed and double sun lounger complete the suite. There was even a bowl of water and scoop to wash off your sandy feet coming back from the beach (they think of everything). The terrace is separated by a wall so you can’t see your neighbours but you could hear them if they happened to be talking loudly. Another innovative aspect of LUX Le Morne, was the paperless rooms. No brochures, etc – instead you get an iPad containing all the info you need.

A very practical aspect was that the ground level rooms have a door that you can lock from the outside – so if you’re heading to the beach or pool you can walk straight out through your terrace instead of walking out the back and all the way around (none of the other hotels we stayed in had this).

View from an upstairs suite.

View from an upstairs balcony.

My very own iPad in the room  - mine for the duration of my stay.

As to be expected, we enjoyed some fantastic food and wine at LUX Le Morne, including CafĂ© LUX coffee bar and (my favourite) the retro ICI ice-cream bar on the beach. For breakfast, I sampled fresh coconut water for the first time on the island – delicious! 

LUX Resorts aims to give their guests a lighter, brighter holiday experience and they have perfected many award-winning, tiny details and that really add up to make your LUX holiday truly enchanting. After spending just one day and night here, I was sold on the LUX experience. From a secret bar (there one day and gone the next) to “message in a bottle” bottles hidden around the grounds (inside is a little gift) to their famous movies on the beach nights and pop-up dining areas, prepare to be (very pleasantly) surprised. 

 After just a day there, I left feeling truly relaxed and inspired. If you want to spoil yourself (this kind of experience unsurprisingly doesn’t come cheap) with a luxurious 5* experience that goes beyond the standard and ordinary, LUX Le Morne is just what you’ve been dreaming of…

A huge thank you to Anatolie, and the LUX Le Morne team, for hosting us in such style and for taking the time to treat us to the true LUX experience.

View a special LUX LE Morne 6 night package here

It all began when a 16-year-old Jenna got on a plane for the first time and headed to Germany for 2 weeks on a school exchange. Returning well and truly bitten by the travel bug, after finishing school she hopped on a plane and headed off to London. Since then, she has eaten her way through Eastern Europe, dozed in a hammock on a tiny island dotted in Lake Malawi, tracked Wild Dogs through the hills of Zululand, and explored the major sights of her first love – Europe.