# 03: Putting the “heart” into hospitality…

Hotel, motel, inn, bed &breakfast, guest house, any place that sells the promise of a good night’s rest… The hospitality trade is a booming industry. According to Wikipedia The hospitality industry is a multibillion-dollar industry that depends on the availability of leisure time and disposable income..

Although it basically boils down to taking your money, in exchange for a clean room, freshly made bed and the chance to sleep undisturbed, the “hospitality” part of it is the key for success in this industry.

Hospitality refers to the relationship between a guest and a host, wherein the host receives the guest with goodwill, including the reception and entertainment of guests, visitors, or strangers. Louis, chevalier de Jaucourt describes hospitality in the Encyclopédie as the virtue of a great soul that cares for the whole universe through the ties of humanity.” (Wikipedia)

Last night a man checked in here at River Lodge Vredendal – at 22h45. His secretary made the booking earlier the afternoon, saying that he’s just left Cape Town (normally a 3 hour drive), but with the weight of a huge trailer, “which may slow him down a bit”. And although the office normally closes at 20h00, I welcomed this man with as much love and enthusiasm as I could muster at that ungodly hour – because he was an extremely tired guy, looking for a place to sleep.

His smile this morning over a scrumptious breakfast made it all worthwhile.

The Holy Bible teaches us:  “Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by doing so some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it.”  Hebr 13:2

And even the Quran teaches: “Entertaining a guest is important – it signifies the respect and concern of a host towards his guest and towards God.  Hospitality in Islam is a triangle that links God, the guest and the host.”

On your journeys, always look for the guest house with “heart” in their service. Or come to River Lodge Vredendal and experience it firsthand!

Photo: Warm early morning smiles from the crew of the popular TV show, The Wedding Bashers.


A New Era for the Lodge

Living in a world where a plastic card can make all your dreams come true, whilst another kind of plastic is killing our marine ecosystem, everyone needs a place to escape to, a special place where you can stop, breath and relax. Where the things that matter are still real….

River Lodge is just that – a little piece of paradise, a luscious oasis, within walking distance of the Vredendal CBD. Here, the trees have patiently been growing taller, drawing their water from the Olifant’s River on our doorstep, while you have been battling for your place in the rat race. The bird life is flourishing, practising their notes, awaiting for the chance to treat you to their morning song, while you were trying to curb your road rage in the early morning traffic…

You don’t need to wait for a holiday (which carries its own challenges) to take that little break and connect with nature… and reconnect with yourself.  At River Lodge we have a long list of professional and corporate people who are die-hard River Lodge fans, claiming that a night’s sleep in the thatched chalets, under the huge trees is a mini-retreat.

After the awesome rain we’ve had, the turning of the season towards spring is evident all around us – in the new leaves on the rose bushes, the tender rose-pink flowers on the bougainvillea, and the early sprigs of lavender…

But there is only one way to find out whether I have been exaggerating – come see for yourself.

Anytime you are on the N7, near Vanrhynsdorp, turn off to Vredendal. Come experience hospitality with heart in it. Relax on your little stoepie with a glass of the region’s award-winning wine and just listen to the trees…

We can promise you – you will be back!