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Peace, quiet just a hop from Jozi

By Mapula Nkosi | 2017-04-22 08:38:35.0

It was raining cats and dogs when I set out for a one night stay at the Bon Hotel Riviera in Vereeniging recently.

Set on the banks of the Vaal River, I was a little bit agitated that the downpour was killing any plans I had to explore fun near the water, but then one can never really be angry at mother nature.

The hotel activities around the river include riding on speedboats, water skiing and parasailing as well as sunset cruises on their Agua Lounge, although it operates mainly during the weekend unless there are enough people on board for it to set sail.

Not being an adrenalin junkie, I was hoping for a rather sedate activity of sipping sundowners watching a beautiful sunset right on the banks but that was not to be.

The grey weather forced me to stay indoors and appreciate my downstairs room more.

Consisting of a bedroom, dining area with dining table and chairs as well as a lounge area facing a flat screen TV, these types of deluxe rooms are usually marketed to couples to have a bit of a home-away-from-home feel as they are the most romantic. Of course the key feature is that they face the river, golf course and the beautifully manicured gardens.

Bon Hotel Riviera is one of the few hotels in the Vaal that form part of a collective hosting the annual Vaal River Wine Festival. The event this year will be held between June 25 and July 30. It lasts six weekends and is hosted at 12 different venues in what is termed the Vaal meander wine route.

Their in-house restaurant, The Matthews, offers buffet meals or a la carte dining.

As often with buffet, the parading of the food immediately draws your eye to the possible feasting.

For dinner I had roasted chicken wings with mixed vegetables and a leafy salad. I chose to skip the rows of lemon, carrot cakes and malva pudding on their dessert offering.

Weather permitting, you can eat outside in one of the atriums attached to the eatery.

Only a 50 minute drive from Johannesburg, the hotel's lush surroundings transport you to the peace and quiet you may need to rejuvenate your spirits.