An image of the Ngwenya Lodge Kitchen. Photo: Supplied
What makes a great vacation? While some say it’s the destination, being with your loved ones and even the weather - research has revealed that the most important factor is actually a kitchen. 

ARDA (American Resort Development Association) International Foundation found in an omnibus survey that more than 85% of vacation owners had the use of a kitchen on their vacation, compared to only 37% of non-owners.  At least 99% that used the kitchen said that it improved their vacation so much that they planned to book their next break with accommodation that included a kitchen. 
 
VRS’s Marketing Manager, Dale Galloway, concurs saying that their full self-catering facilities, which are offered by almost all their vacation ownership resorts in SA, is a major benefit to their members. 

“South Africans love their food and many of our cultural and social activities are centred around eating. The kitchen is the hub of the home for so many families, which is amplified when on holiday. There’s more time to make cooking a leisurely, fun and social activity that everyone can participate in. Therefore, holiday accommodation with kitchens has the ability to not only provide a meal, but a meaningful experience,” she said.

Spokesperson for the Vacation Ownership Association of SA (VOASA), Alex Bosch, explains that while dining out certainly is a treat when on holiday it can also add up, making kitchens a major cost saver. 

“A one week vacation equates to 21 meals out, which even if you take the cost out of the equation, is still a lot of meals to co-ordinate. The flexibility of being able to grab a healthy snack or have breakfast and lunch at your convenience allows more time for other holiday activities,” he said.

Moms and dads will vouch for the fact that kitchens are perfect for families with young children as it makes it possible to give kids an early dinner and then head out to enjoy some well-deserved adult dining and conversation.  

Bosch concludes, “Vacation owners have known for a long time that kitchens and separate living spaces improve holidays, which is just one of the many reasons why they love their home-away-from-home quality holiday experiences, and are never stuck eating pizza in cramped rooms or sharing common eating amenities with strangers.