Durban - I almost didn’t make it to La Montagne Resort and Spa. Work scheduling saw to it that I kept having to postpone my stay there, until I ran into the scariest end-of-year words for parents – and the most exciting for teenagers – Matric Rage!
I guess I betrayed my age when I clean forgot that trying to book a bed anywhere in Ballito over late November was not the wisest idea. And the relentless energy that newly matriculated kids have these days is enough to make anyone curse Father Time.
Happily, Steven Schoombee and his team did manage to sneak me into one of their self-catering apartments, though I was warned that the Ragers had already landed.
The drive to La Montagne is pleasant enough, as it is located on Compensation Beach. The closer it gets to Christmas, the busier the M4 gets, though the N2 northbound has roadworks that will test the most patient right foot.
But, as with most things on the coast, La Montagne is worth the journey, not least because of the fantastic vistas from every apartment. You can see why it’s popular with the Jozi mob, because you can almost roll off your balcony and into the water, it’s that close.
Sitting on your private balcony, watching the sun set and listening to the ocean turning in for the night, you get the sense that life couldn’t really get much better – until the Raging mob awakens from a nap and gets ready to take over the night.
For the more sedate folk, grown-ups with kids, La Montagne offers plenty of entertainment options.
The kids can be left with a babysitter or go to the well-staffed playrooms for hours of fun, to allow mommy and daddy a little time to themselves, and a glass or two of something chilled.
The supper theatre club is also popular among guests.
Being a holiday resort, there are plenty of other activities for the little ones, including the beach on your doorstep, and a gleaming outdoor pool.
The apartments themselves were somewhat cosy, but you would be hard pressed to be spending too much time indoors. If the temperamental weather does switch on you, the kitchens in each apartment are fully equipped, and there is satellite television to help you nod off.
On the doorstep of La Montagne are several sporting facilities, including plenty of water sports and three fantastic golf courses, each presenting their own set of challenges.
Be sure to sneak up to the excellent Simbithi Golf Estate, for thrills and spills for the whole family.
They call it an executive course, but even the best business suits will be sweating by the time they reach the 18th.
Umhlali Golf Club and Zimbali Country Club are also close by, but do book early to avoid disappointment.
While dad and the lads enjoy the fairways, mommy can take advantage of the luxury, in-house spa at La Montagne.
Fully equipped, it is the perfect place to unwind – and the staff don’t even judge men who decide to partake in a few pink drinks while being pampered – or so I heard!
So, if you’re looking for something coastal, cosy and competitively priced for the whole family, La Montagne will tick many boxes.
And if you happen to check in at the same time as next year’s Rage mob, it turns out they keep completely different hours from those of us normal people. As you and the kids go to bed, they are only starting their day.
And as you rise for breakfast, you may bump into them, wearily turning in for the night. Clearly, La Montagne has something for everyone.
l La Montagne is represented by African Insignia Hotels.
Call 0860 333 666 or 031 701 9999, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.lamontagne.co.za. - Sunday Tribune