Magalies Park, one of The First Group's offerings. Picture: Supplied.

While the expectations of resorts differ from person to person, travellers still yearn for relaxation, fresh air and a place to get away from the hustle and bustle of a busy life.

The concept of luxury resorts dates as far back as the early 1800’s. 

Over the years the traditional model has developed into a multi-faceted approach from basic amenities such as swimming pools, tennis courts and possibly a golf course to business centres and wellness spas that encompass more than just a vacation destination today.

Johann Jordaan, Services and Resorts Director for the First Group, says that resorts need to constantly evolve if they want to deliver the right mix of products that cater for guests from all market segments.

“It’s about creating an environment that is capable of combining the best of its surroundings, whether it’s the bush and wildlife, mountains or the beach, with the best amenities to offer a perfect blend of family ambience, leisure activities, sport, business facilities, events or weddings and health and wellness,” he explains.

 A classic example is the progression of wellness spas from the traditional exercise room, which is now driving a growing interest in resorts.  With healthy lifestyles and fitness in the spotlight, these wellness spas are now considered fundamental amenities that serve the market seeking luxurious pampering vacations.

Another prominent shift is the trend towards business centres and the establishment of state-of-the-art conferencing facilities that have had a big influence on the economic growth of resorts. 

The introduction of wedding packages that offer onsite chapels with picture-perfect backdrops of the natural surroundings, fine-dining reception venues and luxurious honeymoon suites with top-notch guest accommodation has also added a whole new dimension to resorts.

When it comes to family vacations, Jordaan believes the main reason why resorts remain one of the most popular choices is because children are so well catered for. 

“The logistics of planning a family vacation is often stressful, so creating a worry-free experience that is also affordable makes perfect sense. Resorts combine leisure and adventure for the whole family, with a wide range of facilities and services delivered in the most luxurious way,” he adds.