Fired Up for Heritage Day

Annually, South Africans around the world unite and celebrate our shared cultural heritage on the 24th of September (Heritage Day) with a braai – the country’s favourite pastime. While braais or chisa nyamas are a South African tradition, did you know that many countries around the world also have barbecues ingrained in their culture?

Samuel Nassimov, our Founder and Managing Director, has made South Africa his home over the past 30 years, but fondly remembers the delicious shashliks from his native land, Russia. He explains that this version of the shish kebab is cooked on a grill and is usually made using lamb, beef, chicken or sturgeon. Skewers are threaded with meat either on its own or interspersed with vegetables like bell pepper, onion, mushroom and tomato.

A similar culinary concept to shashliks is shish taouk, which is enjoyed in the Middle East. Hailing from Israel, our Chief Operating Officer, Sigal Geva, shares that these kebabs – made from marinated beef, lamb or chicken sausages – are eaten with pita bread, tahini, hummus, grilled hot chili peppers along with tabbouleh (Israeli salad) and pickles. In Hebrew, the word for braai is al ha’esh which, when translated directly, means ‘on the fire’.

Closer to home, Sous Chef at Premier Resort Mpongo Private Game Reserve, Nomfundo Nonkondlo, who is Xhosa, says that in her culture a barbecue is called umbengo. At these gatherings, beef, sausage, liver and various cuts of meat like intloko yegusha (sheep head) and tripe are cooked directly on top of the coals. “Normally we serve the meat on its own and some eat it with insonka samanzi(steamed bread) or samp, but everyone enjoys their food with Jabulani (traditional beer).”

Born in historic Hampshire in the United Kingdom, our Group Operations Manager, Richard Bray, says that backyard barbecues are quite popular in Britain, despite the country’s rainy reputation. Many households use steel-built kettle and range-style barbecues, but some homes have permanent brick structures. Common foods cooked include chicken, hamburgers, sausages, beef steaks, corn-on-the-cob and vegetarian, soya based products. All major supermarket chains offer a range of barbecue products, but sadly availability is usually limited to the barbecue season (late spring to early autumn) – meaning that, for the rest of the year, people miss out on that special barbecue flavour.

Proudly Italian George Fonzari, known fondly as ‘Fonzi,’ is our Strategic Partnership Manager. In his country, as in others that surround the Mediterranean Sea, barbecues are influenced by traditional Mediterranean cuisine with olive oil being a key ingredient. Often chicken, fresh fish or beef steaks are marinated with olive oil and citrus juice mixtures and then garnished with fresh herbs and spices. Fonzari says: “Any good Italian barbecue is finished off with an espresso or a grappa.”

Gawie Nel, the General Manager at Premier Resort Sani Pass, shares that foods served at a traditional Afrikaans braai include potbrood (pot bread), roosterkoek (balls of dough cooked on a grid over the coals), boerewors (sausages), sosaties (kebabs) and steak. Of course, no braai is complete without Kaapse braai broodjies (barbecued cheese, tomato and onion sandwiches) and potato salad.

“Feasting with friends and family around a fire unites all people despite our differences – the true aim of National Heritage Day,” concludes Nassimov.

Recent News

Premier Hotels & Resorts to open in Umhlanga soon

Premier Hotels & Resorts to open in Umhlanga soon

Premier are nearly there with the very exciting R380 million development of 2 brand new hotels on the same precinct, perfectly situated in Umhlanga on the Ridge and close to Gateway shopping Centre, private hospital and various business parks.

Premier prepares for summer season with celebrations with newly refurbished properties

Premier prepares for summer season with celebrations with newly refurbished properties

Premier Hotels & Resorts – one of South Africa’s fastest growing, independently owned hospitality brands – is leading the charge towards summer 2020 in the SA hospitality industry.

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Dear Valued Guests, loyal Premier Rewards Members and Staff

For many of you the current situation globally around the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, as defined by the World Health Organization, is of grave concern and worrying.

Our thoughts and well wishes go out to all the people and their families who have been affected by this virus and we salute and support all the doctors, healthcare professionals, and volunteers, as well as governments who are working tirelessly to defeat this virus.

We acknowledge and support South Africa’s stance as outlined by President Ramaphosa on 15 March 2020, and we are closely monitoring the Department of Health’s communication channels, and the World Health Organization’s statements. Premier Hotels and Resorts is deeply committed to adhering strictly to South African and global health guidelines expected from us as a corporate citizen. Our guests’ and staff health, safety and well-being will always remain our primary concern during stays at our wonderful properties.


Premier takes standards for hygiene and cleanliness very seriously and we are implementing these additional steps to ensure the safety of our guests and staff.

  1. Hand Hygiene:Our teams are constantly reminded that cleanliness starts with proper and frequent handwashing.
  2. Ongoing Training: In addition to training on housekeeping and hygiene protocols, hotel staff are also completing enhanced COVID-19 awareness training.
  3. Real-Time Information:Corporate and regional teams are on standby 24/7 to support the hotels and coordinate with local and regional authorities.
  4. Cleaning Products and Protocols:Our hotels follow strict cleaning protocols and effective cleaning products which safeguard our hotels, including guest rooms, public spaces and conference rooms, our back-of-house areas, such as storage and locker rooms, laundry rooms, and staff offices against viruses. We are increasing the frequency of cleaning high-touch items and areas including all counters, the front desk, elevators and elevator buttons, door handles, public bathrooms, and room-access key cards.

Please contact or the General Manager of the respective Premier Hotel or Resort you’re staying in or working for, on any specific enquiry you may have.

Your health and safety is of paramount importance to us, always.

On behalf of The Premier Group
You’re Welcome and we are here for you!

Premier Hotels and Resorts Cancellation Policy

Premier will be updating our cancellation policy regularly to reflect reality and breaking news around travel restrictions and new developments related to the COVID-19 virus – and to provide our valued guests with peace-of-mind and flexibility. Your ongoing support is important to us.

Premier Cancellation Terms & Conditions (during the current Coronavirus restrictions)

FIT Cancellation Policy (as per STO contract)

  • As per Premier current STO T’s and C’s, our trade partners already have the option to cancel up to 72 hours of arrival without cancellation penalties.
  • Any cancellations received within 72 hours of arrival will be charged one night’s accommodation at the reserved room rate, unless guests are prohibited from travel to South Africa from countries identified by the South African Government, currently defined as Italy, Iran, South Korea, Spain, Germany, US, UK, and China – or international airline carrier restrictions.
  • Please note that any changes to existing reservations will be subject to availability and any rate difference (if applicable).
  • Guests who booked at a Premier Hotel or Resort via online travel agents, or any other third-party travel professional, are requested to contact their agent for further information on their respective policies.

Group & Series Cancellation Policy (as per STO contract)

  • Please refer to current STO T&Cs should a group cancel.
  • However, under current circumstances:
    • Within 14 days of arrival, a 100% cancellation penalty will apply unless guests are prohibited from travel to South Africa from countries identified by the South African Government, currently defined as Italy, Iraq, South Korea, Spain, Germany, US, UK, and China – or international airline carrier restrictions.
    • Premier Hotels and Resorts have, for the interim period, agreed to waive cancellation penalties for 15-45 days should the guests rebook within a 12-month period, on the new rate validity which has been distributed until 2021.
    • We will apply this clause until end-May 2020 whereby we may have a better understanding of the situation.
  • Please ensure these details are communicated to reservations at Premier hotels at your earliest convenience to ensure they are tracked correctly.
  • We would also like to propose that, in this time of uncertainty, guest rooming lists are sent to us at your earliest convenience and that any unused rooms are released immediately to avoid attracting unnecessary penalties.
  • In all cases, we will review extraordinary circumstances on an ad-hoc basis, at each hotel, and review with you.

MICE Groups Cancellation Policy (as per your G&C contract)

  • With regards to conference/MICE group cancellations, Premier will not charge cancellation fees if you have not paid a deposit.
  • In addition, Premier is introducing special deals on conferencing over the next few months. This is in response to Government legislated maximum group sizes of 100 people at a “gathering” or conference.
  • Should a confirmed group conference booking wish to cancel under the current circumstances, be it from an affected area or not, Premier Hotels will agree (until further notice) to hold any deposit / monies paid (if applicable) and honour the booking for future travel within a 12-month period from the original date of arrival. Each case will be reviewed for fairness.
  • Should the booking move from an off-peak to peak period (winter to year-end summer), the rate proposal may need to be reviewed and re-negotiated.

For more information on the Coronavirus in SA – please visit

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