WATCH: Scenic horse riding, river cruises and adventure - Wild Coast Sun is more than just a casino pit stop
I walk into my Luxury King Room, throw my bags on the floor and head straight to the window to marvel at the grand sea view before me.
The sound of the roaring ocean consuming the room; I stand there for what feels like hours until my phone beeps reminding me that I have to meet the rest of the media group downstairs in 10 minutes.
I am spending 24 hours at the Wild Coast Sun, located less than 2 hours from Durban.
The Tourism Grading Council of South Africa (TGCSA) upgraded the Sun International’s family-friendly beachfront resort to four stars in the hotel category in September this year.
Since the resumption of leisure travel, the resort has gradually seen an uptick in domestic travellers and managed to save all staff jobs despite the Covid-19 pandemic.
When I head downstairs, I see staff enforcing the use of masks.
"You have to wear your mask, sir," the stern-looking staff member tells the guest, of which he dutifully obliges.
Resort General Manager Peter Tshidi tells us at lunch that the resort has more to "offer than just it's casino"
He describes it as the ideal location for couples who want a romantic getaway, families hoping to reconnect or enjoy the sea, adventure lovers, golf enthusiasts or those who want to get away from the hustle and bustle of city life.
And he is right.
There is plenty to see and do, much more than what I've seen during my last visit in 2017.
Afternoons at the resort is never dull. Our party of 8 spend it at The Riverside Aqua Sports and Beach Bar. The location boasts water sports and river activities like kayaking, speed boats, paddle boats, tube rides, water skiing and a lazy boat cruise.
Our hour-long boat cruise starts promptly at 3pm. The boat cruise costs R150pp.
Guests can bring their own food, and there's a wide selection of drink options available at the beach bar that you can purchase before you step on board.
The cruise itself is relaxing as the boat manoeuvres along the Umtamvuna Nature Reserve.
Our guide tells us that sharks and crocodiles are lurking in the waters.
Once back at the resort, you can hit the slot machines or play a game of roulette or blackjack, relax by the pool, dip your toes at Mzamba Beach, or go for a spa treatment.
I opt to spend the afternoon with a novel in my room, with only the sound of the ocean as my company.
By 7pm, it's time for dinner. Chico's Restaurant serves up hearty meals buffet style, from mouth-watering curries, perfectly cooked fish to well-presented desserts.
During the pandemic, staff, who have been screened for Covid-19 before they enter the premise, serve guests to reduce contact. Staff tending to beverage orders wear masks.
After dinner, I explore the rest of the resort. I aim to burn off the extra dinner calories.
The next morning, after an indulging breakfast of waffles and ice cream and a cup of tea, I take a scenic walk to Ocean Trails for a morning horseback ride on the beach.
The horse riding experience starts from R175pp.
Bhekisisa, my tour guide, shares all the protocols that need to be followed before he introduces me to Breeze the horse. Breeze is shy and follows close to Savannah, the horse Bhekisisa is riding.
The horse ride goes into Mzamba Beach along the Petrified Forest and back.
Bhekisisa answers all my questions and shares insight into the history of the area.
If horse riding isn't your thing, then there's plenty of other activities to try, including segway tours, quad biking, a beach walk or play a game of golf at their championship 18-hole Wild Coast Sun Golf Course.
There are also land-based sports located at the Sports Centre, which houses a gymnasium, lawn bowls, squash and tennis.
For the children, there's an indoor entertainment area housing the Magic Company, Cosmic Bowling in the Aloha Village, and a spa dedicated solely for the kids. Of course, travellers can head to Wild Waves Water Park which boasts some of the world’s best water rides, including a Lazy River tube experience, body slides, tube rides and flume experiences. Guests at the resort enter free.