Ok, technically i stayed here for three months, while i was working as a receptionist and entertainment manager. I hate saying it, but this hotel has gone to pot. It used to be one of the best in the Drakensberg, but now its lost its charm.
Maybe its cause the owners never want to spend money it, who knows. You can still have a pretty good stay here, dont get me wrong, its got lots to offer, but its not near as good as it used to be. Pity.
Ok, here is whats good, and not -
Decent golf course
Rubbish tennis courts (last time i checked)
Nice Bowling greens
Decent hiking trails
Decent Horse rides
Although relatively new, this hotel has quite a variety of activities on offer, from Horseriding & hiking to trapezing (Yes, you read correctly).
Very comfortable accommodation in self-catering units (there is a restaurant), a wonderful pool, and mountian bike trails add to the character of this resort.
This place is wonderful. really comfortable accommodation, brilliant hosts, hot water, the lot...
Hereś a list:
This hotel has been family run & owned for the last 65 or so years, and has developed a fantastic atmosphere. A new swimming pool has just been installed, they have 4x4 trips, hiking, horse riding, tennis, & a disco every Saturday night. The service is always friendly and laid back, but proffesional at the same time.
The best thing about this hotel is the wide variety of hikes on offer. Everything from a short 1/2 hour walk to a full 8 hour ,Big 5 hike, is available. And the views from the hikes are breathtaking, so don?t forget your camera!
Ok, just got back from spending the weekend at the campsite, and again i had the most fantstic time! The Self-catering chalets are top class, sleeping 6 very comfortably. The campsite is also very comfortable, with electricity and everything.
The views of the amphitheatre are awesome, there is a great little bar, with big screen TV (see "A quiet night out?" tip) They also have a wonderful 9 hole golf course. The Campsite communal bathrooms have lovely hot water, which comes at high pressure too!
My only issue with the Resort is that the shop and office close ridiculously early, at about 4pm every day.
The resort is located on an 860-acre estate bordering KZN Wildlife land, allowing access to spectacular walks and hikes.
En-suite rooms are spacious and comfortable and includes a television, telephone, heaters and tea/coffee making facilities.
The resort has 2 restaurants, Country Kitchen which serves a buffet breakfast and buffet dinners and the Bergview Restaurant only open in the evenings offering a La Carte dinners.
There are lots of activities, the best being a spectacular 18 hole golf course, with amazing mountain views.
Also available are: tennis, bowls, putt-putt, volleyball, badminton, walks, hiking, pitch and putt, horse riding and squash.
For the kids there is a “Discovery Park” where children can see animals in a mini farmyard with birds and rabbits. From the hotel you can also take horse riding hikes through the mountains or take a day trip by 4 X 4 vehicle up Sani Pass.
Cathedral Peak Hotel is one of the most popular Hotels in the Natal Drakensberg.
Surrounded by the most stunning mountain scenery, the hotel also has an abundance of game, birds, plants and Bushman rock paintings.
The Hotel offers a wide variety of accommodation.
Comfortable en-suite Standard rooms with semi-private verandahs have stunning views of the surrounding mountain range.
Standard Thatched Rooms are situated in the beautiful Hotel gardens and can accommodate between 2 & 4 guests.
Very Spacious Deluxe Suites have a private verandah and garden boasting spectacular mountain views. (we were in one of these, and they are really lovely, separate bath and shower with glass door - which I did prefer!)
Interleading Family Deluxe Rooms are able to accommodate up to 4 guests in either twin or double beds. The suite comprises two comfortable double rooms separated by a sliding door and curtain.
The executive and honeymoon suites are set in secluded gardens. Each suite is individually decorated to create a luxurious, intimate ambience. These suites all have a large four poster bed, television, telephone, mini bar fridge, electric fireplace, underfloor heating, spa bath, and private verandah with breathtaking mountain views.
There is also a 'presidential suite' for the ultimate in indulgence - if you can afford it! This suite includes a golf cart for the duration of the stay at the resort!
All Hotel rooms offer television, telephone, heater and tea/coffee making facilities.
Rates are inclusive of dinner buffet (outstanding actually, one could make a real pig of oneself here!) and fabulous full breakfast buffet as well as morning and afternoon tea served on the terrace with cake and biscuits! Room service is available as well as a terrace menu for light lunches.
The food is awesome, my husband was delighted!
Situated on 400ha of land, Cathedral Peak Hotel is unique in that it falls within the boundaries of the Cathedral Peak Nature Reserve, and nestles right up against the spectacular Cathedral Peak range of mountains.
The Hotel's many recreational facilities include free daily guided hikes to bushman paintings, horse-rides, mountain bike and jogging route, tennis, squash, bowls, beach volleyball, table tennis, badminton, floodlit mini-adventure golf, 10m climbing tower, heated and cold swimming pool and fly fishing.
The childrens facilities are also superb, we never saw our daughter for 3 days - she also had her meals in the childrens dining room, which were very good indeed and appropriate for children.
Penwarn has a variety of accomodation to suit every taste, from the secluded, luxurious Mthini Lodge which is a distance away from the main lodge, to a simple yet charming cave on a mountainside.
A self catering log cabin or 3 bedroom cottage, the choice is yours.
Mthini Lodge, situated on a hill, overlooking a lake towards the magnificent Drakensberg mountains is an intensely private, exclusive lodge.
Catering for only 8 guests in 4 en-suite bedrooms, it is possible for one party to reserve the entire lodge (as we did).
Each bedroom is uniquely furnished, opening onto a wooden deck over the lake. A fireplace in each bedroom, is lit each night when the beds are turned down and the electric blankets are switched on.
Guests are pampered with special touches such as sherry and home made biscuits in each room.
Meal options range from B&B to full board.
This is one of those possibilities for a quintessential South African/International experience. Situated high in the foothills of the Drakensberg, you have a grand view to the north with the Drakensberg Escarpment visible from Giant's Castle all the way to the Amphtitheatre at Royal Natal National Park. The setting is country rustic with chickens and the occasional grey rhebuck wandering about on the lawns. Eclectic and whimsy is evident throughout with the larger rooms enjoying jacuzzi tubs and lofts and the smaller rooms still very comfortable. There is a large central house containing the kitchen, a large dining room and a comfortable lounge replete with books and magazines and a large magical fireplace. Andrew and Connie are very amiable hosts with plenty of stories from their colorful lives. but it is not a one-way conversation around the breakfast/dinner table. This is where the guesthouse concept truly takes off. I spent four nights here and guests came and went from countries like Belgium, the US, South Africa, Germany and Denmark. Conversation takes the place of electronic media. Social intercourse making the World seem smaller. These are the moments when vacations can take on a bit of magic, sitting there under thatched rusticity. Conviviality in the extreme, I recommend staying here for several days to take advantage of the hospitality and the location - many places to see in the immediate vicinity (Kamberg, Giants Castle, Champagne Valley, the KwaZulu battlefields, Weenen Game Reserve, African Stork Reserve, etc). Check out Andrew's extensive website for lots more ideas!
The original thought had been to push a road up over the Escarpment into Lesotho from Phuthaditjhabab on the Free State side. That road ends at the Sentinel Car Park with the last chance for cold beer some 6-7 rough miles lower down at the Witzieschoek Mountain Resort. The road was never finished, but the Chain Ladders were built by the same man who was responsible for the Witzieschoek Mountain Resort, the Caterpillar and Catfish Cookhouse atop Oliviershoek on highway N74 and the Drakensberg Inn in Bergville - Otto Zunckel. Otto was also responsible for building this stone hut near the top of Thukela Falls. The original cabin had tables, chairs, beds with mattresses, a stove and a fireplace. The cabin had been open to all mountaineers. With time, the cabin had been ransacked and fell into disrepair. Lately, the cabin has been repaired - albeit minus the chairs, tables, beds and mattresses, but it was repaired to make room for rangers of the EZKZN (KZN Park rangers) as their home atop the rim. Luckily for most of us - I guess - the Park rangers are rarely out and about so there is usually no problem laying you sleeping bag out on one of the floors and keeping your tent folded away. It is much easier to endure that thunderstorm with pelting rain from inside these stone walls and metal roof, than from outside in a tent. Here, I speak from personal experience.
Good self-catering accommodation. There are different options available, depending on what your needs are. We had a 3-bedroom with a well equipped kitchen, satellite TV. Great fire-place in the living area. The units are loose standing. Wits end is very centrally located, opposite to where the Drakensberg Boys Choir school is.
There is a dam on the property with canoes and boats available for rowing.
Tariffs: You pay per house (chalet) and not per person. We paid ZAR 780 (+/- 90 UDS) for a 3-bedroom unit per day. (2008)
The website is very informative and helpful.
Beautifully furnished, spacious self-catering cottages. They have large fireplaces, hi-fi equipment, TV and video machines, microwave ovens and spa baths.
Great views of the mountains.
Trout fishing available, and many more that you can do at the resort.
Fishing, Hiking, Birding, Swimming pool, Tennis, Golf (9 holes), Mini golf, Children's
playground, Clubhouse, Babysitting
Out in the wilds of the upper Drakensberg, you are on your own for shelter. There are no accommodations of any kind up here besides the occasional herdsmen’s hut or overhanging cave. The benefit is that you normally have the valley you camp in to yourself and with a good clear night, you have a whole lot of night sky to gaze up at. A whole lot of quiet to go along with that, as well.
The Cavern is one of those 'old style' family hotels that the Drakensberg does so very well: somehow this seems the wrong location for glitz and glamour! It has a stunning location in the Northern 'Berg, close to the Royal Natal National Park (which makes an ideal half or full day trip). These hotels were established at a time when the transport network wasn't as well developed, and aimed to provide a 'one stop' family holiday experience: as a result, you can have a marvellous time without leaving the property, although it would also make a good centre for touring the surrounding region. It has lovely grounds, and a gorgeous swimming pool with a water slide as well as a range of other sporting amenities.
As for most of the hotels in this area, the rate is all inclusive - that is, including three substantial meals a day, so the only extras you'll pay for are drinks and activities such as horse riding. This makes budgeting a lot easier, as there are fewer unwelcome surprises on your final bill! There are usually special rates available out of season - for example, pay for 3 night and stay 4 - so check the website for what's on offer.
The Cavern markets itself extremely well - which includes positioning itself beautifully in the niche catering for families. I should state that we would not usually choose to stay in hotels as a family, as we prefer the flexibility and affordability of self catering accommodation. However, if we feel like treating ourselves to a family holiday in a hotel in the Berg, this would definitely be our choice.
The Cavern is extremely family-friendly, offering lots of kiddy-oriented amenities and activities, as well as a separate dining room for kids, where they are supervised by trained staff whilst the adults eat in the grown up dining room next door. Having said that, there is no 'exclusion policy' - the days of South African apartheid are, after all over - so you are welcome to join your offspring in 'their' dining room if you don't want to entrust them to someone else.
Even more important, The Cavern offers several family rooms with interleading rooms, so parents can have the best of both worlds: proximity and easy access to their children, whilst enjoying the privacy of their own bedroom.
Look on their excellent website for other family-friendly offerings - they have an entire page on their website devoted to this, which tells you how seriously they take this aspect of their business, and it's nice to know that they really do deliver on this commitment. The other great advantage of spending time with your family in a family-friendly hotel like this is that there are almost always other kids around, which gives the little ones someone else close to their own age to play with (and their parents a bit of a break)!
One note of caution: the accommodation is located on a steep slope behind the main hotel building. This is fine for able-bodied adults, but can seem like a bit of a hike if you're pushing a pram, pushchair or lugging around heaps of baby paraphernalia, so try and ask for accommodation closest to the hotel building and plan so that you don't have to return to your room any more often than necessary! (the same comment would apply to guests with limited mobility).
The Cavern also offers a fantastic range of other activities - organised hikes, horse and pony riding, as well as 'theme' weekends, from their popular bird spotting programmes to stargazing weekends - again, see the website for what's on offer.
The rooms range from standard to family rooms to deluxe. The deluxe rooms have wonderful views of the mountains from your patio. The hotel is single storey and well laid out
The setting is magnificent, there are tennis courts, swimming pool, horse riding, a bar and buffet restaurant. You will definitely not go hungry and don't think you will lose a few pounds on your hikes, you will soon replace those calories as the food is excellent.
They will provide packed lunches for your hikes and it it possible to go on guided walks.
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