Set in a ‘valley of plenty’ in a nature reserve in the midst of a mountainous area, Valley Lodge and Spa is interlaced with rivers and streams which nurture the indigenous vegetation and the abundance of animals and bird life. It really is the ideal place to escape from the stress of the big city … and an easy weekend destination, as it’s just an hour or so drive away.
The hotel sits prettily on the banks of the Magalies River … all majestic mountain backdrops and gorgeous indigenous gardens. Arrive on a Friday after work, slip off your shoes, order a G&T and … breathe.
Plans for your weekend could include going out and experiencing all the area has to offer … think balloon safaris, game drives, hikes in the hills and visits to the nearby tourist spots such as the Cradle of Humankind World Heritage Site and the Sterkfontein Caves. And good for you if you’re the exploring type. Quite honestly, we’re a lazier lot, and there’s just so much to experience at the hotel that we don’t bother to stray too far. We love to potter round the gardens and, if feeling hugely energetic, may pick up a tennis racquet and have a game or two. There’s a pool for a gentle dip or some strenuous laps, a gym for those who can’t bear to go a day without weights and then (and it’s here we really come into our own), an amazing spa. The hotel boasts it’s one of the country’s finest, and we’re not going to argue. It’s designed to provide a health and wellness experience like no other and is, trust us, a blissful spot to spend a couple of hours.
Also amazing (and award-winning) is the wine list and the fully stocked cellar will satisfy even the fussiest wine connoisseur. Meals range from English pub evenings to dinner under the stars … and in-between.
The rooms are described as ‘country comfort with a dash of sophistication’ … they have their own sitting rooms and private patios, and are well equipped to give guests a few hours, or days, of peace and quiet. A book and a pot of tea on the patio is a simple treat that shouldn’t be undervalued!
We don’t usually chat about conference facilities, but the newly launched Steenkoppie Conference Centre at the hotel is worth breaking the rules … it’s got every possible facility you could think of, and then some. And let’s face it, if we have to go to a conference, where better than here, where the ambiance is inspiring, and during tea breaks you can watch the dazzle of zebras strolling by.
It’s a rather special place, and talking of specials … there are always loads of them – the spa package and the dinner-bed-and-breakfast special are worth looking into.
Details: valleylodge.co.za or 014-577-1301