The last portion of the journey winding into the Drakensberg takes a little longer than expected because the roads are rural but are in the process of being restored. We passed through little villages where cows and horses cross the roads and school children skip together through the fields on their way home. Finally, we arrived in a misty paradise, hidden in the mountains.
Upon returning to the room on the first night after some exploration, we were pleasantly surprised to find that the hotel has a complimentary turn-down service complete with small chocolates and a different bedtime story printed on a leaflet that changes every evening.
The hotel is known for its spectacular buffet spreads. Guests are assigned a table in the dining room that remains theirs for the duration of their stay. Breakfast, dinner and tea with cookies were included in our stay and we ordered lunch from the room-service menu or opted to sit on the terrace.
The spreads have everything including salads, DIY stir-fry, fresh trout, a carving table, pastas, vegetables, soups, freshly-baked bread and a massive array of desserts. There is also Albert’s Bar which serves drinks at your own cost.
Hiking trail start points are well marked at different spots at the main hotel building but you can also obtain a map from the reception that details the routes. Walks in the Drakensberg are must because of the heritage that is hidden in these mountains – including paintings in the caves! We chose to do the Blue Pools trail which runs for around 5km and is a rather easy walk, ending up at a stream with colourful rocks visible under the water.
There are many trails that reach waterfalls, including a very easy trail to the nearby Doreen Falls. We went at the end of winter which made for a wet visit with dew on all the foliage and a strong flow throughout the river systems.
Drinks and snacks were provided for wedding guests outside the reception and we absorbed the streams of sunlight coming down while drinking a glass of sparkling wine. The food and wine at the reception were of the same quality as the general dining area and vegetarian options were made available to cater for everyone.
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We were disappointed to leave so soon but once the wedding celebrations were over, we had to make our way back on the long road to Durban. If you’re considering a wedding with a similar feel, have a look at some of these Drakensberg wedding ideas