Cathedral Peak Hotel - Family Friendly Getaways in the Drakensburg

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A little while ago I was offered a 2 night stay at the beautiful Cathedral Peak Hotel in the Berg. The offer couldn’t have come at a better time, as Farmboy had been hard at work, farming, and we were in desperate need of a family getaway.

We have spent time at Champagne Sports Resort as well as the Drakensburg Sun, but I have only been into the Cathedral Peak Nature Reserve when I was little, and that was to do one of the many beautiful overnight hikes. Although we didn’t get to do much hiking on this trip (having a one year and being 5 months pregnant does tend to slow you down just a bit) the Cathedral Peak Hotel was the perfect place for a family to spend the weekend.

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Not only did we stuff ourselves silly at the buffet (seriously, their food was some of the best hotel food I’ve ever eaten!) but their kiddies play area was so well equipped too. Even I enjoyed a good number of jumps on the trampoline (before I realised that jumping on a trampoline while pregnant is probably not the smartest idea...#scrambledeggs haha).

From the moment we stepped into the reception, we were greeted by such warm and welcoming staff who were so helpful during our stay. Nothing was too much trouble, and by the end of our stay Everly has charmed all the staff and genuinely seemed to be sad to say goodbye. If you’re looking for a good family friendly place to spend the weekend, I would definitely recommend adding Cathedral Peak Hotel to the top of your list!

Although this was a sponsored trip, all thoughts and views are my own, and we will definitely be heading back out of our own pocket….Perhaps after our next little one has arrived and we can all enjoy the gorgeous hiking trails (and rock pools!) on offer.

Cathedral Peak Hotel is about a 3 hour drive from Durban, and only about 4.5 hours from Joburg. It’s definitely an easy enough place to get to from either city for the weekend. It took us about 3 hours from the farm, but granted, we live out in the middle of nowhere and everywhere is far for us. You set your GPS for the small but delightful town of Winterton, and then from there the Hotel’s website has really great step by step directions.

Whenever people post reviews of places they’ve stayed before, I’m always far more interested in the photos than I am in their descriptions, so I’m going to let my images speak for me. But the one thing I have to harp on about was the food! Gosh, everything was freshly prepared every day, and we were still able to keep Everly on her Banting/No Sugar or processed carb eating during our stay. In fact, she loved the food so much, I’ve had to replicate some of the meals at home to keep her happy! Luckily the friendly chef was happy to share his ‘secret’ recipes with me after I explained that Everly was thoroughly enjoying his food!

Here are some snaps of the facilities on offer at Cathedral Pea Hotel…

The Rooms

While I didn’t manage to get a photograph of the bed before Everly and hubby made themselves right at home in anticipation of a long nap, I have to talk about how comfy it was! It was also HUGE and meant all three of us could lie in it without disturbing each other. Although, Everly has never been one to sleep in bed with us (she is just too noisy and wriggles about so much that none of us end up getting any sleep), the bed would be big enough for a family of 4 to sleep in comfortably.

We brought our own camp cot as I wasn’t sure if the Hotel would provide one, but sure enough, they had set up the sweetest wooden cot, complete with its own baby pillow and duvet!

The bathroom was big and spacious, with a the most amazing shower. Our little shower at home has the most pathetic pressure, and we only have about 5 little holes int he shower head to wash with. This shower was a whole new level of comfort and I really struggled to tear myself away from it when it was time to climb out and get dressed.

The Hotel even provides separate pool towels to bath towels, so you really don’t need to pack your own. They also had a lovely selection of toiletries to use.

What I loved the most about the rooms was how big they were. We were in a Standard room, and we had more than enough space for 2 camp cots (we did ask them to remove their one to make more space but it’s nice to know that two fit well so that when we come back with the new baba we will all have enough space!), our big pram, all of our stuff (especially Everly’s baby paraphernalia) and I didn’t ever feel like I was tripping over things. And the curtains make the rooms super dark, which meant we were ALL able to really maximise our morning and afternoon naps while the sun shone all day.

Restaurants & the Infamous Buffet

Kiddies Play Area

Swimming Pool Area

It was a bit windy over the weekend that we were there so while we didn’t actually get into the pools, we were able to enjoy getting our feet wet.

Two of the pools are heated (yay!) and there were lots of older kiddies happily swimming and splashing about. So definitely make sure to pack swimming costumes as the water looked so inviting!

Fishing & walks nearby

Although I wasn’t up to any serious hiking, we did head out on a lovely morning stroll to find the trout fishing dams. Farmboy is an AVID fisherman, and so he made it his mission that weekend to find the dams. While he didn’t actually get a moment to fish (he was catching up on all his missed sleep while being on farm duty the previous 2 weeks) we did find the dam and now we know for next time.

The stroll to the trout farm was beautiful, with fantastic views of the Peaks themselves. It only took us about 15 minutes to get to the little dam, but it did take a whole lot longer to walk back as their is a HUGE hill to the hotel (again, this is especially good for burning off all the waffles you’re going to eat at breakfast).

For the more adventurous, here is a little blurb on the actual hikes on offer from the Hotel:

“There are 19 walks/hikes that leave and return to the Hotel, for all levels of fitness, skill and ability. There is a guided walk/hike that leaves the hotel every morning (see reception for details of which hike on which day). There are also maps that can be purchased at reception for those walkers who would like to venture out on their own” Cathedral Peak Hotel

The only ‘downside’ to the hotel itself, and I’m hesitant to say downside as it was easy enough for us to work around, was all the stairs. It wasn’t that easy to push a pram on all the paths as a lot of the paths suddenly ended with a number of steps and we did have to go onto the grass a few times to be able to get to and from our room. While I didn’t mind the steps (it wasn’t easy going though for a pregnant lady!) they certainly helped me walk off all the food I put away during our stay.

We had such a wonderful stay and left feeling refreshed and relaxed, and with very full tummies. If you’re looking for something different to the usual beach holiday, a stay at Cathedral Peak Hotel has something for every member of the family.

Thanks so much for having us Cathedral Peak Hotel…we will definitely be back!

Crystal Waters, Drakensberg

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This past weekend was spent with my hubby's family in the Drakensberg at a little piece of heaven called Crystal Waters. Nestled away between lush green trees and open fields of golden grass lies 3 stone cottages and a trout dam. Electricity was limited to a few 110 V light bulbs, while gas provided us with hot water and a place to cook yummy meals.

This was one of our last weekends spent in South Africa, before we jet setted off to Asia on the 20th June 2013. 

I hope you all had a wonderfully relaxing weekend, and are ready for the week ahead! 

Happy Monday everyone!

xxx

#SouthernWedding {Dear Chloe Photography}

This weekend Farmboy and I headed out to Dragon Peaks Mountain Resort in the Drakensburg to celebrate a very special wedding. Jarrod met the Houston based Ria on twitter last year. They connected through their love of CrossFit, got engaged on his recent trip to the States, and here we are, witnessing true love that isn't bound by distance. Jared & Ria, we wish you both a lifetime of happiness!

These gorgeous photographs were taken by my very talented friend Chloe, who is the beauty and the brains behind Dear Chloe Photography. While not the official photographer, these photographs are a sneak peek for all of use while we wait to see those taken by the official photographer.

Chloe is branching out into wedding photography, and is oh so very happy to travel :) Have a squizz at here other work here, and check our her website here.

Farmboy and I had a little mini photo shoot ourselves, don't we clean up good ;)

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