As someone who is always travelling or hiking around the world and spending little time at home, in 2016 I started a tradition now known as the Mother Daughter Road Trip. This occurs once or twice a year, introducing my daughter to different parts of the country and Africa as a whole. This year was no different, we embarked on a roadtrip to the Drakensberg and I couldn’t be happier because it was my fist time there. On the 2nd Friday of October we packed our bags and made our way to the Cathedral Peak Hotel. On arrival, the first thing I noticed is that all the pictures I have seen of the hotel did not do justice to its mesmerizing beauty and surroundings. The Hotel is practically surrounded by mountains, waterfalls and a beautiful stream.
Nestled in the iconic Drakensberg mountains and a gate-way to the challenging Cathedral Peak trail, is the quaint Cathedral Peak Hotel. As soon as you set foot at the reception, you get a taste of the look and feel of the hotel. Furthermore, you immediately get drawn to the nicely spaced lounging area, past the curios shop all the way to the balcony where you are welcomed by the chilled air from the mountains. As you step outside you can see the mist forming a beautiful blanket over the mountains. While being mesmerized by the beauty of the surroundings, you are treated to the wonderful melodies of the different species of birds, as we all know that the Drakensberg is home to hundreds of bird species. You will agree with me when I say, all this spell serenity, recharge and down time. The Hotel is located at about 400km from Johannesburg and about 250km from Durban, easily accessible from both directions.
Here you get to enjoy huge and spacious rooms with the most spectacular views of the Drakensberg mountains. These rooms offer you the best of both worlds as the establishment has managed to keep its authentic rustic look while at the same time serving you the most elegant finishes. I loved how their room selection ranges from Standard, Superior, Penthouse and the presidential suite only which means you get the best of everything. Starting with the minibars in the rooms that you can request to be stocked with all the things you like from their snacks and drinks menu. The TV has all the premium channels for your enjoyment, though you will definitely spend most of your time outside.
At the Cathedral Peak hotel you are guaranteed connectivity at all times as all guests have access to unlimited Wi-Fi in all areas of the hotel. Amongst other things that can be enjoyed at the hotel, the sparkling blue heated pool is my favourite. You can also wind the day down at either the Albert’s Cocktail Bar or at the vibrant Harry’s Bar while interacting with other guests.
The Dinning Experience
I feel like my daughter would have done a better job in narrating our dining experience. She was more excited about the food than I was, mainly because we got served oxtail (her favourite) on our first night. Then when the morning came she was even more happier with the never ending supply of pan cakes and cream. When I looked at the way the stuff attanded to the guests, the emphasis on the dress code and the variety and presentation of the food that was served each night, I could easily give the hotel a 5 star endorsement. They exceeded my expectations and won me over from day one.
From the hotel you can see the majestic Cathedral Peak that is famous for its beauty and its ability to break and fix people’s spirits in a matter of hours on their quest to summit it. For these reasons the hotel has been attracting scores of people from all over the world. Right at the bottom of the boundary of the hotel there is a beautiful stream flowing and making beautiful sounds as the water swiftly negotiate it’s way to the river. Just a few kilometers from the hotel Belinda Falls can be seen and heard. With a little descent one could find themselves at the bottom of the waterfall.
If there is one feature of the hotel that will take your breath away is the Chapel that has given birth to a lot of unions. People travel from all walks of life to share their matrimonials at the Cathedral Peak Chapel. Apart from the fantastic architecture of the Chapel, the landscaping outside is my ultimate favourite. Coupled with the mountain as a backdrop it produces the most beautiful wedding pictures.
What to get up to?
Guests here are spoiled for choice as the hotel boast a huge selection of activities that they can endulge in. These includes: Hiking, bowling, climbing tower, darts, chess, tennis, table tennis, quad biking, horse back riding, ponny rides, swimming, guided walks, mountain biking, golf, squash and helicopter rides to name but a few.
Drakensberg is South Africa’s leading hiking paradise and is home to a lot of well known hiking trails. Cathedral Peak Hotel on its own boasts 18 hiking trails starting and ending at the hotel. These trails range from short to long, easy, medium and extreme. The hotel offers guided hikes every Wednesday and Saturday depending on the weather. These are free to all guests, however are made available for day visitors as well but at a cost. The most popular ones are the Mushroom Rock, Ribbon Falls and Belinda Falls trail.
The minute I set foot on that parking area, I knew the weekend was never going to be enough and when I thoroughly read their brochure, I knew I was coming back for more. There is something about the ambience and the whole set up of the hotel. If you are an adventure junky like me, this is the place for you. If you want to spend time with family you are also catered for. If you want time out with your partner and maybe even tie the knot, this is the perfect place for you. Enjoy your stay, I enjoyed mine!