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5 of the Best Magaliesberg Getaways

5 of the Best Magaliesberg Getaways

 
     
Oct 2014

By Melanie van Zyl

An hour from Joburg, the Magaliesberg harbours terrific weekend spots. Here are five of the best.

Thirsty Falls Guest Farm

Budget cottages

The setting
Set into the slopes of the Magaliesberg, each of the five face-brick cottages has exquisite views over the surrounding bushveld.

The vibe
Simple, quiet and relaxing. Unwind with G&Ts on your private veranda as you watch golden weavers flit about. There isn't much to do (and no TV) so pack a good book. It's a modest retreat that allows you to feel like you're away from it all.

The crowd
Frequented by couples seeking a fuss-free break that's light on the pocket and small groups of friends in the larger cottages.

The cottages
Roomy one-, two- and three-bed self-catering cottages without frills. Ask for Geranium Cottage; it's the most private and looks into the valley. Pack a costume for the pool.

The food
Take food or head to Brauhaus am Damm, about 12 km away, for good German grub (also try the Pilsner from the on-site brewery or ask for a free taster).

Highlights
View after gorgeous view and the foamy spa bath in Geranium Cottage, which tops off a restful stay.

Need to know
The road to the farm is long and bumpy – not suitable for low-slung cars – and a minimum two-night stay is required. Kids under 12 aren't allowed.

Contact
Tel 082-464-7376, www.thirstyfalls.co.za

Die Ou Pastorie Guest House

Quirky B&B

The setting
Wild flowers surround the fresh Agapanthuscoloured, century-old farmhouse on the Hartbeespoort Dam end of the Magalies Meander. It's a good base for discovering activities such as the canopy tour or balloon flight.

The vibe
The B&B has a quirky, homegrown atmosphere, with rooms cleverly sheltered by hedges and plants to maintain privacy.

The crowd
Expect laid-back, poolside dwellers. It's suitable for all – families with kids, couples and pensioners.

The rooms
South African fabrics lend a tastefully funky element to each of the eight rooms; choose from a bright green bird and potjie-branded suite or a nostalgic flight-themed room.

The food
The Sunday buffet at Die Ou Pastorie restaurant is delectable and thoughtfully served in small bites, so you can taste everything. The breakfast's pretty good too.

Highlights
Swimming in the leafy rock pool on a hot Magaliesberg afternoon – it feels as if you’ve walked into an exotic waterfall.

Need to know
They host regular live music events (keep an eye on the website for details) and ask owner Susan Rothbletz to suggest alternative dinner arrangements for the nights that the restaurant is closed.

Contact
Tel 012-207-1027, www.die-oupastorie.co.za

Phefumula Luxury Cottages

Romantic sanctuary

The setting
Hedged in by lush bushveld and set against a backdrop of impressive protea-covered mountains, a fruit-laden Pimms welcomes you on arrival at Phefumula, 24 km from the town of Magaliesburg.

The vibe
Intimate and tranquil, everything is geared to romance; a concealed spa bath (you could bathe in the nick), sumptuous four-poster bed, open-plan bathroom and Sherry in front of the fireplace.

The crowd
Not for children, Phefumula, meaning 'a place to breathe', stays true to the name and is an indulgent, romantic sanctuary for couples. Remember it for your next anniversary.

The cottages
A king-sized bed draped in mozzie nets dominates the bedroom and en-suite bathroom. The outside bush shower followed with the impossibly soft bathrobe is a must.

The food
A starlit, prawn-laden bush dinner can be arranged for special occasions, otherwise take food to braai on the Weber (charcoal supplied) or cook in the open-plan kitchen.

Highlights
The easy hike up the Magaliesberg with a picnic backpack brimming with chicken liver pâté and chocolate dessert made by the in-house chef – and a lazy spa bath session afterwards.

Need to know
Don't drive here in a sports car – the farm road will eat your sump. Check the website for winter specials and other packages.

Contact
Tel 082-550-8965, www.phefumula.co.za

Barton's Folly Trout and Nature Retreat

Family getaway

The setting
The sizeable manor house and the smaller Rose Cottage sit below imposing grey cliffs with a crab-filled creek running alongside and jungle gyms between them.

The vibe
The thatched manor house is comfortable with a grand, colonial feel. The property also has a relaxed, farm-like atmosphere punctuated by baboon barks and chicken clucks.

The crowd
Great for small family get-togethers – take the kids and cousins – because it's exceptionally easy to find and big enough to prevent any bickering over space.

The accommodation
The manor house has space for eight. Rose Cottage (sleeps two) is best for those seeking privacy. Can be booked separately, but best for groups.

The food
Take food – the Sasol garage off the N14, about 25 minutes away, is the last supply stop. Previously a restaurant, the house has a large fully equipped kitchen. Otherwise braai on the generous patio.

Highlights
Pack a picnic and make the five-minute walk to the on-site trout dam. Fish (take your own equipment) or swim while taking in the gorgeous rocky kloofs makes for a wonderful afternoon.

Need to know
It's close to the main road, but the only time you can tell is on a Sunday morning as bikers zoom noisily past on their breakfast runs.

Contact
Tel 082-901-1382, www.bartonsfolly.co.za

De Hoek Country Hotel

Five-star heaven

The setting
The unassuming dirt road and humble entrance don't prepare you for the splendid English countryside-style manor house and groomed gardens nestled in a bend of the Magalies River.

The vibe
Five-star decadence oozes from every aspect of the hotel. With attentive staff and thoughtful details (such as small chocolates on platters dotted around the lounge), everything from the welcome spritzer to the mahogany bed feels like a well-deserved treat.

The crowd
Not your average weekender's escape, expect to see a mature clientele and younger couples celebrating special occasions.

The rooms
Sixteen superior suites have balconies and ensuite bathrooms with large oval baths overlooking the Magalies River, while the manor house offers four simpler executive suites (which can get noisy). Twelve new luxury suites are also available.

The food
In-house chef Michael Holenstein designs a fabulous five-course meal (changes daily) and every morsel tastes heavenly. Even if you don't stay overnight, book a Sunday lunch.

Highlights
Without a doubt, the dining experience – you won't be the same after eating the crusted panfried salmon exquisitely adorned with edible flowers and a sprig of dill.

Need to know
It’s not cheap, but you won't leave feeling hard done by because the unbelievable food and opulent rooms are worth the bucks. Leave the kids at home and treat yourself.

Contact
Tel 014-577-9600, www.dehoek.com

Source: Getaway Blog

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