Our family was recently invited to visit the brand new Dragonview Lodge, which is an exclusive boutique hotel, set in the Drakensberg.
Over the years, I’ve enjoyed a few trips to the Drakensberg, but never on this level – it was grand in every way! I was impressed by the comfort and privacy of this beautiful gem in Kwa-Zulu Natal’s Cathkin Park. Besides the fact that it’s built on a world heritage site, it is also the first environmentally-friendly hotel in the Drakensberg, that operates off-grid, by making use of solar power and borehole water.
The drive to Dragonview Lodge was just over 4 and a half hours from Johannesburg. We headed out around 5 am, while the kids were still drowsy. They slept halfway through the trip, which made our drive so much easier. They still got to do plenty of nagging in between experiencing the beautiful scenery and mountains as we entered the Berg.
Having looked at photographs before our trip, I knew I was going to be arriving at a beautiful hotel. When I showed them to my sister, she immediately made a booking enquiry to join us for the weekend.
The entrance is uniquely decorated, with a mix of modern, yet warm homely decor. By now, I don’t have to tell you I love all things modern! I was immediately drawn to the open-plan dining area, just before I saw the captivating rock pool, which is positioned thoughtfully, between the majestic mountains.
I enjoyed the exclusivity of staying at the hotel, since it only has 8 suites, with a choice between a family room or executive room. Each suite has WiFi access, satellite TV, a safe, a desk/dressing table and leads onto a private deck with glorious views of the Drakensberg Mountains. Breakfast is included in your overnight stay.
The family rooms:
The theme of exquisite interiors is carried into the rooms. The family rooms feature a king-sized bed downstairs and twin single beds and couch upstairs, making it possible to accommodate a family of four or two couples holidaying together.
If you have another child under the age of 12, they can be accommodated on the couch. In fact, that’s where Khumo chose to sleep. On both nights, she slept in until 8 am which never happens at home.
The Executive Suites:
These suites feature a king-sized four-poster bed downstairs and an intimate private lounge upstairs – giving you the option to relax and dine privately with the room service menu if you wish to do so.
What you should know: all the suites have showers (no baths) and stairs. At first, Kgosi was fascinated with the stairs and kept trying to go up, but after a while, he went about his business normally, so that didn’t stress us out too much.
Children’s room and entertainment:
So I have three children between the ages of 1 – 11 years of age, which always makes entertaining tricky. However, I was fully covered. The hotel has a beautiful and spacious children’s playroom that Khumo was captivated by. She did crafts, played with the toys, and watched a movie. Zethu, the child-minder, was so warm and entertaining that Khumo still talks about her and sings some of the songs they made up together.
I appreciated the fact that it’s right next to the dining area so that we were close to the children. I also noted the safety doors before the stairs leading to the swimming pools – with a toddler I’m always scoping for stuff like that.
Lesedi enjoyed swimming and exploring with the friends he made. In between, they spent time in the games room, playing foosball and games on the PlayStation.
I have to tell you about the Dragonland playground – I’m pretty sure it could be an award-winning playground. It’s a natural play space with options for stimulating and engaging play for children of all ages. It’s well-thought-out with everything from climbing walls, beams, slides, tunnels, a trampoline, and even a retro car. The kids enjoyed making mud pies and playing hide-and-seek in this spacious setting.
It was such a treat to spot Zebras from next door while we were out there! The children’s entertainment made my first trip with all three kids such a breeze.
Relaxation and dining options:
We were blessed with great weather, especially on Saturday. We took full advantage and spent the majority of the day relaxing in and around the rock pool. They have a shallow pool for the kids as well as a deeper rim-flow pool. The view is breathtaking and our waiters brought our food and drinks outside for us to enjoy.
The hotel has two lounges, a bar area, and an onsite restaurant with a deck. This area can be enjoyed through all weather conditions because they have a lovely fireplace to warm up the common area on chilly nights.
This girl loves her food, so I appreciated Chef Daniel’s fine skills. The menu had a variety of options ranging from starters to dessert. The children’s menu has extensive breakfast, lunch/dinner, and dessert options. I would highly recommend the milkshakes! They had a high-chair available for Kgosi to enjoy his meals next to us.
The Dragonview Lodge has an on-site spa for treatments. If you happen to be one of those people who need to release endorphins, the gym will put a smile on your face. In addition to this, they have an on-site indoor heated pool and walking trails leading to the dam or river.
Although there is plenty to see and do in the area, driving out or leaving the hotel didn’t cross my mind. I had everything I needed right there.
Day trips and private functions.
I have to mention that Dragonview Lodge is also for day visitors, to enjoy a hearty meal and swim. Dragonview Bistro is open every day from 7 am to 10 pm for guests and day visitors. It can also be booked for your private events.
The service, beauty, and personal touches were the golden thread throughout the weekend. The children and I truly felt a sense of belonging and royalty. I know it will remain one of those holidays that we talk about for years to come. I can’t wait to go back with my hubby!
Giveaway to Dragonview Lodge
I’m running a giveaway for a 2-night stay in a family suite.
Enter by following Dragonview Lodge on Instagram and/or Facebook and leaving a comment on this blog post with your favourite feature about Dragonview Lodge or doing the same on my competition post on Instagram and Facebook .
Make sure that you are following both Dragonview Lodge (@dragonviewlodge) and me (@modernzulumom) on IG and/or Facebook.
Terms and conditions:
- Prize includes bed and breakfast for 2 adults, 2 children (3rd child if they are under 12 years of age).
- The prize will be redeemed in 2021 and the booking is subject to availability.
- Transport to and from the lodge will be for your own account and is not included in this prize.
- Extra meals, including lunch, dinner and drinks will be for your own account. We will not be held responsible for any additional costs associated with the prize.
- The prize is non-exchangeable, non-transferable, and is not redeemable for cash or other prizes.
- Prize is only open to South African residents
- Myself and Dragonview Lodge accept no responsibility for any damage, loss, liabilities, injury or disappointment incurred or suffered by you as a result of entering this giveaway or accepting the prize.
- One winner will be chosen by means of a random draw of entries received in accordance with these Terms and Conditions.
- Winner uses and accepts prizes at their own risk.
- The closing date of the giveaway is 11 December 2020. Entries received outside this time period will not be considered.
Credit: the professional images in this post were captured by Long Exposure Photography. Find them on Instagram
Hope you enjoyed the review!
Modern Zulu Mom