Hiding just off a rather unsuspecting stretch of the R24 in the Magaliesberg is the Valley Lodge Hotel and Spa.
So hidden, in fact, that on our way there the GPS indicated we were 2kms away from our destination, inspecting our immediate surroundings I could see a looming look of concern form on my wife’s face as we both failed to pinpoint any indication of luxury nearby.
Pressing on, we were thoroughly surprised, to make a right turn down a windy country road to soon find ourselves at a large entrance and security boom where we filled in our details and were invited into what now looked and felt like a Hotel and Spa.
The driveway running alongside well kept gardens and a view of numerous tennis courts.
After a quick check-in with the friendly reception staff, a short scenic drive that included a tiny bridge over untroubled waters, a care free herd of springbok (which we would see plenty more of) and we were at our room – a quaint stand alone cottage on the far end of resort.
This is Africa after all so the decor was predominately Earthy African tones as one would expect, however the open plan cottage has elements of elegance throughout. From the wallpaper to the arm chairs and antique furniture everything tied together by an exquisite fire place feature.
The bathroom leaves rustic Africa behind. The cottage has a massive bathroom boasting a sizeable bath, double sink, a shower big enough to do a cartwheel in (if you can still do a cartwheel, I can’t) and my favourite part, under floor heating.
Very soon we had done the mandatory exhausted flop on the bed, after we inspected the baby cot the lodge had brought in for us as our little yeller had come along for the trip.
We whipped out the pram and explored the property. The Lodge offers a number of short trails, canoe’ing on the water, a gigantic pool – that we could only stare at as it was the middle of winter – and of course the Spa. On our two days stay we dabbled in just about all of the above.
While Ben (little yeller) and I walked around appreciating the bare trees and some nibbles from the restaurant Mrs B went to the Spa for a pamper session, where she was treated to a manicure, facial, massage, sushi and champagne. Needless to say after 3 hours she returned to us without a care in the world.
With the sun setting and it being winter the temperature drops drastically into the evening, thankfully the lodge has a number of fire places well stocked with firewood.
On our first night, needing to get the little man settled, we opted to have dinner in our room. We lit the expertly packed combination of paper, kindling and logs in our fireplace, placed our order and in no time, we were enjoying a decent Oxtail and Lamb shank fire side with a glass of red as junior slept cuddled warm in the room where we could see him.
The following evening we did have dinner at the restaurant which I can say is equally cosy and inviting.
Now I certainly think for a spa trip you would spend a complete day at the spa in the heated pool experiencing all there is on offer, which is something we will be back for soon.
For the quiet thinkers I need to reiterate how beautiful the property is and how relaxing it is to spend time walking among the trees or the picnicking alongside the stream that runs down by the Chapel.
The Valley Lodge and Spa is situated just 60kms (1 hour drive) outside of Johannesburg and is the perfect getaway for when you need to escape the city madness, but can’t go too far away incase you are called to rescue the accounts department from a malfunctioning printer.
Having been featured on a recent episode of SABC’s Moja Love, there is a range of accommodation options for any event and group size.
Lovely staff a stunning destination and so close – we’ll have no choice but to visit again soon.
Reservations can be made by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 014 577 1301
If spa’s and relaxation is your thing – why not read Why you should consider Reiki treatment for your health too?