Nestling in the picturesque foothills of the Drakensburg Mountains, in the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands is the village Nottingham Road, home to a site of tranquility by name of Brahman Hills. Situated along the Midlands Meander, it is a local and tourist destination which delivers a genuine hospitality experience as guests enjoy every delight associated with a game park set against the backdrop of spectacular views of the legendary ‘Berg stretching out into the distance.
Brahman Hills has recently undergone extensive renovations and is totally unrecognizable from its former days of Windmills Hotel. Natural wood and stone finishes with many distinctive copper features, hidden underground nooks shaped by specialist face-brick and plaster expertise and strategically placed grates for indoor fires on chilly nights; make Brahman Hills an authentic country retreat waiting to be explored.
The Blue Crane Private Nature Reserve (1000 hectares) is home to Brahman cattle and free roaming wildlife but also offers relaxed walks, adventurous trails and paths for runners and mountain bike enthusiasts.
From moment of arrival at Reception, to relaxing in each cottage’s Jacuzzi and a peaceful night’s rest, guests get to deal with people with a heart for hospitality, serving with the most relaxed and calm demeanor, ensuring a stay to remember and the desire to return.
Our particular home for the weekend was Bushbuck Cottage with the uniquely situated outdoor Jacuzzi offering breathtaking farm-dam and mountain views and the company of verdant monkeys at play while foraging for food. With the last ray of sun making way for a star lit sky, we eagerly hauled ourselves to dinner at 89 on Copper.
Less-is-more would be an apt phrase for the lounge of our pre-meal drinks. Set in what could serve as a luxury bunker, the bar area features strips of wood paneling which serve as decor plus drinks storage. The counter is solid wood complete with tall copper chairs. Friendliness prevailed as we, other guests and hotel staff exchange pleasantries prior to the evening meal. In the background, flames lick hungrily at their fuel of wood.
Scrumptious is a fitting adjective to the dinner served by friendly waitresses. A salmon salad starter, followed by the main of steak and fillet of Hake both served with succulent vegetables completed the meal. Desert came in the form of sharing a crumbed apple tart and cheese cake; mouth watering and delicious; a fitting end to a splendid three course meal. A return to the bar for continued small talk with guests and a final “sun-downer” gave way to a further spell in the Jacuzzi under a canopy of heaven’s stars as only the open country can reveal.
Early morning mist greeted us as we woke from a stupendously comfortable bed to make our way to the Jacuzzi for a coffee and view of the sun break through the clouds heralding the beginning of another soulful day at Brahman Hills.
Breakfast tables groaned under their proverbial mouth-watering load as we and guests pieced together our start-up meal of the day.
A gourmet feast was followed by a leisurely stroll through the campus with cameras recording memories. Brahman Hills grounds provides wide open spaces for games and children to play as well as the unique glass Brahman Hills Chapel overlooking a small lake catering for romantic and unforgettable country weddings. Nearby the architect-designed Glass House presides over the chapel and distant mountains, presenting an ideal venue for receptions and other specialist conferences.
Located a stone’s throw from the N3 highway, Brahman Hills is readily accessible and within short driving distance from Durban, Pietermaritzburg and also Gauteng making it the ideal getaway for individual soul and corporate team building.
With Brahman Hills slowly retreating from our motor car’s rear-view mirror and with our spirits elevated from a serene weekend, we vowed a speedy return to “our” Bushbuck Cottage. Life in the slow lane feeds body and soul. Long live Brahman Hills.
Phone: +27 (0)33 266 6965
Address: Old Curry’s Post Road, Mount West, Kwazulu Natal, South Africa
Postal: P.O. Box 169, Nottingham Road, 3280