"What are your plans for next weekend?"
"I'm so glad you asked. I got invited for a weekend away to the Midlands."
"Oh where's that? It sounds so familiar."
"It's in Kwa-Zulu Natal, just before the Drakensberg mountains."
"Yikes, what are you going to do there? Isn't that area filled with farms?" Typical conversations that surrounded my recent trip to the Midlands always seemed to either begin and end in a cloud of confusion as to where the Midlands is, or garner disbelief as to how I spent an entire weekend there without electing to hop over to the beachy and humid Durban. Other than the beautiful mountains, what is the draw to life in The Midlands? Upon arrival, I quickly discovered how charming and quirky this metropolis with a small town feel actually is. Even though I’m from KwaZulu-Natal, I’ve never been to the Midlands so you can imagine my excitement when I read my itinerary. I was excited because it was a much needed getaway but anxiety kicked in when I realised it was in a farm in a nature reserve?. As a super anxious and semi-snobbish person, I went on the trip wondering if I’d enjoy myself at the farm. I hate the cold and nature; it’s not my cup of tea. But the warmth of the people I was traveling with put me at ease and I found myself loving the place more than I imagined.
Here are 5 things I enjoyed in one of the best lodges in Midlands, Kwa-Zulu Natal and I'm sure you would too.
The Beautiful Location
I stayed at the Brahman Hills Hotel & Spa over the weekend, and I wouldn't have had it any other way. On arrival, you're greeted by nature and beautiful scenery of lush trees, fresh air and clear skies. I remember feeling my shoulders relaxing and calm taking over me the minute I arrived. There's something so calm and relaxing about the lodge, which is exactly what I needed. I wanted to get away from the hustle and bustle of Johannesburg. Brahman Hills Hotel & Spa is perfect for the overworked Joburger who's in the mood to ditch the business suits and head for a leisurely stroll around town, showing just how down-to-earth and accessible life in the Midlands!
I had recently been involved in a car accident and I didn't realise how much the accident and work had taken its toll on my body until I received the most beautiful massage ever. Suddenly, the pressures of meeting deadlines and digital targets or any other responsibility were a distant memory. You’ll appreciate the tranquil lifestyle the Brahman Hills spa offers, which allows you to just be and let time flow. Whether you're alone, with your girls or your partner, its definitely worth checking out. More info here.
Delicious Food and Drinks
On my first night, we had dinner at Brahman Hills Café, a family-friendly restaurant in the main bar at the hotel. We also had a food pairing dinner at the Wine Cellar - "89 on Copper ,which was nothing short of amazing. This menu is designed by the chef and changes every night. The food there is a perfect dinner before a night out (and with some serious Instagram potential) because of the presentation.
PS: If you're ever in the neighbourhood and you feel like eating in, try their next door neighbour which opens this week, The Midlands Kitchen, has great food to take away or eat there.
Whether you're into history, coffee or just beautiful scenery, the Milands Meander has it all. This arts and crafts route is the beating heart of the Midlands. Once it used to be just a handful of local crafters, and now it’s a 80km route of more than 40 artists, craftspeople - and so much more. A few kilometres outside Howick is the spot where Nelson Mandela was arrested in 1962, and was set free for the last time for 27 years. The sculpture will take your breath away. Elegant Rooms Some people do not like the idea of being away from home for a while, if you're one of those people then you're in luck. The rooms are designed to make you feel at home. Each self catering cottage has a lounge and dining area, DSTV, a private outdoor Jacuzzi (which is great because your body insecurities will only be exposed to your partner) and a cosy fireplace to cuddle up in front of on cold winter nights. The cottages are serviced every day, which is great if you’re a neat freak.
The overall experienceThe valleys and rolling hills at the Brahman Hills Hotel & Spa are a bit like walking through glass into a world where everything’s a bit more beautiful and serene, which makes it the perfect zone to unwind. The Brahman Hills Hotel & Spa really is a home away from home, so grab your girlfriends and try out this amazing place.
For hotel rates and bookings, visit http://www.brahmanhills.co.za/escape/