The stresses of life tend to creep up on us human beings suddenly and with great dismay, like a predator stalking its prey in the night we are caught off our guard with no time to run away. This is how I was feeling after what seemed like a decade of darkness in my never ending story but yet short lived life. I am sure you can now see why I was over flowing with joy and excitement when I was surprised by my Editor with a message reading, ‘a two night get away for two at a beautiful top notch boutique hotel, with fine dining cuisine’ with the link attached http://dehoek.com. I was bursting with glee just browsing the site, little did I know that the reality of our weekend stay at De Hoek was going to be more exceptional than my own thoughts and imagination could conjure up. My only bargain was that in order to go on my merry way I would need to leave my five dogs and three cats in loving care of my older sister and I would need to write an article about my time away for the prestigious Black Ivory Magazine. Hardly a bargain I willingly accepted this blessed gift, who in their right mind would be so foolish as to turn down such an extraordinary offer? Definitely not I!
The deal was sealed. On the 9th of October 2015 at 12:45am my husband and I left in the hot and full bodied sun, anxiously awaiting our arrival. The journey alone was an adventure in its own right. The scenery that Mother Nature had provided of the great outdoors made my heart skip a beat. From the direction we were coming from we headed onto the N14 towards Krugersdorp, a quick and straight road we soon encountered a right turn allowing us to escapade past the Cradle of Humankind and surrounding areas. The quest ahead was surrounded by farm lands, dainty inns with names such as Goblins Cove and to the travellers convenience, whether bike or car, there were curious and safe variety of eateries to satisfy our hunger and quench our thirst. The cherry on top was that we spotted impala, sheep and cows. After about an hour drive we arrived at our destination. The perfectly hidden gem in a beautifully, lush valley situated in the Magaliesburg literally took my breath away. I must have looked as if I were trying to catch flies, my jaw hung towards the floor of the vehicle as we drove over the stunning wooden bridge closing the gap over the Magalies River. Looking forward we gazed over the green, fertile field and clear blue skies to see the magnificent sandstone architecture and picture perfect hillside back drop. The sound of the grey stones under the tyres that made up the road slowly brought me back to reality; we had finally reached our destination. At the end of the drive way we parked our car in a carefully planned and creatively thought out parking space. Our vehicle sat between a canopy of ingeniously aligned trees, I found that touch not only to be super eco friendly but completely practical!
The one thing I absolutely dread when going away is having to check in and out at our holiday getaway, this was far from the case at De Hoek Country Hotel. On arrival before even stepping a foot out of our car door we were politely greeted with a smile that belonged to a gentleman named Henry, dressed in formal attire with two rather large and in-charge security guards standing close by. Henry approached us in a friendly manner and welcomed us to our stay, holding a board with all the names of the guests expected to arrive that day he asked me for my name and without hesitation he swiftly took our luggage along with us up to our Superior Suite situated in the North Quarter of the hotel.
Before reaching our suite which was a short walk away he had answered to my satisfaction all my queries regarding our stay. Henry repeatedly came by just to check up on whether everything was up to standard and to make sure we were having a blast of a time. This excellent manner and service was displayed by every staff member we came into contact with, from housekeeping all the way up to management the service we received was impeccable and outstanding to say the least. Not only did the staff at De Hoek tend to our every desire and query, they went the extra mile, never disappointing and always exceeding our expectations.
The theme that graced the space called De Hoek was something of a fairytale haven. The decor was right up my alley, elegant yet staying true to the surrounding nature only using natural elements, glass wood and metals of course stole the show. The function rooms and two onsite restaurants boast large brass chandeliers, vintage furniture, double volume spaces, mahogany tables and the kind of art that makes you stop, stare and wonder along with healthy sweet and savoury snacks that were virtually around every corner. There were huge glass windows and doors that look out onto manicured lawns, ponds, mountains, forest, the bridge and river… the stuff dreams are made of. Our suite was fit for a King it came equipped with everything we would ever need and more. Under tile and carpet heating, air-conditioning, executive work desk, tea and coffee facility, a mini-bar fridge, a telephone, a hairdryer, a balcony with outside furniture with a magnificent calming view, a king size extra length bed, goose down duvet inners, mohair blankets and satellite TV. Charlotte Rys beauty without cruelty room spray refreshed the air and calmed our senses. Charlotte Rys bubble bath, soaps, shampoo, body lotion and vanity kit which we made sure to make use of were also provided. Being vegan we did not sleep with the Goose down bedding, when the staff were made aware of this they apologised profusely and without hesitation happily vacuumed our bed without us requesting it to be done and as requested changed the bedding to something more suitable, just an example of the outstanding service we received from the staff.
During our meals we sat mostly outside in the Garden Pavilion such a serene and pleasurable place, we ate while watching the ducks play in the nearby pond or dined under the night sky with our table lit by candle light, sitting and listening to the earth’s sweet and magical evening song. Drinks for breakfast were champagne and fruit juice was served and for lunch and dinner an impressive wine list was on offer. The meals we received be it breakfast, lunch or supper was most definitely not something you could prepare yourself for. Without being mellow dramatic De Hoek offers fine dining at its very best, every bite left me craving more, savouring every mouthful, leaving me wishing that the bliss would never end. Effortlessly catering to meet our dietary requirements Chef Robert Makenzie never failed to wow us. Be it sight, smell or taste he managed to knock us off our chairs straight into an alternate tantalizing, mouth-watering and delectable existence. If you manage to find yourself at the Bridge Bistro be sure to try their Champagne Sorbet.
Although there were many activities to choose from such as archery, croquet, swimming, hiking, gliding, hot air ballooning and the likes De Hoek is a treasure all on its own and does not need the extra options but it is a great bonus should you be an adventurous type. On the 11th of October 2015 at 11am it was time to check out and say our goodbyes. I was sad to go but glad to be leaving a rested, bright, empowered and brand new person thanks to my experience. The energy and peacefulness I felt from the time we entered De Hoek Country Hotel and throughout our stay allowed me to whine down and clear the fog away, to find the real me again. I have memories to last a life time from close encounters with the Vermet monkeys to just lazing by the pool with my dear husband.
Should you have a wedding to plan, be in need of a corporate function venue or simply a weekend away, De Hoek Country Hotel is the way to go. You will not be disappointed by the attentive service and hospitality. As their slogan says ‘Celebrate Life‘, I certainly did!