The Lady of the Lakes
Walkersons Hotel and Spa
There is a tale of a lady, a sword, and a lake. It’s a mythical tale of love, treasure, and perseverance, a tale that has enchanted us for eons.
In the ageless retelling of the story of the mythical King Arthur, a castle is said to have arisen from the rolling hills of the Welsh countryside as long ago as the 12th century, when French romantic poet, Chrétien de Troyes, described a castle in his poem Lancelot, the Knight of the Cart in the 1170s.
More accurately, however, the location of King Arthur’s stronghold, if indeed it ever existed, is perhaps best described by Arthurian scholar Norris J Lacy, who commented, “Camelot, located nowhere in particular, can be anywhere.” If indeed the King’s haven could well be somewhere intriguing, I would like to imagine that it has been found, at last, among the high hills of central Mpumalanga, almost halfway between the hurry of Gauteng and the peaceful wilderness of the Kruger National Park.
Set in the eastern highlands east of the enchanting village of Dullstroom, Walkersons Hotel and Spa has enthralled visitors to this region for more than 20 years.
Surrounded by stunning views of rises and knolls, Walkersons is a classic interpretation of the quintessential country lodge. Appropriately described as a grand country lady, the hotel recently received a subtle revamp to maintain the high standards of luxury that modern travellers have come to expect.
Walkersons is an almost unrivalled haven of tranquillity, where the original owners’ vision of a Scottish manor now adds a new welcoming attitude to children; a refreshed culinary vision with lighter dining options; and a renewed focus on self-catering accommodation. While Walkersons’ future is bright and fresh, the old-world charm of the hotel’s elegant restaurant, The Flying Scotsman, and welcoming Terrace, kid friendly family dining room, the Misty Trout, Peggy’s Bar, and the lovely lawns that lead to a hidden swimming pool all add up to turning it into a home away from home.
The high-class experience continues in the elegantly appointed and luxurious bedroom suites, with their en suite bathrooms and large verandas, as well as some of the largest and most comfortable beds that I have ever experienced. Generous in proportion and adorned with multiple thread count linen, sleeping becomes the act of restoration it’s meant to be, preparing the body and reinvigorating the soul.
There are 12 thatched Lakeside Suites and 11 slightly larger Luxury Lakeside Suites. The Manor Suite boasts two bedrooms that sleep up to four guests, while the Honeymoon Suite is the ultimate luxury retreat with an extra-long king size four-poster bed, separate his and hers bathrooms, twin showers, a Jacuzzi and a wood-burning fireplace. As in every room, a large flat-screen television and other amenities complete the experience.
A FEAST OF FLAVOURS Extending the five-star feel into the dining room, the resident chefs indulge Walkersons guests with a four-course evening menu and sumptuous breakfast spread. The quality of each dining experience is legendary in the greater Dullstroom region, making Walkersons the destination de rigueur for anyone seeking a wonderful dining experience in the area. And if a lighter meal is desired, you can take in the views and experience the lighter side of dining from Walkersons’ new Terrace Menu.
FOR ACTIVE BODIES & RELAXED MINDS
The tranquil Walkersons environment belies the numerous outdoor activities available to hotel guests. Although we chose to relax and imbibe the atmosphere during our stay, several walking and hiking trails give one the opportunity to enjoy the natural environment – and maybe even spot a blesbok, zebra or duiker on your route. Also on offer are mountain biking trails (bikes are available to use), or you can try fly-fishing in Walkersons’ famous trout dams, with equipment available, and friendly staff to show you the ropes.
Pure indulgence is part of the experience at Walkersons. Besides lush accommodation and world-class dining, the Walkersons Spa also deserves a visit. The spa has three treatment rooms and a steam room, where single or couple treatments can be enjoyed.
Walkersons Hotel and Spa is likely one of the finest establishments of its kind in South Africa, and my recommendation to experience its unique brand of old-world luxury and charm stands firm. One simply cannot pass this gem by without at least a daytime visit, although it truly is a place that should be enjoyed as a long weekend getaway.
For more info contact +27 13 253 7000 or visit www.walkersons.co.za.