The Lady of the Lakes

Walk­er­sons Ho­tel and Spa

Indwe - - Contents - Text: Bernard Hellberg Jr Images © 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.

COUN­TRY LIFE

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.

SLEEP­ING BEAUTY

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.

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