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Berg Bliss

3 June 2011, Drakensberg, Kwazulu Natal - The Citizen

Rich Room Refurbishments are topped only by wrap-around views.

Drawing inspiration from the vivid natural palette outdoors, the recently renovated rooms in the Mont-Aux-Sources hotel are splashed with greens as bright as the slopes of the Northern Berg in the summer and purples as perky as the lavender bushes that circle the hotel. Accents of these bold hues add colour and interest to the otherwise very tranquil interiors, with the coloured bathroom mosaics, wall panels and couch fabrics playfully offsetting smooth white duvets and rich dark grey tiles. The 75-year-old hotel’s interiors must have undergone many makeovers over the years, but the one thing that never changes – the magnificent views of the amphitheatre that seems to wrap itself around the hotel – is the biggest attraction.

The hotel, named after one of the highest and most spectacular blocks of the Drakensberg Mountains, is situated in the Royal Natal National Park (which forms part of the uKhahlamba Drakensberg Park World Heritage Site). From the picturesque vantage point below the impressive Tugela Falls, guests with a love for nature and adventure are thoroughly spoiled for choice. There are various mountain bike paths on the hotel property for those who have brought their own bikes, not to mention scenic walks with a view around the manicured gardens.

For those looking for a more rigorous full day outing, the Royal Natal Park offers beautiful hiking trails for the whole family (most notably the Cascades Trail and the Fairy Glen Trail), while All Out Adventures offer 17 metres of free fall on the King Swing or an exhilarating ride on 900 metres of cable between seven forested platforms. Returning home after an actionfilled day to the cosiness of the firelit lounges and the hearty menu being served in the Gigaba Restaurant is a very welcome experience. Chef Thomas Pienaar’s fillet (topped with a biltong hollandaise sauce and accompanied by a stack of potato, lentil and feta) is so tender, generous and decadent, you’ll be thinking about it days afterwards. And if the fact that you started your meal off with a hors d’oeuvre of fried halloumi and onion marmalade makes you feel guilty, then there’s always the promise of a brisk hike the following day to remedy the excess.

The hotel is child friendly, and besides the fun activities available on the grounds – table tennis, volleyball, mini golf, outdoor chess, a tennis court and a multi court (for basketball, netball and action soccer) – set holiday programmes are arranged by the hotel, offering child supervision and entertainment (indoors entertainment includes a games room, a pool table, foozball and a squash court) while parents soak up the views and make the most of the quiet time.

MONT-AUX-SOURCES CONTACT DETAILS AND RATES

FOR more information on the Mont-Aux-Sources and other hotels in the Orion group, visit www.oriongroup.co.za.

  • Contact Mont-Aux-Sources on 036-438-8000 or e-mail fommas@orion-hotels.co.za / confmas@orion-hotels.co.za.
  • Rates for 2011 are R799 (standard room) and R999 (deluxe room) per person sharing, on a bed and breakfast basis, and R1 980 per night in the self catering chalets.

- Natalie Bosman