What makes a great hotel? Is it the luxurious surroundings, the outstanding service, the delicious food, or the superb facilities? If it is any of these, then Kievits Kroon can safely boast all of them. It was awarded Best Luxury Country Hotel in Africa by the World Luxury Hotel Awards, multiple times, proving that this is not only my opinion. Its many repeat visitors also bear testimony to its widespread appeal.
Situated in the Dinokeng area, just outside Pretoria but seemingly miles away, the Cape Dutch-style country estate is spread out over 16 hectares. You would be forgiven for thinking that you’re in Franschhoek or Stellenbosch. It is a perfect hideaway for romantic weekends or a private venue for corporate events.
There are different accommodation options, with varying levels of luxury, located in clusters around the estate. A group of six traditional beehive Zulu huts, offering an African-themed experience, complete the ensemble.
We stayed in the Executive rooms which were built in 2010 to accommodate the FIFA World Cup referees. Our room was spacious and inviting, and we could park our car directly outside our sliding doors, which is always convenient. The cotton percale bed linen and pillow menu options ensured a good night’s sleep.
Kievits Kroon’s indulgent wellness spa has some of the best thermal treatment facilities in Gauteng. You are advised to come thirty minutes before your treatment to take advantage of the complimentary snacks and drinks on offer as well as the thermal facilities. The relaxation room overlooks the indoor heated pool and there are separate jacuzzis, steam rooms, saunas and Swiss showers in the females only and the unisex facilities. An instruction card discreetly left in the lockers advises the order in which to use the thermal facilities in order to gain the maximum benefit.
The spa offers decadent True Romance experiences for couples which changes with the seasons. The attractive winter packages offer a mouth-watering choice of Chocolate and Chocochino, Crème Caramel and Pistachio and Mint treatments and include accommodation and meals. I can safely say that I spent a lot of time at the spa. The therapist and the facilities together worked their magic on me and left me feeling mellow and relaxed.
In keeping with the True Romance theme, which Kievits Kroon exudes, kids under 14 are not allowed at the hotel and the Kingsley restaurant offers oysters at the breakfast buffet. I was not brave enough to weigh myself after my weekend at Kievits Kroon, but had I done so, I would not have been surprised to discover that I had picked up a few kilograms. If we were not being treated to a buffet fit for a king at Kingsley, then we were being served a six-course gourmet meal in Granita, the signature fine dining restaurant, all tailored to our dietary requirements. Non-residents can also make meal bookings and come to the hotel just to sample the culinary delights.
The perfectly manicured lawns are ideal for long lazy picnics which is exactly what we took advantage of. The hotel arranged a delectable picnic basket for us together with a picnic blanket and pillows to relax on.
We enjoyed crumbed calamari, grilled prawns and sweet chilli mussels along with a host of other goodies. We were joined by two Kroonkiewiets (crowned plovers) – the hotel’s namesake who, it seems, were more interested in our bread than our company.
A swimming pool, a vitality pool, lawn croquet and a giant chess board complement the outdoor activities. Or you could just take a walk on the beautiful grounds or relax on the patio and enjoy the serenity and tranquility.
The library lounge was an ideal location to retreat to in the cold evenings. The warm fireplace, hot beverages, latest magazines, newspapers and well-stocked bookshelves made for a comfortable space that we were always reluctant to leave.
Kievits Kroon ’s hospitality deserves a special mention. The impeccable service was amongst the best that I’ve ever encountered in South Africa. You are made to feel welcome from the moment of your arrival when you are offered welcome drinks until the time you leave when you are earnestly urged to return. The staff were genuinely friendly and eager to please. They looked like they were happy to be there and ensured that you, the guest, wanted to be there as well. I certainly did …and I can’t wait to return.
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