Mount Grace Country House & Spa – A wonderful family escape

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A weekend away is always a pleasant prospect to look forward to and when the destination happens to be a five-star hotel in the countryside, then one’s eager anticipation can be forgiven. I had been to African Pride Mount Grace Country House & Spa twice before and was looking forward to a weekend of pampered luxury. The main difference on this occasion though, was that I would be accompanied by my children.

The iconic Mount Grace has long enjoyed a sterling reputation as one of the grand dames of the Magaliesberg region and has a fascinating history. The hotel began welcoming children in 2014. Previously, they were only allowed only during selected periods. I was now keen for my kids to experience it.

Mount Grace Play ground

Play ground

We arrived at the hotel on Saturday afternoon and were warmly welcomed by Clyde, the Guest Relations Manager – as we opened our car doors. Once we had entered the reception area and were settled in the comfortable couches with refreshing welcome drinks, he presented the kids with goodie bags. We already felt at home.

Mount Grace kids

Kids Goodie Bags

A friendly staff member took us to our room with a golf cart. The thatched hotel rooms are set in lush gardens, in little clusters, and come in several varieties. Our room had a little private garden with a heated plunge pool – great for year-round dips. The elegant interior consisted of a king-sized bed, a desk and chair, couches and coffee tables.

Mount Grace bedroom

Bedroom

Beds had been made up for the kids – with a Spiderman duvet for my son and Minnie Mouse for my daughter. We also had a Nespresso machine to satisfy our coffee addiction, a minibar, a television and sufficient cupboards.

A jar of candy and a personalised, handwritten card signed by the General Manager and some of the staff members had been left on our table. When we returned to our room after dinner, rose petals had been strewn around the room, and little boxes of delicious fudge labelled “Sweet Dreams” had been left on our bedside tables. We were impressed, to say the least.

Mount Grace

Personalised card

The sprawling property is set on ten acres of landscaped gardens and pristine bushveld. The public areas are beautiful, inviting one to sit back and relax in them. The streaming sunlight, rustling leaves, tranquil breeze, and flowing water features running through the property all combine to create a soothing effect in an English country-style setting.

Mount Grace

Al-fresco dining area

There are attractive indoor lounges where one can get warm and cosy near the fireplace in cold weather and outdoor garden seating areas where one can indulge in afternoon tea.

Mount Grace lounge

Indoor lounges

The restaurants and the gardens overlook the valley. Twist Restaurant focuses on fresh, seasonal country-style food. It is ideal for families and we enjoyed our breakfast and dinner buffets here. There was a huge food offering for both meals and we were spoilt for choice. My kids especially loved the pastas and desserts, as well as the delicious honeycomb produced on-site. The Rambling Vine is a fine dining restaurant, perfect for a romantic treat. Although we didn’t eat there on this occasion, we did experience it on our prior visit.

Mount Grace

Dessert Table

It was only at mealtimes, when there were barely any empty tables at Twist Restaurant that we realized how busy the hotel was. The rest of the time, we barely saw other people as the property is so huge. A staff member told me that weekdays were usually busy with corporate travellers and weekends were busy with leisure travellers, a testament to the hotel’s popularity.

Mount Grace

View from our Breakfast Table

Mount Grace’s award-winning spa is just as renowned as the hotel itself and many people take the one-hour drive from Johannesburg just to visit the spa, although combining it with an overnight stay is highly recommended. The spa has won the award for the Top Spa in South Africa for the second year running.

Mount Grace pool

Swimming pool at the spa

Mount Grace Spa Lounge

Spa Lounge

My daughter and I were provided with thick lush toweling robes and slippers and proceeded to enjoy our pampering treatments in an enclosed bush spa room – a massage for me and a pedicure for her. Then we headed for the Hydrotherapy Spa Gardens where the flotation pool, outdoor jacuzzi, and reflexology walkway beckoned to us.  The flotation pool is a beautiful place to zone out in. It is rich in minerals and 20-25 minutes in there is equivalent to 8 hours of sleep.

Mount Grace spa

Flotation pool

The Kids Club was added on in 2014. It caters for all age groups from toddlers to teens – in separate sections, so that kids can have age-appropriate fun amongst their peers. It also has a small tri-cycle and scooter track.   My children spent many happy hours in the tweens zone. I saw several families with kids of all ages during my stay and they looked contented too.

Mount Grace teens

Play area for teens

The Mountain Bike Activity Centre, appropriately titled the Cog & Sprocket, is another recent addition. It is ideal for mountain-bike and trail-running enthusiasts to test their skills on the open road and get their adrenaline pumping in the stunning countryside. Other activities include tennis, hiking, bird-watching as well as heated and cold swimming pools. There is a dam on the property with wading ducks too.

Mount Grace swimming pool

Swimming Pool

Mount Grace is a synonym for serenity. If you are looking to unwind and connect with nature, or wake up to tweeting birds, and gurgling streams, then this is the perfect place – whether you are looking for a family escape or a romantic getaway. The moment you arrive at the hotel, time slows down, your city weary soul is appeased and you succumb to the tranquility.  Although, we only spent one night there, we felt rejuvenated when we returned home. On bidding farewell after our late check-out, we were given chilled water and more delicious fudge for the road. It was another thoughtful gesture, reflective of the hotel’s care for its guests.

For more information, visit African Pride Mount Grace or book here.

Brief history of Mount Grace

Mount Grace history

Brief history

Disclosure Level: 7

Twist Restaurant Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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18 comments
palmasoileau

I could not refrain from commenting. Well written!

Reply
Andrew Duncan

Mount Grace was my salvation when I lived in Jhb in the mid 1980s. Used to drive out for Sunday lunch and then laze around the pool. Always came back to the big smoke feeling revitalised.

Reply
    Sara

    Thanks for dropping by Andrew. Yes, Mount Grace does that have that revitalising effect, especially on Jo’burgers 🙂

    Reply
Andrew Duncan

Mount Grace was my salvation when I lived in Jhb in the mid 1980s. Used to drive out for Sunday lunch and then laze around the pool. Always came back to the big smoke feeling revitalised.

Reply
Nelly Mkhwanazi

Hi Sara,

Thank you so much for sharing this review. I am so happy to hear that you enjoyed your stay at our beautiful hotel and that your family was well accommodated. It is feedback like yours that motivates us to keep on doing the best in meeting and exceeding our guests expectations. We hope to have you again soon, staying longer next time I hope :). I will keep in touch to touch base on a few factors with you 🙂

Reply
    Sara

    Hi Nelly
    Thank you so much for the great feedback. I certainly hope to visit again with my family soon – for longer :-). Please feel free to email me at saraessop@gmail.com .

    Reply
Cassidy's Adventures

Holy cow! This looks like one glorious vacation. Thanks for sharing. The watermelon totally caught my eye 😛

Reply
Ling Ge

Mount Grace really looks like a nice vacation spot to enjoy and relax. I would totally go to down on that dessert table! The surrounding landscape also looks beautiful for visitors to enjoy.

Reply
Abigail

That deck with a pool already won me over. Seriously, it looks so relaxing as is the whole place. It looks like a beautiful place for an escape for the weekend!

Reply
The Travel Ninjas

I love the looks of this place. The little touches like the welcome note and kid comforters for boys and girls really make a place stand out. And its so classy yet comfortable. How far is it from Johannesburg? And hows the drive?

Reply
Swati

Goodie bags sounds interesting. I love the kids area.. that is so cool. Even the flotation pool is so inviting. Such a beautiful property to spend some quality time with friends and family 🙂

Reply
Only By Land

The welcome drink and goodie bags sound good. My daughter would have been crazy with a goodie bag! She’d also go crazy in the jungle gym! This hotel seems perfect for my daughter.

Reply
Mohit Agarwal

now that’s what we call an utter luxury… and the resort environment is so calming…totally loved it

Reply
Ticker Eats The World

Country House, Family, Spa – The title had me hooked already with these words. Thanks for all the details. The pool looks lovely but I really like how far they go to accommodate the kids with the jungle-gym and the goodie bags and the bed covers and the games room. The entire complex looks really spacious as well with lots of places to just wander around. I love places like these where you can really bond with the family.

Reply
Ticking the Bucketlist

The dessert table looks so sinful! The views are amazing… I would love to have breakfast here! The kids play area seems to have a lot to keep them busy. Was there a baby sitter too?

Reply
    Sara

    The dessert table was totally sinful haha. There were experienced child-minders to look after the kids in the play area.

    Reply
Brittany

What a lovely sounding and looking place! Sounds so relaxing! Glad you had a great time!

Reply
    Sara

    Thanks Brittany. It’s a beautiful place in scenic surroundings.

    Reply
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