Cathedral Peak Hotel - a serene hideaway in the mountains

Cathedral Peak Hotel Review

To say that I was impressed with Cathedral Peak Hotel would be an understatement. Its allure began before we even got there. As we drew closer to the hotel, the air became fresher, the mountains greener and the views more spectacular. I pulled out my camera hastily and began snapping away merrily - as my husband drove up the winding roads. Local children played in streams and rivers to cool down from the scorching heat, cows and goats grazed on the side of the roads and baboons watched us inquisitively. I felt the stress of the city escaping as serenity washed over me.

Cathedral Peak hotel

The Surrounding Mountains


Nestled in one of the worlds oldest mountain ranges, the uKhahlamba Drakensberg park, which also happens to be a UNESCO World Heritage site, Cathedral Peak Hotel is renowned for the natural beauty of its surroundings. It lies approximately 400 km from Johannesburg and 250 km from Durban in the province of Kwazulu Natal.

Cathedral Peak hotel

Lounge area


The family owned hotel has a colourful history which is detailed in a book available at the hotel shop. It was opened in 1939, when the Second World War began and provided an ideal location for wounded Allied soldiers to recuperate. Due to petrol rations, most of the first guests arrived by train and were met by the hotel at Winterton station. Despite the restrictions /difficulties many prominent visitors from around the world became frequent guests at the hotel.

Cathedral Peak hotel

The Terrace


The hotel ranks extremely high in child friendliness. There are several different options for family rooms. We stayed in inter-leading rooms with our children. They were happy to have their own room and we were happy to have our privacy while knowing that they were easily accessible. There are indoor and outdoor play areas. If there are enough children at the hotel, they get their own dining room and menu. There are baby sitters as well as child minders who host activities to keep the kids occupied and entertained.

Cathedral Peak hotel

Outdoor Chess


There are many different accommodation choices. The rooms are all spacious and feature huge windows and sliding doors with panoramic views of the mountains. When we were tired from all the activities, we relaxed in our comfortable bedrooms and enjoyed the views.  Our room had a luxurious bathroom as well as a dressing room with more than enough closets for a fashionable woman. The kids received welcome t-shirts and we received a beautiful coffee table book called "Africa by Inspiration” by Bruce Mortimer. The exclusive Mponjwane Presidential Suite boasts a spa bath and electric curtains and comes with the exclusive use of a golf cart. There are also not one, but seven honeymoon suites.

Cathedral Peak hotel bedroom



Entertainment was a feature from the very beginning.  Cathedral Peak Hotel is one of those places where you can easily spend a week without getting bored. A daily programme is left on ones pillow every night at turndown, with a sweet treat and a bedtime story. The programme features activities for kids and adults. You can amble along on a horse trail, hike up mountains, go bird-watching or trout fishing. There are many different sporting facilities (including a heated pool), a 9-hole golf course, a games room and a climbing tower.

Cathedral Peak hotel

Climbing Tower

There are mountains to conquer, and exquisite views to soak in. A resident helicopter is available to give you a bird’s eye view of the majestic mountains. Although I didn’t do this, I met foreign guests returning from the helicopter ride and they were still in seventh heaven. There is also a massage therapist on site to de-stress you further and there are plans underway to develop a full spa facility.

South African holidays with kids.

Cathedral Peak Hotel Swimming Pool

We went on a guided hike through the mountains. It was one of the gentler hikes as we were accompanied by children although the heat made it more strenuous. Just as the kids were beginning to complain, we came upon Doreen Falls –named after the founder’s wife - where we took a break. The adults and the kids took turns to stand under the refreshing waterfall to cool down while our guide made fresh tea and coffee for us from the running water. A little later our guide took us further up the mountain to a cave to see bushman paintings which were over 1000 years old. Even the kids were excited.

Cathedral Peak hotel

Doreen Falls


Rates include dinner, bed and breakfast as well as a very English tea served twice a day on the terrace with treats like scones, pastries and cakes and a side serving of picturesque views. Breakfast and dinner were both huge buffet feasts and I absolutely loved the fresh smoked trout from the on-site dam that was a staple at dinner-time. It’s only understandable that we’d pick up weight after eating so much.

Cathedral Peak hotel

Main Building

Cathedral Peak Hotel has been welcoming guests to its mountain wonderland for over 75 years. The number of repeat visitors it has, is testament to its appeal. It is also a popular wedding venue, with good reason. Imagine the stunning photo backdrops. It makes a great corporate getaway too. And for families, a holiday at Cathedral Peak promises to be a very special time indeed. I’d recommend staying for at least 3 nights.

For more information, visit Cathedral Peak Hotel or book here.

Click here to see Photos of South Africa that will fuel your wanderlust.

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19 comments on “Cathedral Peak Hotel - a serene hideaway in the mountains”

  1. Great post! I just posted this on Facebook and my followers loved it.
    I come to your site fairly often but I've never thought to comment.
    Anyway, keep up the good work. I really enjoy your posts.

  2. This looks like such a family friendly place. I love places where an activity schedule is shared to help you plan your day better. And oh... the English tea idea is so lovely! I am sure you had a great tim here.

  3. Cathedral Peak looks and sounds like a great place to stay. I love the giant chess board and the view of the mountains from the pool is just incredible - I could sit there all day just breathing it all in!

  4. This place is stunning! I would love to bring my family over there. It also has a very nice history. Thanks for sharing!

  5. WOW, now that's my idea of a pool with a view. Pools with beachside views are totally overreated. It seems like such a calm and serene place. Hopefully I get to visit some part of Africa one day.

  6. That's awesome that they gave you gifts upon arrival! I don't know if I like the rooms with huge windows boasting panoramic views more, or that view by the pool. I'd definitely want to stay here if we ever get to visit- breakfast, afternoon tea, and dinner combo sounds amazing!

    1. I love it when hotels welcome you with gifts. You feel so much more valued as a guest. The views and the food were amazing.

  7. There used to be a TV show on ITV over here called Wild At Heart about a family who moved to South Africa (I think!) and opened a safari park type place. The exterior of this hotel reminds me so much of their house on the show!
    It looks so quaint but at the same time modern and seems to have everything you could ask for in a hotel. Those views are absolutely breathtaking though - definitely the cherry on top of the cake!

  8. I had no idea there was a UNESCO world heritage park in that part of South Africa. You learn something new every day! Looks great for hiking and other outdoor activities.

  9. I have always wanted to go to the Drakensberg! It is definitely on the cards for this year when we go to Lesotho as well. This looks like the perfect place for people that like adventure and also those that want to relax. I always gain weight when going to all inclusive places, I just love buffets! haha

  10. I love this place. I use to work there as Terrace Supervisor in 2002-2003 and I remember it as it was yesterday.... The staff is amazing the food was exquisite and the hikes breathtaking.
    Def a place I would love to go to again!!!!!!

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