These days, the Instagrammability of a destination is a key factor in deciding on a getaway destination for many people – especially millennials. The Hartbeesport area boasts Instagram opportunities galore, including a beautiful dam with sailing boats, the Harties cableway, a mini Eiffel Tower, quirky markets, animal sanctuaries and much more – and it’s just over an hour away from Johannesburg and 45 minutes from Pretoria.
Although it is possible to go there on a day trip, there is so much to do in the area that staying there for a weekend makes more sense. You can explore the local attractions at a more leisurely pace, and the constant views of the beautiful mountains, and the dam will be the perfect antidote to the city stress. Therefore the ideal place to stay would be close to the main attractions.
The Three Oaks and an Aloe Boutique Hotel is one of the best-located luxury hotels in the area. It is practically across the road from the Harties Cableway and a short drive away from other attractions in the area. The 4-star family-owned hotel is set in sprawling gardens at the foot of the Magaliesberg Mountains and has views of the dam from the main building.
There are 21 luxurious rooms with views of the mountains and gardens, including two family units and two two-bedroom garden villas. We stayed in one of the garden villas, which was perfect for our family of four. It consisted of an en-suite main bedroom, a second en-suite twin bedroom for the children and a small lounge area. The villa had a fridge, a microwave and a television with a wide selection of DSTV channels. We had both air-conditioning and fans, which was a blessing during the heat wave we were experiencing. Complimentary wi-fi was provided. Outside, we had a table and chairs on the patio, and a braai stand.
The other suites were named either Oak Suites or Aloe Suites. I visited one of the latter. It was a spacious and elegant suite with a spa bath in the room and a balcony with great views of the gardens and the dam further away.
The public areas consist of a lounge and dining area where meals are served indoors or al fresco, depending on your preference. We enjoyed our breakfast on the patio overlooking the gardens. Outside guests are welcome to visit the hotel for meals as long as they book in advance. If you prefer to eat out, there are many restaurants within close proximity to the hotel.
The swimming pool in the gardens has loungers and umbrellas and is a great place to cool down. There is a pool table where you can enjoy some family fun. The hotel also has a wellness spa, which I didn’t get a chance to visit on this trip unfortunately. Aptly named “Relax” , it offers a wide variety of treatments, pamper packages and even kids’ parties. If you are looking for a conference venue, the hotel has a fully-equipped conference centre, and team building activities can be arranged too. The friendly staff will tend to your needs without intruding on your privacy.
The Three Oaks and an Aloe Boutique Hotel was a comfortable base to explore the Hartbeespoort area for us, as a family. We visited the Hartbeespoort Dam, the Harties Cableway, Chameleon Village, Van Gaalen Cheese Farm and French Toast Cafe. But if you are looking for a romantic getaway in Hartbeespoort or a tranquil retreat where you can enjoy the serenity in beautiful surroundings, and get pampered in the spa – then this is a great place for that too.