A weekend escape from the city always sounds tempting but a long drive to get there usually isn’t as appealing. If you live in Gauteng and are looking for nearby getaways for this weekend or the next, then you've come to the right place. These weekend getaways near Johannesburg are either in countryside surroundings or surrounded by greenery, and they’re all in Gauteng – in case we Gautengers are put into lockdown again! Kids are welcome at most of them.
Set in a lush 400 hectare nature reserve where grazing wildlife roam free, you will find Zebra Country Lodge, a charming countryside getaway. It consists of four distinctly different accommodation options spaced comfortably apart from each other: Zebra Stables, Bush Lodge, Mountain Lodge and Zebra Villa. Each lodge has its own swimming pool, restaurant and boma. Activities include game drives, mountain biking, walking trails, kayaking, horseback riding, and visits to the on-site Ndebele Cultural Village.
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. There are different accommodation options, with varying levels of luxury, placed in clusters around the estate. The food is top-notch and the spa is amazing. Facilities include a library, a swimming pool, lawn croquet and a giant chess board.
Located in the historical village of Irene, overlooking a lake, you will find African Pride Irene Country Lodge, a luxurious hotel with spacious, well-appointed rooms, fine dining restaurants, and an upmarket day spa surrounded by lush gardens. Find some time during your stay to visit the Irene Dairy Farm across the road, as well as the Smuts House Museum, and the Irene Village Market which is open on alternate Saturdays.
Nestled amongst the ancient Magaliesberg Mountains, the sprawling Mount Grace Hotel and Spa is set on ten acres of landscaped gardens and pristine bushveld, in an English country-style setting. The rooms are comfortable sanctuaries and some have private heated plunge pools. The iconic hotel has long been a popular getaway near Johannesburg, and it was recently acquired by the Tsogo Sun Group.
Mount Grace’s award-winning spa is just as renowned as the hotel itself, and it boasts a flotation pool, outdoor jacuzzi and reflexology walkway. Other activities include tennis, hiking trails, birdwatching, and a kids’ club for the younger guests.
A leisurely drive through the bucolic Magaliesberg area will take you across the Magalies River on a stone bridge shaded by willow trees, and you will find yourself in a serene valley. Here, the picturesque buildings that comprise De Hoek Country Hotel stand amid manicured gardens and bushes, with expansive views of the surrounding landscape. Unwind in this idyllic environment and enjoy the acclaimed fine dining. You are guaranteed to leave feeling relaxed.
Child-friendly? Only children over the age of 12 years are welcomed.
Valley Lodge and Spa is a charming country retreat surrounded by a nature reserve on the banks of the Magalies River. The elegant rooms are set in gardens and have serene views from the veranda, especially those overlooking the river. There’s a massive swimming pool outside and a heated pool in the wonderful spa, as well as a floodlit tennis court and a gym. The restaurant serves delicious cuisine and the hospitality is warm.
Situated in the Klipriviersberg Nature Reserve, a popular hiking spot in the south of Johannesburg, Thaba Eco Hotel is an eco-friendly hotel with elegant suites. The hotel's design has been influenced by the Tswana settlement ruins dating back 300 to 600 years, which are scattered throughout the expansive property. You will feel as though you have left the city without actually leaving it. Game drives, nature walks, bird-watching, mountain biking and hiking are some of the activities available.
The Houghton Hotel may be in one of South Africa’s biggest and busiest cities, but once you’re inside, it’s wonderfully serene and you feel as though you’re miles away from the city. We loved the spacious rooms, the modern facilities, the social vibe and the park-like setting in Johannesburg’s affluent green belt, next to a golf course. It even has a penthouse! It’s certainly on par with other luxury hotels we’ve visited around the world.
If you ever doubted that Johannesburg was an urban forest, then you should look at it from the Four Seasons Hotel The Westcliff (aka The Westcliff Hotel ). You will see a canopy of verdant treetops with sprinklings of purple jacaranda blossoms and the occasional red-tiled rooftop, stretching far into the horizons. The stunning hotel overlooks the Johannesburg Zoo and sometimes you can see the elephants or hear the lions roar. Inside, the rooms are spacious and comfortable and the worst part of your stay will be when it's time to leave.
Set on the banks of the Vaal River, the resort is an easy drive of 45 minutes from Johannesburg but once you’re there, you are cocooned in a country-style environment which will make you feel as though you’re far from the city. The rooms are elegant, spacious and comfortable and the food is great. At the back of the hotel is a viewing deck and beautifully maintained gardens sloping down to the Vaal river banks, a playground for water sports enthusiasts.
Child-friendly ? Yes
Whether you’re looking for romantic weekend getaways for couples in Gauteng or family getaways near Johannesburg , there’s something for everyone here. What are your favourite weekend getaways in Gauteng ?
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