Large open lawns with a helicopter parked in the middle, vast mielie (corn) field, slow flowing river stream, surrounding hills and shady trees – and that is just the outside of De Hoek Country Hotel. Step into the main building and you will find elegant leather couches, an array of coffee table books, cosy décor and many other sophisticated nooks and crannies that one would expect at a 5 Star country hotel.
De Hoek Country Hotel in Magaliesburg, South Africa, is the epitome of class. Everything radiates with sophistication, from the finely dressed and well-mannered staff to the array of activities on the menu (archery, croquet, boules and badminton). When you first arrive at De Hoek, from the look and feel of the building, you may feel slightly intimidated with all the fanciness if you’re not used to that sort of treatment. We certainly did.
Driving in along the long gravel driveway, with the large open green lawn ahead of us and perfect little country style hotel rooms, it felt like we were stepping into another world. A world that the ‘who’s who’ embody – I’ll admit it, I’m not part of that crowd. Driving in in our VW Polo that hadn’t had a wash in a few months and parking next to a stream of Porshe’s parked in the parking lot was the first sign that we were slightly out of our league here.
But I do live by the motto of ‘fake it, till you make it’ and that’s exactly what we did. And in the end we really didn’t need to fake anything. We were welcomed in and made to feel right at home.
We were lucky enough to be put in one of the new hotel rooms, set slightly apart from the main hotel next to the mielie (corn) field and overlooking the large green lawn (there is something so classy about a large green lawn). The rooms were comfortable, big beds, big shower, inviting bath, and even your very own espresso machine.
The décor is simple, I especially loved the framed quotes by Ghandi and George Bernard Shaw on the walls in our room. The rooms aren’t really the sort that you want to stay wrapped up in all day, yet they don’t need to be as there are so many other more beautiful and comfortable places around the hotel to spend your time in.
High tea, dinner and breakfast is what we tried out during our stay at De Hoek. High Tea was quite delicious – savoury dishes, pastry snacks, samosas, melktarts, bread and butter pudding, mini scones and of course colourful macaroons. We tried a little bit of everything, and it was all really good. I could definitely get used to this High Tea business.
You could then enjoy your dinner either in the dining room, on the patio or further out in more romantic private spots in the garden. It was quite a romantic affair, lit by candlelight while everyone around us was talking in their ‘quiet and subdued’ voices. A four course meal, with everything plated beautifully and tasting just as beautiful. The main courses were satisfactorily generous sized portions – enough to fill you up without stuffing your face. All cooked perfectly.
Breakfast was then another occasion (one we nearly missed due to oversleeping). Starting off with the usual continental buffet of all the good stuff (mix Italian and French delicacies and you can’t go wrong), followed by a cooked meal off the menu. I had a salmon omelette and my boyfriend had the Scottish breakfast (including haggis and black pudding – he liked it, I wasn’t such a fan).
What to do
Apart from the activities mentioned earlier you can take a hike along their path across the road. It is about an hour’s hike up the mountain and will give you a beautiful view of the hotel as well as the surrounding areas. A great way to get some fresh air.
Apart from that, you can just relax. Take in the beautiful scenery by having a picnic on the grass, enjoy a lazy lunch in the garden, read a book in the lounge, or spoil yourself with one of their spa treatments.
The overall atmosphere of De Hoek is one of relaxation, a chance to really get away and spend some time with your loved one/s or perhaps some self-reflection. Just chill out really.
De Hoek is about an hour’s drive from both Johannesburg and Pretoria, and very easy to find. You will get emailed detailed instructions on how to get there. Once there you can explore the surrounding Magaliesburg area – a great area for hiking or just taking scenic drives through the mountains, or you can just make the hotel your haven for your time there.
It is a rather pricey experience, but one well worth it if you have the money to spend and are looking for ultimate comfort and sophistication.