After 4 nights in the beautiful bush it was time to start heading home back to Cape Town, but to break up the journey we decided to spend 2 nights in the lush green valleys of Dullstroom.
Situated halfway between Joburg and the Kruger (approx 3 hours in each direction), Dullstroom is a beautiful country town that is a popular stop over for those driving up or down to the lowveld.
Many people think of Dullstroom as just a quick coffee stop (there is a Seattle which is very worthwhile!), however there is much more on offer in this peaceful town that’s worth a longer stay.
We took a slow drive from Klaserie Drift via Hoedspruit and found ourselves checking in to the gorgeous country estate that is The Walkersons Hotel & Spa in the late afternoon as beautiful light spilled across the rolling hills.
Built in the style of a Scottish country manor, Walkersons transports you to another era with it’s natural stone, country decor and warm, elegant interiors.
A part of the landscape of Dullstroom for over twenty years, Walkersons is a haven of peace and tranquility and where many have headed when they need to escape and unwind.
On arrival we were shown around the hotel and then to our rooms with balconies overlooking one of the many trout dams and were immediately transfixed by the sweeping views, the gentle pace and the fresh country air.
The space at Walkersons is abundant, making for a very COVID-friendly escape. There is a wide terrace overlooking lovely lawns, a secluded swimming pool and well-stocked trout dams that beckon those looking to try their luck!
Our kids immediately spotted the gorgeous stables and horse paddock belonging to Dullstroom Riding Centre and there was no denying them a chance to head out on horseback to explore the extensive grounds. They cater for all levels of riders and offers rides to children with riding experience. We took advantage of their hour-long adventure by booking ourselves into the beautiful spa for a couples back, neck and shoulder massage and a short stint in the steam room. Bliss indeed – for all parties!
The kids had great fun riding out with the experienced guide on the back of two very gentle horses (selected perfectly for their personalities and experience) while my husband and I had the most incredible massage at the hands of two lovely therapists in the couples treatment room.
The on-site spa is an oasis of indulgence has three treatment rooms and a steam room offering packages that cater to your every stress-relief need such as various Massages, Facials, Body Experiences and Spa Ritual packages. Prices range from R350 for a 30 min express mani or pedi up to R1850 for the Walkersons Signature Spa Ritual which is a 3 hour treat and includes a back, neck and shoulder massage, a facial and a classic pedicure.
Our stay at Walkersons was cut short by the fact that we had to get on the road very early on our third day, but we tried to make the most of our time by doing a few different activities that we could all enjoy.
One of these was to hire a golf cart for 90 mins and then set out to explore the various corners of the vast estate. We all had great fun zipping around the paths that ran alongside the rivers, waterfalls and dams.
Other outdoor activities on offer at Walkersons include easy walks or more strenuous hiking trails, mountain bikes for hire, and, of course, fly-fishing. For the latter there is equipment available for hire as well as friendly staff to show you the ropes. Dullstroom is known for its’ incredible fly-fishing and Walkersons has 14 stocked trout dams.
After our jaunt around the joint on the back of a golf cart we decided to explore a bit more of the nearby town and headed in to Dullstroom. We had heard about an incredible ice-cream shop that was not to be missed and so that was our first destination – for lunch! The Milkshake Bar did not disappoint. You can literally order ANY type of milkshake you can dream of!
A highlight of our stay at Walkersons was undoubtedly the food. Guests usually stay on a dinner, bed and breakfast rate and eat in the Flying Scotsman restaurant, but a bed and breakfast option is also available and you can book dinner on the night if desired.
The food was really beautifully prepared and presented with farm-style full English breakfast served alongside fruit and cereals, freshly baked pastries and a few Scottish touches such as kippers marinated in whisky. Evening dining is an indulgent affair, with the chefs presenting a four-course dinner every evening in the Flying Scotsman.
A fresh menu is prepared on a daily basis and favourite dishes such as roast duck with a black cherry sauce or trio of trout are served. Halaal and vegetarian meals are also available.
The Terrace presents an a la carte menu, light lunch options and dedicated family dining area with a a kiddies menu. This is also a great spot to enjoy traditional afternoon tea and scones overlooking the rose gardens.
Our stay at Walkersons was in two of the 14 Lakeside Suites. Each suite had a private balcony with sweeping views, coffee making facilities, a mini-bar, a fireplace, flat screen TV, a desktop area and en-suite bathroom. There are also 11 Luxury Lakeside Suites that have kitchenette facilities including microwaves, two bathrooms and inside and outdoor showers. The Manor Suite has two bedrooms to sleep up to four guests, with two single beds in the second bedroom and two bathrooms while the Honeymoon Suite has an extra long king size four-poster bed, separate his n’ hers bathrooms, a Jacuzzi bath and a wood-burning fireplace.
For those looking for more a more intimate experience Walkersons also offers a variety of self-catering cottages. The twin cottages, Hansel & Gretel, are right next door to each other so they’re perfect for families or friends. These 4-star self-catering cottages have two en suite bedrooms to sleep up to four people. Nestled atop the glorious slopes of the Walkersons Estate, the Hillside Cottage provides spectacular serenity for friends and family alike. Sleeping a maximum of six people, and containing an outdoor braai area as well as a Boma, the Hillside Cottage is the perfect place to relax and unwind. Riverview Cottage is a 5-star self-catering option that sleeps up to eight people in four en suite bedrooms. Canyon Cottage accommodates up to ten people in peaceful isolation, with a rustic charm that includes a private waterfall. (Guest writer Lisa wrote about her stay here). The luxurious Waterfall Cottage, situated on top of a hill overlooking the cascading waters of the dam, is uniquely designed with five en suite bedrooms to provide both comfort and privacy for a countryside escape!
Our time at Walkersons was limited so we made up an itinerary to ensure we got the most out of the day during our stay. If you’re visiting you might like to make use of it too!
1 Day itinerary @ Walkersons
- 08:00 Breakfast on The Terrace
- 09:00 Golf Cart hire for 1.5 hours (alternatively Mountain Biking or Hiking)
- 12:00 Drive into Dullstroom for lunch (or a milkshake!) and a stroll around town
- 15:00 Horse-riding lesson for kids/ Spa for parents!
- 17:00 Fly-fishing lesson or tea & scones on The Terrace
- 19:00 Dinner at The Flying Scotsman
The stunning views, family-friendly activities, comfortable accommodation and gourmet dining make Walkersons a charming country getaway – even for those who aren’t into fishing! This spot is well worth a weekend visit if you live in Joburg or Pretoria – and makes for a great add on if you’re planning a trip to the Kruger or Blyde River Canyon.
Contact Walkersons Hotel & Spa
Tel: 013 253 7000
Facebook: Walkersons Hotel & Spa
#walkersons #dullstroom #visitdullstroom
Walkersons Hotel & Spa takes its responsibility to the community seriously – with the majority of its team (more than 80%) being from the local community, and with many of them having worked their way up from entry level positions to more senior positions, Walkersons takes pride in the fact that its community upskilling has reaped great benefits.