At last, we finally made it to the Drakensberg! A trip we planned for a couple of months and one that has certainly set the bar for us, when it comes to child friendly accommodation. Those of you that follow our Blog will know we arranged this trip for Xander’s 5th birthday, and it was one of the best celebrations and Getaways we have had to date!
We flew to Durban and drove about 3.5 hours to our destination, The Cavern Berg Resort & Spa, nestled in the foothills of Northern Drakensberg in the Amphitheatre World Heritage Site area. You will find a lot of Resorts and Hotels in this area, but after doing extensive research, I soon realized there were only a handful that catered for families with children to this extent. A playroom with nannies, separate kid friendly menus, daily children activities, pony rides and the list goes on! The Cavern is a family run and owned Resort, currently being run by the third generation in this family, with 75 years in total. It is at the Cavern where I could clearly distinguish and experience the difference between a family run Resort vs a corporate Hotel chain. There is just no comparison when it comes to the personalized service, attention to detail and flexibility (to suit your and your children’s needs).
We booked for six days in an inter-leading standard family room, that offers two bedrooms with one King size bed and three single beds. Spacious rooms with more than enough room to play, each with an on-suite bathroom (one with shower and one with bath). Our unit offered breathtaking views of the mountains, tennis courts, bowling lawn and horse stables. Behind us you could find the Resort’s Play Room and Child Dining area, literally a hop and a skip away. This proved to be the perfect location for us, as Xander and Zara was close enough to make their way there on their own, which meant my husband and I had ample free time to read a book or just relax on our patio. The Playroom Nannies have a dedicated daily kids-activity at 3pm, that Xander and Zara never missed! We visited during the Resort’s low season and it was without a doubt the best time to go for us. The Resort was quiet and serene and the weather was still perfect, about 25 degrees during the day. At night you might feel a few drops of rain on your skin, just before you then get spoiled by the sound of dramatic thunder echoing in the mountains. This was then followed by attention grabbing calls from the wild baboons, an experience we and the kids will never forget!
Our booking was made on a full board basis (excluding drinks), offering a well-organized meal schedule, with specific times set out for breakfast, lunch and dinner. This eliminated a lot of the planning and stress that goes along with a holiday, so my husband and I were also able to put our feet up and relax with our children, without having to plan or prep any meals. Breakfast and dinner are ordered from a menu that is changed on a daily basis, with lunch offering a buffet consisting of delicious mains, salads and breads. I was extremely surprised by the quality of the food, expecting bulk foods such as pastas and lasagnas. On the contrary, it was gourmet meals that I would normally see to be served in a 5-star restaurant. Exceptionally creative, unbelievably delicious and visually very satisfying. Xander and Zara ate from the kiddie’s menu, that offered more child friendly options. They could dine in the Playroom under the supervision of dedicated Nanny’s, or they could dine with us. I don’t think it is necessary to confirm which option we went for! Having three daily breaks from the kids did wonders for my husband and I 😊. It really ensured we had valuable time to ourselves to have uninterrupted conversations, a rare commodity in our home! The Nanny’s are in fact available any time of the day, but babysitting in between meal times are then charged for. There were always fresh fruits available during each meal time, so I usually took an apple or banana for the kids, should they get hungry for a snack in-between.
We really tried do as much activities as we could, but there were just too many for us to get through in six days. The Resort caters for anybody and everybody, from active activities such as guided hikes (to see bushman paintings, age old rock carvings, animal spotting or waterfalls), horse riding and tennis, to more relaxed options like visiting the Forest Retreat Spa, pool area, playing board games or spending time in the reading room (where no children is allowed). There is also awesome mountain biking and running trails, for the really active families. The entertainment desk has a daily schedule listing and explaining all the activities for the day and week. This allows you to plan your stay, and to make the most of the time you have. You can also keep an eye on the yearly Activities Calendar that offers activities such as Birding & Nature weekends, Photographic workshops, Yoga Retreats, Nature Journaling, MTB & Trail Runs, Painting Workshops, Stargazing and many more.
Fondly known as ‘The Resort of many happy returns’, The Cavern is a place where families bond, friendships are formed and memories are made. It is a special, tucked-away romantic getaway for couples, a gentle place to find quiet and solitude, as well as a safe and child-friendly resort with a range of fun activities for families. A place I would hands down and without a doubt recommend to anybody, especially families with kids. Do yourself a favor to go through your calendar and book a stay for you and your family that you will remember forever. The Cavern has touched our hearts and will surely see us again, GKG approved!