Summerfields Rose Retreat and Spa is situated on a working farm tucked into a secluded valley just outside the town of Hazyview. As a sub-tropical farming region in South Africa’s Mpumalanga province, the area is renowned for its first-class fruits and nuts.
The sleepy little farming community of Hazyview was established along the lush banks of the Sabie River and, with its close proximity to the world-famous Kruger National Park and other incredible attractions, the town is the perfect base for travellers.
As a child I spent many happy summers playing in this wild place while visiting my grandparents who owned a farm along the river. Although I hadn’t been there in many years, I returned recently to stay in luxury at Summerfields Rose Retreat and Spa. The comfortable familiarity resulted in some nostalgia and also a wonderful sense of reconnection with my late grandparents.
The second you pass through the magnificent wrought-iron gates, you are transported into the land of summer magic. Make sure to stop just inside to peruse The Padstal and perhaps even indulge in their famed delicious, yet healthy, macadamia nut ice-cream. As you meander further along the farm road, you’ll pass the stately family home and signs indicating that ‘animals have right of way’ here.
Take your time and admire the gorgeous scenery while keeping an eye out for dogs, geese or even a passing snake in the road. Once you dip into the valley, you’ll have a moment to admire the sunset deck at the dam before being engulfed by a sea of litchi trees and other plants in various stages of growth all the way to the parking lot.
Summerfields is hidden within the vegetation at the base of the valley. The luxury reception, individual rooms and suites, spa and restaurant are dotted along the riverbank connected by wooden walkways, offering you a private sanctuary in nature to enjoy during your visit.
The accommodation at the retreat is grouped into three categories. Guests can choose between the luxury tented suites, the timber forest room or the extravagant jackalberry suite. I stayed in a tented suite and thoroughly enjoyed the glamping-type space.
Each of the rooms are named after a rose variant that you will find somewhere on the property. As you follow the path to the tent, you are greeted by the sweet smell of wild jasmine and the sound of the river rushing by below. Once inside, you will be amazed at the attention to detail such as the custom-made wood furniture. Step out the side door and you find a delightfully quirky, yet luxe, outdoor bathroom. The double vanities, outdoor shower and luxury bath with a view are stocked with only the highest quality toiletries. It always feels like summer in this part of South Africa, so bathing outdoors is the ultimate treat.
Dining at Summerfields Rose Retreat and Spa is an incredible experience. The River Café is located in a unique open greenhouse type building with a large deck and idyllic surroundings. I loved strolling through the forest and over a stone bridge each morning and evening to indulge in the most delicious meals.
The continental and hot breakfast options were all superb and made from the freshest organic ingredients. All fruits and vegetables are sourced from the property or local farms. The menu for dinner changes daily and special dining events take place regularly as well. We made sure to pair the scrumptious South African meals with some wine and cocktails.
There is so much to do in and around the retreat that it would keep you busy for a week, if not more. However, there are two activities that you simply cannot miss while staying at this tranquil escape.
The first is a blissful pampering experience at the Rose Spa. This unique spa is located right by the river and even has spa rooms that are open to the elements so that you can take in the beautiful sights and sounds of the environment as you enjoy a massage, facial or any other treatment.
The second must-do activity is a gin tour. Summerfields Rose Retreat and Spa is the home of the award-winning Duke Gin brand. Guests get to book a gin tour and tasting to discover how this unique gin is produced and taste how it differs in comparison to other brands. Enjoy the distinctive botanical flavours of this pure gin as you get educated and entertained.
Besides these two activities you can also take a farm tour or rose tour on the property. The area also provides plenty of entertainment options such as quad biking, white water rafting, abseiling, archery and kayaking.
In a nutshell
Summerfields Rose Retreat and Spa is a haven of tranquility in a wild part of South Africa that boasts great weather year-round and a myriad of exploration opportunities. The serene natural surroundings, pampering spa treatments and delicious food and drink makes this the perfect destination for a luxurious getaway. Escape the city and find peace at Summerfields.
Rooms can be booked from £143 per night.
Expect a five-hour drive from O.R. Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg. You can rent a car and take a scenic drive through the South African countryside, alternatively, you can fly to Nelspruit Airport, which is an hour away from the retreat.
Address: R536 Hazyview – Sabie Road Hazyview, South Africa. 5km from Perry’s Bridge, 10km from Phabeni Gate of Kruger National Park.
Phone: +27 13 737 6500
Photography courtesy of Summerfields Rose Retreat and Spa.