Walkersons Hotel and Spa is a charming country hotel situated in an idyllic valley just outside the picturesque town of Dullstroom. The quaint town has an artisanal village-like atmosphere making it the perfect halfway stopping point between more common destinations such as the Kruger National Park and Johannesburg.
Walkersons has an enchanting setting which is what makes it such a memorable destination. The combination of endless countryside views with plenty of well-stocked trout dams as well as luxury accommodation and fine gourmet dining ensures a winning recipe. Dullstroom is truly a peaceful haven for anyone seeking a break from the pressures of everyday life.
The signboard for Walkersons Hotel and Spa greets you as you drive along the open country road. You take the turn and find yourself winding down a curvy road surrounded by towering evergreen trees. Suddenly, the trees clear and the world opens up to a breath-taking view of the green valley below. The Walkersons Estate is not only home to the hotel, but also a myriad of private homes and lodges. These buildings are spread across the valley perching on the banks of the numerous trout dams located throughout the estate. Take a slow drive past these impressive properties before turning up a tree-lined driveway that leads you toward the hotel. Around the corner, you’ll find the picture-perfect stables and spa building before you arrive at a fountain-adorned parking lot.
Walkersons Hotel and Spa was designed and created to look like a typical Scottish Manor, and you can easily imagine yourself being in the Scottish Highlands while visiting. The use of natural stone and wood materials adds to the stylish yet old-world ambience. In the main building, you’ll find the restaurants, a bar, and a terrace that looks out towards the rooms and suites dotted across the property. A lovely lawn with its own small dam leads you to the hidden swimming pool and walking or cycling trails.
Walkersons Hotel and Spa offers both hotel rooms and self-catering cottages. The self-catering cottages are located further away from the main hotel and are spread throughout the 800-hectare estate. Each cottage is fully equipped with utensils and appliances to ensure that guests have everything they need for their stay.
We stayed in one of their 27 stylishly furnished luxury hotel suites. The suite options consist of the Family Suite, Lakeside Suites, Luxury Lakeside Suites, the Manor Suite, and the Honeymoon Suite. Our Luxury Lakeside Suite had a contemporary look and was designed for comfort. The suite included a cosy fireplace, a well-stocked minibar, a tea and coffee station, a desk, a giant bed, and two bathrooms – one for the outdoor shower and one for the bath. The back doors opened up to a private patio with a gorgeous view out over the estate. A wonderful place to start the day with a cup of coffee in hand.
Dining at Walkersons is an experience you won’t soon forget. There are two on-site restaurants and the cuisine at both is superb.
The Flying Scotsman offers an indulgent four-course dinner each evening. Every day the menu changes according to the fresh and seasonal produce that’s available. Yet, every dish from the rainbow trout to the roast duck is a masterpiece in its own sense – designed to delight even the most refined palate. The setting is just as sophisticated, consisting of high thatched ceilings and exposed brick walls. This is paired with fine drapery, linens, candles, and a roaring fire in the winter months to enhance the romantic atmosphere.
On the other hand, The Terrace, which is open daily for breakfast and lunch has a more relaxed ambience. The a la carte menu consists of lighter dining options such as a hot English breakfast or gourmet salads. With comfortable outdoor seating, The Terrace is the perfect place to enjoy a steaming cup of coffee in the mornings or a scrumptious scone for afternoon tea.
There is something for everyone to do at Walkersons, which makes it the perfect destination for families or even multi-generational groups. Although I was content to spend my days reading on our private patio and taking long walks on the contoured paths found all around the estate, I loved watching other guests set out on adventurous activities.
The Walkersons estate has 14 lakes and dams that are all stocked with trout for fly fishing. Guests can rent rods and other equipment at the hotel which meant that there were always fishermen out and about. Walkersons also has beautiful stables full of horses for you to choose from if you’d like to go horseback riding. This fun activity is ideal for the kids or even the whole family; especially if you want to see more of your gorgeous surroundings. For those who want to relax and unwind, head to the spa for a pampering massage or treatment from skilled therapists.
With all these unmissable on-site activities, you may not ever want to leave the property, yet, a wonderfully quirky little town awaits you just a short drive from Walkersons. Spend some time wandering around Dullstroom if you can. Duck into the cute little shops to buy some unique gifts or stop for some tasty treats at the famous Harries Pancakes.
In a nutshell
Dullstroom is a delightful little town offering visitors a glimpse of the local culture at its best. The warm hospitality combined with luxurious accommodations, fine dining, exciting activities, and the kind of beauty typical of South Africa, makes Walkersons Hotel and Spa an unbeatable destination.
Suites at Walkersons Hotel and Spa can be booked from ZAR 5000 per night.
Address: Walkersons Private Estate, Dullstroom, 1110, South Africa
Phone: +27 13 253 7000
Photography courtesy of Walkersons Hotel and Spa.