Wednesday, 9 October 2019

SPRINGHOLM COTTAGES AT BRAHMAN HILLS - A MIDLANDS EXPERIENCE

Waking up to the sound of birds chirping faintly in the background. You've just had the most relaxing sleep on a gigantic king size bed, lying on a cozy electric blanket. You get up, freshen up in the en suite bathroom then make your way to the lounge area of the cottage. You go straight for the curtain that covers the huge glass doors to the patio. Unlike any other patio, yours comprises of a cute little wooden stoep surrounded by a brimming dam. In the distance you see a picture picture backdrop of trees, some covered in sparse autumn leaves and some as green as emeralds. As you open the glass door you feel the midlands chill - first the cold hits your lips then your nose then your whole body. But the cold fresh air makes you feel alive. 






You're happy. You're content. You're at Springholm Cottages.

Springholm Cottages are a part of Brahman Hills, a 4 star hotel accommodation in the KwaZulu Natal Midlands in South Africa. Nestled among the green, lush rolling hills of the Midlands is where you'll find Brahman HillsBrahman Hills is located in Nottingham Road (Between Mooi River and Howick), about 4.5 hours from Joburg and an hour and a half from Durban. Since it's just off the N3 you're able to easily get back on the road after your stay and to explore the rest of what the Midlands Meander has to offer. 

READ: BRAHMAN HILLS COUNTRY ESCAPE IN THE KZN MIDLANDS








Whats new at Brahman Hills?


They recently opened Springholm CottagesSpringholm, a blend of elegance and charm with interior décor and facilities of the highest level, is positioned 4.5 km from Brahman Hills in a tranquil valley overlooking a brimming dam. It has seven fully furnished cottages and four stand-alone rooms that offer self-catering and/or bed and breakfast options. 





My Review of Springholm Chalets/Cottages


I visited Springholm over the weekend arriving on the Friday to leave on the Sunday. The trip came at a time that could only be described as the calm before the storm - with the start of the third quarter of 2019 it's time to get into gear to do all the many things that need to be done in 2020. 

I love the drive to the midlands and the N1 is truly my favourite road to drive (Except there are so many tolls!). I first stopped at Liberty Mall in Pietermaritzburg to get the essentials - some snacks and a new book.

The road was crazy with roadworks and the drive from Pietermaritzburg to Brahman Hills took around an hour and a half which was way more than I expected and only arrived when it was already dark at 6pm. 



I checked in at the Brahman Hills reception and was told Springholm Cottages are a 4,5km drive away. Of course with my luck I got lost for a good 15 minutes. I was driving around the Brahman Hills reserve and didn't realise to get to Springholm Cottages I would have to leave the property and drive on the main road. I also didn't realise that 4km would be on a dirt road. Luckily the road wasn't that bad, just bumpy, and I could get through it on around 15-20km/h with my Ford Fiesta. The drive took about 15 minutes. You turn right off the main road to get to Springholm Cottages next to the Troutbagger farm. 




I couldn't see much since it was 7pm and already dark, but I did take 5 minutes to just sit out on the patio and enjoy see a sky filled with stars which left me in awe. You known you're a safe distance away from civilisation when you can truly admire a beautiful clear sky of stars. I stayed in the Crake cottage, one of the Waterfront Cottages. The cottage had a fully stocked kitchen with stove and fridge as well as utensils and kitchenware, lounge area with a couch, coffee table and TV with DSTV, a cosy bedroom and bathroom with shower. The lounge also had a quirky table made of a wine barrel!




The next morning I woke up early and the first thing I wanted to do was to go outside and get a proper look at my surroundings. The most gorgeous thing was the wooden stoep surrounded by the beautiful dam and trees in the background. It honestly looked like a scene from a movie. And to have that view right from your cottage - I couldn't believe it! 





After taking time to admire how beautiful nature is, I realised it was almost time for breakfast to end (10am) and rushed to the Springholm breakfast venue, which was luckily a 2 minute walk away which is super convenient. While the breakfast options are a bit limited, you can still get a full English breakfast and lovely warm cuppa. Another bonus of the Springholm breakfast venue is that you get a full 180 view of the reserve and dam with their glass walls.




After breakfast I explored the area for a bit, taking an hour to walk around the reserve after which I came back to the cottage and enjoyed reading my new book on the patio. It was honestly the first time in forever that I got to properly relax and take a breather. 

Around 2pm I made my way to Midlands Kitchen and enjoyed a treat before heading to the Brahman Hills Spa for a 90 minute massage. I mentioned it before but Brahman Hills spa is one of my favourite spas in the world. It's luxuriousness and attention to detail is phenomenal. It also has the most incredible aesthetic with its rich blues and whites and elements of flowing water that relax you and make you feel at ease. 




YOU CAN READ MORE ABOUT BRAHMAN HILLS SPA HERE.

After my incredible massage I went back to the cottage and prepared for dinner at 89 on Copper. I won't tell you much about that now because I'll save it for a full 89 on Copper review ;)




The next morning started with breakfast at the Brahman Hills Cafe. The Brahman Hills Cafe has an extensive variety of options (I even had cake for breakfast!) and is by far my favourite breakfast buffet EVER. I love the aesthetic of the fire place and wooden tables and the food is absolutely devine.




After checking out (*sob*) I spent the day exploring the midlands and visiting some of my favourite places in the area - if you want to know what they are, check out my midlands meander guide!

ALSO SEE: MIDLANDS MEANDER - SOUTH AFRICAN SMALL TOWNS GUIDE


Everything you need to know about Springholm Cottages Brahman Hills


All the cottages are attractively named after local birds as the owner is a very keen birder – Kingfisher, Hoopoe, Blue Crane and Ibis are the names of some of them

The Stone and Waterfront cottages’ self-catering units are on the ground levels, while the upstairs levels have four-sleeper double rooms on a bed and breakfast basis. These six cottages have inter-leading doors between the levels which allow the entire cottage to be used as a self-catering unit if desired.

The romantic honeymoon cottage, the Sunbird, overlooking the dam and with sweeping views of the reserve offers privacy and tranquillity for newlyweds.

Additional stand-alone rooms on a bed and breakfast basis comprise the two-sleeper Duck, Cormorant, and Ibis, only 20 meters from the water’s edge; the Heron, set farther back is a four-sleeper.





Food at Brahman Hills


Guests accommodated on a bed and breakfast basis can enjoy breakfast at Springholm’s breakfast venue and other meals at Brahman Hills in either the recently revamped Brahman Café, or the elegant cellar restaurant, 89 on Copper

All guests are welcome to make use of Brahman Hills’ other facilities - its restaurants, bars and luxurious spa which offer a range of relaxing treatments.


ALSO READ: MIDLANDS KITCHEN FOODIE HEAVEN IN THE MIDLANDS

And there you have, that's everything you should know about the Springholm Cottages in the Midlands! I know, that was a bit of a mouthful. It's an incredible getaway that left me refreshed and rejuvenated and I know it will leave you wanting to go back the moment you leave. 




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