BONA editor Linda Mali recently escaped to ‘the winelands in Gauteng’ at Kievits Kroon country estate. Here’s her review.
Crossing a tollgate anywhere always makes the destination feel further than it actually is. Despite that, getting to Kievits Kroon was quick and easy from Johannesburg along the N1 north towards Polokwane. Taking into account the Friday afternoon traffic, we arrived within 45 minutes. A dusty red dirt road led to the estate’s dramatic entrance. With the thatched Cape Dutch-style architecture of the manor house and outbuildings of this 16-hectare estate, I immediately understood why they call it the winelands of Gauteng.
We were seated on the terrace overlooking a perfectly manicured lawn, and offered champagne while waiting to be escorted to our room. Receptionist Daphney politely explained the short drive to our room. I liked the fact that the rooms were sprawled across the property like little houses as opposed to being on top of one another in a normal hotel set up.
The tastefully decorated room was generous in size, and had been thoughtfully heated to the perfect temperature against the cold weather. I was glad to see that the estate has an open wifi network for guests. We also had satellite TV, a mini fridge as well as a tea and coffee station.
Wining and dining
Celebrations are what the estate does best. #BhutBae and I were marking our two-year anniversary, and a picnic had been arranged for us the afternoon of our arrival. Packed to the rafters with perfectly presented meats, such as salmon, parma ham and chicken, together with delectable salads, breads and a cheese board, we ordered a bottle of champagne to complement it. We sat on the pillows and blankets supplied with the basket while watching the sun go down. Our designated waiter Bongani was nearby to tend to our every need.
Later that evening, we dined at the famous Granita restaurant, which is at the manor house at the heart of the property. A fireplace roared while we ordered its signature five-course wine pairing meal. My favourite course was the seafood, seared scallops with poached prawn, soy meringue, foam and salmon caviar. #BhutBae loved the meat course with a duo of lamb rack and springbok loin.
The highlight was our trip to the spa, which has arguably the largest facilities I have ever seen. Whether you have booked a treatment or not, all guests are allowed to use the water facilities, such as the sauna, steam room and Jacuzzi. The best part is that they are unisex, so you can enjoy them with your partner. We also got a couple’s room for our hot stone massage, done expertly by the ladies at the spa. You know that the massage is good when your partner starts snoring on the table! We also enjoyed the library bar – a room much like a study with the warmth of a fire place and a bar. Because there was no TV in the study, it wasn’t your typical bar with a sports channel blaring the whole time.
The estate is similar to an adult’s haven – a place to clear your mind and enjoy a quiet escape. It also has a well-equipped team building and conference facility, so it is also perfect for corporate groups. I felt transported, even though we were still only a stone’s throw from Pretoria and Joburg.
For bookings, call 0860 543 848 or visit kievitskroon.co.za