Hotel check: De Hoek Country Hotel

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Background

De Hoek was designed for Johann and Andre Redelinghuys, whose grandfather was one of the original settlers in the Magaliesburg valley. The original house was built 22 years ago and the hotel has been run for 20 years by Michael and Michelle Holenstein.

What’s It Like?

It may be a 5-star boutique hotel, but it has charm, with beautiful sandstone architecture and elegant interiors, including tin roofs, stone walls, Oregon pine beams, leaded glass doors, and steel windows.

Where Is It?

It’s in the Magaliesburg, and depending on where you’re coming from and when, it’s approximately an hour or hour and a half’s drive from both Johannesburg and Pretoria, to the north-west.

Room Facilities

De Hoek has 16 Superior Suites in the gardens to the west, close to the river, and 12 new contemporary Superior Suites to the east, looking onto the mountains, which we were accommodated in. It was a cosy room with a king-size bed, air-conditioning, mini-bar, large flat-screen TV (with various satellite movie and sports channels), sitting area in a bay window, a work desk with plug points, Nespresso coffee machine and a variety of specialised teas. Adjacent to the desk was a door leading to an outside sitting area with table and chairs, and a view of the wide open space, bridge and river that front the property. The bathroom was a decent size, with a deep bath, single basin, towel-warming rack, luggage stand, closest with hanging space, a safe big enough to accommodate my large laptop, and a big walk-in rain shower that was the feature of the bathroom.

Restuarants & Bars

We had all our meals at the Conservatory, whilst the other option is the Bridge Bistro, which serves lighter fare. We enjoyed a pre-dinner drink in the bar area, and from start to finish the service was outstanding, thanks to incredibly well-trained staff who were knowledgeable and attentive. We feasted on delicious canapés – chicken spring rolls and vegetable rissoles with sweet chili and tomato sauce – and indulged in a glass or two of the 2012 Springfield Whole Berry Cabernet Sauvignon. I opted for a dinner starter of crab salad, with avocado and peppadew, mixed greens, and a balsamic vinegar reduction. In between that and my main course, I was served lime-flavoured sorbet, before tucking into a grilled rib-eye steak with pepper crust, crispy onions, French-fried potatoes, and sautéed vegetables. The dessert that followed – dark chocolate fondant, vanilla bean ice-cream, and chocolate-coated wafer tulip – rounded off a gastronomic experience I will remember for some time. Breakfast was just as impressive, with fresh fruit and yoghurt followed by a hot butter croissant filled with smoked salmon trout, chive cream cheese and scrambled egg, washed down with orange juice and a cappuccino.

Business & Meeting Facilities

There are four conference and function rooms located in Stonebridge House. The Foundation Room can accommodate up to 60 delegates with various seating arrangements, and has a service bar that leads off the room. There are two smaller conference rooms that lead out onto the enclosed veranda, which in turn leads into the Bridge Bistro restaurant, and there’s the Garden Pavillion, which has a fireplace and large brass chandeliers, and is available for up to 30 delegates. Complimentary Wi-Fi is a given.

Leisure Facilities

Whilst the Magaliesburg is an area renowned for its activities, De Hoek itself is not a hive of activity, preferring to lend itself to a more relaxing environment. However, there is a swimming pool, archery, croquet and boule, whilst the hotel will also organise wine tastings, picnics on the grounds, massages, hot air ballooning, gliding, ‘elephant interactions’, and horse riding, on request. Alternatively, mountain and river walks, and bird watching are encouraged. If you’re someone who prefers travelling by helicopter, there is a helipad on the property.

Verdict

If you’re looking for a weekend of doing very little, besides eating delicious food, or fancy a quiet, secluded conference venue with a 5-star culinary offering, then this is for you.

Dylan Rogers

Contact
Address: Plot 7, Zeekoehoek
Tel:
+27 14 577 9600
Email: reservations@dehoek.com
Website: www.dehoek.com