Around two hours south of Johannesburg is an idyllic river where locals and tourists love to spend their days unwinding in the sun. The Vaal River is nearly 700 miles long with multiple riverside resorts where guests have convenient access to the water for a day of boating, fishing, paddling, swimming and more. While the number of hotels found along the Vaal River is plentiful, we’ve lined up some of the top-rated hotels for you to consider on your next visit to the area. Here are the top hotels to stay by the Vaal River in South Africa.
Riverside Sun Resort – Vanderbijlpark
Not far from the busy city is a quiet escape at Tsogo Sun’s Riverside Sun Resort. Once guests arrive to the hotel, they’ll be greeted by the elevated back view of the Vaal River before taking a stroll down to the water, past the luxury pool, lounge chairs on the lawn and an outdoor cafe. Guests are welcome to the hotel’s pontoon boat rides down the river to kick back and check out more of the local scenery.
Vaal River Lodge – Vanderbijlpark
Not far from Riverside Sun Resort is another fantastic destination to bask in the sun by the water. Vaal River Lodge is a smaller, more intimate accommodation where guests can stay in a South African-style building with thatched roof and a spacious riverside lawn with its own tennis court, luxury pool, Jacuzzi, volleyball court and more. Guests that wish to explore the river can take advantage of the hotel’s canoes that are available to use for leisure. Visitors that are toting their own jet skis or boats can use the hotel’s own dock to dismount on the river for a full day on the water.
Emerald Resort & Casino – Vanderbijlpark
Get a taste of Kenyan luxury (yes, you read that right) at Emerald Resort & Casino in Vanderbijlpark that prides itself on its ideal location by the Vaal River. There, guests will have the option to stay overnight at the main hotel, bush lodges, river resort chalets, or caravans. Whatever accommodation you go with, you’ll have equal access to the river and the fantastic amenities that surrounds it. The hotel uses Kenya-themed decor throughout its facilities to give its guests a safari lodge feel. Looking to try your hand at winning some slots? The casino at the hotel is a popular hangout for locals and tourists to try their luck.
Pont de Val Riverside Escape – Parys
Give yourself a much-deserved treat by booking the boutique hotel, Pont de Val Riverside Escape that not only gives you a view of the river, but also a stunning vineyard. The hotel is in a rural area outside of Parys, giving people an isolated retreat to enjoy their time by the water. Pont de Val aims to be a French Country-style accommodation to make their guests feel like they’re staying at a villa in Provence. You don’t need to leave the grounds to dine out, instead, stay in and eat at the hotel’s own restaurant with a patio that overlooks the river. And of course, you’ll enjoy French-inspired cuisine paired with locally-sourced wine.
Waterfront Country Lodge – Vanderbijlpark
For a laid-back atmosphere where guests can simply take in the full splendor of the Vaal River, consider Waterfront Country Lodge in Vanderbijlpark. Guests can enjoy the thatched-roof lodge that sits on an elevated riverbank and unwind at the hotel’s own spa that offers everything from massages to aromatherapy. The hotel has its own Olympic-size pool and barge (dock) where guests can bring their own boats and explore the river.
Rus & Vrede on Vaal – Parys
You won’t be disappointed with Rus & Vrede in Parys, a boutique hotel that locals adore. Golf lovers, you’ll appreciate this place as well — Rus & Vrede continues to rack in visitors due to its convenient location on the river and its pristine golf course available to its guests. From the hotel, guests can go on kayaking adventures, fly fishing, and sit on its lawn chairs to watch the sunset over the river. Book your room in advance as there are limited spaces per night at the guest house, but it’s well worth the wait.
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