Equal parts romantic and relaxing, Summerfields Rose Retreat and Spa is an idyllic country retreat set on a beautiful 100-hectare macadamia, litchi and rose farm just outside of the town of Hazyview in Mpumalanga.
There are just 12 rooms at the five-star lodge – stylish canvas tents – linked by wooden walkways under sprawling jackalberry and tamboti trees on the banks of the gently flowing Sabie River. The best thing about the rooms is that they feel part of the forest. Beds look out over the riverbank through the trees, and tree trunks are built into the supporting walls. The open-air bathrooms are truly memorable: big sunken bathtubs are perched on the edge of the floor, so as you relax in warm water dotted with rose petals (there’s a bath menu so you can order a luxurious soak), you are almost in the trees. The outdoor shower — one of the most memorable I ever had – feels like a forest waterfall.
The food at Summerfields is definitely a highlight: meals are taken outdoors on the large deck overlooking the river. and feature organic vegetables and produce fresh from the farm’s garden in dishes such as macadamia, caramelized pear and gorgonzola salad.
There’s lots to keep you busy at the retreat: spa treatments, a swimming pool, walking routes on the property and hippo-spotting in the river, and Summerfields also makes a great base for exploring the many nearby attractions Mpumalanga has to offer. Choose from mountain biking and hiking trails, river rafting, microlight flights, tree canopy aerial walkways and the panoramic views of God’s Window. The retreat is also only six miles’ drive from Kruger National Park, so you can fit in some Big Five game viewing in South Africa’s flagship reserve.