De Hoek Country Hotel

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Portion 7, Zeekoehoek, Magaliesburg 1791, South Africa


Bar/Lounge, Business Center, Concierge, Conference Center, Free Breakfast, Free Parking, Meeting Rooms, Minibar, Restaurant, Room Service, Swimming Pool, Wheelchair Access, Wifi


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5.0 rating based on 1 rating
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5.0 rating based on 1 rating
5.0 rating based on 1 rating
5.0 rating based on 1 rating
  1. Expert Review

    5.0 rating based on 1 rating
    Aug 2015 · jkennedy

    Entering the property down a winding dirt road gave me a sense of wonderment of what was going to be...

    Entering the property down a winding dirt road gave me a sense of wonderment of what was going to be around the corner. I came to a wooden bridge leading to an open field and half-prayed that the rental wouldn’t collapse through it. But after I was across, I was blown away by the fairy-tale vibe of De Hoek, complete with charming gardens, lush grass and weeping willows.

    I was instantly greeted by guards who directed us to parking and then carried our suitcase in. The main building is designed in a South African style that looks somewhat like a mix between a castle and a house. As I ventured inside, I fell in love with the lobby area, complete with a long wooden table that spanned the room and topped with vases full of fruit and chocolates. Next to it is a den-like room full of books and vintage knick knacks, perfect for enjoying a cocktail during the day or finishing a novel. An adjacent room is much larger and has several cozy couches, comfy chairs, and large coffee-table books to peruse. Although I needed to check-in, I knew I wanted to spend some time in this room before leaving (and of course, I did).

    I stayed in the lovely west quarters while there, which is part of the old design, quite fancy, and requires that you walk over a somewhat wobbly wooden bridge. The hotel also has new quarters which have recently been added to the property and are also worth staying in. When I got to the room, I was delighted with the cozy lodge-meets-safari vibe with yellow walls, a plaid bedspread and animal lithographs hung on the walls. My bed also had a plush black and white cat waiting for me, in case I wanted to cuddle, of course.

    The bathrooms at De Hoek are rather spacious, about the size of a bedroom in a normal house, and had dual sinks, a stand up shower, and a large tub overlooking nature from the third floor. The tub is easily big enough to fit two adults, and the room had nice soaps, fluffy, over-sized towels and everything else you could think of. In the small foyer, there were complimentary cookies, biscuits, and marshmallows that were refreshed multiple times of the day if you are a cookie fiend like myself. The mini fridge also comes stocked (though not complimentary) with several choices of wine, juices and water.

    If you’re a nature lover, the balcony was probably the best part of the room. It isn’t huge, but had enough room for two chairs and a small table. The view was overlooking a serene meadow, a creek, tall trees and rolling hills in the background — perfect for watching the sunset and wildlife. Speaking of wildlife, I saw so much just from my balcony, including a spotted owl, several hornbills, a kingfisher, bats, several mongoose, and many more. On the final day, the hotel was swarmed by vervet monkeys passing through that jumped from balcony to balcony and went into a few people’s rooms that had left their door open while they were at breakfast. It was kind of like the Wizard of Oz meets South Africa.

    For the superior rate, the hotel offers complimentary breakfast, lunch and dinner, which should rather be named feast 1, feast 2 and feast 3. For breakfast, you get both a cold breakfast and hot breakfast. The cold options include giant spreads of brie, prosciutto, smoked salmon and more, while the hot items include exquisite omelettes, filet mignon, and even a full English breakfast for good measure. Lunch is supposed to be “light” but most of the items are rather heavy, I had a sirloin steak and a platter of fried fish while there, for example. Lastly, and possibly the highlight of the entire trip is the five-course dinners that I had the option of sampling several times. The chef (who has been there since 1989) has a completely new menu that changes every night, and it comes with fabulous choices like sea bass, filet mignon, rack of lamb, salmon, and so much more. Between the appetizer and mains, you’re always served a delicious sorbet to refresh your palette, one night was tequila sunrise while the other was a pistachio concoction. The selection of desserts is also to die for and superbly plated. Wines? You name it, and they probably have it in the extensive collection. It’s no wonder that the restaurant at De Hoek has been voted as one of the Top 100 restaurants in South Africa several times. Even if you can’t stay at the hotel, you owe it to yourself to come for the food alone.

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