As part of our 2-week holiday in South Africa, we decided to take a breather and spend a weekend in the Drakensberg. After some research online, I discovered Champagne Castle Hotel in the central region of the picturesque Drakensberg.
They had horses on site so I was sold on the spot! It’s always been a dream of mine to go horse riding in the Drakensberg and this was my chance to finally tick it off my bucket list.
Arrival At Champagne Castle Hotel
We arrived on a Saturday and the hotel was fairly busy, but you hardly saw people while you were out and about in the grounds, so it was really peaceful and chilled.
The first thing we saw when we arrived was a sign pointing us to the various activities and things to see around the resort.
Mini C was insanely excited about the animal farm and I can tell you he spent a good few hours there trying to catch a guinea pig or a rabbit. They’re all ridiculously fast though and he was highly unsuccessful, except for when another child managed to pick up one of the tamer bunnies, so he got a cuddle eventually!
The star attraction of the hotel is, of course, the views. Those mountains are just so majestic and we were lucky enough to see them so clearly – I had seen some people’s reviews on TripAdvisor that they had stayed for days and they hadn’t seen the mountains at all due to the mist!
As we were travelling with my parents we opted to book a deluxe family room that we could all share. There are 6 double-storey family rooms, each with a patio on the ground floor and a balcony on the first floor with gorgeous mountain views.
In the family rooms, the downstairs was made up with beds for me and Mr C and an extra bed for Mini C. There was still plenty of room even though it was for three of us. We had an ensuite with a bath off our room.
Upstairs was another bedroom with an ensuite which my parents had. Their ensuite had a shower and a bath and the bed was huge and super comfy they tell me. The views from their balcony were breathtaking.
We got a lovely turndown service as well – something you don’t often come across these days. It was a nice treat to come back to our room after dinner to find chocolates on our duvets.
Which leads me onto the food. Wow. Part of the reason we booked to stay at Champagne Castle was that all meals were included.
Breakfast, lunch, and dinner, plus morning and afternoon tea are all included in your stay for all rooms, except the self-catering chalets. You could seriously spend all day here eating and never leave the resort – although you may have to roll yourself out of there when you checkout!
Meals were all buffet style and they were all excellent. The range of foods on offer each day was superb and everything we ate was delicious – and between the 5 of us, we tried a lot of it!
Breakfasts ranged from cereals, fruits, and yoghurts to cooked options and continental ones, plus ever-changing French pastries, waffles, and pancakes.
Lunches and dinners included soups and breads, cooked meats (always a couple of options including venison like warthog), vegetarian options, pasta, fish, roasted veggies, plus a whole host of divine desserts and cheeses.
The staff in the dining room were extremely friendly and efficient. No sooner had you put your knife and fork together than your plate was being whisked away, ready for you to help yourself to the next course.
The only slight drawback was the lack of options for kids so my fussy eater struggled a little when it came to mealtimes. The chefs were only too happy to make him something simple when he was really stuck at one mealtime though, so hats off to them for accommodating him!
Drinks were super cheap for us being on Aussie dollars – a *small* carafe of wine, which was around the same amount as 3 glasses in Australia, was R35. Yep, that’s like $3.50 for 3 glasses of wine!
As I mentioned earlier they have a large area for their animal farm which kids (and adults) are welcome to go into. It’s near impossible to get close to the animals though, which include rabbits, ducks, guinea pigs, a goat and some geese. The monkeys also like to come and eat the animal food so watch out for them too, they’re pretty cute.
They have stables on site and take guests on guided rides, ranging from beginners to advanced plus pony rides for the kids around the paddocks on lead. Non-guests are allowed to book rides too.
I went on an intermediate ride which was supposedly suitable for walking, trotting, and cantering. I have to say there wasn’t much cantering, mostly galloping at full speed along the pathways. It was a little hairy at times but as I’m a fairly competent rider, I’m pleased to report I did NOT fall off and had an absolutely thrilling time. If you’re a slightly nervous rider, stick with a walking ride!
They also have a pool, although it was a little chilly for us being winter. There is a tennis/badminton court, lawn bowls, an aviary, dams for trout fishing (my Dad was convinced there were no trout though!), a games room, a huge jungle gym for the kids, giant chess, a spa and plenty of walks and hikes to explore.
See the full list of activities on site at Champagne Castle here.
All 5 of us really enjoyed our stay at Champagne Castle Hotel. It was just what we wanted, nice and relaxed, so we really started to unwind.
If you’re looking for somewhere to stay in the Drakensberg where you don’t have to lift a finger, and you can truly chill out, a weekend in the Drakensberg at Champagne Castle Hotel could be just what the doctor ordered.
A big thanks to my Dad for some of these awesome photos!
*Disclaimer: I was not financially compensated for this post, but I did receive media rates for our stay.