Dawn breaks quietly and spectacularly in the Southern Drakensberg. The mighty mountains etched perfectly against the backdrop of vast sky and way above, an eagle lazily sweeps and swoops with the gentle thermals.
Time stands still at the marvellous Sani Pass Hotel and Leisure Resort if you want it to. But in true first class tradition, the old family favourite offers you a myriad options to help time fly.
An early morning quad bike ride, negotiating small rivers and streams along shaded tracks and traversing the river banks until you arrive at one of three spectacular natural waterfalls. Take in the thundering falls under the shade of a tree while enjoying a scrumptious picnic basket arranged by the hotel. Or for a more tranquil experience try a horse ride … appreciating the rolling hills, lush countryside and majestic peaks.
There’s a whole lot more this historic, refreshed hotel and popular resort has to offer – trips up the Sani Pass can easily be arranged, but don’t forget to bring your passport.
With brand new owners and management, what used to be a tired old lady has been given a wonderful new lease on life – inside and out. Already, says the dynamic and charismatic GM Seulange Ezz-El Dine, “We’ve spent R7-million just on the first phase.”
And it shows! They’ve completely redone all the bathrooms, refurbished all of the hotel rooms in the main building as well as all the public areas. Work on the garden cottages follows shortly, a group at a time.
A new passionate management team is in place with a wealth of international hospitality experience. The creative and inspirational chefs are ex-Oyster Box and Hilton as well as other top establishments. Staff training is ongoing to ensure the standards of service many generations have grown to enjoy.
Adding to the ambience of the Sani Pass Hotel and Leisure Resort is its space: large airy bedrooms, beautiful terraces, grand dining areas and enormous gardens all offering breathtaking views of the mountains, so close you can almost reach out and touch them. It’s the only hotel in the Southern Berg that serves sushi, exotic cocktails and Sunday spit braais with live music.
The bowling-green is immaculate these days, gargantuan efforts have gone into restoring the nine-hole golf course to its former standards. At the end of a day sundowners can be enjoyed in any one of four venues: the newly revamped Cigar Lounge and Sports Bar both feature flat screens, while from The Sun Lounge you can take in the last moments of sunlight, or meander down to the expansive swimming pool and relax at the Imbizo Bar while your little ones play in their playground nearby.
“The Sani Pass Hotel and Leisure Resort is set on what’s probably the finest location in the Drakensberg,” says Seulange. “Yes, the hotel went through some depressing stages several years back but we’re well on our way to restoring her to her former magnificence. The second phase of the renovations will cost in the region of R10-million. No expense is being spared in ensuring the establishment returns to the standards it once offered and for which it was famous in its heyday.”
The cuisine, incidentally, is equivalent to any five star hotel. Service is always with a smile and lest we forget, the road to the hotel has now been tarred all the way to the front door. No more dirt and gravel for a smoother, safer trip.
So what are you waiting for? Call 033 702 1320 or e-mail email@example.com. The new website is currently under construction but the reservations department will gladly e-mail you a fact sheet on the hotel with images of the new look.
And don’t forget … check out their facebook page for snow updates in winter!