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  • Lisa Martus


If you’re going to be tying the knot during the winter months and are in search of a honeymoon destination, here are a few of our top choices in Magoebaskloof and surrounds. This beautiful area can offer something to make every heart skip a beat - from luxury accommodation with all the bells and whistles, to heavenly hideaways and intimate, secluded mountain retreats. Winter is one of the very best times to take off on your honeymoon because, let’s face it, cold weather naturally sparks romance - when the temperature drops, the best solution is to snuggle in front of a crackling fire with hot (or strong) beverages in hand. If you venture outdoors to explore, you can come back rosy-cheeked, bundle up, huddle up, and open up that fine bottle of red.

At the start of your life together, why not whisk your loved one away to a wonderland of mountain scenery in Magoebaskloof. One of the most tranquil and soulful spaces is Sequoia Garden Retreat where Meadow Cottage, set in a secluded corner of the beautiful gardens will make you feel like you’re living your very own fairytale fantasy.

Sequoia, a working Farm in the week and a tranquil haven over weekends is one of those rare places where you feel as if you could be the only person on the planet.. birdsong, the sound of happy bees on blooms and a slight rustling of leaves lifted by a breeze.... it is a balm for the soul. A tunnel of trees opens up onto a joyful burst of colour... russet reds turn amber and golden in a glorious gradient of towering trees reflected on the surface of the tranquil dam, creating a sense of endless gardens.

Meadow Cottage with its wrap-around, glass-fronted face overlooking the peaceful waters is an intimate open-plan cottage with a cozy fireplace and a comfy couch to spend lazy days soaking up the sunbeams. The spacious, stylish interior has beautifully-framed art works, luxurious linen and classy decor like a Balinese room divider used as a headboard. Touches of gold in the furnishings reflect the light shimmering off the lake and the sparkle in the eyes of your beloved. Surrounded by a meadow of wild flowers, there is a pergola outside where you can have a romantic lunch and a firepit on the stoep to enjoy the sunset scenes.

Canoes are pulled up on the bank for when you want to explore but if you simply want more quiet time, make your way to the spiraling labyrinth set in a secret spot. Here you can ‘walk in peace’, on a meandering but meaningful circular route to a bench at the heart of the spiral. Six hectares of wild and formal gardens have hidden corners where you are surrounded by the long-fingered branches and serenaded by birdsong in the wintery sun. Crossing a bridge, you come upon a secret maze of foliage, weaving and winding you along secret paths perfect for a romantic, gourmet picnic hamper of the tasty treats sourced from the area. Sequoia's setting is nothing short of a romantic dream come true. |

Long fingers of light caress the mountainside as the setting sun turns the valley to gold. The earthy colours of Honey House are warmed by the sunset and become part of the land and the mountains once again. Robins sing their ode to the day, their song vibrating through the golden light, giving resonance to the beauty you see all around you. This place restores, recalibrates and celebrates love & life.

Zwakala River Retreat, a tranquil sanctuary in the heart of Magoebaskloof is a unique, enticing space where you are welcomed with open arms by the Tooley family, their dogs and horses but also given the privacy and peace to enjoy the space as your heart desires. But the enchantment runs much deeper. It is in the sparkling river which meanders through the farm beckoning visitors to come and play… It’s the fragrance of wild sage and buddleia on the breeze….the way the light dances through the towering trees and how the stillness envelops you. All of this creates an alchemy which is hard to describe… a magic which changes who you are.

If you’re a nature-loving, eco-conscious couple, Zwakala River Retreat is certain to get your heart beating double-time. Honey House was originally built to harvest honey from the bees of the farm but was turned into this beautifully romantic one-bedroom cottage which seems to have been formed from the earth itself and is the perfect space for you honeymooners to cocoon with the one you love. This is the perfect spot to get away from it all, indulge in each other’s company as newlyweds and to feel blissfully immersed in the beauty of the natural environment.

At Zwakala you are spoilt for choice - there is the Cob House - a charming eco-friendly cottage built from stone and earth using sustainable building methods or Legodi Cottage down at the bottom of the farm, built to ensure minimal impact on the environment and a dreamy escape for nature lovers. Both options have romantic pathways through fragrant bushes leading up to each secluded unit while the Barn House is close to the Mina’s Farm Venue and Zwakala Brewery. Once an old tobacco hanging barn, this two-unit cottage was beautifully converted for comfort and charm. You could also choose one of the Log Cabins at the River Spa where you can be pampered with couples’ spa treatments and a champagne lunch on the deck overlooking the curve of the river, whose calm face reflects the cloudy skies and a world that seems thoroughly magical. Experiencing the start of your new life with your soul mate could not happen in a better place. 083 980 8433 / /

If the thought of a honeymoon in the country has always charmed your soul, this luxurious hotel on the outskirts of the lush, subtropical town of Tzaneen is sure to leave you weak in the knees. Embraced by the Wolkberg mountains in the northern reaches of the Drakensberg range, Fairview Hotels, Spa & Golf Resort offers accommodation ranging from hotel suites and self-catering units to the luxurious spa suites at the 5-star Fairview Village. Start your post-nuptial celebrations in the luxurious Honeymoon Suite, with its sumptuous bed and generous jacuzzi bathtub. Set high on a hill, Fairview Village, surrounded by lush vegetation, has scenic views of the Letaba river and a par three golf course. A myriad of activities awaits you to make your heart sing. Indulge in a couple’s massage, steam and rasul at the Zen Spa, a relaxing round of golf and end your evening sipping on cocktails and designer drinks at Fairview Clubhouse as you watch the sunset send shimmers over the river.

The hotel’s serene natural environment can be best enjoyed on a morning stroll through the gardens where more than 30 different cycads, small wildlife and birds are abundant. The elegant Le’Thaba restaurant offers sumptuous meals next to a fireplace or you can book a gourmet picnic at a more private, romantic setting if you prefer to spend time alone. Fairview feels a million miles away from the world but is a short drive from the varied activities in the Magoebaskloof area. Make memories that will last a lifetime and indulge your senses in contemporary elegance and stylish romance when you honeymoon at Fairview. 082 900 5166 / /

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