may / june 2021 newsletter
Supporting local, bird-watching, charity donations & more
The winter months at Cathedral Peak Hotel have their own unique beauty. From the magnificent flowering Erythrina ablaze with intense colour against the bluest sky, to the splendid Aloes and Felicias, and the lusciously scented Jasmine. With fresh, cool mornings turning into warm, clear days and the promise of snow on the majestic upper peaks, winter is a hiker’s paradise. So if you’ve been waiting for an excuse to explore one of the 18 incredible trails on the hotel’s doorstep, now’s your chance.
Cathedral Peak Hotel is the perfect place to bring your adventurous and excitable kids these school holidays. Enjoy a dedicated daily children’s entertainment programme, tire them out on one of our walks through the majestic Drakensberg mountains, finding rock art, waterfalls and other natural treasures along the way, or explore the great outdoors on horseback or by quad bike. Keep them busy at the hotel with a wide range of on-site outdoor entertainment, including tennis, mini-golf, beach volleyball, badminton, trampolines and so much more. Don’t forget our complimentary pony rides, mini-golf and climbing tower to add to the fun!
With the recent increase in the number of COVID-19 cases, we want to assure you that our number one priority is the wellbeing, health and safety of our guests and staff. We continue to enact several strict hygiene and social distancing protocols as advised by the Federated Hospitality Association of Southern Africa and the Tourism Business Council of South Africa to ensure that all of our guests can feel safe when staying at our hotel. Being situated at the foot of the Drakensberg mountains, we have plenty of open space and fresh air to allow you and your family to escape the urban areas.
We hope you will join us for cosy nights by the fire, crisp mountain views, and the unrivalled beauty of winter in the Drakensberg!
Bruce Botes – General Manager
At the beginning of June, we had our first decent snowfall of the year. What started as rain soon became sleet, which was followed by extreme cold overnight. Morning saw glorious snow-capped peaks and a chilly day.
Enjoy the perfect opportunity to recharge your batteries this winter with scrumptious, hearty buffet-style meals and warm log fires for those chilly nights. From unrivalled mountain vistas with the chance of snow-capped peaks, to crisp, clear days perfect for hiking – a world of stunning natural beauty awaits with a 25% discount off rack rates.
Discounted rates start from just R1355 per person per night (single or sharing) and R435 per child per night (4-12 years old), inclusive of all meals, valid from 1st July to 31st August 2021 (excl. 6th to 8th August 2021).
T’s and C’s apply
We are extremely thankful to you, our amazing guests, for having placed us amongst Tripadvisor’s Traveller’s Choice 2021 Top 10% of Hotels Worldwide
This achievement celebrates businesses that consistently deliver fantastic experiences to travellers around the globe, with our hotel having earned great traveller reviews on Tripadvisor over the last 12 months. As challenging as the past year was, we stood out by continuously delighting travellers.
“Congratulations to all the winners of the 2021 Travellers’ Choice Awards,” said Kanika Soni, Chief Commercial Officer at Tripadvisor. “I know the past year has been extremely challenging for tourism businesses. What has impressed me is how businesses adapted to these challenges, implementing new cleanliness measures, adding social distancing guidelines, and utilising technology to prioritise guest safety. The Travellers’ Choice Awards highlight the places that are consistently excellent – delivering quality experiences time and time again even while navigating changing customer expectations and new ways of working. Based on a full year of reviews from customers, this award speaks to the great service and experience you provided guests in the midst of a pandemic.”
Your feedback is vital in ensuring that we continue to provide the Ultimate Drakensberg Experience, so please continue to rate your stay with us on Tripadvisor and be sure to leave your comments about your stay.
Now more than ever, one needs to look at supporting local businesses in order to care for local communities, stimulate the local economy and assist in sustaining jobs.
Local businesses are significant creators of jobs — and they’re also more likely to hire people who live locally, as opposed to relying on people commuting long distances. What’s more, the money you spend at a local business is far more likely to stay in the community. Local businesses are run by local people, who care about the community and want to support it.
With Cathedral Peak Hotel having a strong history of supporting local suppliers in and around KZN, our proud partnerships contribute to our ability to deliver an experience of the Drakensberg like no other!
To name just a few of the local suppliers we support:
Indezi River Creamery (Balgowen) – Yoghurt and cheeses
Country Bounty (Lions River) – Homemade jams
Nqubeko Cooperations (Winterton) – Uniforms
Barney’s (Midlands) – Eggs
When you visit Cathedral Peak Hotel, you’re not just enjoying the Ultimate Drakensberg Experience – you’re helping to support the community around us!
HARVEST TIME PREPARATION CENTRE
Cilla and Jenny from Harvest Time Preparation Centre returned to Cathedral Peak in May with even more very generous donations, including jerseys, blankets, shoes, baby clothes and food parcels for the upcoming winter months. Upon arrival at Mhlwazini High School, HR Administrator Zama Zwane met with the school’s principal, Radebe Winile, who works with a counsellor from Mhlwazini Valley to hand out the donations to local members of the valley. Recipients include pensioners, children and parents of new born babies, as well as families that have recently lost loved ones.
THE KLOOF AND HIGHWAY SPCA
The SPCA’s fundraising run and cycle on 6th May 2021 was a fabulous affair in support of animals in the Kloof and Highway area. We were delighted to be able to help out by donating a weekend away at Cathedral Peak Hotel, and look forward to being a part of the SPCA’s future charity drives for this incredibly worthwhile cause.
PACK FOR A PURPOSE
For those joining us in July or August, please support our Pack for a Purpose initiative by finding a small amount of space in your luggage to pack some much needed supplies; in particular, clothing for all ages, books and pens.
Some of the most rewarding walks at Cathedral Peak Hotel can be the most underrated. Take a stroll on your own or join the complimentary guided hike every Thursday to Lake William, a dam on the northern boundaries of the hotel estate, under Baboon Rock.
This terrain was formerly part of a pine plantation, which the hotel has rehabilitated to natural grassland. A maze of cycle paths cross through the area and maps for our MTB trails can be obtained from Reception. Guided quad bike rides are also a fun alternative to explore the side of the foothill!
Along the Lake William walk, you will have unique views of the whole hotel property, with Cleft Peak as a backdrop. There are also fantastic opportunities for photographs of the Cathedral range of mountains. Closer to the ground, there are a number of tiny streams creating delightful little vleis (patches of damp soil, usually along a small water-course, and
often covered with bracken) where different frog species can be heard singing. You are also likely to see two of the local buck species which are commonly seen in the area: eland and mountain reedbuck. The walk itself is well sign-posted, and the path is very clear, using both single tracks as well as an old jeep track. Lake William itself is at the half-way point, where two wooden jetties offer fishermen a chance to try and bag a bass
The dry winter months bring an increased risk of veld (bush) fires. Some indigenous vegetation is considered to have adapted to fire, and now depends on the fires to ensure the germination of seeds. Where there is a risk of runaway grass fires, Cathedral Peak Hotel, in conjunction with Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife, does burn fire-breaks, so during winter periods hikers are urged to be aware of any fire-break activity in areas where they hope to walk.
Prescribed veld burning is a commonly used management practice in the Drakensberg. It is implemented in order to maintain grassveld and decrease soil erodibility, even though there is limited knowledge of the long-term effects on soil properties.
Please keep a look out on our boards at reception and outside the dining room for the latest updates with regards to fires before planning your hike.
Bird-spotting during the drier months at Cathedral Peak Hotel is relatively easy, as vegetation is much thinner than during summer. Even for those guests who are not avid “twitchers”, there is still a great deal of pleasure in watching birds around the hotel
buildings. Some of the commonly spotted and easily recognisable birds here are the Cape White Eye, Ground-Scraper Thrush, Cape Robin-Chat, Sugarbird and Double Collared Sunbirds. The sunbirds in particular are very vocal creatures, twittering away in the Protea, bottlebrush and aloe flowers.
For the more serious birder, the hotel provides a check-list (enquire at reception) of more than 140 species confirmed in the area, as well as a rough guide as to where on the property you might find “specials” and “lifers” such as the Bush Black Cap, Barretts Warbler, Drakensberg Siskin, Ground Woodpecker and Buff Spotted Flufftail.
Please join us on our complimentary guided bird-spotting walk every Tuesday morning.
Last Minute Special
Valid from 29th June to 11th July 2021
Treat yourself and your family to a spontaneous mountain adventure with our Last Minute Special!
From Tuesday 29th June to Sunday 11th July 2021 only, get all meals and accommodation from just R1095 per adult and R350 per child per night.
Spaces are limited, so book this amazing deal today.
Minimum 2-night stay. Applicable for new bookings only.
Full prepayment within 48 hours via EFT only. Children must
be sharing with adults.
T’s & C’s apply.
Valid from 1st June to 31st August 2021,
excl. peak periods
Enjoy the perfect opportunity to recharge your batteries this winter with hearty buffet-style meals and warm log fires for those chilly nights! From unrivalled mountain vistas with the chance of snow-capped peaks, to crisp, clear days perfect for hiking – a world of stunning natural beauty awaits with a 25% discount off rack rates.
Discounted rates start from just R1355 per person per night (single or sharing) and R435 per child per night, inclusive of all meals.
Minimum 2-night stay. New bookings only. Excludes peak periods (6th to 8th August 2021). Full prepayment within 48 hours via EFT only.
T’s & C’s apply
Valid from 1st September to 31st October 2021,
excl. peak periods
With spring just around the corner at our tranquil and secluded Drakensberg resort, you can expect to see the countryside bursting into vibrant life. Take advantage of the warmer weather perfect for hiking and our extensive range of outdoor activities and facilities for sunny days, and revel in the abundance of birds and wildlife emerging from the winter chill.
From 1st September to 31st October 2021 (excluding 23rd to 25th September 2021), adults will receive an incredible 20% discount and kids 12 and under will stay for free when sharing with an adult.
Discounted rates start from R1445 per person per night, inclusive of all meals.
Minimum 2-night stay. Valid for new bookings only. Excludes
peak periods (23rd to 25th September 2021). Full prepayment
within 48 hours via EFT only.
T’s & C’s apply
Golden Oldies Special
Valid until 31st October 2022, excl. peak periods
Let the mountains and the lakes become your landscape at Cathedral Peak Hotel with our Golden Oldies Special, featuring a specially-designed entertainment programme, guided hikes, scrumptious buffet dining and so much more.
Stay for 5 nights for R6086 per person, or stay for 3 nights for R3825 per person, including all meals and mid-morning and afternoon tea, coffee and bakes.
For the over 60s only. Excludes peak periods (20th Dec 2021 to 2nd Jan 2022 and 15th to 18th April 2022).
T’s & C’s apply.