Message from the general manager

March saw some exciting events starting with The Trail Girl Trail Run weekend which consisted of all things pink, from the champagne and cupcakes to the Trail Girl t-shirts. Participants had the choice between a 17km or 9km trail on Saturday and all enjoyed a 12km trail on Sunday. We look forward to hosting another one of these runs soon! The weekend of 19th March saw our annual Golf Club Championships which was thoroughly enjoyed by all the players. Don’t forget to sign up in October to qualify for next year’s event. 

The school holidays and Easter weekend saw the hotel full of families escaping the hustle and bustle of the city. Our Entertainment Team ensured all the adults, teens and kids had the most marvellous time with fun-filled entertainment programmes including volleyball and action cricket competitions, quizzes, movie nights, bug hunts, tractor rides, line dancing and so much more. Easter weekend included the much anticipated Easter egg hunt, homemade hot cross buns on the terrace, our Easter chapel service and lots of fun Easter craft activities for the kids. 

Autumn brings with it beautiful warm rusty colours which are a delightful accompaniment to the blue skies and crystal clear days, perfect for hiking enthusiasts. Take advantage of our three complimentary daily guided hikes, some of which include the novelty of tea, coffee and rusks in the mountains. Revel in bird-watching, take in exquisite mountain views and gain insight into the way of life of the San Bushman through beautifully preserved rock art. 

As we continue with our upgrades programme for this year, we are thrilled to have reopened our 300’s block having had all sixteen bathrooms upgraded. Further upgrades include the purchase of new 40 inch televisions for the Superior Rooms and 50 inch for the Executive Suites and Presidential Suite. White towels have replaced the beige towels and new voile curtains have been purchased. The upgrading of the children’s play room is an exciting ongoing project. Further improvements will continue throughout the year as and when budget allows. 

To all those affected by the recent devastating flooding in KZN, our thoughts are with you and we wish you a speedy recovery.

As we see COVID restrictions easing, I would just like to assure our guests that we are still following all the required protocols to ensure the safety of both our guests and staff. 

We look forward to welcoming you to enjoy one of the best times of year in the Drakensberg!

Bruce Botes – General Manager

Updates to the Cathedral Peak Hotel team

Towards the end of March we bid a heartfelt farewell to Caswell Madonsela, our Food and Beverage Manager. Caswell was an employee of the hotel for a total of 25 years, starting as a waiter and working his way up. When asked what he will miss about the hotel he responded “I am definitely part of the furniture by now and I have watched the hotel develop in front of me, when I started we were just 2 stars and we have grown to be a 4 star establishment. I will definitely miss the fun times.” We thank him for his dedicated service to the Cathedral Peak Family and wish him all the very best in his retirement!

With the retirement of Caswell, we welcome our newly appointed Food and Beverage Manager, Zola Majodina. He is originally from Port Elizabeth, with 15 years of experience in hospitality. He loves meeting new people from different cultures and promoting tourism in South Africa. 

When asked what he thought our greatest strength is, he responded saying “A strength is the location, and friendly staff, as well as the rates including all three meals, which I believe is quite unique.” We are thrilled to have him join our Team!

Veronique Schroeder joined the Cathedral Peak Hotel team in March this year. With 25 years of experience in the entertainment industry, she has a passion for entertaining guests and putting a smile on their faces. 

Veronique believes that the family feel is what makes our hotel special and she feels at home here. She is a fun, bubbly character and a true asset to our team!

New website and virtual tours coming soon

As part of our upgrades programme for this year, we decided it was time to give our website a complete overhaul. With the assistance of our fantastic external marketing consultant team, we look forward to launching our new, modern and user-friendly site in the next few months. 

Wonderful new additions to the website will be our very own virtual tours and 360 degree images of both the hotel and our golf course. Thank you to Stef van Vuuren from Stef’s Photography and Drone Services who came all the way from the UK to assist us in making this a reality. We are so looking forward to receiving all his stunning content and cannot wait to share it all with you!

Spoil mom or dad this Mother’s or Father’s Day

Give mom a break this Mother’s Day weekend from 6th to 8th May 2022 and get an incredible 25% discount off rack rates, plus R200 off per person for a 15-minute scenic helicopter flip and a 20% discount off a 60 or 90 minute Aromatherapy or Hot Stone massage.

Discounted rates from R1355 per adult per night and R435 per child (4-12 years) per night, inclusive of all meals. 

Min 2-night stay.T’s & C’s apply

Show your Dad how much he means to you this Father’s Day long weekend from 15th to 19th June and receive R200 off per person for a 15-minute scenic helicopter flip and a free round of 9 hole walking golf. 

 Limited availability so book soon before you miss out!

Golf Club Champs 2022
a massive success

Club Champs 2022 was a huge success. As always, the members arrived with much excitement. The returning players know that these clubs champs are always played in a competitive spirit; however, this year everyone was in ‘golf tour’ mode.

Albert and his team presented the course extremely well, with rough much more playable this year and the green running at a faster pace. It is great that one can often see the eland moving across the slopes while enjoying a beer with competitors after the game.

A place at club champs has become hot property and it is important for members to enter as soon as the entries open to avoid disappointment.

Thanks to Bruce Botes for once again making sure that the players were made to feel welcome and that the food and beverages were all well organised.

The top of the leaderboards were as follows:
Men’s Champion – Frikkie Janse van Rensburg Jr
Ladies Champion – Friedel Sipsma
B Division – Ruan van der Venter
C Division – Fanie Greyling

Well done to our club champions. The fun and spirit of the weekend was incredible thanks to the players. We look forward to welcoming everyone back next year!
Yours in golf,

Matthew Mayo –
Cathedral Peak Golf Club Chairman

Protecting our local fauna in partnership with the Owl Box Project

We are always looking for new ways in which to improve the environmentally friendly ethos of our hotel. In February, we were delighted to host the Owl Box Project team who conducted various surveys and provided us with a recommendation report on the potential of installing owl boxes on the property. 

Based on their findings, we are proud to announce our new partnership with Owl Box Project. This project aims to improve the breeding and rehabilitation of urban owl species. They also focus on educating the public on the importance that owls play in our environment. In support of this incredible project we have successfully installed 2 owl boxes on our property and hope to see some occupants soon. 

The first box is designed to attract Barn Owls, a species known for predating rodents. We are currently not aware of any Barn Owls residing on our property which is unusual for the Drakensberg area. We hope that this Owl House will encourage a pair to settle here. 

The second box is designed for the more commonly seen and heard Spotted Eagle Owl. These can often be observed on the road leading up to the hotel at night and heard in the trees going down to the car park and near our Executive Suites. These owls are the most common species in South Africa and predate on rodents, avian, bats and snakes.

What a privilege it is to be involved in this project and we hope our guests will enjoy following this journey with us.

Celebrating trees this Arbor Day

150 years ago, a Nebraska newspaper editor with a passion for trees created Arbor Day, and today, people across the world celebrate the day by planting trees and fighting to protect our natural environment. 100 years later, the Arbor Foundation was formed, and in the last 5 decades they have planted and distributed nearly 500 million trees in more than 50 countries across the globe – and they’re just getting started.

This cause is close to our hearts, and we are delighted to take part in the 150th Arbor Day this year. The tree we chose to plant is an indigenous Dais Cotinifolio, one of our favourites, which is more commonly known as the pompom tree.

The Cathedral Peak Hotel Story

Almost 83 years since our opening, ‘The Grand Old Lady of the Berg’ has many a story to tell and many a memory to share.

Adalbert Walter Glöckner van der Riet, fondly known as Albert, was the third son born to Philip and Frieda on 2nd January 1902. Albert came from a long line of pioneers, with the first van der Riet arriving in the Cape in 1752. His forebearers had lived in Switzerland and fled to Amsterdam, changing their name from Von Reth to van der Riet. 

His father, Philip, owned 3 farms beyond Bergville: Oliviers Hoek, Olivia and The Bend. As a result, Albert and his 7 siblings knew the Drakensberg area well, having camped and hunted here during the 1920s. Albert purchased the farm ‘Enon’ (now owned by Sappi), situated just after turning into the road towards Emmaus. As Albert’s eyes played over the valley in front of him, he saw a vision of a secluded hotel that would be closer to the mountains than any other hotel at the time – and so our story begins…

The Cathedral Peak valley was originally farmed by one Izak Buys, from the Free State. He acquired the land in 1907 on a 25-year lease at sixpence an acre. A small sandstone farmhouse was built which he used during the drier months when he moved his flocks of sheep from the Free State into the Cathedral area for better grazing. 

When Albert heard that Izak had allowed his lease to lapse in 1935, he approached his father Philip to ask if he could purchase the 1500 acres. Izak agreed to sell the farm for 1288 pounds. 

Albert gave up farming “Enon” and moved to the small farmhouse with his first wife Helen Marssas and their two daughters, Irene and Helga. With the financial support of his father, the development of the early buildings began in 1936 – and so our story continues with the birth of the hotel…

Take a dip in a mountain stream

One of the best rewards of a mountain walk is a dip in a cool, bubbling stream. Blue Pools in the Tseketseke Valley is a truly special destination – well worth the 90-minute walk to get there. You’ll be treated to spectacular views of the Drakensberg escarpment, including Cleft Peak and the sheer wall of the uMlambonja Buttress, and smaller peaks like the Pyramid and Mount Helga (named after William’s sister). 

This popular walk is relatively level, so it’s perfect for a family outing. Bring your kids along and enjoy the fresh mountain air, crystal clear streams and breathtaking views. 

Keep a look out on our Entertainment boards as this hike will be forming part of our guided walks as of this year.

Incredible words from our
treasured guests

We are thrilled to continue to receive amazing reviews from our faithful regulars and our many first-timers. Giving our guests an idyllic and enjoyable experience is what we live for, and we look forward to welcoming you back again as soon as possible.

“Because the hotel is so far away from things, the facilities and activities it offers make is possible to not need to leave. For hikers you can do free amazing jokes, from easy to challenging. Children activities were great, view was amazing and the hotel spoilt us with a complimentary anniversary cake as well as a rock art book. Definitely recommended, take the time to find out everything you can do and plan it daily. Will be returning!” 

– ROBSD2022

“After a two year delay finally back at CPH! Standards have been maintained and even improved. Great food, super friendly service and lovely accommodation (ask for room 308) We look forward to visiting again!”

– CHRIS B

Experience the ultimate Drakensberg adventure at discounted rates with these special offers

Autumn Special

Valid 2nd to 31st May ‘22

Adults and kids receive a 25% discount on all accommodation. Discounted rates start from R1355 per adult per night single or sharing and R435 per child (4 -12 years) per night, inclusive of all meals.

Minimum 2-night stay. Includes Mother’s Day Weekend –
6th – 8th May 2022. New bookings only. Full prepayment within 48 hours via EFT only. T&C’s apply.

Winter Special

Valid 1st Jun to 31st Aug ’22,
excl. 15th to 19th Jun and 5th to 9th Aug ’22 

Immerse yourself in breathtakingly beautiful surrounding with a 20% discount off rack rates for adults and 50% off rack rates for children 12 and under, when sharing with an adult.
Discounted rates start from just R1445 per adult per night and R290 per child (4-12 years) per night, inclusive of all meals.

Minimum 2-night stay. New bookings only. Full prepayment
within 48 hours via EFT only. T&C’s apply.

Golden Oldies Special

Valid until 31st October 2022

Enjoy a free round of 9-hole walking golf and join a complimentary guided scenic hike in the mountains, and much more!

Stay 5 nights for R6085 per person (single or sharing) or stay 3 nights for R3825 per person (single or sharing), inclusive of dinner, bed,
breakfast and lunch as well as mid-morning and afternoon tea, coffee and bakes.

Valid for 60s and over only. New bookings only. T’s and C’s apply.

*SOME Photos were taken pre-COVID-19. The hotel complies with the necessary protocols and all staff and guests are required to wear masks in indoor public spaces.

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