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Our Relaxing Stay At Brahman Hills Hotel

We high tailed it to Brahman Hills Hotel to relax and recharge after three exciting South Africa safari experiences. This KwaZulu Natal Midlands hotel has it all from solid cuisine to a swanky spa.

Brahman Cow at Brahman Hills Hotel in South Africa
Image: ©2foodtrippers

A Brahman Bull greeted us at Brahman Hills in the KZN Midlands. Hey, this is Africa where animals rule the roost.

We’d seen frolicking penguins south of Cape Town and a duck parade in Stellenbosch. So, seeing huge cows grazing next to zebras made perfect sense.

Brahman Hills Hotel Review

Landscape at Brahman Hills Hotel in South Africa
The well-maintained grounds at Brahman Hills are filled with lush vegetation and rolling hills. | Image: ©2foodtrippers

Located on the 1,000-acre Blue Crane Private Reserve, Brahman Hills is the type of hotel that you can only find in South Africa. Animals roam freely on the property, and not just cats and dogs. We’re talking about animals like humongous Brahman cows, striped zebras and sleek, sprightly impalas.

But these friendly beasts are just one aspect of the renovated hotel.

As we came to expect in a South Africa luxury hotel, service and impressive details were everywhere. Brahman Hills is a full-service hotel with 30 rooms, 12 self-catering cottages, a luxury spa, multiple dining options and conference facilities. The hotel’s decor is mod and stylish, and the service is attentive and friendly.

In other words, Brahman Hills was the perfect spot for us to rest and recharge before our final South Africa adventure in Johannesburg.

Our Cottage

Impala Cottage at Brahman Hills Hotel in South Africa
The Impala Cottage was our escape from reality at Brahman Hills. | Image: ©2foodtrippers

We had our doubts when we heard that we were upgraded to a cottage at Brahman Hills. After glamping in the bush, we were looking forward to the creature comforts that are typical in an upscale South Africa hotel.

It’s not that we’re spoiled, but we craved functioning wi-fi (an infrequent feature in South Africa) and a good shower above all else. We’re happy to report that our concerns were completely unfounded – our Impala Cottage had everything we needed and more.

Bed in Impala Cottage at Brahman Hills Hotel in South Africa
Our King bed was decked out with pretty pillows and an electric blanket. | Image: ©2foodtrippers

Our only complaint about staying in the Impala Cottage at Brahman Hills is that we didn’t have enough time to use the cottage’s kitchen. In addition to the loaded kitchen that we didn’t use, the cottage also had a comfy bedroom, fireplace, ensuite bathroom and a heated private jacuzzi.

Jacuzzi at Impala Cottage at Brahman Hills Hotel in South Africa
We made good use of the jacuzzi on our private deck. | Image: ©2foodtrippers

Despite our time constraints related to the kitchen, we found time to use the jacuzzi. Hopefully, we didn’t scare the cows who wandered by our deck while we were submerged in the jacuzzi’s revitalizing bubbling water. As for us, we were too relaxed to care about the unexpected visitors peeking through the glass walls.

Bathroom at Brahman Hills Hotel in South Africa
We enjoyed using the double shower and sinks in our cottage, but we enjoyed the view while brushing our teeth even more. | Image: ©2foodtrippers

The interior of our Impala Cottage was comfortable, filled with features beyond the aforementioned jacuzzi like a flat-screen television, a king bed topped with an electric blanket and a spacious bathroom with double showers. In fact, the cottage was so comfortable that we were tempted to stay in bed all day.

We would have done just that, but the hotel offered temptations like good food and a full-service spa that motivated us to get up and out each morning.

Don’t judge us too harshly for our laziness. After the intensity of nine safari game drives, we relished the quiet downtime that the cottage afforded us. Sure, cows and the occasional impala stopped by for brief visits, but that just added to the experience. Normally, we’re far more socially inclined.

The Spa

Spa Building at Brahman Hills Hotel in South Africa
All aboard! The ship-shaped Spa at Brahman Hills is a must for any visit to the KZN Midlands hotel. | Image: ©2foodtrippers

After three safaris, we didn’t want massages. We needed massages.

Lucky for us, The Spa at Brahman Hills offers massages and so much more. We were tempted to try treatments like the Detox Coffee Glow Body Scrub and the Mineral Bath, but we stuck to our original plan and enjoyed a soothing couples massage that took the edge off our stressed bodies.

Spa at Brahman Hills Hotel in South Africa
Though the decor may be sleek, the focus is all about comfort inside Brahman Hills’ spa. | Image: ©2foodtrippers

As much as we enjoyed the lemongrass oil-fueled couples massage, perhaps the best part of The Spa at Brahman Hills was relaxing in the zen environment. Architecturally resembling a ship with its large circular windows and blue and white decor, this sleek spa is surprisingly chill.

We stayed as long as possible – reclining, sipping cappuccinos and gazing at the rolling green hills through the round windows

Food + Drink

Soup at 89 on Copper in South Africa
This roasted tomato soup is a fine example of the food served at Brahman Hills. The fresh garnish came straight from the hotel’s garden. | Image: ©2foodtrippers

Since our first priority at Brahman Hills was to relax, we were thrilled by the quality of the onsite food options. Not only did we eat well, but we didn’t need to leave the property except when we wanted to explore the area.


French Toast Breakfast at Brahman Hills Hotel in South Africa
We ate every bite of this French Toast served with bacon – except for the edible flower. We’re just not that into eating flowers. | Image: ©2foodtrippers

Served in the Brahman Cafe just off of the main lobby, breakfast is a leisurely affair at the Brahman Hills. Over two mornings, we sampled tasty dishes like French Toast, traditional full English platters, herb omelets and bowls of Bulgarian yogurt so big that we couldn’t finish them.

The breakfast cappuccinos were equally big. Somehow, though, we had no problem finishing the milky pick-me-ups.


Cappuccino at Brahman Hills Hotel in South Africa
Coffee always tastes better when served with a cookie. This cappuccino at Cappuccino was no exception. | Image: ©2foodtrippers

Like a magnet, Cappuccino pulled us right inside within moments of our arrival at Brahman Hills.

Stylishly decorated, this coffee lover’s haven is a comfortable spot to relax with a cup of joe or a crafted espresso beverage. We’re often disappointed by the commodity coffee served at most hotels in South Africa and around the world, but this aptly named cafe made us happy with its coffee drinks and peanut butter cookies.


89 on Copper Dining Room at the Brahman Hills Hotel in South Africa
The creative lighting sets the tone at 89 on Copper, both literally and figuratively. | Image: ©2foodtrippers

We weren’t hungry on our first night at Brahman Hills after stopping in Durban for a late curry lunch – more about that later. However, we made sure to eat light on day two of our visit so that we’d be hungry for the Chef’s Selection 3-course menu at 89 on Copper, the hotel’s chic, subterranean restaurant.

Curry at 89 on Copper in South Africa
This Prawn and Chicken Curry dish hit the spot with its bright Indian flavors. | Image: ©2foodtrippers

Intimate due to a cosy size that can accommodate just over two dozen guests, the 89 on Copper space is illuminated by a range of funky light fixtures and candles. Though we usually prefer to dine in well-lit spaces, we enjoyed the romantic atmosphere at this restaurant.

Lamb Chops at 89 on Copper in South Africa
The restaurant’s substantial Lamb Chops main course came with herbaceous mint sauce. Not wanting to miss a drop, we dipped the chips into the sauce once the chops were gone. | Image: ©2foodtrippers

The food at 89 on Cooper isn’t dainty as one might fear based on the chichi atmosphere. Instead, dishes like the flavorful prawn and chicken curry feel completely ‘of place’ considering the popularity of Indian food in nearby Durban.

Dessert at 89 on Copper in South Africa
Dessert always tastes better with homemade ice cream. | Image: ©2foodtrippers

Even better, the culinary team incorporates fresh vegetables and herbs plucked from the hotel’s onsite gardens whenever possible. And we’ll never complain about dessert served with house-made ice cream – that would just be wrong.

Pro Tip
Arrive early for your dinner reservation at 89 on Copper and enjoy a drink at Copper, the restaurant’s adjoining bar.

Nearby Attractions

Zebra at Brahman Hills Hotel in South Africa
Exploring Brahman Hills is an activity in itself thanks to resident animals like this gorgeous zebra. | Image: ©2foodtrippers

Let’s be clear – there’s no need to leave Brahman Hills during a weekend visit. Beyond the relaxing spa and jacuzzis, the hotel also has kilometers of walking trails fit for all activity levels. However, should you want to do more, we recommend the following activities:

Transportation And Logistics

Consider the following when you plan your stay at Brahman Hills:

Getting To Brahman Hills

Located just off of the N3 highway, Brahmans Hills is an easy hour-and-a-half drive from Durban and a slightly longer four-hour drive from Johannesburg.

The driving distance from Cape Town is closer to 15 hours, making flying an attractive option.

The nearest airport is in Durban should you choose to fly instead of drive.

Indian Curry at Seabelle in Durban South Africa
If you drive through Durban on your way to Brahman Hills, be sure to stop at Seabelle Restaurant for a curry lunch. | Image: ©2foodtrippers

We highly recommend a pit stop at Seabelle Restaurant in Tongaat, a Durban suburb. We ate so much delicious Durban style curry during our visit at the coastal restaurant, that we skipped dinner.

This local favorite serves curries with prawns, crayfish, chicken, mutton and vegetables in a unique bright red curry that features tomatoes and a spice blend that is unique to South Africa. Servings are generous and prices are reasonable – a perfect combination.


Rates vary based on the selected room or cottage. Our cottage cost 2,090 Rand (approximately $160 USD) during our visit. This cost did not include meals, though the cottage came equipped with tea and coffee.

When To Plan Your Visit

The climate in KwaZulu Natal is temperate throughout the year, so any time is a good time to visit Brahman Hills.

Consider the warmer summer months if you want longer days for exploring the area.

Or, you may prefer the winter months if you want to snuggle by the fireplace or under the electric blanket.

Book Your Brahman Hills Hotel Stay

Planning Checklist

Hungry For More In South Africa?

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About the Authors

Daryl and Mindi Hirsch

Saveur Magazine’s BEST TRAVEL BLOG award winners Daryl and Mindi Hirsch share their culinary travel experiences and recipes on the 2foodtrippers website. Since launching the site in 2012, they’ve traveled to over 40 countries in their quest to bring readers a unique taste of the world.


Article Updates
We update our articles regularly. Some updates are major while others are minor link changes and spelling corrections. Let us know if you see anything that needs to be updated in this article.

We thank Brahman Hills for hosting us to facilitate this article.

Original Publication Date: August 27, 2017


Wednesday 27th of September 2017

Excellent article! Your post makes me visit this hotel.Keep sharing.

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