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Purple Sunset - Walkersons Hotel & Spa

Walkersons Hotel and Spa – The Perfect Post Safari Destination

In Hotels, South Africa by Daryl & Mindi Hirsch0 Comments

Looking for the perfect post safari destination in South Africa? See why Walkersons Hotel and Spa fits the bill.

Purple Sunset - Walkersons Hotel & Spa

Our two-day safari in Kruger Park left us physically and mentally exhausted.

Experiencing a luxury African safari was a life-changing highlight of our South Africa dream vacation with its epic animal sightings and fabulous accommodations. However, we spent tens of hours driving to get there, plus the 5:00 am wake-up calls were really early. Don’t get us wrong – we’re not complaining. Still, we needed a couple days to replenish our depleted energy before we headed to our third South Africa safari experience. After all, we were still on the hunt for the elusive lion to bring our Big Five mission to completion.

With all this in mind, we headed to Walkersons Hotel & Spa seeking a peaceful spot to rest, recoup and recover.

Lounge Chairs - Walkersons Hotel & Spa

After a breakneck travel schedule, Walkersons Hotel and Spa allowed us to relax with a beautiful view of the autumnal South African landscape.

Located just 10 kilometers from Dullstroom South Africa, Walkersons is a full-service hotel situated on a stunning bucolic property that was previously owned and operated as a farm by the Walkers and later shared amongst the sons. Hence the name Walkersons. The family property became a hotel in 1933 with less than a dozen rooms. Fast forward to the present – the hotel has expanded to include 27 suites and six self-catering lodges as well as a full-service spa, conference facilities and top-notch kitchen.

Walkersons Hotel and Spa Review

Walkersons Hotel & Spa

Walkersons Hotel and Spa is a stately five-star hotel on the outskirts of Dullstroom South Africa.

We knew we were in for a treat as soon as we passed through the Walkersons gate. Winding roads led us past the hotel’s spa and helicopter landing spot, eventually taking us to the grand hotel. As expected with a luxury hotel like Walkersons, hotel staff immediately greeted and cheerfully escorted us to our suite.

Our Suite

Suite - Walkersons Hotel & Spa

Our Lakeside suite lived up to its name with a front-row view of the lake.

Fireplace - Walkersons Hotel & Spa

Lakeview suite features include a fireplace and flatscreen television.

A  Lakeside suite provided a comfortable base for our two-day respite from safari adventures. The suite offered all of the amenities that we love except for one – wi-fi. Due to its geographic location, Walkersons only provides wi-fi in the main lodge. 

Despite the lack of wi-fi, we were comfortable in the Lakeview suite with its ensuite bathroom, fireplace, queen bed, minibar and flat-screen television. For us, though, the suite’s highlight was its private deck with a front row view of the lake. Though the Steenkampsberg Mountains rudely blocked the view of the sun rising and setting each day, these mountains couldn’t obscure the view of the sky bursting into a colorful array twice daily with the gorgeous purples reflected in the hotel’s small lake directly behind the guest quarters.

Our suite cost 2,250 Rand per person per night (approximately $170 USD)  at the time of our visit. This rate includes breakfast, dinner and taxes. It does not include lunch, beverages, phone usage, laundry and gratuities.

Pro Tip:  Consider renting a mobile wi-fi unit if you need to be connected at all times. Better yet, enjoy the break from constant connectivity. That’s what we did.

Hotel Facilities

Lounge - Walkersons Hotel & Spa

A visit to the main lodge at Walkersons is like taking a step back in time.

Visiting Walkersons is like stepping back into time – a time when people slowed down and stopped to smell the roses. The main lodge offers a plethora of nooks and crannies where visitors can curl up in the evening with a good book or an aperitif. Renovated in 2016, the hotel is surprisingly modern despite the classic decor.

Walkersons Spa

Amani Spa Massage Room - Walkersons Hotel & Spa

Walkersons Spa is a great spot for a couples massage like the one we needed after a breakneck safari schedule.

After four game drives (actually five if you count the one during our first safari experience), we didn’t want a massage. We needed a massage. 

Just a short walk from the hotel’s main lodge building, Walkersons Spa fulfilled our back rub needs and desires. Open for 12 years, the spa is an absolute must for all visitors. This spa offers a full range of services including an excellent couples massage which is the service that we enjoyed during our visit.

Pool

Pool - Walkersons Hotel & Spa

Why not take a dip in the Walkersons pool? The view is spectacular.

Sadly, we must include the pool at Walkersons on our shameful list of pools that we did not use during our South Africa Odyssey. Though we didn’t swim in the pool, we enjoyed looking at it and taking photos of its reflective water.

Activities

Activities - Walkersons Hotel & Spa

You can be as active as you want at Walkersons, even if your idea of activity is going on a picnic.

Though Walkersons provides an ideal environment for pure relaxation, the hotel has plenty of activities for guests looking for a more energetic holiday. These activities include hiking, mountain biking, golf and fly fishing. As it turns out, nearby Dullstroom is the rainbow trout capital of South Africa. Who knew?!

Dining

Rainbow Trout - Walkerson' Hotel & Spa

Since Dullstroom is the rainbow trout capital of South Africa, it would be a shame to not eat trout at least once at Walkersons.

Our first priority was to eat rainbow trout at Walkersons considering the hotel’s proximity to the popular freshwater fish. Though trout is not indigenous to the area, the mild climate has turned Dullstroom into a veritable trout destination. But trout was just the start of our food journey at Walkersons.

The Flying Scotsman Restaurant

The Flying Scotsman Restaurant - Walkersons Hotel & Spa

The Flying Scotsman Restaurant is appropriate for a dinner with a romantic partner or four of your favorite female friends.

To us, a key part of relaxing means not having to drive to dinner, especially when the roads are winding and dark. That’s one of the main reasons we chose to eat two dinners at Walkersons’ on-site upscale restaurant. The other reason was the quality of the food prepared by Chef Adri van Wieringen and the Walkersons culinary team.

Starter
Soup - Walkersons Hotel & Spa

Topped with herb cream, this vegetable soup, almost more of a pea or lentil soup, started our fine, relaxing meal at Walkersons.

For our first dinner, we went all out with the elegant restaurant’s multi-course menu. We both started our meal with vegetable soup topped with herb cream. We were initially surprised by the lentil stock since we wrongly expected more of a tomato base, but the surprise quickly turned to satisfaction as we scraped every last soup drop out of our bowls.

Main Course
Dinner - Walkersons Hotel & Spa

We rarely say no to duck. It’s a bonus when it’s prepared with potato croquettes and a blueberry thyme jus.

We diverged with our main course selections. Though we enjoyed the chef’s take on Braised Pork Belly served with potato Lyonnaise and veggies, we preferred the Crispy Duck served with potato croquettes and topped with blueberry thyme jus.

Dessert
Dessert - Walkersons Hotel & Spa

Amarula tasted as good in this Panna Cotta as it did in our coffee during our safari game drives.

All good things must come to an end. Such was the case with our tasting menu at The Flying Scotsman. We skipped the cheese for van Wieringen’a Amarula Panna Cotta served with tropical fruit. We couldn’t resist trying the sweet dessert option made with Amarula, the South African cream liqueur that we discovered during our safaris.

Pro Tip:  Select a bottle of vintage wine from the hotel’s wine cellar unless you prefer a South Africa wine tasting with your meal.

The Terrace

The Terrace - Walkersons Hotel & Spa

The Terrace may offer a more casual experience, but the dining room is truly lovely especially when the lodge doors are opened to reveal the hotel’s pastoral landscape.

The hotel’s second restaurant, The Terrace, offers a more casual dining experience. This restaurant features a lighter menu as well as spectacular views of the hotel grounds and lake.

Breakfast
Breakfast - Walkersons Hotel & Spa

You won’t be hungry after this smoked trout eggs benedict breakfast at Walkersons.

There’s no better way to begin a day at Walkersons than with a leisurely breakfast at The Terrace. This hotel restaurant starts the most important meal of the day with fresh fruit, locally procured fruit yogurt, hot oats with whiskey, cereal and pastries. And that’s just the start of the meal. If your stomach can handle it, main courses include made-to-order dishes like Eggs Benedict, Eggs Royale, Omelettes and Whiskey Fried Kippers.

Pro Tip:  Let the hotel staff know if you are leaving early on your day of departure. They can prepare a delightful picnic breakfast for you to take on the road like they did for us.

Lunch
Lunch - Walkersons Hotel & Spa

The best part of lunch at Walkersons is dining al fresco – that and the food.

Assuming you have an appetite after eating a big breakfast, The Terrace serves typical fare like salads and sandwiches for lunch as well as more substantial options incorporating seafood and trout. Ironically, Walkersons also serves an authentic Linguine Puttanesca. As it turns out, the hotel is a popular stop for Italian tourists.

Nearby Attractions

Orange Sunset - Walkersons Hotel & Spa

Dusk at Walkersons, like most of South Africa, is a magical time of day.

There’s plenty to do near Walkersons if you’re feeling adventurous. Here are some of the fun things that we plan to do during our next visit:

The Walkersons staff can assist you in planning any or all of these off-site activities.

Transportation and Logistics

Though locals often make trips from Johannesburg and Pretoria to spend long weekends at Walkersons, the hotel is also a great destination for tourists en route to or from a safari at Kruger National Park. Here’s the skinny on how and when to visit:

Landing Strip - Walkersons Hotel & Spa

Traveling by helicopter? Walkersons has you covered.

Getting to Walkersons Hotel & Spa

Walkersons is halfway on the drive between Johannesburg and Kruger Park just off the N4 highway. Other than driving, flying is also an option thanks to the hotel’s landing strip and helipad.

When to Plan Your Visit

Though the annual weather is mild in the Mpumalanga Highlands, the shoulder seasons of spring and summer are particularly ideal in terms of temperature and precipitation.


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We thank Walkersons Hotel & Spa for hosting us to facilitate this article.

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Most Recent Update: Oct 9, 2017 @ 9:44 am

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