Kloppenheim, MpumalangaShort breaks to the country can be disappointing if you end up in an overcrowded village like Dullstroom.
But if you drive a little further you’ll find the Kloppenheim Country Estate Hotel, promising long rambles in open countryside, horse riding, clay pigeon shooting and trout fishing in its six dams, all in splendid isolation. There’s a lovely spa too, offering Italian-inspired treatments. You can even wander around a labyrinth made from low circles of stones, where esoteric guests can try to find themselves.
The clusters of bedrooms and stand-alone houses can accommodate up to 181 people. The entry-level bedrooms in a two-story block all have balconies with glorious views, while the spacious stand-alone units are ideal for self-catering.
I’d recommend ignoring any DIY intentions and going for the treats cooked up in the restaurant instead, like tongue-tingling lamb curry and classics like malva pudding, although sushi is often on the menu too.
The whole hotel is elegant in a sturdy country manor style, with natural stone, huge metal chandeliers, dark red carpets and high ceilings supported by no-nonsense wooden beams.
You can play board games in the expansive lounge or watch the kids leap around on the trampoline and swings. There’s a snug underground bar and a library too, with a silence that suggests the books never get touched because everyone’s gone fishing.
Long terraces are perfect for al fresco dining or sundowners, and steps lead down to an inviting swimming pool.
Details from www.goodersonleisure.co.za/kloppenheim.