“There is just something about driving through the entrance gates and down the tree-lined alley. It sucks the stress right out of you” says Jules Minton, the General Manager at Fordoun Hotel and Spa.

Imagine with me, if you will, a lane lined by plane trees awash with thousands of leaves in varying hues of autumn. Tarred pullout sections clearly indicate this to be a relaxing area for visitors as they drive in.

(I see it also features quite prominently on Instagram accounts). As you pause here to take in this natural beauty, you begin to feel that you can exhale and enjoy the moment.

Fordoun trees

Welcome to Fordoun Hotel and Spa

Fordoun Hotel and Spa along with well frequented Skye Restaurant were built in and around the original 1860’s settler homestead and surrounding structures of the cattle sheds, garages, dairy and managers house. 

Incorporating history into the design and layout of this 5 Star establishment is important to the owners. This is achieved by the incorporation of materials from original buildings, such as Yellowwood and Sneezewood that have been retained and restored in beams of the ceilings of lounges and luxurious rooms.  

After a welcoming check-in process, I take a golf cart ride to my luxury mountain facing suite. Being a farm-grown girl myself, I can’t help but admire the use of the characteristic Natal red brick of the hotel rooms with surrounding wooden beams and huge barn doors reminiscent of the original farm.

These are all surrounded by well-established trees that seemingly invite nature indoors while reinforcing the healing nature of the environment around you.

Accommodation at Fordoun

Hotel Rooms

The Fordoun Hotel features 14 Luxury Rooms, 5 Superior Mountain Facing Suites and 3 Deluxe Dam Facing Rooms.

My stay was in the enchanting Superior Flower suite. It invites you into a luxurious elegance of a seemingly bygone era, but with the benefit of modern facilities. The comfortable King size bed faces the lounge area which includes reading couches and vintage wingback chairs with cushions in various textures creating a comforting warmth.

Luxury suite wingback chair

There is a dressing room opposite the bathroom, which means you have space to store your luggage, do your make and hair, without cluttering up your space in the room.

Cleverly thought of underfloor heating makes sure you will keep toasty in the cold Winters that this area faces. Thoughtful amenities such as tealight candles and bubble bath make sure that I have a cosy and rather romantic setting for my bath. The attention to detail continues with options of both a spacious indoor or outdoor shower.

Once you have settled in, you can slide into an oversize spa-like dressing gown and lounge on your porch deck chairs appreciating the view, or take up residence on your bed and watch some DSTV if that is more to your liking. You could even plunder the bookshelf for something good to read while you are enjoying your relaxed state.

Self Catering Cottages

I was not even aware that Fordoun had a serviced self-catering option. Managing Director, Richard Bates, tells me that they wanted another guest offering on the farm for families or small groups to be able to get together and enjoy. The village green is the perfect place to enjoy the outdoors and is often found in the throes of a cricket game or picnic. It is ideally located in the centre of the cottages that are furnished with comfortable rooms, a fitted kitchen, fireplace, DSTV and views for days. Children have the opportunity to fit a game of cricket in, visit the dairy, go for walks or try their hand at fishing.

Fordoun mists

There is a growing inclination towards Wellness Tourism in KwaZulu-Natal and the Midlands. It has shown a rise in percentage in the last five years, showing that tourists are interested in taking care of their health and wellness more and more. The nutritious and tasty cuisine at Skye Bistro, trails through the forests, ample grounds for walking and relaxing, the Spa, gym, swimming pools and a tennis court.

The Spa at Fordoun hosts a team of skilled masseurs, Bio-energy specialists and a traditional African Healer to take care of the health of guests.

Spa, glorious spa

The spa once functioned as a dairy where cows were milked with a bucket system.

Now it hosts a modern look and a wide variety of treatments that you can choose from. I highly recommend the Swedish massage to ease out the knots and knobbles that exist in your muscles. The expert fingers of your masseurs will have you floating out on a cloud after your treatment.

There is converted grain silo that now operates as a rest inducing floatation tank where you can experience zero gravity and a mind fuzzing weightlessness. I found myself smiling and eventually discovering that I too can sound like Beyonce if I want to due to the accoustics in the flotation room.

Should you feel the need to exert yourself (which you may want to as part of your relaxation and wellness), alongside the spa lounge is the heated pool where you can swim lengths and a small gym if you feel the need to work out. These all look out on a courtyard where you can sit at a table and drink coffee, tea or chilled water.

Food

Heightened appetites are satisfied by fine gourmet cuisine prepared with seasonal farm produce and the freshest local ingredients in the fine dining restaurant, Skye Bistro.

All this marvelous relaxing and wellness care can work up a major appetite. Luckily for me, Skye Bistro is known to satisfy the most gourmet inclined appetites. Mine, is slightly less fussy, but I really enjoy tasty food. Of all the meals I had, I chose to relax and enjoy most of them in my room. Not for any other reason that I was so relaxed at the time.

The clever combination of big flavours and textures left me feeling well fed and rather like a vitamin bottle, full of nutrients. This is a great way to heal and nuture your body, to eat food that helps your body heal and repair. Well done to Skye Bistro for making such tasty treats that have this very purpose.

Facilities

Conferencing

The Conference centre was originally a tractor shed built by Sir George and Lady Usher in 1950. This has been converted to a Centre used for business conferences, meetings, events and wedding receptions. The hall is subdividable and accommodates up to 120 people.

Fordoun Conference Centre

Weddings

The Chapel seats 100 and has a secluded view of the forests and small dam. A bride getting married here would feel the absolute serenity and be sure to get super photos to be shared after the marriage.

Fordoun Chapel

Events

Fordoun regularly hosts events of varying sizes. The Pool and Tennis court venue which can be booked by prior arrangement for a relaxed afternoon if you are staying at the hotel.

The Chapel can be booked for small business functions as well as the Hall which is useful for conferencing and larger group events.

You can e-mail reservations@fordoun.co.za for further details and bookings.

Activities

Among the activities you can experience at Fordoun are the well known pastoral countryside that surrounds Nottingham Road, fishing dams and 5 and 9 kilometre trails. There are also various pools, the gym, sauna and tennis courts.

You can also visit Nottingham Road, which is about 2 kilometres down the road. Here you can find restaurants, golf, shopping, coffee shops, antiquities and curious, craft drinks and more.

However you choose to maintain or improve your health, there is no denying that Fordoun Hotel and Spa is a superb location to include in your plan. Whether you choose activity, treatments, food or just good country air; Fordoun has it.

You can find out more about their use of local herbal treatments and spa therapies at their spa website. If you want to find out what is on the menu at Skye Bistro, you can visit the website here.

If you want to get in touch with Fordoun Hotel and Spa, you can call on +27 (0) 33 266 6217 or mail reservations@fordoun.co.za. Or visit their website for more information.

This was a sponsored stay. All opinions, as always, are my own.

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