On Friday 21 November we headed to a tiny place called Waterval Boven, which is on the way to Nelspruit, not too far from the Kruger National Park. The reason for our trip was to visit the newly renovated Malaga Hotel. We were super excited as we had a full weekend of sports activities waiting for us.
On our arrival we were welcomed by the staff and general manager, Werner Kasdorf with some welcome drinks. Our check-in went as smooth as any high quality hotel check-in service should. Pieter, the front office manager, escorted us to our luxury room that greeted us with some nice amenities.
The room which consisted of a big living area that included a bar fridge to store our drinks and also a sleeper couch, a massive bedroom with king sized bed, full coffee station and full bathroom with bath & shower combo, basin and toilet and an adjacent walking cupboard with enough space for all our clothes and suitcases including a built-in safe. The room also included a plasma flat screen with all the SABC channels as well as selected Dstv sport and movie channels. Both the lounge and bedroom had a big balcony to walk out onto and admire the views of the hotel complex and its massive gardens.
After relaxing for an hour or so the wife went down to the hotel’s Beauticus Country Spa where Chantel treated her with a full-body massage for the next hour. The spa offers a truly exotic experience with the stylish decor and relaxing atmosphere. They offer facial and foot treatments, massage and hand treatments, as well as specialized packages that will make you feel like royalty. The spa therapists will let you leave rejuvenated and relaxed, ready for an unforgettable stay.
Download the Spa pricelist and offerings HERE.
While she was being pampered, I got to learn more about the deep history of the hotel and its surroundings and mostly of all the sports activities in the area. The area well known for its forestry industry is also known for its mountain bike and hiking trails as well as its popular rock climbing destinations. Some other activities nearby also include horseback trails and guided tours to the interesting settlement named Kaapsehoop.
Watching the sun go down and enjoying some nice sundowners we were invited to the hotel’s main dining area where a buffet awaited us made up of traditional South African dishes and desserts.
Set in a relaxed environment with a stylish modern look, the mood was tranquil with great background music to accompany the delicious foods. We are still talking about the delicious vegetable soup and unforgettable homemade bread rolls (Keep an eye on our food section – we managed to sneak out their best ever bread roll recipe). Solly, the food and beverage manager was on his post and always ready to assist with whatever the patrons required. We were fortunate to have the company of an Israeli tour group and got to experience their amazing culture first hand as they joined the beautiful dining room for dinner.
After being wined and dined, it was time to head off to our luxurious room and just relax before our fully planned day on Saturday.
Breakfast left us speechless as we were greeted with an incredible spread and the best croissants and danishes we have had in a long time. With a picnic bag specially created for us by the Chef for our hike to the Waterfall, we set off to enjoy our day filled with amazing adventures, scenery and lots of laughs.
Our first stop was with Mariska and Christo of Kaapsehoop Horse Trails, a peaceful yet fun retreat on the Drakensberg escarpment only 40km from Malaga Hotel. With 30 years of trail riding experience, Christo, a natural horseman, acquired a 17,000 hectare private concession in the Berlin forestry plantation of Komatiland. After a brief introduction we were soon enjoying the soul-reviving adventure of horseback riding even though we had limited riding experience. Safety, comfort and enjoyment are clear priorities, so both beginner riders and experienced riders will quickly feel at ease on well-trained cross-bred home-grown horses. All trail rides are guided with the choice of either a trail saddle or an English-saddle. The trails run through undulating grasslands, pine forests and along the breath taking escarpment with amazing views.
Beside the horseback rides there are other activities also available:
- An hour scenic ride which is suitable for the beginner type as well as the not-so-fit rider, though the experienced rider will also enjoy this ride.
- The two hour ride is for the more experienced rider who rides frequently.
- The 4-6 hour ride is for the experienced rider who rides frequently. A minimum of 4 riders are required.
- For the tiny tots, 6 years and younger, we do lead reign pony rides in and around the stable area, under supervision.
For even more information and rates visit their website today here www.horsebacktrails.co.za
When we got back to base camp, we got welcomed by Leon from Vula Tours; one of South Africa’s many privately owned tour operators. Established in 1996 and operated from Nelspruit as well as Kaapsehoop, their services include guided day tours, tailor-made excursions, tours and safaris in the Kruger National Park, overland tours and transfers from airports.
Leon took us on a guided hike through the Berlin plantation to show us some of the many waterfalls in the area where we then enjoyed the awesome picnic hamper we received from Malaga Hotel. Sitting there, Leon told us of him and his well experienced guides and also gave us great insights to the surrounding area. It was very evident that a visit to the Lowveld with Vula Tours will be memorable.
Visit their website for more info on everything they do here at www.vulatours.com
Another great activity that the area is known for is rock climbing, something the wife and I aren’t really into. However if you are into some serious adrenaline rushes then best you visit www.rocrope.com and what they offer and for some hardcore adventures in the area.
Back at the hotel we discovered the mountain bikes that they have made available for the patrons to make use of to explore the grounds and surrounding trails. It’s a nice relaxing ride and it caters for both beginners and pros with different trails of intensity and technical ability.
We also learnd about there amazing conference facilities that caters for small to large groups. Malaga offers everything for a corporate getaway from the usual city life with all the facilities available.
That evening we were treated to a set menu with a three course meal that would make any King proud with some great wines that accompanied the food.
As they say all good things come to an end and that was sadly the case on Sunday morning when we had to pack our bags and head back to the hustle and bustle of city life.
To Werner and his amazing team we want to wish you all the best in making a massive success of the Malaga Hotel and may your venue become the original “halfway house” to the Lowveld it was always intended to be.
To visit this wonderful hotel and enjoy all the activities around it, log onto their website here www.malaga.co.za and to get more information or make a booking feel free to mail them on firstname.lastname@example.org .
Their contact numbers are:
Tel: 013 257 5300
Fax: 013 257 5315
Physical address: Malaga Hotel, N4, Sycamore, Waterval Boven, Mpumalanga, 1195