Cathedral Peak Hotel
Impression upon arrival
We recently returned to the Hotel after not having visited for some time. We wondered if any major changes or developments had taken place. With great excitement we drove through to the resort leaving Durban the trip takes approximately two and a half hours (250 km from Durban and 400 km from Johannesburg). The latter part of the journey does require you to drive slowly as you make your way through a densely rural development and rather steep road that wind its way through to the resort.
Arriving at the reception there is a constant flurry of activity with people arriving and departing. Limited parking is available at the drop off area for your car to park while you check in. After addressing confusion around our booking we completed our check in which by all accounts is a bit of a non-event with no real sense of arrival. Porters were dispatched to assist us with our luggage as were wondered through various areas of the hotel to finally arrive at our rooms. The hotel first opened in 1939 to the public, and parts of the old hotel are visible. As the hotel has grown they have added on what appears to be a piecemeal basis.
There is a variety of accommodation types available from a standard thatch room, standard room, standard inter leading room, superior room, executive honeymoon room and presidential suite. The overall look and feel of the décor in all the rooms is a bit dated, which does not support the tariff rate.
We stayed in the superior room offering, which had been updated since our previous stay and whilst much improved, still could have offered so much more. There is no air conditioning in the rooms only a standard celling fan which in the height of summer provides scant relief. The outlook from the rooms does not take advantage of the mountain views rather one looks over the valley and the design and close proximity of the rooms means that you view the roof of the room in front of you.
Lunch is not included in the daily tariff unlike other Berg resorts which for a normal family would increase the overall costs. The rules stating that children under a certain age are not permitted to eat in the dining room after seven, is not enforced and we experienced many noisy and crying children in the dining room way after 7.00 pm, whilst this is a family hotel more thought needs to be given to this aspect. They do offer a children's dining room which does not appear to be very child friendly and is very sparse and not particularly warm. They do offer a variety of children’s activities during the school holidays to give the parents a chance to relax and unwind.
Breakfasts and dinners are a large scale berg buffet offering a wide range of home cooked food. During peak season one gets the sense that a large number of semi-skilled staff are hired, with many seemingly a bit lost in taking and understanding your order. There is a large variety of food on offer and certainly there is no reason for one to go hungry.
Location and Activities
The location of the hotel being physically located close to the mountains with accompanying walks has good appeal for both the serious hikers and those just looking for a leisurely walk. The swimming pool area in peak season does get rather full.
There is a games room, gym with steam bath. Two bars are available Harry’s Bar and Albert’s Cocktail Bar. Daily guided walks from the hotel are available, horse and pony rides, archery, tennis squash and bowls. Fly fishing, quad biking, helicopter rides and adventure golf is available. Adventure golf on the grounds of the hotel is available for the family, while a nine hole golf course is available along the road.
Whilst Wi-Fi is on offer the service is slow and labored due to the hotels remote location.