Impression on Arrival
Our adventure to Lythwood Lodge was a last minute impromptu one, we had heard rumours of some snow in the berg over the weekend and we had a very vague plan to go and find it over the weekend. On Friday evening we were still at home in Durban so we decided that the berg was a bit far and we would see if there was snow in the Midlands. We woke up early on Saturday to find reports that there was a possibility that snow was going to fall on Saturday evening in the Mooi River and Nottingham Road area and decided we were heading for the Midlands. After a little bit of calling around Lythwood Lodge confirmed they had accommodation in one of their self-catering cottages, so the trip was on. After a bit of shopping for supplies, we were on our way by about 11am and arrived safely at Lythwood Lodge at around 2pm after stopping for some lunch at Piggly Wiggly.
Part of what we love so much about travelling is getting away from the hustle and bustle of the city and getting away from people. We love off the beaten track locations but in saying that, Lythwood Lodge is by no means difficult to get to - a 10 minute trip down a well graded gravel road leads to the hotel. We must mention at this point that a normal car would not have any trouble getting to Lythwood Lodge. By the time we arrived at reception the temperature on the car thermometer read a cool 7 degrees Celsius, very cold for KZN even in the winter, and here is where the magic started. As we entered the reception area the warmth of a roaring log fire welcomed us, after a very short and efficient check in by a friendly staff member we were handed a Champaign glass of warm sweet hot chocolate. We must stop at this point and mention that of all the "welcome drinks" we have been presented with on our travels, this by far is at the top of our list, and thus the arrival we experienced at Lythwood Lodge is one of the best we have experienced yet.
We drove down to cottage number 22 and were blown away when we stood inside. The self-catering cottage has a very generously sized kitchen and dining area, leading onto a lounge area. The lounge has a large fireplace and TV, through a set of sliding doors a small covered veranda houses a built in braai under which a large stash of firewood is stored.
The cottage had two en suite bedrooms leading off opposite ends of the dining area, one made up as a double bed and the other with two single beds. The bathroom had a bath and shower, heated towel rails and a heater in the bathroom, it was also spotlessly clean.
Both bedrooms as well as the lounge/dining area have installed wall panel heaters, which did an excellent job keeping us warm and the beds are fitted with electric blankets. All in all, the room was fantastic, one of the best laid out cottages we have stayed in. It was very clean, well-stocked with everything we needed and everything worked.
Our stay was perhaps a little quiet in the sense that we just relaxed, ate and enjoyed a well deserved glass of wine, having escaped the hustle and bustle of busy city life. We had packed all our own food so didn’t make use of the hotel restaurant but next time for sure we will give it a try. Due to the cold and rainy weather we were quite content snuggled up inside with a good book, fire going and a blanket.
Let it snow
To our delight we woke up on Sunday morning to what looked like rain - upon closer inspection it looked as if it was floating to the ground as opposed to falling. We soon realised it had started to snow and rushed outside with great excitement. Perfect snowflakes were floating magically to the ground and the snow was starting to gather in patches - within half an hour the hill behind the lodge was covered in snow as was our car. Not wanting to get stuck and wanting to avoid the traffic we knew was coming, we decided to pack up and take a slow drive back home to Durban.
Lythwood Lodge turned out to be a true hidden gem in the Midlands. We have often driven past the sign, and have certainly heard about it, but for some reason had never managed to stay. Well we can confidently say that our experience was first class. We would love to come back, hopefully when the weather is a bit better, for photographic purposes of course, and we look forward to testing out the hotel dining room.