A cosy spot next to a fireplace can be a good way to soak up the winter wonderland around you...
A cosy spot next to a fireplace can be a good way to soak up the winter wonderland around you...
...or you can tackle the suspended obstacle course.
...or you can tackle the suspended obstacle course.
There are spectacular views.
There are spectacular views.
Come rain or shine, Cayley Mountain Resort in the central Drakensberg, overlooking the Cathkin Peak and Sterkhorn ranges, has arguably the best views of the extended Drakensberg range.

We had it good. The sheer mountainous beauty and upmarket, luxurious facilities made it a holiday to remember. You can easily see why this is such a popular resort.

After check-in and a welcoming cocktail, we took a short drive to our three-suite villa overlooking the Bell Parkview Dam and walked into the most amazing open plan gourmet kitchen and lounge, lit the fire, and our wonderful weekend began.

Our foodie “chef” friend was so excited, noting the superb lighting and design features, granite tops, Bosch appliances. With a big family table, it was very comfortable and tasteful.

Our big bedrooms were fully equipped with baths and showers, hairdryers, heaters, electric blankets and TV sets.

On our veranda, the Jacuzzi and braai gave us ideas of a sunset cocktail party. We could see a few late afternoon fishermen on the shores of the lake below, and a boat moving, but the cold soon had us back inside to get cosy by the fire and relax in the peace and quiet and admire our surroundings.

We never even used the big flat-screen TV.

Although we had self-catering with everything we needed, we popped into the Bell and Whistle restaurant upstairs in the main building. From there we watched people enjoying putt-putt and lawn chess next to a selection of pools and water features, loungers and umbrellas, with a good children’s dome within view of watchful mothers.

Downstairs we could see the Body Bliss Spa area with a steam bath, facials, treatment packages and massages. It would be busy on a chilly weekend.

The warm, inviting restaurant also had a separate, well patronised bar with well-priced drinks.

Bypassing the stir-fry specials for the night, my friends went for delicious steak, egg and chips while I opted for an amazing tramezzini, so light, well-filled, tasty and crispy. Well done, chef Leon.

After a dreamy foam bath, I was soon in dreamland under a toasty electric blanket.

I was lucky to catch an early morning magical glimpse of a snow-covered peak through a hole in the clouds, but soon crawled back under my blankets.

After a late, lazy breakfast, we wandered through the well managed estate, while staff saw to our unit.

There is tennis and a great obstacle course suspended from trees, go-karts and quad bikes.

We strolled down a garden path to the new zip-line and abseil section to take in the dam, sharing a laugh on the way with a happy father enjoying the huge jumping pillow as much as his son.

Several places nearby are worth a visit, especially the daily educational and spectacular raptor bird show on the way to the home of the Drakensberg Boys Choir, hiking trails at Monks Cowl, canopy tours at the Drakensberg Sun, chocolate tastings, a honey shop and the Valley Bakery.

It’s no wonder the timeshare development is booming at Cayley, part of the Beekman Managed Portfolio.

The day ended all too early as the clouds took on a dark blue-grey hue, with a promise of snow.

The next morning, lying in bed with the curtains open, we could have been in the Alps. It was so quiet and beautiful, with thick white snow stretching along the mountain range.

We could even see reflections in the glassy, still waters of the dam and turned into keen photographers.

Often we would go onto the veranda to look at some new part of the changing scenery, even clouds floating below our deck.

That this was the place to be was evident from the number of cars and the smoke from chimneys.

After a quick visit to the well-stocked shop for extra bread and hot porridge, we ate breakfast near our own cosy chimney, chatting about how much more time we wanted to spend there.

Call 0364681222 or visit http://cayleyresort.co.za