I love to travel, by now my regular readers will know that it is no secret at all, and sometimes it’s just a change of scenery that is enough to give you that “rested and relaxed” feeling we all crave so much. It doesn’t always need to involve planes and passports, and given my hectic schedule I am always a fan of a local escape that just gives me that feeling of getting out of the city and isn’t too far away.

I was intrigued to recently get to visit The Cradle Boutique Hotel, which is the latest addition to the Cradle Nature Reserve, located really close to the Cradle of Humankind. Close to Lanseria airport and about 30 minutes drive from Johannesburg, this is certainly a must visit for those seeking some much needed R&R.

This luxury hotel boasts sixteen luxury “hip-eco” timber and thatch rooms and also a beautiful Owners Cottage. All rooms have private viewing decks, which lets you enjoy the opportunity of watching the spectacular African landscape uninterrupted, and are all fitted with air-con, en-suite bathrooms, plasma T.V., DStv, laptop safes, mini-bar fridges, hairdryers, complimentary guest amenities, tea and coffee making facilities and free WI-FI.

Coffee on the deck in the morning looking at the stunning view was an experience that I will never forget. The hotel also plays home to a 220 seater restaurant, and a variety of different sized conference venues with unparalleled views of the majestic Highveld, and also makes for an ideal wedding venue! A pop up art gallery makes it’s appearance regularly, so do check in with the hotel on booking as to what will be going on during your stay!

If you stay at the hotel you also get to take part in some amazing adventures such as being treated to on-site private guided safaris, officiated by specialist guides, to two major fossil exploration sites – Gladysvale and Malapa, in partnership with world-renowned paleo-anthropologist, Prof Lee Berger. Guided game drives and game walks can be arranged – in advance booking is required however to secure a spot for this “bucket list” experience.

The Cradle Restaurant is utterly magnificent with it’s high ceiling and extensive outdoor seating, with retractable glass and steel doors that literally let the outside in. Its long, wide verandah provides diners with a 180° view of the game-filled valley below, the rolling Magaliesberg hills, and the vast African sky. A well-stocked wine cellar and bar, plus private dining rooms, add to the facilities on offer.

The restaurant is made for long, lazy lunches, drinks, and dinner at the end of the work week. You’re also able to take a splendid picnic lunch away with you in a basket (complete with an ice bucket to keep your drinks cold) and sit in a grassy patch in the shade of the white Stinkwood trees next to the Motsetse stream.

A versatile and unique venue, with some of the most breath taking views I have seen in ages, just outside of the city – I cannot wait to return to visit again.

Find out more about The Cradle Boutique Hotel here…

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