making and evoking memories

A gem of a holiday resort, harking back to the glory days of this writer’s childhood
By Catherine Pate

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As a child, I grew up in KwaZulu-Natal and we spent many of our family holidays at the myriad of resorts dotted around the Drakensberg Mountains, the South Coast and, a bit further afield, the Wild Coast, or Transkei as it was known in those days.
I remember running wild in these places with so much to do, swimming till I felt as though I were floating, playing “mashie golf”, riding bikes and horses, spending hours in the games room, making friends with the other children and generally never feeling bored while staying out of my parents’ hair.
Now, as an adult with a family of my own, living in the Western Cape, I crave that kind of holiday destination – the one-stop-shop, so to speak – where you can park the car and don’t have to get back into it until it is time to go home. With all your needs taken care of as you unwind and relax while the children have a ball. And, the greatest blessing, not having to hear “there is nothing to do.” (My children can complain of being bored while sitting on the beach – true story.)
The Western Cape doesn’t have many destinations that bear resemblance to the holiday resorts of my youth – but we were lucky to discover one on Cape Town’s doorstep. And, we spent a blissful few days there at the beginning of the school holidays.
A children’s paradise
Piekenierskloof Mountain Resort is situated at the top of the Piekenierskloof pass near Citrusdal. It enjoys a phenomenal view over the valley looking out above the town of Citrusdal. But aside from the views and the family-friendly accommodation offered in the main hotel as well as in the beautifully appointed three-bedroom self-catering chalets, Piekenierskloof Resort provided my children with constant entertainment. From putt-putt, zip lining, and a giant chess set to trampolines, a jungle gym, swings, a games room, and last, but certainly not least, a massive outdoor swimming pool (where you can recline poolside with a cocktail while soaking up the views and watching the children) and a heated indoor swimming pool that was a hit with my brood, this resort offered it all.
Of course, we could have also done hiking and mountain biking, but these activities seemed a bit too ambitious at the time for my exhausted (read lazy) self.
The Kloof Restaurant inside the hotel serves great food and has a good, varied kiddies menu. The extensive buffet breakfast is a must – we scoffed ourselves silly on the fresh fruit and pastries (a family favourite).
There is a well-stocked bar right alongside the restaurant – complete with slush puppies on tap for the younger family members – and drinks are served by the pool. Alternatively, you can relax on the bar and restaurant terrace, which looks out over the pool area and down the valley. If you need some additional pampering, the spa at the hotel offers several treatment packages. We didn’t have enough time to make use of it during our stay, as we were so busy doing everything else.
The time we spent at the resort was incredible and provided a welcome break from day-to-day life. Much to my delight, I didn’t hear the words “I’m bored”, not even once! Considering that my children, aged 13, 11 and 4 years, can get bored in the least boring of places, the resort succeeded in keeping all three of them entertained all the time, not an easy task.
Memories made
Leaving was not easy, but I hope that we will be able to make this fantastic resort, which is less than two hours’ drive from Cape Town, a frequent holiday destination for our family. I further hope that my children will remember this holiday, and ones to come, with the same fondness that I remember my childhood holidays.

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