Did you know?
The Cathedral Peak crags are so jagged Zulus call them 'abaMponjwana' – the place of little horns.
Local and foreign travellers in their 70s will tell you childhood stories about Cathedral Peak Hotel, nestled in the beautiful, jagged Drakensberg range in KwaZulu-Natal.
They will speak with fondness of holidays spent hiking the valleys and mountains, of running down the corridors to breakfast, and of time spent in the games room and in the lush gardens of this historical hotel.
Visitor reviews will show you just how popular the Cathedral Peak Hotel is with both South African and foreign travellers, and how much repeat business the hotel enjoys.
People who arrive here tend to spend their first day simply drinking in the magnificent mountain views and enjoying the great menu items on offer.
By day two they’re out in the mountains on guided tours, arriving back at the hotel exhausted in the late afternoon. A quick nap charges the batteries for an evening in the restaurant and an after-dinner chinwag at Harry’s Bar.
Children have their own programme, dining arrangements and games room.
The Cathedral Peak Hotel was built in 1938 by Albert van der Riet, a young man who knew these mountains well.
He was also a world-renowned deep-sea fisherman who once landed a record-sized broadbill swordfish. It was Van der Riet who stocked some of the local rivers with brown trout, whose descendants are being fished by hotel guests to this day.
Van der Riet and his wife, Doreen, turned out to be perfect hoteliers, full of charm and the kind of personal touch that turns guests into long-time friends.
The hotel is now owned and run by their son, William, and his wife, Belinda.
The hotel officially opened in 1939, and during World War II was the perfect place for wounded Allied soldiers to rest up and recuperate: the surrounding mountains of the Cathedral Peak Nature Reserve and the fresh air were great antidotes to the ravages of war in North Africa.