Beautiful landscape, roaming Brahman cows, delicious food, and an amazing spa — these are the four things that stood out for me the most at Brahman Hills. This beautiful haven in the Midlands is the perfect weekend getaway, whether it be for a girls trips, romantic escape, or active family adventure. The facilities lend itself for every kind of traveler.
I recently spent a long weekend at Brahman Hills for a girls weekend on a hosted media trip. Seven of us (most of who had never met each other) piled into a van early on a Thursday morning in Johannesburg and headed to the Midlands for what was going to be an amazing weekend.
Brahman Hills: A Haven in the Midlands
Brahman Hills is located on the 1,000 hectare Blue Crane Nature Reserve just off the N3 in the Natal Midlands Meander. It took us about five hours to drive there from Johannesburg, with two stops along the way. It’s about an hour and a half drive from Durban, so the perfect weekend getaway for Durbanites!
I would imagine that Brahman Hills would also be the perfect pit-stop for Joburgers traveling to Durban, as it’s conveniently located just off the N3 highway. While the drive from Joburg to Durban is easily done in a day, slow travelers may enjoy stopping along the way to take in some of the Midlands Meander.
The food was a major highlight on our weekend. Dining facilities include Brahman Café, 89 on Copper, Copper and Cappuccino. We had a delicious dinner at Brahman Café on our first night – this is a casual restaurant at the hotel and is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. The atmosphere is welcoming and casual, with a warm fireplace and fun decor. There is an extensive buffet breakfast served here each morning, including a spread of yogurts, cereals, fresh fruit, nuts, cheeses, pastries, and cooked items like bacon, mushrooms, stir-fry, beans, and eggs.
89 on Copper
We dined at 89 on Copper on our second night and it was phenomenal. The menu is a la carte, but the highlight here is the Chef’s Selection menu, which changes regularly. It includes either three or five courses (plus an amuse-bouche to start off and tea/coffee with friandise to finish off), with each course paired with a wine.
Our menu included:
- Honey and soya-glazed prawns; with oatmeal and yuzu (this was my favourite! So yum!)
- Smoked duck breast; with orange, amaretto and grapefruit
- Wing rib; with eggplant, mushroom and avo
- Yellowfin tuna; with squid ink, risotto, lemon and champagne
- Brownie; with baked cheesecake and macaroons
We all had such fun at 89 on Copper. It’s a cozy underground room next to the wine cellar with dark lighting, face-brick walls, and rustic decor. I loved trying all of the different courses and pairing them with the wines. Each was so beautifully plated, with a beautiful mix of different flavours. Unfortunately, I didn’t take such great photos – I was way too eager to tuck in as soon as each dish arrived.
Copper is next to 89 on Copper and is the hotel’s bar located in the wine cellar. Cappuccino is located just off the reception and is an intimate lounge area, perfect for a casual coffee break.
If you can’t face leaving your cottage, then you can get food delivered. We had breakfast delivered on our first morning (croissants, cold meats, cheeses, oats, and fresh fruit) and dinner on our last night (yummy mushroom soup, fish, baked broccoli, and salad).
The Midlands Kitchen
Another great spot to eat at is The Midlands Kitchen, which is owned by the owner of Brahman Hills. It’s located just outside (off the N3) and has a market style vibe housed in a large barn. It has become an Artisan food destination and is not just the perfect stop for travelers driving along the N3 but a highlight in the Midlands Meander. There are 15 different kitchens available, including Mexican, Mediterranean, Burgers, Pies, Indian, Vegan, Artisan Bakery, a Harvest Table, anything Chicken, Wood fired Pizzas, and a Gelato stop with a Coffee bar. My first meal was a Falafel salad bowl and my second was chicken sosaties with sweet potato chips. Everyone had something different, and it all looked delicious.
Brahman Hills offers a range of accommodation, including 30 hotel rooms and 12 self-catering cottages. We stayed in two of the cottages (the Wildebeest and Eland cottages) and both were super cozy and comfortable. The cottages are spacious and include a lounge area with fireplace, full dining table, separate bedrooms (ranging from one to four bedrooms) and fully-stocked kitchens. The best part of the cottages are the private decks with a Jacuzzi, seating area, and braai. The decks each look out in a different direction, giving you complete privacy. The rooms were another highlight – the beds are massive and had electric blankets!!
The kitchens are stocked with everything that you’d need to whip up a meal, including stove tops, oven, microwave, full-size refrigerators, electric kettles, and cooking utensils. We were spoilt with extra fresh fruit, bubbles, and a bottle of Gin. If you don’t feel like cooking, you can order meals to be delivered to your cottage (as mentioned above).
Afro Zen Spa
For those looking for some pampering, the spa is AMAZING. We went straight to the spa when we arrived and spent the afternoon being pampered. We started with a delicious lunch of salad, wraps, nuts, biltong, fresh fruit and bubbly and then split up for our treatments. First up was either a mani or pedi (I opted for the mani and am still admiring my nails as I type this). This was followed by a full body massage and exfoliation (which was so nice after a few months of the dry Joburg winter!). After the massage and exfoliation, there was a hot bath with scented crystals (we each chose a scent before we started our treatments) waiting to enjoy a few more minutes of relaxation time.
The spa features 8 treatment rooms, a dedicated Manicure and Pedicure room, a Tranquility Lounge and a Champagne, Coffee and Chocolate Bar. Have a look through the spa menu.
On our first morning we went on a walk through the reserve in the fresh cool air. We were accompanied by the General Manager and walked about 6-kilometers in total. The reserve is beautiful with open hills as far as the eye can see. Besides the Brahman cows, the reserve is home to a variety of other wildlife. We saw Zebra, Impala’s, Wildebeest, and a few other antelope on our walk. There are a few trails available, ranging from easy walks to more adventurous trails. You can also bring your mountain bike if you’re keen on exploring further out of the farm. Saturday mornings see the weekly Park Runners running the 5-kilometer trail through the reserve, starting from The Midlands Kitchen.
Weddings and events
If you’re looking to do a destination wedding in the Midlands, Brahman Hills is perfect. It has a stunning glass chapel sitting right on the lake and an uber cool venue, the Glass House, for a jol of a reception. It really is the perfect wedding venue, and if you’re undecided then check out some of the weddings that have been held here on their website.
Brahman Hills is also set up to hold various meetings, conferences, and team building events. We had breakfast one morning at the newly built Agility Hub, which is a vibey and modern venue overlooking the Blue Crane Nature Reserve. It can seat up to 120 people and features three soundproofed rooms that can be changed into a single, a 2/1 or a 3 configuration accessed from the central Courtyard, a soundproof boardroom and the Stables Restaurant. They have also set up an obstacle course for team building.
- Phone: +27 (0)33 266 6965
- Mobile: +27 (0) 81 370 9478
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Address: Old Curry’s Post Road, Mount West, Kwazulu Natal, South Africa
Thank you to Brahman Hills for inviting me on a hosted girls weekend. As always, all thoughts and experiences are my own.