Two weeks ago I spent a weekend at Brahman Hills, a beautiful lodge near the N3 highway in the Midlands region of KwaZulu-Natal.
I stayed at Brahman Hills once before in 2016. Read my previous post for all the details on what Brahman Hills is, what the Midlands is, and what I liked best about my stay — it’s all still true.
I went back again for a few reasons:
First: I loved Brahman Hills the first time and selfishly wanted to enjoy it again.
Second: Last time I went to Brahman Hills with a partner, but this time I was invited as part of an all-female media trip. Traveling with girls is fun.
Third: I last stayed at Brahman Hills in winter, when the landscape was dry and desolate. I loved the winter feel but wanted to go back in summer, when everything is green and sparkling.
Fourth: I wanted to see more of the Midlands Meander, which has become one of my favorite tourism regions in the country.
Fifth: Brahman Hills has a herd of the most beautiful cows in South Africa.
New Things About Brahman Hills and the Midlands
There are a few important things I either didn’t discover during my previous Brahman Hills visit or didn’t get around to properly covering:
First: The spa is sensational. I’ve received my share of great spa treatments (one of travel writing’s greatest perks), but the Brahman Hills treatment stands out. The setting is beautiful, the staff are wonderful and talented, and the massage literally brought me to tears.
Second: Brahman Hills is making great strides toward sustainability. The lodge has a lovely herb garden, and while we were there they were digging a large dam that will eventually provide hydropower for the property.
Third: The food at Brahman Hills is even better than I remembered. The high-end restaurant downstairs, 89 on Copper, is great for a special occasion but I also really enjoyed the breakfasts and dinners at Brahman Café upstairs.
Fourth: Brahman Hills sits next to a highway rest stop (although you’d never know it), which has recently been revamped into the nicest South African rest stop I’ve ever seen. (That’s really saying something because South Africans are serious about their highway rest stops.)
The rest stop consists of two buildings: The Windmills Grab & Go, which is the equivalent of a convenience store but much nicer, and the Windmills Kitchen (formerly the Midlands Kitchen), a rest stop food court but minus the crappy fast food chains and with local food vendors instead.
We ate at the Windmills Kitchen a couple of times — it’s under the same ownership as Brahman Hills — and it’s not only a great place to stop along the highway but also a viable dining option for those staying at the lodge.
Fifth: For an area so sparsely populated, the Midlands Meander has an incredible number of excellent coffee roasteries. I wrote about Terbodore after my last visit, but on this trip we also visited Steampunk Coffee and Coffee + Life. Both were great.
Lastly, I must reiterate that Ardmore Ceramics is one of the most incredible crafting centers I’ve been to in South Africa. The shop is beautiful and you can watch the artisans at work. Do not miss this place.
There is a lot more I could say about both Brahman Hills and the Midlands, and plenty more I still haven’t experienced yet myself. Don’t take my word for it though. Just go.
My stay at Brahman Hills was complimentary. Opinions expressed are mine.