Travel & Outdoors
Lord of the Midlands
Rated one of top hotels in the Mooi River area, Lords of the Manor epitomises old-world charm. With picturesque gardens, beautiful architecture and culinary delights, this 17-sleeper boutique hotel offers the perfect blend of old and new, with its modern amenities and classic elegance.
Just a short hour-and-a-half drive from Durban, as soon as you arrive at the gates of Lords of the Manor who know you have arrived somewhere special. Set in the heart of the beautiful, lush Natal Midlands, surrounded by farms, dams and streams, the hotel is the perfect place for couples, friends and families looking to break away.
The Lords of the Manor building is rich in history, and dates back to the 1800’s when an English family from Liverpool emigrated to the new colony of Natal. The structure was built by a wealthy transport rider and his son and had thick walls with patterned granite flooring laid around the building. It had 39 rooms and fireplaces were carved from local thorn wood and roof trusses constructed from rolled steel. The double story building is said to have had passages wide enough to allow an ox wagon through, in order to get building material to the top floor. The building housed a girls’ school until 1914 when it became a family home. It has survived the ravages of wars, the rigours of a boarding school and the boisterous behaviour of a large family and has been a guest house at various times in its history. It’s been altered and changed and pushed and pulled from an institution, to hospitality trade, from Colonial design to Swiss décor. By 2007 the building was tired and in need of an enormous amount of tender loving care. This is when two Durban-based businessmen, who saw its potential, bought the property and restored it back to its Colonial Victorian Splendour. A specialist stonemason and restorer of graded buildings in England was called in and an exclusive interior designer, specialising in colonial refurbishing, was commissioned to restore the magnificent monument to its original splendour, leaving them with the feeling that they have enjoyed hospitality commensurate of a true Manor House.
Whether you are on honeymoon or just feel like treating your loved one to a weekend of luxury, the accommodation options are endless. Each of the 17 en-suite rooms has its own individual style. The exclusive honeymoon suite has a bedroom and lounge, both equipped with fireplaces for cosy winter evenings. The executive and classic suites, situated upstairs in the Manor House, are tastefully decorated with all the facilities needed for a five-star experience. Varying in size, with some having the added luxury of a gas fireplace, each room offers plenty of space to relax and unwind in the comfort of your room. My husband, our 18-month-old daughter and I had the pleasure of staying in the two-bedroom family suite. All the rooms have DSTV, tea and coffee facilities and free uncapped Wi-Fi. There is also the option of the beautiful garden suites further from the Manor House, which offer beautiful views of the Hidcote valley.
We revelled in the elegance of a bygone era seen in the original hand-carved banister of the staircase which leads down to the candle-lit dining room with open fireplaces and the warm wooden tones of the intimate bar. The cosy in-house restaurant offers an extensive a-la-carte menu with classic country cuisine, including a wide selection of starters, mains and desserts.
The trusty Midlands Meander Guide was our go-to when exploring the nearby attractions. We tried the local coffee roaster and wound our way through the valleys, stopping at pottery barns, leather galleries and curio shops. We enjoyed the true KZN Midlands experiences, stopping to sample local jams, cheeses and olives, and even got to experience the brand-new Midlands Kitchen just off Nottingham Road which was a highlight for us. Within a few kilometres from the Lords of the Manor is horse riding, archery and canopy tours for the adventurous.
Range from R1150/R1550 per person to R995/ R1350 per person including bed and breakfast.
Get in touch:
033 2632733 lordsofthemanor.co.za
Text: Monique De Villiers-Delport | Photographs: Lisa Woest Photography