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“What a view!”

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Champagne Castle Hotel
Ranked #1 of 5 Hotels in Winterton
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed March 15, 2014

This hotel is all about location, location, location! The views are quite simply stunning. Rooms are very comfortable and the staff very friendly and helpful. Although not a fan of buffet style meals, the quality was generally very good. The very reasonable rates are fully inclusive of room, breakfast, lunch, dinner, morning coffee and afternoon tea.
We stayed for 3 nights and would have liked to stay longer. It can be a bit of a trek to get to, but there is plenty in the area of the Drakensberg Mountains to keep most people amused.

  • Stayed: February 2014, traveled as a couple
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Thank RonP365
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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786 - 792 of 974 reviews

Reviewed March 15, 2014

I would like to thank Mr Geoff Slabbert the Deputy Manager and his excellent staff for the most enjoyable 3 day stay in this excellent hotel, nothing was too much effort for Geoff and his fine team, The location, rooms, facilities, and definitely not forgetting the food and excellent wine list were all superb. There is so much to do with walks of all level of effort, or even just sit on your veranda and soak in the incredible views, wonderful hotel, wonderful place, enhanced by Geoff and his wonderful staff.

Room Tip: The mountain View rooms are excellent, The Chalets also looked magnificent, our choice for our next...
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  • Stayed: March 2014, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank jackjock
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 6, 2014

we stayed at champagne castle with my 3 children (aged 9,7 and 4) and my parents in law. we had a lovely 3 night stay. We went on the guided walk with my 2 older girls and the guide was very knowledgable and helpful. We also went on a horse ride which was also very good and my youngest daughter went on the pony rides every day. The food was also excellent - especially the omelettes for breakfast. There are also lots of places in the area to visit with kids - reptile centre and bird of prey sanctuary are very close. we didn't get there - too much to do at the hotel! Its a very relaxing place and not too many rooms so it doesn't feel too crowded.

  • Stayed: February 2014, traveled with family
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1  Thank Paula C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 5, 2014

We spent two nights at this lovely hotel and wished we could have stayed longer despite an afternoon of torrential rain, spectacular lightning and thunder that seemed to reverberate round and round the mountains for hours. Initially on arrival there was a problem with our room; the electricity had been off and so there was no hot water available. This was dealt with smoothly and efficiently by the lovely reception staff who offered us a choice of alternative rooms including upgrades and organised moving our bags. This hotel initially looks a bit expensive but bearing in mind that it offers full board it is actually very good value. The standard of the food was excellent and there was plenty of choice. I was particularly impressed that as we had arrived late on our first day we were offered a packed lunch on our departure day. The packed lunch for two would have easily fed four. The accommodation was excellent and there was plenty of bedding and even hot water bottles to combat the all pervading damp of the mountains. The grounds were beautifully landscaped and the pool well kept and clean. We were there as a couple to walk and relax but there was also plenty to entertain children not least the families of baboons on the back lawns. They were very entertaining but did not approach people. The hotel offers guided walks to see surrounding beauty spots each morning but these are also easily reached on your own with the aid of the maps you can pick up at Reception. A suggestion would be a few extra signposts on the road in to Champagne Castle; the signposts seem to peter out and we were left wondering if we had lost our way. We hadn't it is just further along the road than you think. One thing that was a bit disappointing was the quality of the wine by the glass. This was a shame as the wine list was good. Perhaps they could consider extending their by the glass list. We really enjoyed our stay, this well run hotel is an ideal spot for exploring the central region of Drakensberg.

  • Stayed: February 2014, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank julied59
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 11, 2014

Despite the weather, we relaxed in our two bedroomed, two beautiful bathroomed luxurious self-catering suite with the family and went 'into neutral'. The accommodation was glorious - incredibly spacious and comfortable. The linens were crisp and fresh and made for a wonderful night's sleep. The balcony off the lounge area was such a bonus as it provided the most stunning views of the magical mountains whilst offering relaxing comfy couches and privacy. We ventured into the hotel's large dining room on one of the evenings and the buffet on offer was very generous, with a wonderful selection of delicious food. There is so much on offer for the children with the pony rides and animals being a real favourite.
We would love to return one day for another memorable stay.

Room Tip: Self-catering suites are wonderful for families.
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  • Stayed: January 2014, traveled with family
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1  Thank EnglishAnne11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 5, 2014

Champagne Castle will always hold the most precious memories for me as this is where my now-husband proposed to me after a hike to a gorgeous waterfall in 2009! The scenery is amazing, we had such a great time here! We loved that they had free guided hikes that started from the grounds of the hotel. The guide was friendly and knowledgeable. The rooms were lovely and there are many activities on offer. An ideal location for a romantic escape.

  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank saiyuri m
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 25, 2014

Crystal mountain air swirls a few crunchy autumn leaves through gracefully maintained gardens under majestic Drakensberg peaks. The last breath of summer has blown a kaleidoscope gradient of burgundies and golds across the land, it's colours radiant in the veins of the leaves, the fluffy grass heads, and stalks. Trees appear red flamed, the mix of orange, tan, and yellow firing their flanks under the cool sun. An awe inspiring spectacle. Nature has laid a magic carpet under the berg at Champagne Castle Hotel, almost as if she has purposefully set out to impress humankind.
Scattered throughout the grounds of the hotel, are quaint cotttagy structures for housing guests. All are white-washed, gabled and bougainvillea draped. Pergolas accommodate a variety of hanging plants over cobbled adjoining walk ways. The grounds are well lit, and exquisitely manicured. The lush Kwazulu-Natal indigenous fauna adding natural beauty, hard to replicate in any other area on the Planet. Champagne Castle is located in one of the worlds recognized protected Heritage sites the uKhahlamba Drakensberg Park – and is considered to hold one of the finest locations in the entire country.
Accommodations for hotel guests are well appointed, and include, hair dryers, kettles, ice jugs, toweling robes, umbrellas as well as toiletries such as soap, bubble bath and manicure sets. The addition of heated towel rails and super pile bath sheets also provide a measure of extra luxury. Decor is understated and comfortable with bamboo upholstered loungers, flat screen TV's, mahogany look cabinets, side tables and dressers. More than adequate cupboard space is allocated to guests and include hangers and a digital safe. Balconies, with seating, and French style, wooden cottage-pane windows showcase the magnificent mountain views.
The self-catering cottages on the property house a maximum of 6 guests and offer, fire places, three bedrooms, kitchen and lounge areas, a patio and braai facilities. Huge glass windows demonstrate the bergs breathtaking beauty. All are located close to the main hotel on well lit paths. A beautiful dam, duck filled and often visited by families of monkeys fronts the self-catering area.
Catering at the hotel is almost a sacred affair, guests are offered three buffet style meals in the main dining area daily, as well a two additional 'Teas', (scones, clotted cream, strawberry jam, tea or coffee) served in the lounge. A stunning selection of dishes to satisfy even the pickiest gourmet, or specialised dietary eater are laid out to whet guests appetites. Items on the menu include rib-eye steak, Black Tiger Prawns, Soles, Roast Duck, Roast Beef, Lentil Curry, to mention just a few choices. Vegetarians are well provided for, from a variety of vegetable main and sides such as roasted vegetable combo, kidney bean soup, roast potatoes and a daily salad bench with Calamata olives, and Feta Cheese as regular optional extras. The food in itself, would be a major draw card, however, it is the service provided by the cheerful, knowledgable, exceptionally friendly staff that make this hotel stay, and restaurant experience the extravagance it is. From the manager right through the ranks to house-keeping the staff are almost self-satisfied in their love for their jobs, the outstanding location they work in and the exemplary manner in which they are employed, their happiness rubs off on even the most bad mannered guests, and lights up the holiday experience in a style unheard of in the tourism industry. (especially at the reasonable prices charged by the establishment.)
As for entertainment, most people visit the berg to either climb, hike, fish, river raft, or mountain bike. All activities are offered either by the hotel or by private operators close by. Walks are conducted by trained, well informed guides daily from the reception area of the Hotel. Trail maps for independent wanders are available from reception, detailing short, medium and long excursions (walks from half an hour - four hours). Trout fishing is on offer, the hotel is surrounded by a number of pristine trout dams in gorgeous locations. As for sporting activities, a swimming pool overlooking the berg is kept sparklingly blue under the main restaurant area, tennis, and volley ball courts are also well maintained. In addition the hotel offers horse and pony riding, bowls, table tennis, darts and a charming central enlarged chess 'court' for guest entertainment.

A few meteres away from the Hotel, the adventure centre offers an array of daring pursuits for thrill seekers. White River Rafting, mountain climbing, canopy tours, helicopter rides, plus a hosts of other activities. Golf can be played at the Champagne Castle Resort in a location unequalled for both beauty and facility. For the self-catering crowd, restaurants in the area include a Portuguese Bistro, a Chinese restaurant as well as a spectacularly positioned Coffee Shop offering stunning views with your meal.

Attached to the hotel are a conference facility, a wellness parlour and a chapel. The wellness centre offers an indulgent grooming and massage program, while the conference area provides excellent all encompassing necessities for the businessman. However, it is the glorious chapel, with its building high glass panes which provide a vista of the berg, unparalleled in its magnificence, that is the real candy on top. A true find for any would be bride, this exquisite setting would make for the most unforgettable wedding imaginable, and when considering the excellent catering on offer from the hotel, as well as the variety of accommodation for guests the only word suitable as a description would be 'Fairytale'.

Unique experience in the area are shows by the famous Drakensberg Boys Choir, held on Wednesdays at 3.30pm, and the arial bird display held at the Falcon Ridge Bird Rehabilitation facility a stones throw from the hotel. The bird show alone is worth the trip. Birds of prey are flown by their dedicated, educated trainers who have either rescued wild birds and mended their injuries, or reared endangered birds of prey by hand. Birds on show include Fish Eagles, Black Eagles, owls and Falcons (fastest creature on the planet-clocks up to 450km/hr in a dive). The show is phenomenally well run, and ridiculously entertaining and informative. The couple responsible for the centre are so lost in their special world, that their empathy illuminates their charges for their guests in an all enlightening manner, along with their curious and energetic hunter dogs they put on a display of magnetic wonder that will live in the hearts of their audience for the rest of their lives.

In conclusion, then, if your stuck in a rut and need to put the glitter back into your life, there is simply no better way to do it than to plan a break at Champagne Castle where a two to three day stay will feel like a new lease has been granted on your life.

Room Tip: Go in autumn
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  • Stayed: May 2013, traveled with family
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1  Thank Susan H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Champagne Castle Hotel

Address: R600 Champagne Valley, Winterton 3340, South Africa
Phone Number:
Location: South Africa > KwaZulu-Natal > Drakensberg Region > Winterton
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beverage Selection Business Center with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 5 Hotels in Winterton
Price Range: $188 - $237 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Champagne Castle Hotel 4*
Number of rooms: 71
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Champagne Castle Hotel is nestled below the second highest peak in South Africa, Champagne Castle (3377m), part of the main escarpment within the uKhahlamba-Drakensberg mountain range, the highest mountain range in South Africa. Due to its diversity of plant, bird and insect life and the richest collection of San rock paintings in Africa, it has been declared a Mixed World Heritage Site. For visual impact, recreational variety and luxurious splendour, Champagne Castle Hotel is pretty close to being an ultimate experience. Your stay will be characterised by the proximity you gain to the most dramatic and immediate views of the Drakensberg Escarpment and the 'Barrier of Spears'. Whether you walk or hike, trout fish or horse ride, play golf or tennis, swim or bowl, everything here has been configured to embrace this unparalleled setting. ... more   less 
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