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The Cavern Resort and Spa Print E-mail
Reviewed by Ceri Balston   
Wednesday, 03 December 2008

The Cavern Resort and SpaAt the end of a secluded valley near the Ampitheatre Royal Natal National Park, beneath the massive sandstone cliffs of the Northern Drakensberg, lies the delightful resort, The Cavern. My parents have stayed there several times and this time they invited my wife and me, together with our four-month-old son, Mika, to join them.

There is something very healing about the majestic stature of the Drakensberg mountains, it almost feels as though their jagged peaks gently burst any bubbles of stress and encourages your natural rhythm of breathing once again. It is this sense of peace that The Cavern resort certainly very sensitively embraces.

Since my parents’ last visit, The Cavern has opened a spa, the luxurious and incredibly tranquil ‘Forest Retreat’. It nestles happily on the edge of the Cavern’s beautiful Fern Forest, an ecosystem steeped in history and provides a truly escapist experience. The deep full body massage that I experienced there was certainly one of the most intensely relaxing and reinvigorating experiences that I have ever had. Each of the treatment rooms is a standalone thatched unit with a veranda overlooking the valley.

The Cavern Resort and SpaI requested that the usual ambient background music be turned off and then lay down to fully immerse myself in the sounds of nature, with the dance-like chirping of the sunbirds that frequent the valley and the gentle drone of the cicadas filling my ears. After the various stresses that we had experienced during the last few months, more than just the many sleepless nights that any new parents experience, this was the deep sense of peace and relaxation that I craved.

Now I don’t think it’s possible to spend a whole weekend sampling any spa’s treatment menu (although one day I might give it a go) and considering that the spa is a recent addition to an already well established resort there are plenty of more energetic activities on offer. Guided walks, horse riding, mountain biking, fishing, swimming (in the rivers or the resort’s pool), lawn bowls, tennis, volleyball are among the options.

For the adrenaline junkies there’s also an adventure centre nearby the resort where you can test your nerves on zip wires, bungee jumps and the like. Also very popular at The Cavern are the specialist weekends, which include birding, wild flowers, adventure hiking and star gazing, at which local experts join the guests to help make their stay even more interesting and memorable.

The Cavern, being a family managed and owned resort, definitely gives you that personal touch that you don’t experience in other corporate managed resorts. On this particular trip we had the misfortunate of encountering a rather aggressive pothole which resulted in two blown out tyres and damaged rims. After being towed the last 30km to the resort we were bracing ourselves for a hectic couple of days sorting out our rather sorry looking car but Peter Carte, one of The Cavern’s owners, took the stress out of our hands by personally taking our tyres and rims to a repair centre in Durban and returning everything to us before our departure back to Joburg. With the stress of this situation so effectively handled for us we could truly indulge in the extensive relaxation opportunities offered at the resort.

A big thank you to Peter Carte and the Carte family, and for those of you looking for a family friendly holiday resort then I highly recommend The Cavern.

For more information on the resort and spa visit
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