The Gooderson Natal Spa Hot Springs Resort – Review
Our family of four was recently invited to spend 2 nights, dinner, bed and breakfast included at the Gooderson Natal Spa Hot Springs Resort located just outside of Paulpietersburg, Kwa-Zulu Natal.
Off we set, myself, my husband Barry and two kids, Reese (4 years old) and Ethan (18 months old). We were driving from Ballito, so the drive took us about three and a half hours through the rolling hills of Zululand. We packed lunch for the drive because there was nowhere to stop along the way for food or drinks. I think we passed one very small garage on the way, so filling up before you leave is probably a good idea! – The scenery on the way to Natal Spa is gorgeous though. Lots of goats and cows for the kids to look for along the way, too!
We arrived a little after 2pm as per check-in instructions. To be honest I wasn’t really sure what to expect, but the staff were incredibly helpful and enthusiastic right from the security guard at the gate to the reception staff and the waitrons. Nothing was too much to ask and everything was done with a smile!
We were offered help with our luggage which we gladly accepted and were shown to our family room. I was pleasantly surprised! I had expected a single open plan room (as I was told when I phoned beforehand) but instead we had two separate rooms with an interleading door and one bathroom to share.
The rooms were very spacious, clean and comfy! Ours had a queen sized bed with TV, DSTV, mini fridge, and tea and coffee facilities.
The kid’s room had two single beds, a TV and a cupboard. The view from the kid’s room was lovely, overlooking the main pool, bar area and smaller water slides. The bathroom had a bath only (no shower) but I actually prefer that for young kids. The hotel is showing its age and could do with some upgrades (which I was told are in the budget for this year) but in general it is cozy and comfortable.
The kids couldn’t wait to get onto the slides so we changed into our costumes and headed down to the pool. I stopped along the way to order some toasted sandwiches from the restaurant and took them down to the pool to eat. There’s a little kiosk shop that sells chips and cool drinks and a bar where drinks were ordered from to go with lunch. There’s a lot to keep the kids busy down at the pool area. What with trampolines, mini golf, jungle gyms, and lots of open space to just run around. There’s a really big super tube for bigger kids and adults which I was told is also due for upgrade this year and then the hot spring pools that are the main attraction for the resort. These are just lovely to laze around in and have added health benefits as well.
The resort has something for everyone with a wide range of activities on offer such as horse-riding, quad-biking, mountain biking, paintball, obstacle course, archery, fishing, wellness spa, table tennis, squash, pool, volleyball, and bird walks.
The next morning we unfortunately woke up to a very rainy day! Heading down to breakfast, we were a bit apprehensive about the food but we had no reason to be because the breakfast buffet was wonderful! There was loads on offer for a yummy breakfast. I can’t remember everything but some of the things included fresh fruit, yoghurt, cereal, tea, coffee, juice, bacon, sausage, eggs made to order right in front of you.
Disappointed with the rainy day, I headed to reception to ask them for advice on what to do with the kids to keep them busy and was told that they have organised activities from 10am – 3pm. Excellent! I was starting to think we would have to binge watch movies in our room all day. Reese and Barry headed down to the boulders bar at the pool for a Minute to Win It game! They met Sam who organized all the activities for the kids. He was fantastic with the kids and kept them entertained through all of the activities with her enthusiasm and bubbly personality!
The next activity was a movie from 11am – 1pm so instead of that, we decided to head into Paulpietersburg to get some goodies from the shops. Well… it’s a very small town with not much going on. It seems like the largest attraction in the area is the resort itself. We drove around trying to find a restaurant to have some lunch and couldn’t find anything suitable so stopped at the Spar on the way for some sweets and supplies for the next day. We eventually headed back to the resort where we ordered lunch from The Bistro restaurant. The menu was simple but the food was fresh and tasty.
The staff were really wonderful and the chef was happy to make my prego roll without prego sauce. The rest of the afternoon was taken up with arts, crafts and movies.
Sunday morning, we woke up to an overcast but NOT rainy day! Awesome! We scheduled some archery and went to go and have a look at the new foal that had been born 7 days before. Unfortunately we didn’t have time to try out any of the other activities. After another yummy breakfast, we headed off to our archery lesson. The instructor was very knowledgable and helpful. All of us had a go land lots of fun was had by all!
A surprise awaited us on our drive home in the form of a huge beautiful chameleon which we almost drove over while it was crossing the road! Luckily my hubby was able to avoid it and we stopped to show the kids who were over the moon at seeing one in real life!!
All in all we had a fun trip. I feel like we didn’t really get to experience everything that the resort had to offer because of the bad weather, but what we did experience was lovely! I would definitely recommend this as a family destination.