This year sees a birthday milestone in the history of Walkersons Hotel & Spa. Walkersons Hotel & Spa, that much-loved country haven set in the hills of the Mpumalanga highlands just beyond the picturesque hamlet of Dullstroom, marks its 30th anniversary year with new owners and a mini revamp.
A place of mist, magic, beautiful views, endless vistas and a soul-soothing serenity, Walkersons was built in 1993 by Howard and Ingrid Walker who, inspired by the beauty of the countryside and a vision of creating a housing estate (which came to fruition about 15 years ago), created a hotel reminiscent of a Scottish country manor.
Situated on the 800-hectare estate, its accommodation includes 27 suites comprising lakeside suites, luxury lakeside suites, a Manor suite suitable for families, a Honeymoon suite and two additional self-catering family cottages; restaurants – The Flying Scotsman for fine country dining and The Terrace for unpretentious country fare and light meals; the newly-named Colonel Potter Bar, a beautiful garden where Walkersons’ famous scones can be enjoyed at afternoon teatime and a lovely lawn leading to a hidden swimming pool.
In 2008, the Walkers sold Walkersons Hotel & Spa to Geoff Engel and Dandre Lerm Engel who developed the hotel as one of their life passions.
Now in 2023, new owners – General Manager Alex Band, and his parents, Doug and Sue Band, have taken up the reins as the shareholders. Fiona Scott-Berning has accompanied Alex to join the long-established service-orientated team.
“Going forward in this anniversary year, and as the new owners, our aim is to continue to offer memorable Walkersons experiences to our guests. With this in mind, and though Walkersons is a perfect blend of elegance and charm, we felt it important to stay relevant and adapt to the changing times. As such, we made a decision to give Walkersons a mini revamp. To ensure that there would be no long-term disruptions and downtime, we brought in five teams to work for an intensive two weeks on the fairly extensive refurbishments,” said Band.
The mini revamp included the ‘re-doing’ of the driveway and some pathways, the terrace outside The Flying Scotsman (which involved extending the terrace deck to give more space for more seating), the conference area and an exterior ‘facelift’ for the spa, and the upgrading of the honeymoon suite and five of the luxury lakeside suites.
Sue Band was involved with the choice of soft furnishings and refurbishment of the luxury suites as well as the honeymoon suite and main hotel areas.
Band, passionate about motivating the staff, particularly in a way that allows them to express themselves and take ownership of the ’guest experience,’ made good use of the ‘downtime’ of the refurbishment period to run various staff enhancement training courses.
”As we celebrate the 30th Anniversary of Walkersons Hotel & Spa we would like to extend thanks to all our loyal guests for supporting us, and to our staff for their tireless dedication to the hotel.”
“We’re pleased with the end result of Walkersons’ revamp and look forward to welcoming our guests back to the new and improved Walkersons. Cheers! Here’s to another 30 years of providing exceptional service and making memorable experiences for our guests.”
The exclusive 5-star Walkersons Hotel & Spa – the ‘Ultimate Gateway to the Lowveld’ – an easy drive (2.5 hours) from Johannesburg and Pretoria is ideal for a luxurious weekend break in the country and the perfect venue for a wedding or a business conference.
Reservations can be made on 013 253 7000 or via email at email@example.com.