Forget the diamonds: the true gem in this area is an inconspicuous, tucked-away little haven called Abloom Bush Lodge & Spa Retreat.

Just outside of Pretoria, Abloom is a country oasis

What started out as a life adventure for owners Carmen and Lowie with their move from Holland to South Africa, and a business idea to start a B&B, soon ‘bloomed’ into a four-unit lodge-cum-spa.

It lies sort-of in the middle of nowhere, but actually incredibly conveniently situated less than an hour away from Pretoria.

Abloom can turn the â??worst weekâ?? around in minutes

My visit to Abloom a couple of weeks ago was started in a rotten mood: family demands, client demands, hot weather and a bulging diary were worsened by a GPS that made the route more complicated than it should have been, a sand road that seemed endless, no cell phone connection and a husband who was too busy to join me for a night away.

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This all turned on its head within minutes of my arrival and my collapse into my cool, sumptuous suite.

Family was all but forgotten, clients were tossed into the ‘can wait’ tray in my brain, the lack of connectivity was blissful, I felt grateful that my husband wasn’t being subjected to my winter white corpulence facing its first summer sun and I discovered on leaving, that the sand road was short, scenic and effortless. And all this before the five-star treatments beganâ?¦

Personal attention, surrounded by nature

Abloom has only four units which means that every guest gets personal attention. The spa services are all offered in-room, or on your private deck next to your heated plunge pool, in the heavy silence of the protea-rich bush.

The silence is only broken by the occasional pattering of feet belonging to emerald green and blue lizards, the gentle call of birds and the gentle ‘shloosing’ sounds of creams and ointments being decanted for the treatments.

Blissful massage at spa

Kelebogile Montsho quietly went about my facial and massage with experienced hands that relaxed and refreshed, but also spoke to my weariness and stress.

Africology is Abloomâ??s chosen brand and joint owner Carmen has added signature flourishes to the treatments

The energy that flowed from her was tangible and the treatment so effective that I declined offers of further massages for fear that they would detract from the blissful state I had already reached.

Africology is Abloomâ??s chosen brand and joint owner Carmen has added signature flourishes to the treatments.

The treatment menu is extensive and with a unique approach to pre-bookings and purchases (and to make the selection so much easier for eager husbands who don’t have a clue), they offer hours for sale. Clients can book a certain number of hours and then select treatments to fit into that time-span on the day.

Spacious and elegant accommodation

Accommodation is spacious, elegant and minimalist but five-star all the way.

The enormous suites boast equipped kitchens, a huge bath and shower (indoor and outdoor), a comfy, oversized couch in front of a fireplace (shared with the romantic bedroom) and a flat screen TV.

Outdoors you will find a private heated plunge pool, large wooden deck and braai facilities. Just in case you want to DIY. But don’t. It really isn’t worth missing Lowie’s beautiful meals, which can be served at your unit.

Tailor-made menu

His love of cooking comes through in every element of every one of his finely thought out and tailored dishes – all in perfect proportions.

Why visit Abloom?

It’s convenient to get to, it forces you to take an executive break (and it’s only as you drive home on a cloud that you realise how much you needed it), it is the perfect romantic ‘find-me-if-you-can’ destination, the silence is exquisite and the personal attention, something to be relished.

Their five-star TripAdvisor ratings don’t lie

Are there other things to do? Sure. Cullinan is a delightful tourist town and Abloom can arrange all manner of entertainment, like walking with lions or diamond tours. But you won’t want to leave the insular indulgence that is your suite. I promise.

Abloom offers various packages and vouchers – an excellent Christmas or Valentine’s gift and a ‘take-me-now’ anniversary experience. My suggestion is that you print this article and leave copies lying on your desk, your bed, your dresser, your lover’s dashboard and the kitchen table.

Then head for the hills and enjoy.


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