Areas like Magaliesburg – which are far enough to make you feel like you’re out there, but not far enough to necessitate a long drive, are prime examples.

Then there’s also the Irene Country Lodge in Pretoria, whose hospitality and tranquil surroundings recently invigorated and left us feeling able to conquer the challenges of being city-dwellers once again.

In terms of convenience, making your way to Irene Country Lodge is no hassle. It’s situated just 25 minutes from OR Tambo International airport; so it’s also poised as a prime spot for tourists to visit upon landing.

As you might tell from the pictures; it’s a beautiful setting for a much needed break from it all. Irene Country Lodge boasts a distinct, typically “countryside” type of ambience:  you’ll certainly be calmed by the green, uncluttered scenery and nature that abounds in the place. It’s all garnished by a placid lake, and the lodge is surrounded by a golf course – and even a dairy farm.

You can take your pick from one of seventy-four rooms in the lodge. From an interior design perspective, their aim was to make guests feel as though they’re in an authentic countryside home – however, they’ve also added a unique South African spin to things. You’ll find plenty of elegant mahogany wood, in addition to plush fabrics and smart furniture. A view of the idyllic lake outside is the cherry atop this holiday experience.

If unwinding by means of being idle is not your thing, you can also get the heart pumping – not too fiercely – on one of the activities on offer. Enjoy a spot of golf at one of the courses in the vicinity, take a look at some wildlife at the Rietvlei Nature Reserve or if you haven’t gotten enough of the myriad of malls in Johannesburg, you can even visit Southdowns Mall which is close by. One can even visit the Irene Dairy Farm, or do some browsing at the Irene Market.

A lodge retreat would not be complete without some attention to that aching body; which you’ll get at the Camdeboo Day Spa. There are many skin and body treatments available to help you rid yourself of those grey hair-inducing city stressors. This Camdeboo Spa and Restaurant has a picturesque garden, with the shade of beautiful oak trees.

Food lovers are certainly not forgotten at Irene Country Lodge – the lodge’s executive chef Ryan Houston and his kitchen team are always serving up some of the most scrumptious eats, guaranteed to make your lodge getaway even more delicious. There’s a buffet, as well as a la carte offerings on the menu – that vegetarians and meat-eaters will both take delight in.

In addition to providing a glorious resort for those seeking respite from the rat race, Irene Country Lodge caters for weddings and conferences. There are numerous conference rooms, and the lodge’s team promises sublime service for a truly hassle-free event. For romantics tying the knot, the beautiful surroundings of Irene Country Lodge will undoubtedly be a perfect beginning to a happy marital road.

So, if you’re looking to escape the city for a few days – there’s no need to drive all the way down to the coast – thanks to places like Irene Country Lodge.

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