Halaal food at Piekenierskloof
Halaal food at Piekenierskloof Resort
Every once in a while you visit a place that feels like it could be your home away from home. Where the standards are nothing less than what you’d expect and where an effort is made with hospitality. And then one day, they simply surpass your expectations and you’re sold for life.
Piekenierskloof Mountain Resort was a quick getaway holiday some time ago. We visited it in August, before the really hot summer weather but it was the ideal place to just chill and unwind in front of a cosy fire with a view of the misty Cedarberg Mountains from the porch. We spent a midweek break there in a self-catering chalet and basically saw to ourselves having brought our own food etc. There was construction happening at the hotel so we didn’t really venture that way due to the noise. There is a conference centre on site where there was a restaurant at the time, but the food was not halaal unfortunately.
This year, I made a booking in December, hoping to enjoy the pool and facilities more. And after confirming, was thrilled to see from the resort fact sheet sent through that they keep halaal meals on site. My enthusiasm for this trip had just doubled.
The resort is ridiculously easy to find. You head out from Cape Town on the N7 towards Malmesbury and Citrusdal. 9km before Citrusdal you turn to the right, straight into the resort. How easy is that?!? The construction now complete, we stopped at the hotel to check in. I was slightly thrown by the upgrade from 2 years ago. The hotel was true to it’s 4 stars, not luxurious but smart and tasteful. It’s not a very big hotel. The rooms cater more for conference guests needing accommodation. There are 16, six sleeper chalets on site, which also keeps the numbers down which means you are not over-run by hordes of people at any given time. We were there at the start of the festive season, and there was never more than one other family at the pool.
The chalets are tasteful, clean, neat and well equipped with even a dishwasher. 2 of the 16 units are wheelchair friendly. We needed this as my Mum who was with us is currently in a wheelchair recovering from an operation. This meant the unit was easily accessible, but even better, was that the shower in the one bathroom was equipped with proper accessories eg. fold down seat and wall grip to make taking a shower that bit easier.
The restaurant at the hotel is big enough for 120 people, so having an event here is a great option and they are fully set up for conferencing. Their kitchen is not fully halaal however; Francois, the Food and Bev Manager took me through their halaal offering. Realising they were losing conferences because they were not able to cater halaal, they decided to investigate how they could fulfil this need. After some trial and error, they now keep frozen Certified Halaal meals and prepacked meat and sausage for braai in a separate freezer for Muslim guests. They also have a separate microwave in which it can be heated. It is available as takeout only so you can buy it and prepare in your chalet. The meals are supplied by a company called Madinah Meals which supplies some other outlets as well. More on that in a future post.
The dishes consist of curries, meat and chicken with rice. The ever popular Butter chicken which we sampled and lasagne. They come in plastic pouches which can be boiled or heated in the microwave. It’s not too cheap. Butter chicken for 2 people set us back R150. But when you’re on holiday, it’s a handy convenience. And the butter chicken was very tasty. The frozen braai meat means you don’t have to lug half your freezer along just so you can have a braai.
There is a hot and cold pool, games room, activities for the kids, zip-lining, mountain biking and a spa on site. So Piekenierskloof Mountain Resort is one of my new favourite haunts and we will be likely be regular visitors. It’s great when a company makes an effort to satisfy the needs of all their guests and not just a few. For surely that is what true hospitality is about.
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We would like to thank Hungryforhalaal.co.za for the lovely article.