We are fortunate enough that our school closes in the middle of the first term for a mid-term break. This allows everyone a chance to catch their breath. For the last few years we have been spending Valentines weekend at Crystal Springs Mountain Lodge near the historic gold mining town of Pilgrim’s Rest, about a 90 min drive from our home. This year we changed the venue and spent the weekend at Pine Lake Resort in White River, Mpumalanga (South Africa).

I can’t believe it has taken us this long to get bookings at the resort but upon arrival I realized why. Pictures cannot do justice to the absolute beauty of the resort. Pine Lake has been on my to-visit list for over a year and I was thrilled when my sister finally secured bookings here. This resort is perfect as a family friendly holiday destination, and in my opinion would be a lovely local honeymoon destination or couples weekend getaway (provided you don’t end up in the unit next door to the family with 3 rambunctious children 🙈)


Front view of the units with a patio area over looking the lake.


The resort is smaller than the ones we usually visit which is probably why it has been so difficult getting reservations. It consists of 34 units all lake facing. The unit we occupied consisted of 3 bedrooms comfortably sleeping 6. The main bedroom is rather large and has en suite bathroom with a sunken bath and separate shower. It also sports a balcony overlooking the lake making sunrises and sunsets magnificent to watch- from the comfort of your bed.

Lake view from the main bedroom

I especially appreciated the second bedroom being just above and across the main bedroom as the boys felt close to us as they slept in an unfamiliar environment.

The third bedroom is also en suite with a bath and shower combination and is located closer to the dining/kitchen area.  The bathroom is unique in its accessibility from both the bedroom as well as the dining area.

The unit was fully self catering with ceasar stone counter tops and all the necessary appliances to make you feel at home. The modern contemporary pieces of furniture and artworks give the unit a five star feeling while still making the children feel at ease in this setting. The lounge has a television with a selected number of DSTV channels. The dining room table seated 6 very comfortably but the lounge area was a little smaller than I liked.

That being said, very little time was actually spent indoors or in the lounge as it opened up onto a private lake facing braai area with additional outdoor seating that was used most of the time. The resort has rolling green grass that allows ample space for the children to run around and play.

Another bonus regarding the size of the resort is the fact that while playing, the kids are almost always within eyesight. Something a paranoid mom like myself thinks is a bonus.

There is a large pool with a lovely baby/toddler swimming section as well as a viewing deck ideal to simply enjoy the serenity of the resort, its views…or the sunset.

Viewing deck 

Activities for the children include fishing, a jungle gym area, chess, mini golf, a games room with pool and table tennis, a selection of board games and books are available at reception should the weather require you to stay indoors. Paddle boating and kayaking are available at a nominal fee.

The staff are exceptionally friendly and helpful and we thoroughly enjoyed our stay.

White River is centrally located and day trips to the Kruger National Park, Sabie, Graskop, Nelspruit etc could be easily incorporated should you wish to travel around Mpumalanga.

This little escape allowed us an opportunity to reset and just enjoy some time out through a change in scenery. We booked a weekend special Friday – Monday and found that it was adequate, the children however did not want to leave… if you’re keen to try out new places, whether you’re a couple or have children guiding your choices – a visit to Pine Lake Resort will not be regretted!



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I apologise for the quality of the picture below- the children got to my brochure. #momlife

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