Cullinan is fast becoming my favourite spot for a quick getaway from city life. You can read my previous post on the town here. While it is close enough to Jozi and Pretoria for an easy day trip, I love to spend a weekend or a few days in town to be able to properly relax and explore. There are plenty of options for overnighting in Cullinan, and I am by no means the expert. But I would like to share my own experiences and some of the other places I have heard good things about.
117 on Oak
My newfound favourite may well be my first choice for future visits as well. 117 on Oak is a charming Bed and Breakfast on upper Oak Avenue. The main house, occupied by the hosts, Lize-Mari and Jacques Pistorius, is a hundred years old this year. Along with the property next door, it used to form part of the original Cullinan Diamond Inn. This building housed the ‘Diamond Spa and Bistro’ associated with the adjacent lodgings, but the property has since been subdivided. Lize-Mari and Jacques moved in about two years ago and gradually started fixing up the house and converting/upgrading out-buildings into three lovely self-contained units. The units vary in size, one has a small kitchenette, and the other two have coffee stations. Each one is eclectically decorated with antique furniture in a sort of ‘Vintage Countryside’ style.
All the units sit in a lovely garden, full of birdlife, and there is shared access to a braai area. The location is really convenient as the village centre, and the Cullinan Junction shops, are within 10 minutes’ walk. There is a Spar less than a block away for any groceries and essentials you might need. There is also wifi in all the units.
The hospitality of the hosts is really what you will want to keep coming back for, though. The rooms are immaculate and serviced daily. Lize-Mari comes round with a wonderful continental breakfast each morning, served in a basket, with home baked muffins or scones, fruit, muesli, and fresh coffee. Everything is always beautifully presented, and each day is a slightly different offering. I loved the little touches, like the sprigs of lavender picked from the garden, and the little Scottie dog stickers on the coffee sachets each morning (a tribute to the resident Scotties, Duncan and Mikayla). Lize-Mari and Jacques are always happy to chat and advise on places to see or eat around town.
The Cullinan Inn celebrates its centenary this year, so it is one of the early buildings in the town. (This would have been the accommodation portion of the old Cullinan Diamond Inn, which included the spa and restaurant building that is now 117 on Oak.) Luxurious Victorian style guest rooms are located within the house. Breakfast is not included, but a coffee plunger and delicious rusks or biscuits are replenished each day when the room is serviced. There are no fridges in the rooms here, so, if you aren’t planning on eating out in the town’s great restaurants, you will need a cooler box. Rooms have a wonderful ball and claw bath and a selection of bath products are provided. It might be slightly disconcerting for couples that the bedroom and bathroom is essentially a single space, with only a loose concertina screen to separate the toilet. Being right next door to 117 on Oak, this one is also an easy walk to the village centre.
The Cullinan Premier Hotel & The Diamond Lodge
If you prefer a hotel experience the Cullinan Premier Hotel and the nearby Diamond Lodge come recommended (though I have not stayed at either). The Premier Hotel is the original hotel in the town, which I plan on writing a separate post about soon. The Diamond Lodge also has wedding and conferencing facilities. Both are a few steps from the Cullinan Junction Shops, and less than a ten minute walk from the Oak Avenue shops and restaurants.
Janharm Vorster and his partner, Pieter Vosloo, seem to synonymous with contemporary Cullinan itself. They run several enterprises in the village, and, if there are any festivals or happenings, they are probably involved somewhere. JanHarmsgat Guesthouse is about 2kms from the Oak Avenue buzz, but it is alongside the Zau Spa, so relaxing treatments and massages are only a few steps away. This guesthouse has been featured in a number of home and decor magazines for its eclectic vintage and upcycled style. Though I haven’t been to this establishment, I have been a fan of their ‘Rust in White’ shop, and their ‘JanHarmsgat Agterplaas‘ venue, in the village for some time, and I believe they are very similar in style.
Photos taken from the Gastehys JanHarmsgat website gallery.
This is by no means the exhaustive list of places to stay, just the ones I have stayed in or have heard recommended. Do explore internet booking sites and AirBnB for other places in the area. You can also expand your explorations to the surrounding areas, like the Somabula Nature Reserve (their accommodation options include sleeping in ox wagons). I’d love to hear what places you have discovered to stay!