Our family had been anticipating this family getaway for a very long time and the kids had been practising saying ‘Goudini’ over and over with the sweetest pronunciation attempts. And finally the time came to pack up our car and set off for a hot spring adventure! As we popped through the other side of the Huguenot Tunnel, the excitement in our little Getz was palpable. I breathed in the fresh mountain air and was completely awestruck by the magnificent beauty of the Du Toits Kloof mountain range. A few more minutes down the road and we found ourselves at Goudini Spa, which is in total a mere hour away from Cape Town, give or take a few roadworks.

If you have kids who love swimming as much as ours do, you can appreciate how this trip was a match made in Heaven for our family. We were spoilt by being set up in the new Slanghoek Villas but there is a diverse range of accommodation available to suit any budget or you could choose to camp or caravan. The Slanghoek Villas are located higher up on the mountain which means that you need to hop in your car to get to the hot pools (unless you’re up for a VERY steep climb back to the top after your swim), but the peace and tranquility are so worth the short drives from villa to pool. We shared the villa with my parents and my sister, her husband and my brother stayed at a Rondavel just down the road.

The Slanghoek Villas sleep six and are kitted out with three comfy rooms (one with aircon & a hairdryer), bedding, two bathrooms, TV with limited DSTV, almost full kitchen (no oven) and a nice big braai with outdoor seating. There is also a fireplace in the lounge for winter visits. You can opt to have your villa cleaned daily (with the delivery of fresh towels) at no extra cost and we were pleasantly surprised when someone knocked on our door to come and clean up the the braai area for us on the Saturday. Seriously great, friendly service.

Take a peak into our accommodation and be wowed by the valley vistas:

How’s this view from our accommodation, overlooking the Slanghoek Villas. Simply breathtaking.
Each of the rooms has a door that opens onto an outside stoep. My folks slept with their door open for fresh air.
The lounge area. This is where I almost won a game of Monopoly.
The kitchen with unusually high counter tops, that quickly became the spot where we placed everything that we didn’t want the kids to fiddle with.

As lovely as our villa was, we spent virtually every waking moment in one of the three public pool areas and the many hours in the pool really grew the kids’ swimming confidence. The pools are beautifully kept, surrounded by lush green grass and there is also a security presence subtly keeping an eye on everything at all times.The pools open at 6am every morning and only close at 11pm and we made the most of it! There is also a free entry super tube for the bigger kids and Ilan went down countless times with anyone willing to take him. I love that Goudini is a real rainbow nation holiday choice and that people of every age and shape are welcome to enjoy the hot springs without a fear of ‘bikini body’ or ‘dad bod’ judgement. Goudini just isn’t that type of place.

Check out this video of our little swimming star and then some pool action in the pics below:

Our little swimmer!

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The early birds get the pool to themselves.
The kids loved their before-breakfast swims in the shallow paddle pools.
When your mom is a blogger you have to pose for a hundred photos, but you’re in a good mood and so you tolerate her behaviour.
A family that swims together.
The kids were high energy the whole weekend, but they slept really well!
Spot the super tube.
‘I’m just chilling, Mommy.’

So, now that I’ve convinced you that ATKV Goudini Spa is a top notch destination for a family holiday, here are six insider tips for packing your suitcase from a family who have gone before you:

1. Pack more than one swimming towel (and costume if possible) – because it’s not fun getting into a wet cozzie or trying to dry yourself with a damp towel.

2. Pack gowns and towels for the kids – Be ready to dry your kids and wrap them up warmly after night time swims and in cooler weather.

3. Take along some inflatables (pool rings, noodles etc) – We bought a few for next to nothing from Osmans & left them with day visitors who came through on the Sunday.

4. Snorkles, goggles, flippers – As much as kids love swimming, it helps to add some other swimming activities into the mix.

5. A water bottle – Whilst food isn’t allowed in the pool area, take a water bottle to keep hydrated otherwise the warm water will give you a headache as well as wrinkly fingers.

6. Cash or card for the Huguenot Tunnel Toll (R38 for an average sized car) – My brother-in-law had to drive back to Paarl to find an ATM as his card wasn’t accepted for some reason. You don’t want to be that guy, especially if you have kids in the car.

Thanks for having us Goudini! We loved everything about our weekend full of warm water swims and fresh mountain air. If you’d like to find out more, please check out www.atkvresorts.co.za/goudinispa-overview.

*Disclaimer: Heart Mama Blog was not paid for this review, but were provided with a complimentary stay in the Slanghoek Villas.