Just 10 minutes from town, this tranquil property is set amid gardens that fall away into a forested valley. The heart of the lodge is an old farmstead, a lovely thatch building with low beams and large fireplaces. Guest rooms are in individual white thatch cottages, each with its own fireplace and veranda. Three suites have private plunge pools. Tasteful antiques grace the rooms, and claw-foot tubs are the centerpiece of many of the gigantic bathrooms. Service is outstanding.
Most guests eat at the hotel's excellent table d'hôte restaurant ($$$), which brings a French touch to local South African produce. Reservations are essential for nonguests. There's also the option of eating at Zinzi's ($$$), a separate restaurant on the grounds. It's part of Tsala Treetop Lodge, but it's open to Hunter's Country House guests, too. The Summer House, in the garden, is open for tea, lunch, and early dinner in summer. The lodge is very child-friendly, with facilities for both little ones and teens, making it one of the few places where you don't have to sacrifice sophistication for family accommodations.