Drop the blinds, leave the budgies with a double scoop, lock up your routines and head for the hills. Or the plains, the valleys or the bushveld. A weekend getaway offers a change of view that as good as wipes the body-mind slate clean and offers a Quick Refresh. Here are some of our suggestions for exiting Jozi for a couple of days:

Magaliesberg is always a winner and is no more than 60-odd km from Sandton. If you want a really big spoil, stay at De Hoek Country Hotel, a really lovely 5-Star country house minding its own business in a serene bend of the Magalies River. You’re right on the edge of soul-soothing woodlands where birds sing away merrily.  De Hoek stands out for its excellent service, immaculate accommodation and wonderful cuisine.

The spa at Valley Lodge

Another popular Magaliesberg hideout is Valley Lodge. This is a 4-star country hotel with 76 rooms, and surrounded by a nature reserve. If you enjoy being active, this is the place for you. Fishing, tennis, volleyball, gym, walking, boating, and spa treatments at a modern spa are among your options.

Pooldeck at Kedar Country Hotel

If you’re happy to go a little further afield, there’s Kedar Country Hotel, Conference Centre & Spa between Rustenburg & Sun City, about 140 km ex Sandton. 4-Star Kedar is situated in 700 acres of game-populated countryside, and incorporates Kruger House Museum and The Armoury Restaurant depicting the Anglo-Boer War. Kedar also has a very inviting spa. Once there, you’re just 20 minutes from Sun City and the Pilanesberg Game Reserve. There’s a special offer for couples running in Kedar’s fabulous Royal Suite until 31 Dec 2012: R2940 per person per night sharing in the Royal Suite, including breakfast, light lunch, sparkling wine & select mini-bar in room, plus use of spa facilities, hydrating facial, manicure or deep-cleanse facial, pedicure or scalp massage, and full body massage.

Bush dinner in the Pilanesberg at Ivory Tree Game Lodge

Beat it to the bush and stay at Ivory Tree Game Lodge in the Pilanesberg, about 170 km from Sandton. This 5-Star lodge is set in the rocky Pilanesberg National Park and offers daily game drives and interactive safaris. Self-indulge at an award-winning spa, laze between game drives round a feature pool, and tuck into delicious meals in picturesque dining areas.

The beauty of the Waterberg from Yellow Wood Game Lodge

The Waterberg is a spectacularly beautiful wilderness. Get away for a weekend to Yellow Wood Game Lodge, about 210 km from Sandton. It’s a family-friendly game lodge set amid granite outcrops and kloofs. Do some open-vehicle game viewing and meet a diversity of birds, reptiles and mammals. There are also bush walks, mountain bike trails and 4×4 challenges available.

Country tranquillity at Walkersons

Fancy casting a trout line? Then head for Walkersons Hotel & Spa just outside Dullstroom, about 263 km from Sandton. This old favourite country hotel is set in the placid hills of the Mpumalanga Highveld, where you can horse ride, amble about the countryside, or put up the ‘gone fishing’ sign.

Mail us for information and bookings, or call 0860 102 907 or +27 21 797-7122.