This sophisticated town boasts some of the most magnificent English country architecture, beautiful gardens that are opened to the public in the spring months, and a plethora of natural wildlife that roam the wetlands surrounding the town. Hilton boasts two of South Africa’s most prestigious private educational facilities. Hilton College for boys was founded in 1872 and has gone on to become not only one of the most beautiful schools in the country, but one that also boasts outstanding academic achievements. St Anne’s Diocesan College founded in 1877 shares an equally impressive educational history in educating young ladies from all around the country and abroad in some of the most picturesque countryside in KwaZulu-Natal.
Hilton’s close geographic location to Pietermaritzburg and Durban lends itself to all conveniences and easy access to the bright city lights, whilst still being far enough removed to embrace country living. With two hotels, a number of well-established restaurants and luncheon bars, as well as a wealth of bed-and-breakfast establishments, Hilton is geared towards making visitors feel welcome.
Property sales in Hilton over the last 12 months prove just how popular this tiny hamlet seems to be with potential purchasers. Statistics that have recently been released by Lightstone reveal that there have been a total of 90 transfers in Hilton over the same period. The area has been successful in attracting younger purchasers, with 21.88% of recent purchasers falling in the age group of 18-35 years of age. A further 44.79% of purchases fell in the age group of 36-49 years of age.
The highest price paid for a property in the area was for a home in a secure estate, which attained R2.4m. The average price paid for freehold property was R1.105 m and the sectional title average came in at R1.087m. The numbers of sales that have been registered in the deeds office reflect that although sale numbers have declined in recent years, price averages have maintained a steady increase. In 2004, there were 169 property transfers registered, compared to 59 sales thus far in 2011. The beauty and tranquillity of the area has attracted artists and crafters who attend some of the music, arts and drama festivals hosted at Hilton College on an annual basis.
The Hilton Village shopping centre, a Victorian-designed wood and wrought iron building which is situated in the centre of Hilton was once a railway station. The station was the first stop after Pietermaritzburg and the firemen on the steam trains of yesteryear that ran the route would have to furiously stoke the fires in order to haul the weight of the grand steam locomotives that graced the tracks up the 670-metre pass. Today there is a miniature steam train that operates along the track.
With an air of solidity, some of the finest schools in Kwazulu-Natal, and a host of gracious country mansions and estates, Hilton truly has become the place to be.