Smilin Thru Resort

Smilin Thru Resort

Traveller (45)
Nice clean and big pool
Pool & Beach (11)
"The Locals" courtesy of Yvonne Hattingh
Room & Suite (2)

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About

3.0
#3 of 4 small hotels in Parys
3.9 of 5 bubbles
Location
2.8 of 5 bubbles
Cleanliness
2.9 of 5 bubbles
Service
2.8 of 5 bubbles
Value
The resort is almost 50 years old and is one of the oldest resorts in Parys; it boasts a remarkable rock formation studied by geologists from various universities on an annual basis. Set on the shores of the Vaal River, Smilin Thru Resort is the perfect laid-back getaway. You’ll find Smilin Thru just on the outskirts of Parys where the natural beauty is mesmerizing. The resort is ideal for a weekend getaway for those living in Gauteng, only 1 and a half hours from Johannesburg. It offers a scenic paradise in the unspoiled nature of the Vredefort Dome World Heritage site. This resort is renowned for its rustic beauty and appeals to the outdoor enthusiast. The resort offers an a-la-carte restaurant, cigar lounge and pool bar, an entertainment centre, a swimming pool, a ‘foefie’ slide into the pool, a ‘slip-n-slide’ into the river, tubes for hire, and a play park for kiddies. Activities range from hiking, fishing, mountain biking and canoeing.
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Property amenities
Free parking
Public wifi
Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room
Pool
Bar / lounge
Golf course
Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly)
Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly )
Outdoor pool
Restaurant
Breakfast available
Business Centre with Internet Access
Conference facilities
Banquet room
Non-smoking hotel
Laundry service
Room features
Room service
Kitchenette
Microwave
Refrigerator
Room types
Non-smoking rooms
Suites
Family rooms
Good to know
HOTEL STYLE
Great View
Mid-range
118Reviews2Q+A3Room tips
Traveller rating
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Detailed Reviews
andredejager2020 wrote a review Jan 2020
Nigel, South Africa
2.0 of 5 bubbles
We stayed at the Fisherman cabin. Upon arrival the fridge was standing outside.I carried it inside and plugged it in and 30 min later found that it is not cooling. I them phoned management and reported. He said that he will get someone to sort it out. 30 min later someone came and collected it.The following morning i wanted to make breakfast and found that there no pan ! Around 10:00 i still did not get a fridge. I then went to the office and reported that i did not get a fridge yet and there is no pan to to make breakfast. They said that they will get it sorted out. Later that day they brought me a pan but no fridge. I ended up leaving one day early due to the poor service i received . Buy the time i left i still did not have a fridge.

I really feel like i wasted my money going on holiday because i lost food that went off. I lost money because i feel that i was way overcharged for what i got in return. I now need another holiday because i am more stressed out than i was before going there.

Will not return. Ever.
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Review collected in partnership with this hotel
Date of stay: December 2019
1.0 of 5 bubblesValue
2.0 of 5 bubblesRooms
4.0 of 5 bubblesLocation
2.0 of 5 bubblesCleanliness
1.0 of 5 bubblesService
2.0 of 5 bubblesSleep Quality
Trip type: Travelled with family
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
sonet2020 wrote a review Mar 2021
2.0 of 5 bubbles
Use to be a very neat resort. Resort is over grown, very untidy and not maintained. Ablutions need a serious update, not all showers and toilets in working condition, shower curtens might be there since the 80s and full of spiders, No cleaners to clean Ablutions during your stay. Wash up area for dishes (campers) a disaster, very dirty and uncomfortable. No shop to service basic needs. Very sad, hope the new owners can make an efforts to save this little gems name.
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Review collected in partnership with this hotel
Date of stay: February 2021
3.0 of 5 bubblesValue
4.0 of 5 bubblesLocation
1.0 of 5 bubblesCleanliness
3.0 of 5 bubblesService
2.0 of 5 bubblesSleep Quality
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
jacksprats2021 wrote a review Mar 2021
2.0 of 5 bubbles
We have been here a few times and I must say this was the most disappointing. Understandably you guys are going through change and upgrades but the advertised recreational facilties and some amenities were almost non existent. In general staff were okay but felt like we were dealing with non professionals. No shop on the premises is big NO, Bathroom taps leaking, units not fully equipped. Just didnt leave a very happy taste in our mouths.
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Review collected in partnership with this hotel
Date of stay: March 2021
2.0 of 5 bubblesValue
2.0 of 5 bubblesRooms
4.0 of 5 bubblesLocation
3.0 of 5 bubblesCleanliness
2.0 of 5 bubblesService
3.0 of 5 bubblesSleep Quality
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Amanda wrote a review Jan 2020
1.0 of 5 bubbles
What a waste of money, you say 2 and 3 were renovated, yes for the managers friends and family. We book 2 and 3 from Thursday to Sunday morning. We got their,managers friends in no 2, want to give us a chalet away from river where people party and lay drunk on grass, playing their music very loud no privacy. We demand the 2 rondawels, manager shout at us, say we must keep quiet, if we want to book through a agent, bad luck, her so called guest (family and friends, that help work there with removing dustbands) comes first, and she does not want to here anything from us. Sad to say after a very long day we were able to move in to 2 and 3. Gas Geyser in 3 just work when it wants to. Beds poor mattresses and very squeaky. Pigs, dogs, donkeys, horses and chicken come to push over dustbin and mess everywhere. The pleasant sound of the Vaal River put a smile on our faces. The manager in Cape Town was not helpful say they want to give us 1 other rondawel, not at all close to 2 and 3 and we book 2 and 3 to spend a few days together. Will not recommend anybody there. We were rob of 1 day that we paid for and could only move in at 6 the evening
Unhappy guest
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Date of stay: January 2020Trip type: Travelled with family
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Mansoof S wrote a review Jan 2020
5.0 of 5 bubbles
we stayed from Friday the 3rd of Jan to Sunday the 5th of Jan. We had a lovely time, Solero the manager looked after us and helped us where ever needed, as I understand the place is due for an upgrade . The ten sleepers were great, only the 4 beds on top need a little upgrade, basic amenities but sufficient. Spiders and insects live there so make peace with it. The suite just needs a lick of paint, but otherwise, we really enjoyed our stay, nice and peaceful in the 10 sleepers, it was nice and private . the bar area and pool had a lekker vibe, the pizza place added a nice touch to it. All in all, it was good if you a city slicker, you might have a lot to say.
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Date of stay: January 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Response from JonathanJ1640, Director of Sales at Smilin Thru Resort
Responded 29 Jan 2020
Thanks for the review, your comments are definitely noted. We started minor changes on the 10 sleeper, a paint is due and we want to add a few more things. We are looking to fumigate again, but the little guys are back within weeks.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
Sheena wrote a review Aug 2020
1.0 of 5 bubbles
First I would like to say,before we spent this past weekend at the resort, I sent an enquiry email to resort asking about the campsites and whether they have electricity or not and how big each site is. I eventually received a response a week later, which was on the day of us going there and I sent that email the Saturday before.

On arrival,all signage is facing the opposite direction of traffic, so we ended up driving past the place. The main gate is on manual, which you have to open and close yourself and there is no signs to direct you towards reception.

At reception, the woman behind the counter is rude and very uninterested in speaking with you.

When we eventually got to our campsites, we had to move our tent about 3 or so times because the power outlets are broken, dilapidated and a serious hazard.

The campsite we settled at, was dirty, the dustbins were not cleaned out and there was garbage all over the floor, but the view was truly amazing.

The toilets and showers at the campsites ( I can't speak for the men side of things) the female side of the toilets were disappointing. There were probably 2 out of 5 or 6 toilets that were actually working and the rest weren't flushable. The condition of the toilets were clean but the floor was constantly under water. There was some sort of toilet paper available, but not much, but anyway we were lucky enough to bring our own toilet paper.

The main concern I have is the animals. There are horses and cows that look starved and skinny. There's horse poo all over the campsites and the horses seem incredibly hungry. When we were making dinner, the horses came to us for food. Some animals are in very small enclosures for what they are and I didn't see water out for the animals kept in cages.

I feel this place is a diamond in the ruff, if the owners could fix it up and breathe a lot of love into it. At the moment it's very dilapidated and run down and needs a lot of attention.

We were looking forward to the hiking trail that we were told about and didn't find. At reception we asked about the hiking trail and was told there is no such thing there.

Honestly as it stands now, I would not go back and that's not due to the lack of care in the campsites but more so regarding the condition of the animals.

Last but not least, the photos on the website is out dated and the information is very vague on the website. I would also suggest the website and resort have a facelift.
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Date of stay: August 2020Trip type: Travelled with friends
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Response from Jonathan Jacobs, Marketing at Smilin Thru Resort
Responded 04 Oct 2020
Thanks for raising all these concerns, I will definitely take it up with the staff responsible. The farm also acts as a rehabilitation for sick animals, so we take in a quite a few neglected animals then nurse them to full health. The baby cows we got from Durban, they were severely malnourished. You should have asked about this. People see this and jump to conclusions, we love our animals and we are a pet friendly resort. The animals come to guests because we hand feed most of them during the week. It is only the wolves that are kept in cages and birds, for obvious reasons. On the same weekend a guest put on facebook her walk of the trail, the boards are constantly knocked over by the animals so apologies for the lack of signage. We have also just come out of lockdown where we had zero income for 4 months, maintenance has taken a back seat during this time for obvious cashflow reasons.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
yusra2023 wrote a review Jan 2023
Johannesburg, South Africa
1.0 of 5 bubbles
The resort itself is run down the chalets are ditty and there are spider webs and spiders everywhere. Honestly speaking the place has alot of potential as all the facilities are in place we enjoyed the pool area was alot of fun but if the resort management could put abit more effort in maintaining the place it could be an awesome place. Just a lick of paint clean up all chalets and get rid of spiders and spider webs.
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Review collected in partnership with this hotel
Date of stay: December 2022
1.0 of 5 bubblesValue
1.0 of 5 bubblesRooms
1.0 of 5 bubblesLocation
1.0 of 5 bubblesCleanliness
1.0 of 5 bubblesService
1.0 of 5 bubblesSleep Quality
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Vanessa C wrote a review Jan 2023
1.0 of 5 bubbles
We've been going to Smilin Thru for over 30 years and I have never seen the resort in such a sad state.
There is zero maintenance or cleaning.
We stayed in the River Lodge which has an awesome location right on the river, however the 'lodge' itself has a lot to be desired. The fridge never worked and was replaced over 25 hours later after numerous requests. The gas for the stove and oven also ran out and was only replaced the next day.
The chalet was covered in spider webs and we had a rat in the bedroom.
The beds amongst most other things, need replacing.
Even though the inventory says there is cleaning equipment and bathroom mats etc there were none.
Very sad as I will never go back.
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Date of stay: January 2023Trip type: Travelled with family
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
DayTrip24218894707 wrote a review May 2022
Johannesburg, South Africa
1.0 of 5 bubbles
This place needs a serious upgrade. The bathrooms are shocking to say the least. No water, dirty and no privacy in showers. Maintenance to swimming pool, cleaning up along the river needs to be done. Terrible place.
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Review collected in partnership with this hotel
Date of stay: March 2022
1.0 of 5 bubblesValue
1.0 of 5 bubblesRooms
1.0 of 5 bubblesLocation
1.0 of 5 bubblesCleanliness
1.0 of 5 bubblesService
1.0 of 5 bubblesSleep Quality
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
821ronel wrote a review Oct 2020
Vanderbijlpark, South Africa
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Considering that during lockdown, they obviously also had no income, we have to be fair:
The unit we occupied, was clean, bedding fresh, BUT - the cistern of the toilet is non functional.
there was hot water coming from the taps ( note that the shared geyser of the two units were lying between the two units ( 10 & 11) on the floor chained to one of the units) BUT not a drop of cold water coming from the taps - which made taking a bath a near impossible task. the park was full as it was over a long week-end, but there is plenty of space. overall we had a good time, and will go back next year, to give them time to attend to the obvious maintenance tasks.
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Review collected in partnership with this hotel
Date of stay: September 2020
3.0 of 5 bubblesValue
3.0 of 5 bubblesRooms
4.0 of 5 bubblesLocation
3.0 of 5 bubblesCleanliness
3.0 of 5 bubblesService
3.0 of 5 bubblesSleep Quality
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Response from Jonathan Jacobs, Marketing at Smilin Thru Resort
Responded 12 Oct 2020
Thanks for bringing it to our attention, I will look into the matter. Glad you enjoyed your stay.
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Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
Welkom, South Africa1 contribution
I was there with my whole family last month and I don't regret going..the staff are friendly and represent a united rainbow nation....I love the place and planning to go back
Answer from donnamU637NL
1 contribution1 helpful vote
Me personally will never go back we were promised a free weekend because ours was terrible and the owners knew it to date empty promise. The place was dirty etc etc that being said if they make the changes as they say they will what a place it could be.
Johan G wrote a tip May 2023
2 contributions
1.0 of 5 bubbles
"Before paying deposit made sure you can get hold of the host , booking whas done on social media,on they website "
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Liezel L wrote a tip Apr 2018
1 contribution1 helpful vote
5.0 of 5 bubbles
"Hotel Rooms and Chalets in the front side closest to the curio shop"
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Cloud111 wrote a tip Oct 2014
Gauteng, South Africa1 contribution9 helpful votes
1.0 of 5 bubbles
"Find another "resort"."
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LOCATION
South AfricaFree StateParys
NUMBER OF ROOMS
38
Prices are provided by our partners, and reflect average nightly room rates, including taxes and fees that are fixed, known to our partners, and due at time of booking. Please see our partners for more details.
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SMILIN THRU RESORT - Hotel Reviews (Parys, South Africa)

Frequently Asked Questions about Smilin Thru Resort
What are some of the property amenities at Smilin Thru Resort?
Some of the more popular amenities offered include a pool, an on-site restaurant, and a lounge.
What food & drink options are available at Smilin Thru Resort?
Guests can enjoy an on-site restaurant, a lounge, and breakfast during their stay.
Is parking available at Smilin Thru Resort?
Yes, free parking is available to guests.
Are there opportunities to exercise at Smilin Thru Resort?
Yes, guests have access to a pool and a fitness centre during their stay.
Are pets allowed at Smilin Thru Resort?
Yes, pets are typically allowed, but it's always best to call ahead to confirm.
Does Smilin Thru Resort offer any business services?
Yes, it conveniently offers a business centre, a banquet room, and conference facilities.
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