Chimp Eden Boutique Hotel

Chimp Eden Boutique Hotel

R40 Barberton Road (Umhloti Lodge), Mbombela 1200 South Africa
Nicky in the Mist
Traveller (13)
Comfy large lofted bedroom area
Room & Suite (3)
Restaurant
Dining (2)

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About

3.5
#24 of 31 lodges in Mbombela
3.8 of 5 bubbles
Location
4.5 of 5 bubbles
Cleanliness
3.5 of 5 bubbles
Service
3.3 of 5 bubbles
Value
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HOTEL CLASS
Star ratings are intended to indicate the general level of features, amenities, and services to expect. This property is classified according to Giata.
3.5 of 5 stars
HOTEL STYLE
Luxury
Mid-range
Property amenities
Pool
Restaurant
Tennis court
Meeting rooms
Non-smoking hotel
Room types
Non-smoking rooms

Location

R40 Barberton Road (Umhloti Lodge), Mbombela 1200 South Africa
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Detailed Reviews
beenthereUK wrote a review May 2010
UK
2.0 of 5 bubbles
there was never anyone around, you could never find anyone, nobody knew how to work the payment machines, the staff the next morning got us up at 5am to pay the bill as they couldn't do it the night before and we had to catch a plane, but we had to walk about 20 minutes in the rain to get to another payment system, which still wasn;t working. We said we needed to catch a plane and the lady was very rude and said "well you are not getting through the gates without paying" I would never stay here again. The only person who was amazing tp us was one of the waitors. The lady who owned the lodge (not the santuary) seemed to not care about anyone or anything apart from money. I'm disgusted
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Date of stay: March 2010Trip 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.
MarkFairhurst wrote a review Jul 2011
Secunda, South Africa
1.0 of 5 bubbles
First of all the stars they have we found out are not accredited, so they have no rating at all. The prices they charge for no stars is appalling. To be misled by a false star rating is criminal ! We travel to the place, when we get into the premises and the road is long, we phoned for directions, no answer for the call. We arrive and there are no lights on the stairs so we have to use our cell phones for light. I start the ceiling fan, the dust and remnants of insects fall on me. I then want to go and bath or shower and there is no hot water at all. You open the tap and nothing comes out. I then go back to the room, there is no way to contact anybody for service or assistance. We go to make a cup of coffee in front of the television, to then discover no dstv. Our friends in another room experienced the same problems. No hot water. He was woken up by the cleaning staff shouting at each other in the hallways. We report this to the owner manager and the lady was amazed. Do they not check before clients arrive ? She has a string of excuses and then got some of her workers to try and rectify the problem of the water. We then left and returned much later. She then told us what the problem was, without knowing that we are both qualified in this trade. We then inform her that what she told us is rubbish. She then asks us to please advise her workers. The same evening we arrive at the lodge late and tired of the days events look forward to a nice bath. The hot water was there but ran out quickly. The bath was no way near half full, so the spa effect we could not use. Our friends find that the fruit for their room had been placed on the floor, in front of their door. They were woken up the next day by the owner/manager wanting their payment because she was leaving for town. This she did three times but our friends were busy packing, showering e.t.c. They had the same problem with the hot water running cold too quickly. The lady seemed in a rush, so my friends phone me telling me that she had been to our room, the honeymoon suite but the curtains were drawn. This is at 9:00 a.m. The intrusion on both parties was not welcomed. We are being hurried along the lady needs to go to town and wants our money. When it came to the payment we wanted compensation for the lack of service and incompetence. We are highly disappointed and did not get value for our money. They should cease in hosting people until they get proper management and start to care about their clients needs. This will do damage to the chimp eden name, someone should put a stop to it !
Read more
Date of stay: July 2011
1.0 of 5 bubblesValue
5.0 of 5 bubblesCleanliness
1.0 of 5 bubblesService
3.0 of 5 bubblesSleep Quality
Trip type: Travelled as a couple
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.
ThirtyByThirty wrote a review Dec 2009
New York City, New York
2.0 of 5 bubbles
The Chimp Eden Hotel had the worst service I've ever encountered at a hotel, and it was so bad that it wound up ruining our entire experience. Do NOT stay at this hotel!

When we stayed at the Chimp Eden, we were the only guests and we only stayed for one night, and yet the hotel was completely incompetent and unable to handle all basic hotel service requirements. It took them 30 minutes to check us into our room because they couldn't find the key. Also, even though we were the only guest, the room we requested and confirmed 2 days before was somehow "unavailable." The normal desk manager wasn't there during our entire stay, and the woman checking us in usually works in the kitchen and clearly knew nothing about the hotel and was painfully dumb. Due to her incompetence, we wound up missing the beginning of the first chimp tour, which was the sole reason for our stay at Chimp Eden so we were incredibly disappointed. A few hours after the last chimp tour of the day, we were scheduled to have dinner at the hotel, and nobody was around to tell us where the restaurant was located. We walked around for 20 minutes, but couldn't find the restaurant or anyone around the property. As we walked, we even screamed "HELP" as loud as possible, hoping someone would hear us and help out. Nobody did. Finally, we went back to our room and called the main number and someone answered and directed us to the restaurant. Dinner that night was disgusting and absurdly priced. Dinner at Chimp Eden was one of the most expensive meals we had on our entire trip, even though we stayed at all luxury hotels and Relais and Chauteax properties with critically acclaimed restaurants, as well as the top independent restaurants in all the parts of the country that we visited. There is no excuse for charging such expensive prices for South Africa and then serving barely edible food.

Seeing how bad and slow the service was during check-in, as well as how hard it is to find someone to help you, we asked if we could pay and check out that night for our stay so it wouldn't ruin the activities for the next day. We didn't want to miss any of the morning chimp tour and we needed to leave the hotel immediately after the tour so that we would be on time for our safari. The lady working didn't know how to do this, so she told us to ask someone else the next day. The next morning, we had breakfast (disgusting again) and spent over an hour trying to check out and pay. Nobody could figure this out and kept directing us to someone else since they didn't want to do it themselves. We threatened to not pay at all if they took so long that we miss the chimp tour, and this motivated them to at least try to help us check-out. Due to their incompetence, we AGAIN missed the beginning of the morning chimp tour, which is the only reason to stay at the hotel. The hotel had arranged in advance for a driver to pick us up immediately after the chimp tour and drive us to our safari lodge in Sabi Sands. Aggravatingly, they were incompetent and didn't communicate to their guards that the driver should be allowed into the property. So our driver (that they arranged!) was at their front gate trying to be allowed inside to pick us up for over an hour, even though the entire time we were following up with the hotel and asking them to find out what happened to our driver and alerting them that we would miss our safari that we paid a small fortune for if the driver didn't arrive soon. It took over an hour for them to figure out what was going on and we wound up missing our safari due to their incompetence.

As we were leaving, the owner of the hotel happened to be walking by and heard my husband complaining. She offered to give him some wine as an apology for the incessant mistakes. He asked instead that a donation be made to the chimp institute (it is owned by separate management than the hotel) and she promised that she would make a donation for 1000 rand ($130) and guaranteed to follow-up immediately with proof of the donation. We never heard back from the hotel with confirmation of the donation, and emailed them about the donation to follow-up. It has been weeks now and they ignore our emails and fail to fulfill their promise, and it is completely clear now that they have no integrity. While the Jane Goodall Chimp Institute is incredible and was one of the most fascinating parts of our visit to South Africa, the Chimp Eden Hotel is awful and uses the chimp institute to allure guests and make a profit, but it does not care about the well being of either the chimps, nor the hotel guests. I highly recommend avoiding the Chimp Eden Hotel, but I do recommend visiting the Jane Goodall Chimp Institute for a fascinating tour, but definitely stay at a different hotel. Since transportation around Nelspruit is expensive, and driving seemed easy, I recommend renting a car.
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Date of stay: November 2009
2.0 of 5 bubblesValue
3.0 of 5 bubblesRooms
2.0 of 5 bubblesLocation
3.0 of 5 bubblesCleanliness
1.0 of 5 bubblesService
Trip type: Travelled as a couple
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.
EEEandGEE wrote a review Oct 2009
Chicago, Illinois
5.0 of 5 bubbles
We watched "Escape to Chimp Eden" television show for two years on Animal planet and finally got to see the facility in person. Flying into the Nelspruit airport was effortless, as was the 45 minute drive to get to the lodge. Turning off of the main road, a long winding road lead us to the main gate. We had no idea what we were about to experience.

The hotel staff greeted us with warmth and passion as if we were long time friends. They were so very friendly. Richard, Robert, Willie and George all took such good care of us while we were there.

The rooms were very comfortable and clean. Excellent hot and cold running water too - you never know what you'll get when traveling. Our room was a two level with the bedroom on the 2nd floor. A great view of the chimp sanctuary could be seen from our balcony. We could hear the 30+ chimps from our room at night and in the morning when they were let out to have breakfast. Since there are only 13 rooms, it's a very quiet and relaxing stay with few people to get in your way.

The guided chimp tours were very informative. they were offered 3 times a day and lasted for an hour and a half each. If you're staying at the hotel there is no additional charge to take the tours. We were able to get very close to the chimps, all the while protecteed by electric fence. there are many areas for great photo opportunities of the chimps. They are quite interested in visitors, so getting them to come over by you was never a problem. You can even buy souvineirs of your favorite chimp in the gift shop.

The property has numerous other wild animals on it. We say giraffe, zebras, baboons and impala feeding in the fields in the early mornings and just before sunset.

We were very happy to see that the chimpanzees had very large enclosures to live and grow in. they are very well treated and truely seemed happy. Eugene Cussons and his talented staff at the Jane Goodall Institute's Chimpanzee Eden are truely doing an amaizing thing. We will forever remember their hospitality, and the sacrifices they make in order to keep the chimpanzees safe and better educate the world about these wonderful animals.
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Date of stay: August 2009
5.0 of 5 bubblesValue
4.0 of 5 bubblesRooms
4.0 of 5 bubblesLocation
4.0 of 5 bubblesCleanliness
5.0 of 5 bubblesService
Trip type: Travelled as a couple
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.
Murraytwins wrote a review Aug 2008
Delray Beach, Florida
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Following a fabulous safari at Jackalberry Lodge in the private Thornybush Game Reserve, we decided to stay overnight at Umhloti Lodge in Nelspruit before flying to Johannesburg to continue our vacation. We chose Umhloti due to the proximity to the airport in Nelspruit & to visit Chimp Eden. As great fans of the television program, we thought it might make for an interesting stopover. Well, we were not disappointed! The lodge is beautiful set amidst lushly manicured grounds overlooking the expansive estate with gorgeous views of the surrounding mountains. Game drives can be arranged on the estate. The rooms were very comfortable with all modern amenities & a nice balcony. There was also a nice bar, pool & restaurant.. The food quality & service were truly first rate. Of course the main attraction is the tours of the Jane Goodall Institute at Chimp Eden located on the grounds of the lodge. The facilities constructed for the rescued chimpanzees are magnificent. We had arrived just in time for the last afternoon tour. The tour lasted about 90 minutes & was fascinating. We enjoyed the tour so much, that we took 2 additional tours the following day ..... We just couldn't learn enough about the chimps & the mission of Chimp Eden. Finally, at lunch on the first day, we had mentioned to our waiter that we were interested in meeting Eugene Cussons, host of the television program. As it turned out, he was away for the weekend & we were somewhat disppointed ..... Well, at dinner that evening, Mr. & Mrs. Cussons (Eugene's parents & proprietors) introduced themselves to us & they spoke with us at great length, Mrs. Cussons also took great care of us at lunch the following day eventhough there was a conference checking in ....... She was truly charming & delightful!!!!! We can not more highly recommend this facility & we look forward to returning!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Read more
Date of stay: August 2008
4.0 of 5 bubblesValue
4.0 of 5 bubblesRooms
5.0 of 5 bubblesLocation
5.0 of 5 bubblesCleanliness
4.0 of 5 bubblesCheck-in / front desk
5.0 of 5 bubblesService
5.0 of 5 bubblesBusiness service (e.g., internet access)
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.
jonom32 wrote a review Jul 2010
Christchurch, New Zealand
5.0 of 5 bubbles
I was in Nelspruit for the soccer match between New Zealand vs Italy (what a game!!). We all had a great experience staying at Chimp Eden Hotel for 2 nights. Everybody was very friendly & made us all feel welcome. The food was also delicious while the breakfast the next morning after the game was a life saver :) The chimp tour was excellent & a real eye opener for me and my friends. I would definitely recommend a stay over & a chimp tour when you’re in this region.
Read more
Date of stay: June 2010
4.0 of 5 bubblesValue
5.0 of 5 bubblesRooms
4.0 of 5 bubblesLocation
5.0 of 5 bubblesCleanliness
4.0 of 5 bubblesService
4.0 of 5 bubblesSleep Quality
Trip 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.
mgb330 wrote a review Sept 2008
Milwaukee, WI
+1
5.0 of 5 bubbles
What an incredible experience. Where to start? First off, the hosts/owners of the property: Gene, Marina and Eugene could not have been more hospitable and welcoming.

The property is stunningly beautiful. The lodge is made up of spacious, luxurious hotel suites that have lofted bedrooms. The rooms with which we stayed had balconies that overlooked the chimpanzee sanctuary.

The meals (breakfast and dinner), which are included in the price of stay, are generous servings of flavorful, gourmet cuisine, cooked to your preference. For dinner I recommend the chicken, while my friend loved the steak and lamb chops. The made-to-order omelet was a breakfast favorite of mine.

The Cussons' have devoted their time, resources and property to the care and rehabilitation of abused chimpanzees, rescued from various African countries. When asked about their passion, they are very accommodating and generous in their education. We had many a lovely chat with Marina. Gene gave us a complimentary, impromptu, late night game drive, while Eugene had breakfast with us one morning. You really feel like not only a guest but friends of the family.

It was incredible to watch the chimps that I have come to know on the "Escape to Chimp Eden" thrive in their new, ample accommodations. Even though aggressive (with good reason), Cozy is my favorite primate.

We have told the Cussons' that we aim to return some day soon. A promise we are sure to keep.

One side note: There is an extra (unadvertised) cost for use of the internet and if ordering alcoholic drinks with your meals. We found the cost incredibly reasonable and understandable. But for those budget-minded folks (South Africa trips can add up), something to keep in mind.
Read more
Date of stay: September 2008
4.0 of 5 bubblesValue
5.0 of 5 bubblesRooms
4.0 of 5 bubblesLocation
5.0 of 5 bubblesCleanliness
4.0 of 5 bubblesCheck-in / front desk
5.0 of 5 bubblesService
3.0 of 5 bubblesBusiness service (e.g., internet access)
Trip type: Travelled as a couple
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.
MarkFairhurst wrote a review Jan 2017
Secunda, South Africa
2.0 of 5 bubbles
The hotel was not prepared for our visit. The geyser did not work so obviously the water was cold. The room had not been cleaned properly. The staff were new to this type of business so they were lost in how to fix or address the issues at hand. It was not a good experience but it has potential. So I would advise to look at reviews and ask first before staying there, maybe they have progressed and fixed the problems.
Read more
Date of stay: December 2016Trip type: Travelled as a couple
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.
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LOCATION
South AfricaMpumalangaMbombela
NUMBER OF ROOMS
20
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CHIMP EDEN BOUTIQUE HOTEL - Lodge Reviews (Mbombela, South Africa)

Frequently Asked Questions about Chimp Eden Boutique Hotel
Which popular attractions are close to Chimp Eden Boutique Hotel?
Nearby attractions include Jane Goodall Chimpanzee Eden Sanctuary (4.2 km) and Yebo Safari & Tours (7.5 km).
What are some of the property amenities at Chimp Eden Boutique Hotel?
Some of the more popular amenities offered include a pool, an on-site restaurant, and meeting rooms.
What food & drink options are available at Chimp Eden Boutique Hotel?
Guests can enjoy an on-site restaurant during their stay.
Are there opportunities to exercise at Chimp Eden Boutique Hotel?
Yes, guests have access to a pool during their stay.
Is Chimp Eden Boutique Hotel accessible?
Yes, it offers wheelchair access. For specific enquiries, we recommend calling ahead to confirm.
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