Andbeyond Phinda Vlei Lodge

Andbeyond Phinda Vlei Lodge

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andBeyond Phinda Vlei Lodge
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About

5.0
#1 of 5 lodges in Phinda Private Game Reserve
4.9 of 5 bubbles
Location
4.9 of 5 bubbles
Cleanliness
4.9 of 5 bubbles
Service
4.6 of 5 bubbles
Value
&Beyond Phinda Vlei Lodge is an intimate and romantic safari lodge, overlooking a unique vlei (wetland system) on the edge of &Beyond Phinda Private Game Reserve’s rare Sand Forest. Showcasing one of Africa’s finest Big Five game viewing experiences, the reserves displays a magnificent tapestry of seven unique landscapes across an impressive 29 866 ha (73 800 acres) of protected wildlife terrain. Set on the edge of the Sand Forest, and overlooking a vast grassy meadow, each of the lodge’s six thatched suites ensure exclusivity and incredible wildlife sightings. The air-conditioned suites each feature a beautiful, plantation-style bedroom, with a luxuriously spacious ensuite bathroom and dressing room that effortlessly blends a sense of old-world luxury with quirky, contemporary features. The suite’s interiors showcase a mix of curated antiques and collectables combined with bold fabrics.
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Property amenities
Free High Speed Internet (WiFi)
Pool
Free breakfast
Airport transportation
Massage
Concierge
Non-smoking hotel
Laundry service
Wifi
Infinity pool
Outdoor pool
Private pool
Bar / lounge
Restaurant
Outdoor dining area
Butler service
Ironing service
Room features
Bathrobes
Air conditioning
Housekeeping
Private balcony
Room service
Safe
Seating area
Minibar
Wardrobe / wardrobe
Private bathrooms
Room types
Non-smoking rooms
Suites
Good to know
HOTEL STYLE
Luxury
Romantic

Location

Phinda Private Game Reserve South Africa
278Reviews8Q+A100Room tips
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Detailed Reviews
Suzanne L wrote a review Dec 2023
Durban, South Africa
Property's Favourite Review
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Another consistently fabulous experience. This is the 3rd time we have been here and it never fails to deliver excellent service, great food and first staff. You will never be disappointed with Vlei. A shout out to Michael our butler, fabulous service without hassling all the time. Luke our game ranger, a great guy without any pretentions just honest down to earth bush craft at its best. Josiah the tracker with eyes as good as the hawks he finds in the sky and the animals on the ground. It was definitely baby sighting trip with cheetah and lion cubs. Buffalo babies and impala looking so cute you want to take them home
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Date of stay: December 2023
4.0 of 5 bubblesValue
5.0 of 5 bubblesLocation
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.
Stephne A wrote a review Jan 2022
Shaka's Rock, South Africa
+1
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Phinda Vlei is very exclusive and only caters for 12 guests (6 couples) at any time. The accommodations are faultless with big open glass walls looking out onto the forest. There is a rim flow swimming pool at each chalet which attracts colourful birds and thirsty antelope. The bed is huge and luxurious. Bathroom has all the facilities and more that are required even by the most spoiled guest. Food is top class prepared by Happiness and served by Jake and Michael. Early morning and evening game drives are most pleasurable especially if you are lucky enough to get Dumisani as your ranger as he knows the reserve like the back of his hand. Animals are in abundance and if you take the time, the tiny flowers are like little precious stones. Well worth a visit.
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Date of stay: January 2022Trip type: Travelled as a couple
Room Tip: The facilities are so good. No tips required but remember it is a game reserve. Girls, leave the...
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.
GrahamL-S wrote a review Jan 2020
Bath, United Kingdom
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Left Vlei lodge today after 4 nights. From start to finish and amazing experience. I won’t remember all the names but our driving with Wade and Jabs was exceptional. This isn’t a glorified safari park or place with telemetry but skilled experienced trackers and rangers. Tyler, Bongani, Happiness, Baby Jake and everyone else are very skilled in making you feel welcome and relaxed. There are only 6 lodges, all with dip pools and great views. I could go on, but you should experience this yourself, you won’t be disappointed
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Date of stay: January 2020Trip 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.
Greg DM wrote a review Mar 2021
Johannesburg, South Africa
2.0 of 5 bubbles
We stayed at Phinda Vlei Lodge for a special occasion and were disappointed with our experience.

While the lodge is beautiful there is no vlei as indicated on the brochure. The rooms are private and the plunge pool is a perfect place to cool off. The staff were friendly and made a lot of effort to ensure a memorable stay. The food was delicious, the red meat was particularly spectacular and all the fresh juices were a fun tasty treat.

However, we were thoroughly disappointed by the limited game sightings and have enjoyed far superior bush experiences elsewhere. We chose Phinda because they advertise “one of the continent’s finest game viewing experiences” and “known for close-up sightings of the elegant yet elusive cheetah, as well as the rare black rhino” neither of which we saw. We understand that animals are unpredictable, but the Phinda price tag and their bush experience advertised creates a level of expectation that just wasn’t met over our 6 game drives. Even the general game is sparse. When we mentioned our disappointment they advised us that this is consistently being raised as an issue and the lodge have escalated the feedback to park management.

Our scarce sightings made the following events more frustrating: We were standby 2 on a lion sighting and waited over 30 minutes for our turn (we question the effort to fairly share the sighting). The sighting required some bundu bashing, but by the time we got there everyone had left and directions on where to spot the lions weren’t effectively shared. We didn’t find them.
The same happened when we raced to see hyena but just before we got there the only car on the sighting had left and we couldn’t find them.
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Date of stay: March 2021Trip 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.
Response from andBeyond Travel, Owner at Andbeyond Phinda Vlei Lodge
Responded 01 Apr 2021
Dear Greg D2364, Thank you so much for taking the time to post your review on your recent stay at &Beyond Phinda Vlei Lodge. And, thank you too for emailing your Agent directly and giving us the opportunity of writing to you directly. As mentioned in my email to you, we are most grateful to all our guests for their feedback. While we are pleased that you had a memorable experience and enjoyed the lodge setting, our lodge team, the food and so on, it would be remiss of us if we did not mention that we are sorry that you were disappointed with the game experience. As you mention, seeing animals is unpredictable and while the much-needed, unusually heavy rains have been a blessing, it has made the game viewing much tougher. The bush is at its thickest for this time of the year and because of the heavy rains many of the roads were not drivable. Again, thank you for your comments - I do believe that what you experienced with your game experience was an exception to the norm and hope that we will be given the opportunity of welcoming you back some time in the future. Kevin Pretorius Regional Director, South Africa
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
Jeannie118 wrote a review Sept 2022
+1
5.0 of 5 bubbles
We worked with &Beyond (Jacqui) to book our honeymoon. We started out thinking we would do Kenya but after talking about our priorities and budget, Jacqui recommended South Africa (Phinda Vlei) and &Beyond Benguerra Island for our beach portion (reviewed separately). The itinerary was perfect, all of our travel was so seamless, and we wouldn’t have changed a thing. We spent four nights at Phinda Vlei and were able to do eight game drives. What an incredible experience!!! Our ranger, Dino, and tracker, Jabs, found us amazing sightings. We saw everything we wanted to and then some. Highlights being: cheetahs, numerous lions with cubs including one female vocalizing, hyenas, giraffes, zebra, a leopard and cubs feeding, a huge herd of elephants with babies, and more. Dino was so knowledgeable - even when we weren’t viewing something he was sharing interesting stories or facts - and he went above and beyond in taking us to different areas of the reserve and finding us animals that we wanted to see (we were on the hunt for the elephant herd with the babies for days). Being on the private game reserve was also an advantage as the &Beyond rangers would radio sightings to each other and have a process in place to make sure there aren’t too many people at each sighting. This was our first safari so I can’t speak to others but I imagine this contributed to our excellent experience.
Every staff member made our stay so special; &Beyond truly takes hospitality to heart and it shows through its employees. Happiness, the Chef… she is so sweet and omg her food is amazing!! I wasn’t hungry the entire time we were there between all of the delicious multi-course meals and snacks. Michael was our butler and he checked in with us often, took good care of us, and made sure our stay was comfortable. Phinda Vlei itself is so beautiful. I loved the design of the main building and of our individual suite. Highly recommend!!!
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Date of stay: July 2022
5.0 of 5 bubblesRooms
5.0 of 5 bubblesCleanliness
5.0 of 5 bubblesService
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.
Stephne A wrote a review Dec 2020
Shaka's Rock, South Africa
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Having been lucky enough to visit a few premium game lodges I thought that Phinda might be average to underwhelming. I was so very wrong! From the moment of our arrival we felt as if we belonged there! Tyler and his fantastic team are the most relaxed and accommodating hosts. Thandeka aka Happiness performs miracles in her kitchen using freshly sourced ingredients and also makes a chutney to die for. The chalets have every amenity you require. The fully equipped bar is also a special perk. Love the room appointments decorated in a bygone plantation day. Best for me is NO PLASTIC used by the Lodge. Taking environmental concerns that step forward makes &Beyond a leader in my opinion. Game drives by the most enthusiastic guide Daniel and words of wisdom from Mr (Dr) T. Thank you Phinda. We love you and will be back.
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Date of stay: December 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.
Jaime L wrote a review Mar 2023
New York City, New York
5.0 of 5 bubbles
We had such a lovely time at Andbeyond Phinda Vlei Lodge and we highly recommend this lodge to anyone looking to experience a luxury South African safari, especially any honeymooners. The lodge itself is beautiful, clean, and well maintained. When not on our game drives, we enjoyed lounging at the pool in our room and watching wildlife stroll by.

While the environment speaks for itself, the staff at this lodge is what truly made our experience unforgettable. They also went above and beyond to make the trip special for our honeymoon by adding little touches throughout our stay like a candlelit bath and a welcome card. Our guide, James, and our tracker, Thouks, worked so hard to ensure we saw all of the animals on our must see list. They kept us entertained with facts about the wildlife at the reserve and stories of their time working at Phinda Vlei. Our butler, Michael, made sure that we always had everything we needed/wanted. We loved getting to spend time with him at lunch each day to get to know him better. Chef Sabelo is truly talented at what he does. My husband and I both have different dietary restrictions, and he went out of his way for each meal to make sure we had plenty of options to eat, and everything was delicious. The rest of the staff was so warm and made us feel at home.

You don't want to miss this lodge! We can't wait to be back again soon!
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Date of stay: March 2023
5.0 of 5 bubblesValue
5.0 of 5 bubblesLocation
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.
SFPED wrote a review Apr 2022
San Francisco, California
5.0 of 5 bubbles
What an amazing experience. My husband and I arrived for our four night stay and were greeted by Shannon, Tasha, and other members of the Vlei team ... little did we know of the magic that was going to happen. The service was wonderful and the accommodations were great - lots of glass for viewing game right from our own deck. Stephen was delightful and finally got us to learn some Zulu (thank you for your patience). Happiness was truly the magic in the kitchen - her daily menus were delicious! The Vlei team surprised us on more than one occasion with special touches. Our ranger, Dino, and tracker, Tock, gave us the most exceptional game viewing - female cheetah with two cubs on our first day (right outside the camp), lions, white rhino, elephants, bush walk to view the giraffe, elephants, and so much more. On our final game drive we saw two male cheetahs in a truly remarkable African setting: sitting on a termite mound with a backdrop of dark African sky. Words cannot describe how truly amazing it was. Thank you, Vlei.
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Date of stay: April 2022
5.0 of 5 bubblesLocation
5.0 of 5 bubblesCleanliness
5.0 of 5 bubblesService
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.
Emily2604 wrote a review Nov 2023
Leicester, United Kingdom
+1
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Beautiful lodge, the room was the best of any safari lodge I’ve visited, with private pool and terrace overlooking the bush.

The staff were great, nothing was too much trouble and we had dinner and lunch on our terrace a couple of times away from the main dining area.

It’s a really intimate setting with only a small number of rooms so felt really personal.

The safari drives were good, it’s quite thick bush around the lodge in the sand forest so you have to go south or north to get to more open plains but the drives were good.

If it is your first time at Phinda, and you have 4 or 5 nights, I would recommend staying at Mountain or Rock lodge and then Vlei lodge so you get the best out of the experience seeing all areas of Phinda.

Overall, a great stay!
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Date of stay: July 2023Trip type: Travelled as a couple
Room Tip: If 1st time at Phinda, and you have 4/5 nights, I would recommend staying at Mountain/Rock lodge...
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.
Jason wrote a review May 2022
Winnipeg, Canada
+1
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Perhaps the most important things to say about Phinda Vlei is that the staff have been expertly chosen. Dumi and Sabelo, our guide and tracker, stood out most of all. Dumi has been working for some 31 years in the industry, and has been with &Beyond since it’s founding, and this base of knowledge improved the overall experience for us time and time again. Happiness, the chef, another long time &Beyonder, took time with us to have refreshingly candid conversations about life in general all the while creating a personalized vegetarian meal for us 3 times a day. Housekeeping was twice daily and faultless. I really could not have realistically expected as much from the group at Vlei as they delivered. On top of all of this, the game viewing was out of this world! Thanks Vlei!
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Date of stay: May 2022Trip 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.
Answer from andBeyond Travel
Sandton, South Africa156 contributions
Hi Susan F, Either option is available. Cash is generally preferred and it can be given directly to the individual but you can also add gratuities to your bill when checking out. Kind regards, andBeyond
Answer from Andrew R
Hi Cataroundtheworld Many of our guests choose to combine Phinda with the greater Kruger region (Timbavati/Kruger/Sabi Sands), and we believe it's a good idea to combine the two - both for the first time safari goer as well as seasoned safari travellers. There is quite some diversity between the regions which makes for a god combination. Phinda is straightforward to get to - either flights directly into the reserve's airstrip, or flights into Durban or Richard's Bay with a road transfer to the reserve.
Answer from Andrew R
Hi Unfortunately not - andBeyond Phinda is a private reserve, so you would need to stay in the lodge. If you are looking for a self-drive option the National Parks of Hluhluwe and Mkuzi are close by - although we believe our professional guides add enormous value to your experience.
barn8side asked a question Oct 2018
Cape Town, South Africa
Are you wheelchair friendly !
Answer from andBeyond Travel
Sandton, South Africa156 contributions
Unfortunately andBeyond Phinda Vlei Lodge is not wheelchair friendly, all the pathways are sand and makes it very difficult to push a wheelchair. Phinda Vlei Lodge does have a number of steps and there are no railings in the bathrooms. Guests would require assistance to get between the main lodge and the rooms.
Answer from happytraveler12015
Arlington, Virginia30 contributions28 helpful votes
Unfortunately the elephants did not visit during our 4 day stay. We were told that they were there a few days before. Consider it a bonus if they visit but I wouldn't expect it. We did see a Cheetah from our deck! The animal viewing is fantastic.
louise c wrote a tip May 2024
5 contributions3 helpful votes
5.0 of 5 bubbles
"Don't need to bring many clothes as the lovely ladies will do your laundry for you. Had an amazing massage in the spa, really welcomed. "
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Emily2604 wrote a tip Nov 2023
Leicester, United Kingdom141 contributions84 helpful votes
5.0 of 5 bubbles
"If 1st time at Phinda, and you have 4/5 nights, I would recommend staying at Mountain/Rock lodge and then Vlei lodge to get best experience"
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Deborah K wrote a tip May 2023
Santa Clarita, California135 contributions13 helpful votes
5.0 of 5 bubbles
"Travel lite, they have daily complimentary laundry. April as a beautiful time to go"
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KellyPicken wrote a tip Feb 2022
53 contributions4 helpful votes
5.0 of 5 bubbles
"The whole experience is special"
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Stephne A wrote a tip Jan 2022
Shaka's Rock, South Africa790 contributions229 helpful votes
5.0 of 5 bubbles
"The facilities are so good. No tips required but remember it is a game reserve. Girls, leave the heels at home."
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Not the right property for you?
There are more places to choose from in the Phinda Private Game Reserve area.
ALSO KNOWN AS
phinda vlei hotel phinda private game reserve
LOCATION
South AfricaKwaZulu-NatalPhinda Private Game Reserve
NUMBER OF ROOMS
6
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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ANDBEYOND PHINDA VLEI LODGE - Reviews (Phinda Private Game Reserve, South Africa)

Frequently Asked Questions about Andbeyond Phinda Vlei Lodge
What are some of the property amenities at Andbeyond Phinda Vlei Lodge?
Some of the more popular amenities offered include free wifi, free breakfast, and a pool.
Which room amenities are available at Andbeyond Phinda Vlei Lodge?
Top room amenities include a minibar, air conditioning, and a seating area.
What food & drink options are available at Andbeyond Phinda Vlei Lodge?
Guests can enjoy free breakfast, an on-site restaurant, and a lounge during their stay.
Are there opportunities to exercise at Andbeyond Phinda Vlei Lodge?
Yes, guests have access to a pool during their stay.
Does Andbeyond Phinda Vlei Lodge have airport transportation?
Yes, Andbeyond Phinda Vlei Lodge offers airport transportation for guests. We recommend calling ahead to confirm details.