Magic Hills Private Collection

Magic Hills Private Collection

Traveller (10)
Ilanga Manor House
Room & Suite (8)
Sky Lodge
Pool & Beach (5)

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#2 of 2 lodges in Jansenville
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Concealed deep within the expansive bush of the Eastern Cape is a place unlike anything you’ve ever experienced before, shrouded in beauty, ensconced in history. Sky above, earth below, rolling hills and vast, shimmering plains stretch out as far as the eye can see. Welcome to Magic Hills Private Collection – a unique family-owned nature reserve, encompassing 20 100 hectares of rugged Great Karoo terrain, with a variety of accommodation offering. Magic Hills Sky Lodge: As if floating in the mystic atmosphere, Sky Lodge rests atop one of the highest mountains in the area. Floor-to-ceiling glass doors in the reception areas perfectly frame the magnificent surrounds. Comprising seven beautifully appointed suites it makes an ideal sole-use villa for extended families or groups of friends. Each suite is spacious, light-filled and equipped with all the modern amenities one would expect – from Nespresso machines to large flat-screen TVs. Magic Hills - Ilanga Manor House Situated in the heart of the reserve, Ilanga Manor House was imagined in the typical Cape Dutch style. Like an oasis in a desert, its welcoming green lawns and lush setting belies the surrounding landscape. Ilanga has 11 spacious rooms that have the sense of yesteryear, yet offer all the modern comforts and amenities of a world-class, luxurious establishment. With a convivial home-away-from-home feel, the lodge has many spaces to rendezvous and relax – from the large and inviting swimming pool to the intimate bar and a quaint library stocked with an assortment of novels and historical epitomes. Magic Hills - Elsa's Farmhouse Centrally located in the middle of Camp Elsa at Magic Hills lies the restored Elsa’s Farmhouse. Completely off-the-grid and solar-powered, this four-bedroomed traditional Karoo homestead offers the ideal escape for family and friends, a comfortable home-base from which to enjoy the thrilling adventures and activities that surround them on the Magic Hills Game Reserves. Elsa’s Farmhouse guests enjoy their own private pool and boma, as well as an outside braai area, to while away long, peaceful hours and lazy days in the Great Karoo. A literal oasis in the middle of nowhere, Magic Hills offers discerning guests a soulful safari experience, along with sophisticated living spaces and access to exciting activities.
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Property amenities
Free parking
Free High Speed Internet (WiFi)
Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly)
Business Centre with Internet Access
Outdoor fireplace
Pool with view
Walking tours
Outdoor furniture
Shared kitchen
Sun deck
Sun loungers / beach chairs
Sun terrace
Private check-in / check-out
Laundry service
Room features
Blackout curtains
Private balcony
Seating area
Cable / satellite TV
Walk-in shower
Bath / shower
Wardrobe / wardrobe
Bottled water
Private bathrooms
Room types
Mountain view
Good to know
Languages Spoken
English, Afrikaans


1 Smitskraal, Jansenville 6265 South Africa
Getting there
Port Elizabeth Airport
143.3 km
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Detailed Reviews
Kirsty wrote a review Sept 2020
Greater Johannesburg, South Africa
5.0 of 5 bubbles
I travelled as part of a group to Sky Lodge, Magic Hills Private Collection. The lodge and the suites are luxurious and spacious, and the views of undulating hills and valleys are endless from all around.
We travelled during a cold spell, so the fires were lit, and sumptuous soft blankets available in the room and on the game drive vehicle. As it was Winter, the scenery was golden-brown with bursts of bright green spekboom and flaming orange aloes. The drives were fun excursions with delightful guides full of knowledge. The food was impeccable. The beds were the most comfortable I have ever felt. As we were part of a group, masks were not required.

Magic Hills is a place of rejuvenation, and spiritual and mental rest. I felt a great many worries lift from my shoulders while there, being at the generous mercy of mother nature and the wonderful people who hosted us during our stay.

I felt both incredibly spoiled and utterly at-home at this wonderful place. Magic Hills really is a special destination, being run by a special team. I would return in a heartbeat and am rooting for their success.

If you need a break from it all... go here!
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Date of stay: August 2020
5.0 of 5 bubblesRooms
5.0 of 5 bubblesService
5.0 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.
NikivWyk wrote a review Jan 2021
Olifantsfontein, South Africa
1.0 of 5 bubbles
Our family of four checked into Elsa's Lo9dge, part of the Magic Hills Private Collection on 27 December 2020. This was to be the three last nights of our December holiday after a long year.

When we booked we assumed that Elsa was on a fully catered basis based on the booking confirmation, but were later told it was wrong. Still later we were told that the website was also wrong and that there was no chef, no game ranger and no daily game activities. We decided that Elsa was still worth the effort given the luxury we saw online.

Given that we had just concluded a three week self catering holiday where we paid around R5 000 per night for luxury accommodation, you can imagine how we looked forward to Elsa at R7 000.

Afraid to say that Elsa Lodge is simply over priced and that a great deal of false advertising and smoke and mirrors was involved.

Elsa is not a luxury lodge. It is comfortable and rather average. The pictures on the website are really misleading. There are glorious staged photographs of the boma, the wrap around porch etc, not real. None of the furniture looks the same.

The photo's on social media about pizza's in the braai at Elsa simply cannot be true as we found the braai to be in an disgusting state.

The kitchen sold on the website as a "Chefs kitchen" has a mixed bag of crockery and cutlery not befitting a luxury lodge. Everything in the kitchen needs a proper wash after months of not being used. We brought our own pot scourer and had to give the roasting pan a good scrub and think the oil and grease from the last 10 years is now gone. Pots and pans and appliances are lacking. Luxury lodges usually offer tea, sugar, coffee, a splash of milk, none of this on offer at Elsa.

The toaster and kettle in dire need of replacement after years of arid Karoo air doing its part. There is a nasty (without lid) outside black dustbin in the kitchen. It smells and attracts flies. No dustbins in the bedrooms or bathrooms. The Karoo is hot...there are aircons in rooms, but these remain unconnected to a power source.

A miserable gas oven in need of tlc and a good service. Wooden cupboards that have seen better days. One sad leaking plastic ice tray, not enough to keep up with Karoo heat. A pan that we could not fry an egg in. The kitchen utensils and in fact the entire kitchen in dire need of a good scrub!

We personally got on chairs and fixed a sad looking curtain going off its rail. We were unsuccessful in our attempts to fix a toilet not flushing. The flocculant was still at the bottom of the pool where the murky waters cleared a bit after our arrival.
The cobwebs in the passage remain. We washed our own dishes and did not have the energy to make beds too as the helper that was supposed to be amazing and would even whip up a salad never showed.

I am still sad about all the false advertising as it relates to our free daily game activity. Sadly this is not true. We did our own game drive on dodgy roads.

The list of complaints is just too long to list every single one dear traveler, and you will be here a long time. There were no toiletries, no swimming towels.

The road is not fit for normal cars. We have a sturdy 4 x 4, yet the 30kms gravel road took us 2.5 hours.

The braai was dirty and we had to ask one of the staff members to clean it. Once the braai was clean the power went out, so too the voice over IP phone. My husband had to drive the worker to the maintenance manager's house for help as he had a radio with him, but no charger. I sat in the dark boma alone with my two kids and my own candles waiting. Again, the paraffin lamps on the website are there (some of them), but alas, no paraffin.

This first morning we wanted to use the stove. Simply not working. Eventually got it going but its slow and cold.

Then the helper does not pitch, house remains unserviced and I must wash dinner and breakfast dishes to ensure clean plates for lunch.

We decided to check out early and go home after only two nights as this is not what we paid for. Magic Hills is not truthful in their online marketing and website.

Elsa is at a push a three star lodge and something along the R3 000 per night level would be more fair. R7 000 is a rip off.

This was taken up with management, but sadly they are all apologies and no action.

Avoid the hassle, book a real luxury lodge, stay away from Elsa, it is just not worth the hassle or the money!
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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.
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MAGIC HILLS PRIVATE COLLECTION - Lodge Reviews (Jansenville, South Africa)

Frequently Asked Questions about Magic Hills Private Collection
What are some of the property amenities at Magic Hills Private Collection?
Some of the more popular amenities offered include free wifi, a pool, and free parking.
Which room amenities are available at Magic Hills Private Collection?
Top room amenities include blackout curtains, a desk, and a view of the mountains.
Is parking available at Magic Hills Private Collection?
Yes, free parking is available to guests.
Are there opportunities to exercise at Magic Hills Private Collection?
Yes, guests have access to a pool during their stay.
Which languages are spoken by the staff at Magic Hills Private Collection?
The staff speaks multiple languages, including English and Afrikaans.