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Protea by Marriott Zebula Lodge

1000 Farm No 534 Mabula District, D Road Mabula District, 20 minutes drive from Bela Bela, Bela Bela 0480 South Africa
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Traveller (108)
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#13 of 27 lodges in Bela Bela
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Free High Speed Internet (WiFi)
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Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room
Bar / lounge
Bicycle rental
Golf course
Babysitting
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Outdoor pool
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Breakfast buffet
Tennis court
Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly)
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Business Centre with Internet Access
Conference facilities
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Non-smoking hotel
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1000 Farm No 534 Mabula District, D Road Mabula District, 20 minutes drive from Bela Bela, Bela Bela 0480 South Africa
Protea by Marriott Zebula Lodge
103Reviews5Q+A24Room tips
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Nicky wrote a review Sept 2023
6 contributions5 helpful votes
This weekend was booked as a birthday celebration by my partner and after many previous stays before, we were really looking forward to a relaxing weekend in the bush. This sadly wasn't the case and from the moment we arrived, our expectations and memories of what once was a luxury haven, were ruined. The list of disappointments can go on for days but I think it's important if you are going to carry on running your establishment as a 4*lodge, you best pull out your A game and pick it up quickly before it goes to complete ruin. -When checking in we were immediately greeted by the site of renovations around the pool area which was not communicated in any of the emails or mentioned on the phone calls. The petting zoo and animals that my children grew up loving to see has also been demolished. We then noticed how many people were walking around with cooler boxes and blatantly drinking out of the boots of the cars with no respect for anyone around them. -From there we went to reception where we were told about our "Dinner Allowance of R250 each" and also advised that the fine dining restaurant upstairs is no longer available (which also isn't mentioned on your site). This may work for golf days or conferences but is unacceptable for hotel guests that have paid a decent amount to stay at your lodge. We were also informed that there is no room service and the restaurant closes at 21h00-all this whilst you have a full bar of guests to watch the rugby which only started at 21h00. Where are they meant to get something to eat after the game seeing as though they've all been drinking all night? The dinner was very disappointing and not a patch on what it used to be. -Then the room........desperately needing maintenance!! From cracked tiles, gaping granite around the bath tub and step, no pressure in the shower, aircon lip jammed with toilet paper (which vibrated and dripped water all night), no tissues in the room, 1 small hand soap whilst there are 3 basins/ bath and a shower, no gown and slippers, no cushions on the patio chairs, no wifi in the room, etc etc -The peaceful experience that is normally expected in a bush lodge was nothing remotely peaceful and we may as well have been at a shebeen in the city with music blaring until midnight and generators blasting all day and night. And please don't use loadshedding as an excuse as we travel frequently and know what to expect when going to hotels. By now there should be sufficient alternatives in place. -Breakfast the next morning was once again done in "school hostel" style with pre-packed cutlery and a tea station (acceptable at a conference but not a hotel). The choice was disappointing with dried out bacon, margarine at the toaster with dirty knives all over (no butter on the table), limited preserves and canned fruit as opposed to fresh fruit? Food was cold, etc -Then to the pool where there were already at least 30 people around and a bunch of kids in the pool.....with 8 pool loungers and no umbrellas up? From there we opted for the lodge pool as it's generally quieter except there were already 3 families there....4 loungers with cushions on which were taken and another 4 with no cushions on and needless to say.....no umbrellas at all. 1 shade-bearing tree that a group was already huddled under and again the joyful sound of the generator. The pool was also dirty. -No pool towels in our room and waited over an hour after asking twice for towels so that we could do what we actually came to do and that was relax and enjoy the sun. The other cushions that were meant to come never arrived and we luckily managed to get 2 loungers once the others left but again sat with the issue of no shade. -On top of that we had no power until late on Sunday (from 9h30 in the morning) so not quite sure what anyone that doesn't play golf is expected to do all day except again listen to the band blasting music all afternoon and evening. -Various items on the menu were not available on both nights and the buffet left a lot to be desired so all in all, the food quality in general was shocking. Like I say I can go on and on but I think you get the just out of what I'm saying and I would highly recommend you relook your structure and turn things around as I'm sure I'm not the only one that feels this way. If golf and conferences are your main focus, then isolate the lodge to those bookings only and don't take people's money based on what you advertise on your website of a place that once was a weekend treat. I would have been better off at my own house instead of wasting my time, money and frustrations on driving all the way to Zebula for that terrible experience.
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Date of stay: September 2023
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Trip type: Travelled as a couple
Room Tip: Don't waste your time going unless it's purely for golf....there are many other options that you...
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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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Response from MArthinus Duckitt, Marketing at Protea by Marriott Zebula Lodge
Responded 04 Oct 2023
First and foremost, I would like to sincerely apologize for the experience you had during your recent stay at Zebula. We deeply value the feedback of all our guests, and it's disheartening to hear that we did not meet your expectations on this occasion. To address some of the concerns you raised: Renovations & Pool Area: We are currently undergoing renovations to build a new sports center, and we apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused. While one pool area is under construction, we do have other pools available for our guests to enjoy. We regret that this was not communicated effectively to you prior to your arrival. Fine Dining Restaurant: Our fine dining restaurant at the Waterberg Luxury Lodge is indeed available to all guests. We apologize for any confusion or miscommunication regarding this. Dining Hours: Our website clearly states that our restaurants close at 9 pm. This policy is in place to allow our staff ample time to clean up and travel home safely. We understand the inconvenience this might have caused, especially during special events like rugby games. Room Maintenance: We deeply regret the maintenance issues you encountered in your chalet. We encourage guests to inform reception of any issues so that they can be addressed promptly. Irish Bar & Entertainment: The Irish Bar at our Clubhouse is a popular spot for many of our guests. We do send out emails a day before arrival to inform guests about the music and entertainment. We apologize if this disrupted your peace and quiet. Animals: In line with evolving societal norms, we no longer have a display of captive animals. However, we do offer game drives where guests can see animals in their natural habitat. Activities & Spa: Zebula offers a wide range of activities, and our spa provides top-class treatments. We regret if you felt there were limited options during your stay. Breakfast & Dining: We take your feedback on our food quality and dining experience very seriously and will be reviewing this with our culinary team. Your detailed feedback provides us with valuable insights into areas where we can improve. We are committed to ensuring that Zebula remains a luxury haven for all our guests, and we will be taking immediate steps to address the concerns you've raised. Once again, I deeply apologize for the disappointments you faced. We would love the opportunity to make it right and hope you will consider giving us another chance in the future.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
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Nayan S wrote a review Mar 2023
Detroit, Michigan1 contribution1 helpful vote
+1
I am Ambassador and LT Titanium with Marriott. I have a lot of stays and this place, hands down is the WORST stay I have ever had. If you enjoy zero communication from the hotel, rolling power outages, no WiFi, no a/c, no working telephone in the room and ants piling up in your room… then this is the place for you! Booked one night for around $300. Made the drive up with a lot of hope for this place. It is part of Protea which is under Marriott. I was not able to do mobile check in. When we got to the gate of the preserve, I was asked for a 5 digit pin. I had NO idea what he meant. He said that the hotel was supposed to message me a pin in WhatsApp. My phone had service in SA but there was little to no service in this area. He told me I had to call and get it or they wouldn’t let me on. I had to wait for a signal. Try to call. No one answers. I tried 3 times over the course of 30 mins. Finally someone gives answers and gives me a pin and then we get the surprise charge to enter the preserve. Not a lot of money but zero mention of it anywhere. Check in was a mess. They knew nothing about Marriott status or benefits. If you want to be under the Marriott name, you should know these things. We got the room we booked (which was a small “Villa” (ie freestanding building). It was a walk from the front desk. We were driven by cart since we had bags. They attempted to reset the WiFi system because the phone is VoIP. Never came back in so we had NO phone or internet. I had no cell service so I couldn’t call either. So if we needed anything, we had to walk to the front building which was a 5 minute walk. Don’t mind walking. I just should have a working phone. Our safe was broken. Called to get that fixed which they could not. Ants were entering from a crack in the foundation so they were everywhere! A/C was never cold and I had them come check that out and it never got even cool. Then the blackouts started. That would turn off the A/C because it was a wall unit and had to be turned on manually. We never slept. It was hot. I couldn’t call anyone. We got up at 9 and left. I filed a formal complaint with Marriott and I got some weak apology letter (which I know they have to reply within 3 business days). They offered me another midweek stay. Gee thanks. I live on the other side of the world and this was a once in a lifetime trip. Followed through with the Ambassador team and in the end got some points for the inconvenience. The bill never posted for points so I had to submit for that too. Don’t waste your time here. Save you money, your time, you gas. A horrible property that shouldn’t even be allowed in the Marriott family.
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Date of stay: December 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.
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Maurice C wrote a review Jan 2023
3 contributions7 helpful votes
Pool was green. Shocking entertainment area. We’ve been going to Zebula for years and we cannot believe how this can possibly be a Protea. Their standards are clearly dropping. The pool even smelt. Gym equipment not was in a bad state and most not working.
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Date of stay: January 2023
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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Response from MArthinus Duckitt, Marketing at Protea by Marriott Zebula Lodge
Responded 15 Jan 2023
We are disappointed to hear that you did not enjoy your time at our beautiful estate. It is currently the rainy season in the Bushveld and thus can result in pools turning green. We are also sad to hear that you did not enjoy our recently renovated entertainment area as we have received many compliments on the new look entertainment area. As with any community gym arrangement, we do depend on our guests placing equipment back into the spots and reporting when there is any broken items.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
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Cindy M wrote a review Jun 2022
48 contributions19 helpful votes
+1
My stay at Zebula from 22/6 to 25/6 was horrible! If I had booked into a 2star guesthouse it would have been better. The place is not being maintained at all. I had to attend training at Mabula, but slept at Zebula. Stayed in room 19. When I got there, there was no water in the room and I was told that they don’t put water in the rooms, I must ask for it. You cannot park your car at your room, you leave it at the parking area and they take you with a golf cart to and from your room, so you have to call them to pick you up, but the phones don’t work, so you need to use your own phone to call. When you do call, they don’t pick up the phone… they advertise there is wi-fi but when you there, they tell you wi-fi is “offline”. I paid R2000,00 per night for the room, WITHOUT breakfast and it was mid-week. The kettle so dirty and the lid only opens with force. The bathroom filthy. TV remote did not have a battery cover on with just 1 battery in, so I had to switch the tv on and off at the wall plug — surely they could have checked this before I arrived? Aircon remote’s screen info dead so you cannot see the mode on which it is set. Would not recommend staying there
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Date of stay: June 2022Trip type: Travelled on business
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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Response from MArthinus Duckitt, Marketing at Protea by Marriott Zebula Lodge
Responded 10 Jul 2022
We are sorry to hear that your stay was not up to the standard that you expected, this is not how we treat our guests. Your valuable feedback has been shared with the relevant manager and a remedial action plan was requested from them.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
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Sunshine wrote a review May 2022
1 contribution1 helpful vote
Disappointing - Almost nothing worked. Lights, Braai, Shower. For the price, rather go elsewhere. Staff are incompetent and rude. Asking for assistance is pointless. The F&B manager thought it appropriate to argue with my wife and I during dinner in full view of my 21 guests. Looking for customer service? Go elsewhere. Scary - Drove out after dark to assist family members that were lost. Was pulled over by a seemingly intoxicated staff member. Threatened to fine me for speeding. The state of the roads is appalling. You couldn't speed even if you wanted to. The manner in which he approached my car and blocked me in was a very scary experience, almost similar to being hijacked. This is how they treat paying guests. Unhygienic - We realized too late that the scullery was roach infested. We had to discard most of our groceries. On day 1 we asked for the showers to be unblocked and the braai to be fixed. We stayed 2 nights. No one bothered to assist or follow up. We've used Protea by Marriott resorts previously. I'm surprised they've endorsed such an appalling establishment.
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Date of stay: May 2022
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Response from MArthinus Duckitt, Marketing at Protea by Marriott Zebula Lodge
Responded 14 Jun 2022
We are sorry to hear that your self-catering house was not up to the standard you expected and have started a complete investigation of said property. Unfortunately the estate is managed by the Homeowners organisation and not by ourselves, on their behalf we do apologise for your experience with security.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
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Afzal K wrote a review May 2022
Dubai, United Arab Emirates101 contributions35 helpful votes
If there was an option for a Zero rating, that's what it would be. We were a large group that booked three apartments, the braai dinner was at tue 5 bed unit. We made more than 3 calls over 2 hours for someone to come over to fix the gas braai, no one did. Eventually 2 separate groups of people had to go braai at the other smaller apartments, whilst the birthday was set up at the original apartment. Thanks Zebula for splitting up our group, bunch of tw@ts. Dinner the next night was booked well in advance, with menus provided to our guests by the F&B manager. On the night off the dinner, we where told we could not order of the Syrynga menu, yes the same one provided by the manager. Thanks for that...... Obviously we then promptly cancelled the breakfast we had booked for the next day. This isn't the first time we visited Zebula, but it's definitely going to be the last time. There are a great many other establishments in and around the area who I'm sure can meet even the mildest of expectations, all we asked for was a fix for the gas braai, and maybe get the menu right. Also bathrooms in two of the units were clogged, the pool table was unplayable after sunset, as the lighting was terrible. Directions to apartments non existant, yes you will get lost in the dark. Fridges didn't work.... unfortunately the list goes on. But all we wanted was for the braai to work.
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Date of stay: May 2022Trip type: Travelled with family
Room Tip: It's not what you remember. Stay away
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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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Response from MArthinus Duckitt, Marketing at Protea by Marriott Zebula Lodge
Responded 14 Jun 2022
We do apologise that you found the maintenance at your self-catering house not to be up to the standard we have requested housekeeping to provide us with a complete report and to rectify any problems, the estate is managed by a homeowners organisation that is in charge of all signage but our team should have provide you with a printed map and the downloadable QR Code maps for each home. Again please accept our hearfelt apologies
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
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vandayart wrote a review May 2022
Durban, South Africa1 contribution1 helpful vote
Stayed at Waterberg for a weekend in October 2021. Overall very poor experience. I was charged for breakfast even though the Waterberg booking included breakfast. After debating this with staff and showing them their own website - breakfast charge was refunded. Too many other disappointing aspects of my stay to mention here. The most important being - I was charged R2000 for refundable room deposits. Despite several emails and telephone calls this has not yet been refunded. I even contacted the GM Mr Hiltemann - who immediately called me personally and apologized for the bad experience. He said he would address the rest of my complaints but the one thing he could do immediately is refund my deposit. Well that was on 2/12. Nothing happened. Several emails and telephone calls later - still nothing. I will be lodging a complaint with the consumer council and Fedhasa since I believe that this is fraud.
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Date of stay: October 2021
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Response from MArthinus Duckitt, Marketing at Protea by Marriott Zebula Lodge
Responded 14 Jun 2022
First, let us apologise for the late response and poor experience you had. Your refund was followed up and the team assures us that your refund definitely was processed. Please advise if this is. not the case.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
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Saloshini T wrote a review Dec 2021
Johannesburg, South Africa3 contributions1 helpful vote
The accommodation ,spacious rooms , and setting was beautiful, but sadly the maintenance and servicing of the unit left a lot to be desired. 1.1 2 plates of the stove was not working - consider that this self catering unit was for 16 people 1.2 Washing machine was also not working. These 2 issues were not attended to during our 4 day stay. 1.3 House-keeping could not locate main door key @ 11h30 Monday night - key was brought in the next morning. Security issue ??? 1.4 Cushions for deck pool chairs were only dried and put out on Wednesday. 1.5 The jacuzzi pump and jets were not working. Repair team were "attending " to it on Tues, Wed. and Thursday. It did work for 2 hours on Thurs.evening??? 1.6 Water from jacuzzi overflowed down stairs and onto pool tiles - which was dangerously slippery when wet. . 1.7 There was a safe in every room but none were in working order?? This place was not cheap for the 4 nights .The maintenance team was incompetent to do repairs needed. Repairs should be done before it is booked out to guests. This is a pity as Zebula is a beautiful place to holiday and relax
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Date of stay: December 2021
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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Response from MArthinus Duckitt, Marketing at Protea by Marriott Zebula Lodge
Responded 11 Jan 2022
We are sorry to hear that your accommodation maintenance was not up to scratch and that maintenance was not up to the standard expected. Your feedback has been shared with the maintenance manager and we await their response. Again please accept our heartfelt apologies this is not how we treat you our valuable guests.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
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Karel wrote a review Dec 2021
Pretoria, South Africa20 contributions9 helpful votes
Went to the Terrace restaurant at Zebula with family in 2019 and again in 2020 and latest now in Dec 2021. The restaurant food is average but very expensive while the service vice is non existent. Alot of food on menu not available and after being offered to use the touchless menu app where the specialized milkshakes are listed upon order were told they not available. Maybe start with that. I will not be back as dont want to be disappointed a 4th time.
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Date of stay: December 2021Trip 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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Response from MArthinus Duckitt, Marketing at Protea by Marriott Zebula Lodge
Responded 11 Jan 2022
We are so sorry to hear that your experience at the Terrace restaurant was not up to the standard you expected we do apologize. Because we are not close to any large towns supplies have to be shipped in over long distances and as you know the price of fuel has skyrocketed over the last couple of months resulting in major cost increases. Again please accept our since apologies.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
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johnnye973 wrote a review Sept 2021
Bloemfontein, South Africa331 contributions45 helpful votes
Beautiful situated. Lovely environment. Conference facility fair, a bit attention to detail will do lots. Lunch on the deck was super super slow with the waiter mixing up snd forgetting orders, which we wrote down for them on the menus provided. It was so slow that we had to adjust our entire afternoon congress plan.
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Date of stay: August 2021Trip type: Travelled on business
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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Response from MArthinus Duckitt, Marketing at Protea by Marriott Zebula Lodge
Responded 28 Nov 2021
First apologies for the very late response, your feedback is valuable to us and we are sorry to hear that the service was slow, we are working hard to remedy this and hope that on your next visit you will find it much improved
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
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PRICE RANGE
R 1,611 - R 1,822 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
LOCATION
South AfricaLimpopo ProvinceWaterbergBela Bela
NUMBER OF ROOMS
64
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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PROTEA BY MARRIOTT ZEBULA LODGE - Reviews & Price Comparison (Bela Bela, South Africa) - Tripadvisor

Frequently Asked Questions about Protea by Marriott Zebula Lodge
Which popular attractions are close to Protea by Marriott Zebula Lodge?
Nearby attractions include Adventures with Elephants (4.0 km).
What are some of the property amenities at Protea by Marriott Zebula Lodge?
Some of the more popular amenities offered include free wifi, a pool, and an on-site restaurant.
Which room amenities are available at Protea by Marriott Zebula Lodge?
Top room amenities include a minibar, air conditioning, and a fireplace.
What food & drink options are available at Protea by Marriott Zebula Lodge?
Guests can enjoy an on-site restaurant, a lounge, and breakfast during their stay.
Is parking available at Protea by Marriott Zebula Lodge?
Yes, parking is available to guests.
Are there opportunities to exercise at Protea by Marriott Zebula Lodge?
Yes, guests have access to a pool and a fitness centre during their stay.
Does Protea by Marriott Zebula Lodge have airport transportation?
Yes, Protea by Marriott Zebula Lodge offers airport transportation for guests. We recommend calling ahead to confirm details.
Are any cleaning services offered at Protea by Marriott Zebula Lodge?
Yes, dry cleaning and laundry service are offered to guests.
Does Protea by Marriott Zebula Lodge offer any business services?
Yes, it conveniently offers a business centre, meeting rooms, and a banquet room.
Is Protea by Marriott Zebula Lodge accessible?
Yes, it offers wheelchair access and facilities for disabled guests. For specific enquiries, we recommend calling ahead to confirm.