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“Mixed Feelings” 3 of 5 bubbles
Review of Simbavati River Lodge

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Simbavati River Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
Kruger National Park, South Africa
Level Contributor
45 reviews
22 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 41 helpful votes
“Mixed Feelings”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 weeks ago

If I were to rate this lodge based only on the staff it would be EXCELLENT! They were absolutely incredible especially Vusi and Bongi. All the staff went out of their way to make for a memorable weekend.
The decor is grey, grey and more grey which is not particularly inviting. There was no charm or character.
The food is OK. Nothing special but nice.
Our guide, Kruger was very knowledgeable but we kept on being told about all the rules of where we could and couldn't go and which number in the queue we were in to see a particular sighting. It would have been nicer not to have been told the "politics" of who goes when, where & how and just to amble along on the game drive.
The biggest downfall was the management/owners. We were not greeted once by them even when they walked right past us - it was absolutely astounding. Added to this one of them was jarringly rude to two of the staff members right in front of us.

Room Tip: Get a room with a view. We were stuck at the end of the row of tents with no view at all.
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  • Stayed February 2017, travelled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Archie9898
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Simbavati, Online Marketing Manager at Simbavati River Lodge, responded to this review, 2 weeks ago
Dear Archie9898

Thank you for taking the time to write a review, we appreciate all feedback.

Your review has been sent to our Management Team / Shareholders so that they can look into your comments. We pride ourselves on our service and making sure we exceed our guests expectations and when we hear that we have fallen short we take this matter very seriously.

I apologise on behalf of the lodge for not meeting your expectations.

We hope you will give us another chance and come again. Perhaps stay at our sister lodge (Hilltop Lodge)? We know we can exceed your expectations!

Keep well, regards Nadine



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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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440 reviews from our community

Traveller rating
    351
    68
    19
    2
    0
See reviews for
169
161
26
5
Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (75)
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English first
Ashburn, Virginia
Level Contributor
6 reviews
3 hotel reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 17 February 2017 via mobile

Fantastic place! Our game drives tracker and guide were such nice people, as well as all the staff! We felt welcome all the time and they've treated us very nicely. The place is amazing and the room was very comfortable as well. I would highly recommend it!

Stayed February 2017, travelled with family
Helpful?
Thank cz027
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Simbavati, Online Marketing Manager at Simbavati River Lodge, responded to this review, 5 weeks ago
Dear cz027

Thank you for your review and recommendation we really do appreciate it.

We hope you will come back and visit us again?

Keep well, regards Nadine
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bowral, Australia
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 15 February 2017

As a mother daughter travelling together Simbavati River Lodge was ideal for seeing the big 5 and so much more. To start our "deluxe tent" gave glamping a whole new meaning. So well appointed and clean and animals literally at your back door (or watching while you took an outside shower). The morning and afternoon safaris were amazing and we couldn't have asked for a better guide in Kyle and tracker in Daniel. Their knowledge of the animals and birds was outstanding not to mention the great driving skills exhibited when a lone Bull elephant got a bit grumpy whilst we were having morning tea and had to beat a hasty retreat
The staff at the lodge were outstanding Melody on the front desk so welcoming ,Bishop in the restaurant the happiest person ever, the girls in the spa,the barman poured the best gin and dry lemon EVERYONE was exceptional. Put this place on your bucket list.

Room Tip: Wild dog room
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  • Stayed February 2017, travelled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank 908cindy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Simbavati, Online Marketing Manager at Simbavati River Lodge, responded to this review, 5 weeks ago
Dear 908cindy

Wow! Thank you for the many compliments it is greatly appreciated.

It was our pleasure to treat you both to an unforgettable safari which from your review shows that we exceeded your expectations.

We are passionate about what we do and when we hear it from the guests it really makes us happy to know that it does not go unnoticed and that it is appreciated.

We hope you will come back and visit us again.

Keep well, regards Nadine
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Helsinki
Level Contributor
60 reviews
51 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 50 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 January 2017

- They can fetch you (you will pay for this service) from Nelspruit or Hoedspruit airport with a taxi if you want.
- The staff is doing only his work, their attitude are completely artificial ...
- Rooms are comfortable, but there is no chairs or table available, if I can be more precise, our family chalet was composed of two bedrooms and one bathroom with a roof on the top ...
- Wifi connectivity was very poor, even near the restaurant area
- The restaurant is a big problem for this type of very expensive lodge (river lodge) the breakfast was very poor with the same choice every day
- There is a big difference between eating in the "boma" every two days (plenty of bugs on the table near the spotlight) and eating in the restaurant area, in the boma the food is correct, in the restaurant the food is a nightmare, but they have the same chef .... So I do not understand this huge difference. Guides seems to be force to eat with customers when there is the boma, they do not enjoy it, this is boring for both side.
- Concerning the guide, this is like gambling, you are lucky or not, there is a huge knowledge difference between them, but they have all the same problem, to much radio (communication) because of this, they have forgotten their jobs, means looking for animals or flora and they are always looking for their clock, have to be back for 8.30AM ... Business is business.

Safari seems to change in South Africa, this is becoming to commercial, it is perhaps time to see in other African countries ....

  • Stayed December 2016, travelled with family
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank ThierryIT
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Simbavati, Online Maketing Manager at Simbavati River Lodge, responded to this review, 12 January 2017
Dear ThierryIT

On behalf of the lodge I would like to apologise for not meeting your expectations during your stay at our lodge.

It saddens us to hear that you were not happy as all our staff proud themselves on their service.

We do however value your feedback. I have sent your review to the Managers at the lodge so that they can look into all your points mentioned so that we can work on all valid areas that require improvement.

Safari's in South Africa are always a lovely experience no matter which lodge you stay at and hopefully you will give another lodge a chance or come back to one of our lodges before trying another African destination.

Keep well and may 2017 bring you amazing holiday getaways.

Kind regards Nadine
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 January 2017

We stayed here for two nights with our kids, 9 and 12, it was the biggest spend we making in our three week trip and that always puts pressure on the hotel to deliver.
From the moment we were greeted to the time we left I never once questioned the cost and value of this place.
Our family room (Elephant) was perfect the kids had a room to themselves and we all shared a magnificent bathroom.
The game drives started early after a quick coffee and snack and we were very fortunate in the amount we saw on our two days. Our ranger and guide were great (Kyle and Humphry) informative fun and diligent. They both went out of their way to get us to see as much as possible. The little stops for a snack in the morning and evening drives gave the bums a rest from the off road action. Coming home to a cool drink and a face towel after each drive was a pleasure!
Between drives the camps provision of entertainment for the kids was superb. Kyle had the kids doing archery and there were plenty of games and of course the pool to entertain them.
Food was good and WAY too plentiful!!! I left feeling like I needed to go on a diet for the next week!!
All the staff were great, very attentive, very cheerful and would do anything to help.

I loved this place as did my family and would have no hesitation recommending to anyone who fancies a little bit of magic on their holiday.

  • Stayed December 2016, travelled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Ivan L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Simbavati, Online Marketing Manager at Simbavati River Lodge, responded to this review, 12 January 2017
Dear Ivan L

Thank you for the lovely detailed review. It was our pleasure to treat your family to a magical safari experience.

We hope your kids will remember their stay forever and that we have created future game rangers.

We appreciate you recommending our lodge it really means a lot to us.

We hope you will all come and visit us again.

Keep well and wishing you all the best for 2017.

Regards Nadine

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Simbavati River Lodge

Property: Simbavati River Lodge
Address: Northern Sector of the Timbavati, Kruger National Park 1380, South Africa
Region: South Africa > Kruger National Park > Timbavati Private Nature Reserve
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Spa Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #9 of 17 Speciality Lodging in Timbavati Private Nature Reserve
Price range (per night): R9 470 - R14 087
Hotel Class:4 star — Simbavati River Lodge 4*
Number of rooms: 11
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Simbavati River Lodge is situated in the northern sector of the Timbavati Private Nature Reserve, and surrounded by 12 000 hectares of wildlife and rich wilderness in which you can experience an authentic and affordable African safari.The design of this 4-star lodge is contemporary, warm and welcoming. Guest common areas offer a generously proportioned lounge, bar, boma and extensive decks with breathtaking views overlooking the Nhlaralumi river where regular wildlife sightings take place and guests can unwind.Accommodation consists of eight luxury tents and three chalets; all are privately situated, comfortably furnished and with en-suite facilities. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Simbavati River Hotel Timbavati Private Nature Reserve

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