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“Incredible Luxury Big 5 Honeymoon Destinantion” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Simbavati Hilltop Lodge

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Simbavati Hilltop Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
Jersey City, New Jersey
Level Contributor
37 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
“Incredible Luxury Big 5 Honeymoon Destinantion”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 16 January 2017

This was our first stop on our Honeymoon and it set the bar very high for the rest of the vacation. Stating with the room, we stayed at tent #6. This is far beyond what we expected. Because this resort only have 8 luxury tents you really have a very personalized and unique experience. Not only does everyone know your name but you get to have special treatment where your likes/dislikes are known from day 1. Must mention Collette as she really welcomed us and was there at every beckon call.

The views from the room are beautiful, located near the water we had an elephant greet us one day after our morning drive, sniffing around our tent. We loved the outside shower, everything was very clean and very comfortable. We loved that it was very private as well. We even had the staff draw us a bath one night from when we came home after the night safari drive.

The food is delicious, really enjoyed every course, morning, noon and night, there was always something new and exciting on the menu, Kudu being one of my favs. Everyone is very accommodating as I previously mentioned and they will cater to your needs.

The safari drives were perfect. Jimmy & Vincent were great. Jimmy even put himself in a bit of danger while luring a pair of gorgeous lions to come greet us. They went above and beyond for us. We saw all Big 5 and have beautiful pictures to prove it. We really enjoyed the mid-morning and mid-evening stops during the drive, much needed stretch of the legs and drinks! Amarula is not my drink of choice. Must-do the bushwalk, very cool!

Not enough great things to say about this hotel. It was a perfect place to go if you want a unique and individual high-end experience.

Room Tip: #6 was located close to the restaurant and bar without having to walk so far. Since there are no &qu...
See more room tips
  • Stayed October 2016, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank MarissaX618
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Simbavati, Online Marketing Manager at Simbavati Hilltop Lodge, responded to this review, 25 January 2017
Dear MarissaX618

Congratulations on your wedding. We would like to wish you a lifetime of happy, loving years together filled with unbelievable getaways, endless laughter and treasured moments.

Thank you for choosing to spend the 1st stop of your honeymoon with us. We are happy to hear that we raised the bar and we hope that the rest of your honeymoon met your expectations.

It was our pleasure to treat you to a memorable experience and we hope you will join us again to celebrate a honeymoon or two.

Thank you for the review. Keep well, kind regards Nadine
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Write a Review

179 reviews from our community

Traveller rating
    148
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    1
See reviews for
28
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4
Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    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 (38)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Any
English first
Chicago, IL
Level Contributor
16 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 14 January 2017

As this was our first time on safari we really didn't know what to expect. Let me just say that we were already planning a return visit before we checked out! Viewing the "big five" and other large animals roam freely in their native habitat is truly "life changing" as another recent reviewer mentioned. You are able to get so close to the animals at times thanks to the highly trained guides and trackers. Kudos to our drivers Jimmy, Joe and our tracker Vincent. The level of knowledge and expertise that Simbavati's guides/trackers possess really enhances the safari experience. Also, Simbavati uses open air Land Rovers that seat a maximum 9 guests (no tops, no barriers, no 20 people in a vehicle). The entire staff really worked hard to ensure we had a pleasant stay. From our butler Andrew, who has a contagious smile, to Colin, the lodge manager, who met us with a chilled towel after each and every drive and lent us an adapter so we could charge our phones, to the chef and all the housekeeping staff - everyone was so hospitable. There are only 8 rooms at the property and each offers great views (we actually saw giraffes, hippos, crocodiles and elephants from the room/lodge) and comfortable accommodations.

In a typical "Hollywood" ending, we had seen four of the big five, and hadn't yet spotted a leopard so on our last morning drive, with about 10 minutes to spare, our guide spotted a leopard and while it was fairly quick glimpse before it scurried away, it was a leopard no less. Great way to end our stay at Simbavati.

Highlight: on one of our drives, we were lucky enough to see the African Wild Dog, which is a real treat as this animal is rare and very nomadic. It hadn't been spotted at the reserve for about one year. That's one of the exciting things about the game drives, you never know what you are going to find!

  • Stayed December 2016, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank ChicagoTravelGuy9
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Simbavati, Online Marketing Manager at Simbavati Hilltop Lodge, responded to this review, 25 January 2017
Dear ChicagoTravelGuy9

Thank you for the detailed review we really do appreciate it.

Wow, it sounds like you had an amazing stay at our lodge. I am thrilled to hear that you got to see the "Big 5". We actually planned it, the leopard was supposed to stay longer but she was being difficult on the day :) All jokes aside, we are glad that you got to experience all the animals including the wild dog, this is definitely a safari that you will remember forever.

We hope you will come back and visit us again.

Compliments of the year to you, may this be the year that all your dreams come true.

Kind regards Nadine
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Amsterdam
Level Contributor
9 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 January 2017

Service is beyond expectations, great safari drives, opulent african dishes.
The lodges are nicely decorated, some even have good wifi.
Our butler/ waiter Andrew was so nice, you would have taken him with you, if given the chance. Game keeper Joe went out of his way to offer us the best views of African wildlife.

  • Stayed December 2016, travelled with family
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Lehuster
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Simbavati, Online Marketing Manager at Simbavati Hilltop Lodge, responded to this review, 25 January 2017
Dear Lehuster

Thank you for the lovely words in your review they mean so much to us. It makes us so happy to hear that we exceed our guests expectations.

We work hard to provide our guests with a memorable safari experience and that is why your review means so much to us.

We hope you will come and visit us again as we would love to treat you, your friends and family to another unforgettable experience.

May 2017 be an amazing year for you.

Kind regards Nadine
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1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 January 2017 via mobile

We had a wonderful stay at the Simbavati Hilltop Lodge. Saw all the big five and much more. Our hereos, Jimmy/guide and Vincent/tracker made big efforts to make us see as many animals as posible. It was magic!
Our flight was cancelled due to bad wether, so we rented a car in Jo-Burg, to get to the Lodge. We got there at 10 PM. Some parts of the road was good, but others full of bad poteholes. The road in the Kruger park was bad and dangerous at night. I recommend
You not to drive by uourselves.
At the Lodge the food and service was very good. Very gentle staff.
I Love the Simbavati Hilltop Lodge!

Stayed January 2017, travelled with family
Helpful?
Thank Helene S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Simbavati, Online Marketing Manager at Simbavati Hilltop Lodge, responded to this review, 25 January 2017
Dear Helene S

We love that you love our lodge!

We are glad that you got to us safely and that once you were here you had an awesome stay!

We hope you will come back and visit us again!

Thank you for the review, kind regards Nadine
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
46 reviews
39 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 41 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 27 December 2016 via mobile

It has it all. All the animals that you ever dreamed of, the best staff you can imagine, wonderful rooms and great quality food and drinks. This is absolutely world-class standard place to see all the animals and the guides are amazingly helpful and give you many interesting facts about the animals in the area. We managed to see the big 5 in 2 days. I highly recommend this place and would return in a heartbeat.

Stayed December 2016, travelled with family
Helpful?
Thank davfog35
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Simbavati, Online Marketing Manager at Simbavati Hilltop Lodge, responded to this review, 25 January 2017
Dear davfog35

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

We are glad that you got to see and experience the "Big 5" in the "wild" it is very exciting!

We hope you will come back and visit us again.

Keep well, 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 Hilltop Lodge

Property: Simbavati Hilltop Lodge
Address: Mbali Farm, Kruger National Park 1380, South Africa
Phone Number:
Region: South Africa > Kruger National Park > Timbavati Private Nature Reserve
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #8 of 17 Speciality Lodging in Timbavati Private Nature Reserve
Price range (per night): R10 051 - R15 399
Hotel Class:5 star — Simbavati Hilltop Lodge 5*
Number of rooms: 8
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Our accommodation is pure African safari, and comprises of individual pavilion-style luxury tents, arranged to create a unique village feel. Enjoy magnificent views of the bush, the Nhlaralumi River and the distant foothills of the Drakensberg Mountain Range at our lodge. ... more   less 
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