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Brandwag Hotel
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Reviewed 7 June 2016

If you are coming to Brandwag Hotel for the view and the walks and could not care less about ambience or food then don't read any further. This was my Sunday buffet lunch experience. The hotel has been recently renovated but although clean and contemporary gives the impression of being tired and bored with itself. The staff are friendly but also seem lacking in enthusiasm and local knowledge. The whole feeling is of emptiness in a beautiful location.
Buffet lunch starters were unexciting although the chicken croquettes were quite tasty. The spring rolls were tough with no spring. The chewy beef samoosas were a challenge. Mains consisted of thick slabs of beef soaked in a vinegary type of Worcestershire sauce and the lemon infused chicken pieces were undercooked and underwhelming. Less said the better about the vegetables. Someones imagination was definitely not stretched.
To end the misery was a choice of malva pudding with custard or a chocolate mousse topped with spray can cream.
Forget about the nearby vulture feeding table in the park. There were only three tables at our sitting but I had the distinct feeling that the staff could not wait for us to leave in order to tuck into the left over food. And there was an awful lot left over. R180 per person excluding bar.
Eish!!! definitely not recommended and I won't be back.

  • Stayed: June 2016, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Service
1  Thank fussynotnasty
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 February 2016

What a surprise. Do yourself a favour and visit this establishment. Clean, neat and neatly upmarket probably best describes the hotel. Better than expected - service was excellent and food delicious. Sit back and enjoy the scenery.

  • Stayed: February 2016, travelled as a couple
    • Service
Thank CMJGoose
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 February 2016

Note the new name of this hotel since its refurbishment (in 2007?). This is the only hotel run by SanParks themselves, and in some respects I'm afraid it shows. The rooms are standard chain hotel style, but are spacious, clean and comfortable and have great showers! Ours certainly had a great view and the location is perfect for hiking in the Golden Gate National Park, which ultimately is what this place is all about - so if this is what you're here to do, then don't be put off by the soulless appearance. The breakfast buffet is very good but to say that the dinner a la carte menu lacks imagination would be an understatement. The food itself was fine, but the choices resemble a roadside Wimpey. Rather take the 20 minute drive into nearby Clarens. Very friendly and helpful reception staff but poorly trained waiters.

Room Tip: Wifi is available in reception. Not entirely reliable, but in its place you can use the desktops in the adjacent business centre for free.
  • Stayed: February 2016, travelled as a couple
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
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Thank Bushman594
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 September 2015

The newly named Golden Gate hotel and chalets is in the most beautiful location, however the services they offer are mediocre. Arrived Thursday and were told the A La carte bar area was only open until 6 for food and then buffet only (R170). We sat in the bar at 5 30 and were told by a staff member who obviously wanted to go home early, that food orders had closed. Having only choice of a buffet when 20 kms from any other food options ( no room service) is a bit disappointing. Having said that the buffet ( one meat only) was tender and satisfactory. Breakfast wasn't great - ( tinned Mushrooms etc) and although this is in the most beautiful location with stunning views, the staff werent bothered to set up outside ( on a lovely hot sunny day). Surely you should take advantage of your one PRO - the view?The staff are friendly but dont offer much information about what to do in the area. Although canoeing, herbal walks etc etc are noted on their website, when asked what activities we could do, we were told, Nothing around here. The rooms are clean, crisp linen, bathroom with shower lovely and spacious and the views of the mountain are great. There are little things that make your stay in a hotel all the more special and I felt a general boredom and mediocrity of staff attitudes. We happened to get a special for the weekend, but paying full normal price would not be worth it.

Room Tip: get the upstairs room, not ground level, you get a better view of the mountains
  • Stayed: September 2015, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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2  Thank JoanneOlivier
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 November 2012

This hotel has been update a few times in the last 30 years. We stayed at one of the self catering rooms, but ate at the restaurant. The food was excellent, the accommodations great. Really the only downside of this place was finding it, the signs are non-existent, the maps on their website dismal and the GPS didnt know where the hotel is. For those who are coming from Harrismith side, it is closer to the Clarens gate than Harrismith, be prepared for a 30+km drive before you find it. If you know the iconic feature of Golden Gate then you will know you are close - I will put a pic below so you have an idea.

I would like to have spent more time here, but sadly we had to catch a flight back to Canada.

Room Tip: Leave plenty of time to get there, you are driving through a National Park and there is plenty to see.
  • Stayed: October 2012, travelled with friends
    • Value
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1  Thank SMSOutthere
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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