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“Heaven on earth” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Arbuckle House

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Arbuckle House
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3.0 of 5 Bed and Breakfast   |   59 Arbuckle Street, Himeville 3257 , South Africa   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #6 of 7 Himeville B&B and Inns
Kortenberg, Belgium
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“Heaven on earth”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 27, 2014

We stayed in the thatched cottage. Lots of space, nice bed, ensuite bathroom with a shower that works well, and a well equipped kitchenette which we didn't use at all because Geraldine serves the most fantastic breakfast south of the equator. Also there's some nice restaurants in the nabourhood, and Underberg is not far away should you not find the right stuff here. Safe parking on the premises and Geraldine can help you with anything you would need.
We drove the Sani Pass ourselves, but Geraldine can easily organise a guided tour.
Next to the B&B is a roosting site for thousands of falcons. From November to April these birds gather here to spend the night in Himeville. Also in the village is a nature reserve, all worthwile.
Arbuckle House is ideally situated for visiting all kinds of attractions in the Drakensberg.

  • Stayed January 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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5 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Senior Contributor
38 reviews 38 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 21, 2013 via mobile

It is a friendly and sweet looking B&B. The owner is very helpfull, the room as perfect with a good bed and a nice sitting area out of our door. The bathroom is next door, so perfectly fine, the only minor detail that could be improved is that there is a bathtub with a shower but the shower is not fixed to the wall. The breakfast served was very good!

Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
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Senior Contributor
24 reviews 24 reviews
23 hotel reviews
Reviews in 23 cities Reviews in 23 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 22, 2013

Stayed in the Family Suite - which is in fact the top floor of the main house. Spacious and comfortable with a huge deck all along the front the only downsides are the absence of a shower and a slight lack of privacy with the lounge area totally visible from the owners dining room. Geraldine is however a most welcoming and helpful hostess who also serves an excellent breakfast. Ideally placed for a visit up the Sani Pass Arbuckle House is a good value for money choice for your stay in the Himeville area.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Durban, South Africa
Top Contributor
242 reviews 242 reviews
52 hotel reviews
Reviews in 87 cities Reviews in 87 cities
127 helpful votes 127 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed February 11, 2013

The place can be easily located as it is along the main road. There are several restaurants close to the place and makes a good starting point for a trip to Lesotho. The room size was just right but didn’t have en suite bathroom. I had to go out of the room to get to the bathroom which didn’t have a shower, just a bath tub. It was during winter (with snow) when I stayed with friends and there wasn’t adequate heating system! I thought I would have turned into a popsicle! What made the stay worst is the lack of water for our entire stay – 2 nights! The owner, Geraldine, told us that the water supply in the area had been cut and she didn’t have any back up plan in case that happen. We did not move to another B & B as we were told water supply will be back to normal that night. She gave me 5 liters of water for the day – for brushing teeth, taking a bath! And she gave the same amount of water to my friends – a family of 3! Despite this disappointment and inconvenience, we didn’t get an apology or at least half of the cost we paid.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with friends
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
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arbucklehouse, Owner at Arbuckle House, responded to this review, November 18, 2013
Thank you for your feedback, but I would like to clarify the circumstances under which these guests visited Arbuckle House. It was an extraordinary heavy snow fall the year in question. Municipal supplies of water become frozen under these extremely cold temperatures. Our Eskom and water supply is unreliable at best under these conditions, therefore bottled water is provided per 5 lt container as the guests may require them. There is no limitation or restriction to water provided on a daily bases. In fact, many home owners have to melt snow so they can at least flush their toilets. Let me take this opportunity to highlight one of the attractions in the area over winter is ice climbing.

The situation that presented itself to these guests is not unique to this establishment, as all B&B's and Hotels in the area are presented with similar challenges. A visit to this area when there is a snow fall, such as was experienced, is generally considered a privilege to experience and much sought after, but unfortunately it dose come with some minor discomforts.

The beauty of the snow should far out weight the inconveniences sadly documented above.
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Redcar, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
35 reviews 35 reviews
35 hotel reviews
Reviews in 30 cities Reviews in 30 cities
112 helpful votes 112 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 26, 2011

To see more accommodation that we stayed in whilst in South Africa just click on my profile.
If my reviews are of help to you then please click on the Helpful option at the end of each review.

We really enjoyed our stay at Arbuckle House.
It was kind of like staying with your posh aunty, and we mean that in the nicest possible way.
The owner Geraldine was one of these people who gave me the impression that she could probably get out of bed in the mornings and instantly be immaculately presented as we never saw her without a hair out of place or not immaculately dressed.
When she did our breakfast you could see that she had gone to a lot of trouble in preparing the table, as I immediately thought, cricky this table is laid out similar to what my mother would do if someone special was coming around for tea ie: all your best cutlery and cups and plates were brought out when someone special came around that she wanted to impress and make a fuss over them and this was the impression I got here. Not something you see too often these days, but extremely nice to see all the same.
Geraldine actually cooked the breakfasts while we were sat at the table listening to her chatting away to us while cooking the breakfasts, and at the same time, she still somehow managed to look immaculately presented even after washing up and rushing around the kitchen.
I don’t know how she did it.
I must say out of all the accommodation we stayed in whilst in South Africa we all agreed that Geraldine’s breakfasts were without doubt the closest we had, too a proper full hearty English breakfast in all the places we tried.

Our room was the main family room above the kitchen and tv room, or put another way it was more like a flat, as it was huge with plenty of homely ornaments and trinkets laid around to give it that warm homely feel, as opposed to a more minimalist look of a large hotel chain. The beds were big and soft and great to snuggle up into at night, meaning you get a great night sleep.
Our bathroom I would say was without doubt the largest bathroom we have had, it was huge (one slight note was it only had a bath and not a shower but no big deal really). We also had a large sun deck which ran the full length of the property and was a great suntrap. Our master bedroom had French doors that opened out onto this large sundeck which I would guesstimate was approx. 30 – 40ft in length.
In addition to our family room there were a number of other rooms within the main building for guests and there were also a couple of rooms that were totally separate from the main house, but set in within the immaculately tendered gardens. These were built in the traditional Lesotho Rondeval design, ie round with a thatched roof and really complemented the garden of Arbuckle house which looked more like an English Chocolate Box Country Cottage type garden with all its flowers.

Arbuckle house is so easy to find as once you drive into Himeville from Underberg there really is only one road to talk about, and that’s the road you drive in on. As you drive in to Himeville, the famous Himeville Arms pub/hotel is on the left and Arbuckle House is approx. 400 yards further on, on the same road on the left. This is the exact same road you would also continue along to get up to Sani Pass as well.

Things to do.
If you are not the outdoors type and want plenty of bars and shopping centres to occupy your time, then I would strongly suggest that you give this whole area a miss as it is geared totally for outdoor adventure. Of course the main reason for going to Himeville is to go up the famous Sani Pass. Geraldine can organise this for you with anyone of the many 4x4 companies in the local area. If you do go up Sani pass, which by the way really is only a short drive from Himeville, try running around a bit up there. You will then find out what it is like to exercise and get your breath back at high altitude as the oxygen is actually thin up top and it will not take you too long before you are out of breath. There are plenty of outdoor pursuits to do in this entire area all of which Geraldine can help you out with so I would suggest if you book in at Arbuckle house you email her 1st to see what price she can get things for as opposed to booking online and taking pot look, especially if you are going up Sani Pass as you most certainly want to be taken up their by a reputable company for sure as it can get a tad hair raising as you get closer to the summit.

We enjoyed our short 2 night stay at Arbuckle House. We found it to be warm, welcoming, extremely clean, has a nice homely feel to it, is also ideally located if you are only visiting the area to go up Sani Pass.
We would most certainly try to book in here 1st should we be in the area again, and as such I have no hesitation what so ever in recommending it to anyone wanting somewhere warm and homely to stay whilst in the area.

If my reviews are of help to you then please click on the Helpful option at the end of each review.
If there is anything else you need to know then by all means just email me via my profile.

  • Stayed December 2010, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Arbuckle House

Address: 59 Arbuckle Street, Himeville 3257 , South Africa
Location: South Africa > KwaZulu-Natal > Himeville
Hotel Style:
Ranked #6 of 7 B&Bs / Inns in Himeville
Hotel Class:3 star — Arbuckle House 3*
Number of rooms: 3

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