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“Amazing location!” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Mseni Lodge

Mseni Lodge
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Mseni Lodge
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Sodwana 3974, South Africa   |  
Hotel amenities
Johannesburg
Senior Contributor
28 reviews 28 reviews
23 hotel reviews
Reviews in 24 cities Reviews in 24 cities
28 helpful votes 28 helpful votes
“Amazing location!”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 7, 2013

Don't write off Mseni on base of those bad reviews here. But do yourself a favour and make sure you book self catering chalet. There is difference in standard between the two types, self catering chalets being better equipped. You can still eat in the restaurant if you want, there are also couple of restaurants outside the park gates.
The restaurant was ok for dinner, I don't agree about it being a rip off... But then again, I'm used to Joburg prices. The prices are comparable to Spur, so is menu (but with less selection).
Staff were very helpful and doing their best to make our stay pleasant.
Looking at service - remember, that there is only one small town close to Sodwana and all workforce comes from there.
They might not always be the most qualified people, but they will do what you ask them to ONCE they understood what you want. This is often the case in rular places in South Africa.
The only issue we had was with sewage system, but this was fixed within hour after we complained.
Overall, we had fantastic time and find lodge good value for money.
There is only one other place to stay in Sodwana that is within the park itself (Coral Divers), and I heard that they are good. But they are often booked out with divers.
Rather stay in Mseni than outside the park, especially if you are there for diving. You will save time in the morning as you won't have to queue to the park gates (you can only access beach this way!)
Last but not least, Mseni has private access to beautiful beach. The path leads from the restaurant area, it takes pleasant 3 minutes of forrest walk to get there. Amazing!

Room Tip: We stayed in chalet 14, no complaints whatsoever.
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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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51 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    6
    26
    12
    5
    2
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    3.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (9)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Any
English first
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 5, 2013

As a diving family Sodwana was awesome. Mseni Lodge was just average. If you are looking for basic accomodation this works but beware, the B&B rates are steep for the mediocre breakfast. Eating out meals in Sodwana is expensive for a family of 5 so book the self-catering options and take along meals for dinner as well as plenty of snacks and drinks for uour fridge. the chalets were clean but basic. We dived with Amoray and Colin and team were fantastic (www.amoraydiving.com). Dinner in the lodge restaurant was pricy.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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Frankfurt, Germany
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 4, 2013

The chalets are ok, low standard but clean. Stuff is friendly. The restaurant is awful though. It doesn´t have the same management. We booked Bed & Breakfast - breakfast was a joke though.We got some muffins and jam and after asking for it even some coffee. no juice, no fruit, no milk, not even coffee was there at 7:30 am. Also ate dinner at this restaurant which was a bad choice.Tasted like out of the freezer. Simply very low quality of food. We suggest to eat outside the park! We have been to many B&B in SA and this was the worse experience FOOD WISE ever.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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Pretoria
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed January 8, 2013

We couldn't agree more with the last 2 reviews: Mseni Lodge is very overpriced for what it provides, and if we had had a choice we would have moved out. We travelled with our adult son, and had booked a 4-people B&B chalet. Our chalet was more basic than expected, with a bunk bed in the entrance room and 2 single beds in the bedroom, all of which looked like they had seen better days. There was only one ceiling fan, in the bedroom, which was a problem for the person sleeping on the bunk bed, since the chalet remained hot at night. There was not even a small fridge to keep a cool drink. In the small bathroom, there were only 2 mini-soaps (no new ones given for the 6 nights we were there) and towels which were old and frayed. No space to hang them so that they could dry. On the 3rd day, we left the towels in the bath, and they were duly collected, but when we got back at 16h after a couple of dives, there were no new ones in the bathroom. My husband went to reception to request fresh towels, and was told that they were still in the tumble dryer!!!

On arrival, we were not warned about the monkeys who are proficient at opening the window latches in order to steal from the rooms, so we found a puddle of wee and a torn sugar sachet on our return from our first drink at the restaurant! The restaurant owner advised us to secure the latches with the cord from the window blinds, but that meant sleeping with the blinds fully opened... We were also not warned about the tap water, which had been found to be unfit for consumption in the whole Sodwana Bay area!

The restaurant, which is owned separately, was a great place for a drink in the evening, with its view over the trees and the sea, and the staff there were really friendly. We had Christmas dinner there: great gammon, but otherwise not worth the R250 per person. Ate there on 2 other occasions and the food was good but we found better value elsewhere. Our bug bear was with the breakfasts. Although we were told that it's served from 6h30 to accommodate those going on early dives, we never once found things laid out on our arrival around 6h40, not even the basics like cereal and milk. On the one morning that there was coffee in the coffee pot, it turned out to be from the day before... The waitress is clearly not trained, and has not been taught to lay things out BEFORE the customers arrive, or even to say "good morning" when they do.

In summary, we felt ripped-off and will not be going back. We were told that the owner's concession is up for review in October, that he is worried that it will not be renewed and is therefore unwilling to spend money on anything in the resort. That's understandable, but the fair thing to do would be to drop the prices to reflect what's on offer at Mseni now!

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
2 of 5 stars Reviewed January 8, 2013

We stayd at the Mseni Lodge from the 31th of december to the first january. Nobody told us, that we can't go outside the Lodge during the Sylvester.
We drove away at the first at 11 am. It was no problem.
The beach is in a really short distance. But you have to walk 10 minutes through a jungle. The beach is beautiful.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service

Review collected in partnership with this hotel

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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Durban, South Africa
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
2 of 5 stars Reviewed January 7, 2013

I visited Mseni lodge at the end of December for 2 nights. I was pleased with the location, being very easy to access the main beach and all activities associated with that.

The rooms were very basic indeed and given that I had paid over R3k for just 2 nights I really was expecting a lot more. It really was quite a shock to be greeted with one bedroom with a fan, one inbuilt cupboard and a mirror dressing area! I think for the money the place is exceptionally over priced by anybody's imagination.

I ate at the restaurant twice for breakfast and once for an evening meal. the service by the waitressing staff was pretty poor in all, with very little customer service ability. The food though was nice.

Thanks




  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service

Review collected in partnership with this hotel

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
1 review
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed February 21, 2011

We booked a 5-night stay at Mseni Lodge over the 2010 / 2011 New Year period. Our chalet was comprised of two separate bedrooms (one with a double bed, the other with two single beds), two bathrooms and two additional beds in the hallway. We were a family of 5, two adults and three children aged 8, 6 and 3. We were charged a B&B rate of R820.00 per night per adult, and R470.00 per night per child, giving a total of R15,250.00, all of which was fully paid by the time we arrived at Mseni Lodge. Also note that we had just arrived from the luxurious Inkungu Lodge (www.inkungulodge.co.za), in Champagne Valley, Drakensberg, where we were charged roughly the same B&B rate; at this price we therefore expected a similar, high quality from Mseni Lodge.

We were very disappointed with the quality, facilities and furnishings of the chalet. The interior looked like it had not been refurbished in many years; the bathrooms and boiler units were in poor condition. There was no TV, radio or dining area. We were also unfortunate that on the day we arrived there had been a recent infestation of bees in our chalet, although the lodge owners had done their best to clear them out. The location of our chalet was also disappointing; we were right next to the parking area, and with the main sceptic tank buried in the ground on the other side of the parking, this meant that on several occasions we were treated to the very unpleasant sight and smell of a large truck arriving to empty out the tank.

Mseni Lodge also has a restaurant and bar. The breakfast – included in our chalet rate – was rather mediocre. On at least two mornings there were some condiments and cutlery missing. The dinner was better, but slightly overpriced. The upstairs bar was rather pleasant and the restaurant and bar staff were very friendly. The outside swimming pool was a nice size for the children but again the equipment and pool area was in dire need of upgrading. On one occasion we ordered a packed lunch for a day out, but the choice of sandwiches was very limited and the quality was poor. One of the main attractions of Mseni Lodge is that it is located right by the sea, unfortunately the closest beach, a mere 5-minutes away, is not suitable for swimming. The main beach at Sodwana Bay is slightly further away, although still manageable on foot. It is however (as has been mentioned in other Tripadvisor posts) mostly popular with divers and fishing enthusiasts. This means that holidaymakers, diving companies and instructors actually bring their 4x4 trucks right down onto the beach. The water is safer for swimming, but all in all this is certainly not a family-friendly beach.

As we were quite dismayed with the facilities of Mseni Lodge, we ventured out of Sodwana Bay on several occasions. We visited Umfolozi Game Park, Zulu Croc and Tembe Elephant Park and enjoyed ourselves.

In summary: We were disappointed with this lodge, will not be returning, and would not recommend it to anyone thinking of visiting the area; we believe we were grossly overcharged, given the quality and facilities of our chalet; we would also advise others families with young children to think very carefully before deciding to visit Sodwana Bay.

  • Stayed December 2010, traveled with family
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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 Mseni Lodge

Address: Sodwana 3974, South Africa
Location: South Africa > KwaZulu-Natal > Sodwana
Hotel Style:
Ranked #6 of 13 Specialty Lodging in Sodwana
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 15
Also Known As:
Mseni Lodge Sodwana, Africa

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