The George is a small South African country hotel and, knowing a little about how small South African country towns work, my expectations were set relatively low. I was however a little alarmed by a previous poor review and therefore booked the deluxe rooms at a whopping R800/night.
On arrival, everything was very pleasing - whilst the receptionist had gone off duty she had left everything prepared and the barman competently checked us in. The deluxe rooms were good - outside the main building but clean and nicely decorated, although we understand we were the very first occupants so we will have got the benefit of that! Public areas were simple but very pleasant in a charming turn of the century building. The bar was well stocked and that evening full to bursting before dinner as a result of an important rugby match on the TV! We were a little surprised that it was cash only and drinks could not be charged to our rooms but accepted that. On to the restaurant which was quite and again very simple but the food was good, simple fare. We were more shocked however, to learn that food could not be charged back to our rooms either, and learnt from the waitress that the restaurant, bar and coffee shop on site were all separate businesses and separate again to the hotel. At least they would accept a credit card so we paid our bill and retired to the bar. The time was 10pm and we arrived to find the barman shutting up shop....he told us that they would normally stay open til midnight but things had been slow since the rugby ended and he'd decided to close up for the night. He gave us one last drink before he did so but we would almost certainly have had more. The following day was Sunday. After a morning tour (see later) we returned to the hotel for lunch to find the bar, restaurant and coffee shop all closed, with nowhere to get anything to eat. A member of hotel staff was able to get us a drink from the bar but I suspect this was only because Gramham Chennells, the owner, was there to tell them they could....That night, the restaurant was open and the bar stayed open late....we had a throughly enjoyable evening. But the following night things went really awry, with the bar closing before 8.30pm, which meant we could not even have a second bottle of wine at the table in the restaurant!! This subcontracting arrangement caused us some difficulties and whilst we understood why the hotel is run in this way (we were told it is to minimise staff theft) I do feel it is not a customer focused policy and needs serious review by the owners.
I chose to stay here specifically to take advantage of the cultural tours run by Graham Chennells and his team which were excellent and therefore I got what I wanted from the stay. I thorughly recommend a stay here for this reason. The staff are all very helpful and pleasant and the general facilities are good. But they are not western hotel standard - think more 'Guest House' and be prepared to check when the different services will be in action and you wont be disappointed.
P.S. I checked the standard rooms and, whilst simple, they were clean and comfortable looking so ignore the previous review about the state of the rooms - either this gentleman had very unrealistic expectations or they have got their act together since. Or maybe he was inadvertantly booked in the backpackers on site, which by the way looked to be excellent for this type of accommodation at a mere R150/night!
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.