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“A gourmet hideaway” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Cleopatra Mountain Farmhouse

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Cleopatra Mountain Farmhouse
5.0 of 5 Hotel   |   Highmoor Road, Balgowan 3275, South Africa   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #1 of 3 Hotels in Balgowan
St. George, Bermuda
Senior Contributor
36 reviews 36 reviews
16 hotel reviews
Reviews in 30 cities Reviews in 30 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
“A gourmet hideaway”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 4, 2013

Adjacent to the Drakensberg Mountains, Cleopatra is a small farmhouse complex with a variety of rooms. Now a little tired and shabby-chic but still comfortable, many with fireplaces supplied with wood and lighters. Great walks close by in the hills. The main feature is the restaurant where set 6 course gourmet meals are served each evening to a superb standard. This is definitely for those who love their food, You need the walks to prepare for the next meal!
Could be greatly improved with a little work on the rooms.

Room Tip: The two executive cottages with great views over the countryside and hills.
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  • Stayed May 2013, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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162 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    104
    36
    17
    4
    1
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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
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (35)
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  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Any
English first
London
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 23, 2013

We loved everything about Cleopatra, from the breath taking views, the welcoming and knowledgeable staff ( came to serve us home made lemonade upon our return from a walk from the Moors. Very nice touch) to exception fine dining experience which catered for vegetarians too. All the ingredients were of highest quality hence the food tasting so exceptional.
The room was very comfortable, with a lovely warm electric blanket which was a wonderful surprise when we slipped into our comfy bed.
There is nothing that was not likable, and we would highly recommend anyone to stay here and experience, the finest dining in the finest breath taking surrounding.

Room Tip: We had Room No 1 and it was very beautiful.
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Perth, Australia
Contributor
17 reviews 17 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed May 16, 2013

We travelled there from Australia recently, for our daughter's wedding. The staff were fantastic, the food though a bit rich for my liking, was delicious. The mountain views lovely. I also enjoyed the mountain view from the bath in room 9. The gardens however are pretty ordinary and the room we had - room 9 is very tired and in desperate need of a refreshing re-vamp. I don't feel it was worth the high cost and was pretty disappointed in the background for the wedding ceremony. A lovely mountain granted, but spoilt with the view of an iron roof and surrounded by ordinary grounds. We opted for higher ground under a tree but personally I was disappointed for my daughter. The pergola where most ceremonies are apparently held could do with some desperate tizzying up - very grey to look at. Needs a proper step up into it and some nice brick paving/tiling on top of the concrete to make it look a bit more appealing, plus something planted to block out the iron roof. If I ever went back it would be solely to meet up with all of the staff again.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Newton, Massachusetts
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed May 15, 2013

I found the place odd. The decor is straight out of pre-victorian england. Considering we were in africa, it seemed kind of strange....the food was, well, odd too. Fishheads baked in cheese for breakfast? Really?? Everything was blanketed in a sea of bland cream sauces. The meat was cooked in such a fashion to reduce it to mush. Not a green vegetable to be seen, or a salad... I guess it was the height of haute cuisine in 1860 or so..i guess it just wasn't to my taste but the meal was beautifully presented and it was lovely to enjoy their hospitality. . With that said, they tried very hard, were very gracious and accomodating. The african staff do an exceptional job. They are really outstanding. The area is beautiful and we enjoyed hiking in the area. The rooms themselves are old ( older bathrooms, etc) but very very clean. The style of decorating runs to every surface being covered in knick-knacks. That either appeals to you or it doesn't. I guess eccentric might be a word to describe it...stuck in time. If you have fantasies of edwardian england or colonial africa, this is your place; if you booked a vacation in modern africa you would be out of luck here...

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Top Contributor
141 reviews 141 reviews
39 hotel reviews
Reviews in 56 cities Reviews in 56 cities
84 helpful votes 84 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 2, 2013 via mobile

Stayed here for three nights and wish it had been longer! All the previous reviews really say it all and we couldn't really fault the place. Our room  ( Number 6) was kitted out as " the Natural History museum" and worked well in an eccentric way including some appropriate memorabilia from the Poyntons' past. Staff very friendly and efficient. Food was excellent and the breakfasts probably the best we've had, although it's very rich and no quarter is given to the food "health police".  Richard Poynton was not around for the duration of our stay however this didnt seem to affect the quality of the food. The location is also amazing, set in large grounds with a freshwater dam at the front where you can throw food to the trout which you could easily mistake for piranhas! Our only regret was that we didn't stay longer and take advantage of the amazing things to do in the awe inspiring setting that is the Drakensburg Mountains. 

  • Stayed April 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Umhlanga Rocks, South Africa
Senior Contributor
27 reviews 27 reviews
18 hotel reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
27 helpful votes 27 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 27, 2013

IF you want toe experience Heaven, head to Cleopatra's, its amazing!
The most beautiful setting, the friendliest staff, Incredible food Eye Candy in every direction.
It has a phenomenal intrinsic character, and Richard Poynton is undeniably South Africa's best chef! Real food that taste amazing and has you begging for more! Lashings of all the good stuff, real butter, fresh eggs and greens plucked from the garden in front of your eyes! Don't miss out!
Its simply the best!
Wayne and Tania Coetzer

Room Tip: Don't eat lunch, you are going to have a mind blowing dinner!
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 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.
Riyadh
Contributor
20 reviews 20 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
28 helpful votes 28 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 25, 2013

We popped in on our way back from Highmoor.....for coffee.
The very friendly and warm reception was the start to a lovely visit to a great place. Although we only came for coffee, we were invited to walk the whole place. The beatiful furniture and the tasteful arrangement of everything was someting to see.
The service of all concerned was A+.
Good coffee and a relaxing ambiance kept us there for some time.
We will be back!

Room Tip: I'd say that any room availiable would be good. Enough good, crisp air availiable anyway.
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Cleopatra Mountain Farmhouse

Address: Highmoor Road, Balgowan 3275, South Africa
Location: South Africa > KwaZulu-Natal > Balgowan
Amenities:
Free Parking Restaurant Room Service
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 3 Hotels in Balgowan
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:5 star — Cleopatra Mountain Farmhouse 5*
Number of rooms: 11
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Cleopatra Mountain Farmhouse Hotel Balgowan
Cleopatra Mountain Farmhouse Kwazulu Natal
Cleopatra Mountain Farmhouse South Africa/Balgowan

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