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“A shiny penny charged but lacks polish.” 2 of 5 stars
Review of Trogon House and Forest Spa

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Trogon House and Forest Spa
5.0 of 5 Lodge   |   Monkeyland Road/Animal Alley | PO Box 110, The Crags, Plettenberg Bay 6602, South Africa   |  
Hotel amenities
worldwide
Senior Contributor
39 reviews 39 reviews
21 hotel reviews
Reviews in 28 cities Reviews in 28 cities
40 helpful votes 40 helpful votes
“A shiny penny charged but lacks polish.”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed April 17, 2012

Trogon House is a beautiful location, the road to get to it can be a bit worrisome but taking it slow and easy gets you there.

Trogon House is basically two lodges linked together by a walkway through the heavy forestation. The upper lodge has a sparkling clean blue pool and a few rooms and is where the meals are served. The lower lodge has a dirty slimy pool and also has a few rooms.

We booked the master suite. We loved the room that has a gorgeous private curtain of forest right in front of it, you are literally two steps away from the algae slimed pool, and have a lovely view out over the tree tops from the room. At night the primitive calls of the primates from Monkeyland was amazing to hear. The birdlife is lovely at this lodge and butterflies abounded during our stay. We loved the bath and soaking late at night when there was enough hot water to do that.

However I was not at all impressed with the food based on the basis of the one and only dinner we ate there and our repetitive breakfasts. We had an evening meal that I thought was way overpriced for the quality we received, with a limited choice to wine and I mean limited to one name/brand only. Do not be held hostage by the bad road and feel you need to eat dinner here, you can get an excellent three course meal and bottle of wine or brilliant SA bubbly for the same price, in town, and traversing the road slowly and carefully at night is well worth it.

We were there for a total of 6 days, our breakfast had not changed by any item by the fourth morning so my partner and I decided to just get out and try some places offering breakfasts. We found some superb options. It irks me that this was something that was not considered, surely if you have guests staying a longer period of time they should not have to ask for a variations on a menu, it should be offered.

Seeing the hostess every morning we ate breakfast in her dressing gown we felt was unprofessional also considering that on the last day when we went to settle up it was 10am and she attended to our checkout still in her dressing gown.

We could hear absolutely everything going on in the bathroom in the room next door to us; if they went to the bathroom at 3am in the morning we woke up with the water pipes at our heads with the flushing. Any conversation or indeed anything the couple next door did in the bathroom we heard.

There was not sufficient hot water for us and other guests in our lodge in the morning or the evening. There was no plug to match the hairdryer in our room, when my partner went to ask for a plug the main house was empty and no one was around. Supplying the fridge with potable water and milk for tea and coffee was erratic. Some days there was and some days there was not water and milk. Our DSTV was not working in our room one night and it was the only night we were alone in the bottom lodge, my partner went to mention this to the hosts but again the main house was empty, later that night we were jerked awake by loud TV noises and my partner went to investigate to ask the person to turn the sound down, there was the host watching TV in the room downstairs at full volume. My partner mentioned that the TV was not working in our room and the host shrugged his shoulders saying he would have to do something the next day and carried on watching his show at full volume.

My partner slipped in the algae slimed pool twice, it is a matter of time before someone hurts themselves in this pool and takes it further legally as there is no warning that the pool may be slippery. When we mentioned this fact we were told that they couldn’t do anything about this as the river water pumped into it makes it difficult to keep the algae under control. That was hard to believe when seeing how clean and sparkling the top lodges pool is.

Trogon Lodge left us disappointed. You are charged a shiny penny here but the place lacks polish. I am adamant that at being charged what we were a day we should not have to ask for a variation in breakfast or run around looking for plugs, water and milk for the room. The side of the lodge we stayed on seemed less cared for than the top area. We travel extensively and when you compare prices for a luxurious place to anywhere in the USA, Europe, East or South America this place falls short and I think more attention needs to be paid to some details. I must mention that the rest of the staff were awesome, friendly and helpful and tried really hard to help where they could.

  • Stayed March 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 2 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
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
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99 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (18)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
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English first
Hamburg, Germany
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 11, 2012

Well, if you see it you will love it. This area has changed over the last two decades but there is still magic. I believe you have to stay in such wonderful places like the Trogon House to feel the real africa.

We got treated so well and the hospitality was charming in all aspects. The food, Mark, prepared, was delicious. Wilma and Mark are excellent negotiators and above all we had a really good time.

  • Stayed March 2012, 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
    • 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.
London
Top Contributor
97 reviews 97 reviews
19 hotel reviews
Reviews in 29 cities Reviews in 29 cities
56 helpful votes 56 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 27, 2012

We spent three days at Trogon House. We were not disappointed. The standard of accommodation was excellent. We ate dinner twice, while there, Mark is a great cook and Wilma provides great front of house. You really feel like you are house guests. The long drive is something of an adventure, but when you arrive the property more than meets expectations. The rooms with floor to ceiling glass walls brings the forest into your room. As a keen bird watcher, seeing the Knysna Turaco flitting around in the bushes while sitting in bed provided the ultimate in bird watching!

Staff at the property are very kind and attentive. If you are looking to get away from it all for a few days, then this is the place to Zcome. No Internet, no credit cards, only forest sounds. When we left we felt totally relaxed and ready to join the big bad world again.

My only comment would be, book direct with the owners, there seemed to be some confusion by booking via Hotels.com who took my credit card details, but as the owners do not take cards, no payment was passed to them and we had to get cash to pay the bill.

Room Tip: We had the master room attached to the main lodge
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  • Stayed March 2012, 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
    • 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.
London, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 4, 2012

We stayed at the Trogon House and Forest Spa for one night however we could have stayed longer. The hosts made us feel so welcome and were such an interesting couple to get to know. It is quite a small hotel so we ended up eating dinner with other guests, which was a great experience. The hotel is stunning, with beautiful views, beautifully decorated rooms and dinner was fantastic (which was prepared by the owner/chef). As advised on their website, it is good to get there during daylight hours because the driveway is quite narrow and unpaved however we thought this added to the adventure and made the destination all that more special. We actually stayed Christmas night and the hosts put on a special dinner and organised entertainment in the form of African drumming lessons and a fire dancer. It was such a magical and memorable evening! We would highly recommend this hotel, for the views, the quality of accommodation and above all the friendliness of the hosts.

  • Stayed December 2011, 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
    • 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.
George, Western Cape, South Africa
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 27, 2012

We had the most amazing weekend at Trogon House and Forest Spa. The staff is friendly, helpful and not intrusive at all. The hostess Wilna is amazing and really knows how to connect with her guests and made us feel at home. The food is absolutely wonderful and value for money, very high standard. The spa facilities are beautiful and clean and the rooms are beautiful and modern. It is paradise. I really felt relaxed and spoiled after our weekend.

Room Tip: The Master suites are lovely but the other rooms are equally as nice.
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  • Stayed February 2012, 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
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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London
Senior Contributor
43 reviews 43 reviews
43 hotel reviews
Reviews in 43 cities Reviews in 43 cities
66 helpful votes 66 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 8, 2012

Trogan House is approached by driving down a rather long forest track which begins next to the main entrance to Monkeyland – which is just off the N2 at The Crags a few miles east of Plettenberg Bay. The track follows the monkey-proof wire fence that surrounds Monkeyland before veering off further into the middle of the forest. And when you get to the end of the track – what a delightful find! A superb purpose built boutique hotel.

It must have been quite a feat of engineering to construct such a property given the site is surrounded by trees with very limited access. Anyway, the result is a bold and adventurously designed property – much of it on stilts – with a great lounge and dining area plus outside decking with a pool and, for lounging, an alfresco fully made up double bed.

Our room was great – built above ground level and quite high up amongst the trees – with magnificent floor to ceiling glass walls on 2 sides making the room really bright despite the density of the surrounding trees - plus a huge private outside balcony with table and chairs. Certainly a room with a difference and our stay was made all the better by great hosts – Mark cooked breakfast to order and cooked the best breakfast I had on this trip – which included 8 different hotels and/or b and b’s. (His black pudding was the best I’ve ever tasted).

The downside?. Well, for one, no wifi signal. Second, the access down the dirt track is a bit hard on rental car suspensions and third, you have to be on guard against any unwanted insect intruders. But on the plus side – the beds were comfy and the unusual location was great. Also, the service was very attentive and, all told, makes for a great forest retreat. The price tag was also attractive given this is an expensive part of the Garden Route. We paid high season rates of 1500 Rand for 2 per night with dinner for 2 charged at 500 Rand plus wine. A memorable experience.

  • Stayed January 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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.
Newcastle Upon Tyne, UK
Senior Contributor
45 reviews 45 reviews
45 hotel reviews
Reviews in 41 cities Reviews in 41 cities
51 helpful votes 51 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 26, 2012

We stayed here for 2 nights in January and were blown away! In the middle of the forest! In rooms with glass walls! It felt like you were sleeping in the trees. Rooms were gorgeous, with no blinds or curtains - privacy just came from the branches! Also in the rooms - no door to bathroom, so you have to know your roomate pretty well!

Walking along wooden walkways brings you to the main house, which is beautiful - brilliant decoration. Hosts Wilma & Mark were so genuine and welcoming, it was lovely and relaxing being about to chat with such nice, intelligent, interesting people. And of course eating Mark's delicious food! Pool area fantastic, and one night we used the spa - which is a jacuzzi and sauna lit by candlelight - very romantic!

My only tiny criticism was that I hadn't been told I was unable to pay by card, so had to rush out to get cash with Mark, but that did not spoil my stay at all and I cannot wait to come back.

It is only 15min drive to Plettenburg Bay and 20min to Tsitsikamma, a perfect location.

  • Stayed January 2012, 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
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Trogon House and Forest Spa

Address: Monkeyland Road/Animal Alley | PO Box 110, The Crags, Plettenberg Bay 6602, South Africa
Location: South Africa > Western Cape > Plettenberg Bay > The Crags
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beverage Selection Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Spa Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 6 Specialty Lodging in The Crags
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:5 star — Trogon House and Forest Spa 5*
Number of rooms: 6
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Trogon House & Forest Spa offers exquisite luxury, suspended in the tree tops of a forest reserve that stretches untamed along the Tsitsikamma mountains and beyond. Elevated into the tree tops, the lodges embrace the forest with see-through glass walls and sky-lit roofs, creating a true "nature forest" experience. What really sets Trogon House apart, is the absolute privacy and exclusivity in the midst of nature's pristine beauty. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Trogon House And Forest Hotel The Crags
Trogon House And Forest Spa South Africa/The Crags

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