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“Beautiful location… but that’s about all…” 2 of 5 stars
Review of Three Cities Jozini Tiger Lodge and Spa

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Three Cities Jozini Tiger Lodge and Spa
4.0 of 5 Lodge   |   Main Road, Jozini 3969, South Africa   |  
Hotel amenities
Johannesburg, South Africa
Senior Contributor
31 reviews 31 reviews
21 hotel reviews
Reviews in 24 cities Reviews in 24 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
“Beautiful location… but that’s about all…”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed July 21, 2013

My wife and I booked 3 nights at Jozini Tiger Lodge as part of a week-long trip to northern Kwa-Zulu Natal and judging from the pictures, we were really looking forward to our stay. After our initial excitement of seeing the stunning location of this beautifully set hotel, the fairy-tale rapidly started to crumble and things just went from bad to worse.
Our check-in at reception was less than professional and we got the feeling that attending to our arrival was just an unwelcome hindrance. No information was forthcoming and our enquiries regarding facilities and meals were met with very offhand, monosyllabic answers.
The room was clean and tastefully furnished with great views and the hotel itself is impressive and beautifully decorated, but that is about all that is positive.
The restaurant meals are only buffet, and the food quality and selection rank well below par. Service in the restaurant was also sorely lacking. Meal times were more of a disorganised shambles with hordes of people (guests?) jostling us out of the way to push in front of us to fill up ‘take-away’ containers!
After our second night, we had had enough of this fiasco and managed to secure accommodation at nearby Ghost Mountain Inn for the remainder of our trip. We informed reception that we were most unsatisfied and wished to check out a day early and depart immediately. No one so much as blinked, let alone ask us why we were not happy.
Overall, I feel the hotel sadly lacks proper management and any staff training seems to be virtually non-existent.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 2 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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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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47 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    23
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    6
    3
    0
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (15)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Any
English first
Durban, South Africa
Senior Contributor
29 reviews 29 reviews
19 hotel reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 12, 2013

This hotel is clearly going through some change. The rooms are very modern and have all the amenities however the food and service falls a good distance short of the mark. The staff seem to the lack the skills required and it makes staying here a lesson in patience. The food is not good at all and one wonders whether 3 Cities group has actually put any operational support into this hotel.
I find myself willing them to do better though but I think it's beyond the current managements skill set - major change needed.

Room Tip: Anything with a view of the lake.
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled on business
    • 3 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
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Oxfordshire
Contributor
17 reviews 17 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
36 helpful votes 36 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed October 20, 2012

We only found out we were staying at Jozini Tiger Lodge after our arrival in South Africa - we were on a tour of SA run by Iliois travel - booked through Freedom Africa - but this hotel was a last minute substitute for Ghost Mountain where we were very much looking forward to staying.
In fact most of the hotel we stayed in were not on the original itinerary and were generally of a lower standard and a less convenient location.
First impressions of the Tiger Lodge location were positive - but we and the group were not allowed to our rooms until the manager had made a long pitch to sell his excursions, even though we were on a tour with no spare time.
We can't fault the rooms - they were clean, spacious and with great views.
The restaurant food and service is another matter.
The restaurant offers only a buffet and not a very inspiring one at that, and the service was generally average to poor due to willing but untrained staff.
Breakfast was a least of a reasonable quality.

Room Tip: Rooms on the higher floors are preferable due to ongoing building work.
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  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 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.
Cape Town Central, South Africa
Top Contributor
84 reviews 84 reviews
29 hotel reviews
Reviews in 32 cities Reviews in 32 cities
29 helpful votes 29 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 15, 2012

Travelling to Tiger Lodge one can become filled with trepidation at what the lodge may be able to offer as it is situated outside a small dusty town. However we were pleasantly surprised at everything the lodge has to offer. Beautiful views, wonderful buildings, clean spacious rooms and beautiful sunsets. We enjoyed a sunset cruise on the dam which included elephant sightings. A memorable and enjoyable experience.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Durban, South Africa
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 21, 2012

We booked a 2 night stay in a loft room at Jozini Tiger lodge over the Womens Day 'long weekend'.

After a 4 hour drive we found the lodge without difficulty as dusk was approaching. At check-in, the lady at reception (Sne) was quite unhelpful. She offered no explanation regarding the facilities, spa, meal-times, location of the dining room or anything else for that matter. Getting information from her was like pulling teeth from a hippopotamus. When we enquired about supper, she remarked that it was being served in the boma. When asked where the boma was she simply said "around the corner". I didn't bother enquiring which corner!! A person of this caliber, with poor people and communication skills should not be welcoming guests. "Welcome" drinks were however provided. At no time were we informed that we could also have supper in the formal dining room. One of the other ladies at reception were quite helpful and assisted me in booking a fishing trip for the next morning.

Having put the icy cold reception behind us we set off to find our room to freshen up before supper. The room was exactly as pictured on the website, tastefully furnished, clean and quite comfortable. However, no information booklet regarding the activities or facilities on offer was provided in the room either.

To find the supper venue we simply followed the sound of the drums! The Zulu dancers and drummers gave a spirited performance. Supper was a buffet providing an adequate variety and was well prepared. We had a restful sleep and were awaken early the next morning by the crowing of roosters. After enjoying the sun rise over the dam from the balcony we headed down for breakfast. Despite specifying that 3 of our group would not consume beef or pork, no other meat option was provided at breakfast. After a long delay and upon finishing our breakfast, we were brought rather large portions of chicken strips, grilled hake and chips which were packed for us to take on our boat trip. The breakfast was adequate and once again prepared to a satisfactory standard.

While we attempted to land a Jozini Tiger, the ladies had a relaxing time at the spa and lounged at the poolside. The boat pilot and guide was an amiable fellow who had the best luck of the day! At least we were able to watch the fight the fish gave him!

Tip - don't waste your time on spinners or lures: the Jozini Tiger appears to have a preference for sardines, which your guide will provide. The chicken liver we tried attracted no interest. Don't bother packing rods either as a rod and tackle are available for hire at reasonable cost.

We had also booked a sunset cruise which turned out to be quite a disaster as a result of poor management. There was a large group of ladies who had apparently booked a package including a cruise but were not booked for that day's cruise. They refused to get off the boat and management refused to allow the boat to leave. The cruise was delayed a long while and eventually left with the group on board after a whole lot of people that were booked got off!!!
People should only be allowed onto the boat after their bookings were confirmed anyway!

Supper was a buffet as well. Where were the gourmet meals the website promises??? To their credit the Kitchen staff prepared a delicious rack of lamb for those of our party that did not eat beef or pork. Also on offer were grilled prawns and the usual buffet items.

In summary we had a great stay at Jozini Tiger Lodge (primarily due to its location), the food was better than expected and the kitchen staff were quite accommodating to our dietary restrictions, however there is plenty of room for improvement especially with regards to the check-in staff/reception.

Room Tip: Choose a room in block 2 or 3. Block 1 is too far away!
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  • Stayed August 2012, 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
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Johannesburg, South Africa
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed August 13, 2012

We stayed at Jozini lodge for the long weekend, after driving 500km to get there my first impression as we checked in at reception was wow!We had dinner at the boma and the food was tasteful and the atmosphere was great.

We got to our room and the fridge was not working, we asked for a fridge 3 times on a space of 4hours and we finally got one later that evening. We tried to take a bath and there were no towels in the room had to ask for towels, which were delivered as promised. We thought that was the end of our bad experiences but the best was yet to come.
The following day, we sat by the pool with breathtaking views and asked menu and placed an order for drinks, after an hour of no one assiting we went to ask for menu's again and finally placed orders from the menu and the waiter would go to the kitchen and come back to tell us that that item on the menu is not available, chose something else and this went on 3times. finally we were told that the only thing available to order was a burger or fish. We requested for a grilled fish dishes and all came back fried and we were then told they do not offer any grilled fish. We were told tomato sause got finished in the morning and there's none available. The baby chairs they have are so dirty you cannot use them.

Later in the day we had a boat cruise scheduled for 3:30pm, the boat was overloaded and drama started to unfold as some people were asked to get off the boat and arguments started with the manager and the guests and this went on for over 30minutes, the situation was poorly handled. We got offered complimentary drinks and another boat cruise scheduled for the following morning.

We went for dinner that evening and once again to get the waiters to attend to you while at the table is a luxury. The buffer dinner menu as well as breakfast menu is very limited.

The kids though had lots of fun in the games room and went fishing. The hotel really needs to train their waiters and manage the place better, what we went through was just unacceptable.

Room Tip: We stayed in a family room which was nice and spacious.
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  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with family
    • 2 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
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
durban
Top Contributor
68 reviews 68 reviews
53 hotel reviews
Reviews in 45 cities Reviews in 45 cities
57 helpful votes 57 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 28, 2012

Just stayed there again in a family loft room, with my kids. what a lovely experience. room was clean spacious and very well decorated. once again views are breathtaking, hotel is gorgeous and staff are very friendly and helpful. Sunset cruise is a must with Siphiwe who is very friendly and knowlegable about the area. He answered all my kids questions and was friendly towards them. kids were entertained in the kids room which has playstation, wii, soccer table snooker table and table tennis. had a relaxing stay

  • Stayed June 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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 Three Cities Jozini Tiger Lodge and Spa

Address: Main Road, Jozini 3969, South Africa
Location: South Africa > KwaZulu-Natal > Zululand > Jozini
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 2 Specialty Lodging in Jozini
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — Three Cities Jozini Tiger Lodge and Spa 4*
Number of rooms: 60
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Tiger lodge is situated along the banks of the picturesque Jozini dam of KwaZulu Natal. Situated in the heart of the Kingdom of the Zulu with its rich heritage and untamed natural beauty, Tiger Lodge is an exciting holiday destination which offers a perfect luxury getaway in the heart of nature.The hotel is incredibly positioned overlooking the Jozini Dam and is easily accessible from both Durban and Gauteng. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Jozini Tiger Hotel Jozini

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