We have just returned from a truly incredible weekend at Mbotyi. A weekend is far too short a time to spend here as there is just so much to do and see and thank goodness we are back for a whole week in April. After the wonderful weekend we had we cannot wait to get back there and these will definitely be our first of many stays at Mbotyi River Lodge.
We had high hopes for our first trip to Mbotyi and it certainly exceeded all of our expectations. The drive to Mbotyi took us 4.5 hours comfortably. We drove from Assagay via Ixopo to Kokstad and then on to Lusikisiki and the roads were in great condition. It is only the last 19km's that is on a good dirt road and we comfortably did this in our car, no 4x4 needed.
On our arrival we were welcomed by extremely friendly staff, and a bottle of champagne with welcome cards in our room. The champagne was a very unexpected and thoughtful gesture for my fiance's birthday. This really set the tone of our stay as Mbotyi Lodge is filled with personal touches and exceptionally friendly and helpful staff. The staff really can't seem to do enough for their guests, and we were so impressed with the service.
The rooms are spacious, each with their own balcony overlooking the sea or the lagoon and the most comfortable beds. We had a sea facing room and the views were just exquisite. The general layout of the lodge has a great flow with a spacious bar area adjoining the games room and then flowing onto a cosy lounge and the dining area. The bar is extremely well stocked and I don't think you could be left wanting for any drinks, from the delicious cocktails, extensive wine list and many spirits and liqueurs, they really have it all.
The food was fantastic, and I think a real highlight for us. With Mbotyi having only 3 stars it wasn't expected that we would get 5 star food. Dinner was a 4 course affair with a starter, soup, choice of 2 main courses and then dessert. The menu varied each night and each course was truly delicious, but the seafood platter was definitely a highlight. Breakfast each morning had a fresh fruit salad, homemade muesli, cereals, and yoghurts that were fresh and light, especially after the big dinners we had had. But we still tried the cooked breakfasts and the Mbotyi special omelette is a must have. The little extra's like the pre dinner snacks (possibly the best chilli bites ever) and baked treats with afternoon tea were all unexpected but delicious too. Overall the food was fantastic quality and well presented and I must compliment the chef for preparing such wonderful meals in a remote destination where ingredients can't come easily.
There is certainly no shortage of things to do at Mbotyi. The location is definitely quite unique and the setting allows for many different adventures during a stay here. In the short time over the weekend we enjoyed two beach hikes, one of which led us to a beautiful waterfall. There are plenty more hikes in store for our next visit though and we will definitely be doing some of the longer guided hikes. We also took the 4x4 trip to the 3 waterfalls. The scenery was really spectacular, even in the cold and slightly misty weather. Neville the manager and our guide for the drive is so well informed and passionate about the area the trip was so interesting and the highlight was definitely swimming at the bottom of Angels Falls. The lodge also has great canoes for use that we took out up the lagoon for a beautiful paddle and saw so much bird life. We just managed to squeeze in a swim in the clear pool before heading home. There is plenty to do for anyone with kids too and the lodge is really geared up for families and childrens entertainment too.
Thank you to all the staff at Mbotyi River Lodge for a truly memorable stay. We cannot wait to be back for our next stay. I would highly recommend Mbotyi River Lodge to anyone considering a stay here...don't think twice just book and get there, you don't know what you are missing out on!!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- At Mbotyi River Lodge, the Wild Coast's leading seaside hotel we offer a range of accommodation options for couples, groups, families or corporate and conference bookings. Guests enjoy a comfortable 3 star hotel experience at this wonderfully remote Wild Coast resort. Our bedrooms all have a private balcony or patio to enjoy the wonderful views whether it is of the sea, the lagoon or valley. All rooms also offer tea and coffee making facilities, a ceiling fan and a safe for your valuables. We have 48 well appointed, en-suite rooms of which 36 are log cabins and 12 in thatched units that blend beautifully into the lush natural environment of Pondoland. 12 Rooms interconnect - perfect for families. We also cater for sporting, adventure and conference groups. ... more less