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“Total peace, tranquility, privacy surrounded by nature.” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Bushwillow Collection

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Bushwillow Collection
4.0 of 5 Cottage   |   P.O Box 525, Hluhluwe 3960, South Africa (Formerly Bushwillow Lodge)   |  
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Includes GUIDED BUSH WALK
UK
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“Total peace, tranquility, privacy surrounded by nature.”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 11, 2009

We spent 11 days at Bushwillow over Easter on a self catering basis with teenage children. Fabulous luxury accommodation and total privacy. If you want to get away from it all in total comfort- this is the place. Waking up to find giraff, zebra, antelope and warthog grazing in front of your deck was magical. Despite being in the middle of no-where we were always only a phone call away from Liz who always reacted to our every request and Jabu our maid would appear magically in the morning and tend to our every need in such a discreet manner that we hardly knew she was there but we certainly appreciated everything she did for us. Yes there were plenty of insects and the occasional power cut but it all added to the feeling of being away from civilisation.
My only note of caution would be that the pool and deck area is virtually shaded by trees which, if you are sunlover can be a bit frustrating as we were constantly having to move to catch the sun. The trees also harbour numerous caterpillars which shed fine hairs over all the furniture/people on the deck and caused a severe itchy rash on some of us. Brilliant place - we will certainly return. UK

  • Stayed April 2009, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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143 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
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London
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 8, 2009

My husband and I spent 3 amazing nights at Bushwillow for our honeymoon last month and I can truely say that our experience was magical. I grew up in South Africa and have been to a number of game parks in the past, whilst my husband is English and this was his first trip to South Africa and to a game lodge. My brothe and sister-in-law actually got engaged at Bushwillow a few years back and highly recommended us to stay there. We searched around on the internet a lot and to be quite honest Bushwillow is great value for money. It is a convenient drive from Durban so we hired a car and there is not off road vehicle required to get there. Access into Kuleni is secure and safe. We were warmly welcomed by our hosts on arrival and were delighted to be told that we were the only ones there over our 3 nights stay as towards the end of March is going into out of season so definitly a good time of year to go.

I was really blown away to see just how beautiful the lodge was, all wooden furnishing in the dinning/relaxation area, onto a open wooden deck with splash pool with lounger chairs overlooking the wilderness. Our room was just a long a little deck, and completely surrounded by bush. The windows are full length and the mosquito mesh see through which meant you could see the bush around you at all time making it fee; as if you are litterally living in the bush and no one ever comes past your room which makes it so conveniently private so there is no need to close the blinds or curtains!

The bed was possibly the biggest we'd ever seen, although I would recommend asking or bringing an extra pillow each. Lovely air con kept us cool at all times and the room is cleaned daily by Jabu who hosted us throughout our stay. The bathroom shower is huge and again like you're taking a shower in the bush. Beautiful african features throughout the lodge give it a special touch. They also gave us a bottle of champagne as it was our honeymoon which we really enjoyed!

Lizelle who managed the lodge was excellent and booked all our game drives and helped us with anything we needed as well as gave us great advice on what to see and do.

It was so peaceful there at all times and it really allowed us to relax and enjoy ourselves. We ate all our meals just the two of us on the deck for breakfast and dinner. The food was really lovely. We would suggest bringing your own snacks for lunch, there is a fridge that you can use there, or just drive into the local town 10 min away as one can get peckish in between breakfast and dinner.

Our game drives were so amazing, we had a guide and land rover all to ourselves which was such a blessing, this was booked by Lizelle with an outside company. The hluhluwe game reserve is a 20minute drive away, you could do a game drive or as many as you like in your own vehicle but we decided to treat ourselves to two - one early morning and one late afternnon when weather is a little cooler and game viewing is the best.. Some of the other game lodges have there own game drives but they were packed with people in them whilst we enjoyed a more personal experience.

We had so many close encounters were the Big 5, the park is just so beautiful and we were really humbled to experience game that close in their natural environment. We sadly didn't see any lion, but its just depends as they are normally spotted at least 3 times a week, but we were really blessed to see wild dog of which there are only 40 in the park as they are an endangered species so that was something really special!

Overall I would definitly recommend staying at Bushwillow to anyone, we most certainly hope to return. The service and hospitality was excellent, the cost was very reasonable, the game viewing was fantastic and the accomodation was beautiful!

Thanks to bushwillow for such a memorable honeymoon stay!

  • Stayed March 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 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.
Durban
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 30, 2009

My wife and I stayed here for five nights on honeymoon and it was simply amazing! The lodge is beautiful and comfortable and the service is brilliant - we were the only two people staying at the lodge, which meant we had absolute privacy. Not only is the lodge beautifully situated, but the price is reasonable, the hospitality is warm and the food is wonderful. We can't recommend Bushwillow enough!

  • Stayed March 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 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.
Northamptonshire
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
15 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
104 helpful votes 104 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 12, 2006

Where to begin!? Bushwillow is absolutely fantastic!

I have to admit we were a little perturbed when we arrived. The lodge is in the middle of a nature reserve (no really dangerous animals there - but it has platforms between rooms to avoid the odd warthog), and when we arrived we discovered that we were the only people staying there. It only has three rooms but we didn't really bargin on total isloation. Even the housekeeper left at night. Still the owners had a house in the reserve and gave us a phone number to contact them on if we needed them.

The accommodation was lovely - rustic, but very good quality. We had the biggest room with twin sinks and a separate shower and bath. On the first morning we woke to see bucks darting around in the bush and giraffes wandering next to our room - just amazing.

We were served beautiful meals by our housekeeper (who made breakfast) and our cook who laid on three course spreads in the evening. Amenities included an honesty bar, plunge pool and sun loungers and living room where you could relax. The owner of the lodge can set up safari trips and Bushwillow is an easy drive to the town of Hluhluwe, the St Lucia Wetlands, and Cape Vidal.

The whole experience was so lovely that we even got engaged there, on the spur of the moment - so Bushwillow must have had something special about it!

Can't recommend it enough - the only thing I will say is think carefully about it if you're scared of bugs - I know it's the African bush, but I wasn't quite prepared for it and felt a little stranded in a sea of undesireables!

  • Liked — The peace and being so close to nature
  • Disliked — Didn't want to be so close to all sorts of nature - it was a slight bug fest!
  • Tips/Secrets — Just go there!
  • Stayed March 2006, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 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 Bushwillow Collection

Address: P.O Box 525, Hluhluwe 3960, South Africa (Formerly Bushwillow Lodge)
Phone Number:
Location: South Africa > KwaZulu-Natal > Zululand > Hluhluwe
Amenities:
Free Parking Kitchenette Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 27 Specialty Lodging in Hluhluwe
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — Bushwillow Collection 4*
Number of rooms: 9
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
We offer 3 accommodation options, all very different from each other. We aim to satisfy all possible guest wishes. We strive to provide a very personalised service, and we pride ourselves on this. Bushwillow Lodge Our catered bush lodge with reed ceilings is a home away from home, accommodating just 6 guests. Couches in the main sitting area encourage visitors to relax with a book. The open plan kitchen means that guests can see and smell the honest home-cooked food being prepared for them where it shall be served either outside on the main deck or inside on the large eucalyptus table. The bedroom chalets with huge windows offer seamless views of the surrounding bush and are cosily furnished with wood and textured fabrics in rich colours. The jacaranda bathroom vanities are adorned with handcrafted basins and the frameless shower and free standing bath provide an interesting mix of old and new. Each bedroom has its own private viewing deck. Wooden walkways link the chalets to the main lodge and its pool deck where guests can come together and share their day's stories over a sun-downer. This is the place to stay should you want that authentic African feel and have your breakfast and evening meals prepared for you. Bushwillow Cottage Originally a farm rondavel this cottage has been lovingly renovated so that it blends sympathetically under tall and rare Lebombo-Wattle trees. It is a perfect self-catering getaway for up to 4 adults and 2 well behaved children. The rondavel offers a tastefully decorated lounge and well-equipped cottage-style kitchen. The two bedrooms are located off the central rondavel. One bedroom has a king bed with en-suite showers (indoor and outdoor) whilst the other bedroom has twin beds that can be converted to a king bed. Both bedrooms have pullout beds suitable for children and wingback chairs where one can sit and relax when wanting that quiet time. The thatched ceilings offer warmth to the cottage, and the deep beds with comfy headboards and crisp linen provide guest comfort. The open veranda with outdoor lounge furniture is a great place to unwind and watch the passing giraffe as one sits under the fans. There is a spa bath situated on the outside main deck where one can relax in the evening as the sounds of the African night spell romance. For families and friends, there is a gas braai on the outside deck which brings everyone together and where cooking is a pleasure. Bushwillow Boutique Contemporary design, high ceiling timber chalets with wooden floors combine quirkily with bright colour schemes and invigorating styling. Self-contained and spacious with stackable doors and lots of glass allow the bush to seep into the airy and vibrant rooms, providing an energetic contrast. Crisp linen, individuality and privacy guarantee a restful stay. Each chalet has its own kitchen, private viewing deck and a cooling pool in which to wallow. Perfect for couples who want to self-cater though it is also possible for Boutique guests to book an evening meal at the main lodge or have breakfast provided in their chalet fridge. ... more   less 
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