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“Not what we had hoped for....” 2 of 5 stars
Review of Three Cities Imvubu Lodge

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Three Cities Imvubu Lodge
3.0 of 5 Hotel   |   Cnr. Krewelkring & Hibberd Drive, Meerensee, Richards Bay 3901, South Africa (Formerly Protea Hotel Imvubu Lodge)   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Meerensee
Worcester, United Kingdom
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
“Not what we had hoped for....”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed October 8, 2012

We stayed here for two nights as part of a Trailfinders fly-drive tour of KZN, this was our first time at Imvubu. We were disappointed by three things:

- the poor service from the majority but not all of the staff
- the poor standard of the accommodation
- the rather limited options at Richard's Bay.

On the service, it started poorly. When we checked in we asked if there were any maps of the local area, after a 10 minute hunt an out of date map from 2010 was found, the lady on reception seemed unfamiliar with the area and was unable to direct us to anywhere 'off campus'. There were lots of leaflets and literature for other Protea hotels. When we found our lodge it was still being cleaned and we were asked to return in an hour. When we returned we struggled to locate the ‘car port’ that was allocated to the chalet, four calls to reception and security later we were told that it was the area next to our chalet and that there was no car port? The poor service continued when we attempted to borrow a travel adapter, which were present in all our other places of accommodation; this again took several phone calls before help was actually offered, and then rather reluctantly. The check-out process was also rather shambolic with it being unclear when we left if they had or had not successfully charged my credit card and them being unable to give me a copy of my bill. They promised to email this on within the hour which of course did not happen. After emailing to chase, a pdf with no accompanying content or apology in the email was received.

The service was however, not all bad and the meal and service we had in the resorts ‘Reeds’ restaurant was excellent and good natured. The service problems were largely isolated to the reception staff who seemed very young, poorly trained and somewhat out of their depth.
Regarding the accommodation we stayed in a two bedroom ‘deluxe’ lodge; it was anything but. As another reviewer has noted the pictures from their online materials do not reflect what one receives and we too were disappointed to find a rather shabby and dated pine-clad lodge. The setting was pleasant and quiet but the lodge itself was in need of significant updating; there was not a single window where the wire netting mosquito screens was unbroken. The shower tray was also badly marked and there was a general sense of being in ‘school trip’ accommodation.
Finally with regards Richard’s Bay, there is little to recommend it other than as a base to the surrounding area. The water-front development has a few quite lively bars and restaurants which were okay and provided alternatives to the ‘Reeds; a taxi there from Imvubu costs in the region of R60.
We spent our time in St Lucia, and would opt for this as a base in the area for future trips.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 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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32 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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    2
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6
12
Solo
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9
Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    3.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (9)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
  • Russian first
  • Turkish first
  • Any
English first
Johannesburg, South Africa
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 10, 2012

My client booked the hotel , which turned out to be a Chalet style resort. The chalet was clean and tidy with all the basic necessities , tea and coffe making is supplied which is just as well as the chalets are reasonbly secluded with a long walk to the restruant facilities. In a fantastic bush gardens type setting the chalets offer a secluded atmosphere. The restruant was a little to brash for me with Floresent Lighting so i skipped the evening meal there but was pleasantly suprised at the high uality of the breakfast. Couple of beers in the Sundowner pub was enjoyable.
The Free WIFI was non existent. As a businees stop over I would choose another place but as a get away ideal and if you have kids they would love the freedom. Good security friendly staff nice location.

  • Stayed June 2012, traveled on business
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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.
Belgique
Top Contributor
52 reviews 52 reviews
32 hotel reviews
Reviews in 38 cities Reviews in 38 cities
67 helpful votes 67 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 6, 2012

I've stayed there three times now. Each time with a different feeling according to the room I get.
The first time there were 4 of us so we got a big chalet with 2 double rooms, a lounge area, a huge terrace on the lake, a kitchenette and 2 small bathrooms. We were thrilled.

For the next two stays, there were only 2 of us, and both times we received a small chalet. Nice and cosy but a bit cramped because it was very small. Clean, though, with complimentary toiletries, air conditioning, tea and coffee-making facilities, and everything you need. On one hand I was a bit disappointed at being in a very small chalet, but on the other hand ...

I still think it's the best option in Richards Bay for a stop-over or a short stay. The chalets (big and small) are well-maintained and appointed, located in nice greenery, and all have a parking place for your car.

You're a minute from the beach or the small splash pool, there's a nice sundowner bar with a great view over the ocean, and "The Reeds", the hotel restaurant, is quite nice. Anyway it's your only option if you don't want to drive somewhere else.

The restaurant menu itself is nicely and creatively presented, I liked that. The staff is charming and very helpful, both for dinner and breakfast.

Breakfast consists of an okay buffet with a reasonable range of options, and you can order eggs to taste as well as a whole range of warm dishes, all included in the price of the buffet.

You can ask for espresso and actually get it, which isn't the case everywhere :-)

No problems with the booking process on the Protea website. Just don'rt try to send them a separate e-mail with any questions because you'll never get an answer.

All in all, I'll go back. It's really nice, after a long flight from overseas + connecting flight to RCB, to be able to relax near the sea and/or the lake, hear and see the birds and the vervet monkeys ... it really beats ending up in a "regular" hotel of bricks and cement !

  • Stayed December 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 3 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Waukesha, Wisconsin
Top Contributor
88 reviews 88 reviews
24 hotel reviews
Reviews in 30 cities Reviews in 30 cities
36 helpful votes 36 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 30, 2011

My 13yo son and I stayed at Imvubu for about two weeks in late June/early July. I needed a "home base" while conducting research supporting my doctorate. The grounds are beautiful, lots of Vervet monkeys, beautiful private beach access. The pool was pretty but because we were there in winter, we didn't swim. The Sundowner was nice with a beautiful view and attentive staff. The other restaurant was good as well; you got to try their malva pudding! My son and I played lots of Adventure Golf and enjoyed the monkey group bounding across our chalet roof every morning and afternoon. But there were some downsides. First, the work I was doing necessitated wifi access which I was assured would be available in all the chalets. Our first chalet was nearer to the beach; so much so that we could hear the waves breaking. Unfortunately there was no wifi access. In addition, the chalet had only aircon and no heat so it was freezing especially at night. After talking with the front desk staff, they reaccomodated us in one of the two deluxe chalets (I think they had had a last-minute cancellation). This chalet did have wifi access and the staff brought us a space heater which helped. Overall the chalet was big and comfortable and had really nice wood furniture including a picnic table on the balcony. It also had braai facilities, full kitchen, and was near reception. Unfortunately partway through the stay the tv service went out and the staff was unable to restore it. Also the hot water went out several times and the electric once or twice. Part of this is life in South Africa and the staff was accomodating for the most part. It is unfortunate that a place that has such potential to be fantastic falls short in some of these areas. One other thing they need is a more effective concierge service or at least train their staff to better be able to answer questions about sites in the area, drive time, things to do, etc. Overall, it was a nice stay for the price.

  • Stayed June 2011, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 28, 2011

A pleasant stay at the lodge for a wedding was marred by repeated unpleasant dealings with the bookings staff. Not only had the staff double-booked my friend's wedding and ultimately booked the incorrect honeymoon suite, they failed to make our booking despite email confirmation and receiving our deposit. When the time came to pay the balance of the account the staff refused to give us the special "wedding party" discount that had been agreed upon and we were forced to ask the mother of the groom to accompany us to reception to verify that a discount had been agreed on. Numerous other guests attending the same wedding experienced similar booking chaos. I would strongly advise avoiding Protea Hotel Imvubu Lodge if you are looking for a hassle-free break.

Stayed March 2011, traveled with family
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Zurich, Switzerland
Senior Contributor
34 reviews 34 reviews
22 hotel reviews
Reviews in 23 cities Reviews in 23 cities
24 helpful votes 24 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed February 16, 2011

I checked on the homepage about the rooms and location, and it looked very nice. When we got there I was a bit dissapointed. The rooms look nicer on the homepage, and what they show is only the superior ones, not the standard we stayed in. The beach is very close and wonderful, the "pool" is awful though. It's very small and looked dirty. Don't miss the view from the sundowner bar, but make sure you go ther early enough, they close at 8 pm. Breakfast was alright, and the people were friendly. I don't know why, but the whole place felt awkward, and I wouldn't go back.

  • Stayed February 2011, traveled on business
    • 3 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
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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South Africa
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 17, 2010

Cool location near lake and in green surrounding.Very peacefull place

  • Stayed August 2010, traveled on business
    • 4 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
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 Three Cities Imvubu Lodge

Address: Cnr. Krewelkring & Hibberd Drive, Meerensee, Richards Bay 3901, South Africa (Formerly Protea Hotel Imvubu Lodge)
Location: South Africa > KwaZulu-Natal > Richards Bay > Meerensee
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Meerensee
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3 star — Three Cities Imvubu Lodge 3*
Number of rooms: 47
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Three Cities Imvubu Lodge is Your Place in Nature. Three Cities Imvubu Lodge is conveniently situated with Private Access to a golden beach of the Indian Ocean. While nesting within lush indigenous surroundings, filled with an abundance of birdlife, this location offers the exhilaration of holidaying in an idyllic part of the world, while being only mere minutes away from the Richards Bay Airport and the growing hub of Richards Bay. With a variety of unique luxury, stand alone, fully serviced chalets, GUESTS of Imvubu Lodge have the advantage of being able to select either a Self Catering option or enjoy the luxury of being catered for at the onsite 'In the Reeds' restaurant. Offering an exceptional standard of cuisine that is sure to satisfy any taste bud, enjoy the picturesque view of our resident Fish Eagle taking fish out of Lake Menywa. Enjoy the magnificent 'Sun Downer Deck' offering pub like meals, with a 180 degree sea view, or just relax and have an ice cold beverage from the 'Sun Downer Bar', while the rest of the world rushes by. Imvubu Lodge offers world class, state of the art business and conferencing facilities ensuring that the business man is able to get the work done even while relaxing in these natural surroundings. In addition to all of this, we offer 24 Hour security, parking at your private chalets, friendly and efficient staff to assist with any of your queries; Three Cities Imvubu Lodge welcomes all GUESTS be it for Business of Pleasure. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Protea Hotel Imvubu Richards Bay

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