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“Royal Malewane--colonial luxury and superb wildlife photo ops” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Royal Malewane

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Royal Malewane
5.0 of 5 Lodge   |   P.O. Box 1542, Kruger National Park, South Africa   |  
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Hotel amenities
Granite Bay
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
“Royal Malewane--colonial luxury and superb wildlife photo ops”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 23, 2012

Royal Malewane was the best game lodge we've experienced in four trips to Africa. The staff, accommodations and food were top notch. From viewing elephants drinking from our "private" plunge pool to an elegant dinner in the bush, the experience surpassed our expectations. Given that our Ranger (Juan) was a wildlife expert, his knowledge of Nikon and Canon SLRs was an added bonus. We plan to return....

  • Stayed September 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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79 people have reviewed this hotel

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    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
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (23)
Date | Rating
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  • German first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
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English first
Sonoma, California
Senior Contributor
37 reviews 37 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 21 cities Reviews in 21 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 20, 2012

The game viewing was excellent and the rangers were very knowledgable. The rooms are beautiful and the service is very catering to the guests. Would love to go back and have another experience here.

  • Stayed January 2012, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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London, United Kingdom
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 4, 2012

Every aspect of my stay was utterly superb. The experience surpassed my expectations in every way. I am staggered that anyone could find fault!

The spacious, elegant bedrooms each have a wrap around deck with both covered and open lounging areas, dining table and a large plunge pool which the elephants did come and drink from it (we had room 7)! The food was divine - whatever you wanted, when you wanted. The game drives were fantastic and our ranger Nick was exceptionally knowledgeable and professional.

The spa was very luxurious and the treatments were to a very high standard. A lovely treat after lunch every day.

Utterly superb!

  • Stayed December 2011, 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
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
beverly hills
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed December 28, 2011

lovely setting, friendly staff, fairly clean, facilities kinda getting ready for their first facelift. the drives into the bush are the highlight of this camp. very knowledgable and professional guides. the food and spa are weak. requested food preferences never addressed. we asked for fresh fruits and veggies for the five days we were here, never happened, it was very frustrated. we never expected so much deep fried processed pre packaged frozen foods. think chicken nuggets and tater tots also, everything is covered in sweet and saltly sauces. spa services were inconsistent. some in our group got great treatments and others were just so so. over all not really worth a second trip.

Room Tip: all rooms pretty much the same.
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  • Stayed December 2011, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 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 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Beverly Hills, California
Top Contributor
77 reviews 77 reviews
52 hotel reviews
Reviews in 40 cities Reviews in 40 cities
91 helpful votes 91 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 28, 2011

Debated giving five stars as most of the experience is top notch. The rooms are nothing short of incredible as are the public spaces. Our safari guides were very well informed. 5 days felt like a long time as the tours are over such a limited area that as you drive around looking for game you begin to feel like you are "shooting fish in a barrel". Still is pretty wonderful.

The place loses points solely for food. With all the pretense and pomp surrounding the presentation we felt there was no effort made to address our requests for fresh and wholesome foods. Everything was covered in heavy and gloppy sauces. We repeatedly asked for fresh vegetables and were rebuffed. Since the hotel is in a farming region (we noticed on our drive in) there is no excuse for this. Management should address this.

The place is expensive and all else runs pretty well. The spa is nice, most treatments were ok. Everyone is polite and the place is beautiful. We really wish the food quality could rise up to the level of the rest of the operation.

  • Stayed December 2011, traveled with family
    • 3 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 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 25, 2011

We had an extraordinary experience in every way! Whether driving through the bush or trekking on foot we found our Ranger and tracker to be both informative and entertaining. They managed to locate an amazing variety of wildlife including leopards, lions, giraffes and rhinos. They even taught us a bit about tracking and made us aware of plant life and birds. Every detail was thought out-- dinners in the bush; the dinners at our lodge all capped off on our last evening with farewell entertainment organized by one of the house staff.

Best advice: definitely give this a go only thing to skip would be the helicopter trip which isn't worth the time or the money.

  • 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.
Kuwait City, Kuwait
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 5, 2011

There are a million safari experiences on earth, but there is only one Royale Malewane. This hotel provides one of the best wildlife escapades in the world. When it comes to wildlife tourism, Royale Malewane bridges the tricky gap between boutique hotel and luxury facility. Unlike other places bordering the famous Kruger National Park, a stay at Royale Malewane is guaranteed to fulfill your African experience. No wonder Elton John picked it to be the place to spend his honeymoon with David Furnish and a host of other A-listers.

The retreat is nestled on the side of one of the largest natural reserves on earth. The lobby, decorated with vintage home furniture, faces a a moderately sized waterhole that is pumped during the dry months and maintains a constant flow of natural wildlife who visit during all hours of the day. A small stopping point for the vast fauna. From large monitor lizards to an array of deer species and the occasional elephant who is not too reluctant to drink from your very own private pool.

The rooms are up to par to the lavish lobby. They are specious, well-organized, isolated from the back, yet open to the wild in the front with minimal intrusion from staff or visiting neighbors. All the rooms are equipped with the necessities and more, including an open mini-bar, outdoors shower and a pool made for the perfect honeymoon. If that wasn't enough, guests are escorted to their rooms at night to avoid suddenly meeting with random wandring creature.



During your visit you will experience two daily tours into the reserves to see the big five and more. Water Buffalos amass the land, deer become common ground after the first day and bird spotting does not require any effort. It's not a surprise to see all the beasts in one day and have your apple stolen by a monkey while sitting outside. This is wilderness made at human's best comfort level. Amidst the tour into the wild a mandatory stop is made to have French cheeses, wines and biltong.

Another marker that puts Royale Malewane on the top of its ilk is its impeccable service. South Africa might be known for its food, but it's quite a different experience when you have your own chef catering to your needs and ensuring everything to your liking three times a day without hesitation. The sky's the limit with the menu and everything you eat will be prepared with the utmost care. At dinner expect the staff to burst into song and dance while you have your rare steak and Merlot in a secluded candle-lit corner by the rife waterhole. All the while listening to the sounds of the nocturnal animals while bottle-nosed terrapins lurk under you. It's definitely an experience to feel.

The spa offers all the best from a modern pool to massages, including hot stone, Thai and Swedish. The gift shop is stocked, well-priced and is equipped with everything a tourist might need in such seclusion. Other tours are available upon consultation, even as all events planned with your package will be enough to titillate and invigorate. This can truly be an experience of a lifetime. Also, when you wake up in the morning, expect to see a lilac-breasted roller by your doorstep. Still, always be aware of those pesky monkeys for they can turn your mobile phone into their volleyball.

From Flight965.com

  • Stayed November 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
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 Royal Malewane

Address: P.O. Box 1542, Kruger National Park, South Africa
Phone Number:
Location: South Africa > Kruger National Park
Amenities:
Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Restaurant Room Service Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #48 of 138 Specialty lodging in Kruger National Park
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:5 star — Royal Malewane 5*
Also Known As:
Royal Malewane Hotel Kruger National Park

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