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“such a shame - restaurant only” 2 of 5 stars
Review of Hippo Hollow Country Estate

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Hippo Hollow Country Estate
3.0 of 5 Hotel   |   Po Box 2304, Hazyview, | Mpumalanga Kruger Area, Hazyview 1242, South Africa   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #4 of 12 hotels in Hazyview
Lille, France
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
“such a shame - restaurant only”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed January 20, 2014

I had high hopes for this restaurant, the setting was great (if you can get a seat on the terrace, otherwise inside is a little too bright) and the hippos did arrive, which was a wow factor. I think this restaurant has strong links with the hotel, therefore does not survive on outside bookings, which I was one of.
The menu looked interesting and we had the best greeting ever, the manageress was very polite and really pleasant. However, the food didn't live up to standards. My dining partners steak arrived well done, not rare, even though they made it clear how they wanted it. I took the Ostrich steak, which was a little too complex with lots of flavours on the plate, trying too hard, whereas the raw ingredients should speak for themselves, this made me think that the quality wasn't there.
After returning the steak there was little in the way of regret and this split the dining experience as I had finished my main before a new steak had been brought.
However, the reason for my low score isn't due to the above, anyone can make an error, however, the manager never arrived to apologies and when the bill arrived they had added a 2 extra drinks. There wasn't an issue removing the drinks, but we did expect the manager to arrive to apologies, but instead we were allowed to drift off out of the restaurant without a word begin said.
Considering the other restaurants in the area and the service we were given the 2 stars in justified. I am sure that many people have had great times and food here, but on my visit I was left a little frustrated.

  • Stayed January 2014, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Melani K, Manager at Hippo Hollow Country Estate, responded to this review, January 24, 2014
We strive to upkeep and improve on our service standards through guest feedback and would like to thank you for providing us with yours.

Your experience with us brings us great disappointment as it is very rare that guests leave our restaurant with discontentment.

We do wish that you will return to Hippo Hollow in the near future, for the experience that Hippo Hollow is renowned for.
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399 people have reviewed this hotel

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (67)
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Ireland
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 20, 2014

After a long drive it was lovely to be greeted by such obliging staff who quickly showed us to our room. The room itself was looking over the river which was perfect. We were not fortunate enough to see any hippos or crocs but that is the chance you take. All amenities in the room were satisfactory if I had wanted luxury I would have booked a 5 star accommodation. All staff were pleasant and helpful and willing to stand and chat and ask about your day. The food was satisfactory and all in all I can recommend this hotel as it is convenient to Kruger and a pleasant place to spend some time.

Room Tip: Air- con with a river view
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  • Stayed January 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 4 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
    • 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.
Melani K, Manager at Hippo Hollow Country Estate, responded to this review, January 23, 2014
Having had the opportunity to being part of making your trip such a memorable one, brings us great joy. Thank you for taking the time to write to us. We are so glad that you thoroughly enjoyed your stay and that you received such a warm welcome.
We wish to welcome you back to Hippo Hollow in the near future.
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Campinas, SP
Top Contributor
103 reviews 103 reviews
35 hotel reviews
Reviews in 49 cities Reviews in 49 cities
73 helpful votes 73 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 17, 2014

Staying there, in the middle of the nature, on South Africa is a unique experience!
On the night, there was some animal, like a bat, making a strange sound, that made me a little bit afraid.
Over the bed there was a powder (droopy by the ceiling), like termite.
But the service staff, the beauty of the place, made ​​a very positive result.
The food of the restaurant is very good, with differents types of meat, typical of Africa.
Mr. Inocent is perfect, He solved all our problems and made everything that was necessary for our tours was being ok. He must been promoted to manager of Hotel!

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 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.
Melani K, Manager at Hippo Hollow Country Estate, responded to this review, January 23, 2014
Thank you for taking the time to share your experience with us. It brings us great joy knowing you enjoyed the surroundings that nature has to offer as well as our African cuisines. The staff would like to thank you for your kind words.

We hope to welcome you back to Hippo Hollow.
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Adelaide, Australia
Senior Contributor
25 reviews 25 reviews
16 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 5, 2014

We paid what we felt was a little too much, although last minute for a Christmas stay, for a cabin overlooking the river. Fortunately we were lucky enough to see a big hippo wondering around below us one night, making it worth while. The cabins were fine, basic, but my biggest problem was there was no a/c and it was quiet humid during our stay. We couldn't open the windows at night as there were no fly screens so all kinds of bugs and mosquitoes would fly in. There was a flimsy ceiling fan that didn't do much at all. We had a loft with 2 single beds for the kids, but it was not very functional as it was very hot up there, the stairs were too steep for young children (very dangerous) and as we lay with them on the first night to put them to sleep, we could hear mice squeeking from the thatching above us and noticed a very unpleasant smell. So we all slept on the king bed downstairs. We noticed the cheaper hotel rooms, had a/c and a TV which was strange as we were paying much more for less. The pool and grounds were beautiful and good for relaxing. The food in the restaurant was great and was overlooking the river, in the evening it is common for hippos to come close and eat the grass, which is a sight. I wouldn't stay in the cabins again, which is a pity as the idea is great, just not that comfortable, especially knowing mice are living in the roof ! We have stayed in many thatched accommodations and never had this problem before - it obviously needs attention.

Room Tip: If you don't mind bugs and mice during the night, the riverside cabins are a good choice, otherw...
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  • Stayed December 2013, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Melani K, Manager at Hippo Hollow Country Estate, responded to this review, January 12, 2014
We strive to upkeep and improve through guest feedback and would like to thank you for providing us with yours.

We truly are privileged being surrounded by Africa’s stunning nature and it brings us great joy knowing you were able to experience that with us.

Bats have the tendency to make the thatched roofs their home and being an endangered species, we need professional help in order to remove them safely and it’s with great joy that I inform you we have managed to re-locate their home safely.

We wish to welcome you back to Hippo Hollow in the not too distant future.
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Birmingham, UK
Contributor
19 reviews 19 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 17, 2013

Eating your evening meal with wild hippos chomping on the lawn below you is not something I can honestly say I expected I'd ever do but this hotel has a whole family of them. What an amazing experience.

The hotel is an ideal spot for visiting Kruger as you are close to at least a couple of the main gates.

The rooms were basic but were also very large. The double shower was a surprise. The biggest complaint in this regard were the antiquated televisions and severe lack of channels - it's nice to know that South Africans have the same rubbish daytime television as the rest of the world!

Staff were kind and okay and the buffet provided (we were on a tour) was tasty if a little uninspiring. Wine was wonderful (as is most of SA) and extremely cheap. The steaks were amazing if off the a la carte.

We had a Shangaan tribal evening while we were there. It was both entertaining and inspiring to watch, don't listen to the naysayers...the future of SA is bright if these young people are to go by! Don't forget your DEET!!!

My only major complaint were the sunloungers. I was about the fourth person I saw who either injured themselves moving (trapped thumb) or reclining on the loungers (bruised bum) - they're downright dangerous and need to replaced. The pool itself was refreshing, especially after a day in Kruger

Other than that gripe, I would heartily recommend this hotel as a wonderful staging place. Oh and there's a ranger ensuring those hippos don't get any ideas.

Room Tip: Garden rooms are quieter but you lose the view...so it depends what you want
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  • Stayed November 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 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
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Melani K, Manager at Hippo Hollow Country Estate, responded to this review, January 3, 2014
Thank you for providing us with such valuable feedback.

We are glad you had a true African experience with us and hope you were able to take a lot of these memories home with you on camera.

Due to an unforeseen weather storm, we lost a few of our decoders which is why the channels on the tv’s were limited.

Looking forward to welcoming you back.
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Bishops Stortford, United Kingdom
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 16, 2013

My Dad and I stayed in one of the Hotels cabins on the river front. We have been to the hotel before and loved every part of it, this time was no different. The cabin is everything you could want, a bit basic yes but you don't spend a lot of time in it after all. There is a small kitchen with fridge, toaster and kettle, as well as this there is a gas BBQ on the deck with free gas. We BBQ'ed a couple of times and it was great, even had the monkeys help us eat it!

On arrival at the hotel all the staff were very friendly and helpful. Like last time the manager came and personal greater us at dinner and always has time for a chat. As we were at the hotel for 10 night he personally drove us into Hazyview to one of there sister restaurant so that we could have a change.

The menu in the restaurant is limited but is very good and is very African. My favourite is carvory night.

I would like to thank all the staff and to say carry on doing a great job.

Thanks for making a great holiday for us.

Stayed August 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Melani K, Manager at Hippo Hollow Country Estate, responded to this review, January 3, 2014
Your feedback is what motivates us and we would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your kind words.

We are privileged to have been able to share a part of your trip to South Africa, for the second time.

We most certainly look forward upon your third return to your home away from home.
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Worcester
Top Contributor
73 reviews 73 reviews
38 hotel reviews
Reviews in 40 cities Reviews in 40 cities
64 helpful votes 64 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed December 15, 2013

The room was a bit smelly, due to the humid area rather than cleanliness issues. The pool was cool but refreshing, the grubby sunbeds were a bit disappointing & getting pool towels from reception a faff but in the scheme of things a minor inconvenience.

We had a garden view room, ground floor with a double shower (?!) but in contrast a large bathroom that was in need of a refurb, and bizarrely a toilet roll holder that inspector gadget couldn't have hoped to have reached from the toilet.

The tv was past it's best with all of 2 channels that could be watched, it seems satellite tv hadn't reached here, but it just didn't matter - we still had a great time.

Why ? Because the staff were fantastic. The bar service was poor, they couldn't cope if more than one person wanting to be served, but the wine list was good & the prices even better.

The food was basic & limited choice but again nice.

Despite seeming to list plenty of negatives we really liked this place. It just had well maintained grounds, the hippos came up onto the lawns each night and everyone wanted to help you. All in all a good base to spend a few days in Kruger.

Finally the Shangaan evening held in the grounds was great. The dancers but most of all the singing of the national anthem moved us to tears. It was followed by a basic but tasty, high quality buffet, all for £10 a head. Unbelievable.

We would return, just don't forget the deet for the evenings, I was bitten to bits !

Room Tip: River view with balcony or poolside
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  • Stayed November 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 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.
Melani K, Manager at Hippo Hollow Country Estate, responded to this review, January 3, 2014
Having had the opportunity of being part of making your trip such a memorable one, brings us great joy. Thank you for taking the time to share your feedback.

We strive to upkeep and improve through guest feedback and will most certainly dig into each matter that you mentioned. It is due to a lightning strike that we had lost some of our decoders, leaving us with limited channels.

We wish to welcome you back to Hippo Hollow in the not too distant future.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Additional Information about Hippo Hollow Country Estate

Address: Po Box 2304, Hazyview, | Mpumalanga Kruger Area, Hazyview 1242, South Africa
Location: South Africa > Mpumalanga > Hazyview
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#4 Family Hotel in Hazyview
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3 star — Hippo Hollow Country Estate 3*
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Also Known As:
Hippo Hollow Country Estate Hotel Hazyview
Hippo Hollow Country Estate Hazyview, South Africa - Mpumalanga

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