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“Great location and good food - one with nature” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Pestana Kruger Lodge

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Pestana Kruger Lodge
4.0 of 5 Hotel   |   R570 Riverside Road | 150 meters from Malelane Gate, Kruger National Park, Malelane 1320, South Africa   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Malelane
Johannesburg, South Africa
Senior Contributor
26 reviews 26 reviews
18 hotel reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
“Great location and good food - one with nature”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed 2 days ago NEW

Located on the banks of the Crocodile River, a mere 500m from the Malelane gate to the Kruger National Park, this is a great location to experience nature and as a base for day trips or game drives into the Kruger National Park. Plenty of wildlife like elephants, hippos etc to see from the lodge. Leopard Creek is across the road for a round of golf as well. The restaurant is great. Service is good. Well done - we had a nice experience.

Room Tip: Ask for a deluxe room overlooking the Crocodile river. The rest do not have any view and you need to...
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  • Stayed December 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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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197 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (36)
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Johannesburg, South Africa
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed 3 days ago NEW

This is positively one if the saddest reviews i have ever had to post but people need to be made aware that this is not a 4 star! We have arrived today and had dissapointment after dissapointment, substandard rooms, substandard food, dont even waste you time at the bar as they serve you premixes instead of alcohol for cocktails, no bedding in the family rooms for your kids and best of all no coffee for the coffee station in the room. We have just arrived today and we are debating leaving and going somewhere else!

Tip: if you are travelling to the kruger park from abroad, spend a bit more and go to the Thorny Bush Collection where they have earned their stars! very luxurious, better service better everything.

We will not be returning to this establishment ever again. we have our family from Europe travelling with us and they agree that they will not be speaking well of this place back home.

Room Tip: choose a room at another establishment
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  • Stayed December 2014, traveled with family
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
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Kampenhout, Belgium
1 review
4 of 5 stars Reviewed 1 week ago

Nice place, welll situated, good kitchen very helpfull personnel.... bravo... enjoyed it very much.... well situated..... had a Deluxe Room... with vieuw on the Kruger...... will certainly go back.... Bye...

Room Tip: Had a de luxe room.... dinner and break.. .... overlooking the river.... amazing... upon arrival saw...
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  • Stayed November 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dublin
Top Contributor
55 reviews 55 reviews
26 hotel reviews
Reviews in 32 cities Reviews in 32 cities
42 helpful votes 42 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed 1 week ago

Honestly, I don’t know where to start with, what I would describe as, this kip. Arriving at approximately 7pm with a group, we went directly to dinner while our luggage was brought to our rooms. The restaurant, while decoratively not unpleasant, was certainly lacking in quality food. The majority of which revolves around stodgy potato/pasta dishes; the vast majority of the staff were totally unfriendly and lacking in any sort of customer service training. Not an auspicious start!

When finished we went to collect the key to our “lodge”. When I enquired about our luggage, we were told that our bags had already been brought to our room and that we’d have to make our own way there. To that end we were provided with a map of the complex, where the road to the lodge was highlighted! The excellent customer service continued.

Exciting reception and making our way down the road, we found our bags (and a number of others) had been abandoned about 50 meters from reception! So tired and annoyed were we that we simply grabbed them and dragged them with us. The problem with the complex is how badly lit the place is. We struggled over some pretty rough ground to “Elephant” lodges which had absolutely no lighting whatsoever (we the lighting timers were set for daylight). The lighting is that bad that we didn’t even see the sign warning guests about roaming crocodiles until light the next morning.

Upon entering the lodge, our hearts sank. It was run down, smelled of damp and had certainly seen better days. The carpet was very grubby, the wardrobe space was dreadful, lighting was very dim, the bathroom - and its threadbare towels - was unpleasant. The beds were uncomfortable with pillows filled with old, cheap teddy bear stuffing. And to top things off, there were constantly chirping bats nesting in the roof, that were defecating onto the floor and tea station. Complaints to reception were met with blank faces!!!

Staff generally were dismissive of guests. So much so that when they were removing tables from the veranda area, people’s belongings were removed from tables (as they looked out at Crocodile River) and literally dumped in a pile on the deck. To top things off, our treatment by one particular male member of staff, “J”, was nothing short of nasty. The simple task of ordering tea and then being left to wait while other guests arriving afterwards isn’t on. Being initially charged 10 Rand and then 15 (small I know) isn’t on. Having to bring it to your table yourself, isn’t on. Taking personal calls and making you wait for your change isn’t on. Rolling your eyes when you’re asked again for your change isn’t on.

If this place is trading solely on its proximity to the park, then perhaps management might want to seriously reconsider its star rating and prices in keeping with a camp site, because it’s little more than a night in the bush. In short, this kip ruined what was otherwise an excellent experience in Kruger. Thanks Pestana, for absolutely nothing!!!

  • Stayed November 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 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.
Ipswich, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
2 of 5 stars Reviewed 1 week ago

We were booked into this hotel as part of an organised tour and this was not the hotel offered when the holiday was booked, we were given a cheap bottle of wine in compensation.

The first room we were given had mould on the bathroom ceiling and black mould dripped off the shower door onto the floor and the room smelt.

The second room, the outer door was missing which would allow the monkeys and other wildlife to enter the building.
The toilet continuously flushed, the towels smelt fusty many of the insect screens on the windows were missing (the hotel booklet advised to keep the screen closed to keep out the insects). The european power socket as mentioned in the hotel leaflet was missing, we were lent an adaptor which did not work.
The shower enclosure when used collapsed crashing against the bathroom door, on inspection it had never been fixed properly.
The ceiling light had a broken bulbs and we were sent a table lamp as replacement
After we had gone to bed as we had a 5.00 am start the next day the maintainance man knocked at the door at 21.30, we asked him to call the next day.
We were offered a third room for one night but would need to move back to the second room for the third night so we decided to stay in this room and the manager offered us a cheap bottle of wine for our trouble.
The waitresses were rude just taking the plates away without asking if we had finished, drinks we bought one evening were taken from our table when we went to check the evening food offering. Often the food was cold and the selection was limited.

Room Tip: avoid this hotel
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  • Stayed November 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 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.
GMPKL, General Manager at Pestana Kruger Lodge, responded to this review, 1 week ago
Dear Chris C

Please accept my sincere apologies for the poor standards of service, both material and personal during your stay with us. This is not the standard you should expect from our property, your complaints and observations will be addressed and rectified as a matter of urgency.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
3 of 5 stars Reviewed 1 week ago

Excellent location, well maintained grounds ( why irrigate in the midday sun?),Food good, outdoor area overlooking crocodile river was amazing.
Room poor due to lack of second bedside light, no fire escape or do not disturb notices. poor quality pillows, mildewed shower and old plastic toilet seat. Housekeeping staff were inefficient and intrusive. Due to going on early game drives we wished to catch up on rest during the afternoon but staff knocked and immediately walked in at 1pm with towels and 3.30pm with 2 teabags. To crown it all on the last morning when we had hoped to sleep until after 8am we were woken by a gentleman from housekeeping at 6.30am, requesting the return of the iron and ironing board which they had actually collected the day before.
This was by far the poorest service we had experienced out the 7 hotels we stayed at in South Africa. Stars overrated.

Room Tip: Upstairs rooms are more characterful with high pitched thatched roofs and balconies. watch out for t...
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  • Stayed November 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 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.
GMPKL, General Manager at Pestana Kruger Lodge, responded to this review, 1 week ago
Dear Roy R

I am extremely disappointed to hear of the poor housekeeping standards you experienced during you recent stay with us. My apologies for this service failure; I will address this with the outsourced company who are contracted to service our bedrooms and ensure that this is not repeated.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Godalming
Top Contributor
67 reviews 67 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 27 cities Reviews in 27 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 2 weeks ago

Situated next door to the Malelane Gate to Kruger Park this hotel could not be better suited for exploring the southern end of the park. It also has a lovely deck overlooking the crocodile river which is great for breakfast, sundowners or dinner. The facilities are excellent. Leopard Creek golf course is also next door.

  • Stayed October 2014, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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.
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Additional Information about Pestana Kruger Lodge

Address: R570 Riverside Road | 150 meters from Malelane Gate, Kruger National Park, Malelane 1320, South Africa
Location: South Africa > Mpumalanga > Malelane
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Malelane
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — Pestana Kruger Lodge 4*
Number of rooms: 74
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Graded TGCSA 4-star, Pestana Kruger Lodge is situated 700 meters away from Malelane Gate, the most southern entrance to the Kruger National Park. The Lodge is surrounded by 22ha of indigenous gardens and bush with magnificent views of the Crocodile River, which forms the border with the Kruger National Park. Accommodation comprises 74 well-appointed rooms, all with modern facilities. The Lodge is a great choice for families wanting a relaxing holiday in the African bush. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Pestana Kruger Hotel Malelane

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