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“A Big rip-off!” 1 of 5 stars
Review of Ingwenya Lodge

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Ingwenya Lodge
3.0 of 5 Lodge   |   163 Hornbill Str, Saint Lucia 3936, South Africa   |  
Hotel amenities
Balule Private Game Reserve, South Africa
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
“A Big rip-off!”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed January 9, 2011

I booked at this lodge directly via their website, altough there were no photo's available (which should sent off alarm-bells already). On the day we arrived we received some sms-messages with a description how to get to the house we booked. At arrival (we left 05:15 and arrived around 16:45) we were 'welcomed' by 2 annoying stray-dogs. Not by the owners, managers or staff.... When we came into the room we almost fainted as it was very hot inside, just 1 bedroom with airco and a living room (app. 1,5 by 3,5 metres). There was a sleepingcouch for our 2 boys (2 and 4 years old) in the living room, no airco, no light (only electricity wires in the ceiling), 1 small table with a microwave on it -so too small to eat on with 4 persons- and a very small plank with an electric stove which was 'the kitchen'.
I paid a deposit of R2250 for 5 nights for this so-called self-catering appartment, but we were so dissaiponted in what should be a nice stay in St. Lucia, that we contacted the owner and asked her if we could get an upgrade. In stead of showing some understanding the reaction of the owner was very blunt, blaming us for booking directly via internet! He could not arrange something for us, so we left and went to Monzi Country Cottage which was lovely! The room we got is a total rip-off: R4500 for 5 nights!! We are the most disgusted by the rude reaction of the owner.

  • Stayed January 2011, traveled with family
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 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.
BarendH, Owner at Ingwenya Lodge, responded to this review, February 1, 2011
Be sure that when you book something online, it is exactly what you want. If you are not entirely sure send a booking request to the establishment where you ask for more detail.

Ingwenya Lodge offers a variety of accommodation solutions at an affordable rate.

Due to our extreme popularity, no other units was available as an alternative for the guests.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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36 people have reviewed this hotel

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    3.5 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 (3)
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English first
Durban
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 13, 2010

This has been one of our best weekend getaways in a long time. From the moment we arrived, we realised that this was a safe place to be.... and we were not disappointed.

Our kids could play freely on the jungle gym and trampoline, without us having to be there to watch them. The swimming area was great for little people to make use of and to burn off excess energy. The view of the estuary and sea were breathtaking. Seeing hippos in the neighbours garden at night was a rare sighting for us, but completely normal for the residents. We were told by our hosts that the hippos often come into the gardens at night and have even come in winter to drink from the pools. This must be an awesome experience!!!!

The units are very well maintained, very clean and very comfortable with all the necessary appliances to make ones life easier. The air conditioning throughout was also very welcomed, especially on those hot muggy days.... I have to commend the staff at Inqwenya Lodge to be so super efficient at their duties and extremely friendly, yet completely unobtrusive.

The location of the lodge is awesome, right on the border to reserve and within walking distance to the estuary, where hippos and crocs laze in the sun. Trails with wildlife are also a 3-4 min walk from the resort.

Would I visit again... YES ... if the owners can handle my noisy kids again..... Would i recommend the resort... DEFINITELY YES!!!

Illse Wilson (Durban).

  • Stayed December 2010, 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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Pretoria, South Africa
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 13, 2010

We stayed at Ingwenya Lodge for a week, and found the location to be great - nice and centrally located between the beaches and the town center. It's at the end of a quiet street, and we had twice daily visits from the monkeys and saw bush babies every night.

The avocado trees were dropping ripe fruit daily - a delicious "extra" for us, but be careful - the marauding monkeys also drop half eaten green ones, which can cause damage to cars and people. We chose to park away from the trees.

Just a word of warning to parents with children: my daughter (6, and very used to big dogs - we have 3 boerboels) stroked one of the dogs on the property (looked like a black Labrador) and promptly got bitten on the arm. As with all dogs, do not let your kids play with strange dogs unattended - no matter who assures you that they are friendly!

On the whole, the unit was pleasant. We could not use our own DSTV card for the decoder (since it's a PVR-decoder), so could only watch very limited channels. Other guests can maybe chack the suitability of their DSTV cards before leaving home.

The kitchen was spacious and reasonably well-equipped, although I would have expected (as it is supplied) the dish cloth to not have holes in it, and would have appreciated a fresh one midway through the week.

The same can be said about the towels. Although they were fresh on arrival, the humid climate makes drying a very slow process, so they turned sour and smelly after the first to days. When I asked for fresh ones, the cleaning lady just shrugged and hung them over a make-shift string in the bathroom. I eventually hung them over the clothes horse, but this could only be set up in the lounge (the other rooms had limited space), as leaving them outside at the mercy of the naughty monkeys would have been looking for trouble. Maybe the cleaning ladies can place the towels in the sun for a while every day, maybe while they are cleaning the unit?

The kitchen sink tap had a leak (2 drops per second), which were also ignored by the staff, even though I mentioned it repeatedly and asked for someone to come have a look at it. The rate of water loss is about 64 liters per day - a massive waste in a water-scares country!

We suspected pilfering by some of the staff - we twice returned from outings and noticed that food (eggs, vegetables, packets of soup) had disappeared in our absence. This could not have been the work of the monkeys - the one day they DID get in, due to my own negligence, they made a MASSIVE mess and stole eggs, bread and fruit - anything and everything the could lay their hands on. Also, a note on the monkeys: they are pretty aggressive and will attack small children if provoked. They are not cute playthings - they are wild animals with sharp teeth!

The trampoline and jungle gym in the big garden was a lovely distraction. Maybe the owners can invest in some outdoor furniture - there is plenty of space to socialise and eat outside.

All in all the accommodation was pleasant enough - but it could be great if attention is paid to small details.

  • Stayed July 2010, traveled with family
    • 3 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
    • 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.
BarendH, Owner at Ingwenya Lodge, responded to this review, July 21, 2010
None of the issues were reported to management at the office.

Staff had to close windows and clean up unit (in the absence of guests) on more than one occasion as monkeys raided unit for food, including vegetables and eggs which makes up an important part of their diet.

Normal green towel policy are followed and are changed midway in a 7 day stay.
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Gauteng
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 9, 2010

Ingwenya Lodge is one of the few properties in St. Lucia that has a see view, is situated outside of the actual town area where most other self catering acc can be found, so you really get that 'away from it all' feeling. The units face a lush bush, allowing for bird viewing right from your deck.
The unit was serviced daily, so at the end of each day we could return to a clean, neat and tidy home.
The owner goes out of his way to offer suggestions of places to visit and things to see, is incredibly knowledgeable about St. Lucia and the iSimangaliso Wetland Park and is keen to make your stay as enjoyable as possible, without being intrusive.
The unit is well equipped - microwave, two plate stove, fridge with freezer, TV, DSTV, braai on the deck - and even 'extras' that are frequently not found at self catering places - like towels, wine glasses, full braai set, clothes horse.
The Lodge is within easy walking distance of the town, and scenic forest walks. The pleasant walk to the beach is along tree lined streets through the quiet resedential area, with monkeys meeting you along the way, and along a forest lined street with birds aplenty!
I would recommend this lodge to anyone!

  • Stayed May 2010, traveled with friends
    • 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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Warsaw
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 6, 2009

I really recommend Ingwenya Lodge if you plan to visit St. Lucia. The place is just wonderful - beautiful view, nice garden with a pool, comfortable rooms with big kitchens. There are plenty of birds and every morning I saw a kingfisher siting on the branch just opposite my window.
The hosts are very friendly and you really feel like visiting old friends, when you are there.
The house is situated in a very peaceful area, at the end of the road, so you can hear only birds and frogs there. However, you are still close to the city centre - only 10 minutes walk to the main street of St.Lucia.
We spent there 3 days and I wish to be back to this place again.
Dorota Kardasz
Warsaw, Poland

  • Stayed November 2009, traveled with friends
    • 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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JHB
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 20, 2009

Ingwenya lodge was breathtakingly beautiful and peaceful. We will definitely come again and will also recommend Ingwenya lodge to all our friends and family.

  • Stayed October 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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Midrand
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 5, 2009

Such a nice & calm holiday destination! We will recommend Ingwenya Lodge to anyone that what's to get away from the rush of the busy city life.

We had an absolute fantastic break. The luxury units are spacious, very neat and serviced daily. Nice swimming pool, braai area, boma and view from the main building over the sea & estuary. Ingwenya Lodge is located near St. Lucia town & surroundings. The prices are very affordable, seeing that that's one of the most important things when going away & you can still enjoy everything around St. Lucia without spending a fortune!

The Owner, Barend was very friendly & helpful to us. Will definitely visit this FANTASTIC holiday destination again in the future!

  • Stayed September 2009
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Additional Information about Ingwenya Lodge

Address: 163 Hornbill Str, Saint Lucia 3936, South Africa
Location: South Africa > KwaZulu-Natal > Saint Lucia
Amenities:
Free Parking Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #18 of 26 Specialty lodging in Saint Lucia
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3 star — Ingwenya Lodge 3*
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Lodge's name "Ingwenya" derives from the Zulu word for crocodile. It was quite logical to choose a name for our lodge indigenous to Zululand, in this first world heritage site of South Africa. Ingwenya Lodge is situated on the "outskirts" of the residential area of St Lucia, nestled in the heart of the iSimangaliso Wetland Park. The property borders the nature reserve with a view of both the sea and the estuary, a very unique privilege in St Lucia. ... more   less 
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