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“Paradise and friendship” 5 of 5 stars
Review of umSisi House

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umSisi House
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5.0 of 5 Lodge   |   Plot D2 Peebles Valley Rd (off R40 Road to Hazyview) | Peebles Valley, White River 1200, South Africa   |  
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Hotel amenities
Certificate of Excellence 2014
The Hague, The Netherlands
Contributor
18 reviews 18 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
“Paradise and friendship”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 25, 2013

It was Marianne van Kruijsdijk (www.zuidafrikavakantie.nl) who arranged our stay in umSisi House, close to Numbi gate entrance of Kruger national park. We stayed here for 3 nights and it was 24 hrs a day like paradise. The house is beautifully furnished, every detail has been thought about and Amanda and Paddy have the excellent talent to feel you at home among friends even though we never met them before. Paddy makes the most tasteful dishes, accomapnied with nice South African wines, Amanda organises beautiful trips. It is impossible to catch within words or even photographs the feeling of paradise we where overwhelmed with.

Ton en Monique Elias - de Vos

Room Tip: We were in the UmSisi House, but the selfcatering cottage we saw is very nice as well.
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  • Stayed February 2013, 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.
amandabond007, Owner at umSisi House, responded to this review, March 11, 2013
We so enjoyed your visit! Thank you for teaching us how to 'wash a martini' and for your incredibly generous donation to the 'Young Mums' skills programme at Masoyi Home Based Care. The sewing maching and computer that you provided will help so many do so much more. Please come back soon! Kind regards Amanda and Paddy
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103 reviews from our community

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
    5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (24)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Johannesburg, South Africa
Senior Contributor
23 reviews 23 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 22, 2013

We love visiting the Lowveld and but we stayed at UmSisi Cottages for the first time between 9 and 14 January. We were travelling with daughters aged 9 and 12. Amanda and Paddy's attention to detail is impeccable. Their hospitality and excellent staff made our stay delightful. We have recommended UmSisi to our family, friends and colleagues. We now have a home away from home when we visit the Lowveld.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service

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amandabond007, Owner at umSisi House, responded to this review, June 4, 2013
I think it's time for you to come and stay again. Kind regards Amanda and Paddy
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Wommelgem, Belgium
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 7, 2013

We stayed for 2 nights at Umsisi House 25 and 26 december with our 2 children ( 8y & 10y),It was a fantastic stay, Amanda and Paddy were the perfect hosts.The freshly made food was superb,the house was beautiful and we saw the Big Five with our own car in the Kruger Park (15 min drive from Umsisi house). The children liked the swimming pool and we had some nice talks and wines with Paddy and Amanda.
The only bad thing about our stay was that we had to leave after 2 night!!

Room Tip: very large rooms, amazing dressing room and beautiful bathroom
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  • Stayed December 2012, 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.
amandabond007, Owner at umSisi House, responded to this review, February 21, 2013
Thank you for taking the time to post a review about your stay with us at umSisi House. Your feedback is greatly appreciated. We enjoyed having you all here and wish it could have been for longer. We still talk about your amazingly successful self-drive safari into the Kruger National Park - what a day you had!
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Cape Town Central, South Africa
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 20, 2012

I recently traveled from Cape Town and did a trip to the Kruger. The purpose of my trip was to get away and get some good R&R and good food and hospitality.
Well, I booked into umSisi house on the recommendation from friends who had been there with family. it is like staying in a home away from home. Paddy & Amanda are your host and hostess with Paddy being a master chef in the kitchen and Amanda being an absolute delight in making you feel at home and comfortable.
The house is very private and quiet whether you are with kids or on a romantic break. I highly recommend this spot to anyone whether you are going alone or with family or as a couple - it is a rare gem to find a place of such excellence and value.
Patrick S

Room Tip: All impeccable!
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  • Stayed September 2012, traveled solo
    • 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.
amandabond007, Owner at umSisi House, responded to this review, June 4, 2013
Thank you for your wonderful review. We really appreciate our guests feedback. Kind regards Amanda and Paddy
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Mbabane, Swaziland
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 5, 2012

While searching for accommodation suitable for our family's visit to the Lowveld we stunbled across umSisi House. Can you imagine our surprise when we realized that we were the former owners of the farm that is now umSisi House. During the years we lived on the farm we had many visitors -- relatives and friends and friends of friends from all over the globe. All of them asked why we didn't turn our home into a guest house. Lucky for those looking for fabulous accommodation in South Africa's Lowveld, the farm was bought by a delightful couple who transformed it into a marvelous guest house for private groups. Amanda and Paddy Bond Gunning are superb hosts and have combined their huge sense of style with a great love of Africa to create a stylish, spacious and comfortable guest house set in a stunning garden. African art and areifacts combine with family treasures for great, relaxed decor, made all the better as most pieces come with stories of Amanda and Paddy's travels.

We recently spent several days there with some of our family -- daughter, her threee children and an infant great-grandchild. The house was ideal for us. Our family enjoyed the lovely bedrooms with good views, really comfy beds and large en-suite bathrooms. The girls particularly liked the deep, relaxing tubs. The lounge with crackling fireplace for the chilly evenings was the family gathering place, but the separate TV and computer room was much appreciated by the teenagers. Best of all is the wrap-around covered patio with views of the great gardens, the pool, and the famed Lion Rock known locally as Legogote.

The family was very eager to tour the garden, following trails or clambering over the giant rocks that the house is built into. We were pleased to see how beautiful the garden was, the emphasis on indigenous and water-wise vegetation, and we particularly appreciated the tree lables and information. For hardy folk with more time than we had there are great hiking trails through the bush where one can see a number of bird and plant species, visit an old cave, and enjoy long views over the Peebles Valley. Swimming wasn't on the cards as it was mid-winter, but the pool looked especially beautiful. However, the grandparents were able to sneak out for a relaxing hot tub at night -- enjoying the stars and listening to the owls, and occasional bush-baby.

UmSisi House is ideally situated for touring the Lowveld. It is within easy driving distance to tourist destinations such as Graskop and God's Window, Pilgrims' Rest, various animal sanctuaries such as Moholoholo, the Cheetah Breeding Project and Elephant Whisperers. And best, umSisi is really close to our favorite destination -- Kruger National Park. We were up at 0530 and headed to the park armed with a delicious packed breakfast -- a quick 15 minute drive to Numbi Gate. We enjoyed a superb day of game viewing and returned to umSisi in time for showers, sundowners and a great meal. The chef's kitchen/dining room area is a delightful place to sit, appreciate wine from Paddy's excellent cellar, and chat. We confess that our family has some very picky eaters, but umSisi's extensive menu and Paddy's great preparation made everyone very happy. Indeed, the muesli pots in the packed breakfast convinced several doubters that yogurt and muesli could be very yummy.

Room Tip: All rooms are excellent, quiet and with good views. The master bedroom has a dressing area that is...
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  • Stayed June 2012, 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.
amandabond007, Manager at umSisi House, responded to this review, June 4, 2013
We are thrilled that you are coming back in July 2013 with more family members. We're really looking forward to it. Kind regards Amanda and Paddy
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Cape Town
Top Contributor
104 reviews 104 reviews
34 hotel reviews
Reviews in 47 cities Reviews in 47 cities
98 helpful votes 98 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 7, 2012

umSisi House, previously a privately owned farm, in South Africa's Mpumalanga Province known locally as 'The Lowveld' has been magically transformed by Paddy and Amanda Bond Gunning, charming and talented hosts with a passion for Africa. The magnificent stylish house makes a perfect choice for a family or friends, who want exclusivity as does the smaller cottage in the gardens. Impeccably run, beautifully decorated, this relaxed haven, has the benefit too of a hugely convenient location. Those visiting the Kruger National Park and the privately owned game lodges in the area, will find this property to be a relaxing break pre or post safari. Close too, to the scenic sights of this area, with golf and other activities within easy reach, this is a great addition to the hospitality scene. Paddy's love of food, ensure delicious cuisine (and you get to choose), with fine wines, spacious verandahs, gardens and walking trails on the farm. We look forward very much to returning to enjoy the shelves of interesting books to read, authentic arts and crafts, lovingly sourced and artfully displayed, each with its own story to tell.

  • Stayed August 2012, 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.
amandabond007, Owner at umSisi House, responded to this review, June 4, 2013
A review from a senior contributor! Thank you. It was wonderful having you both here. Whenever we serve Kedgeree we think of you as you loved it so much! Kind regards Amanda and Paddy
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Germiston, Gauteng, South Africa
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 3, 2012

My son and I had the time of our life, we were treated like royalty, not even to mention the beauty of the cottage, the view, the pool etc. Paddy and Amanda were the perfect hosts and our favourites of course - Bella and Saxon - Emile will never forget them, neither will I, they came to visit on a daily basis and accompanied us on our walks, just writing this note brings a smile to my face. I highly recommend the cottage at umSisi House.

  • 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
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
amandabond007, Owner at umSisi House, responded to this review, October 23, 2013
How can we ever forget your visit to umSisi Cottage! New Year's Eve with fireworks courtesy of Masoyi and a few giant rockets from umSisi House. We believe that there is no better place to spend Christmas and New Year than here with us in the Jock of the Bushveld Conservancy. You keep promising to return and we hope that you do. Kind regards Amanda and Paddy
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Additional Information about umSisi House

Address: Plot D2 Peebles Valley Rd (off R40 Road to Hazyview) | Peebles Valley, White River 1200, South Africa
Phone Number:
Location: South Africa > Mpumalanga > White River
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Kitchenette Restaurant Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 14 Specialty Lodging in White River
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:5 star — umSisi House 5*
Number of rooms: 3
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Set in 60 hectares of pristine bush, within the Jock of the Bushveld Conservancy, umSisi House is strategically located in the Peebles Valley between the town of White River and the Numbi Gate entrance to the southern Kruger Park (15 minutes away). We offer a personal service that only a very small, privately owned and managed, five-star, luxury country house can provide. umSisi House is the perfect destination for groups of friends and family wishing to visit South Africa’s Kruger Lowveld region, the Panorama Route and enjoy the many adventure activities available in the immediate area. The house only caters for private groups (between 4 and 10 people) on either (a) a dinner, bed and breakfast basis or (b) a full board (all inclusive) basis. It is particularly suitable for those looking for luxury accommodation near the Kruger Park. A booking service for local activities (including bespoke Kruger safaris in open game-viewers) is also provided. All meals are planned with guests in advance to ensure that the dining experience is a daily highlight. TGCSA 5-Star Country House. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
UmSisi House White River, South Africa - Mpumalanga

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