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“A luxurious retreat in a spectacular mountain hideaway” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Kings Walden Garden Manor

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Kings Walden Garden Manor
Old Coach Road | Agatha, Tzaneen 0850, South Africa   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #1 of 14 Tzaneen B&B and Inns
Cranbrook, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
“A luxurious retreat in a spectacular mountain hideaway”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 2, 2012

We spent three nights at Kings Walden after a long drive from northern Limpopo. From the moment we arrived we felt completely relaxed and at home. Superb service, generously sized rooms with luxurious bathrooms and a welcoming log fire for the cool nights, made our stay feel really special. Billie and Minette were warm and welcoming, offering friendly advice and good suggestions for days out. The food was superb and the staff - especially Barney and Sam - were courteous and friendly. The famous blue gum tree and the beautiful gardens which Billie and Minette are carefully restoring are stunningly situated with spectacular views over the Letsitele Valley. This is a very special place and we can't recommend it highly enough.

  • Stayed October 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
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114 people have reviewed this hotel

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (17)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Any
English first
Kansas City, USA
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 29, 2012

My wife and I (with friends) showed up recently at Kings Walden after a long day driving though Zimbabwe. We were met by Billy and Minette McKechnie who immediately charmed us with excellent services, their infectious enthusiasm and a our best meal during our 14 days in Africa.

Our rooms were warm and relaxing. There's something about a fire in your bedroom's fireplace and a modern shower / bath that make the stay something special.

The meal included 4 great courses, with Billy's special Fennel soup and fresh Salmon that had just been flown in from Scotland. The breakfast was equally special, with a vegetable Omelet that I haven't seen duplicated in fine restaurants.

Early the next morning I enjoyed the view past their famous blue gum tree, watching a storm roll in through the valley. The view was terrific.

Once they restore their gardens to their full glory, this will once again be a great place to spend long weekends relaxing.

Room Tip: One of the rooms in their new (or refurnished) wing, with fireplaces.
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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.
Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 29, 2012

We spent three nights at Kings Walden during our trip across South Africa. Really enjoyed our stay at this guesthouse. Large rooms, beautiful garden (tree struck by lightning!) and spectacular view of the mountains and valley! New managers Billy and his wife were very friendly and helpful in everything, as were waiters Bunny, Sam and the rest of the staff. Delicious breakfast and dinner in lovely dining room. Very nice cappuccino as well, which we enjoyed in the spacious living room with fireplace and terrace. Highly recommended!

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Pretoria, South Africa
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 26, 2012

My fiance and I are in our late 20's and on deciding to enjoy a nothing less than perfect romantic getaway for the two of us we stumbled upon Kings Walden Garden Manor online. Let me start by saying thankyou as the service we recieved was that unrivalled by any 5 star celebrity's from the minute we arrived at the gates until the point where our bags were packed for us to leave , the experience at Kings Wladen in terms of the cuisine , scenery , the garden , history , accomodation and facilities exceeded our expectations on every level. If I had any crit whatsoever that would be that even though a picture can tell 1000 words , no picture can do justice to how beautiful everything really was!

Our arrival at the hotel brought with us the thickest mist , which my have proved a hinderance to the Europeans enjoying the beautiful 300 degree view , however Billy and Minette (the new owners) after showing us to our suite, led us on a guided tour of the premises and the gardens indulging us in history dating over 100 years. It was a personal touch which I thoroughly enjoyed , the feeling of being lost in a misty blossoming garden with my fiance was magical. We were further able to enjoy a private lunch catered for the two of us at one of the various spots in the garden.

The rooms are located in the original farmhouse which has been renovated to afford guests luxury accomodation in modern contemporary farmhouse styled rooms. Our room (no.5) had the most comfortable king size bed placed right in front of the fireplace with a floor adorned by a zebra skin. Kingsize bed was matched with a kingsize bathroom, filled with candles , a black cobblestone shower and a bathtub big enough for two , which when enjoyed by two , best it be done bathed in the light of the moon coming in from the massive skylight , which are apparently in every bathroom.

The menu is a set four course menu which I found to be restricting . Both my pallate and I however were pleasently suprized by the quality , presentation and generous portions (considering its fine dining) . Our four course meal on the night consisted of a Norweigen Smoked Salmon Carpaccio with a salsa , edible flowers and a lemon vinaigrette , this was followed by the most delicious French brown onion soup served with a freshly baked parmesan bruschetta. Our main was a Golden brown grilled duck breast cooked to utter perfection with herbed potato wedges , a red wine jous and topped with deep fried leak. Dessert afforded us the option of cheese platter , freshly baked strawberry cheese cake , double chocolate pudding and the highlight of the desserts , the white nougat ice-cream cake served with a granadella syrup.
A perfect meal however is not enjoyed without great service and for that my fiance and I have Sam to thank as well as Lizzy (the chef) who indulged us prior to dinner as to what was on the menu that evening.

After reading a few reviews about Kings Walden I was suprised to come across someone complaing about a broken TV ....... Buddy....... in a place this beautiful and magical , I ask you , who really wants to watch cricket. ( You should try out that bath tub for two )

Steve

Room Tip: Room 5 , as the story goes its haunted and if you into that kind of thing, we had our lights dimming...
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  • Stayed September 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Clarksville, Tennessee
Top Contributor
59 reviews 59 reviews
56 hotel reviews
Reviews in 53 cities Reviews in 53 cities
221 helpful votes 221 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 24, 2012

We chose Kings Walden Garden Manor after our travel company recommended The Coach House and I was not impressed with their reviews. I began a search for somewhere else in the area and stumbled upon Kings Walden. I am so glad we did not settle for less than perfect and perfect is exactly what you will find here.

Upon arrival, we were shown to room #4 which is a good choice if you enjoy privacy with personal outdoor patio. This was the only thing I could not get a good feel for when booking online, which room should we choose. For those undecided, rooms 1-3 have views over the lush grass of the front extending to the mountains. Room 1, since it is on the end, also has a little patio seating area. Room 4 is nestled in the rear of the property with a secluded private patio; rooms 5-6 are in the main building directly off the lounge area and have views overlooking the pool and gardens. Each room is furnished the same and has the same basic layout. We loved the views from rooms 1-3 so we requested to move and were luckily able to do so.

Since you are in the mountains, it can be a bit cool. We were there mid-September and it was quite chilly. For heat you are provided a basket of wood for the fireplace and the staff will start the fire for you if you like. The basket is refilled daily and the fire keeps the room nice and warm.
The staff is wonderful and provides exceptional service. Jacob is a joy to talk to and he ensures anything you need is promptly taken care of. Evening cocktails are enjoyed either in the lounge or on the patio while soaking up the amazing views of the mountains. Once the sun begins to set, lanterns are lit lining the walkways and front patio which lends a wonderful romantic ambience to the night. We were lucky enough to have the whole place to ourselves for two nights which was a dream come true. It felt like we had our own luxury villa in the mountains. Even the night we shared the property with 5 other guests it never felt crowded.

Now for our favorite part, the food is to die for! We were longing for Kings Walden’s gourmet the entire rest of our trip. The property has recently changed management but do not fear, Billy and Minette, have maintained the same standard of service and quality of food. Billy is a chef and it shows. The appetizers served with your cocktails are mouth watering. Dinner is full of wonderful flavors in every course. Breakfast is also the best breakfast we’ve ever had. It is a full menu of many different choices and can be as much or as little as you wish. If you enjoy hearty morning meals, you will be thrilled you are staying here.

Another reason to stay at Kings Walden is so you can experience what else South Africa has to offer than just amazing game viewing. We stayed three nights to do just that. If you have time do not miss the Panorama Tour which takes you to the beautiful Drakensburg Mountains, through the countryside where the highways take you through game reserve property and you can play a neat game of I Spy to see who can spot giraffes, zebra, impala, elephant etc… as you go along. We also opted for some zip lining with Magoebaskloof Adventures Canopy Tour. We wished we had done the Canyoning tour but it was a bit cold to be trompsing around in the water. If you do the Canopy Tour ask for MJ. She is great fun! If you like to stretch your legs you can hike or go for a run from the property.

Overall, Kings Walden Garden Manor is exceptional in every way from amazing views to mouthwatering gourmet! It was our most favorite stay in South Africa and we cannot wait to go back.

Room Tip: Rooms 1-3 have views over the lush grass of the front extending to the mountains. Room 1, since it i...
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  • Stayed September 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ingolstadt, Germany
Contributor
17 reviews 17 reviews
16 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed October 19, 2012

We (two couples) stayed here for 4 nights. Everything is just amazing: the location,the gardens, the views, the staff, the rooms (we had the two garden rooms with a view of the pool).
So why just 3 * ?
Every evening we had a four course meal wich was of outstanding quality.
The first evening we had as dessert (and we love desserts) a choice of Belgium chocolate cake and cold cheese cake. Both were very tasty and of excellent quality.
Guess what we had the second evening for dessert: Belgium chocolate cake and cold cheese cake. Okay, we had the choice, so we took the cake we did not try the day before.
Guess what we had the third evening for dessert:Belgium chocolate cake and cold cheese cake. Well, we asked for something else, but unfortunately...... So we complained and asked for another desert for the next evening wich we finally got.
I'd like to emphasize once again: Both cakes were freshly made every day and were of excellent quality. But, if you've booked DBB at such a high quality lodging you expect more.

In one of our rooms the electric bathroom suction did not work. Unfortunately the kitchen suction seems to blow in the same duct as the bathroom. When we came to our room late afternoon, we knew excactly that we're going to have fish tonight. The whole room was saturated by fish smell. We immediatelly informed Billy the new tenant of Kings Walden and he gave advice to the kitchen not to use the kitchen fan any more until our fan is repaired. He informed us, that the electrician is going to come only three days later. Unfortunately, the solution, not to switch on the kitchen fan did not work 100 %. We still had some kitchen smell in our room. There was no electrician there the second day, we also have not been informed when there will be some repair.
So, even when left, after the fourth night, that fan has not been repaired.

On the whole, a beautiful location, but a strong recommendation to the new tenants: take your guest more serious, they may tolerate some things, but they never forget.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 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.
Kingswalden, Owner at Kings Walden Garden Manor, responded to this review, October 20, 2012
Dear Herbel

Thank you for your review on Kings Walden. We would like to make the following comments based on your review, we are the new owners of Kings Walden however we will only take official ownership of the business at the end of this month. For the time we had been at Kings Walden we had run and managed the hotel on behalf of the previous owners whilst they relocated to Belgium.

As mentioned to in your review you noted that we are the new tenants of Kings Walden, with this we have a landlord who all major repairs and maintenance need to be cleared by. We apologize for this time frame it it had taken to address the problem, however we had a channel to go through to ensure that this is done effectively.

Kings Walden was previously a 3 star guest house under the original owners of Kings Walden, it will be be accredited within the next couple of months to ensure it is graded according to the standard we offer.


Our guests are our main priority, we do assure you that all comments are taken very seriously and have been adressed to the best of our ability within the parameters we find ourselves in currently.

Thank you for taking the time to review our hotel, we are looking forward to hosting you the next time you are in Tzaneen.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 17, 2012 via mobile

I checked into this beautiful Garden Manor and was greeted by the owners Minette and Billy in the car park which was a lovely way to start my stay! I was shown to my room but first given a tour of the house and gardens while the sun was setting, which was breathtaking. Billy, the owner, spent ages telling me all about the history of the house, and explaining the photos which adorn the reception walls, which tell a very interesting story! The Hotel is set overlooking Tzaneen and has stunning views from every part of the Garden. My room was lovely, I had a beautiful fireplace, a little lounge area, a bathroom, all of which was extremely spacious and decorated to a very high standard. It's modern with an African theme which I was hoping for, as a visitor from the UK.

I was then seated in the garden with a bottle of wine, a view over Tzaneen, and a delicious platter as a prelude to my 4 course meal. The fact that this was free of charge was wonderful as it would have been well over R80 at any other establishment.

The cuisine is outstanding, my duck was cooked to perfection and as a trained chef I was very impressed. By far the best food I was served in South Africa.
The staff were all very friendly, and made me feel so welcome, I can't recommend this Garden Manor highly enough, when they start doing weddings I will be booking mine there!
Thank you for making our trip to South Africa such a wonderful one!

  • Stayed October 2012
    • 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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Additional Information about Kings Walden Garden Manor

Address: Old Coach Road | Agatha, Tzaneen 0850, South Africa
Location: South Africa > Limpopo Province > Tzaneen
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 14 B&Bs / Inns in Tzaneen
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Beautiful mountain views and a romantic garden provide a charming backdrop for six luxury rooms at Kings Walden Garden Manor. Rooms that are made for romance and relaxation. Stretch out on extra-length, king size beds, relax in front of the fire with fine wine, good music and great company. Our decor is inspired by clean, elegant lines with modern European undertones - warm and earthy, velvet and leather, cream and black - and our bathrooms are spacious and sexy. The ideal 2-night stopover !!! ... more   less 

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