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“So happy we chose Exeter River Lodge!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of andBeyond Exeter River Lodge

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andBeyond Exeter River Lodge
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P.O. Box 2060, Kruger National Park, South Africa   |  
Hotel amenities
Singapore, Singapore
Senior Contributor
26 reviews 26 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
28 helpful votes 28 helpful votes
“So happy we chose Exeter River Lodge!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 17, 2013

Exeter River gets high marks in all areas. Game rides were great (big 5 were easy to see many times plus so much more!) as was our guide (William). Service was spot on and we loved the personal touches. Greeting us after every game drive with cold towels, providing water for us to bring on the game drives as well as water in the cooler etc. Ronny took very good care of us, noted little things (like my love of Coke Light and kept our mini fridge well stocked) and took care of them without being asked. Ronny was always on top of my food allergies and they were handled with discretion. The food was delicious and had great variety. The house wine was drinkable... had there been a greater selection and better bottle storage, we would have been happy to purchase some fine South African wine as we love a choice bottle of red wine The room (#7) was beautiful and private! Perfect for a get away with my husband. My only regret is that we did not stay longer. Any guests seeking privacy, beautiful lodging, top notch service/ food and great game viewing I would highly recc &Beyond Exeter River Lodge.

Room Tip: There are only 8 rooms. We stayed in room 7 and were very happy. It was large, had great views of...
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  • Stayed March 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
    • 4 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.
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186 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
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (45)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Any
English first
San Francisco, California
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 17, 2013

We've been there twice. The staff is awesome - friendly and accommodating. They arranged a couple of surprises for the two of us: a romantic in-room dinner (flower petals on the floor, the whole 9 yards) and a bush walk + bush breakfast, both without being asked. Really lovely.

The game viewing is excellent - you won't see as many elephants as you'd see in the Okavango Delta in Botswana, but you'll see a lot of them. The only thing we didn't see were cheetahs, but Sabi Sands isn't really known for cheetah. Lot's of rhino, lots. Leopards? Yep. Lions? Yep - a lot, and close.

The combination of the great game viewing and the awesome staff makes this a very special place.

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 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 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 3, 2013

My friend & I wanted a safari experience in South Africa and we chose Exeter River Lodge. We were so impressed. It far exceeded all of our expectations. We stayed 3 nights and it was wonderful. The staff were all fabulous and really went out of their way to make sure that we were comfortable and had a memorable experience. The lodge is gorgeous. Our room was beautiful and had all the amenities you could want and then some (plunge pool overlooking a river where lions walk past!) Our ranger (Andrew) and tracker (Martin) were fantastic. They made every drive feel exciting and created variety, and they were able to find us nearly any animal we asked for. They were also more than willing to answer a million questions and were so knowledgeable about the flora & fauna. Each of us had a massage - the luxurious potato & marula wrap & massage was to die for!

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with friends
    • 5 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 28, 2013

We had a wonderful four night stay at the Exeter River Lodge. The entire staff could not have done more to make our two-couple party comfortable in a relaxed and understated way. Our ranger Andrew and tracker Martin were fantastic, making it seem almost easy to find the animals we asked for and also showing us the rare ones (like black rhinos) that we didn't even know we wanted to see. They also made driving around the bush as much fun as seeing the animals themselves. The rooms and food were also great. Our butler Christopher went above and beyond in every way.

  • Stayed February 2013, 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Royal Tunbridge Wells, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 23, 2013

This was truly the most amazing holiday experience we have ever had !
We booked 4 nights at Exeter River lodge at the end of a 3 week holiday to South Africa to celebrate my husbands 50th birthday. It truly was the grand finale to a wonderful trip.

We were SO sad to leave on our last day that we promised each other that we would return.
We could not fault anything. In fact everything completely exceeded our expectations.
Nothing was too much trouble and our 'butler ' called Difference was just wonderful- always smiling!
The food and service were just superb , magical accommodation and so many wonderful surprise touches.we never knew what to expect next .
The lodges had all possible comforts allowing for a perfect combination of relaxation between adventures !

Our ranger was Justin , with Chris the tracker. They were just fantastic. Justin's enthusiasm added so much and he was Just so knowledgeable and loved sharing what he knew , even when we asked ' silly' questions.
Chris managed to track a leopard that we had seen from our lodge across the river one lunch time. We told them that we had seen a leopard so they took us off to find it - and did !!
We managed to fit in 7 drives and each one was an amazing experience , seeing all of the big 5 on our first morning starting with a leopard strolling through our camp and into the office as we were about to set off at 5.15 am. !
We saw 4 different leopards , one with a cub , 2 different male lions roaring . Lionesses with cubs, the 2 black rhino, white rhino,elephants ,buffalo ,crocodile , giraffes , hippos ......
What really surprised me was just how close we got to all of the animals . We have some amazing photographs !
Every day felt like an adventure . We had a puncture in the middle of a herd of buffalo , got stuck in the mud , towed other jeeps out of rivers and the sand etc etc .
On our morning drive we stopped midway for refreshments , ( I miss Justin's morning mocha chocca special drink with Amarula !)
On the evening drive we stopped for a greatly appreciated G & T .

It really was an escape from 'real life' and a great way to recharge . We can't wait to go back .

  • Stayed January 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Washington DC, District of Columbia
Top Contributor
54 reviews 54 reviews
37 hotel reviews
Reviews in 34 cities Reviews in 34 cities
43 helpful votes 43 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 13, 2013 via mobile

We went to Exeter with two other couple friends of ours and we all came away with fantastical impressions of the lodge. The food, the game drives, and the staff were all perfect 10s. The lodge is not a cheap place but we felt for what we paid we received and excellent value.

The only one criticism I have us that there is no gym. After all the delicious food we had we could have used a workout for some of our free afternoons.

We checked in mid afternoon and quickly dropped things off in our rooms before lunch. Every meal was delicious and all the lunch / dinners were multiple course meals. We had two vegetarians with us and the lodge did a great job making sure they were well fed along with us carnivores. Every meal was outstanding and all the food was very fresh. Lunch and dinner were prepared by one of two chefs for us (Glory or Amos). Both of them were amazing and did a great job reciting the daily menu and customizing items as we wished. They also both always had a smile on their face that just warned your heart!

The drives were spectacular. Our driver was Justin and our tracker was Chris. Both were phenomenal. We ha amazing drives every day. Justin said we were very lucky to see what we saw. The funny thing is he said this every day and everyday got better! Highlights included: lion feeding on a buffalo, leopards on multiple drives, elephants, lions roaring, lion cubs, giraffe, leopards hiding a kill in a tree, buffalo almost colliding with our jeep, getting stuck in the mud, jeep flat tire). Even the unfortunate car problems were adventures and we didn't mind because of how awesome the crew was. On the morning drives the team always stopped for a great tea time (hard coffee and cookies!) and on the afternoon drives we always sopped for sun downers (cocktails in the bush).

The staff was amongst the best I have seen in any resort. They truly worked as a team to take are of any need a guest had. I don't know how they do it but I have seen more bugs in city hotels than we saw in this resort in the forest. They also do lots of special things for the guests. One of our dinners was in the bush with candles and lamps lighting our meal. We arrived after a game drive to African dancing from the staff and a bonfire. On our last night at the lodge the staff somehow prepared bubble baths and floral decorations in our room before we arrived (the bath was hot when we walked in!!!!).

I can't describe how amazing this expletive was. The food, the drives, and the staff make the Exeter a gem in the bush!!!

  • Stayed January 2013
    • 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dubai
Top Contributor
102 reviews 102 reviews
45 hotel reviews
Reviews in 32 cities Reviews in 32 cities
337 helpful votes 337 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 31, 2013

The suites are situated along the Sand River and thanks to the floods a lot of the scrub concealing the view is no longer there. As a result all the 8 suites have sweeping views which allowed us to witness hordes of game walking alongside the river. The couple in the suite next to ours saw a leopard drinking from the reed bed which later turned out in our favor as our guide decided to follow up on their observations. Needless to say the sighting ended up with two leopards fighting over a Bushbuck kill.

Suites: Large and sumptuous with outside shower, massive deck and small plunge pool (not heated but as we went in summer this was perfect).

Cuisine: Fantastic with many innovative recipes and some great surprises.

Service: Our Butler Christopher was intuitive, friendly and always seemed genuinely happy to ensure we were well cared for. The house keeping team were wonderful and did not miss a beat. In fact everyone was absolutely fantastic.

Guide and Tracker: Justin and Chris were phenomenal and their knowledge of the bush resulted in us pretty much tracking down all our own sightings without the need to respond to other sightings. I must congratulate Justin for his patience with me as I absolutely adore the bush and asked him endless questions about everything.

We saw many creatures both great and small as well as enjoying birds, insects, flowers and trees. For those of you looking for the big five we had 6 leopard sightings, 4 lion sightings, buffalo, rhino and elephant!

Well done! Well done! Well done! One final thank you to Sophia for ensuring everything ran seamlessly and for ensuring nothing was too big or too small to accomplish! Thank You!

Room Tip: All rooms now have a view!
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  • Stayed January 2013, 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about andBeyond Exeter River Lodge

Address: P.O. Box 2060, Kruger National Park, South Africa
Location: South Africa > Kruger National Park > Sabi Sand Game Reserve
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #16 of 41 Specialty Lodging in Sabi Sand Game Reserve
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 8
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
In spite of the dry name of the river on which it is located, there is nothing arid about warm and welcoming andBeyond Exeter River Lodge. Perched on the edge of the Sand River, this tranquil lodge is the perfect safari retreat, boasting spacious riverside suites, Big Five game viewing with excellent leopard sightings and the perfect amount of privacy. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Exeter River Hotel Sabi Sand Game Reserve
AndBeyond Exeter River Lodge South Africa/Sabi Sand Game Reserve

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