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“Nice, but not 5 star.” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Kingfisher Lodge

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Kingfisher Lodge
4.5 of 5 Lodge   |   Sterkrivier Rd | Upper Escarpment, Entabeni Game Reserve, South Africa   |  
Hotel amenities
Pretoria, South Africa
Senior Contributor
23 reviews 23 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
“Nice, but not 5 star.”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 2, 2014

We stayed at Kingfisher lodge as part of a deal where we bought 4 nights for the price of 2. The setting is lovely beside a lake, and were allocated the 'honeymoon' lodge. Our initial impressions were good, but it was clear on closer inspection that a lot of maintenance needed doing on the buildings. I couldn't pin down why it smelled of bonfires constantly in our room, later realising that the chimney was in serious need of sweeping. Lots of chips etc inside on the surfaces, and I agree with other reviewers that the lodges need re-thatching. The swimming pool was also out of use, which I was surprised at, as we visited in mid December. The food was pleasant, but nothing to write home about. In short - this was a nice long weekend away, and was great as we had essentially had the stay for half-price. However, I do not think I would have been as happy if we had paid full price and expected a 5 star lodge, as is advertised.

Room Tip: The honeymoon suite has a great view of the lake
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  • Stayed December 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
MichelleBouic, Client Liaison at Kingfisher Lodge, responded to this review, March 12, 2014
Good Day Missenchsinclair,

Thank you for your review of Kingfisher Lodge – we are heartened to read that you enjoyed your time with us. We welcome constructive comments as our main focus is to create a Legendary experience for all our guests. We will pass your comments onto our Camp Manager to address the points raised and rectify as soon as possible. After a busy season our annual maintenance programme takes effect and the issues mentioned will all be addressed with re-thatching taking place as well. To note, our Lodge is currently not graded with TGCSA and we apologise for the misleading information you received. However, this does not excuse any of the issues raised and we can assure you that your constructive comments have been heard.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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12 people have reviewed this hotel

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 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 (2)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
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English first
Prtetoria
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed November 26, 2012

We visited the Kingfisher lodge on the weekend of the 23 November 2012. Let me start by saying this is a amazing setting for a Game Lodge, many thanks to Simon and Solly for the amazing drive you made this weekend special. Now for the negative we were told we will be upgraded from the 4 star Lakeside lodge to the 5 Star Kingfisher lodge. It rather seemed like a downgrade as both these Lodge rooms were not even a 3 Star. The food and other facilities are way below par and should not even be 2 or maybe 3 star. We were very disappointed after looking forward to this weekend away for a long time. On our game drive we however visited the Hanglip Lodge which is a breath of fresh air compared to the other two we were staying in. I have taken some photos which I will not be posting now indicating the bad state of these two facilities. It is a pitty that visitors from abroad must think this is the standard of accommodation we have in the bush. I would much rather go to Bukabung for the same price. Might still consider Hanglip Lodge.

Room Tip: Donb't go there
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 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.
Michelle B, Senior Marketing Assistant OBO General Manager Gary Millar at Kingfisher Lodge, responded to this review, November 30, 2012
Dear JackpotPretoria

Thank you for taking the time to review our property. It is regretful that your perception of Kingfisher Lodge is currently a negative one and we hope that you will give us the opportunity to rectify this by visiting us again. A letter of apology has been forwarded to your booking agent who will be in contact with you. Thank you for your compliments on our Conservancy and the quality of the game viewing. We have passed on your comments to Simon and Solly.
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Johannesburg, South Africa
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 2, 2012

For a 5 star establishment, this lodge is in need of serious maintenance. The thatch needs some serious work on it, it looks tatty. i saw torn sheets, bleached patches on hooked towels, towels were also minimal in the room for a 5 star. The carpet is aged and frayed, coming undone at the end of the tiles. The food was very simple, the chef made what he/she knows, but once again for a 5 star more attention to detail should be given. There are many fantastic food products available to enhance and finish a meal, The same veg for lunch and dinner. The pool and loungers were also looking a bit sad. This lodge is supposed to be more upmarket then Lakeside next to it, am not so sure on that, i did not see the inside of the rooms but the thatch looked worse for wear. It has a great setting and potential, so owners should do something about it.

  • Stayed June 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 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.
Pretoria
Top Contributor
57 reviews 57 reviews
30 hotel reviews
Reviews in 37 cities Reviews in 37 cities
68 helpful votes 68 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 17, 2011

I stayed with friends at the Kingfisher lodge end of January 2011. The place seems to be well maintained, hence there seems to be quite some problems with the monkeys running around in the camp (which can be rather disturbing as you can hardly stay outside). Wildlife (even though it is not a huge reserve is good and we saw a lot of game). If you like to enjoy in a comfy swimming pool - you are in the wrong place. When we arrived the pool was quite greenish - however, when we left (2 days later) it was almost usable. One of the negative side is the food. It is not bad however I would call it more less simple. Not what one would expect in a 5* place – especially as the prices for the place is also 5* (not even drinking water is included in the before mentioned 5* rate). Game reserve good, hotel not bad, food something you could miss. Seen it, done it, not going to return.

  • Stayed January 2011, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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.
Den Haag
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 5, 2011

Don't need no more words to discribe Kingfisher Lodge than AMAZING. Everything is amazing the game ranger Trevor, the lovely, wonderfull straight from the heart hard working people and staff. And believe us the Entabeni Reserve is breath taking beautiful. A real piece of Africa within South Africa. The animals are very healthy and taking real good care of. If you love photography this is a paradise. There are working some great experiance rangers at the Legend lodges, so if you want to learn everything about the African animals this is the pleace for young and old.

  • Stayed October 2010, 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 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
England
Senior Contributor
37 reviews 37 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 22 cities Reviews in 22 cities
36 helpful votes 36 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 21, 2007

Everything comes together to give you a fantastic safari experience.

We stayed at the Kingfisher Lodge but ate / visited most of the lodges which all appear to be well run and to a similar standard. Accommodation (good size, own fires) food (high standard, lots, catered for the 2 vegetarians well) and service (warm, happy people) is all as stated and generally 1st rate.

The good and maybe not so good of Entabeni are too sides of the same coin…

It feels ever so slightly managed… and there are fewer animals than on the Masai Mara Kenya etc (well during the Mara migration anyway) and you are very unlikely to see kills etc. However, you can drive to Entabeni from Jo’burgh in 3 hours (good roads), no insects (none of our party used anything and not a single bite – may be different in Summer?)... the habitat is much more varied so the animals can hide… the fun of tracking and finding Elephants or Water Buffalo etc, night drives (amazing starlit southern sky), bush walks, the boat trip around the lake and even some bird watching adds something that we never got in Kenya. The safari experience at Entabeni was exciting and different but not inferior.

In summary if you have time (in 6 nights we saw everything expect leopards, Big 5+ … in Kenya we never saw a rhino) Entabeni is a more complete experience.

If you only have a couple of days (it is NB hard work - up at 6am and all that food!) or want a more 100% in your face animal experience then go to Mara during the migration.

Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Additional Information about Kingfisher Lodge

Address: Sterkrivier Rd | Upper Escarpment, Entabeni Game Reserve, South Africa
Location: South Africa > Limpopo Province > Waterberg > Entabeni Game Reserve
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Parking Restaurant Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #5 of 5 Specialty lodging in Entabeni Game Reserve
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Kingfisher Lodge 4.5*
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Set on the banks of Lake Entabeni, Kingfisher Lodge is the most exclusive and luxurious of all the lodges, offering superb personalized service. In the main lounge and dining area the ambience is inviting with elegant decor, specially designed furniture and fireplace ensuring an enjoyable and relaxed atmosphere. The lodge has a spacious lounge/dining room, which opens onto a wooden deck. The eight deluxe bedrooms are stylishly decorated and feature fireplaces, mini-bars and private decks. The lodge is also equipped to accommodate guests with mobility challenges. The honeymoon suite features an exquisite four poster bed and a Jacuzzi bath with views of the lake. ... more   less 

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