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“Best Experience Ever” 5 of 5 stars
Review of andBeyond Phinda Mountain Lodge

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andBeyond Phinda Mountain Lodge
3.0 of 5 Lodge   |   Phinda Private Game Reserve, Phinda Private Game Reserve 3960, South Africa   |  
Hotel amenities
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Milan, Italy
Top Contributor
53 reviews 53 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 23 cities Reviews in 23 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
“Best Experience Ever”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 26, 2012

It was my first safari experience.. Apart from the beautiful accommodation solution (spacious room, equipped with every comfort - there's no tv from what I can remember but who wants to watch tv once he's there??), the restaurant service was great and once you're there you just want to try everything.. From breakfast to dinner.. if you have the chance, don't miss the dinner in the bush.. The perfect ending to an intense day! The staff was extremely kind.. A special thank-you to our ranger.. I don't remember his name, but he went out of his way to make sure my first safari was an unforgettable experience! Good job!

  • Stayed December 2011, traveled with friends
    • 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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185 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 (58)
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Umhlanga Rocks
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 19, 2012

From our arrival to our departure, everything was perfect. The staff were so attentive and friendly. The food was very good. The rooms are big and first class - each room has a private splash pool. The game ranger and tracker went out of their way to make sure we saw and were educated about the Big 5 / trees/ birds/ insects etc. Mountain Lodge is the largest of all the lodges at Phinda, but that was never a problem. Can't wait to go back.

  • Stayed November 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.
Oslo, Norway
Senior Contributor
28 reviews 28 reviews
28 hotel reviews
Reviews in 25 cities Reviews in 25 cities
41 helpful votes 41 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 7, 2012

Mountain lodge has several strong points:
1.The rooms are fabulous: large, well appionted, great view and big outdoor area with inviting plunge pool (I think the best of the Andbeyond properties I've visited)
2. The property is situated on top of a hill with wonderful view
3. Great dinners in the Boma with tasty food
4. The overall scenery beautiful
5. The quality of the ranger and tracker was top notch- as always with Andbeyond

Like the title suggests a few aspects were different than expected. These are not negatives but aspects that might be useful to be aware of when choosing this property:
1. The resort is quite large, so if your looking for a more intimate feel another lodge in Phinda would suit better
2. Less personal service - it changes at all meals
3. Very family oriented with several kids (well behaved so no issue, but good to be aware if)

All in all we enjoyed our stay.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with family
    • 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
    • 4 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.
Dubai
Top Contributor
62 reviews 62 reviews
59 hotel reviews
Reviews in 34 cities Reviews in 34 cities
44 helpful votes 44 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 23, 2012

Just back from Phinda mountain lodge after spending 2 nights, saw the big 5 and close encounter with mother elephant, an awesome wildlife experience at Phinda game reserve, just 3 hours drive from Durban airport.

the service is top notch as expected from &beyond, rooms were clean, in room mini bar was stacked up, food was excellent.

will come back again in near future, no doubt about it.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with friends
    • 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
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Sverige
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 24, 2012

We had a great stay at Phinda Mountain Lodge. The room was big with a very large bed and it was cleaned every day. We stayed for 4 days and saw all of the big five. The food was excellent and so was the safari. One night the staff made a very luxurious dinner out in the woods. I have nothing bad to say about this place!

  • Stayed October 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 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brisbane, Australia
Top Contributor
119 reviews 119 reviews
24 hotel reviews
Reviews in 51 cities Reviews in 51 cities
70 helpful votes 70 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 23, 2012

We initially stayed for 2 nights at Forest lodge and although we enjoyed the different experience loved Mountain lodge better. The room layout at Mountain lodge in the huts is much nicer and the main lodge and pool area are much nicer. Although Forest is a much smaller more private lodge on Phinda the service and facilities at Mountain are much nicer. We were extremely lucky as we had the same ranger Jacques-pierre Joubert (JP) at both Forest and Mountain and Pat Zwane as our tracker. Both who are fantastic at their job if you have a choice!
We were also lucky enough to see all the big 5 and more and the last night was very special with them taking our group to the very top of the biggest hill on Phinda where we were able to have final drinks on our last evening safari. An extremely memorable trip and we were also very lucky to have a fun group for our safaris and great weather. That was one advantage of staying at both Forest and Mountain lodges as there terrain between the 2 lodges is different although no doubt the rangers could possibly take you to one or the other if you are only staying at one lodge for your holiday if weather/time permitting.
The staff at Mountain lodge were also fantastic and much more attentive than the staff at Forest lodge. A big thank you to Obed, Richard (for all his entertainment!) and the rest of the staff at Mountain for making our stay so memorable.
The pool area was conveniently close but a little cold to swim in. We were also lucky enough to have another bush dinner one evening which is quite an experience. Plenty of wildlife near the lodges and huts including Baboon and Nyala. My only photographic moment I missed was the morning I was cleaning my teeth in the bathroom and there was a large male Baboon sitting on the railing near the window. I am not sure who got a bigger fright!
We would definitely go back to Phinda if the opportunity to do another South African safari arises.

Room Tip: We had hut #21 I think it was. It was one of the first huts as you leave the lodge so it was only a...
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  • Stayed January 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 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
Top Contributor
79 reviews 79 reviews
36 hotel reviews
Reviews in 45 cities Reviews in 45 cities
88 helpful votes 88 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 5, 2012

This is a top end lodge. Beautiful design and awesome location on a hilltop overlooking the private reserve. They are targeting a five-star experience, and successfully achieve this. The rooms are beautiful and well appointed, the food is excellent and the service is generally great, although we had a few hiccups. There are lots of game on the property, and the property is large enough to have many different parts to explore. We did a morning and afternoon safari each day. The morning safaris started at 6am and the evening safaris started at 3:30. We were in a group of three and paired with another family of 2-3 on each safari. We had the same guide throughout. We stayed two days and while most guests typically stay 3-4 days, the two days felt enough for us given our other two safaris.
We saw lots of game, including all of the Big Five except for the leopard (which can also be found on the property). We got great close ups with lions, cheetahs, rhinos, giraffes, wildebeests, zebras, and lots of other mamamals. Birds were also in abundance. The guides were great and fun to be with.
Phinda has a number of lodges on the property. This is the only one that accepts kids, so this was a younger crowd than you sometimes see at lodges. This was perfect for our daughter. They also have activities targeted for kids and babysitting services. The also have a nice pool, but it is not heated, so a bit chilly in the winter.
You should come here if you want luxury accomodation and service as well as opportunities to see lots of game. It is a big lodge with lots of people, and on the property you will see lots of other people out on safaris. If you want a more low key experience and more value for money, you might consider somewhere else in KwaZulu Natal like Makakatana Bay Lodge (which I also reviewed).
The closest airports are at Richard’s Bay and Durban. You can arrange a pick up or rent a car. Driving is easy, but would recommend only driving during the day time. The lodge also has its own airstrip, with a chartered flight the easiest way to get to other places like Kruger.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with family
    • 3 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
    • 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.
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Additional Information about andBeyond Phinda Mountain Lodge

Address: Phinda Private Game Reserve, Phinda Private Game Reserve 3960, South Africa
Location: South Africa > KwaZulu-Natal > Phinda Private Game Reserve
Amenities:
Free Parking Restaurant Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 6 Specialty Lodging in Phinda Private Game Reserve
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:3 star — andBeyond Phinda Mountain Lodge 3*
Number of rooms: 20
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
With wraparound views of the ancient Ubombo mountain range, Mountain Lodge balances itself majestically above its panoramic surroundings. The 25 suites scattered along the mountainside offer complete privacy and luxury. There’s no end to the choice of taking in the view – spacious verandas with private plunge pools and layered guest areas each provide their own magnificent outlook. Delicious Pan African meals are enjoyed in the dramatic stone and reed boma, lit by the warm glow of dozens of candles and lanterns. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Phinda Mountain Hotel Phinda Private Game Reserve

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