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“Phinda Forest: A unique accomodation on a sand forest floor” 4 of 5 stars
Review of andBeyond Phinda Forest Lodge

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andBeyond Phinda Forest Lodge
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Kwazulu-Natal, Phinda Private Game Reserve, South Africa   |  
Hotel amenities
boston
Senior Contributor
23 reviews 23 reviews
18 hotel reviews
Reviews in 20 cities Reviews in 20 cities
31 helpful votes 31 helpful votes
“Phinda Forest: A unique accomodation on a sand forest floor”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 20, 2009

We stayed 4 nights at Forest and 4 nights at Vlei. Overall I liked Vlei better and you can read my review I posted about Vlei. The food was very good. I liked the younger chef better than the older man. He was more innovative and creative. Food was very good though. Our room was fascinating because each "cotttage" is on the sand forest floor will full glass walls. Fascinating. It was very dark though during the day and obviously no views since you are on the floor of a canopied forest. last protected sand forest floor in the world and you are privileged to be staying in it! I highly recommend a visit to local creche to see the children and the good things that &Beyond is doing to support local communities. The children sang songs for us and we gave out books and lollipops.
We used a specialist ranger, privately hired, named Mike Karantonis from Africa Direct. Having been on safari at Madikwe we wanted to raise the bar for our experience. He was exceptional and worth the extra money. We are going to Masai next year.

  • Stayed August 2009, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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186 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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45
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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    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 (61)
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English first
Ottawa, Canada
Top Contributor
57 reviews 57 reviews
29 hotel reviews
Reviews in 35 cities Reviews in 35 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 4, 2009

My wife and I stayed at Forest Lodge several years ago, and still remember it as one of the greatest few days together in our lives. The game drives, the service, the rooms, the adventure...all everything we wanted and more. Expensive, but worth the price.

  • Stayed March 2006, traveled as a couple
    • 4 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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Durban, South Africa
Senior Contributor
31 reviews 31 reviews
20 hotel reviews
Reviews in 20 cities Reviews in 20 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 14, 2009

This is our fourth visit to Phinda which in itself says everything, However the service was the best of all four visits. The game was great we saw all the big five the rangers are excellent and know exactly where to look for the animals we wanted to see.
My family from the U.K. were with us and they had a holiday of a lifetime.
Living in South Africa we have visted a number of Game Parks in Kruger and Phinda in equal to the best.

  • Stayed April 2009, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Sunderland, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
70 reviews 70 reviews
35 hotel reviews
Reviews in 44 cities Reviews in 44 cities
62 helpful votes 62 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 8, 2009

Having spent 3 nights at Phinda Forest Lodge it has been one of the best experiences I have ever had. The accommodation, food, organisation, and without a doubt the game drives will have happy memories for years to come. Our ranger Walter was such good company as well as (with the help of Tux tracker) so good at locating the Game. We had a fabulous time. We also did the Flight of the Fish Eagle which was spectacular. I hope to visit another & Beyond destination in the future.

  • Stayed June 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 4 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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Cape Town
Senior Contributor
37 reviews 37 reviews
34 hotel reviews
Reviews in 30 cities Reviews in 30 cities
60 helpful votes 60 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 15, 2009

After leaving sister lodge "Rock Lodge" because it did not offer the promised luxury in the wild, we moved to Forest Lodge, which was beyond expectations.
The accomodation was truley luxurious, backed up by food, game drives and walks and a river cruise.
Staff were professional and couldn't do enough for the guest.
I hope they take my suggestion to ban smoking to heart, as one smoker can polute the whole deck dining area.

  • Stayed May 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 3 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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Chicago
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 24, 2008

The whole Phinda experience is amazing. Everything is taken care of, everything is included, and you are never left wanting for things to do.
The property is being renovated at the moment so it is bound to get even better. Each hut has three huge glass walls but you never feel too exposed as each hut is set very far apart and there are trees all over. But the animals all happily march by right outside your window.
As a first time Safari, I was worried slightly about the setting. Phinda is in a sand forest, rather than on the open plains of Africa. I felt like I wanted the sterotype a little more. But all the other people staying at the place, who had been to other Safari parks, did say this was one of the best they had done.
We stayed for two nights. Three nights would be perfect.
The pool - which doesnt feature in much of the advertising material for Phinda is not huge but it does overlook an open area that has animals marching past all day. Rumour had it an elephant came to drink from the pool the day before we arrived.
The food is fantastic. The breakfasts at Phinda were the best we had on our whole holiday. Watch out for the monkies who come to steal your food. The seem to rotate dinner on the balcony and dinner in the boma, so you get to experince both.
As far as the Safari - we saw all the big animals on our first drive. There are not as many elephants as other parks, but there are so many Rhinos, and Cheetah - which are quite rare in other parks.
Its expensive but it is worth it!

  • Stayed September 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 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.
San Luis Obispo CA
Contributor
19 reviews 19 reviews
19 hotel reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
56 helpful votes 56 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 5, 2008

We combined several nights at Phinda Forest with several nights at Phinda Rock Lodge - which we highly recommend! Forest provided very nice accommodations with the glass walls as highlights! The room was comfortable and private. The game drives are superb in the sand forest! The staff was professional and friendly; the food was very tasty/well presented and varied. We asked our guide to take us on several walks which were delightful and also did the Rhino Trekking which was really adventuresome! Phinda was the highlight of our African trip - be sure to combine the two lodges for a varied and awesome time! Even the 1 1/2 hr drive between the two lodges turns into an adventuresome game drive! Phinda can also be commended for their animal conservation and help to the local community!

  • Liked — GREAT games drives and staff; comfortable accommodations
  • Disliked — nothing
  • Stayed September 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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.
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Additional Information about andBeyond Phinda Forest Lodge

Address: Kwazulu-Natal, Phinda Private Game Reserve, South Africa
Location: South Africa > KwaZulu-Natal > Phinda Private Game Reserve
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 6 Specialty Lodging in Phinda Private Game Reserve
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 16
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Set deep in the heart of a rare and beautiful dry sand forest, the award-winning Forest Lodge fuses architecture and conservation. The lodge was hand built by local artisans, with a minimal footprint on the forest floor – not one tree was felled during construction. An exquisite contradiction, floor-to-ceiling glass walls invite the forest inside, while the dense tree canopy shelters and provides privacy. Floating on stilts above the forest floor while dainty suni graze below, the 16 Zulu Zen suites blend harmoniously into the dappled shade. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Phinda Forest Hotel Phinda Private Game Reserve

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