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“Most amazing place to stay!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of andBeyond Phinda Rock Lodge

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Phinda Private Game Reserve, Phinda Private Game Reserve, South Africa   |  
Hotel amenities
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Lonsdale, Minnesota
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
“Most amazing place to stay!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 29, 2014

My husband and I decided to take a once-in-a-lifetime, bucket-list trip to South Africa for our 5-year wedding anniversary and Phinda Rock Lodge was the first stop. Our expectations were high and we were not disappointed. In fact, we were blown away! Every aspect of this lodge exceeded our expectations! The staff always went above and beyond to make our stay extra special including surprise breakfasts in the bush, extended game drives if the viewing was good (which was almost every drive), and a romantic bubble bath with private dinner on our deck to celebrate our wedding anniversary. One of the butlers even taught us some Zulu phrases.

The food was plentiful and always delicious! They fed us literally 7 times a day - morning coffee/biscuits before morning game drive, breakfast snacks while out on game drive, a full hot and cold breakfast when we returned from game drive, lunch, snacks before afternoon game drive, sundowner drinks and snacks during evening game drive and a full 3-course dinner when we returned.

The accommodations were also great! Very clean, spacious and a luxurious comfortable. Each cabin has a plunge pool and lounging space on the deck. Our cabin had fabulous views even from the shower! The housekeeping staff did a wonderful job each day!

The animal viewing was phenomenal! Especially the cheetah sightings! We saw the Big Five and so many other animals. I couldn't believe how close we could get to some of the animals. Our guide and tracker were wonderful! They found some amazing sightings, explained what we were seeing, educated us on the animals and their habits, answered all of our many, many questions and were so friendly.

Overall I cannot recommend Phinda Rock Lodge highly enough! Of all the areas I've traveled and the many places I've stayed, this is by far my favorite and most memorable. The whole experience was amazing and one I will not forget.

Room Tip: Stay in cabins #1, #2, or #3 for amazing views OR stay in #5 or #6 for a chance to experience wildli...
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  • Stayed September 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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76 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 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 (23)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Any
English first
London, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
27 reviews 27 reviews
17 hotel reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
28 helpful votes 28 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 15, 2014

We visited the Phinda Rock Lodge as part of the second leg of our South African Honeymoon, the first leg was a cousins wedding in drakensburg. Given the adrenaline and excitement and fun of a family wedding in SA, Phinda had a challenge to match what we just experienced, and it certainly had a go. From arriving at the lodge to leaving, first class service, food and experiences that will live long in the memory. The guides and the trackers are what make the experience really, along with the wildlife and the braii's (bbq) and the food and the rooms and the...... Everything. But knowledgeable guides and who work in a system of tracking with the other reserves basically ensure that you will see the big five, we practically achieved it in two hours, which is mind blowing. As is the proximity that you actually get to the animals, without ever feeling threatened. In short, this place is awesome and is a MUST when in SA.

Stayed January 2014, traveled as a couple
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Zurich, Switzerland
Top Contributor
186 reviews 186 reviews
78 hotel reviews
Reviews in 95 cities Reviews in 95 cities
85 helpful votes 85 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 27, 2014

A truly superb place to spend a few days. We enjoyed three game drives and were rewarded with some spectacular sightings of everything apart from Leopard, a reason to maybe go back again?
Great food, very very comfortable and luxurious accommodation with our own pool and butler service. Complimentary well stocked mini bar (not really required as the wines and drinks are also included in the price but appreciated none the less.
Excellent guides who are obviously love their jobs and conservation.
If you can afford one luxurious trip, do this.
outstanding experience.

  • Stayed January 2014, 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 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hamilton, New Zealand
Contributor
18 reviews 18 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 19, 2014

Phinda Rock was sensational. From watching lions feeding on a kill to cheetahs with cubs; from tracking elephant on foot to romantic and private night-time dinners on the balcony... the entire experience was unforgettable. This is the perfect setting for a honeymoon!

  • Stayed April 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 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Stuttgart, Germany
Senior Contributor
46 reviews 46 reviews
44 hotel reviews
Reviews in 43 cities Reviews in 43 cities
177 helpful votes 177 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 4, 2014

We had originally booked the Forest Lodge at Phinda and then were upgraded to Suite #1 at Rock Lodge because they needed space for a group at Forest. The previous reviews were right on as far as I am concerned but just a few comments:

+ The staff were incredible and they were always looking for ways to ensure you were happy. A special call out to Terryn the manager, "Mr. M" our butler and Judith the cook

+ The food - incredible variety, quantity and very high quality. Some of the best food I have ever eaten (coming from someone who travels extensively on business)

+ Our room was spacious, private and very luxurious. Do you really need air conditioning in the bush?, when it was 41 C and coming back from our safari, we turned it on an really enjoyed it. The outdoor shower, plunge pool and watching the giraffes from our bed were incredible highlights

+ We had Ross as our ranger, and his knowledge of the wildlife, ability to find animals and also his photographic skills and recommendations really were invaluable to me. We are able to take a river cruise after one of the bush drives where we saw crocodiles and many birds. The spotter (Foxy) had incredible vision and located so many things that we would not have seen on our own. The "sundowner" cocktail hours were very special.

- A small complaint, the top shelf liquors and wines had an extra cost and this was not the case at the other lodges we stayed. I think at these prices, all drinks should be included in the price as the wines which were served were very average for my taste.

Summary: if you are looking for a very exclusive bush resort, where the focus is on the customer, the quality of the safari experiences and a memories which will last you a lifetime, this is the place!

Room Tip: we found Suite number one to be awesome! Very private and special!
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  • Stayed November 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 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.
Hildenborough, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
29 reviews 29 reviews
25 hotel reviews
Reviews in 26 cities Reviews in 26 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 2, 2014

We deliberately chose Phinda due to its reputation and this lodge due to the intimacy as part of out tasting menu of SA.

Having previously seen Tigers in India this was a place where we should be able to see everything and in ultimate luxury.

The rooms in the Rock lodge were amazing huge bathrooms with bath at window level, massive bedroom with views over the Forrest and outside private deck with plunge pool and all inclusive. Great staff very helpful, very experienced rangers and trackers that would point out everything.
And only two couples per jeep. See the photos below but saw Herds of Elephants, White and Black Rhino, A pride of lions and a mother Cheetah with three cubs among many others. And just in case you wonder this isn't a zoo thats why when they get out of the jeep they carry their rifles. The key thing is you can see most of the wildlife in a couple of days.

One very slight disappointment food was good but not exceptional also the second night we ate as a group and we would have preferred privacy and also difficult to see what you were eating.

Nevertheless A* and we will be back.

  • Stayed December 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 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Top Contributor
65 reviews 65 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 38 cities Reviews in 38 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 21, 2013 via mobile

The Moroccan architecture reminds one of something out of "The Flintstones." The suites are big. It is higher elevation that most camps I have seen. They can take you even higher to the top of a mountain. Game galore. One day we saw 24 mammal species. The food is good and plentiful. Rooms are air conditioned and they have Internet along with the library area. Richards Bay (2 hours) and Durban (3 hours) closest big airports butt here is a landing strip with too expensive service. The landscape in the area is beautiful. Rolling hills and mountain and lakes.

Stayed December 2013, traveled solo
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Additional Information about andBeyond Phinda Rock Lodge

Address: Phinda Private Game Reserve, Phinda Private Game Reserve, South Africa
Location: South Africa > KwaZulu-Natal > Phinda Private Game Reserve
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #4 of 6 Specialty Lodging in Phinda Private Game Reserve
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 6
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
AndBeyond Phinda Rock Lodge looks out over its own lush valley, like a small private castle amidst a tangle of wild African sights and sounds. The suites of this intimate and romantic lodge cling dramatically to steep cliffs with views across the valley. ... more   less 

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