For $1200 a night there, the service really needs an upgrade. Let me start with the good first. Food was 7 star and you get fed so much that at meal time, you probably don't even have room to eat. The lodge itself is also quite nice. They have a nice observation deck by a pool of water and other lookouts to a dry river bed. However, since I haven't been to other parts of the Sabi Sands area, I don't know if it's the location of this resort or just all of Kruger. With the exception of 1 game drive, spotting animals was hard although I sort of felt like I was in a zoo. It seemed that all the animals were in groups of parents with an offspring with the exception of the grazing animals like impala. I just didn't find the game that impressive but maybe that is how a safari in Africa is suppose to be. I will say that while you are there, the employees do act very friendly.
Now for the not so great. I changed my whole schedule around to stay at this particular lodge - made serious efforts on my part. I even asked for either a boma dinner one night or a bush dinner which they said wouldn't be a problem. Upon check-in, reception also knew this is what I wanted and told me to tell the kitchen staff. I did so and guess what, it was our last meal and no boma or bush dinner. I was told it was dry and there was a fire risk although NO ONE told me this until I asked about it during our dinner. Then I found out that it was just done a few days before and that they like to only do one of those per week. Shouldn't someone have just told me that as opposed to hope that I would just forget? Then I asked about this optional bush walk which EVERY lodge there offers. I was told that if we wanted this, it would cut into our game drive. So basically, who wants to give up a game drive? And before I forget, make sure to get some really good directions there since their website is WRONG. There are NO signs that say Ulusaba near the front as stated in the directions on their website. We were lost in the shanty town nearby for 1.5 hours and had to get help from locals there. Make sure to follow signs for Newlin Gate or something like that. Also, the pool was NOT heated -- it apparently needed repair.
Well, when I told the General Manager my complaints, he was very nice and told me that there should have been an optional bush walk which he offered to us on our last day even though we were trying to leave to make a flight later. He also said a boma dinner or bush dinner should have been arranged for us and he did try to provide a boma drinks thing the last night we were there. He also gave us a few parting gifts. BUT we just paid $2400 and they couldn't even get a few things right? So if the GM is saying these things should've been offered, why weren't they? Why are the employees not on the same page about what is offered and what is not offered and how come no one bothered to tell me they couldn't do a boma dinner or bush dinner at ANY of the 6 meals we had there? When we checked out, the reception even asked how our boma or bush dinner was and this again reinforced the fact that requests do not make it to a live person on the other end of the email. It must just get put into the system and certain people see it but not the people who make the decisions. It just seemed too bureaucratic. The left hand doesn't speak to the right hand and employees are not on the same page with management.
Over-rated as there are other resorts in Sabi Sands and I really should NOT have made the effort I did to work around my whole entire itinerary to stay there. Maybe it would have been better if I didn't have to change my schedule around 3 times to get a room there.
Also, don't stay here if you're not ready to be BFFs with the group that also arrives at the same time as you. I had no idea that I signed up to be in camp again. Every meal and game drive was with the SAME group who was NOT on tour with us and not our friends. I was not there to make friends and socialize the whole time I was there. There should have been options to NOT have to dine with the group all the time.
- Also Known As:
- Ulusaba Safari Hotel Ulusaba Private Game Reserve