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“Amazing place” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Franshoek Mountain Lodge

Franshoek Mountain Lodge
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Franshoek Mountain Lodge
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PO Box 154, Ficksburg 9730, South Africa   |  
Hotel amenities
London
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“Amazing place”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 12, 2012

The road to franshoek lodge winds its way through very beautiful scenery over a little brook, through a canopy of trees and eventually to this fun and quirky lodge. Its magical and beautiful setting is incredibly calming and peaceful. We enjoyed a tractor ride to the hole in the mountain and and some beautiful walks to the waterfall and cave.

The food was really special and the hospitality of the hosts was quite exceptional. We really enjoyed the baked fig desert. Our room was comfortable and the new owners have some really nice plans to do a revamp. The kids enjoyed our stay and did not want to leave after four days.

We hope to return soon.

  • Stayed February 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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16 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    3.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (2)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Cape Town
Top Contributor
125 reviews 125 reviews
66 hotel reviews
Reviews in 69 cities Reviews in 69 cities
140 helpful votes 140 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 3, 2012

The lodge is about 17 km from Ficksburg back in the direction of Fouriesburg, on a dirt road which is passable by normal car. The setting is lovely, and the lodge is quite old worldy in a strange way. The rooms have everything you need for a short stay, but are quite old and the bathroom of the unit we had was in need of a renovation, but overall not too bad. There is no fridge in the room but the main dining room and bar has one you can use if you need to. The charm of this place is its rural setting and farm-like atmosphere. There is a beautiful pool with a stunning view over the mountains and there is a nice walk to a cave and waterfall and just very pretty scenery all around. The hosts were very kind and friendly and the dinner (curry) and breakfast were great and nicely presented. It's quite far from anywhere and not really feasible to go anywhere for dinner so the 3-course dinner is served on a menu of the day basis and it was very good. I would imagine that the chef would accommodate any special requests if necessary. The lodge is pet friendly and allows guests to bring dogs. The few that were there didn't bother us at all. There isn;t much to do in the area though so unless you like horseriding and walking a lot, you may get bored after 3 days or so but it's a very relaxing place to visit.

  • Stayed December 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Johannesburg, South Africa
Contributor
19 reviews 19 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 3, 2012

Further to my previous review, I am sorry to say that the lodge is no longer dog friendly following a change of ownership. Unfortunately we weren't made aware of this before arriving on the 30th December planning to spend 3 nights there over New Year. The beauty of this lodge used to be that dogs were as welcome as people and all visitors tended to be dog friendly. However, dogs are now not allowed in the communal bar/ dining area so they would need to be left outside while you eat. This isn't really practical as there are now cows and horses on the property so dogs would need to be watched carefully.
A real shame that the new owners have sought to make this change. It also seems that the handover to the new management hasn't been handled well they assumed that we were only staying for one night rather than the three that we had booked (in the end we did only stay for one). It seems like they are planning a change of direction for the lodge. but at the moment it isn't clear what. As it stands this is now an expensive lodge (R580pppn) with no unique selling point and I don't plan to return.

  • Stayed December 2011, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 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.
Johannesburg, South Africa
Senior Contributor
29 reviews 29 reviews
18 hotel reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
23 helpful votes 23 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 12, 2011

We stayed for 4 nights and just loved the very welcoming staff and relaxed ambience, delicious food and beautiful surroundings. It is perfect for little children and adults alike. Charles, who is almost 4, had the most exciting time playing with the dogs, meeting the cats and the rooster and his harem, going for walks with us, experiencing his first ever ride on the back of a "bakkie" (truck) and playing swingball for the first time. There were other families coming and going so Charles had friends to play with after the children had early dinner. This gave the adults the opportunity to enjoy their later dinner in peace, with the children in full view but occupied and entertained with the dolls house, white board, piano, huge teddy bear and more. The main lodge has a huge fireplace where the fire burns day and night in Winter and the room we were fortunate to be in has a very efficient fireplace too (not to mention the Victorian ball and claw bath in the bedroom). And there is no cellphone reception unless you take a drive up the hill...bliss for those wanting to escape totally for a while. It was an easy drive in spectacular surroundings to the delightful village of Clarens where a meal at Cafe Moulin is a must. Next time we will venture only a little further, into Lesotho, to hopefully play in the snow. Thank you, Roz, for our best family getaway ever....

  • Stayed August 2011, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Johannesburg, South Africa
Contributor
19 reviews 19 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 17, 2011

We visited Franshoek mountain lodge on the back of write ups in the pet friendly accommodation book. We, and more specifically our dog, were certainly not disappointed! We arrived to be greeted by around 10 other dogs and barely saw her again for the rest of the day. The setting is fantastic, right up in the mountains and without a hint of noise. There is a very comfy bar area where dogs are encouraged to make themselves at home as much as their owners.
On one day we went for a walk in to the hills accompanied by the resident dog, Bindi, and an Anatolian shephard dog called Simba who lives next door (looks terrifying, but the biggest softy ever!). We finished the day with a go in the African steam hut, an experience not to be missed!
If you have a dog this is a must, they will never visit anywhere else where they are made so welcome. Our dog sulked for 3 days when we got her home because she had such fun!

Room Tip: There are some with stable doors which looked verd
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  • Stayed April 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 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
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johannesburg
Top Contributor
62 reviews 62 reviews
39 hotel reviews
Reviews in 44 cities Reviews in 44 cities
84 helpful votes 84 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed November 16, 2010

A friend and I stayed here over a Saturday and Sunday night in Novemebr 2010. We had two rooms, numbers 8 and 9, at a rate of R580 per room, dinner, bed and breakfast. Ros, the owner, was away and Frankie and Japie were in charge. They were extremely warm, welcoming, trusting and hospitable, like finding and staying with old friends. The setting of the lodge is very beautiful amongst the Free State foothills of the Malutis, and the absence of telephones, television and cellphone reception is a great advantage. It is a great place for a weekend's break: the lodge is totally unpretentious and relaxed, no dressing up or locking of doors necessary. Meals are all taken at one big table so one can't be too anti-social at such times.

That said, the place has a rather quirky, off-beat, even makeshift, kind of flavour. As Frankie herself said: "Either you like it or you don't". So what's not to like? Even though the rate is on the low side (and I readily accept that one is not getting luxury for that price), the rooms and especially the bathrooms are not all of the same quality. Our bathroom was functional enough, but rather on the shabby side. It was rather dusty, in some placed encrusted with old dirt. The cistern lid didn't fit. There was no bathmat. The paint on the toilet seat was peeling. (The bathroom was not cleaned during our stay either.) The bedrooms looked cute, but urgently need a decent coat of paint, the ceilings and doors especially. The matresses were so tightly sprung that it was not easy to get comfortable. My undersheet had extensive brown stains, although the duvet cover was clearly new.

My biggest gripe is that the furniture throughout the lodge, inside and outside (except for the dining table chairs and the couch below-mentioned) was at best uncomfotable or at worst broken, lopsided, missing an arm, or covered with worn out, holey and rather smelly old "throws". The lounge suite in the main building really needs to be thrown away - I mean destroyed utterly - together with all the one-armed wroght iron chairs in the garden which, cushionless, leaves one with absolutely nowhere conmfortable to sit outside, at all, let alone snuggle up with a book.

So, I am afraid to say that the place seems rather arbitrarily thrown together as if it from a sub-standard junk sale. The ONLY piece of furniture which I saw which seemed suited for a lazy weekend in the mountains was a black leather couch which seemed comlpletely out of place but at least looked comfortable in room number 5, the bathroom of which was freshly tiled and painted and much, much cleaner than ours.)

The food was healthy and delicious but not adventurous. I believe that Thai food is on the menu ordinarily when Ros is around: this time it was a braai on the one evening (the quality of the steak was truly excellent but soya veggie burger patties straight out of the freezer via the microwave had to suffice for my vegetarian friend). On the plus side, there was a delicious green salad from the extensive vegetable garden on the property. More fresh produce on the table would have been a great idea - and perhaps something with cherries, since it was the weekend before the Cherry Festival, or asparagus, for both of which the area is famous. The next evening was roast chicken which had been proudly cooked by Frankie in a solar-oven and was very good. Breakfasts were ok to good, but not at all memorable.

The swimming pool is another problem. The pool itself is lovely, perfectly round and newly marbelited and paved. The off-green colour of the water did not worry me particularly, but blue would have been nice. What did worry me was that there is no comoftable spot to lie around: the ground is on a slope and there is a single bamboo lounger which is rather difficult to adjust. There are two canvass hammocks which don;t allow for prolonged comfort and a rattan sofa and armchair which are so badly degenerated by moisture and dirt that it is dangerous to sit on them. I promise I am not exaggerating: one basically falls through the bottom of them!

With just one or two careful additions/alterations (chiefly proper cleaning and painting, replacement of old indoor and outdoor furniture, old linen and some overstrung matresses and fixtures) this place would be a paradise, simple, unpretentious and delightful. Judging by the quality of the clientele we met there, I am sure no one would mind paying another R50 or R100 per night so that the cost of the upgrade could be recouped. It really is a lovely place, loved and run by lovely people, but it also really needs basic attention to make it workable and acceptable for guests.

  • Stayed November 2010, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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.
Maseru, Lesotho
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 5, 2010

We felt really spoilt. Frankie took care of our every need, the food was superb and the setting was stunning.

  • Stayed October 2010, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Franshoek Mountain Lodge

Address: PO Box 154, Ficksburg 9730, South Africa
Location: South Africa > Free State > Ficksburg
Amenities:
Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 5 Specialty Lodging in Ficksburg
Number of rooms: 17

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