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“The Cavern is a must do hotel.” 5 of 5 stars
Review of The Cavern Resort & Spa

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The Cavern Resort & Spa
3.0 of 5 Lodge   |   End Of D 119 Road 3350, Amphitheatre | Northern Drakensberg, Bergville 3350, South Africa   |  
Hotel amenities
Durban, South Africa
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
“The Cavern is a must do hotel.”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 21, 2013

The Cavern is a have too holiday experience. The staff are friendly and well versed with the history of the hotel. The guides have good knowledge of the plants and animals of the surrounding terrain. The food is exquisite and made from fresh vegetables grown in there garden. Rooms are big and airy .Activities are for all ages. The scenery is breath taking .

Room Tip: Just been there is amazing all rooms are good
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  • Stayed January 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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161 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (47)
Date | Rating
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  • English first
  • German first
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English first
Johannesburg, South Africa
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 15, 2013

The staff, resort facilities and ambiance are fantastic!
The menu and food presentation are really an asset to the resort.
Activities and facilities - too many to mention - make the visit an experience to remember!

  • Stayed January 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.
geneva
Senior Contributor
30 reviews 30 reviews
28 hotel reviews
Reviews in 27 cities Reviews in 27 cities
31 helpful votes 31 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 9, 2013

The Cavern Drakensberg Resort is a family orientated historical hotel with good old fashioned Drakensberg charm and tradition. Most of the guests are local south african families who return year after year generation after generation and consequently receive priority booking. We were lucky enough to get in for the christmas week and were not disappointed.
The food was excellent and itself in another class. As mentioned in previous reviews it was more akin to fine dining or a gourmet restaurant than a big family hotel. The chef pulled out all the stops for Xmas with eight beautifully presented and delicious courses and we all agreed that we could not have eaten better in an expensive restaurant in Europe. Compliments to the chef!! The staff were charming and helpful too. They have their own zulu choir "The Cavern choir" and although not up to Ladysmith Black Mombazo standard we enjoyed their display and bought their CD to support them. Many of the staff have been there a long time and it is obvious that there is a good team spirit and that the resort supports the local amazisi community. The organized walks are a good way to meet fellow guests and to talk to the staff guide and learn all about local flora and fauna. There are afternoon games on the lawn, before tea, with the hotel dogs sometimes taking an active part. There is also tennis, bowls, pool, darts, table tennis and horse riding. In the evenings there are games or movies in the mini cinema, and we even had a barn dance and a christmas nativity play. Never a dull moment at the Cavern. The pool was overcrowded with kids at Xmas of course, with the little slide and the trampoline being a big attraction. The hotel is set amongst spectacular trees and gardens and there is an informative nature walk in the nearby indigenous forest, with a 200 year old cape ash tree. The cavern maintains all its own walking paths within its boundary. It is an exceptional Drakensberg property with a long history.
We stayed in one of the bigger superior rooms a little way down from the dining room near the Forest Retreat spa. These rooms have their own parking right next door. The bathroom smelt of urine when we arrived but it seemed to be clean. It could have been the septic tank. The room has a big thatched roof and a comfortable bed and a big flat screen TV which we certainly did not need with so much nature right outside. There was a fridge and a kettle for tea and a small patio from which we could hear baboons barking and listen to birdsong and watch for the practically tame mountain reedbuck. It was the proximity to nature and the beauty of the place which made our holiday here so special. The Cavern is not a luxury resort but it has a very high standard and it has a unique natural and unpretentious atmosphere which is no longer easy to find in a hotel.

Room Tip: The superior rooms below the forest retreat are quiet and have their own parking.
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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.
Toronto
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 6, 2013

My wife and two kids (13 and 9) spent a week here just prior to Christmas 2012. The Cavern is very much a "local" destination with +90% of the guests being South African. Many come year after year. This stay was the most pleasant surprise of our three week trip. It felt like a throwback to earlier times. We thought it was the South African equivalent of the resort in "Dirty Dancing" if you are familiar with the movie! I think it is ideal for families with young kids and who love the outdoors. A typical day for us was up early for birdwatching and photography, a sit-down, hot breakfast in the dining room at 7:30 followed by a morning hike organized by the resort, tea at 11, a hot lunch on the patio, swimming at the pool after lunch, tea at 4 and dinner at 6:30. Other things we did included a day trip to Royal Natal NP with one of the Cavern guides, a trip to his village (interesting but not for everybody!) and horseback riding. Other guests brought their mountain bikes and there appeared to be some serious riders staying at the resort. There was always a group event at 8 in the evening (trivial games, bingo, etc.) but we did not partake as we were always ready for bed!

We probably had the best room in the resort. It is right at the top of the hill, very private, with ample room for our family of 4. Private patio, three bathrooms, two bedrooms, AC, TV. It could use a bit of freshening up but was very clean and very comfortable. There is no fitness centre (the great outdoors is your fitness centre!) and I don't believe there was room service.

I reiterate. If you like the outdoors, have small kids and are casual people who are looking for a relaxing holiday in a breathtaking location, try the Cavern! It is a great LOCAL secret. I would like to change that!



One thing I would like to emphasize is that the food is MUCH BETTER than some of the reviews would indicate. Maybe this is a recent improvement. But I can assure you that the evening meal was much more akin to fine dining (including the impeccable service) than not and we always enjoyed and looked forward to out meals.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 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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Qatar
Top Contributor
51 reviews 51 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
37 helpful votes 37 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 1, 2013

The location was lovely--surrounded by a ring of mountains--lots of hikes and walks and gorgeous scenery!
We liked our room--superior--but no air conditioning so very hot and we coudl not leave the windows open because of mosqiuites. The food was--delicious--HOWEVER---you have to let them know you are vegetarian--I did not as this is a major resort--so was very shocked to find only meat served the first night and when I asked what the vegetarian option was was told there was none. I was then given a slice of tomato,with one broccoli floret and two small pieces of butternut. However when i went the next day to complain they were very helpful and apologetic and the options given were excellent. The Cavern goes for quality not quantity with food so do not expect big portions (you can ask for more). The rooms are not sound proof at all. The directions when hiking are not clear and not accurate according to the brochure given. Staff were all pleasant--except for one incident when our waiter was not around for 30 minute,so we asked another waiter for our order--and then our waiter refused to smile at us or even say goodbye nicely when we left (although we had tipped him the night before).
I prefer Cathedral Peak and Champagne castle--but my partner prefers The Cavern--so it is all down to personal choice. Would I go back--yes--but only requesting adequate meals first and requesting an end room.

Room Tip: Ask for a end room if you dont want noise. Ask for a mosquito net.
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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London, United Kingdom
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 21, 2012

Spent a week here whilst hiking in the stunning countryside around the hotel. Food and service excellent with charming staff. Atmosphere friendly and informal. Bedrooms and bathrooms have a slightly old fashioned 'seventies' vibe, but big, comfortable and spotless. Faclities on site and nearby were good with horse riding, cycling, hiking, tennis, bowls etc all available. The staff have a fantastic choir who entertain guests with a delightful performance of African singing and dance one evening a week for those who are interested.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 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.
Johannesburg, South Africa
Senior Contributor
28 reviews 28 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 10, 2012

We very seldom opt for hotels, usually preferring self-catering options for our holidays. But the Cavern is an exception. We can't get enough of it, and go there a few times a year. This family-run hotel is excellent value. The family are very much present (they even eat all their meals in the dining room) but they don't intrude. The staff are superb - you can ask any staff member anything, and they will assist you. They never try to fob you off with a 'That's not my job' response. We have 2 young kids and they are so happy there - there is so much for kids to do, there is a kids' dining room and outstanding nannies to look after then during adult mealtimes and any other time. So we can go on a long hike, knowing the kids are safe, and we can enjoy couple time together while our kids are having a ball. The rooms are so comfortable, too. If you are a family, ask for an interleading family room which gives you 2 bedrooms without an additional charge! There are superior rooms also which cost more but which might be worth it if you want a fireplace and TV. We never need the latter in the Berg - there is so much natural beauty to enjoy and lots of activities to keep us busy. The place is so safe that even when we do get a room at the top of the hill, our 4 year old can find her way there if she needs to. Our kids are avid walkers now, and I blame that entirely on the Cavern! Every morning, there is a 'short' walk suitable for families and a 'long' walk. I have been taking the kids on the short walks, and they love racing ahead with their friends. It is such a treat having tea and crunchies at the halfway mark! There is also an awesome spa overlooking the forest. What a treat - a tip is to phone in advance of your stay to book your treatments as the spa is very popular. All in all, the Cavern is an excellent choice for families, for couples, for individuals. Food for the soul!

Room Tip: Rooms near the dining room and tennis court are more accessible but rooms up the hill or down are qu...
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  • Stayed November 2012, 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
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about The Cavern Resort & Spa

Address: End Of D 119 Road 3350, Amphitheatre | Northern Drakensberg, Bergville 3350, South Africa
Location: South Africa > KwaZulu-Natal > Bergville
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beverage Selection Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Spa Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 8 Specialty Lodging in Bergville
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3 star — The Cavern Resort & Spa 3*
Number of rooms: 55
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Cavern Resort & Spa welcomes you to the adventures of mountain holidays. The Cavern, named after the “Cannibal Cavern”, is situated on 3000 hectares of private mountain reserve adjacent to the Drakensberg Amphitheatre World Heritage Site.This holiday offers you daily guided hikes to bushman paintings and rock carvings. For the more energetic, walks are organised to the Tugela Gorge, the second highest waterfall in the world, and to the top of the Amphitheatre (3100m). An extensive range of recreational facilities, from a forest spa, horse trails, trout fishing and mountain bike trails are available. This stunning resort has won numerous accolades. Honeymoon suites, superior suites and standard accommodation are available with spectacular views of the surrounding valleys, indigenous forests and mountains. Honeymoon suites are complete with four-poster beds and fireplaces for cool evenings. The superior accommodation is set away from the resort, in tranquil gardens, with magnificent views of the surrounding mountains. The reserve is home to abundant wildlife including leopard, baboon and eland and over 200 species of birds and 150 species of trees.The Forest Spa, set high up in the indigenous forest, is a relaxing space to unwind in whilst being treated by our therapists. Afterwards the unique Cave Bar is the ideal place to meet for a sundowner while looking over the valley below. Just over three hours from Gauteng and Durban it is the ideal area to spend some time in the mountains. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
The Cavern Drakensberg Hotel Bergville

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