I don't like writing negative reviews, but do feel it's fair to warn people that Manor Guest House is not a luxury establishment, nor one that I would consider 4-star.
We asked for early check-in at 10am so I could work in the room while my husband was working on site and were told there was no problem. When I arrived a little after 10, nobody was aware that I was coming and I had to wait while they hurriedly cleaned the room.
The property is on the main road in town, which means that it's very noisy. There is a constant stream of trucks passing by. I was very thankful that the room we were allocated wasn't the closest one to the road, although it was still noisy, even with all the windows closed. I guess that if traffic doesn't bother you, it's a convenient location to walk to the shops, which are 5min away.
Everything in the room functioned fine, including the Wifi (thank goodness), but the place lacks the attention to detail one expects from a supposedly upmarket establishment. There was hardly any toilet paper, the plastic lavender plant on the vanity needed a good wipe down, the skirtings had been eaten away by termites, the air freshener bottle was empty and there was still masking tape on the walls, which are obviously in the process of being repainted.
Later in the afternoon while I was working, a staff member knocked on my door and without waiting for a reply came into the room. She replenished the toilet paper and put two rusks into an empty jar on the tea tray before leaving again.
There was a heater, a kettle and an electric blanket (for which I was very grateful), but because there are not enough plug points, to use the electric blanket one must crawl under the bedside table and unplug the bedside lamp. You can't use the kettle / lamp / electric blanket / other electric appliance at the same time. This could be quite easily be fixed by providing an extension lead with additional plug points.
While there is tea and coffee in the room, you have to ask at reception if you want milk, which is a pain if you want a cuppa after hours.
We knew there wasn't a great selection of restaurants available in Lydenburg, so we had also asked beforehand if we could use the braai (BBQ) facilities advertised by Manor Guest House and we were told it wouldn't be a problem. When we reminded the owner about this, she said it was fine, but she would charge us to use her wood or firelighters. We had purchased charcoal, so we assured her we wouldn't need her wood, but asked if we could use her matches. She said she didn't have any in the house and that we should walk into town to purchase a box. She was very friendly and pleasant, but didn't seem ready to go to any trouble for her guests.
In the end, we purchased braai tongs, paper plates and serviettes, as it was clear we weren't going to receive any help from the guest house. Thankfully, one of the kitchen staff, KB, came to our aid after watching us struggle and brought us some proper plates to use.
On the plus side, when my husband said he would need to leave very early the next morning to be on site, they organised a packed lunch for him to take with him, which KB brought to us while we braaied.
I ate breakfast the next morning at Manor Guest House and it was very pleasant. While I was eating, however, the owner came through and asked for my room key. She wanted to give it to the person who would be staying in the room that night before he left for a business meeting.
This meant that I had to get someone to unlock my room with the master key and then showered nervously with my luggage pushed up against the room door in case someone decided to knock and enter without waiting for a reply again.
When I went to reception to settle my bill, the owner had gone to town and I had to stand around and wait 10 minutes for her to return as the staff member on duty couldn't assist me. This annoyed me as they knew I would be checking out before 10am and could have waited until then to go to the computer store.
While killing time in the foyer, I did notice that the AA rating certificate (for Superior accommodation) expired in 2010 and that the 4-star grading from the Tourism Grading Council expires in September this year.
Manor Guest House is not a bad establishment. It's just not what we were expecting from the images on the website, the reviews we read (bar one very negative one) and the 4-star grading.
If you are a professional working onsite near Lydenburg who will just need to eat and sleep at the guest house rather than spending any time there, and you're not bothered by traffic or lack of attention to detail, Manor Guest House may suit you just fine. Personally, I htink there are much nicer places to stay in Lydenburg.