We recently stayed at The Nest at the end of a fantastic trip to South Africa. We were driving from Richard's Bay to Johannesburg and thought this looked like the perfect place to stay.
When we arrived we were met by a less-than-welcoming guard, we then made our way to the reception to check in. We enquired if we could have lunch, as we'd had a long morning's drive and thought as it was just after 2.30pm we could at least get something. Unfortunately they had closed the kitchen, but were offering tea and cake later in the afternoon.
The rooms we were given were the Drakensberg Mountain Facing Accommodation, 65-67. The rooms were very dated and tired looking, they were relatively clean but overall they were not up to the standard we were expecting. The "under carpet heating" consisted of a warm patch just next to the bed and the private secluded balcony had people wandering past and had another building in front. Also the sheets were branded with the name of the hotel, which is not a good look. When looking back at the website it seems the photos are very old and show it in its prime, not now.
Later in the afternoon we went to get the much needed tea and cake. This turned out to be tea and a hand full of shortbread biscuits. Not very sustaining so had some of that and headed indoors for drinks and had to get a few bags of nuts and crisps to calm the rumbling stomachs. One of the managers came round at one point but was more interested in selling his Buttered Rum than asking about our stay so far. The public areas were not the cleanest and like the rooms were severely dated. The place felt like a retirement home not a hotel.
Eventually it was dinner time and we were certain that this would cure our hunger. The menu was a 6 course offering but when we were ordering it seemed more like 1 starter, choice of 4 mains and 1 pudding, the waiters didn't help us figure it out at all. We had spinach soup to start then 4 of us had lamb casserole and rice and the other had roast beef in mustard sauce and for pudding pineapple upside down. The pamphlet that came with the menu described, in somewhat broken English, that this restaurant served "Traditional South African tasty country cooking...best ingredients...wholesome meals which are becoming less and less available." The soup was decent, and that was as good as it got. The lamb casserole had more bone and gristle than meat and even that wasn't great, the vegetables served alongside were overcooked, bland and watery. My father, who had the beef, which only came well-done, it was just edible but at least it had no bones. The pudding was burnt on one side and the cream had a weird tang. It reminded us all of badly cooked school dinners. For the price they charged we were expecting a lot more, and had previously gotten a lot more at other restaurants on the trip. I'm glad we didn't have the full 6 courses as i'm sure we would have been disappointed further.
The pamphlet also described the restaurant as being one of the last places to serve cuisine a la table d'hote, which I think was meant to meant Haut Cuisine. It wasn't and this place needs to catch up with the rest of the country which is producing fantastic meals.
In the morning we left without having breakfast, instead we ate more at a Wimpy down the road than we received the previous night.
Overall we were very disappointed with the hotel, it put a downer on the last night of what had been a fantastic holiday. I would not recommend this place until it has a major re-vamp.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.