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“Great experience - expensive in winter though”

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Tsala Treetop Lodge
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Harkerville
Certificate of Excellence
York
Level 6 Contributor
103 reviews
76 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 316 helpful votes
“Great experience – expensive in winter though”
Reviewed June 21, 2009

We stayed here as part of our honeymoon in June 2009 while exploring the Garden Route.

Very well run property of individual luxury suites on stilts with a fantastic view of nothing but endless forest. Rooms are very nice with loads of space with a separate lounge area and huge bathroom. Service was excellent both for room service and in the restaurant. The room did get a bit cold as we were there in the winter, but there’s a good fire to help with this. Would have been nice to have internet access in the suites – only available in the main lodge. Definitely recommend visiting at a warmer time of year to make best use of the private infinity pool etc.

Only complaint was that it was rather expensive for an out of season stay. However, we got the impression from other guests that there were some better deals to be had from booking late – but that didn’t help us as we booked months prior while arranging our wedding.

Lots of pictures with this review, so please take a look!

  • Stayed June 2009, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank rlpb13a
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Ireland
Level 4 Contributor
38 reviews
30 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
Reviewed May 22, 2009

Stayed here for two nights in May. Attentive service. Amazing, very spacious accommodation. Private plunge pool and balcony. Huge bath, indoor and outdoor showers. Open fireplace. Lovely toiletries and extra touches e.g. fruit, chocolates, biscuits and sherry. Vegetarian menu. Staff went out of their way to anticipate and meet every need. Surprise birthday cake, personalised menus.Couldn't fault at all. Highly recommend Tsala Treetop.

  • Stayed May 2009, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank romavisitor
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Scotland
Level 3 Contributor
10 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
Reviewed May 8, 2009

Tsala is clearly an amazing place. The treetop lodges are perfect. My wife and I stayed for two nights and found the lodge great. The bathroom area has an amazing bath, the bed is comfy, the lounge is spacious and the balcony views are stunning. You get some nice little snacks and port free. As we were on Honeymoon we received a bottle of champagne and some cheese and biscuits on arrival, compliments of the hotel. The whole area and surrounds are fantastic. There are some great little touches such as a free drink on arrival, a great ‘turn-down’ service at night where they leave water, liquor and chocolates and the staff are all very pleasant. The only negative we found was surprisingly the food. The dinner on the first night was a set menu, with a couple of choices –the food was not of a great standard but OK (wine was good though!) At breakfast again the food is OK but not of the standard I would expect e.g. orange juice not fresh, croissants cold and hard, melon not ripe/dry. We would recommend this hotel as a great experience and we loved it, especially for a romantic get-away but would urge them to look at the quality of the food. We stayed in the Palms Wilderness Guest House prior to this and the food was better, and at less than half the price!

  • Stayed April 2009, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank ScotlandPrincess
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Level 4 Contributor
23 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 43 helpful votes
Reviewed April 12, 2009

(The title of this review is from my soon-to-be husband).

The moment we handed the keys from the car to a very friendly porter, was the moment we left all our worries behind. Everything was taken care of. Superb hospitable reception, more than breathtaking suites, the splendid views from the suites, all the windows, the outside shower, the atmosphere.. really, in one word: extraordinary. The infamous bath inspired my travel partner. (And yes, we are going to marry).

  • Stayed March 2009, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank Mjos
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London
Level 4 Contributor
28 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
Reviewed March 30, 2009

My partner & I are fairly well travelled and we were both in awe, after our stay at this hotel. We stayed for 1 night in March 09. I cannot rate this hotel highly enough. The service of the staff and their attention to detail is just second to none.

The rooms are extremely well furnished and the whole experience lends itself very well for a few nights of pure romance. Everything from the wood burning stove to the private plunge pool, have been extremely well thought out.

As a vegetarian, I always get the standard 'veggie option' /after thought option in most restaurants. Fine dining is often a remote concept for vegetarians. However, Tsala excelled in this respect. They prepared a vegetarian menu with several options for each course, specially for me! It was a meal I will remember for the rest of my life.

A definite must if you are travelling down the Garden Route & budget permits!

  • Stayed March 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank gadaboutLondon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London
Level 3 Contributor
16 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 100 helpful votes
Reviewed March 13, 2009

My wife and I stayed here for one night in February. It was the most expensive stop on our route, but we definitely felt that it justified the extravagance. We made the most of it by arriving at about 2pm to check in as early as possible. In fact, in our view, one night was perfect as there's not really much to do on site except sit back and enjoy the tranquility and beaufiful scenery.
On arrival we were greeted in the car park by the duty manager. He was very welcoming and immediately got us a drink and showed us to some comfy chairs while we waited to complete a few minor formailities. We felt immediately relaxed by the surroundings and it was hard to imagine that you were barely a few hundred yards from a fairly busy road. All you could see were trees and all you could hear were birds and the water feature.
The room was amazing, exactly as you see it on the website. Loved the bath and definitely would have used the wood burner in cooler months. It's a shame that the pool is so cold. I was tempted to get in after a couple of hours basking in the sun but it really was too cold for me.
The food was very good as you would expect, although this was the case almost everywhere we stayed in SA. The bill for dinner was probably the largest of our whole trip, just over £100 from memory. However, this included a good bottle of wine and still felt like reasonably good value (in comparison with London, although perhaps not with the rest of SA).
All in all, go for a night if you want to treat yourself. As long as you're not absolutely breaking the bank to go there I don't really see how you could be disappointed.

  • Stayed February 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank sharmate
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
london
Level 5 Contributor
52 reviews
40 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 78 helpful votes
Reviewed March 1, 2009

This was our first time in South Africa and we stayed for three nights on a Couples At Tsala deal. Would definitely recommend this as it represents great value for money. We saved about one third on what it would have cost if we had purchased the package piece by piece.

The only hiccup we experienced was the fact that the Duty Manager who warmly welcomed us didn't seem to have any idea that we were booked on this basis. He also told us that he wasn't familiar with the package in question. This meant that there was no promised bubbly in the room on arrival and a bit of confusion when we asked which evening we could choose for dinner in our suite. We've since put this down to a lack of communication between the reservations department - which seems to be off site in Plettenburg Bay - and the frontline staff. That brings me to our only other small gripe, and again it's to do with the person who took our booking. We mentioned three times by email that this was a delayed honeymoon for us, and we wouldn't have mentioned it three times if it wasn't for the fact that she never made any reference to it in her replies to all three messages. We gave up after the third mention as it was beginning to feel a bit like begging. We also thought that perhaps the silence was an indication that they didn't want to destroy any element of surprise. In the event nothing extra happened beyond all the elements of the excellent Couples At Tsala deal. Again we think this was down to a lack of communication on the part of the Reservations person and it's the reason why we're giving it one star less than perfection on the service scale.

The Couples At Tsala deal began as soon as we alerted the Duty Manager and he promised to put everything right. This was followed through with a personal visit by the General Manager, Suzanne, to our breakfast table the following morning, who assured us that this wasn't their style and that they would be doing everything to ensure all went smooth from there on.

And it did. We had a wonderful time, and would definitely return. The suites are utterly magical. I tried the plunge pool just once - they are cold, or very cold depending on the time of day - but it was a special treat to shower each morning in the hot & cold outdoor shower. The wood-burning stove was another down to earth feature, as were the little touches like fresh fern leaves left on new bars of soap. Breakfast was the best I've had in a hotel. Ever. The location - sitting outdoors looking across acres of mature deciduous trees in all their green glory - added to the sense of being on the edge of Eden.

Dinner in our suite was top class and not at all like the usual room service that can never deliver food at the right temperature or pace. We also had dinner in one of the other restaurants on site on one of the nights (Tsala is part of a bigger gated secure estate run by Hunters). Can't recall the name of it now but it served international cuisine and represented excellent value for money. It's the only other restauarnat apart from Tsala and Hunters Country House. We also stumbled across a quaint little church in the grounds that's regularly used for weddings and baptisms.

There was one final example of how staff at Tsala are willing to go the extra mile - even when you've checked out and they no longer have any obligation to meet your needs. We needed to check in online for our return flight to London but knew we wouldn't have any internet access as soon as it opened at 8p.m. We checked out of Tsala that morning and drove 6.5 hours across Route 62 to Franschhoeck. By the time we got there every internet café was closed and we didn't have a laptop with us or access to WiFi. This meant the difference between being able to choose our seats and having to settle for whatever was left 12 hours later. We knew it was a big ask but the Duty Managers at Tsala, and the General Manager, gladly took it on. In the process they checked us into the exact two seats we had requested.

That just about sums it up as a place to stay. It also means that the small gripes mentioned ultimately amount to little or nothing by comparison. Overall this is a destination we would recommend without hesitation. Anywhere that goes to such lengths to put things right or to serve its customers, even when they've left the premises, is deserving of all the plaudits it gets.

It's also good value. By South African standards it's very much at the higher end of the price scale. But when you live in London where they charge for a basic box room per night at The Savoy (with a view of the bins) what Tsala charges for your own private corner of heaven, there's no comparison. I know where I'll be showering.

  • Stayed January 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
3 Thank LondonKairos
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Tsala Treetop Lodge

Property: Tsala Treetop Lodge
Address: PO Box 454, Harkerville, Plettenberg Bay 6600, South Africa
Location: South Africa > Western Cape > Plettenberg Bay > Harkerville
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Harkerville
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:5 star — Tsala Treetop Lodge 5*
Number of rooms: 16
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Set amidst the treetops of an age-old indigenous forest, Tsala is a lavish celebration of the spirit of Africa. Irresistible to those who appreciate exclusivity, fine fare, romance and adventure. With beautiful private suites and villas, breathtaking views and forest seclusion, unique architectural design and excellent personal service, it is a fantastic get-away destination. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Tsala Treetop Hotel Harkerville
Tsala Treetop Plettenberg Bay
Tsala Treetop Lodge South Africa/Harkerville

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