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“Wedding Anniversary”

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Rawdons Hotel & Estate
Certificate of Excellence
Durban, South Africa
Level Contributor
18 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
“Wedding Anniversary”
Reviewed October 30, 2012

My wife and I had saved up for months to celebrate our wedding anniversary away, and chose Rawdons after searching various customer service websites - having been in the Airline Customer Service industry for 19 years, I have a keen eye out for a Hotel that offers good service and a reasonable price; and Rawdons certainly did not disappoint. With a 3 star rating, our expectations were certainly met at this level.

Where on earth these days is one met by the Hotel GM and shown your room? Well, Rawdons does just that. We arrived in our room to find that the Hotel had baked us a complimentary cake to congratulate us on our anniversary - complete with beautiful fresh flowers on the cake.

And it didn't end there, imagine our surprise when the GM took our keys away, only to hand over the keys, for a free upgrade to the Deluxe Lakeside Cottage; we were speechless to say the least. The cottage can only be described as AMAZING - I think we must have used up all the fire wood they gave us, lying in bed watching a log fire at the base of your bed - priceless !!! Heated towel racks, underfloor heating, jacuzzi bath with a private view of the lake (as was from the shower!)

The service from the restaurant staff was excellent. Although we didn't take to drink, we did walk through the bar and found it very cozy and characterful ! We spent time in the Guest Lounge having tea and a gorgeous Hot Chocolate before dinner. Any hotel that offers English Breakfast Tea - especially a 3 star establishment, shows attention to small details, and not just the proverbial "Five Roses or Rooibos?"

Never in my life have I come across an establishment where the GM was VISIBLE on every turn, we found his exemplary service levels to be CONSISTENT with all the guests that were staying there, and not just with us. He seems extremely proud of the Rawdons product, and so he should be. Even if we had not been upgraded (we paid for a Deluxe Suite), we still would have felt the same about everything and still posted our comments here. He sets a very high standard for the rest of his staff to follow. We had left our cake in our origional room, and even without asking for it - it was swiftly delivered to our new Suite by a just as impressive lady member of staff, who exchanged a few kind words on handing the cake over, and also offered any form of assistance if any was needed.

We had our dinners in the main restaurant, on both occasion I had the Ribs - best I have ever had worldwide - and the sauce was incredible ! Wife had the Prawns and was very happy with the meal. All the prices on the menu were VERY reasonable. The breakfast cold spread was on par with the likes of Spier in Cape Town, and the hot meal - was just that, served piping hot, on a heated plate (a must for me!) with a great selection, and not just boring old bacon and eggs; there was Salmon, Poached fish etc etc.. Sitting in the window nooks for dinner and breakfast made for great romantic meal times.

We will certainly be back at Rawdons !

In a nutshell - Value for money, excellent service, home like hospitality and nothing too much trouble for any of the staff - just ask and they will be only too happy to help.

Thank you Rawdons, for an unforgettable stay, even though the weather was dreadful for the entire period we were with you, you made us feel right at home for the 3 days we were with you.

David & Jayne Frew
Durban North

Room Tip: Pay the bit extra and go for a lake facing room - definately worth the little extra !
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank DavidJayneFrew
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Peter D, Public Relations Manager at Rawdons Hotel & Estate, responded to this review, November 5, 2012
Dear David & Jayne,

WOW! What a fabulous review and so good of you to spend time writing about your experience. Yes, we were making special plans for you behind the scenes in order to give you that out-of-this world experience and so pleased it not only met with your approval, but has clearly left a very lasting impression.

We encourage our guests to advise us ahead of time if there is a special occasion so that we may in some way, be able to contribute towards that, making it even more special!

We also pride ourselves in that `personal touch'. Rawdons has been family run since 1956 and we strive to exude the sense of home and personal care.

We so look forward to having you stay with us again.

Please take care and here's to another happy year together for you both!

Kind regards,
The Rawdons Family
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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186 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
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  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (55)
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English first
Durban, South Africa
Level Contributor
3 reviews
Reviewed October 28, 2012

We had a sudden change of mind about driving back to Durban from Johannesburg and stopped over at Rawdons, our first visit. The mist was thick and it was chilly, but the hotel was warm and welcoming with log fires lit in all the fireplaces. Heated towel rails, warm clean bedding and towel warmers were very welcoming touches in our suite and we slept like logs. Being tired we didn't dine that evening,although the menu was comprehensive and tempting at reasonable prices, but we had great service at breakfast from Douglas and the meal was very good with, I assume, local bacon and sausages on offer which were delicious. Our overall experience was one of comfort and cleanliness. I am a "clean-freak" so this is high praise from me ! The public rooms are charming, the pub is ultra cosy and the only room that lacks somewhat in this regard is the dining room which appears a little 'stark' unless you are in one of the delightful window nooks.The only negatives were a poorly fitting window in our lounge, which we have reported and are sure will be attended to, and a non-working kettle in the suite. We did not phone down for another, as we could have, and I am sure it would have been replaced fairly speedily in time for a morning cuppa. These are the only reason I have not given this review five stars. The stairs posed a minor problem for me personally in that they are quite steep (I am arthritic) and it would have been nice had someone come to the car on arrival to offer some help with the bags, but that won't put me off going back. Had we not had house sitters to answer to, we would have asked to stay longer and had a chance to explore the stunning beauty of the grounds and seen what else is on offer outdoors.

Room Tip: We had the suite overlooking the dam - superb even if you don't need the second bedroom !
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Elizabeth V
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Peter D, Public Relations Manager at Rawdons Hotel & Estate, responded to this review, November 5, 2012
Thank you so much for such a wonderful review.

It is so heartwarming to know that our efforts do not go unnoticed! As you can appreciate the hospitality industry is a tough one and we thank you for flagging the staircase. In future, on booking, please let us assist you in finding an ground floor room which are equally beautiful to the upstairs rooms.

We thank you for your patronage and we look forward to welcoming you back and enjoying a longer stay.

Kind regards,
The Rawdons Family
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Durban, South Africa
Level Contributor
46 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed October 27, 2012 via mobile

We popped in for a pint and a pie at the Pub. The Notties Brewery Pilsner and the Light Lager both were excellent, cold and a perfect example of craft beer.
The sweet corn soup was thick and tasty. The home made bread delightful.
Pickled pork pie is a must if you eat pork or the chicken and mushroom pie also out of this world.
Good value great atmosphere and home in an hour. Brilliant!

  • Stayed October 2012
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
Helpful?
Thank Ray E
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Peter D, Public Relations Manager at Rawdons Hotel & Estate, responded to this review, November 5, 2012
Dear Ray E,

So glad you managed to spend time with us and enjoy our wonderful craft beers - lovely and fresh made right on our doorstep. The Nottingham Road Brewery is growing from strength to strength with thanks to Beer Lovers such as yourself. The pub grub is hearty - we pride ourselves in good traditional meals - and with generous portions to go with that.

We hope to see you back soon,
The beer is always cold!

Kind regards,
The Rawdons Family
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Johannesburg, South Africa
Level Contributor
57 reviews
37 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
Reviewed October 23, 2012

This was our second stay at Rawdons. This time we stayed for 1 night as we had to attend a wedding in the Midlands. The hotel has been refurbished since our last stay - the rooms are lovely (we had 2 rooms) especially those overlooking the front garden and the lake. The hotel grounds are beautiful - this is certainly one of the prettiest parts of the KZN Midlands. The rooms were unfortunately not very clean (with cobwebs and dust in the corners). The food was very average and service was poor - there seemed to be an awful lot of staff hanging around (we heard them) but our meal took a long time to be served. I asked for tomato sauce to accompany my sandwich french fries and it arrived after 5 mins in a plastic bottle which would be more appropriate at a fast food outlet (not a 4 star hotel). At breakfast the next morning, we had to help ourselves to coffee from a dispenser and we battled to find 2 cups that weren't chipped. The breakfast offering was adequate and generally tasty but breakfast closes promptly at 10, even on a Sunday - I was a little surprised when rather than asking the guests in the dining room whether they wanted anything more from the buffet, the staff began whisking the food off the buffet table on the stroke of 10. I would have thought it a simple courtesy to approach the remaining diners and simply offer them the chance to help themselves to a last muffin or slice of toast. My biggest frustration though was when I asked a member of management to change our allocated rooms as one of our party could not climb the stairs particularly as the staircases have no balustrades (which he very kindly did). While we were agreeing the details of the room change, the gentleman received a telephone call from the owner of the hotel which he had to take as it was the "big boss" calling. As a paying guest, I was made to wait 5 minutes while he provided a report to the "boss" on the hotel occupancy etc - issues in which I had no interest whatsoever. Perhaps this "big boss" should realise that if his management spent less attention waiting on him and more on serving on their guests, this would be a better property.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
1 Thank Ramack
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Peter D, Public Relations Manager at Rawdons Hotel & Estate, responded to this review, October 27, 2012
Dear Mrs Ramani MacKay,

Thank you for bringing your comments to our attention via your Tripadvisor review.

In response to your feedback, I would like to point out that we are in fact at 3 star hotel and not a 4 star hotel, although we do strive to meet those standards.

With regards to closing breakfast at 10am, I am sure you can appreciate that our hotel is incredibly busy on a Sunday at lunchtime which means the staff need to clear the decks in order to prepare for lunch in addition to them needing to take a short break between meals.

The coffee station is there for your convenience. This is standard practise in many establishments which we have followed to ensure that our guests do not have to wait to be served by a waiter and that they can get coffee on demand. We most certainly take cognisance of the fact that the staff should have asked you if you were finished and we are attending to further training in this regard.

We do trust you enjoyed the room we upgraded you to at no additional cost. The room you stayed in is in fact a very busy and popular room and are attended to daily by our housekeeping. That said, we are also flagging this with the Head of this division.

There seems to be some miscommunication regarding the conversation with the `big boss’ as he was by no means aware that the manager was attending to a issue you were addressing with him. We sincerely apologise for any negative feelings that may have arisen as a result.

In closing, we are very happy that you enjoyed the natural beauty of the hotel and the refurbishment that has taken place recently and we look forward to welcoming you back, sometime in the near future, to see the improvement in the service and standards.

Kind regards,
The Rawdons Family
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed October 11, 2012

We really had a wonderful and restful three days at Rawdons. The staff were very helpful and polite. It was delightful to experience good old fashioned personal service again. I had a flat tyre and John even took the wheel into the village to have it repaired and put it back on my car. I would definitely stay at Rawdons again. Michael K

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Michael K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Peter D, Public Relations Manager at Rawdons Hotel & Estate, responded to this review, October 21, 2012
Dear Michael,

Thank you for your post on Trip Advisor. The fact that you went to the trouble means we certainly left a lasting impression on you. We are a very tight knit family at Rawdons where nothing is too much trouble. I am very happy to hear that John sorted you out with your tyre and how you enjoyed the personalised, old fashioned service.

Looking forward to hosting you again soon,

Kind regards,
The Rawdons Family.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
51 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
Reviewed September 24, 2012 via mobile

One of the nicest parts of South Africa. Get a room facing the Dams! Book a meal at Bierfassl, and try the local microbrewery beers. Good base to explore the midlands meander. Finalizing renovations, so get a renovated room.

  • Stayed September 2012
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank HomerSimpson2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Peter D, Public Relations Manager at Rawdons Hotel & Estate, responded to this review, October 21, 2012
Thank you so much for your wonderful review.

Just to let you know we are literally days away from the last 2 x rooms being renovated and they are looking stunning! Yes, our locality is superb for enjoying the meander and we love that you love our beers! Hope to see you back soon.

Kind regards,
The Rawdons Family.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Pointe d'Esny, Grand Port, Mauritius
1 review
Reviewed August 24, 2012

A 1-night stopover at this charming olde world hotel, turned out to be 4 glorious nights in a simply stunning, romantic setting which, needless to say, we fell in love with immediately! What added to the charm of this Little piece of England was the warm, friendly welcome we received on that freezing afternoon in July! The room, with central heating, was lovely & really comfy, overlooking the lake - and what a pleasure to step on to a warm bathroom floor! The English pub, with its cozy ambiance, was so welcoming, with a roaring log fire & "yummy" pub food! The food & the service in the dining-room was excellent too! In a nutshell - "delightful!" We'll definitely be back - for a longer stay...

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Diane d
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Peter D, Public Relations Manager at Rawdons Hotel & Estate, responded to this review, August 26, 2012
Thank you for your wonderful compliments. We are thrilled you enjoyed all the finer details that we pride ourselves for, as you say, like the heated floors! We are constantly striving to improve our offerings and your compliments bare testimony to the fact that we are succeeding! It is wonderful that we are able to give feedback to our staff which further encourages them to go that extra mile. We pride ourselves as a warm, welcoming famiy and look forward to seeing you again.

Kind regards,
The Rawdons Family
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Rawdons Hotel & Estate

Property: Rawdons Hotel & Estate
Address: Nottingham Road | Between Balgowan and Mooi River, Nottingham Road 3280, South Africa
Location: South Africa > KwaZulu-Natal > Nottingham Road
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #4 of 17 B&Bs / Inns in Nottingham Road
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Rawdons Hotel & Estate 3.5*
Number of rooms: 25
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Rawdons Hotel is situated in the heart of the beautiful KwaZulu Natal midlands meander. A family run hotel for the past 40 years - set on a stunning 240ha estate is a great place to unwind. We have a superb Micro Brewery on the property brewing some great ales and lagers. The pub is more English than most English hotels. The rooms have recently been upgraded and well appointed and an boardwalk alongside the main dam leads to various birding, cycling and walking trails. We look forward to welcoming you to our piece of heaven. And if having so many repeat guests over the years isn't testimony to our offerings, then come and see for yourself. ... more   less 
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