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Arminel Hogsback Village
Ranked #2 of 2 Hotels in Hogsback
Reviewed April 29, 2012

This was our first visit to Hogsback (April 2012), so we went online to find places to stay. Although the photographs of the Arminel Hotel didn't do it justice, on arrival, we were pleasantly surprised at the beauty of the place. During our stay, we visited other places in Hogsback, but must say that we were more than happy that we'd chosen the Arminel, and when we were encouraged to extend our stay there by the offer of a midweek special, what more could we have asked for. Our dietary requirements were well met, and the food was lovely (accommodation and food good value for money). On rainy days, we sat reading beside a log fire in the lounge. Also worth visiting is the Arboretum at Hogsback Park. If hiking is on your itinerary, speak with the hotel staff before embarking on the walks, as we'd had a couple of rainy days which made the trails slippery, and in some places, dangerous, although the walk was supposed to be an easy walk. The self-catering units are nicely situated, in a very pretty part of the property. Snacks, pies, refreshments and general supplies can be obtained from a nice little store called the Woodford (if I've got the name right). St Patrick-on-the-Hill is also well worth visiting (try to be there for a Sunday service if you can) - remember to take your camera. We will certainly miss Hogsback and the Arminel.

Noel & Virginia.

Room Tip: Ask reception to advise you.
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  • Stayed: April 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank Virginia D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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41 - 47 of 50 reviews

Reviewed April 15, 2012

The last time I visited Hogsback was 28 years ago. The Arminel was a lovely place to stay. The slightly mouldy smell of the thatch was a tad off-putting, but the room was spacious and clean with a king-size bed, TV with limited DSTV (satellite) channels, tea and coffee making facilities and a lovely big bath for 2 to wallow in. We watched the rugby in the bar and then went in to dinner. The food was good and plentiful and the roaring log fire certainly added to the atmosphere. Walking in Hogsback is a delight and the peace and quiet, broken briefly by a visit to the trees above our room by 2 knysna loeries (what a joy!) ensured a good night's sleep.

  • Stayed: April 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank AntSomersetWest
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 4, 2012

We stayed in one of the self catering cottages for 3 nights, it was very quiet and tranquil. The cottages are very clean and spacious. We went for morning and afternoon power walks in the sorrounding parks. We would sure visit again, we had a wonderful time.

Room Tip: Not sre about the hotel, but the self catering cottages are the best.
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  • Stayed: April 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank bongiEastLondon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 22, 2012

Pleasant small hotel, with lovely grounds in Hogsback.  Mixture of regular hotel rooms and S/C cottages.  When we arrived, with no reservation, they were full, but agreed to let us ( a couple) have a S/C cottage for the night.  Nice people!

Cottage was excellent, with large comfortable lounge, kitchen and a double bedroom downstairs.  Lots more stuff upstairs, but we did not investigate.  Well furnished and almost new, with good beds and a nice bathroom; we really liked the cottage. Huge balcony overlooking the gardens.  Common pool area pleasant, but could have been much cleaner.

Breakfast next morning was good, with a range of food on offer including eggs to order.

Araminel  may well be the best in Hogsback.  We had a problem with the other available village accommodation, but would happily have stayed in a standard room in Araminel for a while.

  • Stayed: February 2012
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Thank grahamee
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 13, 2012

We stayed here for two nights mid week just after the end of the South African school holidays so it was very quiet! When we arrived the lady on the desk gave us a bigger room as there were spare ones available. We stayed in room 34, which was a nice room with bath, shower, toilet, tv, bed and numerous storage facilities. The rooms are in thatched rondavels and are therefore attractive looking but when it rained (or thundered) we were woken up by the noise. Room 34 was one of the furthest away from the main building but still reasonably close. However there was a external lamp broken so it was hard to see our way back in the dark. There were a lot of bugs in the room, but this is to be expected given the location of the hotel. The only issue with the room was that it smelt very damp. We think this was because it hadn't been used for a while and the smell did get better towards the end so it was bearable.
We got breakfast & dinner with the room, which was excellent. We had to pick from a set menu as it was quiet but it did look like there was a buffet facility there for when it was busier. Service was excellent and the location is fairly central in Hogsback. All the rooms are set back from the main road and so you feel at one with nature. Parking is also available and you can park right next to your room and the premises is properly secure.

  • Stayed: January 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank Kim H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 29, 2011

First it needs to be stated that the accommodation was EXCELLENT. Do not be put off from staying there at all - it's just that management needs a major dose of inspiration and creativity.
We stayed in a glorious self catering unit that was luxurious & excellent value compared to similar lodging in all other parts of SA. The website sold me on it as a cozy cottage in the forest with a gorgeous gas fireplace that would keep us warm during the rainy misty evenings in Hogsback (and wow, it was rainy, misty & 12degrees indeed!). So here's the deal with management: not one single other cottage was taken (mid-week, I guess) but we got put in the one chalet with a broken fireplace! So we spent the first night huddled around one of the bedroom radiators and complained in the morning. To which the exasperated manager (? We were the only ones there?!?) said we were just not operating it correctly. After being made to feel stupid and trying to examine it again, we went back and assured her there was a part missing.... "OH! That's right! I forgot... Chalet 11, yes, that one's been broken for ages!" no offer to move or sort out the problem, no creativity whatsoever.
On top of that:
Again, no other guests in self-catering chalets, but we get put in No. 11... the one right next to the maintenance guys' storage area, so we get woken up at 7am (while on holidays) by extremely loud ruckus of maintenance shed voices & activity as the bedroom is less than 50m away and walls are VERY thin. Again, it isnt that the thin walls are a problem- it's WHY are we put into the cottage right next to maintenance if we're the only ones there?! Also, again, when we complained in the morning it was a very insincere "oops! Oh well!" attitude with no attempt to assure us that anyone could care less.
On day 2 with no fireplace, my husband proposed to management that he (a handy engineer) take the missing piece from another chalet and fix our heater. We were told "oh no no no no, we could never do that... You'll just have to deal with it". Again, no help and totally uninspired to fix the situation. Clearly annoyed, he took it upon himself to get a maintenance guy to 1) confirm it could be solved by swapping out another heater part from another cottage (funny enough, No.7 didn't work either), and 2) get it done... in a mere 10 minutes!
Then there was the matter of us showing up at dinner time and being told that since we were booked in the self-catering chalets they "hadn't planned on needing to serve dinner" in the restaurant that night and that we couldn't eat dinner there. We hadn't gotten to the shops to buy food yet & everything was closed, so had to go eat elsewhere. No offer of even bar snacks or anything, just "oops, sorry, we never thought you could possibly want to eat in our restaurant". I thought it was also open to the public? What if a non-resident wanted to eat there?
Finally, I have to say again the chalet was lovely and would definitely go back. I guess management just needs to be a little less "relaxed".

  • Stayed: December 2011
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1  Thank JWBW
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 13, 2011

After completing the grueling 5 day amatola trail , all we were looking for was a place to sleep, we got a whole lot more. 5 of us checked in for one night only. For starters they picked us up from the trails end and drove us to the local store to get some stuff from the grocer. The manager of the hotel made sure we had rooms located near reception so we didnt have to walk far as we were all pretty broken from the hike. The hotel offered to tumble dry all our wet clothes. 3 of the people in our group were kosher and could not eat the regular food. The hotel made special arrangements to have potatoes wrapped in foil and put on a fire for us. we were served dinner in the bar next to the fire. this was all last minute. a spare room was also arranged so one of our group could have a hot bath immediately. I have travelled a lot and to date I have never recieved such great service anywhere, no matter what I have paid. well done arminel staff. everything else was great. friendly staff, excellent rooms and comfortable beds

  • Stayed: November 2011, traveled with friends
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1  Thank larryKrug
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Arminel Hogsback Village

Address: Hogsback 5721, South Africa
Location: South Africa > Eastern Cape > Hogsback
Amenities:
Business Center with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free Parking Restaurant
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 2 Hotels in Hogsback
Price Range: $90 - $129 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 25
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Spend your days walking through some of the Eastern Cape's most beautiful indigenous forests, and your nights beside a crackling fire after a delectable meal in our cosy restaurant. The Arminel Hotel is an idyllic natural setting nestled in the famous Hogsback mountains. ... more   less 
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