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“Mseni 8 sleeper guesthouse.”
4 of 5 bubbles Review of Mseni Beach Lodge

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Mseni Beach Lodge
Groblersdal, South Africa
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Mseni 8 sleeper guesthouse.”
Reviewed July 15, 2013

We enjoyed our stay very much in the 8 sleeper guesthouse. It's spacious and is walking distance of the restaurant/bar and private beach. Housekeeping did a great job. Staff are friendly and attentive.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Review collected in partnership with this hotel

Helpful?
1 Thank Judith K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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138 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    39
    70
    20
    7
    2
See reviews for
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (15)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Any
English first
Cape Town Central, South Africa
Level Contributor
90 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
Reviewed July 8, 2013

We opened the door to our cottage and were immediately assailed by an overpowering smell of chemicals trying to mask the smell of mould. The cottage was reasonably appointed, but very old, tired and definitely dirty.
The restaurant food was surprisingly good. Their Prawn & Chicken Curry is highly recommended and breakfast was good.
If you are a diver or fisherman who does not care about your accommodation, then this place might be for you as it has a good location near the beach.
We would have happily cancelled and found accommodation elsewhere if the location were not so remote. Definitely the most disappointing stay of our trip.

Room Tip: Ask for a cottage close to the parking lot. It is quite a walk through soft sand to carry bags to th...
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  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank THC61
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
sodwanasteve, Owner at Mseni Beach Lodge, responded to this review, October 18, 2013
Hi THC61,
I apologise for the late reply and for the fact that you were disappointed with the room and its cleanliness. We pride ourselves on the quality of our housekeeping and obviously take negative comments very seriously. We are aware that due to the high humidity in Sodwana and our wooden construction our chalets get a dank smell if left unaired for a few days and our housekeepers are requested to air each cabin daily. We have redoubled our efforts to check the cleanliness and condition of all chalets prior to guest arrival and assure you that you would not be disappointed again. We appreciate you came a long way to spend time with us and apologise profusely for not living up to expectations. We hope you will see the other reviews have shown us to be a clean pleasant place to stay since your comment and would love to be able to show you that we are truly worth visiting again
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bristol, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed April 8, 2013

Although it is fair to describe the B&B lodges as being basic, they do have have all the minimum requirements including hot shower. As this is a beach location, the cleaners did well to maintain the state of our lodge considering the mess our kids made. Our main issue was that the B&B lodges do not have a fridge, which given the temperature/location would have been a great help.
When considering the Mseni lodge you have to look at what your getting, which is a lodge facility very close to a beach, in a remote location (within the gated wetlands), So its not realistic to expect all mod cons.
We were on the B&B package in lodge 11. If we were to go again, we would look at booking one of the self catering lodges, to allow us more space/flexibility.
As we were on the B&B package, we did use the Restaurant (different management) for both breakfast and dinner. Although the choice is a little limited for long stays, we were well looked after and we all eat very well. Staff very keen and freindly provided you showed them a little care and patience.
Location wise, the Sodwana bay is dominated by diving and this was no surprise. However we were able, with advise, to find quiet spots for our 6/9 year olds to have lots of fun (including snorkling).
If you have any kids less than 5, this beach is not a good option, as its not sand castle sand and the currents are too strong. However ours enjoyed the challenge, with Dad having to keep a close eye on the currents.
Most of the help/advise came from the Restaurant Manager Warren. The lodge management were polite and did arrange for one of thier staff to take my Son beach fishing.
Pool was sufficient for kids and clean.
Secrurity was visible, but the fences not perfectly maintained.
Walk to Beach/Dunes a real adventure
Would not recommend B&B option for more than 4 days.
I do hope the Lodge management do consider some upgrades, as there are some signs of under investment, as it can't rely simply of the delightful location too much.
P.S Safe in lodge very small and non operational.

Room Tip: Choose self catering lodges if you want flexibility.
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank msl186220
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Johannesburg
Level Contributor
35 reviews
29 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
Reviewed April 7, 2013

Don't write off Mseni on base of those bad reviews here. But do yourself a favour and make sure you book self catering chalet. There is difference in standard between the two types, self catering chalets being better equipped. You can still eat in the restaurant if you want, there are also couple of restaurants outside the park gates.
The restaurant was ok for dinner, I don't agree about it being a rip off... But then again, I'm used to Joburg prices. The prices are comparable to Spur, so is menu (but with less selection).
Staff were very helpful and doing their best to make our stay pleasant.
Looking at service - remember, that there is only one small town close to Sodwana and all workforce comes from there.
They might not always be the most qualified people, but they will do what you ask them to ONCE they understood what you want. This is often the case in rular places in South Africa.
The only issue we had was with sewage system, but this was fixed within hour after we complained.
Overall, we had fantastic time and find lodge good value for money.
There is only one other place to stay in Sodwana that is within the park itself (Coral Divers), and I heard that they are good. But they are often booked out with divers.
Rather stay in Mseni than outside the park, especially if you are there for diving. You will save time in the morning as you won't have to queue to the park gates (you can only access beach this way!)
Last but not least, Mseni has private access to beautiful beach. The path leads from the restaurant area, it takes pleasant 3 minutes of forrest walk to get there. Amazing!

Room Tip: We stayed in chalet 14, no complaints whatsoever.
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
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    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank AM-Johannesburg
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
16 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed April 5, 2013

As a diving family Sodwana was awesome. Mseni Lodge was just average. If you are looking for basic accomodation this works but beware, the B&B rates are steep for the mediocre breakfast. Eating out meals in Sodwana is expensive for a family of 5 so book the self-catering options and take along meals for dinner as well as plenty of snacks and drinks for uour fridge. the chalets were clean but basic. We dived with Amoray and Colin and team were fantastic (www.amoraydiving.com). Dinner in the lodge restaurant was pricy.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank Charles C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Frankfurt, Germany
2 reviews
Reviewed April 4, 2013

The chalets are ok, low standard but clean. Stuff is friendly. The restaurant is awful though. It doesn´t have the same management. We booked Bed & Breakfast - breakfast was a joke though.We got some muffins and jam and after asking for it even some coffee. no juice, no fruit, no milk, not even coffee was there at 7:30 am. Also ate dinner at this restaurant which was a bad choice.Tasted like out of the freezer. Simply very low quality of food. We suggest to eat outside the park! We have been to many B&B in SA and this was the worse experience FOOD WISE ever.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank yvonneandfamily
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Pretoria
Level Contributor
19 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed January 7, 2013

We couldn't agree more with the last 2 reviews: Mseni Lodge is very overpriced for what it provides, and if we had had a choice we would have moved out. We travelled with our adult son, and had booked a 4-people B&B chalet. Our chalet was more basic than expected, with a bunk bed in the entrance room and 2 single beds in the bedroom, all of which looked like they had seen better days. There was only one ceiling fan, in the bedroom, which was a problem for the person sleeping on the bunk bed, since the chalet remained hot at night. There was not even a small fridge to keep a cool drink. In the small bathroom, there were only 2 mini-soaps (no new ones given for the 6 nights we were there) and towels which were old and frayed. No space to hang them so that they could dry. On the 3rd day, we left the towels in the bath, and they were duly collected, but when we got back at 16h after a couple of dives, there were no new ones in the bathroom. My husband went to reception to request fresh towels, and was told that they were still in the tumble dryer!!!

On arrival, we were not warned about the monkeys who are proficient at opening the window latches in order to steal from the rooms, so we found a puddle of wee and a torn sugar sachet on our return from our first drink at the restaurant! The restaurant owner advised us to secure the latches with the cord from the window blinds, but that meant sleeping with the blinds fully opened... We were also not warned about the tap water, which had been found to be unfit for consumption in the whole Sodwana Bay area!

The restaurant, which is owned separately, was a great place for a drink in the evening, with its view over the trees and the sea, and the staff there were really friendly. We had Christmas dinner there: great gammon, but otherwise not worth the R250 per person. Ate there on 2 other occasions and the food was good but we found better value elsewhere. Our bug bear was with the breakfasts. Although we were told that it's served from 6h30 to accommodate those going on early dives, we never once found things laid out on our arrival around 6h40, not even the basics like cereal and milk. On the one morning that there was coffee in the coffee pot, it turned out to be from the day before... The waitress is clearly not trained, and has not been taught to lay things out BEFORE the customers arrive, or even to say "good morning" when they do.

In summary, we felt ripped-off and will not be going back. We were told that the owner's concession is up for review in October, that he is worried that it will not be renewed and is therefore unwilling to spend money on anything in the resort. That's understandable, but the fair thing to do would be to drop the prices to reflect what's on offer at Mseni now!

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank DanielleEA
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Mseni Beach Lodge

Property: Mseni Beach Lodge
Address: Sodwana Bay National Park | Kwa-Zulu Natal, Sodwana 3974, South Africa
Location: South Africa > KwaZulu-Natal > Sodwana
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Parking Kitchenette Restaurant Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 15 Specialty Lodging in Sodwana
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 16
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Mseni Beach Lodge is nestled along the pristine coastline of Sodwana Bay. We offer a restaurant with sea view and in season whales can be seen splashing about, whilst you enjoy a delicious meal or cocktail. Many activities are available in the area snorkelling, diving, beach walks and visits to the surrounding game reserves. Mseni means "place of happiness" and our friendly staff our ready and waiting to make your holiday a memorable one. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Mseni Beach Lodge Sodwana, Africa

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