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“Excellent location, disappointing service”

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Woodridge Country Hotel
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Balgowan
Reviewed March 8, 2012

Apologies for typos- written on an ipad and i cant scroll down to edit....

My husband and i have stayed at the woodridge hotel on two occasions. Firstly, on christmas day 2011 where we enjoyed the food and the drink which is excellent.

However, as above, we also encountered problems with reception. On checkout we were presented with a much larger bill than expected. Reception were quite annoyed and claimed they were right when we pointed this out to them and it took quite a long time to adjust the bill to the right amount.

The second time was two weeks ago. Having paid the deposit of the stay (50%) by online transfer i was sent two or three emails before i arrived to say that it had not arrived. We arrived at the hotel to be told that is still had not arrived and that we would have to pay the full amount. We were shown to our room, again lovely and with a nice plunge pool.

The next morning we came to check out. I spent 45 minutes after breakfast on the phone to my bank who confirmed that the money had been transferred. My bank even spoke to their bank who said the money had been paid into their account. The hotel were still adamant that they had looked throu their banking records and there was no transaction. I therefore paid the full amount.

Having taken the issue up with them the week after my stay again, they advised me to check my online account again. I sent them a copy of the transaction. Eventually thay admitted, on the friday after staying, that they had the money after all. Not onlh had i pretty much ruined my breakfast morning but also spent considerable time on the phone to my bank. The email apologising came at about 3 o'clock on a friday afternoon but the refund could not be processec as tht accounts dept was already closed. Fast forward to today (6 days later) i still have not had my refund and have had no reply to an email i sent on tuesday of this week (2 days ago).

This hotel is being let down badly by its administration staff, i certainly wont stay again.

  • Stayed: February 2012, traveled as a couple
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5  Thank Polly D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
WoodridgeHotel, Owner at Woodridge Country Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded March 12, 2012

Many thanks Polly D for your review. We aplogise for any inconvenience caused.However having examined the facts I think the admin ladies were actually correct in assuming that payment had not been made as this was not reflected on the bank statement at the time and we had no POP from any bank. From the bank statement eveidence it is clear that Standard Bank only processed a batch of transactions after you checked out and backdated these. The statements used at time of checkout did not only affect your R895.00 deposit but a number of transations. We will take this up with Standard Bank and ask them to clarify why your depsoit did not reflect initially and why it was then processed and backdated. We are assuming this was a Standard Bank issue and not the forwarding bank FNB that delayed this transaction. We will expect a full explanation and apology from the banks - as it not only causes the customer inconvenience but also puts the hotel in a bad light which is really not correct.
I have provide you with a detailed response directly and also sent you copies of our provisional bank statements - those printed prior to your checkin and used at the time of your visit and also those printed yesterday. I think they are very clear and fully confirm why you were asked to pay your invoice in full on checkout - a normal hotel practice when POP cannot be provided.

I do agree that the Admin ladies have not performed with regard to this refund and we apologise for this. Part of the problem is that I personally do the refunds and I have been in Gauteng for 6 days. This was all brought to my attention yesterday and the refund will be done today.

Your business is appreciated and we would not like to lose a customer. We hope this clarifies the situation and we do apologise again for the inconvenience caused.

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44 - 50 of 52 reviews

Reviewed December 13, 2011

My husband, my 3 yr old daughter and myself spent 2 nights at Woodridge a month ago. What a treat. From the friendly check in, wonderful food, helpful staff, beautiful surroundings, luxurious rooms - we couldnt have asked for more. The rates were very competitive and we have previously stayed at places that charged more, but offered less. We will definitely be back !

  • Stayed: November 2011, traveled with family
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1  Thank Pamela C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
WoodridgeEstate, Owner at Woodridge Country Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded November 8, 2012

Many thanks for your positive feedback. These days it is rare to get someone posting positive comments. A sad but true fact, Guests tend to focus on the negative , often giving emotional feedback without really considering the facts.

Unfortunately also human nature, guests reading the reviews focus on the negative as well and do not stop to consider that 5 negative reviews in 13 years of business and having hosted thousands and thousands of guests cannot be representative all bad. In fact a damn good record and once seen in this light a positive fact to be considered.

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Reviewed November 30, 2011

My wife and I stayed here form 3 nights in Dec 2010. Not a bad location to stay when visiting the Natal Midlands region. Some aspects of the stay were great, for example the food was fantastic (both dinner and breakfast) and for the most part the staff were friendly. However, the MAJOR problem we had was with the reservation and the woman who I assume was the owner/proprietor. We booked a Luxury Suite (with half board, dinner & breakfast), as part of our honeymoon, well in advance of our stay and through a third party (hotels.com). When we arrived the proprietor did not appear to have details of our reservation and was anything but friendly. After a considerable delay, and after we phoned hotels.com directly at our own expense (international cell phone), we were given a room in a luxury suite (the hotel was virtually empty on this first night). This room was very nice, large bed, nice decor, all facilities etc...just what we booked! However, on the following morning we were told that we had to move rooms (apparently because there was a wedding at the hotel on our second night). Reluctantly, but not wanting to unset the wedding, we were moved to a standard double not in any way luxurious room in another location on the property (despite being on HONEYMOON, this didn’t seem to matter; we were second class residents there in her eyes). The major problem was that with each interaction we had with the owner/proprietor woman we were made feel unwelcome and unwanted there and got NO satisfaction from her on any matter (all the other staff were nice). To add insult to injury, when we were checking out she sternly tried to charge us for our food (which had been pre-paid for in our reservation).

We didn’t use the nearby/associated spa.

Perhaps it might have been different if we had booked directly with the hotel but the owner knew we had a real reservation and consistently treated us terribly. I do not recommend this hotel. We were very disappointed.

  • Stayed: December 2010, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank eire25
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
WoodridgeHotel, Owner at Woodridge Country Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded December 2, 2011

Many thanks for your feedback. As the actual owner and not the assumed owner of Woodridge Country Hotel and Spa I am most disturbed to read this review.
I would like to apologise for any inconvenience . From your comments regarding delay at check in, it seems that the hotel did not get this booking from hotels.com prior to your arrival. This matter will be followed up with hotels.com . It seems you were an unexpected arrival and while no excuse this clearly affected check in and availability of the honeymoon suite.

I would like to assure you that at no time did I, the owner, deal with this booking. Infact this is the first time that any problem with the booking has been brought to my or my managements attention. It is such a pity that while staying at the hotel and being unhappy, you did not request to meet the general manager or owner because we would most definitely have been happy to meet with you and resolve any issues. We are right onsite all day everyday and I will be asking reception why this matter was not brought to my attention.

I am assuming that all dealings were with the receptionist and I have already asked my general manger to find out all the details regarding this booking and provide me with full feedback. Once I have all the facts at my disposal I will respond further.

I would like to advise that moving hotel guests is certainly not our policy and no guest is second class. It would have been a busy weekend with the hotel full of wedding guests and we are sorry that you felt that your service was compromised. I will investgate this as well.

Once again our sincere apologies , we normally have really happy guests, please see our recent reviews on facebook, and feel very sad that we were not given the opportunity to rectify matters while you were here. We do however appreciate your feedback and take this very seriously indeed. The matter will not be ignored and I will post further comments on Trip Advisor as soon as I have established the facts from the hotels perspective.

Regards

Sue McGlashan

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Reviewed October 3, 2011

Having been to Woodridge before, I was excited when my wife organised a surprise there again. We remember fondly the great food and ambiance of Woodridge. The menu is good, and the wine selection was excellent. The food they provided for my wife was off, but Nelson gladly changed it for us. The next morning we were woken up early by very rowdy children which the management should have dealt with, but did not. Breakfast was mediocre. Our room was not serviced completely during the day. For dinner on the second night, I don't think our waiter got one item correct. And the rowdy children of the day before were replaced by a completely new set too.
The area is stunning, and it's probably good value for money, but always ask for Nelson to help and make sure there are no kids to ruin a romantic weekend.

Room Tip: The luxury rooms with a view are the best.
See more room tips
  • Stayed: October 2011, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank Grant H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
WoodridgeHotel, Owner at Woodridge Country Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded December 4, 2011

My apologies for such a late response to your review. I am just getting the hang of using Tripadvisor to its full potential and do not always have time to check on our hotel reviews. I will be making sure I do this on a more regular basis is future.
We really do appreciate your feedback and also appreciate that you are repeat visitors. We do hope that your experience will not put you off visiting us again and I want to assure you that as a result of your feedback we have taken the following action.
1. We have changed our fish supplier. I was asked to taste some fish from the same box and although not off - it was extremely fishy tasting and not up to our normal standard at all. Apologies for your bad meal and I am glad that this was replaced immediately.

2. We have implemented a children's meal time and parents that insist on brining thier children to adult meals will be asked to ensure that they are kept sitting at the table . Our staff have also been advised on how to deal with rowdy children that are not being controlled by their parents. Guest check in letters now ask guests with children to consider other guests until after 10.00 am - not always easy to monitor but staff have been briefed.

3. I am concerend to hear that you felt breakfast was mediocre - I would welcome more feedback in this regard. Our breakfast buffet is normally the best in the area and fully laden with local cheese, cold meats and freshly baked muffins, croisants. etc. Hot breakfast is on order and includes a large range of egg options and accompanyments.

4. Room servicing - I would appreciate more details, As a standard during occupation, all rooms are given a quick 30 minute clean , beds are made, tea and coffee stations replenished, bathrooms fully cleaned and towel are only replaced on request but hung up neatly. Turndown takes place in the evening when once again the coffee station in cleaned and replenished. The bathroom is cleaned.

5. From my investigations it seems that our trainee waitress was allocated to your table instead of being taken through the order process by Nelson. Nelson is great as you mention but should not have expected somone new to take orders. All waitress have been given some rigerous training and we have an few excellent new waiters from leading Durban hotels on board and they are making a huge difference to the service and to the training of more junior staff. Thanks for highlighing this matter.

I do hope that you visit Woodridge again and while onsite if you ever have a problem again please bring it to our General Manager's attention immediately. We do want all guests to leave site felling happy and relaxed and would like to attend to matters of concern without delay.

Sue

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Reviewed October 3, 2011

Woodridge Country Hotel is a must stay for anyone who is interested in touring the Midlands or is attending a Wedding. The service was good and the staff were friendly. The accomodation was excellent, and felt very homely. It was easy to just lie back, relax and enjoy the beautiful scenery in this tranquil setting. The meals were delicious and very well presented. A complimentary snack platter was provided in the afternoon which we thought was a nice touch. All in all it was a wonderful stay.

  • Stayed: September 2011, traveled as a couple
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Thank Craig W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
WoodridgeHotel, Owner at Woodridge Country Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded December 4, 2011

Many thanks for your review.
We do hope you will visit us again.

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Reviewed August 10, 2011

Perhaps for those indoor days - more TV channels could be added - and specifically a children's TV channel.
On the flipside though we had glorious weather so it was an opportunity to explore the outdoors and take those long strolls

Room Tip: We stayed in the loft which was exciting for the kids.
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  • Stayed: August 2011, traveled on business
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Thank Nivanie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
WoodridgeHotel, Public Relations Manager at Woodridge Country Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded October 3, 2011

Many thanks for your great review much appreciated and we look forward to welcoming you back again. Don't forget our Wedding Experience on the 6th November 2011. All welcome. Please spread the word.

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Reviewed June 8, 2011

The service was great, the food and the wine were wow!
Accomodation was fantastic too.
I liked the tour to the Howick falls and the the view in woodrige is to die for.
During winter like this one cannot regret visiting Woodrigde because beds are fitted with electrice blankets.

  • Stayed: April 2011, traveled with friends
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Thank MsKay23
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Woodridge Country Hotel

Address: R103, Balgowan 3275, South Africa
Location: South Africa > KwaZulu-Natal > Balgowan
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Balgowan
Hotel Class:4 star — Woodridge Country Hotel 4*
Number of rooms: 24
Also Known As:
Woodridge Country Hotel South Africa/Balgowan

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