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“An oasis of tranquility!”
Review of Lord Milner Hotel

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Lord Milner Hotel
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Matjiesfontein
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed January 13, 2013

Step back in time and savour the experience! This beautiful old hotel exudes history without sacrificing quality! Friendly staff, good food, superb mountain views all combined to provide a memorable time. In addition a quirky motor and steam train museum close-by along with the 10 minute ride in an old London double-decker bus with entertainment by the hilarious Johnny who later plays piano and sings in the bar. He says he only plays the black notes because its government policy!
I highly recommend a stop-over to relieve the stress of driving on the N1!

Room Tip: Rooms with balconies and mountain views.
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  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled with friends
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1  Thank MackersBelfast
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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543 - 549 of 582 reviews

Reviewed January 10, 2013

If you like establishments steeped in history then this is the place for you. You visit for the historical interest, not because you want a 5-star experience. The staff are friendly and efficient and for a short stay this is a very charming place. As there is not much to do in Matjiesfontein it is best to plan for a short stay.

Unless, of course, you are looking for a romantic getaway with your love interest, then book for the weekend as it is close enough to Cape Town and quaint enough to keep you indoors for the weekend!

And do visit the "time-capsule" pub, which has not changed for, well, probably for a century.

If you stay for historical and old-world charm then you will not be disappointed.

  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank PeterV1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 7, 2013

We went to Matjiesfontein in July 2012 for a short break from the city (Cape Town). The hotel and the town has been carefully preserved as a resort town with a Victorian character, which is the era in which it was built. The room, although clean, was small for my taste, considering that there is not much else to do, we spent a lot of time in our room. The hotel offers breakfast and supper, but not lunch. For lunch you have two options in town - the coffee shop (trade post) or a pub lunch in the bar of the hotel. The breakfast is very greasy (which was to my husband's liking). The supper was very good. All in all, everybody's portions were huge, I did not go hungry. It was terribly cold but the hotel staff put heaters everywhere. The service could be quicker and they could put a kettle in the room. One afternoon, we were reading in the beautifully decorated drawing rooms of the hotel. I wanted to order a cup of coffee and the reception bluntly suggested that I go to the coffee shop down the road. Really? You can't even bring me coffee?
Other than that, we relaxed, I petted the resident cat and we went for a stroll in the magnificent gardens of the hotel. Well worth a visit, but don't expect too much.
All in all, Matjiesfontein left me a bit sad. The dining room is in terrible need of restoration. A portion of the floor is covered in parquet and the rest is unpolished wooden planks. You are seeing the splendour of yesteryear but you are in fact not experiencing it.

  • Stayed: July 2012, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank LisaN83
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
RawdonSA, Owner at Lord Milner Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded January 30, 2013

Thank you for taking the time to comment on your stay at The Lord Milner, Matjiesfontein. Feedback is much appreciated and we take all comments, both positive and negative, very seriously in order to improve the services offered throughout the village. Kettles are now provided in all the rooms, we sincerely apologise that this was not the case for your stay. We also agree a coffee should have been available in the lounge. In terms of restoration, we hope you can recognise the challenges faced in the maintenance of historical buildings, the extreme environment and distance from routine services, especially in tough economic times. Please be assured that we are aware of certain areas that require attention and are working steadily to get to these. Thank you again for your review, we look forward to welcoming you back at Matjies in the future.

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Reviewed January 2, 2013

We came across the Lord Milner Hotel while travelling to Cape Town. It is located in Maatjiesfontein, in the middle of nowhere, but what a pleasant surprise.
It is steeped in history, so if you love historical building, this is perfect.
It is situated along side a train station, which is a stop over point for the Rovos Rail.

There are different rooms to choose from, hotel rooms, self catering units on the exterior of the main hotel.
We had a 3 bedroom unit, located next to the Main Hotel Building and Hotel Bar.
The unit is furnished with antiques, which are not always comfortable to sit on. But the beds were comfortable, and were equipped with heaters and extra linen.

They have a 5 minute bus tour through the town, where the bar man and local guide tells you about the history.
They also have a museum which includes old bank, train station etc
They have a restaurant there, even though we did not eat dinner there.

I found this place enchanting, but would probably not stay longer than a night or 2. Perfect for a stopover while travelling. I loved it and would definately stop over again.

The staff were extremely friendly and helpful.

Room Tip: The floor board do creek, so I would ask for a single story unit, like the one we stayed in or the t...
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  • Stayed: November 2012, traveled with family
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1  Thank YoyoColorado
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 26, 2012

Firstly let's say what the Lord Milner at Matjiesfontein is not. It is not a modern hotel, it does not have modern amenities. If that is what you are after, avoid it for sure. But for those who enjoy the romance and asthetic of the Victorian age (leaving behind its imperialism and conservatism), there is very little to beat it. Firstly, one must stay in the main hotel. Yes, the bathrooms only have a bath and no shower, but this original section is very charming and spacious. The food is OK, quite old fashioned, but the best parts have hardly been mentioned by other reviewers, and judging by their under-utilisation, are passed over by the average patron making a B-line for the pub. I can't comment on the very popular pub, because I find these testostone-filled repositories of goucheness to revolting to spend any time in. But while the majority of guests congregate in the drinking hole, the most magnificient sitting room is usually completely for my own use, each time I have been in it. Beautiful, gracious, and consisting of not one, but four interleading rooms, the romance of what was clearly an upper-class entertainment area is perfect for an evening of reading, romance or good conversation. Also the garden on the other side of dry river-bed is so charming to walk through in the cool of the evening. To get there one passes a charming chapel, perfect for some prayer, contemplation or meditation. The Lord Milner is a romantic's dream, an sybarite's paradise, if you can just look past the usual criteria of mod cons and fashionable food.

  • Stayed: December 2012
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1  Thank maynardophile
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
RawdonSA, Owner at Lord Milner Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded January 30, 2013

Thank you very much for taking the time to post a review on your stay at The Lord Milner. We appreciate your comments and will continue to work on areas that require attention. We also believe that there are many positive aspects to Matjiesfontein and are glad you were able to appreciate the village and the hotel’s assets. We look forward to welcoming you back at Matjiesfontein in the future. Many thanks again.

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Reviewed December 18, 2012

We heard lovely things about this town.
But when we go there and checked into the Hotel, the garden cottages we had booked were hardly cottages.
The toilet was dirty, rooms very badly furnished, and the bed was most uncomfortable!

Lovely town, but rather drive through for the day.

  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Nick M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
RawdonSA, Owner at Lord Milner Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded January 30, 2013

Thank you for your comments. We take feedback of any kind extremely seriously and we are sorry you were disappointed with your visit to Matjiesfontein. We encourage all guests to talk to a staff member with any concerns at the time of your visit to enable us to make your stay as enjoyable as possible. We are working hard on various improvements in the hotel and around the village and hope we will have another opportunity to welcome you at Matjiesfontein. Again, please accept our apologies.

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Reviewed December 12, 2012

Upon arrival we were notified by the lady at reception that the Rovos Rail will be stopping at Matjiesfontein station within the hour. We were very excited and thrilled about seeing the train. After the Rovos Rail guests arrived we were treated to a bus ride on the old London bus as well as a brief tour of the Lord Milner hotel and afterwards we were entertained in the nearby pub situated in the main street of Matjiesfontein. We had dinner in the restaurant and enjoyed a drink in the pub afterwards. The restaurant and bar staff were pleasant and efficient. This part of our experience was enjoyable. We spent the evening in one of the self-catering houses situated next to the Lord Milner hotel. These self-catering houses are owned and managed as part of the Lord Milner hotel. This was offered as an alternative when enquiring about hotel accomodation. Having already booked an extended trip (21 days) and normally staying in self-catering accomodation, we gladly accepted this option. It must be noted that this was by far the worst self-catering apartment we have ever stayed in and we do stay in these types of accomdation quite often (on a montly basis). There was a terrible smell (rotting roof panes and/or blocked gutters), the apartment was dirty (sticky kitchen table and counters and smelly blankets). This was a huge disappointment, as we really looked forward to our stay in Matjiesfontein and in addition we celebrated our second wedding anniversary the following day. Not a pleasant way to wake up the next morning, surrounded with this unpleasant odour. In addition I woke up with quite a few bite marks on my calves and I am still not sure what caused it...When checking out we were given a bill with the incorrect amount outstanding (it only reflected the deposit that we paid and not the balance that was settled in advance as well) and upon questioning we were told that this is what their records reflect. Luckily we had our own copies of proof of payment handy to resolve this matter.

Room Tip: The family rooms appear to be better value for money.
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  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled with family
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1  Thank Laetitia_coetzee1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
RawdonSA, Owner at Lord Milner Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded December 17, 2012

Thank you for your feedback on Matjiesfontein. I am glad to hear you had a nice time on the tour bus and enjoyed your evening in the village. It does upset me about the self catering units. I can understand your disppointment when you are expecting something grand in keeping with the decor of the rest of the village. The self caterings are good value and excellent for groups but they are a bit tired. The hopes for the future are to upgrade them but for now we use them for overflow or large groups. We would love you to visit us again and give us another chance. Thank you so much for taking the time to comment as it helps us to budget for necessary improvements. As you can imagine it is a huge undertaking to keep an entire village to a certain standard. Thank you.

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Additional Information about Lord Milner Hotel

Address: Logan Street, Matjiesfontein 6901, South Africa
Location: South Africa > Western Cape > Matjiesfontein
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Matjiesfontein
Price Range: $120 - $316 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 54
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Lord Milner is a lovely Victorian Hotel, full of history and atmosphere, begging to be explored. Matjiesfontein, the town itself has wonderful gardens to leisurely lose yourself in, interesting museums abundant with all sorts, as well as the typical general store/gift shop, a small chapel, a coffee house full of homemade goodies, an old courthouse, a recently renovated church and The Laird’s Arms Bar. Most evenings, one can enjoy a ride on the old London bus and tour the grounds with our entertainer Johnny. Then experience sundowners in the Laird's Arms. Dinner is served from 7-9pm in our beautiful candlelit dining room. We’ve hosted some beautiful weddings and outrageous birthday parties in our transport museum or the old Courthouse. We are only 3 hours from Cape Town by road or take the train.. "The Train to Matjiesfontein". ... more   less 
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