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“A great weekend”
Review of African Queen

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African Queen
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed October 1, 2012

Just came back from a terrific weekend aboard this boat . It was a surprise for my wife's birthday . All I can say is don't listen to the bad reviews on this one . It was an amazing experience . All the other passengers were really friendly and a truly great bunch andy does sit with you at night and tells some great story's and is a great fella . Bobby the crew member is a diamond nothing is to much trouble and he bends over backwards for you . His wife cherry is also lovely too . Bonny is out the way most of the time but very friendly when you see her and a great cook . The food was lovely . All in all we had a great time and met some great people who made the trip . Thanks to everyone on board .

  • Stayed: September 2012
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2  Thank telthecabromford
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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54 - 60 of 96 reviews

Reviewed September 30, 2012

Loved every minute of our trip. I took my mum as she had grown up in the area and dreamed of going back on the River. She was eldest on board and was made to feel very special. The food was great, Andy was such fun and a great host. The boat is clean and Bobby is a real sweetie. Not sure what planet some of the other reviewers are on but I guess we all have our own take on something. We met a great group of people and had a very special time. I would highly recommend The African Queen and the whole experience it has to offer, I dont there is anything else like it. Stunning, Fun and Unique.

  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled with family
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1  Thank genesissurfshop
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 12, 2012

This boat is very unusual and I'm amazed that it can get away with what it gets away with. Husband and wife team Andy and Bonnie run it with the help of the lovely Bobby. Bonnie was initially good on the phone when we made contact first but then later on when we were on the way, Andy called with lots of contrasting instructions to those we had already been given by Bonnie! Having not seen the 1st show of the Hotel Inspector until recentlly when it was almost all repeated on the 2nd show I was amazed at how LITTLE Andy had heeded Alex's instructions about leaving the guests alone.

On arrival we rang Bonnie to agree the earlier made arrangements of Andy collecting us from across the river on his dinghy. She was obviously busy making the dinner (she is a good cook!) but her manner was really bad and she didn't have time to talk to me so before we could ask about out bikes being carried over on the boat she promptly put the phone down on me.

Thankfully we had a nice evening up to a point. After a long and weary cycle to the boat we arrived before 8pm - as we were told that dinner would be served between 7 and 9 - and we didn't get offered a drink on arrival or at all really....until dinner was served. Dinner is a whole story unto itself! "Pot Luck is what you get on this boat"....there is a full menu on the website and on the table but it gets whisked away and we were told initially that all there was available was vegetable samosas. From the Starter part of the menu!!!! Then a little later we were told - oh actually there is something else available...."Beef casserole" - which would you choose after a day of cycling? Even if you were vegetarian!

I was hugely disappointed to discover there were no locks on my door of any kind. No key. No lock on the inside even. My friends next door had a lock on the inside of theirs. Andy had told me quite plainly when he first met me that there was "no hanky panky on my boat!"

Andy just can't help himself to get involved with the guests and really interrupt any intimacy that might be happening between them. I did feel a little like being watched over by my father *sigh*

A great character but I think his talents are wasted on this boat. He would do better as an entertainer in a larger complex with lots of willing and eager participants to choose from.

Room Tip: Don't choose the door at the bottom of the stairs - it has no key or lock inside! You don't...
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  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled with friends
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15  Thank Ginabthegirl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 2, 2012

This is one of the best last minute decisions my wife and I ever made! Booked Friday morning and arrived 5.30 Friday evening, to a reception with bubbly and the opportunity to meet other guests. Friday Cape Malay evening meal was terrific and a great atmosphere. Saturday dinner was also delicious and afterwards everyone was enjoying themselves far too much to back to their cabins. Cabin was cosy and immaculately clean and comfortable. The hosts Andy and Bonny are friendly and helpful.The crewman Bobby is constantly smiling and nothing is too much trouble (no need to take photos, Bobby even takes care of that). We enjoyed the trips down the river, so peaceful and with a plethora of wildlife. There was also time to explore when the boat was moored.

We would not hesitate to recommend this trip to others - and hope to repeat it some day.

  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled as a couple
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17  Thank John P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 21, 2012

We chartered the whole boat for my hubbys birthday, so all 12 guests were our friends. The accomodation is lovely, its warm & cosy & felt very homely. We all had a great time but I feel I must comment on some negatives.
Firstly Bonny is not seen, not only does she not greet people or introduce herself, she doesnt say goodbye either. She was nowhere to be seen almost the entire trip. Whereas unfortunately Andy does tend to take over & commandeer the conversation & does not know when to leave alone. He was belittling & embarrassing over a blocked toilet & even asked in front of everyone ''well who had the dump then'' & this was addressed to 2 of my girlfriends who were sharing a bedroom!!!! He inferred that they could not operate the toilet, & didnt know how to press the flush, even though he had to disappear with a bucket & plunger to clear & this was after he had asked if it could be left until the following morning to sort.
The website is misleading, it infers there is some choice in the meals. On Friday night, we had the Cape Malay dinner, which was very tasty but as a previous review states, not much content really, very little meat, but a good meal none the less. Unfortunately Saturdays meal was ridiculous. We did have a choice & 8 of us requested the Rib Eye steak, a little later Bobby came out & said there was only 5 steaks, so some of us had to change to Duck. We were all asked how we wanted our steaks cooked. Well when the steak came it was not rib eye, it was about 4 inches long & 3 inches wide & about 0.5 inches thick. It was really tough & embarrassingly small & everyone of them was overcooked. It looked like it came from a value frozen pack of meat. Some of us left it & others eat it, but noone was happy with it. The pudding choice was chocolate surprise or a milk shake. There was a birthday cake for my husband complete with fireworks etc, which was lovely, until we realised that those who had ordered chocolate surprise were getting the cake & those that ordered the milkshake were not & that included my husband whose birthday it was!!!! Bizarre!
The breakfasts were adequate & as someone else has said, no variation, the mushrooms on the 2nd morning were tinned and we were given 3 of the smallest pieces of mushroom I have ever seen, it would have been better to have left them off than serve such a small serving. The bread was also as cheap as you can buy, no fresh bread here.
To sum up, the weekend was great, especially as we had the whole boat, but I feel that the food is only adequate, its very cheaply done & shows, albeit that the Cape Malay buffet is tasty.
Andy is overbearing & you get the impression, its his boat & like it or lump it.
Bonny is nowhere to be seen, but a big mention to Bobby & Cherry who worked tirelessly throughout the weekend & always with smiles on their faces, without them I can't imagine how well the boat would run.
I would have felt very uncomfortable had I not been in a group & had gone just hubby & I.

Stayed: May 2012, traveled with friends
20  Thank Dawnie1961
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 2, 2012

New years eve started with our host Andy, and staff Cherry and Bobby welcoming us aboard with a glass of bubbly. There were 10 guests in total and we quickly settled in. At 7.30 we sat down to what we thought would be a dinner fitting for new years eve. Unfortunately we were disappointed with the meal. When we had previously looked at the website it showed a menu with several choices so was therefore extremely misleading as we were given no choice whatsoever. Starter was lamb samosas, main course comprised of a chicken thigh, a few chunks of lamb on a skewer and some minced beef on a bed of rice and a side salad. Dessert
was a milk tart or a brandy tart. The meal was advertised as a Gourmet Cape Malay Dinner. In our opinion we don't feel it was gourmet just a quite nice very average meal. Coffee wasn't
offered.

The evening continued with a quiz given by Andy who was entertaining. This was then followed by karaoke organised by Bobby. It would probably have been a little better with a few more people. Bonny came out and joined us for about an hour and we never saw her again for the
rest of the stay not even to say goodbye the next day!

The room was clean and adequate.

The next morning we were looking forward to a hearty breakfast, but were again very disappointed. First we were offered Tesco's basic cornflakes, rice krispies or muesli. Then once again when it came to the cooked breakfast absolutely no choice, not even how you would like your eggs cooked. When it arrived it was one fried egg, one rasher of bacon, one half tomato

and four small fried potato chunks. Our friends don't eat bacon and weren't offered another egg or any alternative. The toast was again the cheapest thin white or brown sliced. Croissants or fresh bread would have taken no effort but would have greatly improved the meal.

After breakfast we had a short cruise (a little over the hour) which was nice and we disembarked at 11.30. When we enquired where our hostess Bonny was we were told she's not used to late nights!!!

The two people who really made our stay very comfortable was Bobby and Cherry they were first class.

Overall apart from the food we quite enjoyed the stay and the people we met were very nice.

  • Stayed: December 2011, traveled with friends
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10  Thank matemsa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 28, 2011

We have just returned from a wonderful Christmas break on the African Queen. Joined boat to a warm welcome from Andy and Bonny. Champagne reception, full board accommondation from Saturday 24th to Tuesday 27th December. We have never experienced such attention to making guests stay so memorable. Cabin bed extremely comfortable, inc electric blanket. Mouth watering food at every sitting. The staff, Cherry and Bobby are 'gems'.

Room Tip: The suite could be booked, however one of the doubles room met our needs
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  • Stayed: December 2011, traveled as a couple
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6  Thank swiisgirlBirmingham
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Additional Information about African Queen

Address: Mapledurham Estate, Mapledurham RG4 7TR, England
Location: United Kingdom > England > Oxfordshire > Mapledurham
Amenities:
Free Parking
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Specialty Lodging in Mapledurham
Price Range: $67 - $127 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — African Queen 3*
Number of rooms: 8
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
After a rich and colourful past which includes Holland and Ireland, The African Queen has battled the Irish Sea to come to rest upon the Thames just outside Reading in an area of outstanding natural beauty and historical interest. With comfortable ensuite cabins and bar and restaurant, this is a unique opportunity to stay near Reading in special surroundings whether your visiting for business or pleasure! ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
African Queen Hotel Mapledurham

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