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“Brillaint stay and location”

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Cresta Mowana Safari Resort and Spa
Ranked #2 of 2 Hotels in Kasane
Cape St Francis, South Africa
2 reviews
“Brillaint stay and location”
Reviewed April 17, 2014

We had a wonderful stay at Cresta Mowana Safari Resort and Spa. We were transported from the airport to the hotel by a welcoming and friendly member of staff and met at the hotel with warm/fragrant handtowels and a welcome drink - a very nice touch. Gardens and lawns are well kept and we enjoyed walking on the golf course which adjoins the Chobe River. Great to see the odd elephant and "daddy"bushpig in the hotel grounds.
Our room had a beautiful view of the garden and river, was very well appointed (guest amenities) clean and very comfortable - what more could we ask for. It was air-conditioned and also had flyscreens on sliding doors to balcony.
We had all our meals at the hotel. Breakfast,lunch and dinner was great. The selection on the buffet was fantastic and the service friendly - thank you Tshepo for the excellent service.
The activity desk was more than accommodating - thank you. Chris - our ranger - we so enjoyed our game drives and river cruises - your knowledge of Chobe National Park and the game/birds was informative - you do have a love for the bush.
We did not use the Spa but it looked clean and inviting - had we stayed longer we would have made use of it.

Room Tip: They seem to all face to river
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  • Stayed April 2014, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank harrison25
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
CrestaHotels, Manager at Cresta Mowana Safari Resort and Spa, responded to this review, May 2, 2014
Dear Guest

Thank you for your recent post on TripAdvisor regarding your stay at Cresta Mowana Safari Resort & Spa.

We are pleased that you enjoyed your stay and look forward to welcoming you back in the near future.

Yours sincerely,

John Gray, General Manager, Cresta Mowana Safari Resort & Spa
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
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Gaborone, Botswana
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed March 28, 2014

We stayed at Mowana Lodge for 4 days (8 people) on a business trip and my initial excitement turned to a huge disappointments as each and every day passed. As a person who travels quite frequently and used the Mowana some years ago and in the mid- 90’s this hotel has truly slumped both in service and condition. At first I observed the extreme wear and tear to the building and then the sheer lack of proper housekeeping. The room showed hurried cleaning and vague dusting as cobwebs were everywhere both in and outside the rooms. The timber floor decking is tired and has not been attended to for a long time. For a hotel with so much water surrounding it and at the peak of the rainy season the gardens are looking derelict and are not being attended to, lawns are dying and in serious need of attention, the gardens are not kept to a level of a 4 star hotel. There is some evidence of renovations that were done some few years ago but the workmanship in the bathrooms is poor, motar and grout is still visible on the tiles and had not been cleaned during construction. The bar and lounge area on the upper floor lounge was dirty, cobwebbed the lights are stuffed to no degree with cobwebs dead insects and the main eastern feature wall is streaked with white bird faeces.

One observation was the painfully slow repairs to the timber walkways (the guys reminded me of the old Public Works Department crew) they would turn up in the morning do some minimal work, rest, work, rest and then wait for the supervisor (some elderly white man) then do a little work, rest and disappear for the remaining day. So little was done in the 4 days one wondered whether the work would ever be completed in time for the tourist high season which was beginning in a few weeks’ time.

The food if I may say so was so substandard it was shocking, Mowana used to have a very high degree of not only a variety of food but the food used to be something to look forward to. The buffet is a disaster and the staff attitude especially the waiters leaves a lot to be desired, their attitude is that as a guest we should be grateful for being given something to eat, if you complain you are thereafter ignored or sidestepped. Breakfast is horrible the food is overcooked and not appealing at all. I remember particularly asking for a half boiled egg, and I got the feedback from a young waitress that it would take 15 minutes, after personally approaching the chef to find out why a half boiled egg takes 15 minutes, I gave up when we negotiated to 10 minutes and ate something else, because I knew it would be very hardboiled.

Interestingly on the second day we decided to eat out at one of the hotels in Kasane, what a pleasant surprise the restaurant at (Chobe Safari Lodge) was bustling with people and the lunches and dinners were superb, the waiters greeted you with a smile and actually told you who they were (name) and that they were there to serve you. At Mowana the waiters just stand by the way side and half-heartedly approach you to just take your drinks order. The food at this hotel was well presented, prepared and tasted first class. What really stood out was that unlike at Mowana (where there were about 15 – 20 guests and less numbers at meals) you had to call in advance to book a table for lunch or supper at this other hotel. You did not have to guess or realise that possibly the hundreds of other tourists were for obvious reasons not staying at Mowana. And by the way Mowana room rates are much higher than most hotels in Kasane.

I took opportunity to go into Travel Advisor to see if I was the only grumpy person who had stayed at this hotel, was I not too surprised, the comments on trip advisor were similar to my disappointment and despite that I noticed that the GM of the hotel maintains a routine tag line in his response and it appears that the negative comments were just routine and just a mere formality. He would begin by appreciating the comment and how it assist the hotel in improving its service etc. etc. etc. etc..………The GM would then just pick one positive thing that the guest would have mentioned about the wildlife in Kasane and applaud the guest for that single comment, notwithstanding the fact that the positive comment would be about some remote issue outside the hotel.

Mowana has truly fallen and for a hotel that was one the pride of Kasane and Botswana it is now a true shadow of its old self. One wonders if it still really deserves to carry the 4 stars that it has or it should just do the honourable thing and remove some of the stars so that the public should not expect more than what it can deliver.

  • Stayed March 2014, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Yame489
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
CrestaHotels, General Manager at Cresta Mowana Safari Resort and Spa, responded to this review, April 1, 2014
Dear Guest

Thank you for reviewing Cresta Mowana Safari Resort & Spa on Tripadvisor.

Following our telephone conversation yesterday (1 April 2014), I would like to once again thank you for taking time to highlight your observations whilst staying with us. This feedback is highly valued from a guest such as yourself who has a long history not only with Mowana but the Cresta group as a whole.

Please rest assured that your comments and observations have been taken in the light they were meant, as constructive criticism and we at Mowana shall do all that is necessary to rectify the issues you raised. Let us say that we have already taken corrective action in terms of cleanliness as well as the standard of the food and service levels in our restaurant. Gardens and grounds are also being attended to. The refurbishment of the main deck has also taken a turn for the better and work should be completed soon.

Once again thank you for you input, we trust we shall have the pleasure of welcoming you back again soon to prove we have taken you seriously and doing our best to get Mowana back to the state you are accustomed to.

Kind regards

John Gray - General Manager, Cresta Mowana Safari Resort & Spa
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chapel Hill, North Carolina
Level 6 Contributor
128 reviews
42 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 91 helpful votes
Reviewed March 6, 2014 via mobile

A shiny sign greets visitors at the turnoff from the main road to the hotel's compound. This seems to be the only well maintained item in the hotel. The pothole strewn access road is the first indication that management and owners skimp on upkeep. The lobby appears beautiful at first sight with a grand Baobab tree in focus. Under close inspection one cannot fail to notice decaying wood and general neglect. This extends to other public areas as well. Paint peeled in the pool and there was visible algae growth. My biggest issue is with landscaping. Grass grows through pavers and large areas have been overgrown by vines and weeds obstructing the views of the river.
Our room was large, clean and had standard furniture. The bathroom had a nice shower with good water pressure. At night maneuvering the stairs without a flashlight proved challenging.
The staff was generally friendly, helpful and served with a smile.
The breakfast buffet was set up in the rather sterile dining room and was well stocked although it would benefit by adding an espresso machine. The buffet in the evening boasted also many choices but the well lit dining room and food areas attracted swarms of flying insects. The á la carte menu is a good alternative.
If internet access is necessary to connect to your universe practice patience as Wi-Fi service is spotty when available.
The resort is certainly a long way from the late nineties when luminaries like the Clintons and Nelson Mandela stayed there. The glory days have faded as the pictures on the lobby wall bearing witness to their visit.

Stayed March 2014, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
2 Thank Walter N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
CrestaHotels, Manager at Cresta Mowana Safari Resort and Spa, responded to this review, March 21, 2014
Dear Guest

Thank you for your recent post on TripAdvisor regarding your stay at Cresta Mowana Safari Resort & Spa. We would like to thank you for staying with us and hope that we will see you again.

We appreciate your feedback highlighting areas needing improvement in our operations. We are pleased that you found our staff generally friendly and helpful. It is with feedback from our valued guests like you that we can aim to do better.

We look forward to welcoming you back in the near future.

Yours sincerely,

John Gray, General Manager, Cresta Mowana Safari Resort & Spa
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cairns, Australia
Level 4 Contributor
29 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
Reviewed February 19, 2014 via mobile

I stayed at Mowana Safari lodge with my boyfriend. We were in a room with a patio overlooking the Chobe River. The views from this hotel are breathtaking. The room is standard with fly screen over the bed and complimentary insect repellent in the bathroom. There is no wifi in the rooms but there is free wifi in the lobby and bars. The bed was comfortable but the pillows were not. Our air conditioner stopped working on the second night just after midnight. It is quite humid in Kasane.
We ate breakfast lunch and dinner here which we found to be spot on. All 3 meals were buffet and cost about $25AUD for each. I was able to try many of the local dishes and lots of variety of international foods as well. The top floor bar is amazing at sunset and well worth a visit.
The hotel activities centre arranged all of our day trips. They were all fantastic with informative drivers and comfortable vehicles etc. They made the boarder crossing simple and swift.
All hotel staff were friendly and helpfull. They have a very laid back attitude which means service can be slow.
I would recommend this hotel to couples and families. There are many stairs and no wheelchair ramps. If you're not good with stairs this is not the place for you.

Stayed February 2014, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
2 Thank Kate C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
CrestaHotels, Manager at Cresta Mowana Safari Resort and Spa, responded to this review, February 27, 2014
Dear Guest

Thank you for your recent post on TripAdvisor regarding your stay at Cresta Mowana Safari Resort & Spa. We would like to thank you for staying with us and hope that we will see you again.

We are pleased that you enjoyed the location of our Safari Resort and the amazing views - including the amazing sunset as seen from the second floor. We are particularly pleased that you found all staff friendly and helpful. This feedback is very encouraging for our team. We have taken note that there is room for improvement in some staff attitudes and will reinforce this in our training. We are delighted that you found our meals "spot on".

Thank you for pointing out that though you found our bed comfortable, the pillows were not to your liking. We are sorry that the air-con did not work as well as expected. We appreciate this constructive feedback as we strive to continuously improve our product and service to our valued guests.

Thank you again for taking the time to write about your experience during your stay at Cresta Mowana Safari Resort & Spa.

Yours sincerely,

John Gray, General Manager, Cresta Mowana
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Johannesburg, South Africa
Level 6 Contributor
263 reviews
97 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 114 helpful votes
Reviewed January 8, 2014

I have stayed at Mowana before and I was sad to see how the hotel has been neglected. The gardens were overgrown and the pool looked like it needed a good clean. Our room was comfortable and clean, When we arrived at our room there was a large pile of dirty mops and 'cleaning' equipment lying on the walkway up to our room which was still there later on the following day. The restaurant has no atmosphere as the lighting is very harsh and the room lacks any character - having said that our breakfast was good with a wide choice. Maybe a little re- training of staff would go a long way.

  • Stayed December 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank lulu008
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
CrestaHotels, Manager at Cresta Mowana Safari Resort and Spa, responded to this review, January 14, 2014
Dear Guest

Thank you for your recent post on TripAdvisor regarding your stay at Cresta Mowana Safari Resort & Spa. We would like to thank you for staying with us and hope that we will see you again.

We appreciate your feedback highlighting areas needing improvement in our operations including staff re-training. We are pleased that you enjoyed our breakfast. It is with feedback from our valued guests like you that we can aim to do better.

We look forward to welcoming you back in the near future.

Yours sincerely,

John Gray, General Manager, Cresta Mowana Safari Resort & Spa
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Gaborone, Botswana
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed January 3, 2014

Everything from the food to the rooms was perfect ;) I absolutely loved it :) only the woman that gave me a massage was quite pathetic but the rest of them were good :) I enjoyed the cruise as well the safari :) saw soo many animals ;)

  • Stayed December 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Naturefairy3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
CrestaHotels, Manager at Cresta Mowana Safari Resort and Spa, responded to this review, January 5, 2014
Dear Guest

Thank you for your recent post on TripAdvisor regarding your stay at Cresta Mowana Safari Resort & Spa. We would like to thank you for staying with us and hope that we will see you again.

We are pleased that you enjoyed your overall visit especially the game drive where you saw lots of animals. Thank you for highlighting that there is room for improvement in our spa operations. We would appreciate details of your massage experience if possible. Please e-mail gmmowana@cresta.co.bw. It is with feedback from guests like you that we can continuously aim to do better.

We look forward to welcoming you back in the near future.

Yours sincerely,

General Manager, Cresta Mowana Safari Resort & Spa
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Gaborone, Botswana
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed December 28, 2013

Beautiful lodge, lovely rooms, shame about the staff. Living in Botswana I expect a much friendlier service than we received, slow is fine, but I like it with a smile. There was one young man on our last night who was absolutely brilliant; he was the only member of staff we tipped, he was attentive, polite, and ready. The rooms were lovely, air conditioned, and each with an outside area/balcony for smokers. The pool was lovely, although maybe a clean every day would be good after all the kids have been in with sunscreen on? Very grumpy staff in the evening restaurant; I felt as though the cleaning staff (lovely, happy, friendly) would do better. Also, did not like a buffet every night, with children, and an allergen sufferer it is way too expensive. I would have liked an alternative (room service menu was just stupid - mussels?!!) pool bar menu perfect, but not available after six pm.

Room Tip: Choose one close to reception, the layout is quite spread out.
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  • Stayed December 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Heather P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
CrestaHotels, Manager at Cresta Mowana Safari Resort and Spa, responded to this review, December 30, 2013
Dear Guest

Thank you for your recent post on TripAdvisor regarding your stay at Cresta Mowana Safari Resort & Spa. We would like to thank you for staying with us and hope that we will see you again.

We are pleased that you found the resort beautiful and the rooms lovely. Thank you for highlighting areas of improvement in our operations. It is with feedback from guests like you that we can continuously aim to do better.

We look forward to welcoming you back in the near future.

Yours sincerely,

General Manager, Cresta Mowana Safari Resort & Spa
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Cresta Mowana Safari Resort and Spa

Property: Cresta Mowana Safari Resort and Spa
Address: Chobe River, Kasane, Botswana (Formerly Mowana Safari Lodge)
Location: Botswana > North-West District > Kasane
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 2 Hotels in Kasane
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:5 star — Cresta Mowana Safari Resort and Spa 5*
Number of rooms: 114
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Cresta Mowana Safari Resort & Spa situated on the banks of the mighty Chobe River in Botswana is one of southern Africa's sustainable tourism destinations where luxury exists in harmony with nature, providing a unique location from which to explore the magical wonders of untamed Africa. Game, including herds of elephant, antelope, giraffe, zebras, lions, leopard and many more, roam freely in the nearby Chobe Game Park. Sunrises and sunsets in this part of the world, with the Chobe River and Namibian flood plains as a backdrop are the substance of dreams. Birdlife is in abundance. Bird species unique to this part of southern Africa can be seen on the property as well as on the banks of the Mighty Chobe River. Facilities at Cresta Mowana Safari Resort & Spa include 110 luxury air conditioned bedrooms and 4 suites all with river views, a 9 hole golf course and fully equipped spa. Each guest room has a private balcony. In these tranquil surroundings you will come to experience true comfort, superb accommodation, gourmet cuisine and African inspired menus and only the best in personalised 'African-style' service. Play a round of golf on the famous golf course or enjoy bird watching on the banks of the mighty Chobe River. Take time to interact with the un-spoilt natural and beautiful surroundings while enjoying a leisurely massage at the Mowana Spa. All 110 bedrooms and four suites boast spectacular river views and have been tastefully decorated in an ethnic style to compliment the natural ambiance. Both the Serondella Restaurant and Savuti cocktail bar overlook the Chobe River and Namibian flood plains, the ultimate place to watch the abundant wildlife gathering at twilight. The Spa at Cresta Mowana is beautifully designed, featuring natural textures and ethnic elements. It is in harmony with the surrounding Chobe National park, a serene space that offers sanctuary from the stresses of life. With four private treatment rooms complemented by a raised deck overlooking the mighty Chobe River on which open air pampering sessions are highly recommended, the Mowana Spa offers state of the art facilities and a range of Clarens treatments and therapies that will have you spoilt for choice. Life doesn't get much better than this. Day trips can be organized to Victoria Falls, just 80 kilometres away from Cresta Mowana Safari Resort & Spa. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Mowana Safari Hotel Kasane
Mowana Safari Lodge

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