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“Holiday of a lifetime”

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Bella Manga Country House
Ranked #30 of 81 Plettenberg Bay B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
Bedfordshire
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Holiday of a lifetime”
Reviewed February 28, 2010

Beautiful location just 15 minutes from the beaches and restaurants of Plettenberg bay, first class accommodation, facilities and service; nothing was too much trouble, we had the holiday of a lifetime.
It is one of those rare places that you feel as though you have left part of you there, and that you must one day return. and we will

  • Stayed November 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Thomaswilliam
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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215 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    143
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    10
    5
    12
See reviews for
78
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (31)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Bedfordshire
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed February 26, 2010

We are frequent travellers to South Africa, having family living in Cape Town. This year we decided to break our stay and venture across to Plettenburg Bay for a few days (13th to 18th Feb). We opted for Bella Manga as it was away from the hustle and bustle of the town. We were not disappointed.

Although Bella Manga is situated off the main tar road, along a typical South African dirt road, it is still easily accessible by car.

The Self Catering Forest Lodges are set away from the main house, which is stunning in itself. The lodges are surrounded by trees and farmland, all adding to the serenity. The gardens are securely fenced and maintained immaculately. We made good use of the braai facilities and the large clean swimming pool.

Inside, the lodge was equipped adequately with comfortable furnishings and clean, crisp linen. We made use of the cleaning and laundry facilities, which we found very reasonably priced.

Ray and Fiona were on hand to offer advice on things to see and places to go. We were invited to use the bar facilities in the main house and found both Ray & Fiona to be excellent hosts.

We look forward to returning next year.

  • Stayed February 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank Meerkat2010
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Port Charlotte
Level Contributor
7 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed February 18, 2010

We have just spent an idyllic two weeks at Bellamanga in one of their lovely forest lodges.

The weather was good and we were able to sit and relax on the patio and watch the cows and horses go by and see the occasional bush buck.

Their forest lodges have a rustic charm, are clean and comfortable with everything that you could possibly need. The showers were the best we encountered throughout our trip in South Africa.

Their swimming pool is large and maintained to a very high standard every day and the grounds immaculate, it was 24 degrees the days we were swimming

We will certainly be back next year as Ray and Fiona were fantastic hosts and entertained us several nights with braais and homely cooking.

  • Stayed February 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
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Helpful?
1 Thank Monachs
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Beautiful Colorado
Level Contributor
31 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
Reviewed January 9, 2010

There is something magical about Bella Manga. There is a palpable serenity and peacefulness that is so hard to find. Ray and Fiona are wonderful, warm hosts who made us feel right at home. They recommended and made reservations for us at a nice, casual restaurant that had just the atmosphere we were looking for.

We had our own private, beautiful, clean rondoval with interesting South African touches and warm comfy bed. Fiona is a superb cook and we had a truly delicious, authentic English breakfast.

Bella Manga is a little bit out of town but if you are looking for a Bed & Breakfast with serenity or somewhere to hold a family reunion (I think they can manage 40+ guests), you might want to check into the Bella Managa. It's such a beautiful place and truly a slice of heaven!

  • Stayed November 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank LucindaVan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cape Town
Level Contributor
8 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed January 8, 2010

We had the pleasure of staying over at Bella Manga in the self catering Forest lodge during the December holidays and we enjoyed it. Ray & Fiona were lovely hosts - very down to earth and lively! The accommodation was good - would suggest though that certain staples be left in the self catering lodges as there is no telephone / buzzer in the lodges to contact reception - a mop, blitz & matches, clean linen and some citronella candles for the mozzies. Must also mention that the road to Bella Manga and the lodges (based some distance away) is very bumpy. The Lodges are secluded and have their own (huge) pool and braai facilities - great for family time together. The setting is lovely with animals grazing within reach, woods right outside your door but lends itself to great fun as well like hiking, cycling and quad biking. Its also close to major tourist attractions in and near Plett. If its a "home away from Home" experience you're after, Bella Manga is your place!

  • Stayed December 2009, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank bronj
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
toronto
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed January 7, 2010

We stayed at Bella Manga in December (coinciding with Christmas Eve) at the main house in two adjoining rooms, perfect for our family of four. The main house is stunning, absolutely gorgeous, the antique wood floors are beautiful. The grounds are beautiful, perfectly cared for. The pool is large and was great fun for the kids. The breakfast were great. Fiona and Ray are the perfect hosts, they were friendly and helpful at all times. We opted to have dinner there, Fiona is a great cook, it was a delicious home roast meal, we loved it so much we "joked" she should cook Christmas dinner....and Fiona did, it was so wonderful to be able to share at great traditional turkey meal) .
The location is very accessible to Tsikamma region and Pletenberg, is a great peaceful.
stay.
This is a great stay and if we return to the region we'll definitely make a point of spending a few days there.

  • Stayed December 2009, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank cloudsToronto
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
37 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 47 helpful votes
Reviewed January 1, 2010

When booking our accommodation for Plettenberg Bay, we wrestled to find the right place, for the right amount of time, within out price range. We really wanted to stay in Plett' for only 3-4 days. After some searching, we found Bella Manga on the internet. They are quite far out of town, but are rated 4-stars. Their photos were beautiful and their reviews were excellent, including one raving review from a professional travel writer. If we stayed here, this was going to be the 2nd most expensive accommodation of our trip. When we contacted Bella Manga via email, we were informed by Fiona (the hostess) that their self-cater units were only available for a minimum of 5 days. We found out during our stay that this requirement was waived for other guests.

So, we decided to bite the bullet, and book for 5 days. We confirmed the price and duration with Fiona via email.

After a 6 ½ hour drive from Cape Town, we finally navigated the back roads of the foothills to the Bella Manga farm. The main house is beautiful, finished in antique timber construction, complimented with ceramic flooring and very nice decor. The yard area is nicely landscaped and groomed.

We were taken to the location of the three self-cater cottages which are grouped together with a shared pool. The yard area equally maintained, with interesting plans and trees.

A word of note. If you are planning on staying at Bella Manga, leave your sports car at home. The dirt road to get there is VERY rough, with large pot holes. To get to the cottages, you need to enter through a gate, drive through a cow pasture and cross over a bridge. Our Volvo bottomed out on the bridge, under full load.

We had great expectations for Bella Manga, but we are sad to report that we were very disappointed with the accommodation. Although the kids enjoyed the farm animals and the pool, we felt that the accommodation itself was little more than luxury camping. The amenities and furnishings were very rustic. No service was provided for the 5 days that we were there, and some of the basics that you would expect to be provided were also missing. The unit had a propane stove, but we had to ask for matches to prepare our dinner the first night. It took Fiona two trips on the ATV to get us the matches, because she forgot them the first time. Simple things you would expect in a self-cater unit (such as salt and pepper) were missing. Sinks and tubs would not drain. Things you may also expect from a 4-star resort like soap and shampoo were also not included. The bedding and linens were not 4-star either. We could go on and on, but don’t want to sound petty.

Our disappointment was caused by the expectations that the internet site sets - pictures of beautiful decor, luxurious surrounding, and wonderful reviews. It is quite possible that the B&B service provided out of the main house is actually worthy of 4-stars, but we expected the same from the self-cater cottages. Unfortunately, there is a vast difference between the two, and their website is misleading people into thinking that they are equivalent, and charging 4-star rates for rustic cottages, with no service and limited amenities.

Another disappointments with our stay at Bella Manga:

On the final day Fiona could not remember if we had paid a deposit through Rooms For Africa (an online booking service). We had not, and told her so. Initially, they also prepared the bill for only 4 nights. We corrected them, and it was changed to 5 nights. The bill was presented for 5 nights at R1600 (over $200) per night (more than triple what we had paid in Cape Town, with breakfast), even though we had confirmation at R1400. Luckily Linda has a print out from our email chain. Ray called Fiona into the conversation, as she handles the bookings. Fiona explained that we were put into the “better” cabin, and therefore had to pay the appropriate rate of R1600. Upon checkin, we were never informed of the change, nor were we told that we would have to pay a higher rate. In fact, all we knew was that we had a cabin for R1400 per night (which was never confirmed at checkin). For the 5 days we never even knew we had an “upgrade”. Fiona was very rude and argued with us, saying that we had to pay the R1600. I lost my cool and got very angry. Fiona then agreed on R1500. I got even more angry. Then Fiona stormed out agreeing to R1400. Ray finished the transaction.

It has been 19 years since our last visit to Plettenberg Bay, and it was very sad to leave here on such a sour note.

Stayed December 2009, traveled with family
Helpful?
Thank nedleycan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bellamanga, owner at Bella Manga Country House, responded to this review, February 17, 2010
We at Bellamanga are somewhat surprised at the exaggerated comments posted on Tripadvisor.

In the four years that our forest lodges have been operational, this is the first derogatory review that we have received.

Regarding the gas stove - most people who cook on gas use Propane in South Africa, our linen is of a good quality and white and the forest lodge is definitiely not "glorified camping"!

Regarding the comments to our lack of services, these guests enjoyed both the self-caterers pool and the pool at the main house alongside with using the heated jacuzzi and sunbeds provided for our B & B guests. They also enjoyed their full English breakfast in our converted dairy.

We regret that they did not inform us earlier in their stay of their diappointment as we would have done our utmost to resolve any problems that they had.

We feel sorry that they did not enjoy their stay with us at Bellamanga and their comments regarding the standard of our B & B rooms however are greatly appreciated.
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 Bella Manga Country House

Property: Bella Manga Country House
Address: R340 | Uplands, Plettenberg Bay 6600, South Africa
Location: South Africa > Western Cape > Plettenberg Bay
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free Parking Restaurant Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #30 of 81 B&Bs / Inns in Plettenberg Bay
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:4 star — Bella Manga Country House 4*
Number of rooms: 9
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
A warm welcome awaits you at this safe and peaceful piece of heaven in the Garden Route. Just 8 minutes drive from a Jeep or horse-back safari at Plettenberg Bay Game Reserve or a mere 15 minutes drive to Plett's sandy beaches, restaurants and tourist attractions. Our accomodation holds something for every pocket with our thatched en-suite African rondavels, garden rooms or suites and three self-catering forest lodges in their landscaped gardens with large pool are the ideal getaway for family or friends. ... more   less 
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