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“Unwelcome, dirty... restrictions everywhere.”

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Mountain Sanctuary Park
Ranked #42 of 66 Hotels in Johannesburg
Reviewed March 4, 2014

Had a pushy Stacy push us to pay in full with short and abrupt emails, after which her replies to us got worse. We joked that maybe she was suffering from hangovers when she was writing to us. We arrived to find we had to pay for vehicle entry?? Did they think we were going to arrive on foot? This should have been included in the price. We were given a chalet number and when we turned up, had to figure out where the mains switch was as there was no electricity. Accommodation needs some attention... acceptable but hardly clean. Stacy had told us to bring our own bedsheets and towels, but the bad was already made up and there were towels in the bathrooms. Bizarre. The area is nice, though nowhere near as pristine or beautiful as the Dome nearby. There were signs everywhere saying "Don't do this!" and "Report anyone you see doing this!", which we thought could have been phrased in a more welcoming manner. The sun beds bolted to the decks by the pool made us laugh, especially the single one by itself - for lonely single travellers? The place was almost full which is a shame because it seems to me that the owners have found themselves a decent location to take money out of people on, and have then taken the attitude that they don't need to be welcoming or friendly or make any effort because there's always people coming in anyway. We also trekked around the entire place and didn't know where they'd shot many of the photos on their website... Won't be going back again. Would advise others to look around for better places.

  • Stayed: February 2014, traveled as a couple
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5  Thank KHL20142014
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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17 - 23 of 25 reviews

Reviewed February 15, 2014 via mobile

I can't speak for the chalets, but if you are looking for an awesome place to go exploring, playing in rock pools and soak up beautiful scenery, it is highly recommended. The rock pools are a short hike and although there were plenty of people out was quite easy to find a quiet spot. The camping looked great too. I can't wait to go back.

Stayed: February 2014
Thank Sam R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 9, 2013

Highly overpriced accommodation for both chalets and camping. Best as a day visit and bigger groups (over 4) should stay clear. Well a quiet place is welcome, unreasonable wardens make the overall experience unpleasant. Facilities run down and the best part, the natural setting has become littered and staff fail to keep the area clean. There are numerous accommodation and reservation options in the area that offer a far better experience.

  • Stayed: September 2013
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5  Thank Bridget2402
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 24, 2013

We visited Mountain Sanctuary in January this year with two other families - 13 people in total - staying in 3 x Chalets. Accommodation is very basic and needs more attention to detail (example our our toilet had not been cleaned properly when we arrived) and love to make it a better experience.
It has potential, as the walks and natural river pools are spectacular, and being a short drive from Johannesburg it should be a regular weekend destination.
We appreciate that the park - no animals by the way which is another "attention to detail" that could easily be rectified - has rules on being quiet in the evenings, but when you, your friends and their families (children) are having dinner at 20h30 in the evening (laughing and joking at the things you have done during the day) and get visited by a "warden" who complains that we are being too noisy (general family laughter around the dinner table!) when it is still 30-minutes before quiet time (which is also OTT), it spoils what should be a fun and enjoyable family experience.
For the price we paid, the lodging and management of the resort does not meet expectations. From a natural point of view, the walks and pools are beautiful and well worth the visit. If you don't want to be disappointing with the lodging, go for a day trip and do the walks and mountain pools.

  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled with family
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3  Thank David B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 3, 2013

I stayed in one of the cabins in October, 2012. Mostly, I had the park to myself. The cabin was clean and quaint, with a fireplace that was put to good use since it was quite chilly. I was in the mood for a quiet get away to laze about and read, so this was the perfect place. There is a pool and nice area outside for sitting. The cabin also had an outdoor fire ring for cooking or keeping warm.

The place is in the middle of nowhere, so be sure to come with adequate supplies. There is a small shop that sells wood and a few drinks. You must also come with all linens, bearing in mind that it can be chilly. I found myself lacking in enough blankets. A small space heater is supplied, but it didn't put out much heat.

There are great opportunities for walking, but trails are not clearly marked. I never did make it out to the famed waterfall, mostly because I was a bit nervous to be back there on my own and lost. The map provided at the ranger's office was pretty much useless. The directions given by the ranger consisted of: walk along the river, cross the river, walk IN the river, come out at the waterfall and find your way back. I did make it to the tide pools and found those to be quite stunning. There were a few powerful storms on the nights I was there that left gorgeous sunsets in their wake.

As mentioned, the baboons can be a bit frisky. Somewhere in my planning I read that the dirt road leading back to the place can be a bit treacherous, but I did not have any problems and was in a small VW rental.

  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled solo
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1  Thank dancingobroni
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 3, 2012

No refund of your 100% deposit paid if you cancel late. is this fair? We booked a weekend to the park two months ahead of time. Three families to take their little ones on their first camping experience. On the morning of our booked tripped it was pouring with rain! We phoned the camp site to find out their weather and was told it was pouring there also and had been so for the last 24 hours. Camping with kids in the rain does not sound like fun so we cancelled late. When trying to rebook for another weekend we were told that we lost the entire deposit which was a 100% of what the weekend would have cost us. Shocking!

Stayed: November 2012, traveled with family
4  Thank Carin D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 16, 2012

Great weekend away camping with the kids. The campsite was in good nick, with ablutions clean although a little dated. Walks from the campsite catered for all ages. The nights are dead quiet and perfectly clear. Overall, a very good weekend camping get away, we'll definitely be back!

  • Stayed: April 2012, traveled with family
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1  Thank Grant_I_W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Mountain Sanctuary Park

Address: 40 km from Magaliesburg on a dirt road | or 15 km from the N4, Johannesburg, South Africa
Location: South Africa > Gauteng > Greater Johannesburg > Johannesburg
Amenities:
Kitchenette Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #42 of 66 Hotels in Johannesburg
Price Range: $250 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 28
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Nature reserve catering for people looking for peace and quiet. The reserve has a 1000ha for hiking, camping and accommodation is available. We also have a restaurant and wedding chapel ... more   less 

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