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“Sweet Lodge”
Review of Airport Game Lodge

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Airport Game Lodge
Reviewed July 14, 2014

We stayed here before and after our G-adventures trek and despite the bad reviews we found it a sweet quaint place. The animals are sweet, the crazy sheepdog is funny and the facilities are really good and the staff nice. There are a few downsides but if you follow the tips given by reviewers you'll avoid disappointment. Showers... take a shower at a time when you know others probably won't, such as very very early morning, afternoon, or evening. Just before breakfast everyone takes a shower and the water pressure and hot water isn't enough to accommodate every room. A bit annoying but if you take my tips into consideration you won't be disappointed or you'll be the lucky one at breakfast who had a great shower! Second tip is ordering food. The lodge doesn't have a restaurant, and only dinner options is taxi to a restaurant, the lodge's vending machine full of crisps chocolate and beer, or takeaways. So the tip is decide what you want for dinner at lunchtime and order it in the afternoon at least 2/3hrs before you want it because we waited a shocking 3 hours after ordering pizza at 5pm. We had read reviewers to order early as the wait was at least an hour so we thought 4.45-5pm was early, but a 3hour wait! We were starving! We also ordered two nights worth of pizza and the next night used the lodges common room microwave to heat it up. Thankfully we thought ahead and didn't go hungry our second night. Lodge was nice and we also booked a tour through the lodge of j-berg city and apartheid museum and enjoyed it very much.

  • Stayed: June 2014, traveled as a couple
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Thank Claire G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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148 - 154 of 330 reviews

Reviewed July 13, 2014

There are only a few thing to say that stood out.
1. Thomas, the gentleman who picked us up from the airport, checked us in and showed us to our room. He was outstanding, helpful and pleasant.
2. What's Up. The dog that roams the property is all wags when she lays eyes on you.
3. The animals on the property were always excited to see someone walk out, even fed some ostriches out of my hand.
4. Young lady at the front desk was pleasant.

Now the things that stood out for a negative reason.
1. Showers were VERY slow draining.
2. Showers were free standing in the room. Not good for staying with anyone other than your significant other.
3. Breakfast was not one for the books. Actually the 2nd night we didn't pay for breakfast because it wasn't worth it.
4. The rooms weren't anything to brag about either. In fact we wouldn't stay there again.

  • Stayed: April 2014, traveled with friends
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Thank pyrobugg
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 12, 2014

Great place to relax after being in hospital for 10 days. ...and heading back to United states. They even drove us to a great place. .Amara Day Spa to get a massage before our long. flights back to America!

  • Stayed: July 2014
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1  Thank Elizabeth J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 7, 2014

We stayed here on our last night in SA. What a disappointment. Luckily we had such a fantastic time elsewhere it didn't colour our holiday however if this was our first night, it would have been a terrible start to our holiday.

The Airport Game Lodge is nothing like the website declares. The one very good thing was the lady who makes breakfast. She was friendly and charming and the breakfast was very good. Other staff, and the Owners, could take a leaf from her book.

On arrival there was nobody around to check us in. We located the office ourselves and waited in the empty reception area. We were finally greeted unenthusiastically by the receptionist who checked us in and showed us to our room. We had booked a 'Superior' room as a last treat at the end of our holiday. It was FAR from Superior. The sliding door was almost impossible to open, the room was generally grubby. Faux suede headboards on the beds were greasy! Euuw! Everything dusty, shampoo bottles and a razor left from other guests in the shower area (I wouldn't call it a bathroom). Dirty toilet. Hair in shower and basin. 2 towels for 3 people. No hand towel. Bathroom window - with no guard - that would not close. TV turned on but was a very strange pink colour and remote did not work and neither did the phone so to speak to reception you had to physically go to the office - which was mostly unmanned.

Unhappy, we returned to reception, as we couldn't call them, to ask if we could either have issues rectified or a different cleaner room. En-route to reception we were joined by a Collie puppy. We are animal people who have large dogs of our own but the puppy was badly trained and constantly tried to nip, jump up at and herd our 4yo son so we had to pick him up and carry him. Owner (?) was unsympathetic about this and didn't really try to resolve it!

Staff (and Owner!) were not that interested about our complaints but did move us to another 'Deluxe' room. This was cleaner and had a working tv etc but still had issues such as a grubby loo, not enough towels and plenty of dust. Less money spent on taps that light up in the bathroom and more money spent on staff/cleaning products might be an idea.

Dinner was the 2nd fiasco. We chose to order from Mr Delivery. A service we have used several times in SA as the staff, when we managed to track someone down, couldn't actually recommend somewhere for guests to eat in the evenings. Not ideal if you have out of town guests and don't have a restaurant!

As per the Airport Game Lodge's instructions we relayed their order to them and they then order from Mr Delivery. We have had excellent experiences with Mr Delivery prior to this. It was nearly 2hrs before our food arrived and when it did the hot food was cold and the salad warm. The hotel blamed Mr Delivery but Mr Delivery staff said the hotel had ordered our food, then food for another room, added the same order but not at the same time, causing all the food to be delayed. I am inclined to believe the Delivery guy going on the general air of carelessness of the staff in this hotel. However, the hotel staff were totally uninterested in our plight. I think we were just an annoyance to them.

Generally facilities are bad. The car park was muddy and unkempt. The rooms very disappointing. The staff uncaring and disinterested. This includes the Owners, bar one younger gentleman. When the Owners/Management/Whoever lives in the adjacent house to reception were approached (politely!) about issues they were verging on rude. Like the staff.

As for the 'Game'. Some dejected looking buck is all we saw. We were not offered any interaction with the animals (as per the website) and we would have paid for the (overpriced) bags of feed if they were offered as our small son would have been keen to do that activity. They do not live up to their advertised claims at all. It's also one of the more expensive places we stayed in during our trip and it didn't come close to the other fantastic hotels and lodges we visited. All of which I would absolutely recommend.

It's a very sad establishment in a rundown area, for tourists driving themselves getting there can be a little intimidating. It is very close to OR Tambo Airport but there are other, much nicer and much better places to stay I am sure.

This is all a shame as it has fabulous potential. Once you are through the gates there is a lovely sense of space and beautifully tended gardens including a swimming pool that looked clean and pleasant - we didn't use it as it was rainy weather. That's not enough to entice me to go back or recommend it to anyone though not to mention I am still waiting for the promised email of apology.... from March.

Room Tip: If you must stay here, the 'Deluxe' room was much better than the 'Superior' room. A...
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  • Stayed: March 2014, traveled with family
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Thank Judi G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Airport_Game_Lodge, General Manager at Airport Game Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded July 27, 2014

Dear Judi G,
Thank you for your detailed observations. We highly regard these kind of observations as they can help us to improve our service.
Please do accept our apologies for this bad experience, which we will try to make sure it does not happen to any of our future guests.
It is our policy that all rooms be inspected after they have been cleaned and we do accept that it is totally unacceptable that you found the room in that condition.
Can you please advise the dates that you stayed with us to enable us to investigate what actually happened. We have tried to check the dates using the name on trip advisor and the indication is that you were probably booked under a different name.
The television has been changed after we got the feed back from you.
We are making every effort to make sure that food is delivered on time as agreed at the time we make the order, unfortunately this was one of the few delayed orders which we are trying to avoid at every cost. The reception is manned 18 hours but we do have occasions when the staff are busy with other guests outside reception.
Our lovely Border Collie dog( her name is whatsapp) is now not a puppy anymore and has settled down and gotten used to the hectic lodge life.
Thanks again for your comments and happy traveling.
Regards,
Management

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 21, 2014 via mobile

Airport Game Lodge is located close to the airport as promised- it is not close to anything else. The shuttle service was on time, however the shuttle driver was not very polite, didn't offer to assist with bags and seemed lukewarm at best. This level of service continued as we arrived- we had reserved a room with a fireplace but were escorted to one without one. They did quickly correct the error. The shower was dirty but the room was clean overall. The biggest issue probably was the heat. We were there on a cold June night and they provide a space heater however, even with two space heaters and a fire the room was still quite cold there was no water bottle or heat pad to warm the bed and the space heaters gave off so much light it was like sleeping with the lights on. Given the price of around $95 usd we didn't expect to spend a night freezing. Breakfast is provided, but even though we came exactly at the time we stated at check in there was very little food left. We had also reserved a shuttle to return to the airport and when we came to get it (again at exact time- a few minutes early even) there was no driver and we waited 20 minutes. Luckily we always allow extra time in these things but had we been on a tight schedule this lack of service could have made us late. All in all we wouldn't reccomend.

  • Stayed: June 2014
    • Value
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1  Thank Khethiwe C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 28, 2014

The Airport Game Lodge is an ideal place to stay for people begining or ending there holidays in South Africa or for businessmen wanting to be central to Mid Rand, Sandton and down Town Johanesburg.
The rooms are clean and tidy with most of the facilities you would require, including good internet access.
Breakfast was fine and a good selection well presented.
Despite comments in previous reviews I personaly found it very quiet and the bird life around the lodge was very good!
All in all very good value for money.
Chris Holroyd

Room Tip: The Best rooms are worth the small amount extra that you pay.
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  • Stayed: May 2014, traveled on business
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Thank Christopher H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 10, 2014

Wee stayed at this place twice during March/April 2014. So in some ways, staying again gives it a thumbs up. But you need to be aware of a few things before doing likewise.

On the first stay there was substantial noise all night from some kind of an all night rave coming from across the fields. The reception staff didn't seem bothered but it made sleep hard. This was on a Friday night and it may have been a one-off.

On both stays we noted;
(a) things often ran on Africa time, expect to wait around for things and be pleasantly surprised if you don't rather than annoyed when you do

(b) There's nothing nearby, and it's a good 20+ mins from the airport (+ waiting time), and getting anywhere else is fairly expense (e.g. ~20 USD return to the near-ish train station). So unless your plan is to stay in the hotel the entire stay you should either stay elsewhere or hire a car. Airport transfer on arrival and leaving is free : it runs on the hour for the return.

(c) There's no meaningful onsite lunch/dinner options. You'll want to order online for delivery which is OK, but factor in at least an hour from ordering to delivery.

(d) it was a bit chilly at night - not terrible but far from ideal. We didn't raise this with staff as it wasn't too bad so ask them if it matters a lot to you. I suspect there's heating to kick in during the colder months and we were just in the transition period.

On the plus side: it's clean, green and very cheap. We got the room upgrade which was only slightly extra so I don't know what the other rooms are like. Oh, and there's free wifi though it didn't reach to the further top end rooms (room 20+) and wasn't especially fast -- good enough for email/browsing.

  • Stayed: April 2014, traveled solo
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Thank Manar H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Airport_Game_Lodge, General Manager at Airport Game Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded April 15, 2014

Dear Manar H from London,
Thank you very much for your review!
Even though it hurts we accept it verbatim and where we can we will improve. However please afford us the opportunity to explain & respond to your points...
1. The weekend rave from across the fields: That is another hotel over which we unfortunately have no control. On Friday and Saturday nights any complaints to the authorities will get us nowhere. However it does go against our choice of venue "African solitude". We are used to it probably because it is "african music" but to outsiders it is probably irritating, so I hope that future guests do read your comment. On the upside we can report that that hotel is converting into an old age home. Need we say more?
2. Africa Time: Unfortunately you don't specify. If it is not too much trouble could you please let us know so that we can address these specific point(s); please. We have recently had a team building workshop. The theme was TIME. So you can see that we would welcome comments on this. By the way have you noticed the South African cultural aspect of "you can tell me what to do, but I decide when to do it". When you hear the answer "now-now": Be warned ;-)) This can be verified by googling Hofstede which is a very interesting study and comparison of the different cultures worldwide.
3. The "20 min from the airport + waiting time" is totally unacceptable. Our policy is 15 min from the airport to your room. In your Reservation Confirmation we ask for your cellphone smartphone number, so that we can establish early DIRECT CONTACT with you and provide you with Superior service. And we state in there that you are entitled to a cup of Ily Coffee, should you have to wait, (it will get refunded off your bill).
4. On site restaurant: We are a B&B. But as you point out there are a wide choice of good restaurants who deliver "room service". Your point of 1 hr advance is very valid and is normally briefed to our guests when they arrive. We will pay attention that this gets emphasised better - THANK YOU.
5. "Chilly at night": A very valid comment! We have noticed that many guests arrive expecting hot temperatures and thus have only light clothing. On our website we have published a climate table showing not only day and night temperatures but also factors such as rainy days and sunshine periods. It is a very good "what to wear/pack" informational source. In order to assist those guests that do arrive with no warm clothing we have some sweaters for sale at reception. In the rooms we have heaters and hot water bottles. In summer we remove them but thanks for your comments; we will raise our awareness!
6. FREE WLAN: Thanks for the comments about not reaching room 20. We will have our IT specialists look into that. In the De Lux rooms (which you had upgraded into for only a slight extra (space available of course) we also have LAN which is of course significantly faster. In fact we did have an IT company on a long term stay in rooms 20-23 until they got their offices.
Dear Manar, thanks again for the trouble and time that you have taken to help us get better! You have stayed twice and we certainly hope that you will have the priviledge to welcome you again sometime in the future. Don't forget to claim your frequent guest rebate when you come again.
We wish you many safe and pleasant travels.
Airport Game Lodge staff

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Airport Game Lodge

Address: 21 Fourth Road, Kempton Park 1619, South Africa
Location: South Africa > Gauteng > Greater Johannesburg > Kempton Park
Amenities:
Business Center with Internet Access Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 29 Specialty Lodging in Kempton Park
Price Range: $42 - $91 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Airport Game Lodge 3*
Number of rooms: 27
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The lodge is ideally located for business and leisure travellers passing through Johannesburg and the OR Tambo airport. Situated a mere 10 km from the international airport. The secluded Airport Game Lodge combines the solitude of the African Bush with the luxury and convenience of modern-day living. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Airport Game Hotel Kempton Park

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