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“A high-end resort but with a few issues”
Review of Ghost Mountain Inn

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Ghost Mountain Inn
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Mkuze
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed October 15, 2012

We spent two nights here as a convenient stop-over and a chance to spend a day in Mkhuze nature reserve.

On arrival we were referred to Jean, the Safari manager. Jean was very helpful in providing us with information about the reserve and the hotel, as well as moving our luggage to our room. There are two other safari staff, so there is plenty of support available.

The room was quite nice but had some maintenance problems. The shower cubicle screen leaked at a couple of points, leaving the bathroom floor flooded. I reported this after the first shower I took and the floor was duly mopped, but of course that didn’t help for every other shower. We had to sacrifice some of our towels to keep the floor reasonably dry and safe.

The restaurant was something of an enigma. The evening meal food looked very nice, but much of it actually tasted of very little, or was not ‘right’ .It was also the only place in South Africa that we found had run out of Castle beer! (Alternatives were available). The restaurant was absolutely steaming on our first night. The aircon was then put on at our request and had a limited effect as the walls were open to the outside.

Breakfasts were very good although I was told that decaffeinated coffee was not available (and there was none in the room). However, on our last day, a manager overheard me ask for decaff and personally went and provided a cup of instant.

We ordered a packed breakfast and lunch for our day in the reserve and I must say they were excellent. Far more than we could eat, the left overs provided a light supper on a subsequent day.

There are several trees outside the main entrance with literally hundreds of weaver nests. However, the hotel is chopping one of these down each season after nesting, as they are too close to the building. A number of interesting birds visit the gardens, and you can walk through quite extensive reed-beds to a platform on the lake from which crocodiles may sometimes be seen. The reed-beds hosted many small warbler-type birds.

Mkhuze reserve takes a whole day and could be visited twice to get the most out of it. We saw many white rhino here, including a close-up group of 5. There are supposedly black (hook-lipped) rhino as well, but we didn’t see them. There are also giraffe, elephants, zebra, warthog and a few of the antelopes.

  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank selimap
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed September 27, 2012

We spent two nights at Ghost Mountain Inn and the real positive about the hotel was the activity staff, in particular Bheki, Adam and Jean, who were all excellent and really went the extra mile to ensure we had enjoyable experiences. The first afternoon we arrived we did a tour to a Zulu village with Bheki and Adam and it was really great. We learnt heaps about Zulu culture and it was a real bonus with Bheki giving us first-hand information. The tour was both enjoyable and extremely informative.

The following day we went on a cruise on Lake Jozini with Jean and Adam. This was a very relaxing way to spend a morning. We saw lots of hippos and a few other animals although the elephants were hiding for the morning. Jean and Adam's knowledge of the animals was great and we really enjoyed the morning.

In the afternoon we did a self-drive in Hluhluwe Game Reserve. Whilst we would not do a self-drive again we really appreciated Jean lending us her map of the park.

The hotel itself was set in very nice grounds and the rooms were a reasonable size and tastefully deorated with Zulu prints. However, our room was certainly overdue for some maintenance - the room was in need of re-painting, the shower head did not work properly, the flushing mechanism on the toilet would not turn off and the remote for the TV was not working.

The service (with the exception of the activity staff as discussed above) was rather poor. On checking-in we were told we would be given a tour of the hotel on our return from the Zulu tour - this never happened. There was no shampoo or soap in our room. We contacted reception and they said they would send some. However, when housekeeping came they told us they had no soap - we found this quite unacceptable for a 4 star hotel.

The restaurant service was also poor. It was almost impossible to find out what beers were available and getting hot tea in the morning proved a real challenge - they didn't seem to understand that hot meant hot not tepid!

The restaurant itself was disappointing. Whilst the buffet had a reasonable amount of choice the quality of the food was very average and quite expensive for what was on offer. The tablecloth also had some dirty marks and needed changing.

On our second night we did not want to eat the buffet and asked if we could just have a hamburger and were told no - it was the buffet or nothing.As we certainly weren't going to have another disappointing buffet we drove into the town and had a very disappointing hamburger. On returning to the hotel we noticed a bar and decided to go there for a drink. We were surprised to find that they had a bar and amazed to find that they sold snacks (including hamburgers). We cannot understand why the restaurant staff did not tell us about this. Maybe if we had been given the tour (as promised) on our first night we would have been told about the bar.

Stayed: June 2012, traveled as a couple
1  Thank MarggyCanberra
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bhubez, Owner at Ghost Mountain Inn, responded to this reviewResponded September 29, 2012

Dear Marggy

Thank you for staying with us in June and for bringing these shortcoming’s to our attention, I am terribly sorry for our unprofessional service and the manner with which you were treated. It is upsetting to see that we failed you in every way during your stay, with the exception of our safari staff.

I am particularly distressed to hear of the service levels that did not meet your expectations. Our staff continue to be our most valuable asset and we are grateful to them for always pleasing our guests, unfortunately “slip ups” do happen. I am embarrassed by the fact that your room was not properly checked prior to your arrival where the maintenance issues could have been rectified.

As we endeavour to be Zululands Finest Country Inn, we are addressing each of these shortfalls with our staff immediately. We have called all the staff together this morning to highlight your feedback, what impact such disappointing service has had and to take corrective action so that such errors are not repeated.

Since your visit have completed an upgrade of 22 guest-rooms as well as our gardens, in ongoing efforts to maintain and improve our facilities.

We apologise that your experience fell short of expectation and hope that we will be able host you again on a future trip to South Africa.

General Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 27, 2012

Very nice place to find ourselves unexpectedly. Staff were very friendly and couldn't have been more helpful. The buffet meals were really good with plenty on offer for everyone. Lovely gardens and even some bird watching on the lakeside.

  • Stayed: July 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank Nalini A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 20, 2012

We stayed for two nights and quite frankly two weeks would not have been long enough. The hotel staff were very friendly and helpful. The room had beautiful views over the gardens. The lunch was delicous and so was the buffet. The hotel organsied an early mornign safari to a water hole and the wild life was awesome. Jean made the trip so much more interesting with her knowledge. Would def love to go back for longer.

Stayed: July 2012, traveled as a couple
1  Thank samanthak27
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 16, 2012

We stayed at this family run Inn for 4 nights ,from the 2nd to 6 July.
After 1 night in a Garden Suite ,we upgraded to the Luxury Suite. The Garden Suite was great ,but Luxury Suite was exactely what the Word indicates!
We were on the winter special which includes 1) a cruise on lake Jozini.2)game drive.3)accomadation 4)breakfast and dinner.5)neck ,shoulder and back 30 minute treatment for 2
Jean was great during the Jozini cruise, very knowgeable!.unfortunately could not take us on game drive due to other commitments.
We had additional treatments at Spa, Lexi definetely knows her Art extremely well, will recommend her any day!
We met Susan owners wife was pleasent and a delight to speak to.
Food quality was very good but a bit expensive if you are not on inclusive rate.
Unfortunately heavy trucks disturb your sleep some what as they drive by.
Furthermore the maid did not put out enough toileteries daily unless one asked.
My 12 year old son found it a bit boring on the 4 day as there is very little for youngsters to do.
Ants are also problem and suggested they spray after our departure.

A special mention must also go to Bea whom handled our booking, Sebiso our waiter,the staff who sang lovely songs at dinner time and Christine G M whom was always available!

Apart for the minor issues mentioned ,i would recommend The Ghost Mountain Inn to all!

  • Stayed: July 2012, traveled with family
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1  Thank giovanni s
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 22, 2012

Very friendly and helpful staff. Excellent room and comfortable bed. Buffet average and expensive. Spa on the premises which we did not make use of. Beautiful gardens.It was only a stop over on our way to Mozambique via Kosi bay.

  • Stayed: June 2012, traveled with family
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Thank Hanici M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 15, 2012

I had a 'superior' room, at a slightly higher rate. Considering that Mkuze is quite a remote area, I was pleasantly surprised all round. The room was tastefully furnished and the only item that was not up to standard was the old style TV. Given that most guests will seldom sit down and watch TV, this is understandable, but with the imminent advent of DTT in SA, many hotels have upgraded to 32" flatscreens. The bathroom had a walk-in shower as well as a bath. There was a modern hairdryer unit with shaver sockets. Ceiling fan, air conditioning and a private patio were included, as was a digital safe which was large enough for my laptop. Meals varied from average to better than average. This is an exceptionally quiet location, but from time to time an occasional freight train can be heard a couple of miles away. Apart from the outdoor pool area, there is also access from the hotel gardens to a lake which is adjacent to the hotel. There was free wi-fi (only in the lobby area), but it became extremely slow when the lobby filled up with guests logging in.

  • Stayed: June 2012, traveled on business
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1  Thank John R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Ghost Mountain Inn

Address: Fish Eagle Road, Mkuze 3965, South Africa
Location: South Africa > KwaZulu-Natal > Mkuze
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Mkuze
Price Range: $113 - $185 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Ghost Mountain Inn 4*
Number of rooms: 45
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
At the foot of the legendary Ghost Mountain lies the privately owned 4 Star Ghost Mountain Inn, a perfect setting for taking time out to relax and experience the charms of Africa in comfort and style. This intimate and beautiful hotel is in the heart of South Africa's Zulu Kingdom and is the ideal location from which to explore the array of wildlife and coastal reserves in northern KwaZulu Natal. Relax in one of tastefully appointed, en suite bedrooms or take in the golden African sunset from your very own garden patio. The Inn provides good food and friendly service either in the air conditioned restaurant or on the terrace overlooking the expansive grounds and indigenous gardens. Nature enthusiasts will appreciate the abundance of wildlife and the scenic splendours of this rich and diverse region, either as a self-drive or In the company of Ghost Mountain Safaris' knowledgeable rangers. Safari offerings include game drives and hikes in Mkhuze and Hluhluwe game reserves to see the big five, boat cruises and tiger fishing on Lake Jozini, Zulu cultural excursions and acclaimed birding in one of Southern Africa's top birding destinations with over 450 species. Escape and be pampered at the Ghost Mountain Spa. Offering a range of treatments utilising organic eco certified African skincare products, a steamroom, relaxation area with private plung pool, healthy lunches and an exercise facility for the more actively-inclined. For those travelling to southern Mozambique, or between Kruger Park, Swaziland and Durban, Ghost Mountain Inn makes an excellent stopover or memorable getaway. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Ghost Mountain Hotel Mkuze

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