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“This is heaven!!!”

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Karkloof Safari Spa
Certificate of Excellence
Johannesburg, South Africa
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“This is heaven!!!”
Reviewed August 27, 2013

At Karkloof Safari Spa, their only concern seems to be the comfort and relaxation of their guests, and to exceed every single thought of a need or a want you might have. Every single staff member is professional and friendly and makes you feel as if you are royalty and the most important guest that they have ever had.
The facilities are immaculate and enfolds you in utmost luxury and pamper. Birds everywhere and wildlife wherever you look. Although tempted to just stay in the beautiful villas, there is so much to see and to do. We found a long weekend far too short!
The food was a culinary safari by itself, with the most wonderful flavours mixed together and served beautifully and plentifully all day long.
But the spa...oh my goodness, the spa... There is nothing like it. When you enter into the building, all stress and strains drop from you like an old bathrobe and you are immediately filled with tranquility and peace. The therapists are excellent and highly professional and spa-fairies from who-knows-where are just everywhere to keep everything perfect and ready for your enjoyment. The treatments are fantastic and everything happens in a timeless sphere - nothing is hurried and you never feel the need to think about time. Even changing your mind about treatments or requesting additional treatments are dealt as if it is the most natural thing that happens - nothing is ever a problem or impossible.
Thank you to ALL the staff and to Fred - I am still floating on the clouds.
For the readers: if you have the opportunity to go, you'll be mad to miss it!!

Room Tip: Cannot rate fitness centre, as I did not do any exercise other thank hiking. However, the spa offer...
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  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
2 Thank riandak
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Karkloof1, Public Relations Manager at Karkloof Safari Spa, responded to this review, September 8, 2013
Thank you for taking the time to write such a fantastic review on Karkloof Safari Spa. It always warms our hearts to hear about our Guest experiences. It was such a pleasure having you here with us to share this very special place with you. We look forward to seeing you again... pampering awaits.
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Rating summary
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English first
Durban, South Africa
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed August 25, 2013

If you want to be spoilt rotten, find a different world that is only 75 minutes outside Durban and have an unbelievable experience, then you have to spend one night at the Karkloof Safari and Spa Hotel.
From me first email, the service was awesome. The response was immediate, the booking confirmed with easy. We then were asked our preference in food, drinks, duvets and pillows - awesome.
The cherry on the top was that we arrived at 8am. We were welcomed like old friends with no hassle. Breakfast was a treat. We were shown around the hotel and our villa. Underfloor heating throughout made a trip in winter a pleasure. A fully stocked mini-bar, 24 hour room service and incredible views made the villa outstanding.
Off to the spa by golf cart. This is a serene place. The spa was incredible. Our treatments were booked and the day planned. The therapist were fantastic. Lunch was a four course gourmet affair. Nothing was too much. The afternoon was spent relaxing at the pool interspaced with treatments. Then off to our villa to relax and freshen up. We had per-dinner drinks at the bar before partaking in delightful cuisine. This was accompanied by a delightful bottle of wine we chose from the walk in wine fridge off the library. A nightcap in front of the fireplace ended the evening.
The next day after breakfast, more treatments then lunch. We spent the afternoon on a game drive which was incredible and informative. We stopped for tea and snacks in the bush. Early evening was spent at the bar and library where we met Fred who owns the Hotel. He shared his passion for creating a unforgettable experience for his guests. Supper was outstanding.
We eventually checked out at 10.30pm having had an unforgettable experience. We realized that we had got exceptional value for our money in that we had spent two days at the hotel with complimentary drinks and meals.
Awesome, awesome trip.

Room Tip: All the villas are fantastic.
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  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with family
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Helpful?
Thank Gitesh R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Karkloof1, Public Relations Manager at Karkloof Safari Spa, responded to this review, September 8, 2013
Thank you for your fantastic review on Karkloof Safari Spa. We are so delighted that you enjoyed this very special experience. You have captured the true essence of what Karkloof is all about. We look so forward to having you here again with us.
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South Africa
Level 4 Contributor
38 reviews
24 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
Reviewed August 19, 2013

My husband and I visited Karkloof Safari Spa for our wedding anniversary in August. It was just an overnight stay but it was the best stay that we have had in a long time. The concept of this property is unique in South Africa - pay an all inclusive price upfront (and it really is all inclusive - there are no extra charges except for french champagne) and enjoy the opportunity to experience life at your leisure. Here, time is your friend, to do with as you wish. Eat breakfast in the afternoon? So be it. Have spa treatments well past the normal close time (which is around 8 to 8:30pm normally)? No problem at all for hotel guests. Its an eye-opener as to how routinised we have become, where one could feel a little lost not having an itinerary planned for them.
Yet it is equally empowering, knowing that whatever you want to do, at any time of the day, the lodge is willing to provide.
The quiet efficiency of Cheukai, the assitant reservations manager, from the time of booking until the time of departure, is admirable. The friendliness and attention to details of each staff member, from the game rangers to the cleaning staff and spa therapists, is recognition-worthy. Extremely private and spacious Villas with jaw-dropping views over different parts of the nature reserve forces one to sit back and take stock. A warm, inviting main lodge area caters to everything from coffee or wine and snacks to curling up with a good book from an extensive library...and with much more. The spa is the epicentre of relaxation...is it possible to become spa-ed out? Not likely. Once can spend entire days at the spa and feel luxuriously pampered by the skillful therapists or one can enjoy many other hydro and relaxation activities on offer.
The food was exquisitely prepared, with fresh ingredients and every morsel was a delight. the safari experience is on ones doorstep, with animals (nyala buck, warthogs) roaming freely around the main lodge area. A short ride away with one of the highly knowledgeable game rangers, one can view giraffe, hippo, rhino, buffalo, jackals, different buck and birds, among other animals.
Meeting and chatting to owner Fred, one can see how passionate he is about this concept that he has pioneered in unassuming Pietermaritzburg. To be able to spend up to 36 hours on a single night stay is unheard of in SA and perhaps in most other countries also. We are certainly glad Karkloof provides this, along with a unique spa safari experience (note that there are no major predators on the reserve, but there is an abundance of other wildlife and birdlife on offer). Not to miss is a drive and hike up to Karkloof falls - a wonderful experience.
Our sincere thanks to the Fred and his staff (Cheukai, Augustine, Esther, Sipho, Sylivester, Susan, Tsangui, Kenny, Nkululeko, Wayne...just to name a few) for the extraordinary levels of service and comfort provided. We will certainly return to Karkloof the not too distant future...and many more times thereafter.

Room Tip: We stayed at Villa 3 (Birds of Prey) which has excellent unobstructed views over the reserve and a w...
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  • Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank Burgeoning_traveller
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Karkloof1, Public Relations Manager at Karkloof Safari Spa, responded to this review, October 7, 2013
Thank you for such a fantastic review on Karkloof Safari Spa. Congratulations on your very special wedding Anniversary. We are so glad to hear that you enjoyed your time with us and what a perfect way to celebrate! I will pass on your lovely compliments to Fred and the team. We look so forward to having you here again.
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Johannesburg
Level 3 Contributor
16 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed August 12, 2013

This is my second visit to Karkloof Safari Spa this year and my third visit in total. This time I went with my daughter who is six months pregnant. All I can say, again, is that Karkloof is a special haven and the lodge staff and the spa therapists are world class. Fred can be truly proud of their commitment to their service. The reservations staff, Lawrence and Cheukai go the extra mile in ensuring that your reservation and flights etc are perfectly organised and booked. Kae, the spa manager, worked out a special programme for my daughter and we both luxuriated in the treatments and the attention given by Noo and Nam. Our short game drive and decadent picnic at the Hippo Pools was a delight and Freedom a wonderful, knowledgeable and caring game ranger. I can honestly say that once you have stayed at Karkloof you are spoilt, and would find other hotels and spas wanting.
Thank you to Carmen and Fred for a wonderful 3 days. I look forward to returning again soon.

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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Helpful?
Thank barenb
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Karkloof1, Public Relations Manager at Karkloof Safari Spa, responded to this review, August 19, 2013
Thank you for your wonderful review of Karkloof. What a very special way to spend quality Mom and Daughter time. Congratulations to you and your Family. It was an absolute pleasure having you with us and we look forward to having you here again. I will most definitely pass on your compliments to Fred and the Team.
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Cape Town Central, South Africa
Level 4 Contributor
28 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed July 29, 2013

One and a half hours from Durban is this wonderful property where you can just be treated non-stop(for 24 hours if you like !)
We had excellent weather -after flying in from cold wet Cape Town. Why go to Europe at such a high exchange rate if you can have a local holiday in Natal in SA
The spa made me feel like we were in Thailand with the best massages/treatments done by highly professional ladies from Thailand-you can even do yoga and kick-boxing with a Thai master ! We did everything from jacuzzi/steambath/sauna-you name it-they have it ! Try the destress massage ! WOW
It was truly amazing.
Loved our room-had a long visit from curious monkeys !
We must compliment their friendly and very efficient staff-thanks to them all for making our trip so memorable
Had fabulous game drive-plenty of game-just didn't have enough time to do all that they offered !
I think next time we should stay for week-so we can do all bush walks/cycling etc !

Room Tip: Ask for room in front with view
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  • Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank isavW
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Karkloof1, Public Relations Manager at Karkloof Safari Spa, responded to this review, August 8, 2013
Thank you for your lovely review of Karkloof Safari Spa. We look forward to having you again and we are sure you will enjoy the bush walks and cycling in the open reserve next time!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London
Level 4 Contributor
11 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed May 30, 2013

I came to Karkloof for one night during a business trip to South Africa. I didn't think one night would be worth it but within a few hours a very skilled masseuse had massaged away all my stresses and tension, and a glass of exceptionally good pinot noir and delicious duck breasts dinner later I was so relaxed and content I felt like I had been on holiday for weeks. Karkloof Safari Spa almost insists on maximum indulgence and relaxation and, from the moment you arrive, you are encouraged to take advantage of everything it has to offer. I have never known such attentive but friendly staff in any lodge in Africa, and I was amazed that the spa therapists work on shifts round the clock so I wasn't to feel guilty about getting a massage at 10 o'clock at night. The following morning I was encouraged to extend my check-out ( at no extra cost! ) and go on a drive to see the reserve and waterfall. Thank goodness I did, because the scenery and the wildlife was spectacular. In only an hour or so, we encountered herds of buffalo, a hippo family catching the morning sun on an island in the lake, zebra splashing through the river in the valley that runs through their evergreen forest, and numerous buck such as the gorgeous Nyala. And that's all before the waterfall!
I will 100% be returning to Karkloof and this time I will ensure I have a few days spare. A completely magical place, couldn't recommend it more.

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Kate C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Karkloof1, Public Relations Manager at Karkloof Safari Spa, responded to this review, October 7, 2013
I really enjoyed reading your review. Thank you for taking the time to write about Karkloof. I am now in the mood for some delicious duck! We are always so thrilled to hear back from our Guests and we look forward to having you here again soon.
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Warwick, United Kingdom
Level 2 Contributor
7 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed May 25, 2013 via mobile

Having spent 2 nights at Karkloof Safari Spa I can recommend it to anyone who enjoys complete relaxation, good food, fine wine, spa treatments and wonderful scenery. The Safari experience is wonderful as there are no predators at Karkloof, therefore the animals are relaxed and somehow it has the feeling go Eden. I would highly recommend a stay at this spa at the end of a busy South African holiday schedule.

Stayed April 2013
Helpful?
Thank southafricansecrets
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Karkloof1, Public Relations Manager at Karkloof Safari Spa, responded to this review, August 8, 2013
Thank you for taking the time to write a review about Karkloof Safari Spa. We are so glad to hear you had a relaxing time and enjoyed your stay. We look forward to having you again.
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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 Karkloof Safari Spa

Property: Karkloof Safari Spa
Address: Otto's Bluff Road, Pietermaritzburg 3231, South Africa
Location: South Africa > KwaZulu-Natal > Pietermaritzburg
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 29 Specialty Lodging in Pietermaritzbu...
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Number of rooms: 16
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Surrounded by the cinematic splendor of the Karkloof Valley, this modern and contemporary wellness and wildlife retreat is enhanced with the big heart of African sensibility. Karkloof Safari Spa offers a selection of supreme secluded lodges complimented by the finest cuisine and impeccable international standards. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Karkloof Hotel Pietermaritzburg

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