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“Bliss”

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Karkloof Safari Spa
Certificate of Excellence
Durban, South Africa
Level Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Bliss”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 8, 2013

It's been one of the most relaxing times that we have had in a long time. It's our 3rd stay here at karkloof and every moment has been amazing. The staff are friendly the spa treatments were out of this world. The therapists really know what they are doing....Actually felt totally relaxed. Due to the good rainfall the surrounding's are green and everything lush.The food was outstanding and probably the best food I've eaten in a long time, so will definitely be back very soon.....

Room Tip: Room 10. Best views
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  • Stayed November 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
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    • Rooms
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    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Rosemary T
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, November 21, 2013
Thank you for taking the time to write a review about Karkloof. We are delighted that you have enjoyed your stay again with us.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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232 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (52)
Date | Rating
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  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Any
English first
Cape Town Central, South Africa
Level Contributor
7 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 29, 2013

Karkloof promised us a "timeless" experience. An escape from the rat race and they delivered beyond our expectations. Time simply does not exist in this Garden of Eden. Our needs were met at a whim, our preferences indulged constantly, and no request was too big for the friendly team of Karkloof. To say that Karkloof delivered on their promise is an under-statement. Before we arrived, we met with a small car accident just outside Karkloof, which could have dampened our entire weekend! Instead, the team at Karkloof ensured that the slight blight was obliterated from our minds immediately. They even got the police to come to us, indulging them too when they arrived. We sincerely wanted to stay longer. It felt like we were leaving home/paradise/heaven. We will go back again and again.

The spa treatments were custom made for us, the waterfall was breathtaking, our picnic at the waterfall was filled with goodies we requested prior to arrival, our bar-fridge and room had our favourite snacks, our bed was made up just for us, and one eve (after dinner, which we leisurely ended at midnight!) we found our room filled with candle-light, champagne on ice and the bath filled with hot water and bubbles? How did they know that that was exactly what we needed? Our time at Karkloof was filled with magical moments, to many to mention. It's seldom when one goes away that you truly feel relaxed and rejuvenated, and we did. It was sad to leave.

Room Tip: All rooms are private and discreet, little hide-aways in hills.
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  • Stayed October 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
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    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank FBux
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, November 3, 2013
Thank you for the taking the time to write a review about your experience at Karkloof. We were sorry to hear of your accident and glad that the Karkloof team were able to take your stress away and ensure that your time spent, was a memorable one. We look forward to having you here again with us.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Johannesburg, South Africa
Level Contributor
14 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 22, 2013

It was with much anticipation and a sense of excitement that my husband and I drove through the winding roads of the KwaZulu Natal Midlands to reach one of the most beautiful locations in Southern Africa, the Karkloof valley. Just a stone’s throw from the Albert Falls Dam and known to only a select few as one of the best kept secrets in the Midlands, the Karkloof Safari Spa and Lodge indeed turned out to be a valuable treasure. Situated among some 3 500 hectares of lush, game filled vegetation and forests just 30 kms from Pietermaritzburg, 16 luxurious villas and an extraordinary game lodge and spa provide comfort, pampering and nurturing to its appreciative guests which include regular visits by celebrities from around the globe whenever they are in South Africa. In fact, guests who can afford it, return time and time again to savour its beauty and many comforts. It is no wonder that the Spa and Lodge has been given seven star status as only five stars would do it a great injustice. The Lodge owner Fred Worner, is always on hand to welcome guests and told us that he has virtually travelled the world to bring a refreshing philosophy of the hospitality industry to his guests and that is “do everything at your own pace.” During our two day stay, we were impressed by the fact that staff were on duty 24/7 to ensure that our every need was met.. Not being creatures of habit, we were delighted to find there are no hard and fast rules about meal times, spa treatments or game drives. Guests dictate when they wish to eat, enjoy their treatments or view the prolific game that wanders close to the lodge. As Fred says:”over the years we have all become enslaved to time and routine and our highly trained and experienced staff all contribute to alleviate this whilst guests are in our care. If they are on detox programmes, the alcoholic drinks in the mini-bar for instance are replaced by raw juices.” After checking in over a lovely breakfast, we were escorted to Villa 6 which has lovely views of both the forest and the valley below. Spacious and comfortable, the Villas consist of a large living room cum bedroom with a sizeable covered patio, bathroom and small entrance kitchenette leading off it. The refrigerator is stocked with both alcoholic and non alcoholic beverages of your choice as well as a choice of chocolates and health bars. The contents are included in the rates. On the other hand, the main lodge boasts a tastefully decorated diningroom complete with log fires and serve the most delicious meals, prepared by a host of professional chefs, with lots of attention to a healthy approach to dining. Lunch, dinner and breakfast are served at the guests’ request and staff only retire once all the guests are tucked up in their comfortable beds. However, it is the amazing Spa with its magical Thai treatments that make Karkloof the mecca it is. The young, attractive, Thai girls are courteous and professional and have been well trained in their craft. Virtually every treatment you can think of is on offer and after two days of being scrubbed, wrapped in lotions and massaged from top to toe, you leave feeling at least 10 years younger. Inclement weather of continuous soft falling rain during our all too brief stay prevented us from going on a game drive in one of the Lodge’s landys, as well as a trip to the nearby Karkloof Waterfall, the second highest in KwaZulu Natal, but pictures adorning the walls of the venue show both trips to be worthwhile experiences. Our departure from the lodge was a ceremonial affair with ten smiling happy faces wishing us a safe journey and a speedy return. This retreat is comparable to among the best spas and retreats in Europe and Thailand and is a must for everyone’s bucket list.

Room Tip: Villa 6 has excellent views of the forest and the valley. Villa 4 is very spacious
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  • Stayed October 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Grabev
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, November 4, 2013
Thank you for taking the time to write about your wonderful experience at Karkloof. We enjoyed reading all about it. We hope to see you here again so that you may enjoy the beautiful safari and game drive experience. The team at Karkloof are very passionate about hospitality and always do their very best to ensure that Guests feel the warmth of their appreciation. We look so forward to having you stay here with us again. I will most definitely pass on your compliments to Fred and the team.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Johannesburg, South Africa
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 8, 2013

Spoiled rotten all weekend long, the place is just simply amazing. So relaxed and the environment is just peaceful, and all the staff was amazing, treated us like royalty. From arrival to departure we felt like we were floating, I'm still feeling like I'm floating. The spa treatments were out of this world, the food was amazing, thank you to the Chef for always preparing our meals exactly the way we wanted. It really did feel like Heaven on Earth, we had such a lovely time. Thank you to Fred and the staff for taking such good care of us.

  • Stayed October 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Thandi T
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 22, 2013
Thank you for your great review on Karkloof Safari Spa. We are so delighted that you enjoyed your stay with us. I will pass on your compliments to Fred, The Chef and The Team. We look forward to having you here again for more pampering and delicious cuisine.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Johannesburg, South Africa
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles 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
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
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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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Durban, South Africa
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles 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
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
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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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
South Africa
Level Contributor
39 reviews
25 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles 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
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
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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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 26 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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