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“Absolutely fabulous - can't wait to return!”

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Karkloof Safari Spa
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed April 26, 2010

A little piece of heaven. Amazing spa treatments, staff who can't do enough for you, awesome food and a timeless experience - thank you!

  • Stayed: March 2010, traveled as a couple
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Thank SJDLM
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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228 - 234 of 254 reviews

Reviewed April 18, 2010

I was fortunate to be a guest at the Karkloof Spa this week. Being in the hospitality and spa industry- and am happy to share with you the sanctuary that Fred Worner and his team have created for the guests. (which is often hard to find and difficult to create- but it is has happened!) The vision is truly for the guest to find peace and tranquility in the middle of a stunning game reserve, Thai spa, lodge and villa/cottages. Basically, you can do what ever want to do, when ever you want to do it... be it eat, drink, game drive, bike, walk to the falls or spend the day at the spa. There is no pressure to be somewhere at a certain prescribed time- the guest creates their own timing- and that is such an important part of the "sancuary" feel. You are never rushed from one program or experience to the next.
The guest journey starts the moment you drive over the first creek/waterfall at the reception area. The sound of nature and water sets the tone for peace... and a few animals such as rhino (a new baby was born about a month ago- adorable and special moment to experience as we drove in) frame this pastoral picture. Check in is simple, and you are made to feel at home with the resort is yours at your finger tips. The decor is lovely, complete with a wine room that you can select South African wines from, to the library, bar and living spaces that have been created for you relaxation and viewing of the mountains, water and animals... and some inner reflection.
I recommend that you spend a lot of time in the spa- very unique and special to have Thai therapists performing your treatments- one of a kind experience to bring the specialty of the Thai culture to the specialty of the African experience. After my 90 minute Thai massage, I looked out of the windows to find a herd of zebra grazing. In addition, there are water treatments everywhere in the spa- so take time to enjoy.
The meals, service, staff, living spaces, spa, and game drives at Karkloof Spa are five star... but my only recommendation is that you must stay at least a WEEK or more!

  • Stayed: April 2010, traveled solo
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1  Thank SusanGwaltney
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 20, 2010

What an amazing place this is. We were made to feel so at home, they have such an easy-going atmosphere that you cannot help to feel sooooo chilled-out and mellow.
It's a bit of a trek to get there (1 1/2 hours from Durban) but it's worth it. I could rave on with complimentary expletives all day, so to sum up, we would not hesitate to recommend it, and would go back like a shot - as long as the plans for a gym come to fruition.

  • Stayed: January 2010, traveled as a couple
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Thank Karen H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 3, 2010

A huge area of stunningly beautiful land with all sorts of animals everywhere, ultra luxurious accommodation, impeccable personal service, amazing food, lovely pool, ... there's not much more you could ask for. The spa is very nice (you get two treatments per day included) although not my main reason for going. I went for the animal viewing, opportunity to walk (individual walks or bike rides with a ranger whenever you want and tailored to the length of time you want) and scenery. It's a lot greener and lusher than I expected.

If I could change anything I would have made the spa treatments optional and the price a bit cheaper, or allowed a facial or something to be substituted for a massage - personally I didn't want a massage every day. Karkloof is expensive but worth it, it's a cut above anywhere else I've been. I did think the taxi transfer from Durban airport was expensive though - 2200 Rand return for an hour and half journey each way.

  • Stayed: December 2009, traveled solo
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Thank GoldhurstGirl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 29, 2009

Karkloof Spa was my idea of perfection: a calm and tranquil spa in the middle of a game preserve with unlimited outdoor access PLUS outstanding service and high quality accommodations and food. Where else can you go mountain biking among giraffe, zebra, and wart hogs in the morning and get a first rate massage in the afternoon? The staff were friendly and courteous, and responded with grace and class when they had inadvertently overcharged me for something. I would recommend this spa without hesitation.

  • Stayed: November 2009, traveled solo
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Thank RedSanFrancisco
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 27, 2009

We have just returned to England from a fabulous South African holiday, which included a four night stay at this outstanding spa.
Karkloof offers excellent attention to detail and a personalised service to make your stay special. Each guest is treated individually and the whole place has a really warm and welcoming feel.
The villa accommodation is of a very high standard, with extremely comfortable bedding, a beautiful bathroom and every little detail thoughfully provided.
The service, from front of house, management, housekeeping, therapists, restaurant kitchen, waiting staff and bar is faultless. I don't know how they all do it, but the whole staff seems able to read your mind and to anticipate your every need - all in an unobtrusive and unstuffy way.
The food is outstanding - extremely well cooked, interesting menu (with 'raw' options for all courses if you really want a detox) and you can eat at your own convenience at whatever time of day you prefer.
The surrounding countryside is beautiful - very green and lush with some great walks and mountain bike trails. During our stay we managed to spot giraffe, warthogs, various antelope, rhino, monkeys and buffalo.
The spa options and calibre of treatments are some of the best we've experienced and the facilities for 'lounging' are immaculate.
All in all a very special place, offering outstanding service and inspired attention to detail.
We would love to return here and are just disappointed that it's not closer!
Thanks to all at Karkloof for making our stay so unforgettable and special.

  • Stayed: December 2009, traveled as a couple
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Thank Marshes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 2, 2009

From arrival to departure the service was outstanding. Extra thoughtful touches.
Accommodation spacious with every comfort provided.
Easily accessible from Pietermaritzburg.
Guests comfort of ultimate importance. Even meals provided to suit guests.
The Spa is the ultimate experience for complete relaxation and pampering.
The Lodge should be made aware of what package guests have booked.
Review restrictions prevent a more detailed report on all aspects of this outstanding gem.

  • Stayed: November 2009, traveled with friends
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Thank ADABRYDEN
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about 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 31 Specialty Lodging in Pietermaritzbu...
Price Range: $571 - $2,098 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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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