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“Relaxing, friendly and casual destination”

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Umzimkulu River Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed March 10, 2014

Our return to Umzimkulu River Lodge showed that the experience was consistently good. We had a superb weekend and good fun with a tube ride on the river. If you want a casual destination where you feel at home yet are treated so well, this is the place to go. Love it and will be back. Thanks Stephen and Lyn.

  • Stayed: March 2014, traveled with friends
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1  Thank iTimot
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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226 - 232 of 308 reviews

Reviewed March 10, 2014

No greeting on arrival, no help with luggage, area dark, no lighting on way to cabin, room dark, ask yourself why, not romantic just plain grotty, hiding all the cobwebs and dust in the thatch and behind the bed, who knows where else(tried to prop up myself to read, huge space between bed and headboard, full of dust)
Bedding smelled really bad. Room stank, cupboards were stale and because of that felt unhappy to hang up my clothes.
King size bed had hollow in middle, very creaky and noisy. Not nice at all.
Bathroom had fungi in the shower, double shower only meant that there were two shower heads, not really big enough for two regular size people, luckily we are small people. Toilet seat was in a worn state. Sadly the toilet paper was of the cheapest kind. Hand washing and teeth brushing are impossible with out touching the inside of the sink, the taps are too close to the inside of the sink. Just gross. Bathroom lighting was totally inadequate. Carpeted floor in bathroom added to poor appeal of room. Sadly I was not brave enough to venture into the kitchen. Can't comment.
Area outside the cabin had a bad smell, strong tones of raw sewage. Laundry hung to dry in same area. Go figure!!!!
Meals must be ordered in advance, as they are in the freezer and need to be defrosted. Was not willing to check how strong my digestive tract was especially with the toilet situation.
Stayed away the entire first day, did not feel as if relaxation could occur in this unfortunate cabin. Returned late, in the dark, no lights, almost came rolling down incline to room. Horrors, remember same area of sewage smell. Was welcomed by a bat flying around in the room. Now while I love nature, I am not fond of nature in my room. Got a hold of Stephan, who asked "Don't you like bats?" You have to be kidding. Off he went to get a towel to get the bat out, saying that bats are harmless. Sure they are, but I still do not want to spend the evening with one in my dismal room. Eventually out comes Stephan, asking if the bat went by, nope. Its gone he says through the holes in the thatch, which he points out. If it got out that way, it can easily come back that way. Stephan then says to just call him should the bat come back.
At this point, we are no longer staying the night. Takes us all of 5 minutes to pick up stuff and leave. So we settle the bill. Yup, Stephan billed us for the full stay. Should have known something was dreadfully wrong with the place when I read the sign saying NO REFUNDS FOR EARLY DEPARTURE.
Lynn & Stephan you have no right being in the hospitality business, people are paying you good money for sad, sorry accommodation.
Ps. even the wild life ran away from your lodge. A frog hitchhiked its way home in our luggage. It's now living HAPPILY in the river in my back garden.
Bitterly disappointed
Mr & Mrs Moses
0837835656

Room Tip: Just don't go there
  • Stayed: March 2014, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank Pranisha
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
lynne w, Owner at Umzimkulu River Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded April 10, 2014

I won't waste time responding to your review as it sounds like we have a lot of work to do!!

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 11, 2014

Stay in Pied A
Nice location. Very good meals. Staff was very friendly and helpful.

The room was disappointing and needs renovation. Poor workmanship to the bathrooms. Lots of spiderwebs and peeling/dirty paint.
The bedding especially the mattress sheet did not fit the bed properly and kept jumping off.
The couch was very uncomfortable and needs replacing.
Lovely gardens and breathtaking view.


  • Stayed: February 2014, traveled with family
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Review collected in partnership with this hotel
Thank Ivan L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
lynne w, Owner at Umzimkulu River Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded February 17, 2014

Hi Ivan

We strive to make our guests stay one to remember... for the right reasons! Thank you for your feedback. We really do value constructive criticism. We consider our 3 star accommodation brilliant value for money and are often rewarded with guests surprised delight at the standard of our accommodation. I am sorry this was not your experience. We have had a critical look at Pied A and are happy that the areas of concern that you mentioned have been rectified. Best regards Stephen and Lynne Williams

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 12, 2014

Stephen and Lynne are two awesome people who made our holiday so special. The Pygmy cottage was perfect for the two of us. The gardens and being on the river was absolutely breath taking. Piece and quite ruled. The tube ride on the river is a must. The food was good wholesome cooking. So good to get healthy veggies and mash. Will most definitely return, with friends.

  • Stayed: December 2013, traveled as a couple
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Review collected in partnership with this hotel
Thank Renee S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 7, 2014 via mobile

This was the best of the 5 establishments we stayed at during our 3 week summer holiday.We really liked the beautiful setting.Gardens and historic looking cottages, framed by oak trees, and fronting right onto a clean river.Stephen was an excellent host, willing to advise and even phoned around to get advice for our trip into Lesotho. Meals were personalised and very good. Our highlight was the tubing down the Umzimkulu. Stephen dropped us off 5km upstream, and we floated lazilly to the lodge (with just enough "rapids" to give us somethong to talk about). Even our 4year old went with! It's a real pity we could only stay one night, we are glad we had a long afternoon.

  • Stayed: January 2014
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Thank kwaaikat
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 15, 2013

This is an amazing family friendly facility in a wonderful setting. Easy to get to and beautiful location. The river, and wild life are abundant. Our bungalow was really cool and exceeded our expectations. For birding it was perfect. Stephen, the owner was very friendly and made sure our stay was comfortable. If given a chance we will definitely return for a longer stay!

  • Stayed: November 2013, traveled with family
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Review collected in partnership with this hotel
Thank Elwood T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 3, 2013

We ( Geoff, Kay, Michael and Kogita ) stayed 22nd and 29th November and were lucky enough to sample a small 2 bed cottage and the "Giant" house. Great setting,attentive friendly staff, always ready with helpful advice about where to visit in the area. Good home cooking, great wines.Breakfast outside overlooking the river a real treat.

Room Tip: Speak to Steve.
  • Stayed: November 2013, traveled with family
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Thank gkp107
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Umzimkulu River Lodge

Address: Coleford Road | Kwa Zulu Natal, Underberg 3257, South Africa
Location: South Africa > KwaZulu-Natal > Underberg
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 19 Specialty Lodging in Underberg
Price Range: $47 - $116 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Umzimkulu River Lodge 3*
Number of rooms: 8
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Umzimkulu River Lodge offers serviced, DB&B, B&B or Self catering accommodation on one of the most picturesque bends of the Umzimkulu River in the Southern Drakensburg. We are situated 2 hours from DBN and 6 hrs from Johannesburg in the foothills of the Ukhahlamba Drakensberg Park World Heritage Site. Our peaceful valley resort which is 22km out of Underberg provides the perfect location for a retreat from city life. Here’s your chance to rest and listen to the river and the sounds of nature or spend some wholesome outdoor time with your family. Families love it for the unhurried old world country atmosphere with days spent picnicking under the huge oaks on the river island, boulder hopping in Thrombosis Gorge or just “messing about in boats”. Honeymooners revel in the privacy of a luxurious suite and private deck just meters from the river bank.Fishermen love it for the unrivalled opportunities to catch rainbow trout along our 2.5km stretch of river. Come and experience restoration of body and soul in truly lovely surroundings. ... more   less 
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