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“Pleasant but definitely NOT 4 star”

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Blyde River Canyon Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
Cape Town
Level Contributor
46 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 44 helpful votes
“Pleasant but definitely NOT 4 star”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 7, 2012

I chose this lodge as it was in the Blyde River Canyon area and showed 4 star rating on their website. I also chose this lodge because of the favourable feedback from tripadvisor. I was disappointed. This not a 4 star establishment. I would grade it as a 3 star. The double room leading onto the patio had a pleasant view over the lawns and trees. However the bedroom was small with an equally small shower and toilet en suite. At the height of summer with temperatures souring to well over 35 C, there was no bar fridge to house cold drinks or milk. There was an old TV in the corner with three channels and only a cable channel if requested. The bed was comfortable and there is a tea and coffee facility. The dinner ( I was the only guest that night) was an uninteresting three course meal with no choices and the food was very poor and tasteless. The breakfasts were substantial with a good selection of tasty foods and fruits as well as a hot selection. I did have another dinner there but again found it to be substandard. If you require a meal at lunchtime( I arrived tired and hungry that day) you can only get a tasteless cheese or ham and cheese toasted sandwich. There were no other choices. The property is somewhat neglected. During my exploration I alighted upon a wooden deck over the small stream that ran at the end of the garden which would have been a delightful area to have a sundowner or laze with a book. However the furniture was dusty and full of spider webs and the structure rundown. There was also a stagnant pool nearby which could only exasperate the mosquito problems in the area. I did enjoy, however, walking along the many paths that lead away from the lodge and into the nature reserve that surrounds it with beautiful mountains as a backdrop, although it is pretty built up with many private homes dotting the area.
What impressed me however about the lodge was the friendliness and warmth of the staff, particularly the manager, Portia. ( (I never saw the owner). She was so accommodating and organised to put a small bar fridge ( the only one they had) in the room for me. She also organised a private qualified guide to accompany me on a full day Panorama tour which was the highlight of my stay in that area. His name was Bedneck and he was a wonderful companion and very informative guide. The wild zebras that visited the lodge were an unexpected and welcome surprise although the troop of resident baboons were interesting but less welcome visitors!

Room Tip: Room with garden view
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  • Stayed December 2011, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Tripper032
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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221 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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    5
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (33)
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English first
Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 2, 2012

We stopped at Blyde River Canyon Lodge for two nights as a break between a stay at Mala Mala and our next stop at Letaba in Kruger National Park for a few nights. From the minute we arrived, we felt like we were the lodge's only guests (we later found out that this is how the Lodge team treats all their guests). Led by a vivacious owner named Vicky, the hostess team includes the friendliest ensemble of staff I've seen anywhere. Portia, Maria, Togo, Jabu, Shirley and the rest of the team combine fanatically friendly (and sincere) service with the most delicious food in a hundred miles of Blyde River Canyon. I'm not just saying this. I couldn't believe how tasty the first course of sweet and sour chicken was on the first night, and by the time I got to dessert I had fallen in love with the best (homemade!) apple tart I've ever had. From pastries to fillets, from sauces to cheesecake, everything Jabu and Shirley make are worthy of all five of the stars I can give it. The best part is that their daily menus are made up of dishes you can truly get your teeth into - they're not fancy haute cuisine, and it was such a treat being able to eat so well so far from home. The rooms are cosy and comfy (and always beautifully cleaned and cared for), zebras roam freely across the lawns, the river is within walking distance and wild birds are easily spotted. And when you return to the Lodge from wherever you've been, you'll be greeted like royalty returning from an overseas voyage by some of the nicest people I've ever met. By the time the second night arrived, we felt like hugging the chef and couldn't help heap praise on Vicky and thank her for her unique, gentle brand of hospitality where smiles are always beaming and someone is always ready and happy to help with anything you need during your stay. The small touches of care are in everything around the Lodge - from a broad array of tablecloth patterns and napkins that change every night to heavy pewter butter knives to a welcome drink in champagne flutes on your arrival. Playing rummykub on the patio on our last night, we couldn't help but feel sad that we'd soon be leaving. Over the course of two days, we felt part of the family. A happy, enthusiastic, helpful, loving, well-fed family. We'll definitely be back.

  • Stayed January 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank Jason E
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cologne, Germany
Level Contributor
35 reviews
25 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 15, 2011

We stayed in the Blyde River Canyon Lodge for one night during our travel to the Krueger National Park. The Lodge is beautifully located in a huge botanical reserve where you have wild animal roaming around.

The rooms are ok and nice but nothing special. Dinner was very nice and really tasty in a nice atmosphere on the veranda where you could hearall the night noises of the animals. Very peaceful as well.

  • Stayed December 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Judy_Niko
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
7 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 9, 2011

we needed a place for only 1 night as a last minute stay over. We came across Blyde River Canyon Lodge, and wish we stayed another night. Great property, scenic location, and the food was excellent.

  • Stayed January 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank kippersaki69
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Page
Level Contributor
53 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 2, 2011

My husband and I stayed for two nights in September and would love to return. It is a hidden gem the view from the large veranda is very peaceful. The staff is very helpful and so pleasant. We ate at the Lodge both evenings the atmosphere was great and we were treated to some of the best food we had eaten during our trip. We were the only guests on the first night and on the second night we were the only guests eating Dinner. A lovely place lots of opportunity to walk in the area and very restful.

  • Stayed September 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
2 Thank Whiteway
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
48 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 6, 2011

we booked this lodge just to split the travel between the airport and our safari in Timbavati. We wished we had the chance to to stay a bit longer in the lodge. The lodge is very nice decorated, great area, great rooms, fantastic personnel, lovely food, and foremost a truly relaxing atmosphere. You feel at home immediately. The area is worth some extra time too.

  • Stayed November 2011
    • Value
    • Location
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Peter & Jeanette K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Rio de Janeiro, RJ
Level Contributor
51 reviews
28 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 64 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 28, 2011

My husband and I stayed one night at the Lodge on Sep/11 before travelling to the Kruger. The Lodge is set in a very nice location and offers cozy rooms and ambiance. The staff was very lovely and friendly. We had dinner and breakfast at the lodge and the food was great! We would really recommend a stay at this Lodge for those who want to discover the wonders near the Blyde River Canyon.

  • Stayed September 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank MLUIZABR
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Blyde River Canyon Lodge

Property: Blyde River Canyon Lodge
Address: Swadini Road | Blyde River Botanical Reserve, Hoedspruit 1380, South Africa
Location: South Africa > Limpopo Province > Hoedspruit
Amenities:
Free Parking Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #22 of 100 Specialty Lodging in Hoedspruit
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — Blyde River Canyon Lodge 4*
Number of rooms: 9
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Blyde River Canyon Hotel Limpopo Province

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