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“The most extraordinary place”
Review of Royal Malewane

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Royal Malewane
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed November 1, 2011

Having stayed at Londolozi prior to Royal Malewane, I kept saying "what could be better?". Well, I found out. This is the finest, best run place I've ever encountered. The warmth of the staff (Paola, Magdel, Lloyd and especially Liza) was real and truly amazing. We only stayed 4 days and had tears in our eyes when we said goodbye. The Ranger (Nik) and Tracker (Solly) went out of their way to make every day special. I travelled with my 84 year old mother and from bringing a special stand on every game drive to help her step in and out of the Land Rover to slowing down the walking pace to our room, the whole staff was wonderful and considerate. I thought the food was great in Johannesburg, Cape Town and Londolozi, but the food here was extraordinary. Thanks to Chef Beatrix all our meals were wonderful. The choices and preparations were well thought out and cooked to perfection. The sommelier Lloyd actually listens to what you like and don't like and chooses your wine accordingly, something we didn't really encounter on this trip before.
The game viewing is amazing. We did actually have elephants drinking out of our plunge pool exactly the way the pictures on the web site showed. You all know sometimes pictures aren't true, but you can trust these. We not only saw the Big Five, but rare black Rhinos as well, along with Mom and baby Leopards and Cheetahs. Thank you Nik, our Ranger!
I can assure you, if you book here, you will have a fantastic trip.
Oh, and last minute lightning storm interfered with our departing flight, but Wendy to the rescue arranged for over land tranport so we experienced no delays at all. Amazing!

Room Tip: Odd numbered rooms have best chance of elephants drinking from the pools because of how they're...
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  • Stayed: October 2011, traveled with family
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1  Thank Mariank9camp
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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230 - 236 of 264 reviews

Reviewed May 15, 2011

There are not enough superlatives to describe staying at RM – it was simply the best accommodation experience our group of four has ever had, or ever likely to have. From the time we arrived, every second was a ‘pinch me is this real’ moment.
With two couples in our party we had the Royal Suite with two massive bedrooms separated by lounge/dining/kitchen area the size of a football field. The outside deck with pool/dining/lounging areas was even bigger. The log fireplaces in bedroom and lounge were a welcome additional in the unseasonally cool weather and a heavenly sanctuary between safaris. And as other reviewers have stated, the guys running your morning your afternoon game drives are simply the best – we had Juan and Wilson, both of whom are true masters. We saw everything that Africa offers in wildlife and then some.
RM is truly luxurious and extremely private. Very convivial and not the least bit stuffy or pretentious, the place is overseen by GM John Jackson who is so good he makes you never want to leave. There is no pedestal high enough to put this man on.
The there’s the food. Every meal, snack or afternoon tea was impeccable and beyond delicious, surprisingly complex and sophisticated considering you’re in the middle of nowhere. Table settings and accoutrements were beautiful; service attentive but never intrusive. No problem catering for vegetarian me either. Sun-downer cocktails and snacks on our afternoon game drives were as eagerly anticipated as the wildlife. We loved all the staff here and wanted to take them all home. The other reason to come here is the spa facility – with enormously long lap pool, gymnasium and treatment rooms it’s a great place to spend the day. I can’t imagine a better facility anywhere in Africa.
Tearing ourselves away from Royal Malewane was the hardest thing we’ve ever done on a holiday. Months later we still suffer separation anxiety and remain desperate to return. And we will, as many times as possible before we die.

  • Stayed: December 2010, traveled with friends
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3  Thank Seanno
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 14, 2010

There aren't many words that will come close to describing the Royal Malewane. I was lucky enough to stay here for 2 nights on business this past week, and wow, it's simply amazing.

It's located about 1/2 hr or so from Hoedspruit Airport (HDS). There is also a smaller airstrip on their property as well. (We passed it a few times on our drives)

The rooms are spacious. 4-poster beds with a sitting area and fireplace. Huge outdoor deck with pool. Spacious bathroom. Indoor and outdoor shower. And for those who burn easily, there's even a shaded area to lay under and still enjoy the outdoors.

The staff is wonderful. Great attention to detail in even remembering what you drink when you show up for a meal. They always great you with a smile!. Declicious food. And they cater to allergies or dislikes with food as well. Just let them know when you arrive and they'll adjust the menu accordingly.

The game drives were memorable. I was only there for 2 nights, so was able to take in 4 drives. (Probably the only time I was happy with getting a 5am wake up call). Thanks to the knowledge of our guide (Craig) and tracker (Patrick) were were lucky enough to get to see the Big 5!. It had rained the first night, so we weren't able to get as close to the lions as we would have liked on the 2nd day due to the location of the animals, but they more than made up for it on our last drive. We came across a lioness and her 3 cubs just walking down the road. Soon enough after they went into the bush and played, the lion majestically strolled out of the grass and across our path. Wow. Absolutely amazing.

If you're trying to fill the time between the drives and eating, there is also a gym plus a spa as well. There are two computers with complimentary internet access in a business center located near the spa and the 2br Suites (Royal & Melawane Suite) have a computer in the unit itself.

I highly highly recommend this hotel.

  • Stayed: December 2010, traveled on business
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Thank skyhawk352
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 9, 2010

Royal Malewane exceeded our expectations in many respects. The rooms were wonderful - very large bedrooms and bathrooms and a nice sitting area. The outdoor deck was wonderful - although I regret we were so busy we had little time to relax in the room. (Also, I wish the plunge pool was heated). The overall setting is quite unique - the main dining area is set so you can see a water hole which always seemed to attract some wildlife. It was also common to see nyala walking around the grounds of the property and our friends even had a herd of elephants drinking out of their plunge pool. Our ranger Juan and tracker Wilson were fantastic. We saw all big 5 (including black rhino) in 3 days. Juan was amazingly knowledgeable about not only the animals, but also birds, the flora and the night sky. Service was top notch all around - everyone was very friendly and professional. The entire resort is also relatively small (which I view as a plus) so they really do get to know you by name. The sommelier (Jenna) was very helpful in selecting South African wines that we knew very little about. They also did a number of dinners outside, which were nice but could also be a bit chilly. The food as a whole was quite good, but occasionally some courses were just average. Everything however was always very fresh. There were a large number of choices for lunch and they were amenable to modifications in the offerings. Personally I wish they would have offered more local-style cuisine. (At some of the other lodges we stayed at they served more wild meats). They also had nice touches like drinks upon arrival and when you returned from an evening game drive and sun downers with treats while out on an evening drive.
We definitely want to return some day, and next time we'd probably skip a drive or two to enjoy the accommodations more. Also, I'd ask them to prepare a wine tasting and to be a bit less "western" in their menu - they were so service oriented that I'd bet they'd accommodate those requests.

  • Stayed: August 2010, traveled with friends
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1  Thank FrequentTraveler1199
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 3, 2010

Oprah and Elton John stay here. We heard that probably 20 times. There are many reserves in that small area and we rarely found something on our own. Usually we drove around until some other camp called with a sighting for us to come see. The food was only mediocre and for the price was disappointing. We stayed at Singita and here. Singita asked our food preferences in advance by email and we never saw our dislikes on the menu. Royal Malewane waited until we were there to ask and many times we had only one choice because items we didn't eat made up the rest of the menu. Every few minutes someone was at our table telling us how wonderful they were, rarely could we eat in peace.

  • Stayed: June 2010, traveled as a couple
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9  Thank VowRenewalTravel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 17, 2010

My husband and I went to Royal Malewane for our honeymoon. We heard about it from an acquaintance, but I was a little worried because I couldn't find as many reviews about it as I did about other more well-known lodges. I had nothing to worry about, as it was the most amazing place we've ever been. Everything was just perfect . The staff were great (our ranger and tracker were fantastic), the spa treatments were amazing, the food was incredible, the lodge was beautiful, including our absolutely enormous "room", the game drives were superb, etc. Our main regret was that the days weren't longer as we didn't get to take advantage of our fabulous room (complete with huge private deck and plunge pool) because we were too busy looking at animals, getting spa treatments and eating gourmet meals. I can't wait to return there one day!

  • Stayed: August 2009, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank wh0896
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 23, 2009

To celebrate several wonderful family milestones (my 50th birthday, one child gradauting from college, another from high school), our family of six just returned from a trip to South Africa; the safari spent at the Africa House at Royal Malewane. This was the MOST superb trip and experience of our lifetimes. The staff is dedicated, warm and friendly, and we actually cried together when we said goodbye at the end our five-day stay. The main lodge and Africa House are bothe spectacular and gorgeous and comfortable. The food was prepared for us specifcally and each meal was a unique culinary event--different settings and environments. Our dedicated driver and tracker team , Juan and Wilson, became our friends---they are wonderdful and talented and made our safari perfect (they are known with the celebrirties--we lucked out!). The Spa is truly great as well. No detail is left unattended; this hotel created an opportunity for us to experience the glory and treasures of Africa and have a hands-on safari while staying in a luxuruious and splendid setting. I cannot stop raving about this perfect place on our planet. We travel often, but this will remain in our souls forever. I cannot imagine a more majestic safari. experience.

  • Stayed: July 2009, traveled with family
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1  Thank NomadicNina
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Royal Malewane

Address: Avoca Road, Thornybush Reserve, Limpopo | Limpopo Province, Kruger National Park 1380, South Africa
Location: South Africa > Kruger National Park
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #39 of 178 Specialty Lodging in Kruger National Park
Price Range: $1,479 - $4,287 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — Royal Malewane 5*
Number of rooms: 10
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Royal Malewane is an exclusive private safari lodge in the Greater Kruger National Park. The guiding team is one of the most qualified in Africa which means that your Big 5 safari experience will be unsurpassed. Royal Malewane has 6 luxury suites, 2 Royal Suites and Africa House. The Royal Suites each have 2 bedrooms while Africa House is an exclusive use, 6 bedroom bush villa. As part of The Royal Portfolio, Royal Malewane offers guests the highest levels of luxury, exceptional cuisine and personalised service. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Royal Malewane Hotel Kruger National Park

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