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“REGULAR MALEWANE”
Review of Royal Malewane

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Royal Malewane
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed December 27, 2011

lovely setting, friendly staff, fairly clean, facilities kinda getting ready for their first facelift. the drives into the bush are the highlight of this camp. very knowledgable and professional guides. the food and spa are weak. requested food preferences never addressed. we asked for fresh fruits and veggies for the five days we were here, never happened, it was very frustrated. we never expected so much deep fried processed pre packaged frozen foods. think chicken nuggets and tater tots also, everything is covered in sweet and saltly sauces. spa services were inconsistent. some in our group got great treatments and others were just so so. over all not really worth a second trip.

Room Tip: all rooms pretty much the same.
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  • Stayed: December 2011, traveled with family
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6  Thank princess10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed December 27, 2011

Debated giving five stars as most of the experience is top notch. The rooms are nothing short of incredible as are the public spaces. Our safari guides were very well informed. 5 days felt like a long time as the tours are over such a limited area that as you drive around looking for game you begin to feel like you are "shooting fish in a barrel". Still is pretty wonderful.

The place loses points solely for food. With all the pretense and pomp surrounding the presentation we felt there was no effort made to address our requests for fresh and wholesome foods. Everything was covered in heavy and gloppy sauces. We repeatedly asked for fresh vegetables and were rebuffed. Since the hotel is in a farming region (we noticed on our drive in) there is no excuse for this. Management should address this.

The place is expensive and all else runs pretty well. The spa is nice, most treatments were ok. Everyone is polite and the place is beautiful. We really wish the food quality could rise up to the level of the rest of the operation.

  • Stayed: December 2011, traveled with family
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4  Thank Freak77
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 24, 2011

We had an extraordinary experience in every way! Whether driving through the bush or trekking on foot we found our Ranger and tracker to be both informative and entertaining. They managed to locate an amazing variety of wildlife including leopards, lions, giraffes and rhinos. They even taught us a bit about tracking and made us aware of plant life and birds. Every detail was thought out-- dinners in the bush; the dinners at our lodge all capped off on our last evening with farewell entertainment organized by one of the house staff.

Best advice: definitely give this a go only thing to skip would be the helicopter trip which isn't worth the time or the money.

  • Stayed: December 2011, traveled as a couple
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Thank STTLondon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 5, 2011

There are a million safari experiences on earth, but there is only one Royale Malewane. This hotel provides one of the best wildlife escapades in the world. When it comes to wildlife tourism, Royale Malewane bridges the tricky gap between boutique hotel and luxury facility. Unlike other places bordering the famous Kruger National Park, a stay at Royale Malewane is guaranteed to fulfill your African experience. No wonder Elton John picked it to be the place to spend his honeymoon with David Furnish and a host of other A-listers.

The retreat is nestled on the side of one of the largest natural reserves on earth. The lobby, decorated with vintage home furniture, faces a a moderately sized waterhole that is pumped during the dry months and maintains a constant flow of natural wildlife who visit during all hours of the day. A small stopping point for the vast fauna. From large monitor lizards to an array of deer species and the occasional elephant who is not too reluctant to drink from your very own private pool.

The rooms are up to par to the lavish lobby. They are specious, well-organized, isolated from the back, yet open to the wild in the front with minimal intrusion from staff or visiting neighbors. All the rooms are equipped with the necessities and more, including an open mini-bar, outdoors shower and a pool made for the perfect honeymoon. If that wasn't enough, guests are escorted to their rooms at night to avoid suddenly meeting with random wandring creature.



During your visit you will experience two daily tours into the reserves to see the big five and more. Water Buffalos amass the land, deer become common ground after the first day and bird spotting does not require any effort. It's not a surprise to see all the beasts in one day and have your apple stolen by a monkey while sitting outside. This is wilderness made at human's best comfort level. Amidst the tour into the wild a mandatory stop is made to have French cheeses, wines and biltong.

Another marker that puts Royale Malewane on the top of its ilk is its impeccable service. South Africa might be known for its food, but it's quite a different experience when you have your own chef catering to your needs and ensuring everything to your liking three times a day without hesitation. The sky's the limit with the menu and everything you eat will be prepared with the utmost care. At dinner expect the staff to burst into song and dance while you have your rare steak and Merlot in a secluded candle-lit corner by the rife waterhole. All the while listening to the sounds of the nocturnal animals while bottle-nosed terrapins lurk under you. It's definitely an experience to feel.

The spa offers all the best from a modern pool to massages, including hot stone, Thai and Swedish. The gift shop is stocked, well-priced and is equipped with everything a tourist might need in such seclusion. Other tours are available upon consultation, even as all events planned with your package will be enough to titillate and invigorate. This can truly be an experience of a lifetime. Also, when you wake up in the morning, expect to see a lilac-breasted roller by your doorstep. Still, always be aware of those pesky monkeys for they can turn your mobile phone into their volleyball.

From Flight965.com

  • Stayed: November 2011, traveled as a couple
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Thank Flight965
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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.
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.
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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 #25 of 176 Specialty Lodging in Kruger National Park
Price Range: $2,169 - $3,635 (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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