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“Most Incredible Family Holiday Ever”
Review of Royal Malewane

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Royal Malewane
Certificate of Excellence
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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235 - 241 of 262 reviews

Reviewed December 14, 2008

This is a confident lodge that does what it does extremely well. We were greeted on arrival with a delicious drink but the grape kebab was perhaps not the best idea as it nearly took my eye out!! Also felt a bit of a ninny walking around with it.

The common areas are splendid and overlook the watering hole. It has a Victoriana feel – you could easily imagine a great white hunter staying there.

The design of the villas is genius as you are totally private but completely open to the game and the bush. The peace is perfection and I have rarely felt as relaxed as we did there. An elephant coming and drinking from our pool was just fantastic.

We were fortunate that for most of our game drives we were on our own. This was beneficial as – particularly for the night drives – you could end early if you felt you had seen enough. The game was amazing. We thought we might get bored after 4 days of the same routine but nothing could be further from the truth.

The spa is excellent and the massage therapists first class. The hotel also works hard to offer some variety in dining experiences but I won’t spoil the surprises. I would comment however that personally I don’t really like surprises on holiday...........

Quibbles? Well yes. Food was limited in choice and not spectacular – indeed a couple of courses were poor. The menu was the same on our last night as our first which was disappointing. We struggled to find a house red wine that appealed. Also the furnishings and fixtures are borderline needing upgraded. Oh and a niggle – Molton Brown amenities are lovely but I had the same in my £99 apartment hotel last week – also screwed to the wall. Would suggest something a bit more upmarket and the freedom to use your body lotion where you desire!!

But we had the most beautiful four days and I would not hesitate to recommend you stay here.

  • Stayed: November 2008, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank Fleetcat
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 8, 2008

We got married at the Royal Malewane and spent 4 days there. This has to be the nicest place we have stayed to date and we could have happily stayed for much longer. Our room was lovely with a big squishy four poster bed and spacious bathroom including roll top bath overlooking the outside deck/plunge pool. All of the staff were excellent and very helpful. Our ranger and tracker (Mack and Solly) were good and we saw all of the big five game and much more including an aardvark which is extremely rare. When you get back from the evening game drives they have a nice drink and warm fire waiting for you. The food is delicious and plentiful; the chefs have won various awards. Jayson the sommelier is a great host. The spa is beautiful and Angie did an excellent job of a manicure and pedicure for my wedding day. So if you're looking for a luxurious intimate lodge with fantastic service then you couldn't go wrong with the Malewane.

  • Stayed: October 2008, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank pooCheshire_England
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 7, 2008

Wow! My husband and I had a fabulous trip to South Africa for our honeymoon. We loved everywhere we stayed but this place exceeded any place we had ever stayed in before. As a matter of fact, I don't think there is a place on earth that could match it.

The staff was exceptional. They greet you when you first walk in and attend to any need. They go that extra mile to make sure you are comfortable.

The food was also excellent. It is so pleasant to eat the fabulous meals and see out of the lodge a group of elephants walking by.

The safari staff is also great. We saw the Big 5 and they really do all that they can and more to make sure that you get to see every animal that you would like to see.

The spa is also amazing. The massages there are the best I have ever had and I've been getting massages all over the place for quite some time.

We loved the fact that there weren't that many rooms (I think maybe there are 10 or 12). It has an intimate feel. You can hang out by the fire at the lodge and talk about your safari that day with the others or just be by yourself.

If Liz Biden opens up another hotel, we are going - no matter where in the world it is! We stayed here, at her Birkenhead House (also great) and at La Residence in the wine country. My hats off to her - she has created fabulous, one-of-a kind hotels and we thank her for our wonderful honeymoon.

  • Stayed: October 2007, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank Southern_Gal_AL
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 14, 2007

We stayed here for four nights and had a fantastic time. Everything is included and the service was friendly and personal (as if you were
the only guests). Two game drives a day (with a maximum of four guests in the open topped jeeps with seating for nine). They aim to have the same tracker and ranger with you for your whole stay. The morning drive before breakfast and the afternoon one at 4pm (with drinks out in the bush as the sun set).

Meals exceptional - with an included wine list of about 30 different wines (although you can pay more for others if you want!) There is a stocked minibar with additional snacks if you get hungry in between meals. Clothes are cleaned and returned the same day. The suites are built on stilts in the bush (open to the reserve) and have a private plunge pool. We had a herd of five elephants come and drink from our pool while we were sat on the veranda - fantastic! Antelope and giraffes also came by. One evening a herd of several hundred cape buffalo came to the water hole that the main hotel area overlooks. You need to have a night guard to take you to and from the villas after dark - to make sure you are safe from wild animals. You can have your lunch served (course by course) at your villa - on a white table cloth of course! We would have loved to stay longer. Our
tracker (Terence) and ranger (Ryan) did a wonderful job in locating animals for us - we parked next to prides of lions; had to move out of the way of a herd of elephants; found a leopard in the bush after dark - and their enthusiasm and knowledge knew no bounds!

  • Stayed: October 2007
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5  Thank dshep
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 3, 2007

Amazing Service, Staff, and Living Quarters. I stayed in the Royal Suite which is absolutely amazing! (I reccommend looking into that if you are staying at Royal Malawane.) I saw a huge variety of Animals, and saw all of the big five my first day there, when my charted touched down, he scared about 200 buffalo off the runway! Good buissness accomedations. They have wireless internet, but I don't reccommend it for people who don't have a ton of patience. Instead, I reccommend bringing your own mobile broadband card, or walking over to the Royal Malawane spa's computers, which are a lot faster. Overall, Royal Malawane was the best part of my trip, 2 thumbs up! =)

  • Stayed: August 2007, traveled with family
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1  Thank servicekiller1ty
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 13, 2007

Royal Malewane had the best service of any place I have ever stayed including their closest competitor, Singita. While I would give Singita a better rating for number of animals we saw and our rooms there were even more opulent at Singita I must say that the service was out of this world at Royal Malewane. I would recommend Royal Malewane to anyone going on a game reserve safari. Terrance and Ryan were our tracker and guide and they were absolutely terrific. The staff all met us when we arrived with cool towels and drinks and made my wife and I and my sister and brother-in-law feel like kings. The Ritz in Paris, the Four Seasons in Costa Rica, and the Mandarin Oriental in Hawaii, and Singita in South Africa could all take lessons from this place ( and they were all fantastic A+ places). We stayed for four days and went on eight different safaris and each one was very memorable. Paul Goldner, Toledo, Ohio

Stayed: March 2007
1  Thank pgoldner
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: $1,999 - $3,612 (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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