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Reviewed July 13, 2009

Great location, fantastic staff and really comfortable rooms.
Perfect location for game drives at nearby Kruger. Restaurant is excellent and the poached eggs at breakfast became legendary.

  • Stayed: June 2009
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Thank gerryredmond
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 3, 2009

We staying at the Hippo Hollow as part of a SA tour with Riviera Travel. Although we stopped at this hotel for 3 nights, we spent very little time there as the days were taken up by safari/tours which meant we were up and out at 6.00 a.m. and not returning until 5.00 p.m.

Without a car it is not easy to get out of the hotel to eat at any other restaurants or visit Hazyview for shopping. However there is a small shopping mall about 10/15 mins walk from the hotel. Having said that, the hotel restaurant was very nice and the food and service was good. I did think that the wines were expensive (R120) compared to other places, probably because they have a captive audience with coach tourists.

The grounds of the hotel are very nice and set next to the river, but they are not extensive. The rooms are either in 2 story blocks around the pool or in chalets in another area of the grounds.

We were in the block. The rooms were a good size and very comfortable with large bathrooms. The decor was very "safari lodge" layout. The hotels facilities said that hairdryers were available in the rooms so I didn't take one - point to note they are not available in every room so I needed to borrow from reception which was a nuisance as they don't have that many and you may have to wait.

The chalet style rooms are also set around a pool which mean that some have a lovely setting overlooking the river, but the other half of the circle have rooms either looking at the pool or gardens. Didn't go inside one so can't comment them.

Breakfast buffet was very good.

This hotel offer a buffet with a show (put on by local tribal leader next to the hotel). We did not go to this, eating in the hotel instead. Everyone on our tour, without exception, said that the food was not all that good and they didn't really enjoy the show.

Some of the tours were included but we did have a free day for optional excursions. These were expensive with the company so I pre booked on the internet before I left England. I booked a full day Safari with Spurwing which cost R580 each plus R140 entry into the park. We had an excellent day, a good guide, picked up on time - no problems.

We very much enjoyed our stay at Hippo Hollow

  • Stayed: June 2009
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2  Thank Jongleurgirl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 1, 2009

We ate in the restaurant which was billed as being elegant. It was freezing cold (I ate with my coat on), the restaurant looked like a cheap cafeteria, the food was average and the service was exceptionally slow. Had a much better meal down the road at a fraction of the cost at Pioneers. It may have been worth it if the hippos had shown themselves but we went on a Sunday and they hadn't been seen for 4 days so I'm not sure how often they are actually there. I think you probably pay for the possibility of seeing hippos while you eat and not for the restaurant or the service!

  • Stayed: June 2009, traveled with family
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2  Thank Aly2244
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 4, 2009

We stayed at Hippo Hollow as part of a group tour around South Africa. The two previous reviews say it all and I agree with both. We had a ground floor room in the two storey block, and it was well furnished in a rustic style with TV (we didn't switch it on!) and room safe. The bathroom has a large walk-in shower and the floor is not slippery.

There are two parts to the hotel, the thatched individual cottages and the block of rooms. Each part has its own swimming pool and nicely landscaped gardens. As it is now winter in South Africa we did not try the pool. Although the weather during the day was quite warm and sunny, the temperature drops rapidly at sundown (5.30pm) and the evenings and early mornings can be very cold.

If you are taking a game watching trip, the advice given by our tour guide was to 'dress like an onion' with lots of layers as the open jeeps used are draughty, and the mornings (5.40am start!) are very cold. As it is winter, there are far fewer bugs around. There were mosquitos down by the river, but there are also bats which eat them. We did not get bitten at all. The only visitor to our room was a tiny red legged frog.

The hippos came out and grazed on the lawns two of the evenings we were there, and crocodiles were also seen in the river. There are loads of birds in the gardens, but the noisiest dawn chorus comes from the Hadedah - a large brown ibis.

Buffet breakfast was excellent, with a good range of fruit and cereal. Eggs cooked to order. Evening meal was buffet with a fair choice, although the vegetables were a little unusual.

The Shangaan River Culture show is well worth watching, and the buffet meal included with that was good, and a trip to Elephant Whispers which is close by was wonderful.

The hotel has internet access at a cost of 15 Rand for 15 minutes.

All in all, an excellent hotel in a beautiful location with a well stocked bar and great prices.

  • Stayed: May 2009
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1  Thank gjmarhon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 1, 2009

This was a favourite of ours on our journey through South Africa, with a 20 minute drive to one of the many gates into Kruger. Our rooms looked like huts from the outside, but once inside were perfect for our surroundings. Comfortable and very clean with all amenities one would need. Ours also had a balcony looking out onto the river. The complex is a fair size, with a lovely bar (and staff) which overlooks the river also. So most of our time was spent spotting and admiring the many birds on the river, and looking for 'shy' hippo in the river. Actually 2 of our travelling companions spotted some hippo that night from their room balcony.
The restaurant meal was nice, not fantastic, but for the prices good. Wine is incredibly cheap, which we found surprising throughout S.A. until you hit the Western Cape and edge towards Cape Town that is...
Regards Helen

  • Stayed: May 2009
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1  Thank nlbulh
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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