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“dream come true”
Review of Umlilo Lodge B&B

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Umlilo Lodge B&B
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed December 5, 2011

Located a short walk to a wonderful market in a quiet tourist beach town. Watch out for Vincent the hippo walking down the street at night! I felt so safe and secluded in this property behind the tall walls tucked in what seemed like a forrest of its own. Bubbling creek runs past all the rooms and the local choir of frogs sings me to sleep. Room was amazing, beautiful decor, modern, up to date but with a rustic jungle cabin feel. Run by a wonderful family, amazing meals! Wish I could have stayed longer than 2 nights!

  • Stayed: November 2011
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Thank bchapman84
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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150 - 156 of 235 reviews

Reviewed October 1, 2011

Umlilo Lodge does an amazing job of mixing the exoticism of a fantasy wilderness lodge with all the comforts of home. Physically, the lodge is gorgeous. Meandering pathways lined with trees, flowers, and babbling brooks lead to comfortable, well-furnished rooms. The rooms have everything you need, including comfortable beds, adequate storage, and a bathroom with separate tub and shower. Although a very short walk from the main road, everything is quiet and tranquil. The food is well done and varied. Most important is the warm atmosphere. They go well beyond being just good hosts and I now consider them treasured friends. As a woman traveling alone, it is rare that I've felt so safe and cared for.

  • Stayed: September 2011, traveled solo
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Thank dolphoto
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 18, 2011

The lodge is actually a design hotel. The theme is wilderness and this atmosphere is present in the general areas, in the room and even in the bathroom. The designer Lourens has thought about every little detail and that pays off! The room #10 was very spacious and stunning in every aspect. Nothing is co-incidental and everything is functional.
A few remarks: we would appreciate a light in the (separate) shower; one is standing in the dark. We were surprised that the main entrance door is unlocked at all times; the lock does not work and does not fit! Lourens said that it was completely safe in St. Lucia and the crime rate was extremely low. the only danger in the dark of the night are the hippo's walking through the streets of St. Lucia at night. (We never saw them actually)
Street parking is free; no fenced parking area.
The swimming pool is well maintained and rather large.
We payed ZAR 4,400 for 4 nights.

Room Tip: ask for room #10
See more room tips
  • Stayed: March 2011, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Alessandro1945
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 26, 2010

This at first seems like a multi-leveled hotel with a variety of room choices but it has much more. swimming pool small but clean, wi-fi and a computer for use patrons, as we had an large group we had a meal buffet with the outdoor fire pit for grilling and baking the "bread on a stick". The site is nestled with water features with koi fish so I feel away from the street that you are on. The lounge is open yet has small conversation areas. After dinner a hippo walked up onto the garden outside the front door, just as if they munch grass in the evening here every night. Lots of geckos and frogs in the evening. Breakfast buffet all the usual stuff. Large bathrooms which we needed as we had lots of Indian Ocean sand all over everything. They supplied us with beach towels in addition to bath towels. Close to street vendors and a few blocks from grocery, ATM and other shops. Only one negative the walls are thin so we heard the evening news from the room next door. Very attentive service all questions and concerns dealt with quickly.

  • Stayed: August 2010, traveled with family
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2  Thank bjbrennan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 28, 2010

We stayed for 1 night in St Lucia during our World Cup trip, and were lucky to find a place like Umlilo Lodge

Everything was perfect and it is really a shame that we could not stay longer (comparing to all the other B&Bs we experienced in South Africa, this was the best, and in one of the best locations as well, St Lucia is a really nice place)

  • Stayed: June 2010, traveled as a couple
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Thank Dimitra M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 29, 2008

Exceptional design and comfort, surronded by luxuriant vegetation and cuddled by the sound of a small stream of water running in the garden, at 2 mins from St.Lucia main road.

Extremely warm welcome by Es (the lady who runs the place) who has helped us out with the hippo cruise reservations before arriving there.

Es also explained us how to better enjoy St Lucia Wetlands reserve (where to go, what animals to spot, etc.). We were provided with an ice bag and beach towels for a memorable pic nic at the Cape Vidal beach on the Indian Ocean, in the northern part of the reserve.

We defintely underestimated the number of possible activities this area offers and stayed there for only 2 nights (allow yourself about 3/4 full days in order to fully enjoy the place).

  • Stayed: August 2008, traveled as a couple
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Thank marta82
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 27, 2008

We have just returned from 4 days at Umlilo Lodge. It is a B&B situated in South Africa's first World Heritage Site, St Lucia, iSimangaliso Wetland Park. This B&B is comfortable and is set in a woodland type tropical environment that you feel as if you are transported into a different world as soon as you enter the property. Lovely water features and koi pond. Es, the owner, is a very energetic lady and was very helpful in advising on tourist activities. We have stayed in this village before so we knew a lot of what was available to us. The bedroom was two beds pushed together and an en-suite bathroom with bath and shower facilities. The bedroom also has your own kettle and fridge with tea/coffee and creamer available. There is also a TV in the room with a few satellite channels - 2 movie channels and the rest 3 local channels and the rest unfortunately sport! plus Sky News. When we arrived it was pouring with rain and we spent most of the day in our room - Es offered an umbrella which we used to go out for dinner that night (Ocean Sizzler - lovely seafood). It was over the Easter Weekend so the village was busy with tourists and it was a real treat to get back to the peace and tranquility of the lodge at times. Breakfast was provided daily unless you were leaving for the Game Park nearby which means you had to get up around 5am. But breakfast on any other day was provided between 7.30 and 9.30am daily - both hot and cold breakfast was available with fresh fruit, cold meats, breads, egg, bacon, sausage, tomatoes, corn fritters, cheese, jams and other spreads, so you could fill up for the day easily. There was a honour bar as well. There is also a pool available on the property and there is wheelchair access. Restaurants we tried out for dinner were:
Ocean Sizzler - great greek seafood etc
St Pizza - ok pizza - lacked a bit of zest
Fur Elize - ok eisbein but lovely malva pudding - not great coffee
The Boat/Ski Club - great spot for sundowners and to watch the hippos in the estuary. We paid R350.00 per night per person with breakfast.
The village offers great activities from Wetland Tours which visit the Eastern Shores, incudle game-watching, birdlife, snorkelling, hikes and scenery. Our itinenerary was as follows:
Day 1 - Visit the Eastern Shores for game viewing and Cape Vidal for snorkelling (8 hours)
Day 2 - Big 5 Game Drive to Hlhuhluwe/iMfolozi Game Reserve (10 hours)
Day 3 - We took our own mountain bikes but you can hire them in the village and spent about an hour touring the village by bike and then spending the afternoon basking in the warm sunshine with the sand between our toes and swimming in the lovely warm indian ocean
Day 4 - Depart for Johannesburg - we drove so it was a long 8 hour drive and the roads are terrible! Recommend flying into Richards Bay and arranging for a car hire or transfer to property and will do this in future.

Overall I would recommend this lodge to anyone who is keen to just get away for a few days and is on a budget. Certainly not 5-star but given the area where it is whic is fairly remote - it provides all the necessities with lots of activities.

Some examples of these activities in the St Lucia area are:
Croc Centre
Cane Cutters Bird Park and Animal Farm
Fishing - salt water, deep sea charters and fly fishing
Hippo and Croc Cruise on the Estuary (2 hours)
Whale Watching - May to December (2 hours)
Marine Mammal Tours
Cultural Village Tours
Guided Walking Trails in the Game Park
Night Drive into the Eastern Shores
Guided Kayaking trips on lake St Lucia
Bicycle Tours
Birdwatching Walking Trails
Horse riding
Eastern Shores Excursion
Turtle Tours (6-8 hours, at night - seasonal)
Deep Sea Fishing
Afrikar 4x4 self-drive adventure
World Heritage Tour to Cape Vidal
Big 5 Game Drive to Hlhuhluwe/iMfolozi Game Reserve
So there is lots to offer if you are there for one day, two days or four days.

I have been to this area 3 times now and will go again. Try and avoid holiday seasons when the restaurants are full and the amount of cars to Cape Vidal/Eastern Shores is limited.

  • Stayed: March 2008, traveled as a couple
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5  Thank WalkingBoots1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Umlilo Lodge B&B

Address: 9 Dolphin Avenue | PO Box 267, St Lucia 3936, South Africa
Location: South Africa > KwaZulu-Natal > St Lucia
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free Parking Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #4 of 31 Specialty Lodging in St Lucia
Price Range: $120 - $145 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Umlilo Lodge B&B 4*
Number of rooms: 12
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Umlilo Lodge is located in St Lucia and surrounded by the Big 4 (no Lions) iSimangaliso Wetland Park; South Africa's first National World Heritage Site. Lake St Lucia is a large estuarine lake abundant with hippos, crocodiles, fish and hundreds of bird species. The area comprises rivers, lakes, marshes, mangrove swamps and huge sand dunes, protection the town from the Indian Ocean, beautiful unspoiled beaches with Whale Watching and Sea Turtle Tours in Season. Our rustic but luxurious Lodge offer 12 comfortable en suite guests bedrooms, All rooms have air - conditioning, 10 TV channels, mosquito nets, hair dryer, safety deposit boxes, refrigerator, complimentary tea & coffee facility etc. Guests can choose to laze on the wooden deck by the pool, make use of full internet in our info area as well as WiFi for guests who would like to bring their own WiFi devise. Relax in our bar lounge with honesty bar full Digital Satellite Television (DSTV) ... more   less 
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