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“Special Holiday”
Review of umSisi House

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umSisi House
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed July 27, 2012

My brother and I spent a few days at Umsisi - we had the best time ever. Besides the wonderful road trips and elephant rides, our hosts Amanda and Paddy were amazing. Our packet picnic baskets and home cooked meals were to die for and were the personal touch we seldom see. For the dog lovers, you're in for a treat! Bella and Saxon are adorable! For those who aren't too keen on dogs - they are disciplined and trained and will stay out of your way if you so choose. Thanks Amanda and Paddy, we had such an unforgettable time. Paula and Kevin (JHB & Abu Dhabi)

  • Stayed: September 2011, traveled with friends
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Thank Paula I
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
amandabond007, Manager at umSisi House, responded to this reviewResponded October 23, 2013

We are so pleased that you enjoyed your stay at our beautiful self-catering cottage here in the grounds of umSisi House. The cottage works equally well for self-catering guests and for larger groups staying at umSisi House. And it is always a pleasure to prepare evening meals and picnic hampers for our self-catering guests so that you can enjoy some time away from the stove! Kind regards Amanda, Paddy and the Boxers!

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130 - 136 of 175 reviews

Reviewed July 26, 2012

the place is just amazing! we had a great time , and is the ideal place to relax over some really good food and wine! Amanda and Paddy are wonderful hosts, and the place is full of activities making every day a unique experience.

Room Tip: all rooms are really nice!
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  • Stayed: July 2012, traveled with family
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Thank Carlos W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
amandabond007, Manager at umSisi House, responded to this reviewResponded October 23, 2013

Thank you for taking the time to write a review. Your feedback is gratefully appreciated. We hope to welcome you back to umSisi House in the not too distant future.

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Reviewed July 23, 2012

This must be one of South Africa's best kept secrets. The house is simply stunning, yet comfortable and relaxed and set in a tranquil, beautiful spot. The hosts are always attentive without being intrusive and they went the extra mile and then some to ensure our stay was memorable. The food is simply delicious and often sourced from their own vegetable garden.
Our children were so well looked after as well. There is a pool and huge garden with lush lawns, big boulders and a natural stream cascading into a small pool. And even better are the wonderful paths criss-crossing the bigger property for some extra exploring. And when they were tired after all the exploring, a seperate tv room gave them some free time to relax.
The house is the perfect place from which to explore Kruger and the the Panarama towns and close to the Nelspruit airport as well.

  • Stayed: January 2012, traveled with family
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Thank Jolisa G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
amandabond007, Owner at umSisi House, responded to this reviewResponded October 22, 2013

It was wonderful to have locals to stay with us at umSisi House. We're so pleased that you enjoyed this magical spot and we're looking forward to your return. Kind regards Amanda

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Reviewed June 9, 2012

We stayed with our entire family for 8 days at Umsisi House over the Easter period this year and cannot rave enough about how wonderful it is. There were 8 of us in total so we stayed in both the main house and the cottage.

All of the rooms were spacious and beautifully decorated in contemporary African chic style. Amanda and Paddy who bought and renovated the property have created a stylish and comfortable home away from home where you feel welcome and truly spoilt.

Nothing is too much trouble and before we had even arrived all our activities had been carefully planned and organised so there wasn’t a thing to worry about or a decision to make once we were there.

A major part of the experience when staying at Umsisi is the food. Prepared with a flair and dedication that true foodies will appreciate. Amanda sent us a list of choices a few weeks before we arrived and the selection offered would tempt any palate. As it was my parents' first time to Africa we went for the full experience and ordered a range of game options from Kudu to Impala to Mozambique Prawns to Crocodile. Everything was wonderful but even so we were asked to rate each dish on departure so that they could continue to improve on what they were offering – you don’t tend to get this kind of attention to detail often these days.

Amanda organised a number of days in the Kruger Park with a guide and open game vehicle which collected us in the morning and drove us into the park. We also spent a day visiting a historical gold mining town and played golf at one of the many courses to choose from. There are lots of things to do and we could have easily spent another week there. My husband and sons went mountain biking from the house and there is hiking up into the hills above the house where there are stunning views of the Kruger Park disappearing into the distance beyond what you can see. But Umsisi house is so beautiful and welcoming that you don't need to go anywhere - it is a such a pleasure just to relax on the terrace with a chilled gin and tonic and admire the view. Amanda and Paddy are a charming and amusing couple who are the consummate hosts and given their adventurous travels in Africa over the years, will keep you entertained for days with their stories.

I would wholeheartedly recommend Umsisi house to anyone looking for a unique, stylish, delicious and welcoming experience.

  • Stayed: April 2012, traveled with family
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Thank NoelleMcK
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
amandabond007, Owner at umSisi House, responded to this reviewResponded October 23, 2013

Thank you for your wonderful feedback. We loved having you all for this Easter week. Such fond memories - introducing your parents to crocodile, creating an Easter Egg hunt and watching your boys running around to collect them all before the African sun devoured them and learning to make the perfect Mojito! What fun we all had. We look forward to your return. Kind regards Amanda and Paddy

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Reviewed June 9, 2012

I defy anyone to find fault, of any kind, with both UmSisi House or its hosts, Amanda and Paddy Bond Gunning. The house is quite simply, stunning. Thoughtfully and tastefully decorated inviting you to sample all that is special about Africa in one setting. From bedrooms that cater to even the smallest need, to gardens that make you wish you need never leave. Verandahs that conjure up magical views where you can see the moon rising and every star ever documented and gardens with tree walks and climbing rocks (a child's paradise and a garden lovers haven). My husband and I,with our two children aged 10 and 6 have had an experience we will never forget. Amanda and Paddy's knowledge of the country they live in, it's flora and fauna, it's people and politics are unsurpassed by even the most rigorous of guide books. They are welcoming, informative and generous with their time yet never intrude on any required privacy and as a result have created a home away from home with luxurious touches that (from a mother and wife's point of view) one can never have at one's own home. The food is creative and carefully considered and, quite frankly, exceptional. Safaris take on a new meaning, especially if you are lucky enough to be taken into the bush with Amanda and Paddy themselves. Their knowledge and 'eagle eyes' meant that we saw the Big Five and animals, birds and plants that we didn't even know existed. To wax lyrical about UmSisi House and its hosts is not enough. You MUST go. There is nowhere like it on earth.... Paradise but with home at it's core. Truly magical and beyond all dreams and expectations. Thank you Amanda and Paddy.

  • Stayed: June 2012, traveled with family
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Thank BeckyAH
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
amandabond007, Owner at umSisi House, responded to this reviewResponded October 23, 2013

What a wonderful family group. We so enjoyed your visit. Your energy and enthusiasm to explore the area was unprecedented. You did so much and can truly claim to have explored every corner of the Kruger Lowveld region. Thank you for this feedback and the wonderful 'Ode to umSisi House' that you penned in our visitor's book. It will be framed when time allows and hung in a very special place. Kind regards Amanda

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Reviewed May 6, 2012

This was truly a soul enriching experience. From the very first moments, our hosts, Amanda and Paddy made us feel like we were home even though we had never been to this part of the world before. The house is beautiful with amazing views and the surrounding gardens and water feature added to the tranquil, spirit lifting atmosphere. The cottage was lovely as well.

The meals were delicious and plentiful. We were a family of eight, including three small boys ages five, seven and eight. We were fortunate to be able to spend Easter weekend there where the boys engaged in a fantastic egg hunt. They enjoyed swimming, exploring, bike riding and the puzzles and games at the house.

The hosts gave us such wonderful advice and arranged our trips into the bush with a very informative guide. As our love for the region grew we were further inspired by the entertaining stories shared by Paddy and Amanda. Their love for the region is contagious. Our trip just would not have been so amazing without the umSisi House and Paddy and Amanda. We cannot wait to return!

Diane B. San Francisco, Ca.

  • Stayed: April 2012, traveled with family
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Thank Diane B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
amandabond007, Owner at umSisi House, responded to this reviewResponded October 23, 2013

Your first time in South Africa and you seemed completely at home! G&T's on the veranda every evening at sunset, a love of everything South African and an adventurous palate! Thank you for taking the time to write such a wonderful review. Hugely appreciated. Kind regards Amanda

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Reviewed April 30, 2012

we stayed in the self catering cottage at umsisi house. it is a gorgeous little cottage, beautifully refurbished with 2 double bedrooms, bathroom and living area with kitchen. there is also a verhanda with stunning views over africa towards the kruger park. perfect for our family plus a maid came in each morning to clean the cottage. we met amanda and paddy, the hosts and owners of umsisi house. they are wonderful hosts and are passionate about the area. would highly recommend. very reasonably priced too.

  • Stayed: April 2012, traveled with family
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Thank claireyl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
amandabond007, Manager at umSisi House, responded to this reviewResponded October 23, 2013

Thank you for taking the time to write a review. Your feedback is gratefully appreciated. We hope to welcome you back to umSisi House in the not too distant future.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about umSisi House

Address: 40 Plot D2 Peebles Valley Rd (off R Road | Peebles Valley, White River 1240, South Africa
Location: South Africa > Mpumalanga > White River
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Restaurant Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 19 Specialty Lodging in White River
Price Range: $62 - $865 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — umSisi House 5*
Number of rooms: 3
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Set in 60 hectares of pristine bush, within the Jock of the Bushveld Conservancy, umSisi House is strategically located in the Peebles Valley between the town of White River and the Numbi Gate entrance to the southern Kruger Park (15 minutes away). We offer a personal service that only a very small, privately owned and managed, five-star, luxury country house villa and gourmet getaway can provide. umSisi House is the perfect destination for groups of friends and family wishing to visit South Africa’s Kruger Lowveld region, the Panorama Route and enjoy the many adventure activities available in the immediate area. The house only caters for private groups (between 4 and 10 people) on either (a) a dinner, bed and breakfast basis,(b) a full board (all inclusive) basis or a self-catering basis (maximum 6 guests). It is particularly suitable for those looking for luxury accommodation near the Kruger Park. A booking service for local activities (including bespoke Kruger safaris in open game-viewers) is also provided. All meals are planned with guests in advance to ensure that the dining experience is a daily highlight. TGCSA 5-Star Country House. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
UmSisi House White River, South Africa - Mpumalanga

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