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“Incredible experience”

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Zwartberg View Mountain Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
widnes,uk
Level Contributor
11 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
“Incredible experience”
Reviewed February 27, 2014 via mobile

Well pretty much everything has already been written and said about this amazing place, Jann and Amanda, Indiana and Celeste, but you don't really understand why people love it so much until you experience firsthand. We had already had a fantastic experience seeing a host of animals in a natural environment earlier in our holiday, but what Jann has created through hard work, dedication and vision is incredible. The opportunity to spend time in this beautiful place was a real treat and the up close experience each evening with the variety of beautiful animals was magical.
We were travelling as a group of 2 families children aged 3-10, and Jann went out of his way to accommodate us in the lovely chalets. Meals were informal and delicious and nothing beats the sound of Chinese electronic bird song at breakfast along with wonderful table centre pieces:) Jann is a great host and his brilliant eclectic taste is reflected in the lovely lodge and rooms he has created. We only had 2 nights which isn't really enough time to appreciate this place, definitely recommend longer if you're able.

As a note we had quite unusual wet, cool weather on our visit but it didn't spoil the experience at all as the resort is on the right side of town to visit the ostrich farms, caves and the Swartberg pass. So I'd imagine a winter visit would be just as enjoyable as the rest of the year also. We'd love to return and a big thanks for a lovely time.

Stayed February 2014, traveled with family
Helpful?
Thank garynield
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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420 reviews from our community

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  • Sleep Quality
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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (71)
Date | Rating
  • Danish first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
Southampton, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
11 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed February 24, 2014 via mobile

This was our second trip to see Jan. What can we say that hasn't already been said about this place. Well the new multimedia visitors centre is a really nice addition, as is the Olympic size swimming pool, croquet lawn and bungee jumping. Unfortunately all of these meant we didn't have time to use the casino or off road motorcycle course.
If any of the above activities appeal to you then I wholeheartedly recommend you ..... Look somewhere else!
Zwartberg view is a truly special place offering a rare kind of peace and tranquility combined with true African hospitality
Thank you Jan for another fantastic albeit it short stay

Stayed February 2014, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
Thank Rich_C1981
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
jannharoldbader, Owner at Zwartberg View Mountain Lodge, responded to this review, February 25, 2014
It is not often that a lodge owner has reason to call an excellent review "disappointing".
But this the only word that can be used to describe guests who want peace, quiet and the purity
of being in a natural environment for a while INSTEAD of appreciating our new developments !!!!
Our multimedia centre DOES enable guests to enjoy all the views on video in a comfy armchair,
without any ants !! Our railroad disney style tour of the property does enable guests to enjoy
dangerous wildlife without being in any danger and of course our new casino slot machines
are based on local designs and features - our lamb chop jackpot slot machine recently paid out
ten sheep and an ostrich to a lucky guest from Southampton !!
But yes - as ALL of the features in this review can be had nearby in other lodges, hotels and
entertainment parks it is wonderful to know that people still enjoy empty spaces, sunsets, wildlife,
great food and conversation which is what everyone gets here !!!!
Come back !!!
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Franschhoek
Level Contributor
43 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
Reviewed February 13, 2014

How to describe such an amazing experience ..........think of sharing the 'home' of Jann Bader who is the most natural born show man we've ever met, ....together with his famous dog Indiana, the almost tame Bush pig who delights in interrupting dinner , plus the chance to see the Eland and Zebra at close range is such a treat for us Westerners.

Think a-m-a -z -i-n- g food created by this one man extravaganza and his lovely assistant Amanda, served in the bush around the fire pit and listening to this man who rivals John Cleese for humour and is one of life's natural raconteurs!!!!

Don't go if you haven't at least a bit of a sense of adventure, still yearn for Egyptian Cotton sheets, air con, and room service. But do visit if you really want to experience nature at its simplest, easy going, comfortable accommodation and a sense of peace and tranquillity rarely found anywhere!

We have stayed at some of Africa's top lodges and have loved each and every one of our experiences........but staying at Swartberg Mountain view has reinforced a belief that simple pleasures can offer the most satisfaction.

Yes without doubt we will return ........we plan to bring plenty of Knakworst Jann just in case you run out for distinguished guests!!!

Room Tip: There are only three chalets ......all are very private. Ps Take good/ sensible walking shoes and...
See more room tips
  • Stayed February 2014, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Sue and Sjaak A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
jannharoldbader, Owner at Zwartberg View Mountain Lodge, responded to this review, February 25, 2014
There are 850,000,000 reviews on tripadvisor !
If and when tripadvisor decide to award the best review ever written and of course a similar
award for the lodge that provide the circumstances for such a review, then nothing less than a trip to Hollywood, a walk down the red carpet and a small speech thanking parents friends and the manufacturers of knackwurst awaits the creators of this review !!
Come on tripadvisor - admit it...best review ever written !!!!
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Amsterdam, The Netherlands
1 review
Reviewed February 13, 2014

We really love the special way of being in the Karoo in the middle of fine bush, with such a quiet area and such trustfull area no needs for locks and keys, were can you find this still in this world?
The owner Jann is a fantastic allround man, he cooks amazing, he build, treat his animals so very well, at diner time the elands, zebra's, bush pig were very close by he put open fires on, even every time he had a different creative way of making the table all this, with his delightfull assistent. The chalets were very nice, it was just such a very nice experience to visit Zwartberg View and we very thankfull we were invited by our family to visit this marvelous place.

  • Stayed February 2014, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Ina A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cheltenham, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
109 reviews
43 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 145 helpful votes
Reviewed February 12, 2014 via mobile

The four seasons it isn't, but then if that's your style you wouldn't really appreciate this little gem of a place... And it deserves the One & Only name far more than the chain of that name..
Other reviews have said it all really- the views, the animals, the wacky table settings,the food...and Jann is a fount of knowledge about South African history, politics, and advertising ( he used to be a creative director in various ad agencies)
And a special mention about the breakfasts... The individual fruit platters ( more of a work of art then a plate of fruit) was both the most creative breakfast I have had anywhere in the world, and very healthy. And now that Jann has been introduced to Nutrific, the cereal course will be exceptional too. Just be aware that if you have the fruit and cereals, you will not have room for the mega cooked platter which follows!
Jann- please keep incorporating Nutrific into your table arrangements, or our spies will report back!!

Stayed January 2014, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
Thank j0gli
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
jannharoldbader, Owner at Zwartberg View Mountain Lodge, responded to this review, February 13, 2014
Thank you for a wonderful review !!
I should also thank you for introducing us to Nutrific wheat breakfast biscuits which we know as
weet-bix in South Africa. It is unfortunate that you chose tripadvisor to expose our use of this
amazing product to our competitors - hopefully they will not guess that it is now Nutrific giving us our edge and they will contine serving old fashioned corn flakes and muesli whilst we continue
to experiment with Nutrific - already we do Nutrific flambe, Nutrific casserole and my personal favourite, Nutrific stir fry.
I am hopeful that you will return here soon and by then we should be able to produce ONLY
nutrific based meals and drinks.
Thanks for the superb description of our breakfast fruit platter !!!
Jann
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Nunukan Island, Maratua, Indonesia
Level Contributor
24 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed February 6, 2014

In January we stayed unfortunately only for one night at the Zwartberg View.
We just arrived, Jann already jump inside his car and brought ice cold beer to our room.
The rooms has everything what is needed (maybe for me to many pillows) ;-)
The view from the room is just great and the walk in the late afternoon up to the mountain offers stunning views over the Klein Karoo.
When the meals get served then you feel like to be in a 127 star gault millau or michelin restaurant. It was just super yummy. As we are used to live on a small island much more remote than Jann can ever be, he was so impressed that he can't sleep because he was busy all night to tinker a new decoration for the breakfast table;-)
It was our first trip ever to South Africa, we will go back to this beautiful country one day and Jann, if we come back to SA then you can be sure, that we will sit more than just one evening together with your pig around the fire ;-)
In the meantime you can plan your trip to our island. If you feel the place is to small, then you can bring a hectare or 2 of your beautiful place and we will find a solution to attach ;-)

  • Stayed January 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank waefi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
jannharoldbader, Owner at Zwartberg View Mountain Lodge, responded to this review, February 25, 2014
This is the second best review ever written - not of our lodge, but of all of the 950 million reviews on tripadvisor !
It could have been the very best, but the idea of trying to take some of our hectares and stick them to an island upset the judges a bit !!
Nontheless, when tripadvisor does make the announcement of the review of the year - you will have to leave the island one more time to walk down the red carpet in Hollywood to collect your
best supporting review of the year award !!!
Celeste will definitely win pig of the year !!!
Thanks, thanks thanks,

Jann
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Camarillo, California
Level Contributor
8 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed February 6, 2014

My wife and I highly recommend the Zwartberg View Mountain Retreat for an "out-of-the-box" South African adventure. We will remember the grand Klein Karoo setting, along with the beautiful sunrises and sunsets, for a very long time. Also, Jann's hospitality and food was outstanding. And the animals at the retreat were always entertaining; especially his "pet" bush pig! Jen is truly a South African Doctor Doolittle! We enjoyed a very interesting and memorable stay at the Retreat. Wayne and Barbara

Stayed January 2014, traveled with family
Helpful?
1 Thank Wayne D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Zwartberg View Mountain Lodge

Property: Zwartberg View Mountain Lodge
Address: Vergelegen Road, Oudtshoorn 6625, South Africa
Location: South Africa > Western Cape > Oudtshoorn
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free Parking Restaurant Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #6 of 46 Specialty Lodging in Oudtshoorn
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Number of rooms: 4
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Zwartberg View Mountain Retreat is set in our own private nature reserve 15 minutes from Oudtshoorn and de Rust - our chalets are high up in the hills above a natural amphitheatre where wildlife abounds and the views are spectacular. Our dinners and breakfasts, included in our rate are internationally renowned, our furnishings and fittings very African and very unique. ... more   less 
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