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“A wonderful experience with an unpleasant aftertaste.” 3 of 5 bubbles
Review of Kings Walden Garden Manor

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Kings Walden Garden Manor
Ranked #2 of 15 Tzaneen B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
Ingolstadt, Germany
Level Contributor
19 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
“A wonderful experience with an unpleasant aftertaste.”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 19, 2012

We (two couples) stayed here for 4 nights. Everything is just amazing: the location,the gardens, the views, the staff, the rooms (we had the two garden rooms with a view of the pool).
So why just 3 * ?
Every evening we had a four course meal wich was of outstanding quality.
The first evening we had as dessert (and we love desserts) a choice of Belgium chocolate cake and cold cheese cake. Both were very tasty and of excellent quality.
Guess what we had the second evening for dessert: Belgium chocolate cake and cold cheese cake. Okay, we had the choice, so we took the cake we did not try the day before.
Guess what we had the third evening for dessert:Belgium chocolate cake and cold cheese cake. Well, we asked for something else, but unfortunately...... So we complained and asked for another desert for the next evening wich we finally got.
I'd like to emphasize once again: Both cakes were freshly made every day and were of excellent quality. But, if you've booked DBB at such a high quality lodging you expect more.

In one of our rooms the electric bathroom suction did not work. Unfortunately the kitchen suction seems to blow in the same duct as the bathroom. When we came to our room late afternoon, we knew excactly that we're going to have fish tonight. The whole room was saturated by fish smell. We immediatelly informed Billy the new tenant of Kings Walden and he gave advice to the kitchen not to use the kitchen fan any more until our fan is repaired. He informed us, that the electrician is going to come only three days later. Unfortunately, the solution, not to switch on the kitchen fan did not work 100 %. We still had some kitchen smell in our room. There was no electrician there the second day, we also have not been informed when there will be some repair.
So, even when left, after the fourth night, that fan has not been repaired.

On the whole, a beautiful location, but a strong recommendation to the new tenants: take your guest more serious, they may tolerate some things, but they never forget.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank herbel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kingswalden, Owner at Kings Walden Garden Manor, responded to this review, October 20, 2012
Dear Herbel

Thank you for your review on Kings Walden. We would like to make the following comments based on your review, we are the new owners of Kings Walden however we will only take official ownership of the business at the end of this month. For the time we had been at Kings Walden we had run and managed the hotel on behalf of the previous owners whilst they relocated to Belgium.

As mentioned to in your review you noted that we are the new tenants of Kings Walden, with this we have a landlord who all major repairs and maintenance need to be cleared by. We apologize for this time frame it it had taken to address the problem, however we had a channel to go through to ensure that this is done effectively.

Kings Walden was previously a 3 star guest house under the original owners of Kings Walden, it will be be accredited within the next couple of months to ensure it is graded according to the standard we offer.


Our guests are our main priority, we do assure you that all comments are taken very seriously and have been adressed to the best of our ability within the parameters we find ourselves in currently.

Thank you for taking the time to review our hotel, we are looking forward to hosting you the next time you are in Tzaneen.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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182 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (24)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Any
English first
2 reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 17, 2012

I checked into this beautiful Garden Manor and was greeted by the owners Minette and Billy in the car park which was a lovely way to start my stay! I was shown to my room but first given a tour of the house and gardens while the sun was setting, which was breathtaking. Billy, the owner, spent ages telling me all about the history of the house, and explaining the photos which adorn the reception walls, which tell a very interesting story! The Hotel is set overlooking Tzaneen and has stunning views from every part of the Garden. My room was lovely, I had a beautiful fireplace, a little lounge area, a bathroom, all of which was extremely spacious and decorated to a very high standard. It's modern with an African theme which I was hoping for, as a visitor from the UK.

I was then seated in the garden with a bottle of wine, a view over Tzaneen, and a delicious platter as a prelude to my 4 course meal. The fact that this was free of charge was wonderful as it would have been well over R80 at any other establishment.

The cuisine is outstanding, my duck was cooked to perfection and as a trained chef I was very impressed. By far the best food I was served in South Africa.
The staff were all very friendly, and made me feel so welcome, I can't recommend this Garden Manor highly enough, when they start doing weddings I will be booking mine there!
Thank you for making our trip to South Africa such a wonderful one!

  • Stayed October 2012
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Uktravellers1597
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London
Level Contributor
38 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 70 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 13, 2012

Based on the stunning views, beautiful English style grounds, lovely large and comfortable rooms and friendly staff, we'd rate this guesthouse 5 stars but unfortunately we found several worrying issues with the new management that have recently taken over that need to be highlighted.

My husband and I stayed for two nights in September and we are in complete agreement with the previous poster who found the new manager Billy absent with the exception of turning up in the mornings to collect payment from guests. We found this also to be the case.

We also found there to be a nasty sting in the tail when the bill was presented at the end of our stay as we were asked to pay the total price for a four course meal on both nights despite our having only taken three courses on both nights and the website stating that it was possible to take individual courses. I've checked the website today (13th October) and it still states that "dishes can be ordered separately". When we queried this, Billy said that guests have to pay the four course package price no matter how many courses they take. This needs to be made clear on the website and at the time of dining. The website also talks about Steven Jacobs, the chef, but when we were there we discovered that he has left and returned to Belgium. Really, the new management need to get their act together and clearly state their offering on their website as it's currently misleading. It would also be helpful if Billy could keep his conversations about cost cutting on produce between him and the kitchen staff private. Unfortunately we could hear everything discussed in the kitchen when we were dining.

Above all this is a beautiful guesthouse and we had a great stay but this was slightly spoilt by a questionable management.

Room Tip: All are lovely.
See more room tips
  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Happytraveller12397
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Franschhoek, South Africa
Level Contributor
34 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 1, 2012

This has got to be one of the more beautiful places on earth.

We were welcomed after the long drive from Johannesburg by a delightful man called Jacob who showed us to our rooms and offered us tea or coffee and a choice of either chocolate or cheese cake..Both were delicious! Jacob gladly moved furniture so we could sit on the lawn over looking a view that would be difficult to better!

The rooms are very comfortable, Lovely big bedrooms, spacious bathrooms and candles everywhere. A really nice touch is a Cd/Ipod player in each room with 2 disks of great music. We also loved the fire place! (Pillows need to be changed as they are rather lumpy and the extractor fans need cleaning..They are very noisy) this is a truly stunning place that has been exquisitely renovated from a family home to a six bedroom hotel. I loved the great bunches of flowers picked from the gardens all on almost every surface..

Breakfast is excellent with a huge choice, beautifully presented and served to us once again by the charming and delightful Jacob and Barney.

Big disappointment was the dinner. Contrary to what is stated on the web site there is no choice offered nor were we asked if we had any likes or dislikes. The dinner was quite edible but certainly not the culinary treat we had expected after reading the web site. We also felt that it was extremely overpriced at R250 per head.

At no stage were we told about any of the activities available such as the boat trips on the dam in the Kings Walden boat, we would love to have done that! It would have been fantastic had we known that a guided tour of the magnificent gardens was available. There is no literature in the rooms other than telling you that it is an Eco Friendly establishment, and telephone numbers to contact in case of an emergency. These are out of date. On our last morning some brochures of Kings Walden had been put out on the reception counter which is when I realised what we could have enjoyed.

The second big disappointment was that we were unable to watch the golf or the rugby as the huge flat screen TV in the bar wasn’t working, and apparently hasn’t done so for the past three months due to an un paid bill.

Had it not been for Jacob and Barney and the lovely lady cook Kings Walden would be very different The new hosts Billy and Minette appear to have little or no interest in their guests and were conspicuous by their absence. Billy put in a brief appearance on the morning we left so we could pay our bill and then disappeared again; he didn’t even ask if we had enjoyed our stay!!

If you read past reviews and their web site, Kings Walden promises to be one of those wonderful treats one sometimes experience in life. How sad that all the standards that Jacobs had put in place seems to be slipping. I feel it would be a good idea to update the web site so as to not mislead future guests. It was a great disappointment to discover that Steven Jacobs is no longer the host and his legendary cuisine no longer available.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank dragon117
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kingswalden, Owner at Kings Walden Garden Manor, responded to this review, October 10, 2012
Dear Dragon 117

Thank you for your lovely review on our magnificent hotel, you are indeed correct in saying its one of the most beautiful places on earth and we are very proud of Kings Walden. As mentioned in your review Kings Walden is now under new ownership, we take great pride in this property and always aim to reach all our guests and give them and unforgettable experience. With this change of ownership there are various aspects that are still in the process of changing, such as the brochure which was on display detailing the boating trip. Our website was updated on the 12th of September and went live with the new information on the 16th of September. The website previously stated that we offered a boating trip however we do not at the moment as it was sold with the previous owners. This activity will be available in the future but currently is not and was ammended accodingly on our website on the 16th of September. We apologise for causing you any inconvenience or disapointment regarding our activities.

The culinary experience is something that makes Kings Walden stand out from the other establishments. As the new owners, we have not changed the manner in which we offer dinner or any of our meals. The quality or the standard of the food is and will be kept to the high standard Steven had created. The idea behind the meal not having any opitions is to suprise the pallet and really just embrace what the chef has created from the fresh ingridients he is able to find that day from the local produce. We offer an A la Carte breakfast menu but the four course dinner is a fine dining experience as mentioned on our website each meal is complinemeted by pre dinner tapas platter of pita, babaganoush, home made humus, parma ham or fresh quail eggs and anchovies depending on what we can source.

With regard to the television, we have a hospitality bouquet and this is more basic than the detailed premium boquet. Collectively as hoteliers, considering the beautiful enviroment Kings Walden is in we decided to have the smaller boquet as guests very, very rarely watch television. We opted to activate the subscription with Multichoice on demand as it was 3 months since any Kings Walden guests requested to watch television. Once again we do apologise if this caused you any inconvenience. The television was activated immediately upon your request.

We appreciate you constructive critism and are in the process of adding our own touchees to an already magical place, and hope to welcome you back to Kings Walden Garden Manor in the future.

Kind Regards
Billy and Minette McKechnie
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Johannesburg, South Africa
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 30, 2012

We came across Kings Walden Garden Manor by reading about it in a newspaper article and would otherwise not have considered traveling to that part of South Africa. We weren't disappointed. Like the author we were spellbound by the pristine setting, breathtaking scenery and the magic of the garden surrounding the property. Add a very fine cuisine and very attentive staff and you have the perfect get-away. The manor itself is stylishly decorated, rooms are spacious and tranquil. One of it's best features (apart from the garden) is the large patio overlooking a valley and mountains - a perfect spot for a sundowner. Minette and Billy the new hosts and owners were very warm and welcoming and went out of their way to accommodate our little family including our 18 month old son. We highly recommend this little African gem!

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank PiaE710
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bruges, Belgium
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 2, 2012

It's been over a year that we 've stayed @ Kings Walden and we still think about it almost every day! Words can't describe it! The room and bathroom were very spacious and cosy. Breakfast and dinner were excellent! Steven was very helpfull and even printed out a map to guide us to our next stop in our roundtrip. The only thing we regret is that we didn't stay longer. The next time we visit South-Africa this will be our 1st stop!

  • Stayed November 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Linds1983
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Noordhoek, South Africa
Level Contributor
20 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 20, 2012

The rooms were spacious and elegantly appointed. Some may feel that they are too "cold" and impersonal, but to us they were understated and really chic. The bathrooms were equally large, with a massive shower and bath, double vanities and fluffy towels.

Unfortunately, the fireplaces in all the rooms (other guests also mentioned it) smelled badly of old smoke/ soot and the wood burned with difficulty - I got the feeling that the chimneys were incorrectly built or maybe needed cleaning. The result was a heavy smell of soot and a lot of smoke in the rooms - this really affected one's sleep quality and pleasure.

Absolutely fabulous food - every single meal was an experience to remember. We were treated to grilled sea bass, beautifully done beef fillet, fantastic soups and decadent desserts. Breakfasts were easily some of the best I have ever had - juice, excellent coffee, 3-5 different breads with jams, fresh fruit and fantastic egg dishes. I can highly recommend the garden omelette and the bruschetta with poached eggs. The wine list was good.

All in all this is a great guesthouse - good service, delightful food and classy accommodation.

  • Stayed June 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Solospiral
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Kings Walden Garden Manor

Property: Kings Walden Garden Manor
Address: Old Coach Road | Agatha, Tzaneen 0850, South Africa
Location: South Africa > Limpopo Province > Tzaneen
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 15 B&Bs / Inns in Tzaneen
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — Kings Walden Garden Manor 4*
Number of rooms: 6
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Beautiful mountain views and a romantic garden provide a charming backdrop for six luxury rooms at Kings Walden Garden Manor. Rooms that are made for romance and relaxation. Stretch out on extra-length, king size beds, relax in front of the fire with fine wine, good music and great company. Our decor is inspired by clean, elegant lines with modern European undertones - warm and earthy, velvet and leather, cream and black - and our bathrooms are spacious and sexy. The ideal 2-night stopover !!! ... more   less 
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