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“Absolutely Superb”

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Londolozi Private Granite Suites
Auckland Region, New Zealand
Level 4 Contributor
41 reviews
26 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
“Absolutely Superb”
Reviewed November 9, 2010

We stayed at the Granite Suites for 2 nights whilst we were in South Africa on a family holiday. There were 6 of us so we had the whole camp to ourselves. The rooms are auperb each with an individual yet different pool. There is plenty of space and they are clean and cool.

The food is freshly prepared and you have someone to look after all your needs day and night. Our guide was excellent and we did some stunning game drives.

I can't recommend this place highly enough.

  • Stayed October 2010, traveled with family
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Thank mptopham
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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77 reviews from our community

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English first
Florida
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
Reviewed October 25, 2010

My wife and I stayed four days an Londolozi which is part of the Sabi Sand Private Game Reserve which shares a fenceless border with Kruger National Park. We stayed in the Private Granite Suites which is the newest lodging at Londolozi; it has only three suites, and therefore only accommodates three couples. The suites are standalone villas, a few minutes walk fron the dinning pavallion which has a lounge, kitchen and dinning arera with three tables. It has its own staff and manager,Trisha, who were very friendly and truely professional. The food and wine including champange on arrival were excellent and included in the room price which was very expensive but worth it. The Pavillion and the three villas sit directly on the bank of the Sand River on top of a large natural grouping of granite rocks with an unobstructed view of the river. We stayed in Suite 3, and from our sitting room and deck saw many animals including elephants and lions! The suites are spectacular: they are permanent structures, not tents and are huge with multiple rooms and high wood ceilings,and are elegantly furnished, and each has a private deck with heated private plunge pool.
The game drives were fantastic. We travelled in an open Land Rover with one other couple. We were driven by an experienced ranger, James Hobson, who was also an excellent driver, travelling off the road through the bush to get up close to the animals. James was also extremely knowledgeable about the native animals, birds and plants. We also had a very experienced tracker, Lodolozi uses both a ranger and tracker on each vechile, and this proved very valueable as we successfully tracked several leopards and lions, which when located ignored our vehicle and sometimes walked by the side of the stopped vecthe only an arms length away. We saw the big five multiple times and many other animals including girafes, hippos, zebras, wildebeast, impalas
to mention a few.
We visited the Varty Camp at Londolozi which is a short walk. It had eight Chalets and and a beautiful large dinning area, lounge, swimming pool and yoga deck. There are three other camps at Londolozi offering different types of accommodations and different price levels including some for families. All guest have morning and afternoon game drives and access to the same animals.
We also had a private tour of the staff village and school and were warmly greeted and sung to by the children. The Varty family has owned Landolozi for over 80 years, and the members of the family can be seen actively managing it, and their values of respect for the enviorment and people are evident. Nelson Mandela wrote, " During my long walk to freedom, I had the rare privilege to visit Londolozi. There I saw people of all races living in harmony amidst the beauty that Mother Nature offers. Londolozi represents a model of the dream I cherish for the future of natue preservation in our country."
Our vacation to South Africa was wonderful, and Londolozi was the key part of it.

  • Stayed October 2010, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank GerardFlorida
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Level 6 Contributor
339 reviews
61 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 102 helpful votes
Reviewed August 19, 2010

Granite feels like you are staying in the guest house of someone's home and the lodge (for your meals) is their den. Very nice accommodations, very friendly staff, great food - and the animal viewing is tops.

  • Stayed August 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank abmilw
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Manitoba
Level 3 Contributor
7 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed February 3, 2010

We were fortunate enough to visit Londolozi with friends and stayed in Granite Suites Camp. I actually cannot put my feelings and my absolute amazement into words. It was an experience like no other and I am not sure can ever be equaled again. The staff was amazing,loving,yet extremely professional. The camp is gorgeous and the huts luxurious in every possible way, but just outside you doorstep lies rugged + wild mother nature, which IS SOUTH AFRICA! What a combo! It really had a heavenliness to it and made you realize the Hand of God in every animal sighting and tree and bush and raindrop! We stayed for 3 nights and enjoyed the lazy days very much, the am + pm game drives with Byron + Judas topped our stay forsure,but the meals and wines and service and plunge pool and gorgeous huts came in close second! We would return in a heartbeat, an experience we will carry in our hearts+memories forever.

  • Liked — location,luxury,game drives,food,rooms
  • Disliked — that we had to leave
  • Stayed December 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
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    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
Thank lovetravelling77
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
Level 5 Contributor
26 reviews
22 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 96 helpful votes
Reviewed September 18, 2009

Just got back from S. Africa which included 2 nights at Londolozi followed by 2 nights at Singita Boulders. We were originally booked at Varty Camp, but were upgraded to Granite. AMAZING and generous surprise! I walked into the room at Granite, looked at my husband and told him to just cancel Singita because there was no need to go anywhere else. In short, I really thought we had the best of both worlds. We did all our activities at Varty Camp (our friends were staying there), which was much livelier and festive than Granite (younger crowd and more rooms), but got to go home to our luxury room at Granite. We had the best time with the staff and ranger/tracker. The staff is warm, full of energy, fun to be around, and completely service-oriented. We had big group dinners in the Boma and main Varty camp that lasted until way longer than they should have considering we had to wake up at 5 am each day. The game viewing was spectacular and I learned so much from our ranger. I felt like I was leaving friends by the time we left. I did peek into the Varty room that our friends were staying in. Very beautiful and comfortable, as well, but if you can pull it off, splurge for Granite. While Singita Boulders was lovely and incredible and deserving of all its accolades, I felt more at home at Londolozi because of the staff. I am really hoping to return SOON!

  • Stayed September 2009, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank usckim01
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Miami, Florida
Level 6 Contributor
156 reviews
42 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 69 helpful votes
Reviewed June 27, 2009

Londolozi is a private game reserve located in the sabi sands reserve in South Africa. We are from the states so it took a while to get there, but once we were on Federal Air landing at the hotel's private strip we knew it was worth it! As we landed Giraffe and zebras sat near watching us as we landed. There are a few camps within the hotel and each camp had its own tracker/ranger with their vehicle pick up the individual guests going to their camps.

Me and my family My Mom, Dad, My sister (24), and me (21) stayed in two villas in the private granite suites camp. (Even though we thought this was the nicest and most private camp out of all, all camps were equally beautiful). Our safari vehicle with our ranger and tracker (Like and Julius) took us to our camps lodge where we ate all of our meals and met up for our game drives. It was beautiful and had books to read and all sorts of drinks and beverages to choose from (there is also a minibar in your villa). Our camp manager Jackie and our Butler Johan were awaiting our arrival with champagne and other drinks. Everyone was so nice and teh grounds were so beautiful that we did not care that our room was not ready. It is so serene and beautiful. When we made it into our villas, it was spectacular. The living room had a large picture overlooking the river. The bedroom has windows also looking over the river. Behind our bedroom was an area to store luggage and our clothes which was very convenient. Before you entered the bathroom they had a makeup area with workout supplies. The bathroom was the most spectacular part of this villa. Separate vanity's and a beautiful bathub next to a large block of something over a bed of rocks.....what was this? OUR SHOWER!!! It was a rain shower, the head is on the ceiling and it is open. ONE WORD: AMAZING!!!! The whole bathroom is mainly glass windows so anyone can see you......anyone meaning the animals lol....Your patio has a table, and some lounge chairs and a pool. Yes you have your own private pool including an outdoor shower.

The Property is amazing. You normally stay in your own camp but we ventured out into the other camps on some days. We also visited the gift shop which is pretty interesting. Another place you have to go on property is the staff village, very interesting!!! One night we went to the varty camp for a special dinner they called a Boma. It was amazing and a must do at least one night. Speaking of food each camp has their own chef which cooks up amazing indigenous food. Better than most 5 star restaurants ive been to anywhere. You wont believe how amazing the food is, but i wont spoil that for you.

The service is beyond excellent, everyone anticipates your every need and desire. You immediately become close with the staff members (since the staff you started with, stay with you until you leave) and you dont look at them as staff, more as friends. I cant say enough about how knowledgeable they are about everything in the area and the animals.

Ok now to the most important part, the Game Drives. There are two games drives one early in the am and one in the afternoon. The drives include your whole camp. and each truck carries 6-9 people. (We only had 6 in our camp, 4 in our family) The other two people in our camp were on their anniversary and we got along with them great! The drives were amazing, we saw something new on almost every trip, and yes, you will most likely see the big 5. The drives go out onto londolozi territory but cross over into some other hotels territory that they have agreements with which make the land that the trucks can drive very vast. Trails run for hundreds of miles it seems like, i cant imagine how the drivers know their way around....We saw everything we wanted to see: monkeys, baboons, zebras, lions (a huge pride at that), leopards, giraffe, elephants, hippos, impala, all types of birds, crocodiles, GIANT porcupines, hyenas, mongoose, bucks, buffalo, wildebeast, and MANY more. You will never be bored on a game drive. during the afternoon drive, it eventually turns into a night drive, and mid drive they open up a table on front of the truck and have cocktails in the middle of nowhere. It is so quiet and amazing to think that we were in the middle of "AFRICA" not at the zoo.

One night my sister asked if they had a telescope she could use. Not only did they surprise us with a very nice telescope, but they set up an entire star/planet watching night for us after our night game drive. The head ranger knew a lot about everything and it was quite an experience. They also setup a cocktail area in the middle of the runway for us.

Overall, i cannot quite tell you in words how amazing this experience was (especially for world travellers like us). It really has to be experienced in person at least once in your life. We will be going back as soon as we can. It was an unforgettable experience that will hold a special place in our hearts forever.

  • Stayed May 2009, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank TheMiamiUrbEx
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Columbus, Ohio
Level 3 Contributor
13 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 41 helpful votes
Reviewed May 24, 2009

Our first trip to Kruger and the Sabi Sand Game Reserve was about 8 years ago. We stayed at Singita Boulders and it was fabulous. Honestly, it was one of the 2-3 nicest places we'd ever stayed. I always expected that when we returned to South Africa, we'd stay there again.

After extensive research and use of the Trip Advisor online forums, though, we decided to try Londolozi's new Granite Private Suites. The difference in price between the two was maybe $100 per night--which is nothing at these rates. With that said, we now love both places. In some regards, they are similar, in others quite different. Since both experiences are so great, the balance of our review won't really be about pros and cons of the two as much as about pointing out our perceptions of the similarities and differences.

Location/Acreage/Camps:
Londolozi and Singita properties are adjacent to one another and approximately the same size (both are larger than all other Sabi Sand properties excepting Mala Mala). Londolozi perhaps has a bit more land on the north side of the river and better traversing rights to the south. Also, the two have limited traversing rights with one another, which is great. As readers of the Trip Advisor forums constantly debate the importance (or not) of the size of the traversing area, I'll add our 2 cents--bigger is better! We were there in the middle of summer (February) when it is more difficult to see the animals due to the foliage. With that in mind, the larger the area you have to search for game the better. In this regard, I would certainly prefer to be at Londolozi OR Singita since their traversing rights are so much larger than other Sabi Sand lodges.

Unlike Singita's 2 camps in the Sabi Sand (Ebony and Boulders) that both have about 8-10 suites, Londolozi has 5 camps (each camp having anywhere from about 3-8 rooms). Having walked through all of the camps at both properties, they all have their own charms and unique aspects. In terms of the LUXURY safari experience, though, I'd say that only Londolozi Granite Private Suites and Londolozi Tree Camp are comparable to Singita Boulders and Ebony. And because Tree Camp--beautiful as it is--isn't really right on the Sand River, only Granite Private Suites is really a direct comparison to Singita Boulders.

Rooms:
The villas at Singita Boulders and Londolozi GPS are both quite modern to contemporary. Both have lovely pools in all suites, spacious rooms, fabulous luxury amenities and wonderful views. As the name Granite Private Suites would imply, the rooms, while beautiful and luxurious, are full of granite, stone and cement and built right into the rocks along the Sand River. They are also extremely private. At Londolozi, the guests from the 5 camps do not really mix and each day's game drives are only with guests from your reserved camp. However, it should be noted that it's an easy walk among the camps, and it's fine to do so during the daylight hours. During our stay in GPS #2, we were the only guests in the camp for 3 days. As such, our 6 game drives were completely private--just the two of us plus Julian, our ranger, and James, our tracker--both of whom were awesome! Because Singita has many more suites, having a Land Rover all to yourself would be a much rarer occurrence--unless you wanted to pay hundreds of dollars additional per day for the privilege.

Room #2, by the way, is probably the closest suite to the river of any in the Sabi Sand. It's plunge pool is beautiful and larger than most. Unfortunately, it's also a bit harder to use because of its unusual "construction" and proximity to the Sand River. While the views from Rooms #1 and #3 at GPS might be slightly less dramatic, access to your plunge pool is vastly easier than in Room #2! Honestly, at these Singita and Londolozi camps, I don't think there's really a "bad" room.

Service/Food:
The service from Jackie, the GPS camp manager, from Cry, our butler, and from the chefs, suite attendants, security, etc. was all genuinely warm and great. While Singita's service was equally professional, I must say that there was a warmth about the Londolozi (and specifically GPS) staff that I don't recall at much at Singita. Regarding the food, I'd say that our breakfasts and lunches were incredible and that dinners were very good. Sometimes, it seemed that the dinner courses might have been better if not quite so complex or elaborate. Still, it's hard to complain about private dining in either your own suite or at the main PGS pavilion by a crackling fire. On the whole, I'd give Singita a slight edge in the food department and Londolozi a slight edge in the service department. Both do a great job of catering to all your needs.

Rangers/Trackers:
Like, the regular tracker at GPS, picked us up from our Federal Air flight when we arrived. We had read about him in other posts and reviews. Unfortunately, he had just learned of a death in his family and apologized that he would not be able to be with us for our stay. As I said, though, James stepped in an did an incredible job. Even in the middle of summer with all of the full foliage, he and Julian found not only the Big Five, but so many other animals and beautiful birds to show us--even a few spiders we would have been fine not seeing!. While our earlier trip was in May and the animals were easier to spot, I will say that the addition of so many migratory birds in February enhanced the experience. Our journeys across the rushing Sand River (yes, Julian got soaked) were thrilling and the animals looked great. Seeing them in the middle of the summer, especially the Burchell's zebras, it was noticeable how much happier and healthier they looked than in the autumn/winter months.

The Intangibles (if you're still reading):
Anytime you tell someone who doesn't know luxury safaris how much they cost, they are invariably shocked at the price--for a "hotel room" no less! Of course, for those of us who have had the privilege, it is so much more--it's an unforgettable experience! And in this "experience" regard, I tip my hat to Londolozi. While both Singita and Londolozi both have luxurious rooms and service, great food, large properties, and great staff, only Londolozi integrates this experience with the very people who call the Sabi Sand home. Adjacent to the premises of Londolozi is the Shangaan village (the Shangaan are the native people in this area). Many of the employees of Londolozi live there with their families (about 200 of them); there is housing, a school, computers, and a clinic with regular doctor's visits and medicines. They have sports teams, craft shops, and a community center. It is clear that the Varty Family (long-time owners of the property since the 1920s) have a great love and respect for the Shangaan people--and vice versa. Our visit to the village one morning, including the songs that the schoolchildren sang for us, was really an "experience" we will never forget. For this very sentimental and humanitarian reason, we give the slight nod to Londolozi Private Granite Suites over Singita--truly a great overall EXPERIENCE!

  • Stayed February 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
9 Thank MillionMilerMan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Londolozi Private Granite Suites

Property: Londolozi Private Granite Suites
Address: Kruger National Park 1350, South Africa
Location: South Africa > Kruger National Park > Sabi Sand Game Reserve > Londolozi Private Game Reserve
Amenities:
Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #4 of 6 Specialty Lodging in Londolozi Private Game Reserve
Number of rooms: 3
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Bold, inspiring materials mirror the extrusion of granite rocks that flank the camp while conveying the raw essence of Africa. A palette of silver, charcoal and elephant grey in a range of sumptuous materials creates an elegant and contemporary setting in each expansive suite.The emphasis is on space, light and privacy while blurring the barrier between inside and out. A seamless integration with nature is achieved with large doors and windows all opening directly onto the Sand River. This luxury safari lodge is for the discerning traveller who appreciates the finer details of an African safari. Each suite has a private, heated swimming pool. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Londolozi Private Granite Suites South Africa/Londolozi Private Game Reserve

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