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“Great area, choose the right lodge”

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andBeyond Phinda Mountain Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed February 13, 2014

We were there early January 2014, after planning a trip there for many years. We flew in from Londolozi direct with federal air (by the way highly recommended). The land is simply stunning, the owners did a great job to return farmland to wilderness. Guiding was good but not excellent, the staff in general good, but there is a difference to family run lodges. We stayed in Mountain Lodge which is the only lodge accepting kids under 16. It's rather big by comparison to similarly priced lodges in RSA. We had a family room with no view, but a small pool on the deck. But no shading on either terrace (there were two). We would have preferred to stay in one of the other lodges. It's Abigail place and sometimes it's difficult have good sightings as the vehicles have to drive to various areas, although they know the animals are elsewhere. Nevertheless a must if you love Black Rhino as much as I do !!

Stayed: January 2014, traveled with family
2  Thank Martin P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed February 6, 2014

We stayed here for 3 nights after 3 nights at the forest lodge with our family with 2 boys ages 9 and 12. The family suite is terrific because we also had my 70 year old parents so we all fit in there like a little house. The staff here is terrific and really organized. We liked the restaurant and bar set up a bit better than forest because it is all together and you meet more of the other guests. Also it has a great view of the valley. We felt that the game viewing was a bit better at Forest at least when we were there but it could have been our days/luck. Our guide Nick was great and even took the boys fishing one afternoon. My boys also loved the big pool and the dinner at the Boma and in the Bush. Very great!!
Would add a fitness center if anything could be changed.

  • Stayed: January 2014, traveled with family
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1  Thank Travellingsuz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 5, 2014

The service at this lodge eclipses pretty much everything else. Views from the rooms could be a lot better and the lodge has a very generic feel although it is very comfortable indeed. Staff are extremely helpful and knowledgeable.

Room Tip: Try to ask for a room with a view
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  • Stayed: February 2014, traveled on business
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1  Thank Justin L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 23, 2014

Our first visit in South Africa, our first Safari! Everything was excellent. Carla Glasspool, our planner from "and Beyond" had excellent guidance,made beautiful suggestions for Phinda Mountain Lodge and Vlei. We loved both! Very private, beautiful rooms, food delicious, staff wonderful, setting magnificent...the list goes on...so well executed.
Hopefully, visitors will try more than one lodge. Our ranger, Lucky was the best, along with KB, the tracker. It was fasinating to watch them loved their work, as much as we loved watching them track so many animals, birds, and insects.
Our daughter was ill for one day, while we were out with the rangers, and Phinda Lodge
staff, without us asking, were wonderful about calling her and sending soup to her room. We loved the experiences, the surprises, the animals, terrains,bush dinners, so much food and drink
and way BEYOND! Another great feature, we didn't need yellow fever shots or malaria pills. Everything went perfectly and we will definitely reccomend this adventure to any friends considering safari in Southern Africa.

Room Tip: Use Carla Glasspool, outstanding and detailed. Numerous questions were answered immediately. I would...
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  • Stayed: January 2014, traveled with family
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2  Thank Verdii
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 22, 2014

Our friends booked this trip for us. We had intended staying at The Forest Game Reserve but they were fully booked. However we need not have worried. Everything at Phinda Mountain was just perfect. From the minute we arrived until the time we left we couldn't fault it. The staff were chatty, friendly and welcoming. They went out of their way to make sure everything went smoothly and to our liking. When we saw the outside of our accommodation we were a little worried, however we need not have worried. The interior was fabulous, pure luxury. Every attention to detail was there.
The standard of food was excellent. It was presented beautifully and the variety was immense. We ate our evening meal in two different ways during our two day stay. Outside in the boma on the first night was so different from anything else we have ever experienced. There were candles and lanterns everywhere, but it was really too dark to see what we were eating. The second experience was actually in the bush. It was a wonderful evening at the end of our safari. The only criticism is, the meat was very tough. The local wines were all of a high standard and plentiful.
As for the actual safaris they were really exciting. Our ranger (Matthew),was not afraid to get up close to the animals so we could have a close up view. He went out of his way to try and find the animals which we said we'd like to see. His knowledge was phenomenal. He was so enthusiastic about his job. In all it was a memorable experience which ranks as one of the best two days we've ever spent.

Stayed: January 2014, traveled with friends
1  Thank TravelBedfordshire
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 19, 2014

The safari experience here is amazing and the rangers and trackers work hard to ensure you have a great experience. We were able to get up close to most animals, while respecting their much needed space. Don't worry too much about having the perfect safari outfits. The rangers agreed that it doesn't really matter what you wear but I would avoid neon! I wore a ball cap the entire time and would recommend a hat for all outings. Also, if you get hungry early in the morning, you may want to bring a biscuit or something since you are out on early morning drives for two hours and then come back for breakfast.
The service in the restaurant is what brings this resort down a notch. There is lack of anticipation of the customers needs and this causes frustration and confusion. Not once was my water or coffee refilled without asking and it was difficult to find someone to do it. Not a huge issue but after 3 or 4 days it gets annoying. The lunch set up is confusing and apparently there was dessert but it wasn't once offered to me over 4 days. Apparently you need to ask.
I would recommend having coffee delivered to your room in the morning for a more relaxing morning.
The rooms were amazing! Lot's of animals around the resort but nothing to be concerned with.
Overall I would recommend this safari and think it would be perfection once the service at the restaurant is worked out.

Stayed: January 2014, traveled solo
1  Thank ac1510
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 16, 2014

We have been here often and were reminded just how wonderful it is. The staff are very friendly and professional and are eager to help out. The food is divine with huge breakfasts, lunches, dinners, and snacks in between. The food also changes every day.The rooms have great decor and space, with plunge pools, modern bathrooms and wifi! The game drives are wonderful and you are guaranteed a good ranger as they all have lots of training/experience (we had Ian who was great). You have huge chances of seeing wonderful animals and especially cheetah. We saw the big five.

This lodge and other &beyond lodges are known for making your trip special and i would especially recommend this to overseas tourists before other places. Mountain Lodge is the best for families and do accommodate for children better than the other &beyond lodges (there is a childrens' room and they make pizzas). This is great for families, however, if you want less kiddies running around (it's very private but one still hears them in main part of lodge) then rather stay at Forest, Vlei, Rock, or another &beyond lodge in Phinda. This isn't a big concern but just advice if it's your honeymoon or something :)

Room Tip: room 16 had a great view from the private plunge pool, most don't. If you battle with walking as...
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  • Stayed: January 2014, traveled with friends
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2  Thank airporteuphoria
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about andBeyond Phinda Mountain Lodge

Address: Phinda Private Game Reserve, Phinda Private Game Reserve 3960, South Africa
Location: South Africa > KwaZulu-Natal > Phinda Private Game Reserve
Amenities:
Free Parking Restaurant Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 6 Specialty Lodging in Phinda Private Game Reserve
Price Range: $2,230 - $4,065 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 24
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
With wraparound views of the ancient Ubombo mountain range, Mountain Lodge balances itself majestically above its panoramic surroundings. The 24 suites scattered along the mountainside offer complete privacy and luxury. There's no end to the choice of taking in the view - spacious verandas with private plunge pools and layered guest areas each provide their own magnificent outlook. Delicious Pan African meals are enjoyed in the dramatic stone and reed boma, lit by the warm glow of dozens of candles and lanterns. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Phinda Mountain Hotel Phinda Private Game Reserve

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