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“truly a spectacular and special experience”

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andBeyond Phinda Mountain Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed February 22, 2014

as soon as we arrived at the mountain lodge we felt completely, genuinely welcomed. the place is beautiful, our house was spectacular, quiet and clean. the lodge itself never felt crowded, always relaxing and the food was SPECTACULAR. our safaris were guided in the most excellent manner. lucky, our ranger, and josie, our trekker were truly wonderful. they gave us many unforgettable moments, lots of knowledge & smiles. ask for them, i can only recommend them highly as your ranger team. all through our stay, we were surprised by very well planned little events, like breakfast, dinner, coffee or drinks in the bush. all was always organized in an elegant fashion, with lots of beautiful details. the staff was truly excellent and very friendly and helpful. their genuine smiles brightened up all of our days even more. i can only recommend going to phinda mountain lodge. it is an unforgettable memory! if you want to experience a truly special safari.....go there! :-) thank you mountain lodge team! we will surely be back!

Room Tip: we stayed in house number 18. it was truly beautiful, clean and quiet. we had a nice little terrace...
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  • Stayed: January 2014, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank elkspitt
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed February 14, 2014

We have just come back from three nights at Phinda Mountain Lodge. We had the most amazing time. Phinda was the last stop on a two week tour of South Africa and, to be honest, was the part that we were least looking forward to. We had done a safari at the Masai Mara a couple of years ago and found the experience rather unedifying - every time you stopped (some way off) from an animal, half a dozen other landrovers bulging with tourists and telephoto lenses crowded in too. Not very exclusive. Phinda was utterly different and quite spectacular. We had our own dedicated Ranger and Tracker (both excellent) and shared the drives with no more than 2-4 others. We were lucky enough to have almost all our drives to ourselves due to other people deciding to lie-in (in a safari lodge?!). So we had an even more exclusive treat. Davin, our ranger, and Tom, our tracker, were both so knowledgeable - answered all our questions with patience and enthusiasm, found almost all the animals we wanted to see (only the leopard remained elusive) and got so close that I found the experience rather hairy at times! However they were both so experienced and so utterly confident I never really felt at risk - but it was certainly not a tame experience. Much more exciting! We barely saw anyone else when we were out, although clearly the rangers shared sightings over the radio. Strict rules of engagement ensure that animals never felt overwhelmed by watchers which kept our sightings much more exclusive. Every drive was punctuated with either a coffee or a drinks stop - tablecloth and table, freshly cut lemon and tins of home made biscuits, dried fruit or biltong to go with it as appropriate. One drive we took a trip on the river (highly recommended) and I came within two feet of a crocodile sitting on her eggs. Very adjacent! We saw so many birds and animals - from the tiny leopard tortoise to the largest matriarch elephant protecting her month old baby. Fantastic.

The lodge itself was great - very comfy rooms, almost hermetically sealed from all the bugs outside. Very welcome to me as I didn't feel the need to entertain animals both inside and outside our room. The outside shower was fun (my husband tried that) as were the three or four frogs that joined him. One night the staff left candles all over the room and along the (newly ran) bath - very romantic. Free laundry was an extra bonus.

The staff at meals were charming and friendly and nothing was too much trouble - as were the "safarists" who welcomed us each day and ran the lodge with such efficiency.

The lodge was full of game running around freely within - guards accompanied us back to our room at night for safety - there were nyala, warthogs, monkeys, lizards and (unfortunately) golden orb spiders by the number.

All in all a fantastic experience and we would highly recommend it. Book now!

  • Stayed: February 2014, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank Fethers53
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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.
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.
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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 #3 of 7 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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