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“wonderful staff, fantastic game viewing, great place”

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andBeyond Phinda Mountain Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
ireland
Level 5 Contributor
58 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 52 helpful votes
“wonderful staff, fantastic game viewing, great place”
Reviewed September 4, 2008

we stayed for 4 nights at the end of august. a perfect time for viewing game as the grass is very dry and there are fewer water holes. my 4 children aged 14 to 5 loved every minute of it. the game viewing was spectacular as we saw everything there is to see including leopard. our ranger and tracker were excellent in finding game and answering questions from the 6 of us. my 5 year old didnt go on a drive one afternoon so cornelius, our host, took her to bake cookies which we tried when we got back - fantastic. the staff were very helpful, very friendly, (genuinely so) and knew all our names by the end of the first day. our room was simply beautiful with large bedroom and stunning bathroom looking out at the wandering impala. cornelius left a huge bath of bubbles and iced champagne one evening which my husband and i appreciated. it was a lovely surprise. the food is very good, but their puddings and cakes are world class. the pool is big and beautifully situated with very nice rattan sun beds. it was too chilly for the adults to use but all of my children went in at least once. we didnt have a problem entertaining ourselves between drives are there are lots of games for both adults and children and even a tucked away tv room. our boat trip was really special as we saw loads of crocs and a hippo getting out of the water, onto the bank and then wandering away!
The staff really made Phinda for us and a special mention to cornelius, richard, elsie and wonder boy. i would highly recommend the lodge for those travelling with children of all ages.

  • Liked — situation
  • Disliked — nothing
  • Stayed August 2008, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
3 Thank lotstoseeanddo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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328 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
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Cantrall, IL
Level 5 Contributor
48 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
Reviewed August 26, 2008

We were there for four days in July of 2008. That should have meant 8 enjoyable game drives but we ended up missing one completely because the vehicles left before we returned from a village tour that they set up which took way too long. Two other times our game drives were interrupted while the vehicle we were in had to shuttle people taking side trips to and from the airport and to and from the river. It was very disappointing having our experienced cut back because of mis-management at that Lodge.... Although we will be returning to Africa again, we will not be returning here.

Helpful?
6 Thank V_Family
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Seattle, USA
Level 6 Contributor
200 reviews
125 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 222 helpful votes
Reviewed February 7, 2008

We spent a couple nights at the Mountain Lodge. The accomodations are new and of very high quality and private. A highlight is the food which is about as good as we have had in the bush. Quality is great and quantity is "over the top". We gained weight during our stay. Our main negative is that with 24 (about that number depending on the status of their renovations) rooms the lodge loses something that makes game lodges special. Its difficult to get to know the guests and you tend to feel like you are in a hotel and not a game lodge. The staff goes out of the way to minimize this by providing good liaison but it still feels too large. A highlight are the bush dinners.

  • Liked — Rooms and food
  • Disliked — Too many rooms if you are looking for a
Stayed January 2008
Helpful?
4 Thank Mountainmann
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Costa Mesa, California
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
Reviewed April 24, 2007

We went in May which is their fall and was surprised at how cool the weather was - no problem, no mosquitos! We were so impressed from start to finish on our experience here. The staff was so helpful and warm. The food was outstanding - very gourmet, lots of it and never a bad meal. The rooms were wonderful. So roomy, bright and airy. In the evenings after the evening game drive, the curtains have been drawn down and the beds turned down. You can even have a nightcap from the well stocked mini-bar in the cabin. Our cabin was perfectly located and private. The game reserve is so big and the animals are exquisite. We missed seeing the leopard, but I guess he is very elusive. We did the airplane cruise that was offered and enjoyed seeing the area from above. Only downfall is that you are somewhat limited to moving about between morning and afternoon game drives since you are on a game reserve and the weather was too chilly to sit by the pool. Bring some good books or things to do in the mid-day.

  • Liked — Being on a game reserve and all the wonderful animals we saw
  • Disliked — Nothing
  • Stayed May 2005, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank LoveToTravelCostaMes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Wendover, England
Level 5 Contributor
79 reviews
42 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 82 helpful votes
Reviewed December 28, 2006

Choose your lodge carefully, whether it's mountain, rock, forest or whatever, cos it might be worth paying a bit more for something a little more exclusive if that is what you are after.

Mountain lodge did tick a lot of boxes, but it is large by comparison to other lodges and so you do loss some of the magic, as it is not so inimate. Having said that, you are staying there for the game and that is what you will see both inside and out of the lodge.

We would wake at the usual 5am start to see the usual warhogs and deer like animals wanderinng past the bathroom window. Once out in the jeep you are pretty much guaranteed to see giraffes in small groups, lone rhino, small lion prides, cheetahs, buffalo and elephants. You would be lucky to see leopard though. The rangers and trackers are great, what they lack in experience they make up for in enthusiam.

The lodges were a little bit of a disappointed, make sure you get one that is detached and not semi-detached as they are bigger. Inside they are nice but nothing special, a bit dark and poorly laid out.

The food is ok, but again nothing special and the menu is a little boring with a limited choice bearing in mind the number of guests.

  • Liked — The game drives
  • Disliked — The lodges
  • Stayed December 2006, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank Dave B
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

Property: 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 #1 of 6 Specialty Lodging in Phinda Private Game Reserve
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
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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