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“What a treat!” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of andBeyond Phinda Forest Lodge

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andBeyond Phinda Forest Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
Johannesburg, South Africa
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“What a treat!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 23, 2013

What a beautiful place to spend time. The game drives twice a day let you get up close and personal with the big 5, accompanied by amarula coffee breaks in the morning and G 'n T's at sunset! The food is delicious! - all 7 meals/snacks! Staff are very friendly and helpful!! The rooms are right in the forest and invisible to other units so you couldn't get more privacy if you tried! What a lovely place!!

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 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?
1 Thank BDurston
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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354 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (111)
Date | Rating
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English first
Dubai
Level Contributor
70 reviews
67 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 45 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 15, 2013

Been to Phinda last October and stayed at mountain lodge which was very good, but forest lodge is better and modern, more private as loges(cabins) are set apart in the forest.
en-suit bathroom is located in the lodge with isolating door not unlike other lodge where the bath tub in bedroom and there is no privacy.

food and service is a top-notch as always with &beyond level.

game viewing depends on ranger/tracker dedications towards the game drive and we were lucky enough to have a good ranger Devon with us.
always leave cabin door closed , as monkeys could enter and grab anything in a split of as second.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with friends
    • 4 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?
2 Thank Khalil A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Buckingham, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 15, 2013

Spent 3 nights at Phinda Forest Lodge in March 2013 and had the most amazing experience.

The Safari drives and the animals were incredible - we had the most fabulous Ranger and Tracker (Benson & Josiah) who made the drives and unforgettable. Also there were so many surprises along the way.

The accommodation was amazing too - the level of service from the staff was excellent and we were made to feel at home. During our stay my sister celebrated her birthday and they pulled out all the stops to make sure she had a birthday to remember. The attention to detail and the personal treatment from all the very happy staff was wonderful.

Cannot fault a thing. Thanks you all so much for an unforgettable experience.

  • Stayed March 2013, 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?
1 Thank RugbyMum8970
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark
Level Contributor
16 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 9, 2013

Phinda is one of the ultimate game lodges in ZA! The lodging is beautifully done and furnished, the meals are outstanding and the most important part of the visit, the game experience, is as intense and exciting as the other high-end game lodges in the southern part of Africa.

My wife and I spent 2 days at Phinda at the end of February, and we got even more than we expected out of our stay there. Especially the staff was a great plus to our stay, as they made us feel comfortable and relaxed every minute of our stay.

We'll definitely be back again, next time most likely at one of the other Phinda lodges in the area. We'll opt for one of the other lodges simply because Phinda covers so much land that this time around we only got to experience a little part of it, and we want to see it all:-)!

Room Tip: Any "room" is great, as the rooms are in fact individual houses that are scattered on the...
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 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?
2 Thank Lars T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Tucson, Arizona
Level Contributor
360 reviews
45 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 191 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 8, 2013

If Ritz Carlton had bungalows in the jungle, this is what they would look like. The individual bungalows are beautifully appointed and very private. We were warned to latch the doors to keep the monkey's out, but never saw any. We did see at least two different types of antelope in the bush.
The stay included an evening and an early morning game tour. The guides are excellent and the park layout allowed us to see all of Africa's "big five."
The food offered by the facility is top-notch and the service is friendly, accommodating and efficient.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 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?
3 Thank Nancy T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Perth, Australia
Level Contributor
10 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 3, 2013

Phinda Forrest Lodge totally surpassed all our expectations. We loved our luxury retreat of wood and glass set strategically amongst the trees of the sand forest. It was more than comfortably appointed and being able to see the bush and the animals rustling through the forest from anywhere in the room was magical.

My husband and I and our two teenagers were accommodated in two cottages set farthest away from the main lodge, which was lovely for feeling alone in the bush, but it was a long way to walk back to after dinner – in the dark - whilst wondering whether it was the animals’ turn to be watching us!

The main lodge was lovely with lots of decking and comfortable tables and chairs that over-look the savannah and animals at a nearby watering hole. The lodge is eco-friendly and not one tree was removed during construction, so the decking is built around the trees, which is lovely for a shady breakfast or lunch. Dinners in the boma were also a favorite.

But the main attraction would have to be the game drives. Mark our guide and Abel our tracker were a great team – and we enjoyed so many incredible sightings. Hyenas with 3 week old cubs, a large elephant herd drinking and playing in a watering hole, multiple lions including sub-adult cubs playing in a tree and 7 magnificent cheetah in one afternoon! We saw a python slithering along the grass, giraffes, zebra, wildebeest, rhino, hippo, huge herd of buffalo, various antelope, beautiful birds too many to mention and amazing African bush sunsets. Gorgeous surprise stops in the bush and I could go on and on...

Room Tip: Some rooms are a long way from the lodge, it would be wise to request a room closer to the lodge if...
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  • Stayed July 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 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?
3 Thank PerthJMC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Johannesburg, South Africa
Level Contributor
68 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 48 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 24, 2013

Phinda is situated in Zwa Zulu Natal, which is a province here in South Africa that is prolific all year round. Most of the bush experiences that I have had have been in very dry conditions. Phinda on the other hand was very humid and it felt strange to see how green this bush was. It is hard to find fault with anything at this lodge. We flew in to Phinda in our own plane and landed at their private strip. It is tarred and in fantastic condition. It was very easy to find and we buzzed the runway, did a circuit and landed without any problems. Our game ranger was waiting for us and was friendly and accomodating from the moment we landed. On arrival at the lodge, we were greeted by very friendly staff and were treated like royalty. The rooms were magnificent. The bathroom was fabulous - you could spend a whole day just enjoying the sheer luxury in your room and your patio. There is a dining deck where you are served all your meals but you can also sit on the couches there and just enjoy the buck, warthogs etc that come right up to the deck. We did all the game drives - there are two a day. The early morning is my favourite and it is not that early... we left at about 6h15 to go on the drive and it is ended off with champagne & orange juice, fruit and crumpets in the bush. The evening drive is also fantastic... and is ended off with sundowners in the bush before you return to the lodge for dinner... if you are a foreigner, you cannot get more of an African bush experience that having a game drive and Amarula on the rocks... awesome! We saw Rhino, Lions, Cheetahs. Leopard, Hippo, Loads of different buck, Elephant,Warthog, Giraffe, Zebra etc...

At forest lodge, it is such a unique experience to have these wonderful rooms surrounded by forest and have glass all around you and still having no one be able to see you. The attention to detail is incredible and this was just such a wonderful experience. When we go again, we have been advised to go to Vlei lodge and try to get room no 6. Each room there has its own plunge pool and apparently at room no 6, elephant are seen drinking from that plunge pool. I am going to try each of the lodges and I think the next time, at least one of the meals will be served at our room to get more time at that amazing room. It was wonderful and one of our best experiences on holiday! One of the American visitors we were speaking to said to us that we as South Africans have an incredible back yard and that is so true!! This is a great example of our 'back yard'!!

Room Tip: All the rooms are equally fantastic... there is really no room at this lodge that is better that any...
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with friends
    • 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?
1 Thank Tracy M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about andBeyond Phinda Forest Lodge

Property: andBeyond Phinda Forest Lodge
Address: Kwazulu-Natal, Phinda Private Game Reserve, South Africa
Location: South Africa > KwaZulu-Natal > Phinda Private Game Reserve
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 6 Specialty Lodging in Phinda Private Game Reserve
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Number of rooms: 16
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Set deep in the heart of a rare and beautiful dry sand forest, the award-winning Forest Lodge fuses architecture and conservation. The lodge was hand built by local artisans, with a minimal footprint on the forest floor – not one tree was felled during construction. An exquisite contradiction, floor-to-ceiling glass walls invite the forest inside, while the dense tree canopy shelters and provides privacy. Floating on stilts above the forest floor while dainty suni graze below, the 16 Zulu Zen suites blend harmoniously into the dappled shade. ... more   less 
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Phinda Forest Hotel Phinda Private Game Reserve

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