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“Magnificent Africa!!!!”

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andBeyond Phinda Rock Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
Pretoria, South Africa
Level Contributor
128 reviews
80 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 125 helpful votes
“Magnificent Africa!!!!”
Reviewed September 13, 2013

We stayed at Phinda Rock lodge for 1 night for my partner’s 40th birthday celebration prior to our stay at Phinda Forest Lodge (see separate review)

Phinda Rock Lodge truly is a fantastic experience from the arrival right up until departure. Tarryn the manager is extremely friendly and helpful and makes you feel at ease immediately. Actually all the staff was so friendly and helpful that you felt at home from the moment you arrived.

The suites really are big, and we have stayed in some big suites, and this falls definitely in the list. We just loved the Mexican/adobe inspired architecture of the lodge, and also the fact that it only has 6 rooms. The suite have big glass windows for views wherever you are in the suite. Our suite also had an outside shower that had the best view. The day bed next to the private plunge pool just made for awesome relaxation. Really a magnificent suite.

On our game drive the evening our ranger said that we must track a pride of lions, and we found them lying in the grass. We proceeded to stay with them and saw how they first advanced on zebras, but then couldn’t attack them, and the pride then went for a Nyala, and hunted and caught the Nyala bull while we watched everything. It was a thrilling experience and something that I’ll never forget. Our first hunt that we saw from lions. Brilliant!

Once back at the lodge, our suite was turned into a romantic haven, as there were candles everywhere, the bath was drawn and next to the bath was bubbly with glasses. Outside was a table set with lanterns and candles for dinner. Something that is really like in the websites and brochures of paradise, and it was!!! After the bubbly and bath we ate dinner served and drank wine, while elephants were cracking trees in the valley below us. Magnificent Africa!!!

This is one special lodge, and you must spend the extra money and stay here. You will be treated like royalty, yet feel completely at home. Wish I could be back there now!!!

Room Tip: We stayed in Room 1 - beautiful view over the valley and very romantic
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  • Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank mitxcoac
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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116 reviews from our community

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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (33)
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English first
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
23 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed August 31, 2013

This place was fantastic - we loved it. We have been on safari a number of times and And Beyond have never disappointed us whatever country or camp. This lodge was small and intimate with great service and lovely rooms. The food was good and the bush dinner great, but the dinner served in our room as a surprise was the highlight. The wildlife on Phinda is amazing although the Black Rhino proved very elusive. Gives us a good excuse to go back.

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Roosterandchick13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Manchester, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
91 reviews
69 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 50 helpful votes
Reviewed August 26, 2013

We stayed at the Rock Lodge for 3 nights after two nights at the Vlei lodge in the same reserve. A wonderful lodge with just 6 rooms and very friendly attentive staff. We loved the game drives rating them better even than those at Vlei, our Ranger was Robin and he was outstanding! The rooms are full of character, but there are quite a few stairs and some of the safety rails are not quite as reassuring as Europeans might expect. Being really picky the food which was really excellent was not quite as good as food in Vlei lodge, and we preferred by a tiny fraction the rooms at Vlei. However if going to Phinda having a couple of nights in both these lodges would be my recommendation rather than 4-5 in just 1.
Both lodges have inclusive drinks wines & mixed drinks coupled with excellent service, they are really home from home.

Room Tip: Go on a walking safari/nature walk from the lodge it is brilliant!!
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  • Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank sfhmgusa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Francisco, Ca
Level Contributor
50 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
Reviewed June 13, 2013

Phinda Rock Lodge – Phinda Reserve KwaZulu-Natal
The best of the best, Rock Lodge was our favorite of four safari sites we stayed at on this, our second safari. It was more than the location, the profuse game and the accommodations, all of which were outstanding. The staff made our stay the most memorable of all.
The accommodations were quite different from the other lodges we stayed at (Dulini, Ngala Tented and Phinda Forest) but they suited the landscape perfectly, blending into the rocks, trees and brush. They were decorated in a somewhat Mediterranean style with dark wood beams and heavy doors, but lightened by pale green walls and myriad windows. The rooms were lovely. We had both indoor and outdoor showers and a very large soaking tub with a panoramic view across the valley. The room refrigerator was well stocked and Sabala, our butler was always ready to bring anything we requested. So the accommodations more than matched &Beyond’s very high standards, but here is what made the lodge so special to us.
The manager, Toby, is an interim manager, but he was the best. He is waiting for his papers to begin working for &Beyond as a ranger. Because of his attention to detail and constant concern about his guests’ experiences, that he will be as outstanding in that job as he was as a lodge manager is a sure bet. Toby was always there when the group came back to the lodge to greet us and to ask about our drive. He seemed to be everywhere, checking to see that operations were going smoothly. Then, one evening while my husband and I were visiting with other guests in the main lodge before dinner and started to get up to go out onto the deck, he bent over and whispered that he had a little surprise for us in our room-a private dinner by our plunge pool. Wow! Our night watchman walked us to our room, we opened the door and there were candles everywhere. In the entry, up the stairs to our soaking tub filled with bubbles; it was magical. On our outside deck a table was set surrounded by lanterns everywhere, and there was a bottle of champagne to celebrate another great trip to Africa. Our butler, Sabalo was ever-attentive and we enjoyed a perfect evening under a sky brilliant with stars.
Our guide, Matthew had so much exuberance, knowledge and enthusiasm for his job that it was contagious. Every trip was a new adventure with Matt and John, our tracker, able to spot animals that seemed invisible until we were very close to them While out looking for more animals, Matt had us taste elephant pudding, made a bush toothbrush and we tried other delicacies. The legend of the beautiful yellow fever trees was explained. And then, when we had our two most glorious drives where we saw the Big 5, including 4 black rhino and a cheetah on a tree silhouetted against the blue sky, it was heavenly. On our last drive, we saw the Big 5 again, watched a pride of lions as Matt explained how we could tell they were about to start hunting, saw them hunt, bring down a warthog and devour it (not my favorite part). Finally, that same day we spotted 4 more black rhino which was a new spotting for one of our Rover buddies who had been to Africa 14 times and never seen any. Matt was so excited about the day, he called Toby and asked him to have a bottle of champagne for us to celebrate. What fun!
The only improvement I can think of is with the food. The chef may have been on holiday because the food was not quite up to the standards of the other camps. It was nicely presented and plentiful, but needed some fine tuning.
We were very sad to leave Rock Lodge, not only because it meant the end of our amazing holiday, but because it felt we were saying goodbye to family.

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank deli0
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bengaluru, India
Level Contributor
43 reviews
40 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
Reviewed May 19, 2013

We stayed here between 12th and 17th May - 5 Nights. The place is simply superb.
Toby the camp manager; Sabelo and team rocked. Judith served us lovely Indian vegetarian food as well. Robin our ranger and Mdu our tracker were simply superb. We saw the black rhino (to complete our true big 5 experience); nice Kudo's, The highlight of the trip was to walk with Graham, the chief Trainer of &beyond. It was a thrilling experience. We saw a white rhino when we were on foot. The camp is in the middle of Phinda private reserve. Off roading was awesome.. Fantastic place. Great staff. Great team work. Location on small hill adds to the charm of the rooms. Very very rustic. There are only 6 rooms. Ross the other ranger and Pat the tracker were awesome too. We saw the big Martial eagle.

Room Tip: We stayed in room nos 1, 2 and 3. Room no 1 is very romantic. room no 3 is closest to food place. Al...
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  • Stayed May 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank TigerRamesh
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London
Level Contributor
48 reviews
31 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
Reviewed May 4, 2013

Rock is a very unusual safari lodge. Each of the six rooms (which are enormous) have a cave-like feel, as if they are carved out of the hillside. Outside is a lovely terrace with plunge pool - too cold for us, but we enjoyed watching the nyala stop by for a drink! As with other &Beyond lodges in South Africa, service is of a very high standard, with delightful staff and delicious food. On our last night, we had a fabulous bush dinner which was very memorable.

We came to Rock after spending three nights at Forest Lodge, in the north of the reserve. Despite Rock's higher price tag, we preferred Forest. This was partly the atmosphere, but we also had better game viewing and a less crowded vehicle at Forest.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Libby08
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mexico City, Mexico
Level Contributor
351 reviews
57 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 107 helpful votes
Reviewed April 1, 2013

We spent three nights at this lodge and had a memorable experience! The six rooms that make up this property are nicely done and very comfortable; the staff is outstanding, willing to fulfil all our wishes and more! The rangers and spotters are extremely knowledgable and excited about being "at work". I would recommend this Reserve and this Lodge in a heart beat and cannot wait to return!

Room Tip: Room #1 is very private and comfortable
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
Thank Lisa H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about andBeyond Phinda Rock Lodge

Property: andBeyond Phinda Rock Lodge
Address: Phinda Private Game Reserve, Phinda Private Game Reserve, South Africa
Location: South Africa > KwaZulu-Natal > Phinda Private Game Reserve
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #4 of 6 Specialty Lodging in Phinda Private Game Reserve
Number of rooms: 6
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
AndBeyond Phinda Rock Lodge looks out over its own lush valley, like a small private castle amidst a tangle of wild African sights and sounds. The suites of this intimate and romantic lodge cling dramatically to steep cliffs with views across the valley. ... more   less 

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