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“Amazing!”
Review of Ulusaba Rock Lodge

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Ulusaba Rock Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
Sitges
Level Contributor
46 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
“Amazing!”
Reviewed February 13, 2014

We booked 6 nights at Ulusaba and on their recommendation stayed 3 at Rock Lodge and 3 at Safari Lodge - this recommendation was a really good one as the two lodges are quite uniquely different. I am reviewing Rock Lodge here.
We arrived by Fedair to the Ulusaba airstrip and were met by our Ranger Rico and our tracker Orange who would stay with us for the 6 days and 12 drives. After a champagne check in at the airstrip we were taken to Rock Lodge and shown around. The lodge is built high up on a 'rock' and gives spectacular views of the Sabi Sands, the facilities are all of an excellent standard and we used the gym, spa room and bar/dining area extensively.
We stayed in the master suite, which is on two levels and of an excellent standard with all the facilities you would expect and a very well stocked complimentary mini bar.
We were woken at 5am each day for the morning drive and as I said in my review for Safari lodge the drives are amazing, all the big 5 and Rico and Orange go out of their way to make sure you get to see what you want.
We will be going back, we will be asking for the same guys to track with us, as we enjoyed it so much with them. A special thank you as well to Robyn at Rock Lodge who was always there to help and full of enthusiasm and fun. Overall a great experience and a great team!

  • Stayed February 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank GaryWhite40
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
VLELondon, General Manager at Ulusaba Rock Lodge, responded to this review, February 24, 2014
Thank you for taking the time to give feedback about your recent stay at Ulusaba. We’re happy to hear that you appreciated the suggestion to split your stay between both Rock & Safari Lodge and have passed on your comments to Rico, Orange and Robyn. We all hope to welcome you back soon.
Best wishes
Karl Langdon
General Manager of Ulusaba Private Game Reserve
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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174 reviews from our community

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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (55)
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English first
Zug, Switzerland
Level Contributor
13 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed January 11, 2014

Amazing place, amazing people and food is fantastic.

You will pay a bit more, but in the price you get a lot of extras, such as free laundry service, two safari tours each day ,drinks, 3 meals per day (amazing food). Ensure to try to Cheese burger at least once 

We had Rico and Orange as a tour guide, which are amazing. They know everything and find every animal you can dream of. Keep up the good work.
Book this hotel and you will be happy

  • Stayed December 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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Helpful?
Thank mateomeier
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
stockholm
Level Contributor
54 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
Reviewed January 10, 2014

Game viewing in Sabi Sands is such a treat, the best - and to stay at Ulusaba is out of this world. There is no comparable place to this spectacular lodge so if you are looking for something truly unique and extremly good Ulusaba is your prime choice. Rock lodge is build high high up on a cliff with a view and setting so stunning it takes days just to realise you are not dreaming. The Ulusaba Family not only cares and pampers you in the best way they also make you feel included in the "family" along with the other guest. The food is above all expectations and the Game Drives totally amazing. Ranger and Trackers are very knowledgeable and their passion for the wild life and enviroment pinnacles the guest experience. We believed that this would be a once in a life time experience due to the level of luxury and of course cost but we are determined to come back to Ulusaba- we feel it is a must!

Room Tip: Book a suit with private plunge pool! Even if Ulusaba is expensive it's worth every penny and y...
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  • Stayed January 2014, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank saltis
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
VLELondon, General Manager at Ulusaba Rock Lodge, responded to this review, January 31, 2014
Thank you very much for your review “Unique, extraordinary superb overall experience!” – What a lovely comment! We are delighted that your stay with us exceeded your expectations and that you felt at home at Ulusaba; that is exactly how we want our quests to feel. Hopefully we’ll welcome you back soon.
Best wishes
Karl Langdon
General Manager of Ulusaba Private Game Reserve
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Guildford, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
13 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
Reviewed January 6, 2014

We visited Ulusaba Rock Lodge mid December for 4 nights....immediately on arrival before even seeing our rooms we booked an extra night. The whole wonderful atmosphere began with champagne expertly served by Sean our Ranger just after disembarking on the private airstrip. Personal, friendly, customer service is excellent all round...as is the food and plenty of it too. Superb fine high quality food and menu choices for breakfast, lunch and dinner with as much as we could eat. Fine wines, champagnes and all spirits etc are very plentiful. Food and drinks on game drives too with several lovely surprises ! Our Ranger and Tracker for the first 3 days were Sean and James, our last day Brandon and Jack... all were excellent, great fun and very professional and knowledgeable...we had some brilliant sightings of animals too all thanks to their expertise. The big 5 all close up and many others too.
Highly recommended is the spa high up in Rock lodge with fantastic views....we had several treatments all first class by the lovely Esther...Thank you Esther you were fab!
Our rooms were huge, luxurious,very comfortable, great amenities, always clean and well serviced and stunning views. The plunge pool and decking with sun loungers very lovely to use in the afternoons. Wifi is available along with full use of pc...very good service.
We were married here at Ulusaba...obviously our highlight of the trip. Everything for our wedding from start to finish was expertly organised for us both from Erica and Gill in the reservations office to everybody at Ulusaba...big thank you to Knox for anticipating our every need and delivering the very best for us...Thank you, you made our day and whole stay very special.
We have travelled extensively world wide and taken many safaris in Africa ...Ulusaba for us has a special quality about it, we have found new friends and will definitely return....Thank you all.

Room Tip: All Rock lodge rooms are lovely with great views, we had Rock Cliff room 3 and Makwela Dusk suite.
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  • Stayed December 2013, traveled with family
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Helpful?
Thank Sarah B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
VLELondon, General Manager at Ulusaba Rock Lodge, responded to this review, January 17, 2014
Thank you for choosing Ulusaba to share in your special day and congratulations again on your big day. We always appreciate when our guests share their experiences with us and I’ll circulate your lovely comments to the entire team.
We look forward to welcoming you back to our Ulusaba family in the future.
Best wishes
Karl Langdon
General Manager of Ulusaba Private Game Reserve
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dorridge, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
45 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 42 helpful votes
Reviewed January 5, 2014

Great location with great views overlooking bush. Rooms very good and spacious with balcony view like a james bond film and even had a small plunge pool. Flying in direct from joburg after long flight is excellent as some other safaris don't. Game drives are very well organised early morning and late afternoon and they try and avoid numbers of vehicles crowding animals. Saw all the big 5 and more. Guides and trackers excellent. Tourist may feel very sanitised safari but unfortunately one tracker who was on foot for our vehicle got gored by a Cape buffalo . Very rare occurrence and everyone was shocked but brings home that this is still the wild! The days can be a bit long esp after 24 hr lack of sleep to arrive and the evening drives tend to be extended unnecessarily for late drinks, star gazing at observatory to see white smudges thru telescope- would be better to have it as a separate trip after dinner for those who want it. Breakfast and lunch were satisfactory but dinner was major disappointment and no where near the standard of the resort but closer to school dinners eg meatballs and pasta or veg moussaka and bland sponge cake for dessert. Would expect more at this level of resort. (Every other hotel we stayed in south africa the food and quality of ingredients was amazing) Service generally was good other than restaurant which was friendly but inefficient. They try and get group to eat dinner but we were not prepared to wait as many we're late so we ordered and ate as by this time we were very hungry and not interested in pre dinner drinks. If you wish as we did you can ask for separate table, being friendly doesn't mean you also have to conform to this forced friendliness. Gym was good with amazing views. Overall great safari and location but very disappointing as a hotel restaurant.

Room Tip: We visited safari lodges but think its better to be on the rock
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  • Stayed December 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank PaulinDorridge87
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
VLELondon, General Manager at Ulusaba Rock Lodge, responded to this review, January 10, 2014
Thank you very much for taking the time to share your feedback with us; I’ve shared your comments with the team which will help us to improve in areas where we fell short on this occasion. Whilst I was pleased to hear that you enjoyed your overall experience at Ulusaba especially the safari experience, I was sorry to hear that you were disappointed with the food.

Regarding the comment about the tracker, we are happy to report that he is recovering well which I’m sure you’ll be pleased to hear.

Once again thank you for taking the time to write and I hope that we have the chance to welcome you back to Ulusaba or a different Virgin Limited Edition property in the future.

Karl Langdon
General Manager
Ulusaba Private Game Reserve
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Cheltenham, England
Level Contributor
157 reviews
66 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 95 helpful votes
Reviewed January 3, 2014

Our friends suggested a safari and we thought OK that would be fun! Little did we know what real treat we were in for !!

When we arrived a guest who was just leaving told me it was their 8th visit !!

I have no safari experience to compare this with but I would say if you want to see the Big 5 Close up and heart stopping and have a safari experience with amazing views then this is the place. all the recent reports list what you see in terms of amazing wildlife, what you get us a unique location, amazing staff, food and quality accommodation and the there is Ricoh and Orange our ranger and guide, we left with a heavy heart, they were huge fun, immensely knowledgable and thank goodness they knew where they were going !! It was like leaving good friends, all the staff were great.
New Year's Eve was fantastic, very special attention had been paid to the event and it was a magical evening, the staff were so involved and enthusiastic the sign of a great team.

Now I understand why the guy was on his 8th visit!

Well done Ricoh and orange, well done Ulusaba, superb, we will be back!!

Room Tip: We had rock lodge room 1which had a lovely double aspect balcony
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  • Stayed December 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank smith025
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Stamford
Level Contributor
76 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
Reviewed January 1, 2014 via mobile

My husband and I were fortunate enough to experience Ulusaba in early December. Unlike most guests who fly directly into Ulusaba airstrip, we decided to drive from Johannesburg - an experience in itself. Upon arrival at Ulusaba, we were met by Michelle who took us to Rock Lodge and so began the most amazing 44 hours of our lives!

Knox took us to our room (Rock 2) and we quickly got into our safari gear and headed back to Michelle in the jeep. She took us to meet our ranger (Calvin) and tracker (John). Within minutes we were at a leopard kill! Amazing! We proceeded that evening to see white rhino with a baby. We enjoyed sundowner drinks on the side of a river with hippos.

After an excellent meal with fellow guests, we retired to our room. Next morning we were up bright and early ready for our 5am wake-up call, followed by a 5:30am departure to experience the bush again. Elephants, lions, termite mounds, large snails.....and then.....a surprise pancake with champagne breakfast - outstanding.

Our final safari drive was on a rainy morning, but it was possibly the best one of all because we saw a leopard up a tree being stalked by a lion and then Calvin and John pulled out all the stops to get us to see zebras, which I had said were one of the animals I really wanted to see (along with leopards). Wow!

Our room was great and the bathroom was also fantastic. I especially liked the shower gel/shampoo/body lotion that were provided. You really don't need to take your own as they are very nice quality. In addition, mosquito spray was provided. We didn't really take advantage of the mini-bar that was in the room, nor the laundry service that is included. The swimming pool was lovely too. Comfortable sun loungers that you could fall asleep on (and I did!).

You spend a lot of time with your Ranger/Tracker and the other guests assigned to your jeep (approx 7 hours a day). We had a lovely group of people in our vehicle. John made us feel so safe and his ability to spot animals (including insects) in the dark is phenomenal. Calvin is excellent - very knowledgeable about the bush as a whole ecosystem. They make a terrific team and we would definitely request them again.

I cannot express how impressed we were by Ulusaba and Rock Lodge. It truly is a magical place. The staff are more like friends there to ensure you are well looked after. The 44 hours we spent at Ulusaba were amazing and we are already talking about returning. A huge heartfelt thank you to everyone who made our visit so memorable - a great team.

Stayed December 2013, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
Thank FairLady80
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
VLELondon, General Manager at Ulusaba Rock Lodge, responded to this review, January 17, 2014
“The most amazing 44 hours of our lives” that’s quite a statement and thank you for sharing your experience with us. We think Safari Lodge is truly a remarkable place and we couldn’t be happier to share its magic with you. We hope to welcome you home again soon.
Best wishes
Karl Langdon
General Manager of Ulusaba Private Game Reserve
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Ulusaba Rock Lodge

Property: Ulusaba Rock Lodge
Address: Sabi Sand, Kruger National Park, South Africa
Location: South Africa > Kruger National Park > Sabi Sand Game Reserve > Ulusaba Private Game Reserve
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 2 Specialty Lodging in Ulusaba Private Game Reserve
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 8
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
With panoramic views overlooking the miles of African bush, there are 8 rooms at Rock Lodge, including the Master Suite, Makwela Suites, Rock Cliff rooms and the two bedroom Rock Suite, some of which have private plunge pools. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Ulusaba Rock Hotel Ulusaba Private Game Reserve

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