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“Expensive Waste of Time”

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Grootbos Private Nature Reserve
Certificate of Excellence
Ottawa, Canada
Level Contributor
106 reviews
26 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 56 helpful votes
“Expensive Waste of Time”
Reviewed May 27, 2013

The only reason we chose to go here was to see marine life. They certainly market that on their website, although as an "extra". When we got there, we were advised that the boat they use was out of service. There was no access to any other boat. If you are marketing the ability to see marine life, you need to have a plan B.

Expect a surly reply from the owner who was not even gracious enough to provide an apology, stating only that it's not his boat and is out of his control. True, but it's up to you to find a way to live up to the expectations that you set.

The food, however, was amazing, the staff were wonderful and the grounds were beautiful. Too bad that's not what we went there for.

Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
1 Thank Intrepid T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SeanIngles, General Manager at Grootbos Private Nature Reserve, responded to this review, May 29, 2013
I'm sorry to hear that your expectations were not met with regards to the marine activities on offer- particularly the scenic boat cruise to Dyer Island. Unfortunately there is only one operator that offers this trip at this time of the year. With their boat being unexpectadley out of action for maintenance- we had no alternative. Saying this though, I do hope took the opportunity to visit the magnificient coastline with one of our Marine guides- exploring the ancient caves along the shore or taking a fascinating tour along the pristine stretch of beach.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
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  • Sleep Quality
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  • Value
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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (124)
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cape town
Level Contributor
15 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed May 23, 2013

We stayed at the Garden Lodge, because we travelled with our children this time. Previously we stayed at the Forest Lodge, which I personally prefer.

The staff was overall very friendly and welcoming. The children's entertainment program was excellent. Albertram was really great with the kids and took them for a treasure hunt. Afterwards they went pony riding which they loved too. Bongani accommodated us for a wonderful short notice drive in the morning. The kids received little frog keyrings on the beds in the evening, that was a very nice surprise for them and much better than chocolates.

Nevertheless there were a few points that makes Grootbos not quite 5 star.

It started with making a reservation, which required several emails from my side to finally receive a response to my booking request. I guess that was because I booked a reduced rate special, but should nevertheless not have happened. Missing cutlery in the morning at the breakfast table, no glasses at the juice bar, the croissants and muffins only came out quite a bit after official start of breakfast time, which we were eagerly awaiting since the kids were up since 5am. We ordered a meal for the baby to the room, which was only delivered late and after a phone call reminder to reception. They clearly forgot about it. The suites appear to be an upgrade of an older version that was not really completed. The toilet in suite 3 for example has a basin, but not towel hanger, so after washing your hands you have to walk to the bathroom to dry them - really odd. Our suite had underfloor heating, but in the kids suite it was removed, so the bathroom floor was very cold.

Anyway we still had a nice weekend, but I am glad I didn't have to pay the full rate.

Room Tip: If you don't travel with kids then definitely stay in the Forest Lodge and not the Garden Lodge
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  • Stayed May 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank CapeTownHasen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SeanIngles, General Manager at Grootbos Private Nature Reserve, responded to this review, May 29, 2013
Thank you for your comments. I'm thrilled to hear that you returned to Grootbos with the kids and that they had such and enjoyable time. I appreciate your constructive comments regarding the breakfast and reservation process. I'll be sure to investigate these issues and take corrective action.

Thank you too for your comments on the rooms- you'll be glad to hear that were are undergoing a full soft refurbishment this winter and I hope you'll return to see what changes have been made.
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Kokstad, South Africa
Level Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed May 17, 2013

Spent the most magical weekend at Grootbos for a very special friends wedding.
The food was exceptional and by far the best wedding food I've ever had.
The setting is amazing, the rooms beautiful and the staff went out of their way to please us in any way they could.
Truly magical place...

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank AgnesB14
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cape Town Central, South Africa
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviewed May 15, 2013

WOW. We recently held our wedding at Grootbos, and I would not change a single thing! It was perfect. The staff, the lodge, the food - all were spectacular. I was often asked about how stressful it is planning a wedding, but I must say that I had a very stress free time and only have happy memories of the planning process as the team at Grootbos covered simply everything. I cannot recommend Grootbos highly enough, as a weekend getaway, a holiday or honeymoon venue, and if you are lucky enough to be planning a wedding, I can pretty much guarantee that it will be the day of your dreams.
We left Grootbos after a weekend of magic to begin our lives as husband and wife, with a special little piece of the fynbos forest etched in our hearts. A truly spectacular experience.
Thank you to everyone involved, from the glorious staff at the gates who great you with a happy smile, to the waiters, housekeepers, guides, chefs and management team. Magical!

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Kirsty R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
George, South Africa
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed May 7, 2013

Our son's recent wedding at Grootbos in the milkwood forest was a most exceptional experience - all the staff are polite, friendly and nothing is too much trouble. The forest was made to look magical - all done with smiles and attention to the smallest detail. Special attention is given to anyone on a specific diet and the food is exceptional. The accommodation is luxurious and views breathtaking. The bride and her bridesmaids stayed in the Villa which is incredibly beautiful - the rooms and detail of finishes are first class and the art (look for the William Kentridge etchings!) shows that no expense has been spared. This is topped by the most breathtaking views of the fynbos reserve stretching towards walker bay with vast open skies over the ocean. Luckily we had perfect weather which made the whole weekend a most memorable wedding in every way.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Fiona R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Halifax, Nova Scotia
Level Contributor
64 reviews
25 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 45 helpful votes
Reviewed May 7, 2013 via mobile

We are at Grootbos right now and can't say enough good about this place. If you love nature and serenity, this is the place for you! The cottage is spacious and very upscale with every comfort. The staff are great and the food is also fantastic. We had such a wonderful time enjoying the nature drive, horseback riding and walking the secluded beach. If you are coming to South Africa, you really shouldn't miss this place. You won't regret it!

Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
Thank paulandtoby
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
McGregor, South Africa
1 review
Reviewed May 3, 2013

Last weekend we were privileged to have our daughter's wedding at this amazingly beautiful venue. Blessed with perfect weather the ceremony was held in the milkwood forest close to Forest Lodge and the reception on the pool deck overlooking the sea and fynbos with the setting sun as an amazing backdrop. As the evening cooled down, guests moved indoors to the comfortable seating areas where dinner comprising of a marvellous array of mini dishes was served - from cured salmon maki with wasabi foam and pickled ginger, tempura prawns, grilled line fish with pea and chorizo veloute, lamb cutlet on milho and smoked tomato relish,10 delights in all - the chef certainly did us and the 150 guests proud!A special mention must go to the excellent staff at Grootbos who went the extra mile and more making sure that everything ran smoothly and each guest was safely returned (by shuttle) to their accommodation either at the Lodge or in Gansbaai or De Kelders. And all with the greatest good will and enthusiasm. Next morning staff who had been up most of the night were back on duty with a smile on their faces serving a delicious breakfast to everyone! All in all it was the most magical venue that any bride could wish for and Kirsty and Paul enjoyed every moment of their wedding, as did all of the guests - thank you so much to all involved in the organization, both before and on this very special day!!

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with friends
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Gill and Tim R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Grootbos Private Nature Reserve

Property: Grootbos Private Nature Reserve
Address: | R43 Between Stanford and Gansbaai, Grootbos Private Nature Reserve 7220, South Africa
Location: South Africa > Western Cape > Grootbos Private Nature Reserve
Amenities:
Business Center with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Specialty Lodging in Grootbos Private Nature Reserve
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:5 star — Grootbos Private Nature Reserve 5*
Number of rooms: 27
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Grootbos, with its two 5-star luxury lodges is spectacularly situated on the fynbos and forest clad hills overlooking the whale-watching haven of Walker Bay. Grootbos has carved a unique niche in the upmarket eco-lodge sector by specializing in the Cape region of South Africa’s world-renowned flora and marine biodiversity. This multi-award winning reserve is home to more than 740 different plant species, offers warm hospitality, excellent cuisine, fine wines and is a nature lover’s paradise. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Grootbos Private Nature Reserve Hotel Grootbos Private Nature Reserve

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