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Reviewed January 12, 2010

Grootbos is set in beautiful countryside with far-reacing views to the sea. The rooms were all spacious and attractive, with modern furnishings - this included the cottages, which had the most amazing bathrooms with uninterrupted views of counrty and sea. The staff were all helpful, well-trained and delightfully friendly and the cuisine was first rate. The only downside was the limited inclusive activities on offer. However, as this is a relatively new project and is still developing, the enthusiastic team and director are bound to remedy this.

  • Stayed: December 2009, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank KRBC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 25, 2009

I stayed here with my family in January 2009 and I'm afraid that I had a very different experience than other reviewers. The lodge is really nicely situated with a beautiful view and so far all was well. At check in we were told that we couldn't have a baby sitter for the evening since we had arrived at 3pm and it was now too late. We explained that we were not keen to have a 5 course dinner late in the evening with our 2 year old son since he would surely disturb all other dinner guests. We then asked if we could have our dinner in our room and the front desk manager told us that this was no problem and that they had even arranged weddings in our accommodation. We thought that sounded like a great solution to this issue, sorted! In the evening it turned out that the waiters were very upset that they had to bring food to our accommodation and they basically came and dropped 4 dishes in one go, spilling food, not even opening the bottle of wine that we had ordered and telling us that they were not staffed to perform this kind of service. I was very surprised and disappointed by the presentation of the food and by the fact that staff was complaining to me about doing what the front desk manager had suggested as the solution when the hotel was unable to provide a baby sitter.

Anyhow we thought let's give this place another chance the second day (which was our wedding anniversary) and the next day got off to a pleasant start when a nice breakfast was provided in our room without us even having asked for it. After breakfast we went down to the reception to go on our first activity. There a German man who it turned out is the owner of the place was waiting for us. He asked if we were happy with everything and I said that today we had a nice start to the day but yesterday we were not entirely happy. He then bursted out in a cavalcade of abuse, in short he said that I could try myself to bring dinner to our accommodation and that since his lodge had won many prices and that many "top class people" had stayed there we should take the consequences and leave if we weren't happy. I was truly amazed and said that I would be happy to leave but that I had been incorrectly charged for my entire stay in advance (the hotel's reservation policy was to charge half of the amount at the time of booking and second half on check out). The German then told me that you can't stay in any hotel in the world without prepaying and if I don't know that I obviously haven't travelled much in my life..... Not sure if that's really true (at least it's not the official policy of his own hotel) but he agreed to refund the remainder of my stay. When the German found out that the reason that we requested to dine in our room was that a baby sitter couldn't be offered he did appologize for his rude and abusive ranting and suggested that maybe we could share a glass of wine and become friends. However while I appreciated his appology I felt that he had crossed the line and we decided to leave since we didn't want to risk further abuse at almost $1000 a night, especially since it was our wedding anniversary. We left to Cape Grace in Cape Town which was a fantastic hotel that totally saved our anniversary.

In summary, I think that it's highly questionable whether the manager/owner in a place like this under any circumstances has the right to be as abusive as this person was and if he choses to do so I strongly believe that he should first take the time to listen and understand the circumstances of the guest's complaint before breaking out in an emotional abusive rant! Very uncivilized and very unprofessional IMHO. I would also like to highlight that I, as evidenced by my other reviews, do not complain about every other hotel but this was too much!

  • Stayed: January 2009, traveled with family
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12  Thank romejune2005
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Grootbos, Managing Director/Owner at Grootbos Private Nature Reserve, responded to this reviewResponded January 12, 2010

In response to the message posted on the 25th of December 2009 and with regards to romejune2005's stay at Grootbos in January 2009, Grootbos Management would like to emphasize that at no time or under any circumstances will they tolerate abuse of their staff!

The Grootbos Management

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 6, 2009

Absolutely stunning place to stay. My partner and I stayed 2 nights and if we could have afforded to, would have stayed for longer - I think 4 nights would be ideal.

Our room was fantastic - the bed was the most comfy I've slept in in any hotel:) The design and layout of the suites is well thought out, the decor is lovely and everything is well appointed. Little touches such as the glass and bottle of mineral water by the side of your bed at turn down was a really lovely detail.

I was particularly impressed with check in and the administration staff. My partner wanted to go shark diving and I liaised with reception before departing the uk to arrange this. They did everything and it worked like clockwork. As my partner was somewhere in the ocean with a great white, I checked in alone. No sooner had I got out of my car surrounded by bushes and shrubs, and there was someone to help me. I was led to reception, checked in, offered a drink and the manager came for a friendly welcome chat. I was then introduced to one of the guides - Brummer, who talked me through all activities available and booked me in for as many as I could feasible manage. Following this was lunch after which I was booked in for riding, so hot footed it to my cottage whereby luggage was waiting. A quick change later and back at reception to meet Brummer who took me to the stables. Riding was great, having not been on a horse for 15 years I was a tad apprehensive but needn't have worried.

After riding, (by which time Brummer had collected Andy from the dive site) we went to Grootbos's whale house where we drank some fizz and watched whales breaching - magical!

There's too much to detail here for a short review but in a nutshell, the activities were excellent, staff were a credit, food superb and Brummer and Michael (both guides) were brilliant.

I would certainly visit again!

Unfortunately, with so much to do on site, we didn't stay in our room much!

  • Stayed: November 2009, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank Saffs
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 2, 2009

We were made to feel welcome as soon as we arrived. The staff were attentive and helped us arrange the activies for our 3 day stay. We had e-mailed ahead to book the whale boat trip and a late room check-out. The guides have a very extensive knowlege and great enthusiasm and pass this on to those around them, the whale watching was just amazing, we sure so many mothers with their calfs at play to last a lifetime. The other activies are also very interesting, a 4x4 ride around the reserve to see the flowers etc and the projects to support the local community. The room and food are 5* but the pool outside our room was unheated and it was too cold to use and none of the steps had hand-rails which was alittle dificult for me. But a most wonderful trip

  • Stayed: October 2009, traveled with family
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1  Thank cilla99
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 30, 2009

We were lucky enough to have a night at the Forest Lodge given to us as a wedding present and stayed at the Forest Lodge as part of our honeymoon. We weren't sure what to expect but were absolutely blown away by the place. Our room was huge. With a large separate lounge, lovely bedroom, huge bathroom and 3 (count 'em) separate showers. The bedroom and lounge opened out to a lovely balcony overlooking the forest and out to the sea.

The food was also excellent with 2 choices of main dish at lunch and a few more options at dinner. Breakfast was also very good.

The service was generally very good and as we were honeymooners they provided a bottle of sparkling wine. When we returned from dinner they had spread rose petals around the bed and bethroom and even had a warm bubble bath waiting for us. A really nice touch.

Grootbos is set in beautiful sorroundings and we were lucky enough to get to know one of the guides, Nzuzo. We arrived a little early for our room to be available so Nzuzo took us on a private walk round the forest and explained the diversity of the plantlife. We also took a guided cave beach walk, and another nature walk round the forest.

The other thing particularly worth noting about the Grootbos is the Grootbos foundation, a fantastic education and conservation project run by the owners. The Grootbos run a school to train locals in nature conservation and life skills and another teaching women about growing food. These students are generally unemployed and homeless prior to their participation. Nzuzo and some of our other guides were graduates of this school. They also run an organic farm staffed by the students of the women's school which provide meats, eggs and vegetables for the hotel.

The Grootbos isn't cheap but the location, the service, the food and the foundation are so good that everyone should try to stay there if they could.

  • Stayed: October 2009, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank dhr1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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