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Umngazi River Bungalows & Spa
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Port St Johns
Certificate of Excellence
Cape Town Central, South Africa
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Very Good and Very bad”
Reviewed August 7, 2013

We stayed for 8 nights. Everything was great till about two thirds the way through our stay when both my wife and i were stricken with a stomach bug. Our infant kids were spared thankfully. so points to either a water or food issue. Another couple also had the same problem - they were drinking only bottled water. clearly some basic hygiene issues somewhere in the catering chain need addressing. worst however was on departure when we reported the problem to management with a view to saving future patrons the same experience a more lacklustre response would be hard to imagine. unfortunately this will colour my memory of this holiday and i'm unlikely to return. however this kind of basic issue is easy to sort out with decisive management and the time prior to us getting sick was great.

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with family
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank a r
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GeneralManager81, General Manager at Umngazi River Bungalows & Spa, responded to this review, August 25, 2013
Dear Umngazi Guest,

Thank you so much for taking the time to write this review and pass on this feedback. My sincere apologies that your concerns were not handled correctly on departure. The issue of Health and Safety at Umngazi is an extremely important one, not only for our Guests, but for the reputation of Umngazi River Bungalows.

We do work to very high standards of hygiene and therefore if something like you mentioned is reported there are several things that are in place to ensure we can contain and minimize anybody else becoming ill.

Once again thank for letting me know about this obvious lapse in systems and procedures, it has been addressed with the management team accordingly.

I do hope we get to welcome you back to Umngazi in the not to distant future.

Kind regards,

Graham
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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (125)
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English first
Durban
Level 2 Contributor
3 reviews
Reviewed August 1, 2013

We travelled from Durban via Port Edward and found that the road from Bizana to Flagstaff was in a relative bad condition because of pot holes. Animals on the road is a given and one has to live with that.

The trip was however worth it. From the time that we arrived, we were very impressed. The welcome was good, the accommodation and food excellent. The whole ambience invited you to relax.

The staff was very helpful, without being a nuisance. The activities such as the Sundowner Cruise was enjoyable and good value for money. Similarly the Spa was a very relaxing and pleasant experience.

In conclusion this is excellent venue for a really relaxing holiday and I will certainly return soon.

Room Tip: We booked a room with a view of the river and also got a view of the sea from room 33B. A very good...
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  • Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank JimDurban
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GeneralManager81, General Manager at Umngazi River Bungalows & Spa, responded to this review, August 4, 2013
Dear Umngazi Guest,

Thank you so much for taking this time to write this review, your feedback is greatly appreciated.

It was pleasing to hear that the team did what they were meant to, that is to make sure you have the most memorable of stays and to ensure that you make up your mind to come back again and again.

Thank you once again and thank you for the support.

Best wishes,

Graham
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Johannesburg
Level 3 Contributor
10 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed July 25, 2013

Having booked here from word of mouth for our honeymoon,

We arrived late as it was quite a drive from Johannesburg, they were so accommodating an they ensured we had dinner when we arrived. Our luggage was carried for us.
We had read online that our specific suite has a golf cart that we can get driven back and forth from our room to reception which we were excited about (we are very healthy and fit but it's nice to have a break sometimes)
The lady from the reception said we should "not be lazy" and we should walk. Since we were paying for this facility and it was included in our package we queried it the next day and infact we were entitled to it, but we realized it was such a mission to find someone every time as no one was really in that area and they have to find the driver etc. so we ended up walking most of the time.

The room was amazing we had the ntabeni suite with breath taking views and sandie was our amazing housekeeper who always ensured our room was tidy and the beds were made. We had water on our bedside too and apon arrival we has welcome chocolates on our pillows. One other night we were given biscuits this was great but this wasn't consistent.

We went on a sunset cruise with Kevin, he is just the cutest and made us laugh and fed the fish eagle and we also sang songs (which we mumbled sometimes during the day and laughed)

The food was amazing, I have never eaten so much before. Endless and amazing choices, when we have children we will definitely come here as there is so much to do for families not just couples. Wow.

One night we had dinner in the gazebo, this was very private and it's 190 per person. You chose from a menu, my husband had lamb shank which was VERY fatty and quite disappointing. I had the king clip which wasn't bad at all, but in all honesty the standard dinners which come in the included price were better than the private ones.

There is many activities such as cycling, rowing, hiking, bird viewing, trails, horse riding, and last but not least the amazing spa, best ever treatments and the setting is amazing too.

They also have a petrol tank if you need petrol which is very helpful.

One tip for Umngazi is perhaps when it's a couples honeymoon, maybe do small things like put petals on the bed, little note on the table, or a flower, it's the small touches that will really make a difference during this special time.

We will definitely recommend Umngazi to everyone we can, and we will definitely be back here but next time for longer.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Caseyrad
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GeneralManager81, General Manager at Umngazi River Bungalows & Spa, responded to this review, August 25, 2013
Dear Umngazi Guest,

Thank you so much for choosing Umngazi for your Honeymoon, I do hope we can get to celebrate with you every year from now on. Thank you as well for taking the time to write this review to share your experience of Umngazi, your comments and feedback are greatly appreciated.

I have passed on your kind positive comments as well as your flaws to the Team, they will be addressed.

We look forward to welcoming you back again soon. Congratulations once again.

Kind regards,

Graham
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Gersau, Switzerland
Level 6 Contributor
222 reviews
24 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 79 helpful votes
Reviewed July 15, 2013

I stayed at Umngazi in the 80s when the resort was a little more than a clump of rondawels. We decided to do a tour up from Cape Town to the Wild Coast last December to show my foreign boyfriend a little taste of SA.

I managed to book the honeymoon suite on top of the hill next to the spa with phenomenal views of the river mouth and beach. It was only available for 3 nights unfortunately as we could easily have stayed a week. It was complete with a jet bath, inside and outside showers, walk in closet, living room, large entrance area and magnificent patio! The daily activities keeps one entertained and busy. The food and hospitality was unbeatable.

Now I know why I could never get a booking in the past - people come back for more every year!

If we ever get the opportunity to visit in the future, we will definitely jump at it and recommend that you do the same!

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank Smartie777
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GeneralManager81, General Manager at Umngazi River Bungalows & Spa, responded to this review, July 18, 2013
Dear Umngazi Guest,

Thank you so much for your kind review, it was greatly appreciated. I do remember you both very well and of course remember the great evening in Basil's. Always happy to hear that we have managed to make a guest a friend here at Umngazi.

I do hope we get to welcome you back to Umngazi in the not to distant future.

Best wishes,

Graham
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Port Elizabeth, Eastern Cape, South Africa
Level 3 Contributor
10 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed June 26, 2013

Umngazi River Bungalows is in a subtropical location that does no really get cold. The room that was allocated to me was very cold. The room had two small beds, while my three colleagues were all8acted rooms with large beds where the sun shone in.

Room Tip: Avoid room 26
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  • Stayed June 2013, traveled on business
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank Robert L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GeneralManager81, General Manager at Umngazi River Bungalows & Spa, responded to this review, August 4, 2013
Dear Umngazi Guest,

Sorry to hear your stay with us was not as comfortable as hoped. Although our climate is sub-tropical some areas of the resort do not enjoy the early sun in winter, as well some winter nights and mornings are chilly due to the cold breeze off the Umngazi River. We do provide heaters if requested. Good to hear your colleagues had a great stay, lets make sure you check in first next time to make sure you get the best room.

Thank you for your comments and feedback and we look forward to welcoming you back again soon.

Kind regards,

Graham
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Durban, South Africa
Level 5 Contributor
72 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
Reviewed June 18, 2013

I travelled to Umngazi River Bungalows with my Fiance' last year in October (2012). I am only getting around to writing the review now, but it was so well worth it that I needed to say something :). LOVED the beautiful settings along the river and we made full use of the stunning pool area with great views. I advise you look at their off-peak specials (which we made use of) because they really make this place even more affordable and include special little extras that increase the value of the trip. We chose the Spa package and had fantastic spa treatments (in one of the most beautiful spas I have ever seen. We also received a gorgeous little gift set and a welcoming bottle of wine. The staff were wonderful and friendly and the food was, for the most part great, apart from one evening meal of over cooked calamari. Very forgivable though because of the wide range of options and the fact that all meals are included. The cocktails are well price and all absolutely DELISH!!

For a romantic trip away, this place is fabulous, but I do recommend (for a couple looking for a quiet, romantic time) to go during school terms because during school holidays there are a lot more young children.

Room Tip: All the rooms are lovely (even the garden-view ones) and are all spacious - If you have the extra ca...
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank MegCr0sby
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GeneralManager81, General Manager at Umngazi River Bungalows & Spa, responded to this review, June 20, 2013
Dear Umngazi Guest,

Thank you for the kind review, we don't mind the delay in receiving a review, although a little late to fix the calamari.

Thank you so much for the positive feedback, especially about the value for money, as this is one of our key 'pillars' that we have in place to keep Umngazi guests coming back year after year.

I hope we get to welcome you back again in the not to distant future.

Kind regards,

Graham
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Grahamstown, South Africa
Level 3 Contributor
12 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed June 8, 2013

What a lovely setting for a getaway! Especially for a family, if you have kids and you want to get them away from the hustle and bustle then this is the place!

It really is beautiful on looking the river and with a short walk down to the beach its a real treat.

We only stayed for two days on our road trip but its a lovely place. Rooms are nice, very basic but with local charm. No TV's in there (when we were there) so not for those who like to set up camp in a room the whole time. It forces you out into the beautiful surrounds. Lots to do and see and a perfect getaway for a group of friends.

Food was not particularly great nor was the staff service (you have to wait a while and some seem to understand very little about waitressing) but if you are laid back just enjoy its simplicity.

We managed to get lost in the nearby village (GPS is not always your friend) but from start to finish we had a lovely time.

Room Tip: Try get a room that has a direct view of the river.
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  • Stayed July 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Lauren L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GeneralManager81, General Manager at Umngazi River Bungalows & Spa, responded to this review, June 20, 2013
Dear Umngazi Guest,

Thank you for your kind review, we don't mind these kind of reviews no matter the time delay! It was great to read you enjoyed Umngazi and all its natural beauty.

You did mention some communication and language difficulties, but as I am sure you found out that the friendliness and helpfulness will have more than made up for this.

Thank you for visiting us and I do hope we get to welcome you back again oneday soon!

Kind regards,

Graham
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Umngazi River Bungalows & Spa

Property: Umngazi River Bungalows & Spa
Address: I, Port St Johns, South Africa
Location: South Africa > Eastern Cape > Port St Johns
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Port St Johns
Hotel Class:4 star — Umngazi River Bungalows & Spa 4*
Number of rooms: 69
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Tucked away on the Wild Coast, in the heart of Pondoland, and encompassed by a rocky coastline, indigenous forests, secluded coves and breathtaking views of the Indian Ocean, lies the award winning Umngazi River Bungalows & Spa - an award winning family resort & spa. The thatch-roofed bungalows are situated amongst the indigenous gardens which provide the perfect setting for a totally relaxed holiday. Weekly fly-in packages are available Friday to Friday from Durban where you fly at 500 feet above sea level along the beautiful coastline - a wonderful way to start your holiday. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Umngazi River Bungalows Hotel Port St Johns
Umngazi River Hotel
Umngazi River Resort

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