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“Far from the beaten track, but worth a visit”

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Umngazi River Bungalows & Spa
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Port St Johns
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed October 10, 2013

After a gruelling day in the car and after driving 700 km, we finally arrived at this wonderfull place, just in time for evening dinner. The hotel is situated at the end of a side road to the main road, which is some 10-12 km long. Especially in the dark, this road is rather adventurous, with landslides, potholes, cows, donkeys, sheep and goats in the middle of the road. The place itself is very nice, with nice large rooms in sort of bungalows. There is an inside, but also an outside bathroom, inside a tub, outside a hot and cold shower. A pity that we only could stay one night, because the nature around the place is fantastic

  • Stayed: September 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank forestenergy
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 reviewResponded October 15, 2013

Dear Reviewer,

Thank you so much for the kind review as well for making the trip to visit Umngazi River Bungalows, as you found out this is not called the Wild Coast for nothing, but as you experienced it is certainly worth the journey. We do look forward to welcoming you back again one day and definitely for longer next time.

Best wishes,

Graham

General Manager

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902 - 908 of 1,027 reviews

Reviewed September 30, 2013

Umngazi 's food is outstanding and has improved since the new chef arrived.
We had great weather for the week we stayed at the hotel and the fishing was excellent.The staff are friendly and helpful. It is a great place for a family holiday.

  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled with family
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3  Thank Garth 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 reviewResponded October 3, 2013

Dear Garth,

Thank you so much for taking the time to write this kind review, your feedback and comments are extremely important to us. I have passed this onto JJ our chef who will be happy he and his team have delivered on the food side, I know they work extremely hard to do this.

Thank you for staying with us and we look forward to welcoming 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.
Reviewed September 30, 2013

I have been trying for years to get a booking at this establishment and on the off chance took a shot at getting a booking . I got lucky and they had two bungalow's for us. It was quite a drive to get there but was worth it. We thoroughly enjoyed our stay , all aspects Food , Grounds , Position , Bungalows ,Views , Spa , Staff were all fantastic. Its a beautiful part of the South African coast line and a destination specialising in family holidays. The local community working at the the venue are all very helpful and available to host different activities they offer.
Children big and small will enjoy this experience ,mine certainly did. I can highly recommend Umngazi and I will return and lengthen my stay next time . My tip...... five nights was a bit too short stay longer if you can.

  • Stayed: September 2013, traveled with family
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1  Thank Schiess
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 reviewResponded October 3, 2013

Dear Schiess,

Thank you so much for this extremely kind review, it was great to read that we finally managed to welcome your family to Umngazi after so many years, thank you for persevering! It was also wonderful to see that you will be returning and for longer next time, we certainly look forward to that.

Thank you for staying with us and we look forward to welcoming you back soon.

Best wishes,

Graham

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 17, 2013

My husband and I had the most wonderful honeymoon at Umngazi River Bungalows. We stayed in one of the honeymoon suites and had an incredible view of the sea and river from our room, patio and outdoor double shower. The staff were extremely friendly and always ready to offer assistance where necessary. The food was delicious and we looked forward to each meal; a favourite for us was the seafood buffet on the Saturday night.

We were a bit apprehensive about the drive to Umngazi since we come from Johannesburg and had heard from various people that the roads were not good. Therefore, we decided to do the drive to Umngazi over two days. I would suggest that anyone travelling from Johannesburg do the same as the second part of the trip does take quite a few hours. However, it was most definitely worth the long drive!

Some of the highlights of our honeymoon included the couples full body massage and spa treatment. The spa has the most spectacular views and the staff at the spa were also excellent. We also loved the mangrove hike and canoe and would definitely recommend this to anyone going to Umngazi. As part of our honeymoon package we also received a beautiful picnic basket and on our last night there we received a calendar; it is little touches like these that make Umngazi so awesome.

We will definitely be returning to this wonderful resort as it is well run, in a stunning location and provides for an incredibly relaxing break.

  • Stayed: September 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank Claire W
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 reviewResponded September 23, 2013

Dear Claire,

Thank you so much for the amazing review, and of course thank you for making the journey to Umngazi, we really do appreciate it!

I have passed on all your comments to the Team it is a real boost to everyone when they get feedback such as this. We look forward to welcoming you both back in the not to distant future.

Best wishes,

Graham

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Reviewed September 15, 2013

Umngazi River Bungalows is a surprising beautiful and very well run establishment. We stayed in an ocean view bungalow, and it was very relaxing and quiet. It caters very well for children, but anyone who needs a relaxing escape, will surely find it.
The meals are excellent, especially the seafood buffet, all compliments to the dedicated chef, who clearly takes pride in his work. The service and maintenance are very good. Be sure to use the Spa facilities!

Room Tip: Ocean view, although it is a bit far from the lodge with main facilities, If you have children, ask...
See more room tips
  • Stayed: September 2013, traveled with family
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Thank monica155
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 reviewResponded September 18, 2013

Dear Monica,

Thank you so much for your kind review and of course for choosing Umngazi River Bungalows. It was great to read that we had fulfilled all that we strive to in making our guests stay a relaxing and memorable one.

We look forward to welcoming you back in the not to distant future.

Kind regards,

Graham

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Reviewed August 31, 2013

We have been to Umngazi before and this year we spent 7 days there. It has always had a fantastic reputation, but we noticed a couple of things that were not great. It has fantastic views of the sea and the lodge is really comfortable. It is brilliant for families with kids, with lots to do everyday. Nelson is always terrific with the kids. One of the main attractions is fishing. However, the Gillies that are used to help guests fish, kill everything that is caught. In one morning we counted 30 fish (mostly undersize) which were caught and killed by the Gillies. Management needs to do something about this situation because if this practice continues soon there will be no fish left in the river or the sea. Catch and release should be encouraged, but this practice was never mentioned during our stay. Some of the waitering staff are not keen to serve the guests and at one dinner, the staff sat down to eat while the guest waited to be served. They also pushed in front of guests to pile their plates with dessert. The staff seem to be unhappy? The Chef has changed and it is clear that he is not as creative or meticulous as the previous Chef. The food in the past was one of the highlights of your stay, but this time we felt it was average. The Spa is such a treat and has the best sea view - Definitely worth a visit. It's the first time I have heard guests complaining. It is such a pity because it could be so stunning.

  • Stayed: August 2013, traveled with family
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2  Thank SueV256
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 reviewResponded September 15, 2013

Dear Sue,

Thank you so much for taking the time to write this review, and for sharing the positives as well as negatives of your stay.

All reviews are shared and communicated with the team, to ensure all issues are addressed. Therefore please be assured all your points have been reviewed and of course addressed accordingly.

Thank you so much for staying with us and we hope to welcome you back again soon.

Kind regards,

Graham

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Reviewed August 26, 2013

For me the Umngazi River Bungalows is really a winner. During a 2 day trip with 5 of my guests we spent a night at Umngazi River Bungalows in the more rustic areas of the Transkei but this place stood out. The staff was very friendly, the pool area was fantastic and the river right in front of the bungalows was just beautiful.
We paid for a single night there which include all 3 meals (Dinner, Breakfast and Lunch), but we had to leave before lunch time the next day and they were friendly enough to pack our lunch for us so we could take it with us. I strongly suggest Umngazi River Bungalows if you are going to Port St Johns.

  • Stayed: August 2013, traveled on business
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2  Thank 1st_Zulu_Safaris_SA
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 reviewResponded September 11, 2013

Dear Umngazi Guest,

Thank you so much for the kind review. Great to read we have created wonderful memories for you and your guests during your short stay with us. Thank you so much as well for your recommendation. I do hope we get to welcome you back for a little longer next time.

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

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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