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“Rorke's Drift Hotel”

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Rorke's Drift Hotel
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed March 7, 2013

I had paid for a trip to the Battlefields of South Africa for January 2013, which was unfortunately cancelled. I eventually found a general tour that included visits to Spoin Kop, Rorkes Drift & Isandlwana. Fortunately we stayed at the Rorkes Drift Hotel for two nights (I could have done with a couple more nights & a professional battlefield's guide). The hotel is superbly situated overlooking the Buffalo River and the site of Jim Rorke's Drift. The hotel was very welcoming, very personnel and comfortable with good meals. At the present it is quite small but is being extended, tastefully, to take about 50 guests. I loved the 20 minutes or so drive to Isandwana, up hill and down dale with Isandlwana appearing & disappearing but forever close. Like so many scenes of terrible batlles it was a place of tranquility & peace & hardly bothered by commercialisation. Well worth a visit as is Zululand. Regards David Booth.

Stayed: February 2013, traveled solo
1  Thank David B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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148 - 154 of 209 reviews

Reviewed March 7, 2013

Our first impression as we arrived along a very unmade road was things were a little unfinished, however we were met by very pleasant staff and showed to our rooms. The rooms were unusual in that the building is round but very pleasant and spacious with lovely views of the river. We enjoyed great hospitality from Charles and his staff, and knowing we were on a very tight schedule were delighted that Charles had arranged a tailor made tour with Dalton(excellent guide) of the battlefield areas and the village of Rorke's Drift. We would recommend a visit to Rorke's Drift Hotel to give you the real feeling of being in the heart of the battlefield area of Zulu-Natal. On the morning of our departure we were treated to the staff singing in their native tongue to wish us well on our journey, what a delightful experience!

  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled with friends
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Thank Dave S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 26, 2013

If you are coming to visit the Zulu Battlefields then this is the place to stay. Its location above the Buffalo river with panoramic views across to the drift were stunning. The location simply oozed history. Charles and his team welcomed us made us feel perfectly at home, - more like a house party than hotel. Our battlefield tour organised by the hotel with the knowledgeable Nicki our guide was first class.

On our non battlefield day there were plenty of other things to see and do, we opted on seeing some wild life at a nearby safari reservation which we enjoyed. The interior of the hotel was spectacular; drinks, meals and conversation good. Our room was clean, spacious and comfortable, it had its own private balcony with views over the river which I particularly enjoyed.

Highly recommended.

  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank James K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 22, 2013

Rorke’s Drift Hotel was simply amazing!

We had views directly over the Buffalo River and could almost feel the history of the area. The setting was in a stunning location and with great thought given to the design to merge into the natural background, The hotel facilities show great attention to detail wih a simple example was the plug wall even had a 3 pin UK option in the bedroom.

The cooking and food was great as was the great dining room overlooking the river in an open plan arrangement. Finally the experience and provision of a charming and intensely knowledgeable local Zulu guide for the day made our stay unforgettable with Charles the owner and staff all acting as superb hosts.

Room Tip: King Shaka bedroom over looked over the river, beautiful in sunset
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  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank Gary P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 30, 2013

We spent three nights in the hotel in January as part of a trip to the Natal Battlefields. Charles and his staff made it unforgettable especially the sundowners at Fort Melville. The accommodation and food were first class. We would not hesitate to visit the hotel again and can recommend it to anyone visiting the battlefields.

  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank dylansgran
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 29, 2013

What a wonderful setting, nestling on the banks of the Buffalo River a short distance from the site of Rourk's Drift itself. Welcoming, friendly staff, good food and a small bar in which to have an after dinner drink before retiring to very comfortable accomodation.The night time views from our room, looking out across the river to the plains beyond, were unforgettable being full of atmosphere as a result of the engagements fought out in the vicinity in 1879. Highly recommended for anyone seeking a true taste of South Africa and we would return again if we ever can for a longer visit. Highly recommended.

  • Stayed: April 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank RiktheWalker
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 7, 2013

I get the impression from reading the many rave reviews posted since we stayed for two nights at the beginning of our trip before Christmas, that our experience at Rorke's Drift Hotel may have been unrepresentative. In fairness I want to start by saying that.

We did have an unforgettable stay here. The physical setting on the river bend and the beautiful timeless views are really something to behold. The design of the hotel buildings are very distinctive and stylish. We had the King Shaka room with a great balcony, our sons had the Shiess twin room which has a lesser side view - the rooms are very nice and comfortable and the only thing we didn't like was the strong pondy smell of the water (about which guests are warned). It was disappointing that the swimming pool was dirty and unmaintained so we couldn't use it.

Our visit coincided with the absence of the owner and the professional managers and that was unfortunate by the sound of it. Emails to the hotel sent several days before we arrived went unanswered and probably unread as when we arrived staff had no knowledge of our (longstanding) request for a full day Battlefields tour the next day. Luckily it was possible to arrange this with fantastic Zulu guide Dalton, but I think luck is the word. We got what we came for, which was the history of the area.

Although all very pleasant and well meaning, with one exception the staff seemed inexperienced and rather unprofessional. The quality of the hotel itself creates an expectation of a level of service which wasn't in evidence. The difference between the food we were given and that other guests have appreciated so much makes me wonder if the usual chef was also away. There was very little choice and it was really bland and unimaginative - a bit like what a reluctant home cook would produce - absolutely not restaurant quality. A real low was being served tinned fruit salad. On our first night we were the only guests and on the second there was just one other family so it was all a bit ghost town - based on our stay we felt the hotel needs to get a really good chef in and try to get a reputation for dining that does justice to the wonderful buildings and surroundings and bringing in custom and atmosphere. But if they already have a decent chef, they need to watch consistency of standards.

Room Tip: King Shaka room is huge and has the best balcony and river views.
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  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled with family
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1  Thank Hoocha
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Rorke's Drift Hotel

Address: Isandhlwana Road, Rorke's Drift, South Africa
Location: South Africa > KwaZulu-Natal > Rorke's Drift
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 4 Specialty Lodging in Rorke's Drift
Price Range: $173 - $505 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 12
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
At Rorke's Drift on the Buffalo River the new Rorke’s Drift Hotel stands the slopes of Shiyane Mountain (The Oscarberg), in the rolling hills of Zululand. The historic crossing that gives the area its name is within its grounds and the comfortable modern facilities are priced to meet the needs of the discerning traveller. The visitor will enjoy peaceful relaxation in the rural landscape, surrounded by iconic history and natural countryside. Phase One of the construction is now complete with 7 double and four single en-suite rooms. Phase Two will raise the capacity to 30 rooms so that coach touring parties can be accommodated, for the recommended two night stay. The hotel provides an affordable destination at this historic location. Visitors will be stunned by its position overlooking the Buffalo River and with its open views towards Isandlwana, and by its architectural design that is a modern amalgam of Zulu and Victorian cultures. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Rorke's Drift Hotel South Africa/KwaZulu-Natal

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