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“Excellent Attention to Detail”
Review of Isandlwana Lodge

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Isandlwana Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
Hong Kong, China
Level 2 Contributor
7 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“Excellent Attention to Detail”
Reviewed February 21, 2013

Couldn't recommend this hotel highly enough. The location, attention to detail and overall atmosphere all added to the battlefields experience .

I think there are just 12 rooms which mean the hotel is small enough for the management to be attentive and flexible enough to attend to their guests needs - which was really appreciated.

We did not use the designated hotel guide for our tour because we booked the tour before the hotel but we enjoyed chatting to him after dinner one evening, learning even more about the area and history.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
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Helpful?
Thank chrj260957
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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207 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (74)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Any
English first
Hereford, United Kingdom
Level 4 Contributor
35 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed February 13, 2013

Enjoyed our stay at the lodge. The services were excellent. Rooms very clean plenty of insect repellent for when you go to the battlefields. The guide gave a interesting talk about Zulu battle and made it very moving. Good choice of food and very good breakfast.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank James M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Liphook, United Kingdom
Level 6 Contributor
279 reviews
65 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 158 helpful votes
Reviewed February 8, 2013

We stayed for 2 nights as part of a 3 week cross African holiday and have to say this was a very special highlight in our entire tour. The lodge is built in a traditional style (so don't expect all chrome and glass) and we were really happy with our room (number 5).

The staff at the lodge were so friendly and helpful, one of the girls typed out a full set of driving instructions to help me get from there to Jo'burg.

We found the food exceptionally good and the waiting staff were really nice people.

The big highlight of course were the battlefield tours to Isandlwana and Rorke's Drift. Rob Gerrard was just amazing. There were only 4 of us who went out that day but he put his heart and soul into his talks. I can remember feeling quite emotional as we sat listening to his talk out on the battlefield. That was a moment which will live with me forever.

A special place with special people.

Room Tip: Our room 5 was very good but didn't see the others.
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank KeithmT
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Johannesburg, South Africa
Level 5 Contributor
63 reviews
32 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 75 helpful votes
Reviewed February 4, 2013

I'm a little embarrassed as a group leader of a bunch of professional speakers who recently stayed at and toured around this property, to see a review below from one of our gathering who didn't like the place at all. In all honesty, I LOVE this property as much as our one delegate disliked it. To my mind (and to that of every other guest in our group) the rooms are great, the location awesome and the meals were outstanding. In fact, so much of a good time was had by all - we are rebooking a weekend in June (the whole lodge) for another gathering. It is hard to criticise this property. It's elegant, evocative and very historical - and it blends in beautifully with the surroundings. Rob Caskie, our tour guide, was incredibly knowledgeable and complemented our stay magnificently. I'm finding it really hard to see why Yvonne didn't like the place... as in all honesty I'm hard-pressed to think of anything missing? The lack of TV's in the rooms perhaps? Except none of us would have turned them on anyway. The real world and the surroundings simply draw you outside. The linen, my shower, the decor... it was all to my liking (and I do stay in around 120 hotels a year). The service was superb (we all tipped) and the management bent over backwards to accommodate us in every way. I'm sorry Yvonne and her partner didn't like it. Everyone else can't wait to go back...

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank ChangeGuru
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Harrogate UK
Level 6 Contributor
112 reviews
26 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 56 helpful votes
Reviewed January 24, 2013 via mobile

Superbly located, clever architect, this lodge has outstanding views and positions. We are in deep rural territory and here because of an interest in what happened on the plains in front of us. The staff were lovely and helpful. The manager (?)Andre was helpfulness itself printing me a report of Bradford City's win over Aston Villa. Fortunate our waitron was lovely. We found the food was fine, no pretence here unlike some places where we had been and the wine choice interesting (Andre will perhaps remember the wine allegedly imported by someone in London). Lots of opportunity to meet fellow travellers and swop experiences. The highlight has to be the tours led by Robert Gerrard of the battlefields. He is probably one of if not the foremost experts of the battles at Isandlhwana and Rorke's Drift and he brings them to life with an exceptional story telling gift. A truly memorable experience, thank you all.

Stayed January 2013, traveled with friends
Helpful?
Thank scalloplady
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Leeds, United Kingdom
Level 2 Contributor
6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed January 23, 2013

Its been an ambition of mine since i was a lad to visit Isandlwana & take in the scenery & the feel of the battlefield. I travelled with my girlfriend who was more looking forward to the Cape town/Camps bay part of our holiday than the battlefield tour/history lesson at Isandlwana! We arrived on NYE just gone, well i say we arrived.. we drove from Johannesburg airport following the excellent route instructions from the Lodge website (Dont trust the sat nav!) however as we were nearing our destination the heavens opened up, and the biggest lighting storm i'd ever seen! it was great! well i thought so, anyways we couldn't cross the little stream a few k's from the Lodge as it was a torrent now. We rang the Lodge & Andres(??) came straight out to rescue us in his jeep, he had one of his people fetch our car later for us. Anyway on to the lodge.. luxurious lodgings, lovely spacious room, great views of the vast plain. The lodge had character in abundance, and the staff were brilliant, helpful & friendly. The food was lovely, i haven't got one bad thing to say about the food. We did the battlefield tour of Isandlwana with Rob Gerrard which was really good (Although i had to go back on my own that afternoon to really take it all in) Rob was taken ill the next day so we had Dalton (A real Zulu) take us on the Rorke's drift tour, this was good, however it incorporated more Zulu history than sticking to the battle at RD, i would like to do the tour again with Rob one day. This is by no means a criticism of Dalton as he was very accommodating & friendly & incorporated the graves of Melvill & Coghill on the way back for us. I would have loved to have done Fugitives trial tour, but the buffalo river was not cross-able & besides Rob was ill - I also enjoyed the company of Shea Bongo one of the lodge workers who was training to be a future guide, he had me doing Zulu dancers at the lodge & on a hike he had me singing zulu songs! My girlfriend took to the place, chilling beside the lodge pool as i was off exploring & climbing up the Isandlwana hill! Loved the whole experience & was glad i was there for 4 nights, which gave me time to explore & relax & take it all in. I would definitely recommend this place, and i would really like to return one day. ps i saw wild Zebra & impala's around the back of the hill great!

Room Tip: The room we had was right at the far side nearer the pool, it was a large room, bigger than some of...
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank Bedders72
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Johannesburg, South Africa
Level 3 Contributor
24 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
Reviewed December 18, 2012

I am quite frankly surprised by the other reviews of this hotel. I think it is dated, old fashioned, tired, lazy and very overpriced. What saves it? The amazing view of the spectacular valley and the stories, brilliantly recounted of the Zulu , British wars. Sunning stunning stunning.

However I would recommend that you go in search of other accommodation in the area. The experience really is listening to the evocative historical account.

Badly planned rooms that did not maximize the view. Very tired decor, dark, uninviting space with little to recommend it actually. The food was the same, old fashioned, heavy, overcooked and uninspiring. At that price point one just expects a lot more.

The staff, obliging and sweet, are completely untrained not knowing the basics about the bar or menu items. Inexcusable. That is managements fault, not the staff's.

Room Tip: Select another hotel in the area
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Yvonne J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
IsandlwanaLodge, Owner at Isandlwana Lodge, responded to this review, January 14, 2013
We, at Isandlwana Lodge, always welcome constructive criticism; however, the review to which we are responding fails, in part to fall in the constructive category in our opinion.

The person who wrote this review was part of a group tour and was the only negative response we had from anyone in the party. I quote here an excerpt from a letter from the leader of the group which indicates a vast contrast to the objections raised. He said, “We all had a most wonderful time at Isandlwana Lodge these past two days, Andre. Well done to you particularly, and to your staff. The food was excellent, and your staff were delightful. I will communicate with Paul presently regarding the dates you have given us for 2013. They are very keen to return, and hopefully fill the Lodge.”

As far as maximizing the view from the bedrooms, we positioned the lodge as we did because of our commitment to protect the environment. It is especially important as the head and chest of the Zulu Army came from the top of the hill behind us across where the lodge is built to reach the battlefield.

The decor is understated because we try to keep the Zulu feel so that we would be more in keeping with their customs and culture. Our bedspreads are either hand-painted or silk-screened and we did not think fine fabrics and fluffy pillows were in keeping with what we were trying to accomplish. That said, we are now adding accent walls, bed throws and some brighter colors as we refurbish the bedrooms.

We have reported the comment about the staff to the lodge manager and he will take steps to correct any shortcomings of the people who served this party in the dining room and the bar. We have not received such a comment before and we are grateful to know that there was a problem. The lodge manager will also discuss the complaints about over-cooked foods with the appropriate staff members.

Because the lodge is in a remote area with no through traffic and no bookings from business people, we have to charge enough to keep the lodge operational. It is important to the community because they receive a percentage of the gross turnover and twenty-three people are employed fulltime, with three others working on a part-time basis.

Hopefully those people who read the recommendation that they look elsewhere for accommodation will reconsider after they realize we are taking the constructive part of this review to heart and we will make improvements where necessary.
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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 Isandlwana Lodge

Property: Isandlwana Lodge
Address: Portion 20 of Reserve No: 18 No:15838 | Nqutu, Isandlwana 3005, South Africa
Location: South Africa > KwaZulu-Natal > Isandlwana
Amenities:
Business Center with Internet Access Free Parking Restaurant Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Specialty Lodging in Isandlwana
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:4 star — Isandlwana Lodge 4*
Number of rooms: 12
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Isandlwana Lodge offers twelve luxury rooms all en-suite and tastefully decorated in a mixture of traditional and modern styles. The Lodge is carved into the iNyoni rock formation on top of which the Zulu commander stood during the battle of Isandlwana on 22 January 1879. Enjoy unparalleled views from the crisp early light of a sparkling Zulu dawn to the splendor of the African sunset. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Isandlwana Hotel Isandlwana
Isandlwana Lodge KwaZulu-Natal

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