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“Wonderful Stay at Champagne Castle Hotel!”

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Champagne Castle Hotel
Ranked #1 of 5 Hotels in Winterton
Certificate of Excellence
Austin
Level 4 Contributor
26 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Wonderful Stay at Champagne Castle Hotel!”
Reviewed January 12, 2013

My husband and I recently stayed at Champagne Castle and had an amazing time. The hotel is stunning and situated at the foot of the Drakensberg Mountains. There are many hiking trails that are right out the doorstep of the hotel. We stayed in the fully catered section of the hotel and that was fantastic. The food was delicious and we loved the convenience of it. If you notify them the night before, they will make a pack lunch for you to eat on a long hike. Wonderful! The grounds are beautifully kept, and we had fun sitting by the pool and playing badminton. We will be back again!

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank chrisham3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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877 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (345)
Date | Rating
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English first
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Level 3 Contributor
17 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed January 8, 2013

Our family of 5 spent a lovely 4 nights at Champagne Castle in one of the Chalets. These are tremendous value for money, really large living area, very adequate kitchen, two excellent bedrooms opening onto the lawns and an upstairs attic room which our boys loved.

The hotel has maintained it's old style charm and yet is still very well maintained and the grounds are kept in great condition. The buffet restaurant is good and the staff were very friendly and attentive to us especially when we had a massive storm and complete loss of electricity during dinner one night.

The majestic Drakensburg is clearly the reason for coming and the hotel is perfectly located for many really world lass hikes right from your doorstep. We also were impressed with the trout dams and caught a couple on each of the three days we fished. There are a lot of good local options for outings for he kids which we enjoyed especially the raptor display and of course the excellent Drakensburg Boys Choir, truly worth making an effort to get to.

Perhaps some of he other reviewers came with different expectations, but for us it was a very memorable family holiday which we would highly recommend.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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Helpful?
Thank HotChilliFumes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brisbane
Level 3 Contributor
12 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed December 6, 2012

This place is situated very well at the foot of the mountain -- the views are amazing.

We stayed in a chalet that was self catering and that sleeps 6. It was good value, clean (apart from the flies which I am sure they are going to address) and pretty well appointed. One can choose to have meals at the dining room too which is buffet style, very 80's, but the staff were very accommodating with regard to dietary requirements (thanks).

The gardens are well maintained (apart from the area around the tennis court which needs some work) and the staff are reasonably friendly.

Guided walks/hikes are excellent.

The mini farm that includes rabbits, sheep, chickens and horses are a great idea, especially for kids. Horse riding is available at an extra cost. It was too cold to swim, but the pool looked enticing. There are two golf courses down the road, none in house.

If you are after a relaxing holiday with stunning views, I would recommend this place. Its kind of old fashioned, but I think this is probably to its benefit. A few issues, at minimal cost, need addressing which could move this from a 4 to a 5 star place.

I would go back.

Room Tip: Chalets are very comfortable.
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank osmosishol
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Seattle, Washington
Level 4 Contributor
32 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed December 3, 2012

Went here expecting a reasonable meal. Boy were we wrong. The setup was a buffet style(which is typically fraught with perils)

All the hot meals (meat and veggies) were cold, and way overcooked. The salads were soggy and the desserts were inedible.
The final coup de grace was the cheese board with, clearly cheese past its maturity(even the blue cheese) with little flies all over it

The only good thing on the menu was reasonably freshly baked bread.

For the money this was an expensive meal in SA as well.
Avoid at all costs

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank WestCoastJapie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
D.C.
Level 3 Contributor
24 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed November 30, 2012

how lucky we are to find this place...the scenery was breathtaking...i took so many pictures...the food was excellent - it was buffet style - and the service outstanding...we took a guided walk through a nearby forest and saw a San painting on one of the rocks

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank JohnWK
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Frankfurt
Level 6 Contributor
122 reviews
59 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 144 helpful votes
Reviewed November 25, 2012

The location is stunning, fantastic views of the mountains from some of the rooms but also from the bar and the pool.

I would give mixed marks to the staff at the reception. Some were helpful and gave clear and precise information. Others just rattled down sentences that they appear to have learned off by heart. The hotel has shop with souvenirs and other basics that you might need (painkiller, sunblocker, mosquito repellant etc.). They also sell stamps.

Our room was in block three (first floor) and had lovely view from the balcony. The room was large with a comfortable bed, a couple of chairs, a TV that you could only really watch from one side of the bed :-), a hairdryer with a cable that was too short, no mini-bar (something I found particularly strange). The same-day laundry service was appreciated but I the clothes didn't always smell freshly washed. I find it ridiculous that they only was clothes at 60 degrees cent. This made it impossible for us to get most of our things cleaned. There is some complimentary sherry in the room but why did they bother to replace the glasses if they weren't going to refill it?

Breakfast, lunch and dinner are a buffet affair (though you can also also for packed lunch). The food was fine. The grilled food, the salads and the deserts were the highlights. The vegetables, pastas and other items from the self-service section were more mixed. Drinks service during the meals was fairly slow. I also found it slightly annoying that they want you to sign the cheque after every order even if you are eating. Apart from that there is a good selection of drinks.

The guided walks were good. Try and go with Wonderboy. He is a fantastic guide. It is a pity that the hotel does not have information about other walks. They hand you a basic map with walks that you can start from the hotel but there is so much more in the area.

The Drakensberg Boys Choir School is close by. Try and go to their Wednesday afternoon concert. It is awesome.

The place has a lot of potential. Rather than making up silly rules (i.e. collared shirt for dinner) it should focus on getting a few of the details rights: helpfull staff at the front desk, refill tea/coffee in rooms every day, knock on the room door before going in, making sure all staff know the difference between red wine and white wine (this was quite amusing), making sure the plates at the buffet are clean.

One thing I did not understand is they the hotel needs to keep so many birds captive. They did not look happy in that very small cage.

It was a nice stay but I would probably try a different hotel next time.

Room Tip: Ask for a mountain view room.
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
1 Thank apfelwein
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cape Town Central, South Africa
Level 6 Contributor
108 reviews
22 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 66 helpful votes
Reviewed November 18, 2012

We arrived with a party of 6 and we were spoilt coming from Karkloof in Pietermaritzberg and Days At Sea Beach Lodge on the South Coast. The first impression was the not very helpful lady at the reception, second the shabby dressed gardener and maid who carried our luggage to the rooms which were smelling badly, had spots on the carpet and terrible blankets on the bed which we never touched. The bathroom was next to a passage and you had to close it, as people could peep in and you could hear every sound both ways. The buffet was big but not very tasteful and nobody really cared. The service was sometimes ok and sometimes not present. The breakfast was ok and average. Nothing is done with a friendly smile which was so lovely in the hotels before. Well it is cheaper, but how precious is your holiday. We stepped from a sweet dream into a nightmare.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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Helpful?
4 Thank Bushara
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Champagne Castle Hotel

Property: Champagne Castle Hotel
Address: R600 Champagne Valley, Winterton 3340, South Africa
Phone Number:
Location: South Africa > KwaZulu-Natal > Drakensberg Region > Winterton
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beverage Selection Business Center with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 5 Hotels in Winterton
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — Champagne Castle Hotel 4*
Number of rooms: 71
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Champagne Castle Hotel is nestled below the second highest peak in South Africa, Champagne Castle (3377m), part of the main escarpment within the uKhahlamba-Drakensberg mountain range, the highest mountain range in South Africa. Due to its diversity of plant, bird and insect life and the richest collection of San rock paintings in Africa, it has been declared a Mixed World Heritage Site. For visual impact, recreational variety and luxurious splendour, Champagne Castle Hotel is pretty close to being an ultimate experience. Your stay will be characterised by the proximity you gain to the most dramatic and immediate views of the Drakensberg Escarpment and the 'Barrier of Spears'. Whether you walk or hike, trout fish or horse ride, play golf or tennis, swim or bowl, everything here has been configured to embrace this unparalleled setting. ... more   less 
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