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“A "must" stay”

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Hillwatering Country House
Ranked #2 of 23 Sabie B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
Dorset, UK
Level 4 Contributor
38 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 60 helpful votes
“A "must" stay”
Reviewed April 26, 2012

As a family of three, we spent 4 nights here at the Hillwatering Country Lodge. We were very lucky to have been given the two rooms upstairs. They were lovely and spacious and we even had a shared balcony to enjoy our glass of complintary sherry at the end of the day. The views were amazing over to the mountains and waterfalls.

As a single adult in the group, I had 3 single beds to choose from in my well appointed room. My parents had a large double room which was equally well furnished. The rooms had free wifi, tea and coffee making facilities, a well stocked and reasonably priced mini bar with wine and international adapter points.

The wonderful breakfasts are cooked to order by Hazel and there was a cold option.

Richard gave us some excellent tips of interest in the area and one our drives. Including Pilgrims Rest, Gods Window, Blyde River Canyon and the amazing Moholoholo Rehabilitation Centre (I have written a separate diary on things to do in the Sabie/Nelspruit area)

The property is very maintained, the gardens are wonderful, the area is peaceful and Richard and Hazel are excellent hosts.

There are several good quality restaurants in driving distance and the tourist information in the town is a must stop, John was very charming.

Highly recommend and would stay again, if I ever find myself in the Sabie area.

  • Stayed March 2012, traveled with family
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Helpful?
1 Thank snowies
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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138 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 (8)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Stockholm, Sweden
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed March 11, 2012

We stayed for two nights while we did the panorama route. Peaceful place with very friendly and helpful hosts, happy to help us out when planning our routes. Great breakfast carefully prepared by the hosts themselves in front of the lovely garden and mountain view.

The room was spacious but the bathroom (only used by us though) was out in the hallway which was not clearly stated when making the reservation at booking.com. We had a large balcony with great mountain view. The balcony was shared with the room next door.

We felt welcome and had a very pleasant stay and two great nights dining at the Wild FigueTtree.

  • Stayed March 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank Martina-Johan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Innsbruck, Austria
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed February 28, 2012

We stayed there for 3 nights and had a great time. Richard and Hazel are two very friendly hosts. If you want, they show you many details on different maps.
The rooms are big and the terrace is wonderful - breakfast is great.
Good place to visit Kruger National Park. You live in the mountains where it is not hot

  • Stayed February 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank Michael L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Germany
Level 5 Contributor
53 reviews
28 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
Reviewed January 21, 2012

The house is set high on one hillside in a tidy and peaceful housing estate. The garden is extremely well kept and the house is clean and well-maintained. The owners, Hazel and Richard, are very helpful and kind patrons. There are house has 5 rooms and the bedroom we had, although downstairs, still had an excellent view out over the garden into the hills on the other side of the valley. The room was in very good condition: the bed has a non-sagging mattress; there is a drink alcove built into the closet for tea and cold drinks and there is a safe available; the bathroom was very clean.

By good weather breakfast can be taken outside and there are excellent views from the terrace. In the morning there is a hot cooked English breakfast, cold meats, cereal and toast offered. It is hard to leave the house without being filled up for the rest of the day. Richard gave us some excellent tips for our stay and we explored the area around Sabie and Graskop.

The Panorama Drive takes you via Graskop up to the Blyde poort Dam going along the Bryan River Canyon and the views are unforgettable. The area is well wooded and much of the stretches of road are lined for miles with trees. There are at least two wood mills in Sabie and you can easily see that they have a lot to do. Considering the three busy petrol stations in Graskop, you would expect the roads to be busy, but they are not, just the opposite. However, there are quite a few trucks around: 90% of them are transporting lumber, 5% are transporting petrol to keep the lumber trucks going and the rest are Spar food trucks. The main roads are in very good condition but you would need a SUV/Jeep-type vehicle to drive on the non-tarmaced roads. The red roads marked on the maps are not red but tarmaced, but the orange ones are actually orange, due to the very reddish earth. Generally the driving is good and certainly not as crazy as we had been led to believe.

Our hosts told us to drive within the speed limits as marked and the advice was very valid. We saw at least 10 speed traps on the N12 and N4 from Johannesburg to Sabie, as well as many traps on minor roads. They were pulling cars over that were driving into Sabie down the hill from the Hillwalking House (60 km/h). Make sure you stop at all the stop signs properly, especially the one at the disused train line between Sabie and Graskop - it must be a profitable spot for the police, because they were waiting there with three cars when we passed.

The majority of the viewing sites cost 5 Rand per car to enter; the Potholes at Bourkes Luck were 55 Rand. We visited different waterfalls, God’s Window and the Three Rondavels. At each viewing spot there were locals with their artefacts, mostly hand-made woodworks, spread out on blankets or tables for the tourists. It is important to remember that the locals really do survive from what they sell to tourists. Some of the woodwork, masonry and clothing is really well done and bartering is part of the shopping experience. Also, be aware that at every stop you are likely to run into a coach full of tourists on a day trip to the highlights of Bryan River Canyon. If you just wait 5 minutes, they will soon move off to the next highlight. In Graskop there are some tourist shops that sell similar things that you see at tourist sights, just at a higher price.

Don’t be afraid to stop at the first termite hills you see and take pictures. We didn’t expect to see any more that day but of course kept running into “nests” of them along the road. If you take the turning opposite the Bourkes Luck Potholes and drive into the small village there on a Tuesday afternoon, you will be able to visit a local market packed full of people – a really worthwhile experience.

We also visited Pilgrim’s Rest, which is really a great tourist trap and we actually didn’t even bother getting out of the car. If you want to see a small old-style village, then you can walk up and down the one main street, but to us it just looked like a place to milk the tourists.

We ate twice in Sabie, once at Atilio’s, just behind a Pancake house on the road into Sabie from Rosehau and once at the Fig Tree Restaurant. Atilio’s was by far the better place to eat, even though it was cheaper and there was a more restricted menu. The place is not decorated particularly special and the furniture and cutlery is not fantastic but the atmosphere is very relaxed when we were there and the locals started chatting to us straight away. We had a great time and excellent food, accompanied with very good service. We enjoyed it enormously, sitting in front of the burning log fire and discussing everything under the sun, as we ate our way through a starter, main course, dessert and drinks – all for 200 Rand for two people. The different meat dishes we had were excellent, served with either chips or pap (mashed corn).

The Fig Tree Restaurant tries to be a more up market place. The restaurant offers more exotic dishes like crocodile and ostrich meat, but the sauces that the meat was cooked in, were a little strange and not that tasty. If the state of the toilets reflects anything else in the place, then this up-market positioning is not appropriate. The service was very good and friendly, when the owners did not get involved. The restaurant decoration is not consistent or inviting.

We would happily return to Hillwalking House and visit the area again. The atmosphere is very relaxing and we were made to feel really at home.

  • Stayed November 2011, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank Jazzman101
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reading
Level 3 Contributor
8 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed October 26, 2011

We travelled from the UK to Sabie at the end of September, the guest house was easy to find and after a long drive it was appreciable, nothing worse than driving around to find the accommodation. We had booked the standard double room. The bed had been changed before we arrived and we had a lovely, very comfortable new queen bed. The linen was of excellent quality and the room is spacious.
Yes there is no mountain view from that room but we could use the veranda and enjoy the great view from there.
We had to leave early on our last day but this was not a problem, Richard happily got us breakfast.
We found Richard and Hazel very friendly and easy to talk to; they gave nice recommendations for places to visit and where to eat.
We just wish we could have stayed longer...

  • Stayed September 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank 38290
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
George, South Africa
1 review
Reviewed September 29, 2011

After a long day travelling from Johannesburg we stumbled upon the Hillwatering Country House in Sabie. It was quite late and Richard invited us in like long lost friends. We had an upstairs room, which was very roomy. What a surprise waking in the morning with a huge mountain view and a waterfall in the distance. Breakfast was fantastic. We highly recommend this establishment, Richard and Hazel are friendly and had a lot of good suggestions of things to to and places to go.

  • Stayed August 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
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Helpful?
Thank Luke J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Breda, The Netherlands
Level 3 Contributor
16 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
Reviewed September 2, 2011

Due to the many positive review on amongst others Tripadvisor we stayed at the Hillwatering for 3 nights in August 2011. Indeed Richard and Hazel are quite friendly and helpful but that doesn't make up for the poor room and very old bed. It might be that the other rooms are better but we were put in a room that used to be the former garage, with no view (other than on the parking space) which was absolutely poor value for money. If you plan to stay at the Hillwatering, make sure you get a room at the top floor with a balcony and a view.

  • Stayed September 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank IrisNL
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hillwatering, Owner at Hillwatering Country House, responded to this review, October 9, 2011
This room is not advertised as having a view. Because there is no view the rate is less than the other rooms and we encourage our guests to make use of the guest lounge and verandah that has views onto the mountains. Thank you for bringing the bed to our attention, it has now been replaced by a new queen size bed.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Hillwatering Country House

Property: Hillwatering Country House
Address: 50 Marula Street | Mount Anderson, Sabie 1260, South Africa
Phone Number:
Location: South Africa > Mpumalanga > Sabie
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 23 B&Bs / Inns in Sabie
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:4 star — Hillwatering Country House 4*
Number of rooms: 4
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Hillwatering Country House is a stylish guesthouse in Sabie, Mpumalanga, South Africa for bed and breakfast accommodation. We offer B&B accommodation on the Panorama Route in Sabie, Mpumalanga, South Africa Riana & Ane took over Hillwatering Country House in 2013 in its present status of a 4-star Guest House and Great Comfort by the Portfolio B&B collection Set in the beautiful and peaceful residential area of Mount Anderson in the forestry town of Sabie, the guest house commands sweeping views of the Drakensburg Mountains, forest clad slopes and the Bridal Veil Falls. Supreme comfort and warm hospitality awaits you at Hillwatering Country House offering stylish accommodation with attention to detail and cleanliness in a relaxed atmosphere, secure open parking with remote control security Four of the rooms have French doors leading onto a verandah where you have spectacular views of the mountains and the famous 70 metre high Bridal Veil Falls. The verandah is a place to sit and relax, whilst you enjoy a sundowner and watch the sun set behind the mountains. This charming guest house will be your gateway to the beauty of the Panorama Route and surrounding areas and is an ideal base to explore all the major attractions. Your day at Hillwatering Country House starts with a delicious generous breakfast where both Continental and English are served, which can be enjoyed on the verandah or in the dining room next to the log fire in winter. Should you wish to have an early start to the day to visit the Kruger National Park we will be happy to supply a packed picnic breakfast. There is a comfortable guest lounge with a full bouquet of DSTV channels. Free Wi-Fi available A selection of board games and cards are available, a safety deposit box, email, fax and WiFi are also available. ... more   less 
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