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“Breathtakingly Beautiful!”
Review of Timamoon

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Timamoon
Ranked #1 of 16 Specialty Lodging in Sabie
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed March 3, 2012

My husband decided to spoil me with a long weekend to Timamoon for my birthday last month. Who would have thought that such a place existed in the heart of Mpumalanga on the banks of the Sabie River. Getting there can be a little daunting due to it's remoteness, especially if you're not used to driving on narrow dirt roads, but thankfully our rental car had sufficient road clearance so it wasn't too harrowing for us and simply added to the adventure.

On the first night we stayed in New Moon and then moved to Moon River for the remainder of our stay once it became available. The photos on the website are not an exaggeration at all. The views and surroundings are simply out of this world and the decor of each lodge interesting and memorable with artifacts collected from around the world by the owners. The food was thoughtfully prepared and wonderfully presented by our very attentive and enthusiastic chef. In fact we hope to connect up with her during her visit to Cape Town planned soon.

Whilst the overall service was very good, the reason the lodge doesn't score an "excellent" in my view, is that we discovered :
1. our welcome was somewhat skimmed over, with not much enthusiasm, a forced smile and with scant detail provided
2. the indoor shower in Moon River was blocked and we had to draw it to their attention
3. there was a swarm of bees nesting or settling underneath the pool deck that were very active in the early morning and early evening, which although didn't bother us too much, we had to bring that to their attention, as it had gone unnoticed by management
4. the very loud alarm when we accidentally set it off, after the cleaning staff had for some reason switched on in our absence, meaning we had to drive back to reception to find out how to switch it off as no one had told us about it, let alone how or where to switch the darn thing off

Perhaps the fact that the owners were away in Cape Town for the duration of our stay, had some bearing on these glitches and oversights? Despite this however, we are definitely planning to return at some stage to Timamoon, simply because of the exquisite surroundings and beauty of the place. Perhaps then we'll be able to give it an 'excellent' rating! For a romantic get away, it's perfect :-)

Room Tip: Whilst all of the lodges are outstanding, Moon River is the best and also used as the 'honeymoon...
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  • Stayed: February 2012, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank RoadTrippinCape
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Gaylyn, Owner at Timamoon, responded to this reviewResponded March 12, 2012

Thank you for your very positive review and I am delighted to read that you plan to return. I am glad that you made the point about the pictures truly representing the rooms because so many people are so sceptical as to whether they will really get what is shown on the website.
I am sorry about the few glitches during your stay which is not what we want our guests to experience but we do appreciate all your comments and have made a note of them.
Again, thanks for taking the time to write to us on trip advisor, it is always most appreciated
Regards
Gaylyn
(owner who was in Cape Town)

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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217 - 223 of 286 reviews

Reviewed February 4, 2012

This is heaven on earth. From shaded outdoor day beds with views over a spectacular valley, to your personal swimming pool, this place is just special. Furnished with an eclectic mix of Balinese and african artworks and furniture, your will find a seductive and succulent indoor environment. The food was different and special, staff were discrete and efficient. You will never forget this experience.

Getting to the place is a bit of a challenge but way worth the windy sand road.

Room Tip: All rooms are equally private and romantic
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  • Stayed: March 2011, traveled as a couple
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Thank GavinCame
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Gaylyn, Owner at Timamoon, responded to this reviewResponded March 12, 2012

Thanks for your most generous comments. It is always very special and rewarding when we read a review like yours. You seemed to have experienced Timamoon just the way we intended you too, lots of romance in an atmosphere that is a little different from the ordinary.
Thanks for making the time to post a comment
Regards
Gaylyn

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Reviewed November 28, 2011

The view from our villa was breathtaking. The villa is exceptional and very spacious. Dinner was beautifully presented and the bar is really special. Breakfast the following morning was outstanding. We really enjoyed hiking to the river and taking a swim. All the villas are very private and super romantic.

Room Tip: All the villas are private and have great views
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  • Stayed: April 2011, traveled as a couple
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Thank CuriousMeerkatjie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 28, 2011

This is an amazing place, a fantastic getaway in the heart of an area that must be explored. It is super private and the cuisine and hospitality is fantastic. A weekend is just too short to get the best of it. The restaurant is always a big thing at these places and the chef at Timamoon went the extra mile to round off a great experience.

  • Stayed: October 2011, traveled as a couple
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Thank lefthandseat
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Gaylyn, Owner at Timamoon, responded to this reviewResponded March 12, 2012

Thanks for wonderful review and I agree with you, the area around Timamoon just has to be explored! The views are spectacular and The Blyde River Canyon has to be one of the most beautiful scenic drive in South Africa! Mpumalanga is one of the best kept secrets in South Africa as there is so much to see and experience.
Glad to read that you enjoyed your meals so much, I will pass this onto the chefs
Thanks for taking the time to write such a positive response, it is most appreciated

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Reviewed November 8, 2011

Wow what an amazing place. So unique and beautiful. The lodges have everything you could need making our stay super relaxing and comfortable. Friendly and helpful staff and fabulous food. Well done Timamoon - keep up the good work!

  • Stayed: November 2011, traveled as a couple
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Thank LisaWil82
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Gaylyn, Owner at Timamoon, responded to this reviewResponded March 12, 2012

Thanks for your brief to the point positive review which was very inspiring! Everyone at Timamoon got to read it. Glad you enjoyed the food so much our chefs to strive to make sure that the food is is part of the Timamoon experience

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Reviewed October 14, 2011

The pictures of endless views and breathtaking scenery do not fully do justice to Timamoon. It is in a truly stunning location, almost within reach of heaven, and Moon River has the most dramatic vistas across the tree clad hills down to the gurgling Sabie River. The rim flow pool and day bed and private tropical terraced gardens that surround this suite only add to the romantic ambiance and one could almost ignore the heavy dark paint that might add atmosphere to the private lounge with fireplace all laid and waiting, the large bathroom and the bed raised above the sitting area that maximizes the fabulous outlook.

Satin sheets and stunning artefacts, collected by the owners on their global travels add decadent weight to the blurb "sexiest lodge on the planet". But this wrap of romance was let down somewhat by the navigation required to reach the bathroom....none other than a beautiful and obviously specially sourced door that had a "kickplate" that necessitated a step over, otherwise you would fall face first and a pointed wooden detail that would gouge a slice out of your head if you didn't duck.

And oh for some controlled dimmer lighting that could make it possible for the guys to shave or the girls to put on their makeup. One sacrificied practicality for atmosphere and there was no body lotion and the hairdryer was on its last legs. Little irritations but Timamoon is ranked five star. Also no communication between suite and lodge...a serious oversight when you consider Moon River is a drive away (not a stroll) from the restaurant and reception and viewing lounge. Also the two steps from the raised sleeping area merge into the overall floor screeding, so watch your step at night. This must be the only lodge, five star or otherwise that doesn't supply body lotion, so take your own and if you want to have a glass of water or clean your teeth you have to pay for the water! Not acceptable when the manager told us that "you can drink the water but it will give you an upset stomach!".

But the food. Wow! Absolutely amazing. Chef Kobus Stander delighted us with exceptional cuisine and the Parmesan Veloute with prawns and gnocchi must go down as world class not to mention the Assiette of lamb, a trio of Karoo cutlets, neck and shepherd's pie that will forever be remembered. I would go back just for the food and happily still dream of Peanut Butter Parfait and the tangy pineapple and chilli soup. Stunning and innovative. Add to that a beautifully laid table, fantastic waitresses and a really great wine list and you have a recipe for success. Beware though, the Champagnes offered (with the exception of two) are sparkling wines! And the Champagne served at breakfast is a very sweet South African sparkling wine. That kinda lowers the tone a tad...Champagne producers would not be amused.

One other bugbear. We were invited to cocktails and the cocktail bar is a concrete structure with fixed barstools. You navigate a few stepping stones and then there is Patrick creating his masterpieces. However no-one mentioned that this island is surrounded by a narrow channel of water, sans any illumination, and very dangerous. And yes, I slipped straight into the water. I couldn't even see it. Fortunately I slipped in straight but anyone who had twisted their leg as they fell could have removed all the skin from their shin or broken a leg. I understand that management will now address this and illuminate it but some sort of communication from either management or owners after I fell would have been nice.

Timamoon has been built with great foresight and love, the suites, rooms and outside areas reflect the owners passion for all things beautiful and every spot maximises the abundance of this incredible setting. The gardens, treasures and design are lovely and a bonus is that Timamoon is situated within easy access of some of the treasures of the Lowveld, Kruger National, Sabie, Pilgrims Rest and God's Window. Need a romantic few days...this could be what just you are looking for..

  • Stayed: October 2011, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank Sal R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Gaylyn, Owner at Timamoon, responded to this reviewResponded October 22, 2011

Thanks for the wonderful review it was an absolute delight to read. You certainly captured the essence of Timamoon with the detailed description of the setting. We are often asked the question, yes, but is Timamoon really as nice as the pictures on the website? I think you answered that for us!
The door with the "kickplate" is indeed a very special old Indonesian door and we didn't have the heart to meddle with it too much.
Glad to see that the food was enjoyed. We have made it our aim to to provide the best dinning experience ever and have a brilliant team of young chefs who focus on fine dinning with a modern twist.

The bar with its stepping stones over the pond, and the channel of water that surrounds the bar, can be a little challenging and I am sorry to hear that there was a small mishap. However, it is a rather unique setting so we will have to look at what can be done. We will be putting underwater lights in the channel as a result of your comment.
The point regarding no body lotion in the rooms is noted and we thank you for bringing this to our attention. We will most certainly change this as soon as we find some pretty containers.
Overall, Timamoon has been our creation and we do share our treasures we have collected over the years with our guest. it is lovely to read that these artifacts were enjoyed.
Once again, thank you for your beautiful review

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Reviewed October 4, 2011

We have just got back from spending a romantic weekend at Timamoon and we have to say
that we were impressed.The 4km route on a rutted dust road does make you wonder what you
have got your self into,but once you arrive those thoughts evaporate.The staff were very friendly and made us feel as if we were home.
We stayed in the Blue Moon Lodge and we were impressed.The lodge was impressive and we
really enjoyed the silk bed linen and spa like bathtub.The only complaint,if you could call it that,is that when the sun rises,the light streams into the lodge and wakes you up.The meals were delicious,with a mix of oriental spices and typical african flavours.Overall,a recommended experience.We will be back.

  • Stayed: October 2011, traveled as a couple
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Thank vitomoz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Gaylyn, Owner at Timamoon, responded to this reviewResponded October 22, 2011

Thank you for taking the time to give Timamoon a review. It is always fabulous to hear that guests have so enjoyed their stay that will be back.
We look forward to that

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Additional Information about Timamoon

Address: Sabie-Hazyview Road | R536, Sabie 1200, South Africa
Location: South Africa > Mpumalanga > Sabie
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 16 Specialty Lodging in Sabie
Price Range: $335 - $628 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Timamoon 3.5*
Number of rooms: 6
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Each individually styled villa offers private pools, luxurious four-poster Indian beds and candle-lit bubble baths large enough to share. Diner at night is an intimate affair with candle lit meals. Spa treatments are done in the privacy of your villa. There is horse riding, hot air ballooning, river rafting, aerial cabling and a 40-minute drive to the Kruger National Park or Blyde River Canyon.Timamoon is fast becoming popular with couples from all over the world who are looking for a private and exotic destination. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Timamoon Hotel Sabie

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