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“The Most accomodating hosts”

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De Ark Mountain Lodge
London
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“The Most accomodating hosts”
Reviewed January 11, 2014

I stayed at De Ark whilst travelling back to the UK from Durban. After a very stressful week tying up my fathers house since he past away, I certainly needed some relaxation. Arriving at De Ark I realised this was exactly what I needed. I staying in cottage no. 5. If you sit on the veranda you can't hear a sound. Nothing, it was fantastic!

I ate at the lodge every night as I was travelling alone. The lodge is close enough to go out to Clarens in the evening but the tranquillity and peace at the lodge was good enough for me. Food was great. Janita and Darnie are good cooks. Hence Janita's kitchen. Darnie's tomato jam was a great hit. My host were so accommodating. I could not ask for more. The first night they invited me to go for a drive to check up on the animals of the lodge. This was nice and so good to speak Afrikaans after so many years living in the UK. It is great to eat dinner and breakfast with your hosts. The bar was great with great memorabilia and if you wish you can watch TV.It was like a home from home. I was not feeling too well after picking up a bug in Durban. Janita went to town to shop. She called me and asked if I wanted her to pick some medicine up for me. Not often you get such accommodating hosts. All in all I would rate this place a 5. For the peace and quiet and my hosts.

Room Tip: Get one of the stone cottages.
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  • Stayed December 2013, traveled solo
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank suzieq010969
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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31 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    20
    8
    0
    3
    0
See reviews for
4
11
2
2
Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (7)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Any
English first
Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
65 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
Reviewed October 24, 2013

We stayed there for a few nights Jan 2013. It's great location, amazing view, very helpful host Kathy (if I'm not mistaken, sorry ). Food was great too, breakfast very various ❤️ e.g. home made natural yogurt, eggs, dinner was home-made brai (BBQ). Uliana

  • Stayed January 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Ulyana_Oz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
7 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed June 29, 2013 via mobile

We found this place online and decided to give it a try. The website is great and shows the awesome panoramic views in summer. In winter the views are still awesome but not as colourful. Based on the research we did, the prices seemed good compared to general prices in Clarens. We stayed in chalets 5 and 6. Other reviewers have noted that these need an upgrade to bring them out of the 80's. however they were very comfortable and the fire places worked excellently (other reviewers had issues with these so I guess they got some maintenance). The staff were all very friendly and helpful, including phoning us one day to apologise for accidentally breaking a bottle of cough syrup - glad they phoned as we were able to replace it in town. We had dinner at the l lodge on our first night and it, together with the breakfasts, were excellent home cooked food. Hopefully when we return I will not be sick and we can enjoy some walks in this beautiful setting.

Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
4 Thank TS_SouthAfrica
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Johannesburg, Gauteng, South Africa
Level Contributor
42 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
Reviewed April 1, 2013

We decided to visit Golden Gate again using the long Eastern weekend, two families, 10 people. De Ark was an excellent choice, very good value for money, reasonable size and clean rooms, good breakfast and very nice dinner, very friendly staff who are ready to help in anything. The location is just perfect, far enough from the crowd, but close enough if you wouldlike to have a drink or the dinner in Clarens, very close to the Golden Gate park, wonderful view to the mountain and the valley as well as great opportunity to walk/hike in the farm or the nearby farms - we had excellent guided walk in the last day with Romario. Various activities (quad, horse ride, 4x4, archery etc) are also available nearby. We decided to visit the Tugela Falls, about 2 hrs drive to get to the car park, trail start point, and took an other 4.5 hrs to do the trail, including the chain ladders, was an amazing trail, breath taking view. As per our experience, De Ark is ideal place for families (we were with teen age kids) or small groups especially if you are looking for activities in or nearby, like the open space and would like to avoid the crowd. We deffinitelly will try to come back again, still many trails and activities are waiting for us.

Room Tip: 1 - 4 are good,
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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Helpful?
Thank Ferenc B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Nigel
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed March 24, 2013

This is the fifth time that we've stayed at De Ark, and as always a very memorable one. Adri and the staff are always friendly and helpful. You can ask them absolutely anything and they will try their best to accommodate you.

The rooms are always clean, the brakfast room have great mountain views and the bar well stocked. An awesome breakfast is served every morning and supper ... Always tasty home cooked food with a extra touch of love.

Having no television in the rooms makes it the perfect couples getaway and is great for nature lovers.

Fernando, we would like to thank your staff for excellent service and we will continue to come and stay at De Ark lodge.

Andre and Niki

Room Tip: Room 5 & 6 have excellent views and are separate from the rest.
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Niki B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed July 12, 2012

While this rustic lodge may be what some are looking for, we found it to be a disastrous experience. Admittedly the rooms were clean and average in quality, they were however grossly over emphasized on the website.

Despite the average accommodation, we decided to give it a shot. After going out for dinner in Clarens, we arrived at the lodge and immediately built a fire in the in room fire place. This being one of the main reasons we chose the lodge in the first place.

What started as a romantic fire soon turned into a health hazard as we realized that the chimney was not sufficiently extracting the smoke from the room. Instead it seemed to be filtering directly into the room.

We spoke to Kathy about our situation and politely informed her that our entire room was filled with smoke. Instead of issuing us a new room as we expected (no one else was staying there), Kathy's advice was to "open a bit of a window". This presented a problem being the middle of a particularly cold Free State winter.

After opening a window and attempting her suggested technique of pushing the fire to the back of the fireplace, we realized that not only our room was still filled with smoke, but staying there would present a very real threat to our health.

While I would like to say that the story has a happy ending and we were promptly given a new room and apology, this was not the case.

We decided to pack our bags and leave in the middle of the night , forgeighting a rather large deposit and checking into the Protea Hotel, Clarens.

  • Stayed July 2012
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Helpful?
1 Thank Kim333446
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Centurion, Gauteng, South Africa
2 reviews
Reviewed April 1, 2012

We have just returned from a fantastic weekend @ De Ark. We booked out the whole place, as there were 19 in our group. De Ark is a home away from home, and definitely the first of hopefully many visits for us. It is PERFECT for special celebrations, and it was really ideal to have the whole place to ourselves. Kathy and her staff spoilt us to bits and went out of their way to make us feel welcome. The bar area, lounge and dining room are cozy and ideal for groups of about 20. The views are amazing and there is so much to do in the area. Most of the people in our group went white river rafting on the Saturday. Our only complaint was that the weekend was too short....next time we would like to stay an extra day or two.

I would absolutely recommend De Ark for family reunions, get-togethers and celebrations for 20 to 25 people. It was an unforgettable weekend.

  • Stayed March 2012, traveled with friends
    • Value
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    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank Sue W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about De Ark Mountain Lodge

Property: De Ark Mountain Lodge
Address: R 712, Clarens 9707, South Africa
Location: South Africa > Free State > Clarens
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free Parking Kitchenette Restaurant Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #7 of 31 Specialty Lodging in Clarens
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3 star — De Ark Mountain Lodge 3*
Number of rooms: 8
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