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“Worst experience of my life!” 1 of 5 bubbles
Review of Bergwaters Lodge

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Bergwaters Lodge
Paarl, South Africa
1 review
“Worst experience of my life!”
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 22, 2013

I had the misfortune of staying at this establishment recently-

Just a few of the issues I have:

We had to check ourselves in

Management made all of us feel like we were an inconvenience. They were rude throughout the weekend

The rates are way to high. I paid R450 per night and that excludes any meals. The TV did not work (DSTV was off). When we asked management about this, we got annoyed answers. I normally do not worry about a TV, but considdering the price per night, I think this should not have been a problem.

We received a group dinner on the Friday night....had no options or menu to choose from....It was more than R100 pp and the food was cold. Saturday breakfast was the same story...people were not allowed to order from the menu. And the food was overprced. The problem is, that the prices were not communicated before hand. We only saw it once we received our bills the Sundya. Had anybody known what these people were charged for the food, nobody would have eaten there.

Would not recommend this place to anybody!

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with family
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Johan K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
bergwaters, Owner at Bergwaters Lodge, responded to this review, February 11, 2014
It is interesting to note that the reviewer was MC at the wedding referred to in the review above - "Wonderful Experience" If one reads the 2 reviews it would seem the two guest were at 2 different establishments.

We believe that the reviewer is out to discredit us and this review has nothing to do with informing you as a potential guest, but everything to do with having had inappropriate advances turned down, especially when one considers his chosen title.

All I can tell you is that all our staff were running around the whole weekend setting up for the wedding and making certain all went according to plan. The family were ware that this would be the case when they made their reservations to arrive the day before the wedding.

We believe we are on a par with similar establishments. The guest accepted our detailed quote.

The TV was off for a total of 4 hours on the afternoon of arrival due to a technical problem on the part of the DSTV broadcaster.

At the family's request we were to serve a set menu. All prices were quoted to the Bride and Groom who made the reservation and booking for the wedding.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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37 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (7)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Level Contributor
12 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 25, 2013 via mobile

We have been here last November and was the second night of our trip. We really liked the place it zelf, nicely distributed with private cottages, als dinner was nice. What we didn't like was the darkness at night, we needed our own lamps to see where we were walking; it was too far from any kind of entertainment and the road to reach it was like a trial path: if you want to reach it please rent a jeep!
We were glad we spent only one night and we are sorry that they do not seem to see the potential of the accommodation they have.

  • Stayed November 2012
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank tatamarta
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
bergwaters, Owner at Bergwaters Lodge, responded to this review, February 11, 2014
Being an Eco lodge we have tried to minimize the effect of light pollution on our environment. In other words we are situated in unspoiled bush and unnatural light has a negative impact on the night life in our area. However, we have since switched on more lights and provided a small torch on all our room keys.

The suggestion that you should rent a Jeep is an exaggeration and misinforming. There is a 1.5km gravel road from the main road to the lodge. Most of our guests successfully traverse this road. Be prepared to travel at 50km/hour not 120km/h. The total time to traverse the gravel road at a reasonable speed will take no more than 10 minutes. A small price to pay to get away from the noisy main road.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Johannesburg, South Africa
Level Contributor
22 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 21, 2012

We stopped here for a night on a long trip of the country - this was the place that looked the nicest of our trip when we booked, but we were sorely disappointed. We arrived a little late, around 7pm, and felt like we were an inconvenience. The road was terrible in the dark, lots of big rocks and you have to drive over a working train track with no lights or markings to get there. The owners made us very aware that they had waited for us.

We booked dinner, bed and breakfast, but the hostess had no record of this, insisting we had booked self catering. We asked for dinner and were told to sit down immediately, without being shown to our room. We spent nearly half an hour looking for our room in the dark!

The dinner was good, and the gentleman waiting on the tables was friendly. Twice during our meal I witnessed the owner uncomfortably reprimanding the waiter in front of the guests. There were also 2 or 3 dogs begging at the tables during dinner and breakfast.

Our room was not what we thought it would be. The e-mail to ask for the dinner, bed and breakfast in the lodge was not correctly understood, so we were put in a run down cottage at the bottom of the garden. Everything was decorated by Mr Price Home - poor quality, and cheap. The toilet is in the shower (literally - you have to take the toilet paper out first, else it gets wet). The fridge was noisy, the room was dirty and the bed was small and full of assorted bugs. One of the beds had large holes in the sheets, and the bed lamps were not working!

Overall, this was poor value for money. The location is lovely, and there is a lot of potential to make this into a great getaway, but the hosts are not people people, and don't seem to take much pride or personal interest in their lodge.

Room Tip: Make sure you confirm the details of your booking
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank nomadicmouse
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
bergwaters, Owner at Bergwaters Lodge, responded to this review, February 11, 2014
Thank you for your review. Clearly this was just one big misunderstanding. Cant get right all the time, fortunately we do get it some most of the time.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Germiston, South Africa
Level Contributor
11 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 9, 2012

Nestled in the escarpment between Waterval Boven and Waterval Onder, this is an ideal stop-over for nature lovers who enjoy walks along a bubbling mountain stream or a more strenuous walk up the escarpment. For dog lovers like we are, it's fantastic having the dogs accompany on the walks. And for bird lovers, we saw a few lowveld specials. We stayed on a dinner, bed and breakfast basis and for the price, it was very good value. There are a lot of amenities to keep the family busy (squash court, swimming pool, table tennis, comfortable lounge, etc.) and the food was good. The rooms are comfortable, but basic. The DSTV connection was not working in our room.

Room Tip: If you enjoy sleeping to the sound of running water, ask for a room closest to the river.
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  • Stayed January 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank InkySA
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
bergwaters, Owner at Bergwaters Lodge, responded to this review, February 11, 2014
Thank you for the review. Please bear in mind we are situated in the mountains which tends to have a negative impact on the quality of the TV signal in our area. We make a point of switch on the TV when guests are checked in to ensure that its working.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Johannesburg, South Africa
Level Contributor
7 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 31, 2011

I have stayed all over the world in many different settings and venues from 5 star to backpacker and have seen many different things in that time. I could understand what the other reviewers were seeing however the venue, staff and the owners were delightful. I stayed with my wife on a dinner bed and breakfast basis and found that the prices were very reasonable by local standards, let alone global. In addition the food was very tasty. It is not nouvelle cuisine, more like good home cooking. The staff were very friendly, well trained and did their best to assist us. I am a mountain biker and know the trails near waterval boven, so I spent some time riding in the area and can highly recommend the trails. In addition there are walks that I would recommend for the active types. For my wife there was a day spa and we both had a massage and found this to be great. We came back to our home in Jhb after three days at Bergwaters very nicely relaxed and would willingly go back. This is not a game lodge nor a 5 star bush retreat but as a getaway for a weekend or an overnight stop it is great. There is a spa, a pool and a bar and lots to do in waterval boven and surrounds if you go looking.

Stayed October 2011, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
3 Thank PaulRuinaard
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
bergwaters, Owner at Bergwaters Lodge, responded to this review, February 11, 2014
Thank you for the honest review Paul. Would love to have you guys back any time.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
80 reviews
59 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 180 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 10, 2011

This is a substantial property in a glorious setting, which we chose as our overnight stop between Kwazulu Natal and the Kruger National Park.

Unfortunately, it is a money pit and I think the owners many have bitten off a little more than they were able to chew when then took it on. The grounds are immaculately maintained and the mountains provide a splendid backdrop, but the rooms (cottages dotted throughout the grounds) have been cheaply tarted up, and the bathrooms are without doubt the most depressing I have ever seen in a hotel. They are at least 25 years old and must have been pretty ghastly even then. For the amount of money you pay here, this is really not acceptable.

There is so much potential here, but it will take significant investment to bring it up to expectations.

It served our purpose for a one-night stay, but that is about all I can say about it.

  • Stayed January 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Amazonian
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Santa Barbara
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 6, 2008

I booked two nights here, dinner bed and breakfast, to spend a weekend en route back to the Kruger Park to Jo'burg with my 2 small kids and my mother (who would be driving out to join us from Jo'burg).
The hotel insisted on having the full amount wired to them before our stay which is unusual, but I accepted this as I did not want to be left without accommodation with two little ones.
We arrived at about 6pm and wandered into the property, which is admittedly very pretty from the outside. We looked around for someone at reception but there was nowhere to be seen. I finally asked a woman who appeared to be another guest and she pointed out the owner who was sitting in plain view, had seen us but had chosen to continue his conversation over a beer with someone else instead leaving us standing there not knowing what to do. Eventually his wife turned up and helped us. He never apologised or acknowledged us and later ignored us in the bar when we came in looking for a drink. We had booked a family room, but as she showed us to our accommodation she told us the family suite had been booked so she was putting us in the self catering cottage which was 'a bit basic' but we would come up to the house for meals. This was an understatement. It was damp, poorly furnished with cigarette burned bedspreads thrown over old plastic sofas, many of the lights didn't work, and we later discovered that one of the towels was actually dirty and had just been folded up and put on the bed.
When we went into dinner the food took forever to come and was barely edible - stringy tough old chicken that my son actually couldn't chew, and they charged us R12 for a glass of squash for my kids which would be expensive even in the UK!
The final straw, however, was discovering a RAT in the kitchen of our accommodation. I am a qualified SA Game ranger and I know the different indigenous species of rodent, but this fella was Rattus rattus, the kind you don't want to meet in an alley, and after this I packed up the kids in the car, drove back to Joburg and called my mother telling her not to bother coming.
The hotel called the next day to apologise for the towel, the rat and the rudeness of the owner, but refused to refund any of the money. Actually the did say they'd refund the food we hadn't eaten but to date (3 weeks later) they mysteriously haven't been able to get to the bank.
Also worth noting that they advertise themselves as an 'Eco-Lodge' but there is NOTHING environmentally friendly about this place about this place that I can see, unless it's giving guests dirty towels to save on laundry.
Keep away!! Save your money!!

  • Liked — Pretty setting
  • Disliked — The hotel, the owners, the food, the staff, pretty much everything else
  • Stayed November 2008, traveled with family
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Check in / front desk
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
Thank GlobalSoundGirl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
bergwaters, Owner at Bergwaters Lodge, responded to this review, February 10, 2009
Before I respond to this review, I'd like to thank the reviewer and TripAdvisor for affording us the opportunity to respond, even to adverse criticism.

Naturally we feel that we have been misrepresented in this review, never the less the reviewer has highlighted some shortcomings on our part and we'd like to tell you what we have and are doing to correct these.

We pride ourselves in delivering excellent service and value for money at all times and in this matter too, we honesty tried to set things straight. Unfortunately to no avail.

The reviewer’s mother contacted us to make a reservation for her and her family. At the time our family unit was not available so we offered our self-catering cottage at a reduced rate with the option to have meals at our onsite restaurant. This was accepted. We normally require a 50% deposit to secure a reservation but in this case as it was a late reservation in our busy season, we requested the full accommodation fair.

We are a small family business and this is our only source of income. We regard this as a huge advantage as our guests are assured of personal attention and as it is our only source of income we look after it with kit gloves to say the least. Unfortunately this can be a limitation too, as was the case on the arrival of this reviewer, in that both my wife and I were attending to other guests, and did not attend to the new arrival immediately. For this we have profusely apologised to the reviewer numerously. In fact we make a point of trying to meet our new arrivals in the car park to welcome them.

With regards to the short-comings relating to the condition of the self-catering unit, we have conducted a thorough check of these issues and corrected them where required.

We are regularly complemented by our guests on the fine cuisine presented. The reviewer has expressed dissatisfaction with the meal presented in her case. We would have welcomed the opportunity to make amends where the dissatisfaction raised at the time.

Unfortunately we were also not able to discuss the issue of the rat (or field mouse) that was apparently sighted in the kitchen with the reviewer, as the reviewer had left during the night unannounced. The reality is we are situated in the bush, and we are the intruders so to speak, not they. I can assure you their existence is a natural phenomenon and essential in any balanced ecological system, and certainly not because of ill management of our waste systems or poor hygiene. Never the less, we have taken extra measures to close up all openings to try and prevent the little creatures from entering the cottage. We absolutely refuse to use poisons and the like as this could destroy the healthy owl population in our area, however, we have now tried introducing traps. Sadly, traps are indiscriminate resulting in an Elephant Shrew and Lizard being inadvertently trapped.

Regrettably, what was not mentioned in our favour by the reviewer, was the number of phone calls made by us on behalf of the reviewer in an attempt to find transportation for her nanny who needed to return to Jo’burg shortly after arrival, at no charge, a service that we’d gladly perform for any of our guests. Interestingly, we note that the mother of the reviewer cancelled on the evening that she was due to arrive, i.e. before all the above unhappiness transpired.

We regularly review our rates and compare the prices we charge with those of similar facilities. We are convinced, as are most of our guests that we offer value for money in every respect.

We live by our slogan “arrive as a guest – leave as a friend” and I’m happy to tell you we do get it right MOST of the time.

Kind Regards

Ivan & Chantel
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 Bergwaters Lodge

Property: Bergwaters Lodge
Address: PO Box 71 | Waterval Onder, Waterval Boven 1195, South Africa
Location: South Africa > Mpumalanga > Waterval Boven
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #6 of 7 B&Bs / Inns in Waterval Boven
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 10
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Bergwaters Eco Lodge & Spa is a beautiful - peaceful retreat offering affordable upmarket bed and breakfast accommodation, conference facilities, and an on site Spa conveniently located at Waterval Onder, just down the road from Waterval Boven (Emgwenya) and Machadodorp in Mpumalanga, a 2.5 hour drive from Gauteng and 40 minutes from Mbombela (Nelspruit).Just 1.5km off the N4, Bergwaters is secretly tucked away in a quiet secluded valley, flanked by sheer cliffs where eagles nest and crystal streams trickle by. Family owned and managed, Bergwaters not only offers luxury accommodation and epicure meals - Supreme Personalised Service, is guaranteed.Bergwaters, renowned for it's tranquil atmosphere, promises the perfect escape for couples, families and groups. We're much more than just a hotel. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Bergwaters Lodge Waterval Boven, South Africa - Mpumalanga

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