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“Rude, dirty, rats in the kitchen and financial rip-off!” 1 of 5 bubbles
Review of Bergwaters Lodge

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Bergwaters Lodge
Santa Barbara
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“Rude, dirty, rats in the kitchen and financial rip-off!”
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
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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

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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
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English first
Shrewsbury
Level Contributor
25 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 47 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 4, 2007

We were looking for somewhere to stay following a mid-afternoon arrival in Johannesburg, on our way to the Kruger National Park and after a bit of searching around decided we liked the sound of Bergwaters.

The first thing to note is the location. The address is usually shown as Wateval Boven, but in truth the lodge is in a rural location some miles outside the town. Make sure you have decent directions before you set out because we ended up in the town centre after dark and needed to ‘phone through so that we could find the place. The final approach is up a fairly rough track that was no problem for our hire car to negotiate.

Initial impressions are important and Bergwaters scored highly on this account. Ernie, the owner, was outside to meet us when we arrived and greeted us warmly before escorting us to our rooms and telling us about meal times etc. We were staying on a dinner, bed & breakfast basis which is probably a good idea given the fact that there is a bar area next to the dining room, a decent selection of South African wines available to complement the food and the nearest alternatives are really not in walking distance.

We had reserved the honeymoon suite and we were delighted when we saw the rooms. Photographs won’t really do it justice but there was lots of space, a huge bed and a massive open fire (not needed during out stay but it could be lovely in cold weather). The bathroom was almost as big and contained a sunken bath that was almost irresistible.

We were in a hurry to dine because this was the night of the Rugby Union World Cup final – South Africa vs. England. This was no problem for them and we sat down to eat shortly after dropping our luggage off and quickly changing. By the time we’d chosen our wines, the starters had arrived and we reached the end of the main course just as the national anthems were being played. Ernie asked us what we wanted to do about pudding (apple crumble with custard!) and when we said we really had to watch the match he said it was no problem and we could have dessert at half time!

I won’t dwell on the match except to say that we could hardly have watched our team lose in better company.

In the morning we spent some time wandering around the very pretty grounds and along the road, to admire the upland scenery and listen to the barking of baboons before enjoying a marvellous al fresco breakfast. Our only complaint was that it was then time to leave and we all agreed that we would have liked to have stayed another night.

I have no hesitation in recommending Bergwaters but if, like us, you’re using it as a stop off point then you should definitely consider more than one day there.

  • Liked — Great staff, lovely room, nice dogs, pretty good food
  • Disliked — Leaving it
  • Stayed October 2007, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank pandachris2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member 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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