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De Doornkraal Historic Country House Boutique Hotel
Ranked #1 of 8 Riversdale B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
EAST SUSSEX, UK
Level Contributor
83 reviews
44 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
“Aan't Vette”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 5, 2013

Having been told in Plettenburg Bay that there was nothing worth bothering with in Riversdale, fortunately we had already pre-booked our accommodation and dinner at this excellent establishment and could thus safely ignore the negative advice. Congratulations to Christopher Peppas and his happy band of staff. If you have time, the short tour of the vineyard and the wine cellar is well worth the effort. The “Aan’t Vette” went down well with dinner and also into our shopping bag for onward drinking in Cape Town.

  • Stayed October 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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Helpful?
Thank PIGASIMU
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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327 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    255
    53
    10
    7
    2
See reviews for
67
179
13
31
Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (45)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Any
English first
Paarl, South Africa
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 2, 2013

I stayed two nights at De Doornkraal Guesthouse. A colleague of mine recommended that I try out the place as I did not want to stay too far away from where I had to conduct my meetings.. What a pleasant surprise. Upon arriving i was met by friendly staff and Vivien made check in a bliss. The De Doornkraal team ensured that I had the best stay in Riversdale. 5 * for service, friendliness, rooms, basically everything. Hats off to Christopher and his team in the kitchen for the well prepared meals. I will definitely recommend this place as it will be my regular stop over from now on when I'm in Riversdale.

Room Tip: Rooms were nice and clean and very quiet
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  • Stayed October 2013, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank Elaine O
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, England
Level Contributor
41 reviews
30 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 57 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 30, 2013

We stayed two nights in De Doornkraal in the Vineyard Cottage. The cottage itself is a traditional single-storey whitewashed, thatched building down a short track opposite the main hotel. You enter at the side into a (no longer operational) kitchen, leading through into a short corridor. From here is a small living room and two bedrooms with en suite bathrooms. As an historic cottage, it can be a bit gloomy, but it is cosy and fairly well appointed. We needed room heaters after a rather damp and chilly spring day. No wifi in the cottage itself, but there is a TV if you need evening entertainment. Behind the cottage is a slightly muddy pond backing on to the vineyard. Good for midges and watching the weaver birds build their nests in the weeping willow.

As we were travelling with a one year-old who needed to eat before the restaurant opened, we were initially a bit disappointed that we couldn't use the kitchen facilities in the cottage. Neither could we find a babysitter, which made our own evening plans tricky! However, the De Doornkraal team made up for this with full-on room service, which was both unexpected and almost certainly beyond the call of duty. On both nights we were visited by a delegation of restaurant staff who brought us a silver-service three course meal and wine. Quite astonishing. There was literally nothing that was too much trouble for Christopher, the chef and general manager and Vivienne, his lovely French colleague, who also doted on our son Ben and kept him entertained.

With the exception of an overdone creme brulee (duly exchanged) and a rather bizarre Thai beef red curry one evening (both served on Christopher's night off), the food was excellent - breakfasts in particular were delicious (great coffee and particularly fine cheese muffins, for which I now have the recipe!). The salt and pepper calamari was a particular favourite starter for the evening meal.

Location-wise, Riversdale itself is a bit of a 'nothing' town on the Garden Route (in my opinion). Some reasonable shops, an interesting and quirky museum crammed full of curios, but otherwise, not much to draw in the traveller. Our highlight was a fantastic drive over one of the passes towards Ladysmith. I will never tire of those fantastic roads, endless views and dramatic mountains. The 'trading post' just outside on the N2 is ok, but not amazing.

On the whole though, a really lovely short stay with genuinely friendly people. As Christopher was at pains to point out, it's all about the people - get that right, and you're 99% there. Well, the De Doornkraal team were superb and the service 5* - even from the cat! Many thanks.

  • Stayed October 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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Helpful?
Thank rumbers
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Stellenbosch
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 25, 2013

Commendable service at all times. Personalized attention and delightful cuisine.
The peaceful environment offered lends itself admirably to a relaxing stay for the weary motorist away from the national road.

  • Stayed October 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Review collected in partnership with this hotel

Helpful?
Thank Henri P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
DeDoornkraal, General Manager at De Doornkraal Historic Country House Boutique Hotel, responded to this review, June 3, 2015
Thank you so much for your kind review. guests are the lifeblood of our business and to provide service with a sincere smile is the easiest way to succeed in meeting and exceeding guest experience. We hope that we will be able to be of service in the future.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Johannesburg, South Africa
1 review
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 17, 2013

The staff is great, facilities are great and food outstanding. I only arrived after 20h00, while the staff was waiting for me to prepare food in the restaurant. Rooms are clean and tidy, clean bedding and towels.

  • Stayed October 2013, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Review collected in partnership with this hotel

Helpful?
Thank Roelof V
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
DeDoornkraal, General Manager at De Doornkraal Historic Country House Boutique Hotel, responded to this review, June 3, 2015
Thank You kindly for your posted review. I am thrilled that you felt looked after; we are happy to be of service for late check ins and provide our guests with dinner - thank you for taking the time to advise us timeously that you will require a later than usual check in and dinner. Forewarning of guest's special requirements is crucial to meeting guest's needs and providing staff with notice of overtime.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
South Africa
Level Contributor
9 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 15, 2013

My husband and I booked into De Doornkraal for one night as we were attending an event in the area. We were pleasantly surprised by the entire experience and would have loved to have been able to stay an extra night.

I must mention that the booking process was very impressive with instant responses to emails and any questions answered fully. From the get go, the staff of De Doornkraal went above and beyond to accommodate any requests I had.

On arrival, we were warmly welcomed by the lovey Anneline who greeted us outside and showed us to the reception. We checked in and were taken to our garden cottage, which was charming, peaceful and came with our very own guard-dog, Minkie. Shortly after we settled in, we were served a delicious glass of De Doornkraals own Rose which was delicious and very welcomed after our long drive.

We dined at De Doornkraal's own restaurant that evening where Chef Christopher presents a very impressive menu made up of fresh, seasonal ingredients and dishes influenced by both local and international styles. It was a tough decision settling on a dish to order as everything sounded divine. The food was excellent and their estate wine equally as good. Our waitress, Anneline, was very knowledgeable on both the food and wine and did a fantastic job serving us.

Overall, we had a very positive experience and will definitely return. The staff were all very hospitable, professional yet friendly and charming at the same time. Christopher has done a fantastic job managing this establishment and his food is definitely a drawing card.

  • Stayed October 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Kara B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
DeDoornkraal, General Manager at De Doornkraal Historic Country House Boutique Hotel, responded to this review, June 2, 2015
I wish to take this opportunity to thank you kindly for taking the time to post a review and being part of the Tripadvisor community.

The team and I are thrilled that you had an enjoyable stay with us and I hope that should you ever be in our neck of the woods - we will have the honor of being able to be of service.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Johannesburg, South Africa
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 14, 2013

We felt so welcome and all the staff was extremely friendly. We were upgraded into luxury rooms, which were superb and the food was of a very high standard. We did not have time to look at the surrounding areas, as we were on our way to Knysna

  • Stayed October 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Review collected in partnership with this hotel

Helpful?
Thank Hildegard G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
DeDoornkraal, General Manager at De Doornkraal Historic Country House Boutique Hotel, responded to this review, May 8, 2015
Thank you for indicating to us by way of your post; that you were satisfied with your stay with us. We feel that it is important to put the best foot forward when we have stop over guests who are traveling long distances and wish to break their journey with a comfortable bed and a hearty dinner. We shall endeavor to improve our offering and hope that we will be able to be of service to yourselves in the future.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about De Doornkraal Historic Country House Boutique Hotel

Property: De Doornkraal Historic Country House Boutique Hotel
Address: 8 Long Street, Riversdale 6670, South Africa
Location: South Africa > Western Cape > Riversdale
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 8 B&Bs / Inns in Riversdale
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:4 star — De Doornkraal Historic Country House Boutique Hotel 4*
Number of rooms: 14
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Experience charming countryside hospitality in South Africa - We are committed to providing service excellence and ensuring that our guests feel that they are at home whilst away from home. Our good-natured team are proud that De Doornkraal has been recognized as the best four star Country House in South Africa, as well as the best in our province two years running at the prestigious Lilizela Tourism Awards – 2014 and 2015. In addition we also are proud recipients of The TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence for 2013, 2014,2015 and 2016. ... more   less 
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