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De Doornkraal Historic Country House Boutique Hotel
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Reviews (356)
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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
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Thank PIGASIMU
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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
  • Stayed: October 2013, traveled on business
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Thank Elaine O
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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
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Thank rumbers
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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
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Review collected in partnership with this hotel
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 reviewResponded 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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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
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Review collected in partnership with this hotel
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 reviewResponded 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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