Rovos Rail

Rovos Rail, Cape Town: Address, Phone Number, Rovos Rail Reviews: 4.5/5

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4.5
625 reviews
Excellent
457
Very good
79
Average
41
Poor
27
Terrible
21

Johan J
Johannesburg, South Africa162 contributions
One of the most amazing experiences of my life!
Mar 2021
I love trains. This is the ultimate! The rooms, the food, the wines, the service is just out of this world! Thank you Mr Vos!! The BEST!
Written 11 March 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
Dear Johan J Thank you for your kind review. We appreciate you taking the time to leave your lovely feedback and will make sure that Mr Vos and the team from your train journey reads it too. Thank you for travelling with us. Regards, Brenda Vos Communications Manager Rovos Rail Tours
Written 17 March 2021
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Wendy R
Ballito, South Africa27 contributions
World Class!!!!!!!
Jan 2021
This is something we have wanted to do for many years. We had expectations but Rovos far exceeded them! From the time of arrival you are greeted by well presented and friendly staff. The train itself is absolutely world class and every minute detail has been taken care of. The luxury cherry wood interior is elegant and stylish in every way. The staff are absolutely wonderful and deserve a huge compliment. The food served on the train is fine dining at its best. Wow!!! My heart breaks for MR Vos and all Rovos staff as trying to run this world class Gem on a crumbling infrastructure is nothing short of frustrating. I will be back on this train as soon as I can, because this is truly the most luxurious train in the world!!
Written 28 January 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
Dear Wendy R Many thanks for your kind review! We really appreciate your feedback. Thank you too for travelling with us. Sincerely, Brenda Vos Communications Manager Rovos Rail Tours
Written 1 February 2021
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

diegoronaldo
Johannesburg, South Africa10 contributions
Wonderful experience
Jan 2021
We did the trip from Cape Town to Pretoria in January 2021 and had a truly memorable experience. The compartment was clean and comfortable and equipped with everything we needed. The staff were excellent and attended to our every need (even under some difficult circumstances). The food was delicious and the service fantastic. Unfortunately the South African rail system let Rovos rail down, but not even that could take away from the enjoyment of the journey The train manager kept us updated and handled all situations professionally with the well being of the passengers being a priority.
Written 27 January 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
Dear diegoronaldo Many thanks for your kind review! We really appreciate your feedback. Thank you too for travelling with us. Sincerely, Brenda Vos Communications Manager Rovos Rail Tours
Written 1 February 2021
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Scoobydum77
London17 contributions
Amazing!
Jan 2021
Absolutely wonderful experience. We were personally met on arrival at the lounge by Mr Vos who owns Rovos Rail. This was a lovely touch. The staff were excellent all through the journey. I had a dietary requirement and it didn't matter which table I sat at or who served me, my food was always perfectly prepared without me having to say anything. The compartment and the whole train was spotless. Everything worked. Loads of storage space in the compartment and everything you could think of was provided. The whole experience was first class without being pretentious. There were some delays due to the decrepit railway system but this was not the fault of Rovos and they always communicated what was happening to guests. It was a truly memorable experience that we will never forget. Top marks!
Written 26 January 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
Dear Scoobydum77 Many thanks for your kind review! We really appreciate your feedback. Thank you too for travelling with us. Sincerely, Brenda Vos Communications Manager Rovos Rail Tours
Written 1 February 2021
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Hannu H
Helsinki, Finland426 contributions
Pampered in luxury
Nov 2019 • Couples
We rode from Victoria Falls to Pretoria and enjoyed the trip very much. The service was too notch, the staff frienly and attentive. The dinners were a treat! The air-conditioned Royal Suite was spacious, there was a full-size bathtub and a separate shower in the bathroom. The Zimbabwe safari drive was excellent. Highly recommended!
Written 6 June 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
Dear HannuH_12 Many thanks for your kind review! We really appreciate your feedback. Thank you too for travelling with us. Sincerely, Brenda Vos Communications Manager Rovos Rail Tours
Written 8 June 2020
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Petra B
Germany7 contributions
African Golf Collage November 2019
Nov 2019
We booked the African Golf Collage for November 2018. Due to bushfires the track between George and Oudtshoorn was closed and we decided not to accept the alternative program but moved our journey to 2019. You charged an extra price for 2019 of ZAR 18.000.- although ZAR 210.000.- were paid a long time ago and may generate interest which we accepted. Shortly after the payment was done you informed us that the track might be still closed and you are working on an alternative plan. This was a first surprise because this problem existed one year ago without changing the travel information and advertising, without informing guests or us. There was only a short sentence in the welcoming speech at Cape Town Station that the route must be changed due to a closed track. The journey started at Cape Town some hours delayed because of a diseased train driver. Isn’t it one of the most elementary requirements of a train journey to make sure that there is a train driver? Due to the change of the travelroute golfers had a 5 o’clock wake-up-call, 3 hours bus ride and quick tee off at Fancourt Golf Resort. Next day very similar situation because Oubaai Golf Estate must be changed to Pezula Golf Course to have the chance beeing back in time at Port Elisabeth Station after a 4 hours bus ride. Humewood Golf Course might be nice but definitely has not the quality to be part of a superior golf trip (as indicated). We thought track problems are solved and our journey could start at least from P.E. Big mistake because new problems came up as there was a 8 hour stop at Bloemfontein Station. Lately we heard that there was no lokomotive. Again: Isn’t it one of the most elementary requirements of a train journey to make sure that there is a lokomotive? The information from train manager was so poor that it was a surprise to get at least something. Due to the big delay the program was changed again and a train journey became more and more a bus ride (fortunately the bus and the driver were reliable). After the train delay was compensated by bus ride Leopard Creek Golf Course was a signboard for golfers advertised in the course information as „ ultra-exclusive world-class facility“ (which is true because we know and have played it). Of course the dates for Dunhill Open Golf Tournament and days of regular maintenance on the course are known a long time before, nevertheless these were the reasons which were told us for not be able to play Leopard Creek (obviously there existed no binding contract). Jan-Louis did his best to make sure to play the Par-3-Course. The given reason not be able to play this course was pitiful but surely came by superior instruction. White River Golf Course must be played (again some hours bus ride). The greenfee is about 1/10 of Leopard Creek which counts for the course conditions as well. The trip was disappointing to us. At least we would have exspected an open and honest information in advance. Independently of all aforementioned circumstances you have a brilliant staff, wonderful people who do a great job (except the train manager), beautiful waggons and excellent food and wines. Nevertheless by all means we will not recommend Rovos Rail Tours to European customers in future.
Written 9 May 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
Many thanks for providing us with this feedback. I am pleased to note that at the end of this letter the guest has commented that our staff are brilliant and do a wonderful job, that the train is beautiful and that the food and wines are excellent. He had negative feelings about the Train Manager. Regarding the delays and changes on this journey, I would like to provide some clarity on the issues mentioned. As you know, the line between George and Oudtshoorn has been closed since October 2018 due to a large fire which damaged the train line. The fact that this line would not be open was communicated to all our passengers by email in advance, and then during my announcements before the train departed I made certain everyone understood the circumstances surrounding the continued closure. This line was supposed to be open at the end of August 2019 with confirmation from Transnet, so we were all extremely disappointed it did not happen before the journey in November. Enclosed is an article from the local newspaper: https://www.georgeherald.com/News/Article/General/setback-for-railway-line-repairs-in-outeniquas-201910160145 Over and above the inconvenience, Rovos Rail was saddled with additional costs of approximately R300,000 to cover the overnight stay at Fancourt, the buses, and the additional distance the train had to travel via De Aar. The delay at Bloemfontein of 10 hours was due to the Transnet locomotive en route to fetch us being held up by a broken-down freight train which blocked its progress. This delay consequentially dictated the use of buses the next morning to get the golfers to Ladysmith. It must be appreciated that we are contracted to Transnet for the use of their lines (we pay per carriage per kilometre) and they also supply the locomotives with their drivers. If there is a hold-up, such as was the case here, we are powerless to change the process and have to wait for them to handle the situation. This of course makes matters of passenger information and communication extremely difficult for the Train Manager who has to rely on the local railway officials to give him a time estimate as to when we might be moving again. This estimate from the railways is often enough a thumb suck, so our Manager has to convey what he speculates is possible. So, when one estimate goes overtime, he again has to get an answer from the railways which then becomes estimate number 2. And so on. The Manager then has to decide whether to advise guests any further or wait until he/she knows for certain when things might unfold. Leopard Creek Golf Course is proving to be incredibly challenging for us. They are the top golf course in South Africa and often dictate their plans to us. Please know that our Tuesday date for your trip was booked well in advance but the club decided in July that we can only play on Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. Tuesday now being reserved for maintenance. We had another train travelling (Golf Safari) and these golfers did in fact play at Leopard Creek on the Monday. Alwyn, Rovos Rail's Golf Manager, determined on the Monday that the par three course was in poor condition and advised Jean-Louis, the Golf Manager on your train, that you would be better off playing at White River. The difference in fees between White River and Leopard Creek was balanced out by the extra bus costs as well as the R2 400 per head difference between the Outeniqua Course and Fancourt Links where you played. The game at Pezula was also more costly than Oubaai. Our schedules for 2021, 2022 and 2023 are in print and the dates for Leopard Creek are provisionally booked this far in advance. They do not wish to confirm dates more than a year out as there are competitions such as the Dunhill Cup and others, the dates of which depend on the availability of the professional golfers. Rovos Rail’s planning for this event is thus extremely difficult as all the other course dates have to be adjusted the moment any date is changed. We understand how important Leopard Creek is to our guests so we will continue to do what we can to work around their changes.
Written 14 May 2020
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

DerekParsons
Oswestry, UK491 contributions
Fantastic service, food and accommodation
Mar 2020
We started our journey in Dar es Salaam and travelled towards Cape Town. The service and staff were absolutely wonderful. Unfortunately because of the Corona virus pandemic we were told when we arrived at Victoria Falls that the South African government were closing its borders to everyone except South African nationals. This meant that everyone had to very quickly make arrangements to get back home. The staff at Rovos Rail could have not been any more helpful - they all did a fantastic job in a very difficult and unprecedented situation. I hope to be able to finish my journey sometime in the future.
Written 27 March 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
Dear @ DerekParsons Many thanks for your kind review! We really appreciate your feedback. Thank you too for travelling with us. Sincerely, Brenda Vos Communications Manager Rovos Rail Tours
Written 29 March 2020
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

simon_beck75
London, UK50 contributions
First class all the way - book it now!
Mar 2020
I've dreamt of going on Rovos Rail for over 20 years of travelling around Africa. We did the Cape Town - Prettoria trip and the whole experience completely exceeded my high expectations. What I loved is that there is so much effortless style with the whole Rovos experience, lovely welcome lounges to wait in and arrive at, varied really good meals with incredible wine pairing, classic warm and freindly service and an elegant and very stylish expereince. Slow train travel was amazing, meeting all the other guests was peronal and so nice, every meal was new a expereince, dressing up for dinner was refined and sophisticated and with nice excusrions included made it a really special and memorable expereince. The suites were great, very comfortable and beautifully finished. Thank you and very well done Rovos, truly an epic adventure that we will cherish forever. I hope in due course we can be lucky enough to expereince another of your very speical journeys.
Written 26 March 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
Dear @simon_beck75 Many thanks for your kind review! We really appreciate your feedback. Thank you too for travelling with us. Sincerely, Brenda Vos Communications Manager Rovos Rail Tours
Written 27 March 2020
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

CuriousTrooper
40 contributions
Group experience
Feb 2020
From the moment the journey begins with Rovos it's incredible. & we were a group of young professionals most of whom wouldn't ordinarily choose an overnight train journey. The staff were amazing and saw to our every need. We drank and ate ourselves silly. The other guests probably shuddered at the sight of the 12 of us. However perhaps due to a sense of 'join them if you can't beat them' we socialized plenty with the other guests on the train (only about 30 of them). Don't listen to anyone that tells you this is an old, creaky train. It's just sublime and one of the best things I've done. Good luck to Rovos and their intrepid management and team. They face a continual challenge to keep such a fantastic apparatus and beautiful train running in Africa. The stop in Magliesberg was really good and the classic cars in the museum are a sight to behold. Hats off to Rovos...& like it or not...we'll be back! Thanks again Rovos!
Written 25 March 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
Dear @CuriousTrooper Many thanks for your kind review! We really appreciate your feedback. Thank you too for travelling with us. Sincerely, Brenda Vos Communications Manager Rovos Rail Tours
Written 27 March 2020
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

melvillecot
England167 contributions
Nostalgic Splendour
Mar 2020
We travelled from Capetown to (almost) Pretoria. Our suite on the train was very well appointed and comfortable, and the staff incredibly helpful . Our first meal was a four course lunch which like all meals throughout the journey was efficiently and courteously served by well trained and attentive staff. Our bed was very comfortable, and despite the bumpy track, we slept well. We found the lounges and observation car to be most comfortable, and staff were very attentive.. We detrained at Kimberly and were treated to an excellent visit to the Gold Mining Museum where the Scottish guide presented an incredibly informative accompaniment to the visit. As the train was running late our second visit 'shore' had to be held part way through dinner, and in the dark. It was enjoyable but would have been much better in daylight. Overnight and the third morning were very much stop -start, and interrupted on two occasions by violent jerks which sent people reeling. During the morning we were told that there was doubt about our final destination, but onward travel providers would be informed. We finished up at Union Station and our transfer to our hotel was ready and waiting. Overall we thoroughly enjoyed our experience, and the staff were wonderful. On the whole the food was excellent but we did have one occasion where my wife's fish was cold and uncooked, and on another all on our table found the lamb difficult to cut. Would we recommend Rovos Rail - Most certainly!
Written 18 March 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
Dear @melvillecot Many thanks for your kind review! We really appreciate your feedback. Thank you too for travelling with us. Sincerely, Brenda Vos Communications Manager Rovos Rail Tours
Written 20 March 2020
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

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