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amaria620658
Milan, Italy

A quite and amazing place in the middle of the nature

5.0 of 5 bubblesReviewed 31 Jul 2022
I stay there one night with my girlfriend and everything was really good. From the time we arrived, when we've been welcomed with 2 orange juice, until the dinner. The taste was really good and smooth and the service was excellent. Hope to come back again!
Date of stay: July 2022
5.0 of 5 bubblesValue
5.0 of 5 bubblesRooms
5.0 of 5 bubblesLocation
5.0 of 5 bubblesCleanliness
5.0 of 5 bubblesService
5.0 of 5 bubblesSleep Quality
Review collected in partnership with this hotel
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Reviewed 26 June 2022

We had the privilege of staying in this beautiful manor house in Hoedspruit. The manor house is owned by the gentlemen who owns quite a bit of land in the area and he happened to be on site when we were there. We were welcomed with a delicious juice with a splash of grenadine (my daughter’s new favorite drink). We were literally staying in this gentlemen’s home that he has turned into a lodge. It is beautifully decorated and as you walk through the home onto the deck, facing the infinity pool that looks out over the veld and the mountains, it was definitely a ‘wow’ moment. We saw zebra and impala at the watering hole within minutes of arriving. Not sure how many people were staying there but it didn’t seem crowded at all. We had our own table for meals. We paid for the afternoon game drive and were in a truck with one other local couple. Though the reserve is not very large, we saw rhino, lions, zebra and giraffe. The game drive was very reasonably priced. If your main priority is wildlife viewing, I don’t think that you need to stay here more than one evening; our game viewing in Sabi Sand and Kruger was much more diverse but this was a great introduction. All the meals were very good with very large portions. Of all the places we stayed we think that the food at Khaya Ndlovu was the best. I believe that their restaurant is also available for reservations to locals in town. The service is very personal and intimate. We had two rooms in a separate wing of the house that had its own sitting area and a shared bathroom. The bathroom was very nice and the beds had mosquito netting over them that were drawn down for us in the evenings. We didn’t see any mosquitos but it was fun to sleep under a mosquito net for the first time. Wi-Fi was strong. This was a great way to officially start our trip.

Date of stay: June 2022
    • Value
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank tigermomma2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Reviewed 15 April 2022 via mobile

We stayed at Khaya Ndlovu Manor House for 2 nights with two children and four adults. Since the accommodation reviewed here falls into the four-star category, my rating is based on this and in comparison to other accommodations in the same category.

The location of Khaya Ndlovu Manor House is in the middle of a private reserve, wherein some animals live. Formerly a hunting area, the current owner has tried to merge the area with other also private areas and is, according to self-disclosure, still trying to give back the needed freedom of movement to nature. One must know that the animals, which can be seen from the terrace, are not free in the same sense, as for example the animals in the Kruger NP. Therefore, the employees speak of "our animals".

The accommodation itself is nicely equipped, the location is impressive and the view from the terrace is without a doubt simply beautiful. At the man-made waterhole herds of zebras, impalas, warthogs and also giraffes gather throughout the day. Even a leopard is said to have been spotted there occasionally and we ourselves were able to observe a pride of lions with four animals. For this reason, we exchanged one day of our program for a day on the terrace.

The kitchen has a nice selection of dishes for dinner and breakfast that are carefully prepared with balanced flavors and proper craftsmanship.

However, the reason for the tendentially poor rating is the service. At this point I would like to emphasize that in the criticism expressed here, I do not wish to attack the individual service staff but rather see the cause in my experience as a failure of the management of the Khaya Ndlovu.

Upon arrival, I had the feeling that the employee assigned to greet us was almost obsessively trying to talk us into additional tours. This is economically understandable from the point of view of the accommodation, but that even after repeated reference to a program already prepared by ourselves is "offered", you can book the same program in the accommodation, seems almost ignorant. In my opinion, the employee was too young and inexperienced to master the necessary sensitivity with guests and should receive better training from the management instead of - so my impression - a sales job. I already had the feeling since this first impression that all offers made to me by the staff during my stay were made with only the economic ulterior motive in mind, because I already lost my trust upon arrival, so that I only felt uncomfortable in the presence of the staff. One idea might be to discreetly display the tour offers in the rooms. By the way, the prices with the equivalent of about 40€ per person for a game drive are, from my own experience, exaggerated and not usual in the market. If I take into account that these drives may also only be undertaken in the small reserve, this comes uncomfortably close to a guided tour through a zoo. However, this is just speculation on my part.

These experiences ran through our entire stay and all experiences are, in my view, the result of poor management. Here are more examples.

- The rooms were cleaned daily, but the trash was not emptied
- At the bar I ordered a coffee, whereupon the service employee somewhat helplessly put a pot of coffee on the counter for me, but neither a cup nor milk, etc. - he had obviously not received sufficient training
- water was always delivered without ice cubes, although explicitly requested
- instead of two eggs for breakfast (because the avocado had run out) only one was delivered
- the cup for the butter was forgotten to be filled
- breakfast was supposed to start at 7 a.m., but it never did, because the tables were not set until 7:15 a.m.
- it was not possible to leave the breakfast area before 9 o'clock because everything took so long
- in the morning only one service person was present in the dining area (tasks not manageable even for a well-trained service person alone)
- the suitcases were supposed to be carried to the car by the housekeeping staff upon departure, instead of by the male staff.

About the room concept: it is of no use to have a kitchen with a microwave in the room, but apart from two glasses and two cups, no cutlery or crockery at all. The kitchen cupboards are empty. In the bathroom, I missed a place to hang my wet towels outside the shower stall because I might not want to go back over the wet area to hang my towel after showering. Here, too, the assumption is obvious to me: if the management would question the concept itself once or perhaps test it out themselves, such flaws would be noticed.

We were also in other accommodations of the category "four stars" on our trip and in comparison I must state that the poor service experienced here pulled the entire experience into the unsatisfactory range.

In summary, I would like to suggest to the management: please train your employees better. You know best about the challenges of the job market in South Africa and you can take care to give your employees a good education. This requires effort, but it is worth it - as we have experienced in some other accommodations. For an accommodation of this category, in my view you have some catching up to do in order to keep up with others, and perhaps you are coming to the realization that the best way to do this is to invest in your staff. You have a wonderful location, your kitchen does a good job and you have a lot of potential, but at least to me you unfortunately gave a very bad experience.

Date of stay: April 2022
Trip type: Travelled with family
Thank stilltldr
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Shannon Rombi, Marketing at Khaya Ndlovu Safari Manor, responded to this reviewResponded 19 April 2022

Replied to by Khaya Ndlovu Management:

Dear stilltldr,

In spite of your mostly negative comments, we thank you for choosing Khaya Ndlovu Manor House to stay at during your holiday in South Africa. I am sorry to hear that your stay was far from what you expected and that our service was not of the standard we pride ourselves in.
Thank-you for your comments particularly about the accommodation, the view and the quality of the food you received.

All relevant complaints have been addressed and we will learn and grow from this.
However, please see the feedback below on your complaints that we feel are unfounded.

With regards to comments about the private reserve where Khaya Ndlovu is situated:

To the contrary, our Reserve is 5 500 hectares (13 590 acres) and although it is a fenced Reserve, as indicated on our website, our animals are very definitely free. It’s a pity that you did not choose to go on a game drive during your stay here, which would have removed any doubt about the wild and free-roaming status of our wildlife.

With regards to your comments about our service staff as well as our activity pricing:

We are surprised to hear that Yingi was trying to talk you into additional tours upon arrival, as this is definitely not the intention of, or the instruction from management. He is a young and enthusiastic member of our team, and possibly his enthusiasm for the lodge and all its offerings came across as overpowering. Yingi has, in fact won a scholarship to a university in India, and his gap-year employment with Khaya Ndlovu is enabling him to purchase his ticket across to India at the end of April. We have, however, addressed your complaint with him.
Thank you for the suggestion of listing our activities in the rooms. They are detailed in the room folders as well as on our website. Our game drives for multiple passengers are R 650 per person, which is comparable with most other big-game Reserves in the area. We strongly refute that our drives are akin to a guided tour through a zoo! This is hardly likely on a 5 500-hectare Reserve.

With regards to the list of other examples that you have mentioned (housekeeping, ice etc):

Thank you for this feedback. This is not acceptable and the relevant staff members have been addressed.

With regards to our room configuration:

Our website will confirm that we do not offer any self-catering options at Khaya Ndlovu and therefore the ‘kitchenettes’’ are not stocked. Most guests appreciate the added convenience of heating up a baby’s bottle or making a cup of tea in the space provided and we have therefore made the informed decision to leave these kitchenettes in the two rooms as they were originally built.

In closing, we will continue to train our staff and we are sorry about the bad experience that you endured at Khaya Ndlovu Manor House.
All the best to you and your family!
Kind Regards
Khaya Ndlovu Management

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 March 2022

We went for dinner and had the most awesome experience!
The food was amazing and the service was great!
We were surprised at how reasonable the pricing was given the 5star food and service. The view from the restaurant is spectacular! I highly recommend this place. Top of the list for our next trip to Hoedspruit.

Date of stay: March 2022
Trip type: Travelled as a couple
1  Thank KeagzLeach
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Reviewed 5 March 2022

We spent a week here and had a most enjoyable stay. The hospitality and friendliness of the staff was warm and welcoming. Food and service were excellent. We particularly enjoyed our game drive and bush walks with the guides. Thank you all.

Date of stay: February 2022
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Review collected in partnership with this hotel
Thank mbourk992897
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Reviewed 1 January 2022

Wow! Everything about Khaya Ndlovu gives you that relaxing, calming, home away from home feeling. From being greeted by friendly staff to the luscious gardens and birdlife, the decor and comfort of the manor house and rooms, ambient 5-star dining underneath the fairy lights and stars, and abundant game viewing with the guidance of knowledgeable staff. The whole experience was just magnificent. Thank you!

Date of stay: December 2021
  • Trip type: Travelled on business
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank BigOnDigital
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
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