High hopes given its cat habitat and dedicated staff. Nice private villas with gardens, but a long way from reception and no phone - so a huge walk for help if you were even mobile. Non-functioning refrigerator. Same with air conditioning. Leaking from either toilet or shower in bathroom. No basics like tissues, face washers/flannels. No overnight replenishment of the paltry amounts of initial tea/coffee sachets provided on Day One. Single towel left on bathroom floor for replacement as advised remained there for the next morning - on the floor. It was necessary to walk a long distance to lodge laundry at reception. Once there, it was as if you were presenting the lady with a bag of dead rats. Despite assurances from the manager that their practice was to return it to the room, it didn't happen so I needed to approach reception to check and was chastised for my belief about delivery and my tardiness in collecting it myself. On another occasion (no phone, no room service), I walked to the bar to request a bottle of house wine to take back to my room. Despite the fact that the Lodge was fully booked, I was told that they had no house wine available as they had run out. I had no alternative but to choose a more expensive bottle. I was told flatly: "You don't need glasses." I certainly wasn't going to ask for an ice bucket and possible delivery after that instruction! Just when you felt that your own experience was an aberration, our group requested the national liqueur Amarula after our meal, only to be informed that there was none available - this despite there being at least 80-100 tourists in their dining room. Staff were later observed sniggering from the bar in our direction. Having said that, the buffet food was good. During my stay, I attempted to make incremental payments towards my daily expenditure in advance of checking out upon departure. This request was tersely refused. For a place that promised so much, the good experiences were totally extinguished by the majority of staff being rude, disinterested, argumentative, lazy, and openly scoffing at guests. What a shame.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Following the 2015 voting period, Emdoneni Lodge has won: Global Winner in the Luxury Game Lodge category of the World Luxury Hotel Awards. If you ever dreamt of getting close to nature, interacting with tame cats like Cheetah, Emdoneni Lodge is the place to visit!Located in the heart of Zululand lies Emdoneni Lodge. The lodge offers unique opportunities for the visitor, as you get up close and personal with local wildlife. From sitting by the pool watching Zebra, Nyala, duiker and impala in their natural Sand Forest habitat, to coming face to face with Cheetah, Serval, Caracal and African Wild Cats at the Cat Sanctuary! Air-conditioned, en-suite rooms allow you to escape the heat of the day, and in the evenings you have a variety of meals to choose from at the buffet restaurant. Dinner in the Boma adds a different atmosphere as you eat under the African night sky, and get a glimpse into one of South Africa's great cultures with our Zulu dancers. ... more less
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