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“Worst B&B in RSA!”
Review of Arbuckle House

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Arbuckle House
Ranked #5 of 9 Himeville B&B and Inns
Shanghai Region, China
Level Contributor
361 reviews
66 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 165 helpful votes
“Worst B&B in RSA!”
Reviewed 11 February 2013

The place can be easily located as it is along the main road. There are several restaurants close to the place and makes a good starting point for a trip to Lesotho. The room size was just right but didn’t have en suite bathroom. I had to go out of the room to get to the bathroom which didn’t have a shower, just a bath tub. It was during winter (with snow) when I stayed with friends and there wasn’t adequate heating system! I thought I would have turned into a popsicle! What made the stay worst is the lack of water for our entire stay – 2 nights! The owner, Geraldine, told us that the water supply in the area had been cut and she didn’t have any back up plan in case that happen. We did not move to another B & B as we were told water supply will be back to normal that night. She gave me 5 liters of water for the day – for brushing teeth, taking a bath! And she gave the same amount of water to my friends – a family of 3! Despite this disappointment and inconvenience, we didn’t get an apology or at least half of the cost we paid.

  • Stayed August 2012, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank wandering_dive_geek
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
arbucklehouse, Owner at Arbuckle House, responded to this review, 18 November 2013
Thank you for your feedback, but I would like to clarify the circumstances under which these guests visited Arbuckle House. It was an extraordinary heavy snow fall the year in question. Municipal supplies of water become frozen under these extremely cold temperatures. Our Eskom and water supply is unreliable at best under these conditions, therefore bottled water is provided per 5 lt container as the guests may require them. There is no limitation or restriction to water provided on a daily bases. In fact, many home owners have to melt snow so they can at least flush their toilets. Let me take this opportunity to highlight one of the attractions in the area over winter is ice climbing.

The situation that presented itself to these guests is not unique to this establishment, as all B&B's and Hotels in the area are presented with similar challenges. A visit to this area when there is a snow fall, such as was experienced, is generally considered a privilege to experience and much sought after, but unfortunately it dose come with some minor discomforts.

The beauty of the snow should far out weight the inconveniences sadly documented above.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Rating summary
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  • English first
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English first
Redcar, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
55 reviews
46 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 129 helpful votes
Reviewed 26 January 2011

To see more accommodation that we stayed in whilst in South Africa just click on my profile.
If my reviews are of help to you then please click on the Helpful option at the end of each review.

We really enjoyed our stay at Arbuckle House.
It was kind of like staying with your posh aunty, and we mean that in the nicest possible way.
The owner Geraldine was one of these people who gave me the impression that she could probably get out of bed in the mornings and instantly be immaculately presented as we never saw her without a hair out of place or not immaculately dressed.
When she did our breakfast you could see that she had gone to a lot of trouble in preparing the table, as I immediately thought, cricky this table is laid out similar to what my mother would do if someone special was coming around for tea ie: all your best cutlery and cups and plates were brought out when someone special came around that she wanted to impress and make a fuss over them and this was the impression I got here. Not something you see too often these days, but extremely nice to see all the same.
Geraldine actually cooked the breakfasts while we were sat at the table listening to her chatting away to us while cooking the breakfasts, and at the same time, she still somehow managed to look immaculately presented even after washing up and rushing around the kitchen.
I don’t know how she did it.
I must say out of all the accommodation we stayed in whilst in South Africa we all agreed that Geraldine’s breakfasts were without doubt the closest we had, too a proper full hearty English breakfast in all the places we tried.

Our room was the main family room above the kitchen and tv room, or put another way it was more like a flat, as it was huge with plenty of homely ornaments and trinkets laid around to give it that warm homely feel, as opposed to a more minimalist look of a large hotel chain. The beds were big and soft and great to snuggle up into at night, meaning you get a great night sleep.
Our bathroom I would say was without doubt the largest bathroom we have had, it was huge (one slight note was it only had a bath and not a shower but no big deal really). We also had a large sun deck which ran the full length of the property and was a great suntrap. Our master bedroom had French doors that opened out onto this large sundeck which I would guesstimate was approx. 30 – 40ft in length.
In addition to our family room there were a number of other rooms within the main building for guests and there were also a couple of rooms that were totally separate from the main house, but set in within the immaculately tendered gardens. These were built in the traditional Lesotho Rondeval design, ie round with a thatched roof and really complemented the garden of Arbuckle house which looked more like an English Chocolate Box Country Cottage type garden with all its flowers.

Location
Arbuckle house is so easy to find as once you drive into Himeville from Underberg there really is only one road to talk about, and that’s the road you drive in on. As you drive in to Himeville, the famous Himeville Arms pub/hotel is on the left and Arbuckle House is approx. 400 yards further on, on the same road on the left. This is the exact same road you would also continue along to get up to Sani Pass as well.

Things to do.
If you are not the outdoors type and want plenty of bars and shopping centres to occupy your time, then I would strongly suggest that you give this whole area a miss as it is geared totally for outdoor adventure. Of course the main reason for going to Himeville is to go up the famous Sani Pass. Geraldine can organise this for you with anyone of the many 4x4 companies in the local area. If you do go up Sani pass, which by the way really is only a short drive from Himeville, try running around a bit up there. You will then find out what it is like to exercise and get your breath back at high altitude as the oxygen is actually thin up top and it will not take you too long before you are out of breath. There are plenty of outdoor pursuits to do in this entire area all of which Geraldine can help you out with so I would suggest if you book in at Arbuckle house you email her 1st to see what price she can get things for as opposed to booking online and taking pot look, especially if you are going up Sani Pass as you most certainly want to be taken up their by a reputable company for sure as it can get a tad hair raising as you get closer to the summit.

Conclusion
We enjoyed our short 2 night stay at Arbuckle House. We found it to be warm, welcoming, extremely clean, has a nice homely feel to it, is also ideally located if you are only visiting the area to go up Sani Pass.
We would most certainly try to book in here 1st should we be in the area again, and as such I have no hesitation what so ever in recommending it to anyone wanting somewhere warm and homely to stay whilst in the area.

If my reviews are of help to you then please click on the Helpful option at the end of each review.
If there is anything else you need to know then by all means just email me via my profile.

  • Stayed December 2010, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank RoyPartington
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Arbuckle House

Property: Arbuckle House
Address: 59 Arbuckle Street, Himeville 3257, South Africa
Region: South Africa > KwaZulu-Natal > Drakensberg Region > Himeville
Hotel Style:
Ranked #5 of 9 B&Bs / Inns in Himeville
Hotel Class:3 star — Arbuckle House 3*
Number of rooms: 3

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