We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Extremely disappointing service for our wedding in December 2013”

Best prices for -
Check In dd/mm/yyyy Check Out dd/mm/yyyy
Prices are for 1 room, 2 adults
Show Prices
Compare best prices from top travel sites
and 5 more sites!
Askari Game Lodge & Spa
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 23 January 2014

We were highly disappointed by the service we received from Askari during our wedding weekend, for several reasons, including:
1. A month before our wedding, we discovered that Askari had overbooked the lodge in error, and they asked us to move our guests who'd booked 8mths ahead.
2. When some of our guests checked-in (from England) Askari told them they were not booked for the dates they had requested. Upon checking, it was found that Askari was wrong.
3. 2 of our guests (from New Zealand) had a bat in the roof of their room. Askari said they had removed it, but this was not true, and housekeeping swept all the Bat faeces into corners of the room. Extremely unhygienic!
4. It rained throughout our wedding day. I ordered cappucinos to be delivered to the bridal suite, and was told this was impossible. Also, the things I had requested (well in advance) to be in the room at 7:30am were not there, and I had to chase the staff myself.
5. The wedding co-ordinator served only 1 purpose on our wedding day, and that was to keep me dry before I entered the chapel. For the rest, he was nowhere to be seen throughout the ceremony and reception. We were extremely annoyed by this, as we had to co-ordinate everything by ourselves.

Overall, we were extremely disappointed by the service we received from Askari for our wedding and guests' accommodation. We had a beautiful day due to the help of friends/family and suppliers, but Askari did not play a role in this despite its hefty price.

  • Stayed: December 2013, travelled with family
    • Location
4  Thank Nicolene F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Write a Review
Reviews (429)
There are newer reviews for Askari Game Lodge & Spa
See the most recent reviews
Traveller rating
Traveller type
Time of year
Language

400 - 406 of 429 reviews

Reviewed 6 January 2014

We came here for our nieces wedding, and having flown in from the chilly northern hemisphere that morning what a great place to relax and unwind so quiet and peaceful. Our accommodation was very pleasant overlooking the ponds. The Porter taking our bags from the car to our lodge in his little cart was a most civilised start to our stay. The little lodges were nicely presented with that olde wolde out on Safari feel, even the little bits of thatch that dropped on the bed from the underside of the roof were not of any inconvenience even more added to the charm.
The staff were all very friendly and entered into the spirit of things as the group of relatives grew for the first beer of the afternoon. We had a big family Braai that evening cooked and eaten outside and everything was very nicely presented and tasty.
Next Morning some of the party went off on a Game Drive which they came back absolutely enthralled with what they had seen, a couple of Johannesburg locals went too and they were buzzing too, which seemed strange considering they actually lived here!! Having had minimum sleep on the overnight flight we took the lazy option slept in, had a relaxed breakfast lazed then went for a swim, whilst in the pool the Elephants came to have a look at the humans which enthralled everyone young and old, especially when one sucked water out of the pool decided it didn't taste right and shared his distaste over everyone looking on!
On to the Wedding, and the ceremony took place outside in a little wood which was very nice and very different, really added to the whole occasion.
And so to the eating and drinking, again the spread was very nicely presented, prepared and most pleasant the staff were great too as the drink flowed and people were having fun they went along with the wheeze whilst remaining professional. Even talking to our Daughter back in the UK on a Skype Video call from my phone using the excellent free wi-fi the staff all joined in saying hello.
It was a shame to leave the next morning, as a very lazy day could have been spent here.

To be honest our bill was very kindly picked up by my Wife's Sister and Husband so our view could be slightly skewed (although no different to reviews I have posted on here from company paid trips away) however there is no doubt that if things had not been right v the money paid something would have been said there and then.
As I said at the beginning this is a nice spot to just relax and unwind doing very little

Room Tip: We stayed in Lion which gave us a nice bit of shade from the adjacent trees, although these could be...
  • Stayed: November 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank John-Boy-Saint
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 31 December 2013

You will definitely need a holiday to recover from this holiday.
The buffet was not all that great; the staff very unfriendly.
The only positive outcome of our stay was our game drive with a small ranger called Yolandie, armed with her energetic attitude and impeccable sense of humour I would recommend a game drive with her! She even taught this old bush dog some new things, which I would admit is not that easy to do.
As for the rest of the stay, I would most definitely not rate it as 4star quality.

  • Stayed: December 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank JM6808
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 December 2013

Because of my love for nature and wildlife, I have visited various Wildlife Ranches and Game lodges in South Africa.

Askari Game Lodge is a beautiful game ranch. I was surprised with the nice look of the place, and the special attention given to detail.

Unfortunately the atmosphere were spoiled with the whole approach of the place. We stayed for a weekend and looked forward to a nice game drive, only to find out to our greatest dismay, that game drives are at an exstra cost of more than RSA 200 bucks per person ! One would think that Game drives are included in the price of the stay (like at most game lodges in the country), or at least at an reasonable fee. Askari seem to think different.(Despite on the already high prices on accommodation and meals !!) We were not allowed to go for a walk in the veld or to drive with our own 4x4 vehicle to go see the animals. Big let down!

The breakfast was great and the staff were very helpfull and friendly. However, the buffet meals are totally over-priced, and nothing extraordinary. It was nice, but not fantastic and certainly not worth the price !

The one thing I would recommend, is a daytrip to Askari on a Sunday, to see the Elephants when the Rangers bring them near and feed them in front of the restaurant. But that's about as good as it gets.

  • Stayed: December 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
3  Thank poplappie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 November 2013

Recently, Rhino SA organized a trip for the OMG Kids to travel around South Africa; allowing them to witness first hand the dire plight of the Rhino. Rhino SA partnered with OMG to produce a documentary film (with Red Sky Pictures) about creating awareness among the youth of South Africa and the world about the near extinction of the Rhino.

Staying at Askari Lodge (owned by the Guvon Group) was incredible. They offered service of the highest calibre, coming to the call of the Rhino and the call of their own Rhino. The passion that I got from interviewing the Game Rangers - Warrick and Yolandi, and the Manager - Graham Shipway, was something I as an interviewer will remember forever. With out a doubt in my mind, the Guvon Group - Askari Lodge and all the staff that work there, are 100% strongly committed to saving the environment and fighting the war on Rhino poaching. As a traveler, wedding planner, or businessman - I cannot think of a better place to spend your money at. Your investment go so much further than a glass of champagne or a bohemian styled bath tub. Your investment goes towards people who are clearly committed passionately to their jobs and their wildlife.

The Askari lodge accommodations are beautiful and clean, the staff are friendly and helpful, and the meals are to die for. That's if you can even make it through the starter course, to get to the main meals. ;) A special treat at Askari is having the opportunity to be really close to the resident Elephants or staying in a suite that overlooks the waterhole, where you can indulge in beautiful sunsets with Water Buck and Buffalo. Sometimes you might even be surprised while walking back to your room by an Eland or a Monkey.

As a frequent traveler, I would recommend anyone to stay at Askari Lodge and support the Guvon Group. Not only will you get first class accommodations, service and staff; but you will also get a chance support the people who are making a difference, and help people like Rhino SA and OMG, make a difference by producing an educational documentary that will hopefully change the future for the Rhino's.

Askari is a great value to Africa, South Africa and the World - for their efforts in fighting the war against Rhino poaching. As an African I salute you for you efforts and I salute you for making me feel at home in a place that resonates the true heart and passion of South Africa and our people.

With love to all Askari Staff and Guvon Group Staff,
Tijana Huysamen (One More Generation Film Director)

With special thanks from: Rhino SA, OMG, and Red Sky Pictures.

Room Tip: Stay in an on suite room overlooking the Waterhole where you can engage in a beautiful Sunset.
  • Stayed: November 2013, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank Tijana H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 September 2013

I loved the weekend away from Joburg, spending time alone with my wife away from the kids and the stress. Having said that, I would have enjoyed time away pretty much anywhere...although Askari has some definite positives that made the time away quite enjoyable, but also some negatives which left a distinct bitter taste in my mouth when all was said and done.

The location is so close to Johannesburg that the drive took us 40 minutes from Fourways and was a pleasant start to the weekend. Check-in was painless and the fact that no-one showed us to the chalet or helped us with the luggage was neither here nor there - it was pretty much find-out-for-yourself mode. We're grown-ups, so that was ok.

We had booked two spa treatments each for the Saturday, and we had added a 'romantic hydrotherapy bath for two' as a late choice, for the Friday evening after we had checked-in. We were delayed on our bath by the overbooked spa, as there was a team-building group there for the weekend which seemed to take preference. This was again repeated on Saturday, forcing us to change our timetable and plan for the day to accommodate their other guests. Not so nice.

The hydrotherapy bath was great, though, with bubbly provided and bubbles galore, it was more fun than romantic, and the spa centre itself is quite small so it didn't really lend itself to feeling completely relaxed and 'alone', but it was a good experience. The full-body massage and back treatments I had the next day were wonderful and the staff were friendly and helpful.

The steam room was out of order, and looked like it hadn't worked in a while. Seriously, get it fixed or get rid of it, but when I asked the staff what the story was, they replied "It has always given us problems"! I was looking forward to a good steam...

The restaurant and dining experiences left quite a bit to be desired - we were charged R25.00 for a can of Peach Iced Tea, which retails for about R4.50. I appreciate mark-ups, but this should give you an indication of the prices across the board. When paying those kind of prices one would expect fare of the highest calibre, but what we were presented with was 'nice', 'good' home-styled cooking for the most part. Breakfasts were what we would expect at most decent establishments and nothing really stood out for me.

We didn't go there for game viewing, as it wasn't the attraction for us. If you are interested in game viewing as your primary reason for going to Askari, I would recommend you look elsewhere. The waterhole provides a pleasant setting for meals, but it didn't make up for paying the same price for a dinner that I would have at my favourite restaurant in Johannesburg, with not even half of the value.

All in all, I had a lovely weekend away, but that was mainly because I was with my wife. Askari is aesthetically lovely and I would consider going back, but I'll pack my own food for dinners, thanks!

Room Tip: All rooms in winter are cold, despite the wood-burning fireplaces, so ask on check-in for extra blan...
  • Stayed: August 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
4  Thank mikecabral
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 August 2013

The Spa is more like a Salon. There is nothing special about it.

They had muffins packed out for us, which we did not even get to enjoy because they are in such a hurry to start with your treatments because the other group of people are booked exactly an hour after you.

The massage felt more like a back "rub".
The dressing room is very small with only one toilet and one shower.
They did our pedicures in the massage room on the beds because they did not have space for us at the pedicure stations.

The head piece of the massage bed was broken, which caused for an unexpected scare every time you just start relaxing.

I would really not recommend the Spa.

They only great experience was seeing the Elephants at the waterhole.

Biancha

  • Stayed: August 2013, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
4  Thank BVanNiekerk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hotels you might also like...
Also consider these accommodations in or near Hekpoort
7.2 mi away
African Pride Mount Grace Country House & Spa
8.1 mi away
Valley Lodge & Spa
Valley Lodge & Spa
#4 of 7 in Magaliesburg
318 reviews
5.1 mi away
Magalies Manor Hotel
Magalies Manor Hotel
#6 of 7 in Magaliesburg
61 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices
5.1 mi away
De Hoek Country Hotel
De Hoek Country Hotel
#1 of 7 in Magaliesburg
518 reviews
5.6 mi away
Budmarsh Country Lodge
Budmarsh Country Lodge
#2 of 7 in Magaliesburg
274 reviews
11.3 mi away
Maropeng Boutique Hotel
Maropeng Boutique Hotel
#1 of 1 in Cradle of Humankind World Heritage Site
194 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices

Been to Askari Game Lodge & Spa? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Additional Information about Askari Game Lodge & Spa

Address: 1 Doornspruit Road | Magaliesberg, Hekpoort 1791, South Africa
Phone Number:
Region: South Africa > Gauteng > Hekpoort
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 13 Speciality Lodging in Hekpoort
Price Range: £158 - £200 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Askari Game Lodge & Spa 4*
Number of rooms: 48
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Askari Game Lodge & Spa is situated on the Plumari Africa Game Reserve in the Magaliesberg, just over an hour from Johannesburg or Pretoria and offers guests a memorable Big 5 wildlife experience within a malaria free environment. Plumari Africa Game Reserve is set within a pristine wilderness area of over 5000 hectares with natural African bushveld and an abundance of flora, fauna, birdlife and wildlife. Two game drives, each approximately 2 - 2,5 hours in duration, are scheduled daily. Elephant Experiences entails interaction with our elephants, which include a 'touch and feed' experience. The main lodge, which is in fact the old Bodenstein family farmhouse, overlooks the Elephant Dam and invites guests to take a step back in time while admiring South African decor pieces dating back to the 1800's. Slipper baths, a coal stove, wash stands, luggage chests, antique Oregon cupboards and tables are subtly placed within the luxury four-star surrounding, to emphasize the captivating history of the Magaliesberg area. Askari Lodge has one of the largest private collections of ox wagons, carts and other animal drawn vehicles from the period 1800 to 1900. A variety of stone and iron-age arte facts, items from the Boer War and San Bushmen rock carvings tell the history of the area, which is also known for the nearby Battle of Nooitgedacht. Examples are available in the museum and guided bush walks take guests through areas where many stone carvings can be found. In contrast with the rich Boere and Afrikaner history depicted by the main farmhouse decor, the Day Visitors Center is abundant with African symbology, rich earthy colours and unique African decor focal points. The two contrasting decor themes pay homage to the history while highlighting the significant influence of the indigenous African tribes of the area. Askari Game Lodge caters for romantic getaways, conferences, teambuilding initiatives, training courses and weddings in both the main lodge and Day Visitors Centre. Nature lovers and birding enthusiasts will find the experience most rewarding, while stressed city dwellers will leave feeling rejuvenated and well-rested. Askari Lodge - the legend lingers. ... more   less 
Reservation Options:
TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Booking.com, Expedia, Hotels.com and TripOnline SA so you can book your Askari Game Lodge & Spa reservations with confidence. We help millions of travellers each month to find the perfect hotel for both holiday and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
Also Known As:
Askari Game Lodge & Spa South Africa/Hekpoort

Is This Your TripAdvisor Listing?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing