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“Only go here if you want to dive!”
Review of Sodwana Bay Lodge

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Sodwana Bay Lodge
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Sodwana
Reading, United Kingdom
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Only go here if you want to dive!”
Reviewed 20 July 2012

This definitely looks like the best place to stay in Sodwana Bay as after driving through quite a shabby main street it was good to enter the private gates to a nice looking resort. Our double chalet was nice with a good balcony but lacking in seats for relaxation. The lodge boasts a expansive food menu but the quality was poor and mealtimes were disappointing. As non-divers there was little to do. We went on a whale watching tour organised by the lodge and while sitings were good the service was poor - regular changes in departure time to accommodate divers and no information provided on the trip. In short, unless you want to dive, stay away and visit St Lucia instead.

  • Stayed July 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank macnoosa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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186 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
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  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (21)
Date | Rating
  • Danish first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
Johannesburg
Level 5 Contributor
67 reviews
30 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 64 helpful votes
Reviewed 10 June 2012

We checked in for a no hastle diving trip. The room allocated was small and cramped, especially seeing we had diving gear cluttering up the room.... and a bicycle that had to be brought inside due to security issues. It was changed without a problem to a "family unit" space problems not addressed as the rooms were full of beds. No table space for computors and camaera gear. It felt as if the mattresses were some sort of foam.... very uncomfortable.....and those pillows ah bring your own. This is primeraly a diving operation I suppose, but did not join thier operation. The restuarant is pretty aveage............... We got value for money I suppose, but for me, I will in future as I have always done, is go for one of the many self-catering options available. The worst thing is the cramped and ill concieved bathroom.........HATED that.. why no ceiling???????

  • Stayed June 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank PatsoJohannesburg
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Johannesburg, South Africa
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 27 May 2012

What an exceptional week of diving I have had. As a novice diver ,whom is somewhat fearfull of the great ocean, I have been able to enjoy the experience of the pristine coastline of the Sodwana bay,which was made possible by the exceptionally professional operation of the Sodwana Bay Lodge Team.
Ben, the Ops Manager, proficient,accomodating,friendly and welcoming, manages a staff of exceptional Instructors,Dive Masters,Skipppers and Beach staff.
Equipment,operations, safety and technical dive skill is maintained at the highest level.
I would easily award a 5 star rating, however your instructor that took me on my paid refresher course made me feel inadaquate and lectured me like a school teacher.His technical ability is undisputed,however as a paying customer, I expect a semblence of people skills as the objective is to have some stress free down time while honing a new skill safety.His sullen disinterested and at time judgemental attitude really let the SBL team down.
Iziah,Nico,Fanie,Gummby, and esp Toby, what an asset to the lodge you are ! Well done Ben and all of your exceptional team . The girls in the dive shop were really helpful and knowlegeble. Thanks for a really wonderful week of awesome diving. I will definitely be back .

Room Tip: We were in C8. Central and private with really great bush view. Really good kitchen facillities, ho...
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  • Stayed May 2012, travelled with family
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Helpful?
1 Thank Blue-Boxy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
PTA
1 review
Reviewed 12 March 2012

Actually the first place we stay where the pictures looks exactly as beautiful as the place in real life! Very well organized scuba diving, extremely friendly staff and very good facilities. Will definitely be back!!

  • Stayed March 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Peter P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Philadelphia PA
Level 4 Contributor
29 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
Reviewed 9 March 2012

I stayed at this Lodge for 4 nights with my buddy who is a scuba diver. (I don't even swim!) The Lodge has a dive center on grounds and offers a number of two to three hour dive trips every day. My friend was very satisfied with all the dives and the dive center staff. The beach from which the dive boats depart is a gorgeous stretch of mostly empty Indian Ocean coast with wind blown trees and even a picturesque working light house. It's about a ten minute drive from the lodge on a paved road. The lodge itself is located about 15 minutes south of the town of Mbaswana off a paved road. It is the typical South African arrangement, a large central building containing a full restaurant and bar and then surrounding private cottages for guests. The cottages are quite large and contain everything you'll need including a safe, a small, quiet refrigerator, shower, sink and WC. The beds were large and comfortable. There was a large veranda with table and chairs that was private and looked out over the bush. A separate small building housed the reception and administrative areas. there was a free internet station in that building for the use of the guests. It always worked and availability was never a problem. There is a nice sized, well maintained pool behind the restaurant building. This is not a plush place, it's more rustic and laid back. But it's very clean and the service, in all areas, was excellent. A particular pleasure was the dining. All of the food was well prepared and tasted great. Not gourmet, but very satisfying. The South African wines were delicious. The lodge seemed primarily geared to diving and just "getting away from it all" but the reception staff were able to arrange a walking safari for us at Leopard Mountain Game Reserve, a big five private reserve north of Hluhluwe-Umfalozi about 1 and 1/2 hours away by car. Mkuze and Phinda are also within roughly the same distance. The walk was well worth it, about 800 Rand for both of us, although we saw mostly antelopes and giraffe and zebra along with birds and large spiders, nothing too scary. This is a fine choice especially for diving and laying by the pool relaxing. I highly recommend it.

Room Tip: The cottages were well spaced and separated by large bushes and other plants. Cottages close to the...
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  • Stayed February 2012, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
3 Thank haddy0
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Durban, South Africa
Level 5 Contributor
56 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
Reviewed 14 January 2012

The lodge is basic but pleasant and the dinners surprisingly good - a wide range of choices, more than expected. The servings are generous and staff very friendly and helpful (as is the owner)

Really good base for diving, particularly if you have children in tow. the staff look after all the gear and help keep track of everything before and after the dives. So good to have locals as the dive masters and skippers. The dive shop/scuba centre is professional and friendly and very well organised.

Only two small gripes - the lack of wifi access, and we had great difficulty regulating the water temperature in the shower - freezing or boiling with bursts of warm.

We will be back!

  • Stayed January 2012, travelled with family
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Helpful?
1 Thank annalagos
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Johannesburg, South Africa
Level 5 Contributor
48 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 55 helpful votes
Reviewed 11 January 2012

Wasn't sure what to expect, but was pleasantly surprised. The chalet was spacious and had a big bed and patio. The food at the restaurant was good and plentiful, although not great. I went mainly for the diving and found the organization excellent, the groups not too big (usually less than 10) and the dive masters competent. Although during the Christmas season it was very busy, but at the end of the first day everyone at the dive operation at the beach new my name already. The only downfall during the holiday season is that you have to queue to get into the park area at the beach and it can get really long. Since I was diving I was there first thing in the morning so didn't have a problem. The beach area isn't ideal for a family day at the beach as it is full of cars and boats driving up on the beach. The area around the point is quieter, but full of coral so not for swimming. Would definitely recommend the lodge though.

  • Stayed December 2011, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank Onamulunga
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Sodwana Bay Lodge

Property: Sodwana Bay Lodge
Address: Sodwana Bay, Sodwana Main Rd | Near Mbazwana, Sodwana 3974, South Africa
Region: South Africa > KwaZulu-Natal > Sodwana
Amenities:
Free Parking Restaurant Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Sodwana
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Hotel Class:3 star — Sodwana Bay Lodge 3*
Number of rooms: 21
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Sodwana is situated In the heart of Maputaland, close to the pristine Lake Shazibe nestling behind the world's highest natural dunes, a short distance from the sea, Sodwana Bay Lodge has been carefully designed to match the rustic eco-orientated nature of the region. Here, on the relatively untouched eastern seaboard of southern Africa, wide lakes and extensive river estuaries shimmer with life, fertile swamp and sand forest abound with rare and protected animal and plant species, while towering dunes shelter golden beaches from the lush interior. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Sodwana Bay Hotel Hluhluwe

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