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“A bit of a let down”
Review of Sodwana Bay Lodge

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Sodwana Bay Lodge
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Sodwana
Reviewed 21 January 2014

We booked into one of the private houses at the lodge, house no 50. The house was advertised with aircons in 3 out of the 4 rooms. Due to the heat which I know is harsh as I grew up in zululand, one of the main prerequisites is that the place had aircon as we have kids and and my father in law who is 80. We needed to switch them on as soon as we arrived only to find out that there were only two in the house which were not in fact aircons but make shift mobile chillers that were so noisy there was not a chance you could sleep with them on at night and they did not cool the room properly at all, more of made it comfortable. The other 1 room had a unit that plugged into the wall(plug needed to be changed as it was broken) that needed to be filled with water but did not make one bit of difference at all, the room was like a sauna. The last room had a hole on the wall with only a ceiling fan and the mozzies just streamed into the room and ate the person staying there alive. The house was decent but needs a good clean out, loads of junk in the drawers to the point where you have to search through everything so find ie, a chopping board which there wasn't one. There were two gas lighters that had no gas and a Box of matches with no matches inside, so couldn't light the gas stove or the braai which was quite frustrating so we had to call reception who then sent us a lighter. The candles were all twisted and dirty and just used and melted off all the places where they were meant to be standing. It Just looks dirty and ugly. The small Christmas tree was still up when we arrived, it's almost February. Only one bedroom (the one with the tv ~ which didn't work) had a night frill on the bed, the rest just had bare bases, this again just looks budget and tacky, a simple thing to remedy. A sheet that was on one of the beds had two huge holes in it, unnecessary to even put this sheet on the bed, it should be thrown away. The thick carpet/tablecloth( not quite sure what it is) was not picked up and shaken once while we have been here. This place definitely needs tlc, the aircons are a major issue as they should not be advertised as aircons. The next issue is the main swimming pool, there was so much chlorine when we went there that my brand new orange bikini went peach from 10minutes in the pool. We left the pool as the smell was so overwhelming and went to the private pool rather which was much better. We decided to use the private pool the next day but while we were there, a man came and put about a quarter of a bucket of chlorine in, needless to say we left as my two year old and the 6 month old could most definitely not swim in that water. We went back with the dad's after fishing in the afternoon and they were appalled at the amount of chlorine and were not keen to swim or have the children in the pool at all. We went for lunch at the restaurant, can't say the manager was too friendly, hardly a smile or even a glance even though we were the only customers sitting right next to his office in line of site and just left it up to the waitress to explain why they were out of stock of things. It's understandable to be out of stock but just a sorry guys but I can offer you this and a smile.....it can change the whole situation, thank goodness the food was really good. We just don't feel the house price is worth what we got. It's all the small things that messed up the overall experience, there is definitely attention needed to the small details here. The positives I have to add as this is a beautiful part of South Africa and don't want to put people off coming to this part of the world, the view and setting is amazing, the beach beautiful, the staff cleaning the house,grounds and pool extremely pleasant. The food was phenomenal at the main restaurant, compliments to the chef and kitchen staff and the waitress that served us was divine.

Stayed: January 2014, travelled with family
5  Thank clawrieross
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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109 - 115 of 193 reviews

Reviewed 8 January 2014

Accomodation was clean, everything worked, the food in the restaurant i thought was very good but if i was staying a week i would hope the dinner menu changed a bit. Bottom line, deep sea fishing or scuba diving location with hundreds of vehicles on the beach. If you wanting a quiet getaway with your young family, between Dec and new year, Sodwana is not the place. Nothing against the lodge, I am talking about the beach itself, too busy. Hectic actually and the one day a queue of 64 Cars waiting to enter at the gate, I counted, trust me.

  • Stayed: December 2013, travelled with family
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1  Thank Carl W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 January 2014

We had a nice stay at Sodwana Bay Lodge. The lodges are simple, but comfortable with fan, a/c and fridge. We booked with half board, so we had breakfast and dinner in the restaurant. Breakfast was buffet style with quite some choice. Unfortunately the juices were very artificial.
The service at night in the restaurant was very poor. The kitchen as well as the waitresses couldn't cope with the amount of people. The average waiting time was an hour. The first night our youngest daughter ordered a pizza with green pepper, but she got the pizza without the green pepper, because it was finished, but they didn't tell her before hand. The second night she got the wrong dish and the sauces didn't come together with our meals: we had to wait for those quite a long time.
The day after we got home we received an e-mail with a 'forgotten' bill from the restaurant: our lunch from the day of arrival.
Behind the restaurant is a very nice and cozy bar with live performance every night.
On our arrival we wanted to book the turtle tour (one of reasons we came out there), but they told us it was already fully booked for the two nights we were staying. Very strange!!

  • Stayed: December 2013, travelled with family
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3  Thank Karlien K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 January 2014 via mobile

The menu and actual food are really disappointing and absolutely redundant, but the service is fast and efficient. The atmosphere is also very pleasant and the milkshakes are great.

I would not recommend this restaurant if you are looking for something different and fresh menu wise.

Stayed: January 2014, travelled with friends
1  Thank Bertus S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 November 2013

Originally planned on a 2 night stay but couldn´t tear myself away so added on an extra night and plan to go back in a couple of weeks :-) The lodges are very comfortable, all the staff very friendly and helpful. The Dive Centre was great, did my refresher dive and 2 dives and it was well worth it. Wonderful variety of corals and fish! Special 2 night / 3dive package cost 1995R so very reasonable also. A definite recommend!

  • Stayed: November 2013, travelled solo
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Thank Alex B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 November 2013

We stayed 2 nights on the resort. The room was fairly small, and there was only a wall between the bedroom and the bathroom/toilet (ie no ceiling). However the room was clean and comfortable and as a gated reserve it is very safe.

We had a great morning at the pool area. It was a shame that due to weather conditions we couldn't snorkel and as we aren't divers we were limited to what we could do.

The only beach is the KZN reserve which charges for entry, However it is a beautiful beach and with the right weather it would be amazing.

The restaurant on site was good. There was a good choice for dinner, although the best part of breakfast was the pancakes.

  • Stayed: November 2013, travelled with family
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2  Thank c d
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 October 2013

In itself this is a very fine place. As others have said, it is completely safe being locked from the outside world by guards and so forth. We stayed there for one week on a timeshare. Be warned it is not cheap, I think about R1200 / night but it does sleep four so it's not too bad.

There is a halfway decent restaurant open from first thing in the morning until late at night and a little bar. There is a swimming pool if you don't mind swimming in leaves at certain times of the year. Tours are organised, and don't forget this is one of the best areas in South Africa for exploring the coral reefs. The beach is 5 km away and you don't want to walk directly to the beach through the forest unless you like being bitten by snakes.

The beach is something else, very sandy, and besieged by people in their best snorkelling gear. Don't let that put you off because the beaches are huge, miles long, when we were there it was a bit windy so we had a free exfoliation but there are always places to avoid the worst of the wind.

The weather in KwaZulu Natal is hot to humid especially at the height of the season which is around November to February so be warned. We were there when it wasn't so bad there was one day of rain and cloud in the week but we were told that was exceptional.

Anyway back to the property, it is good value for a group of people and you are surrounded by delightful seasonal restaurants where you can have fun.

Room Tip: All the accommodations are arranged for privacy. I would not choose the ones abutting on the road
See more room tips
  • Stayed: September 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank Brian-Snellgrove
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

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: £45 - £118 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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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