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“Tranquil Haven” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Cleopatra Mountain Farmhouse

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Cleopatra Mountain Farmhouse
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Balgowan
Certificate of Excellence
Maynooth, Ireland
Level Contributor
72 reviews
43 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
“Tranquil Haven”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 December 2013

We stayed one night at the Cleopatra as part of our honeymoon and it was a great experience. The only reason we did not stay longer was because it was booked up. The food was a gourmet treat including breakfast! Really good wine... the grounds and lake with the weavers making their nests in the trees made for a nice peaceful feel and added to the ambience...
It was a lovely surprise when we got back to our room at the end of the evening to a bottle of champagne and lovely soft candlelight. Leza and Max and all the staff were so professional and courteous.

  • Stayed October 2013, travelled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank DublinHank
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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297 reviews from our community

Traveller rating
    195
    67
    24
    8
    3
See reviews for
28
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (64)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Any
English first
Johannesburg, South Africa
Level Contributor
36 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 12 November 2013

We have just returned from Cleopatra having decided to get out of town (Johannesburg) for a few nights. This was our first visit, although the hotel has been recommended a few times.

Cleopatra completely lively up to our expectations and we have a fantastic time. The mountains are spectacular, lots of great things to do (should you wish to) and the perfect place to just kick back and relax for a few times. Our drive back to JHB was spent considering dates for our next visit.

Service was great, food was spectacular and altogether just a fantastic get away.

  • Stayed November 2013, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Bruce T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reading, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
29 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 8 November 2013

If you are fond of good food and wine then Cleopatra is the place for you. Owned by Richard and Mouse Poynton this gastronomic retreat takes you through a thrilling rollercoaster of taste, texture and temptation every evening. The dining room overlooks a small lake that is stocked with trout (but not to eat!) and the surrounding treats are alive with spotted (village) weaver birds and others. Rooms are well appointed and clean with a farmhouse feel. Each evening you are expertly guided through the courses by Phillipa. The staff are friendly, welcoming and accomodating. Breakfast was also a pleasure.

  • Stayed November 2013, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Paula B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
95 reviews
27 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 14 October 2013

We stayed here three nights as part of our honeymoon. This place is very nicely located between the mountains and the grounds are beautifully presented.

We stayed in an executive cottage which was very quaintly presented - we really liked the decor although we felt leaving the dead flies in the room a little too authentic an experience. The cottages are essentially converted sheds and unfortunately insulation wasn't part of the conversion process. There was however a fireplace which helped to keep the place warm. The bed was not comfortable at all, and the pillows were the worst of our trip in SA. We didn't achieve one good night sleep. The wifi was not a strong enough signal to use in the room.

The wifi was advertised as being free of charge. This essentially consists of a 20MB voucher and additional vouchers can then be purchased. In this modern day, 20MB doesn't go very far and surprisingly the management don't distinguish between a 1 night stay and say a 1 week stay in terms of your "free of charge" allowance.

Of course, Cleopatra is very much about the food. We were looking forward to getting to hear from the passionate chef about his creations and tasting the famed cuisine. Unfortunately, neither Richard nor Mouse graced us with an appearance.

The food was unfortunately a big let down. South Africa has a lot to offer 'foodies'. The quality of the food at this establishment was however a little hit and miss. A couple of dishes (over three days) were tasty, for example the three times cooked beef was really great! There were however too many dishes that just completely missed the mark. They seemed to be falling back on providing rich food, i.e. lots of creamy/buttery sauces, without giving thought to flavours and how flavours can interact on a plate. For me this place really falls down in NOT being a gourmet destination. If you like to eat a lot of really rich average food and pay a lot for the privilege then you'll love it but don't go here for the 5 stars gourmet experience as you will risk being bitterly disappointed.

We found the attitude of the staff, which may well permeate from the owners, to be such that the customer came second. This was evident in 1) how the management dealt with some requests we made, to 2) the smaller details such as no phone in the room to contact reception. We felt that we were expected to feel honoured by being able to stay at the farmhouse rather than the staff and management looking to provide us with an actual 5 stars experience.

  • Stayed September 2013, travelled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank OhEarcain
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Cape Town Central, South Africa
Level Contributor
11 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 27 September 2013

This is not a boutique hotel - it is a cosy, comfortable, home away from home, set in beautiful surroundings and serviced by warm friendly staff who look after your every need. On top of all this, the food is superb although not a place to go if your are watching your figure! Lots of butter and cream but oh so scrumptious! Breakfast and dinner are lengthy affairs and lunch is a casual help-yourself of cheeses, biscuits, muffins and scones, which can be enjoyed while sitting on the balcony over the dam and feeding the trout. There are many lovely walks close by at the Highmoor World Heritage Site or at Giant's Castle. We stayed in an executive suite which was spacious and comfortable. We intend returning when next in the area.

  • Stayed September 2013, travelled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Shirwell K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
3 reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 26 September 2013 via mobile

We had heard so much about Cleopatras and so our expectations were high. We were not disappointed! Arriving in freezing drizzly weather we were met by staff at our car with umbrella and hot chocolate. It just got better from there. Our Scandinavian room was delightful and the small details and trouble the staff had gone to to make my husbands birthday stay memorable, was outstanding. They also did not forget my request that my meals should have the 'sauce on the side' due to a sensitive stomach. Our meal was superb - beautifully plated and with excellent flavors. The selection and recommendation of wine was also good. I am an animal lover, so found the dogs and cat delightful and they made the place homely!

If you love food, wine, fresh air, a dream setting and excellent and personal service, then this is a place worth visiting. We will definitely be returning for another visit.

Stayed September 2013, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
Thank Tessa D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Pretoria, South Africa
Level Contributor
128 reviews
80 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 123 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 11 September 2013

We have always wanted to stay at Cleopatra as it’s known for its location and food. So with my partner’s 40th we decided to stay there for one night.

It is really beautifully located on a dam overlooking the Kamberg Mountain Reserve. The interior of the guest house is very quirky and busy, but yet everything works perfectly and gives you an overall feel of rustic luxury. We were upgraded to an executive suite with his & hers bathroom, lounge with fireplace, bedroom and separate dressing room. It was actually a huge room, and we enjoyed the Delft Plate theme of the room in blues and whites.

The service of everyone from beginning to end is wonderful. And nothing is a problem for them. There are biscuits, cheese, cake, muffins, preserves etc from 1-5pm for your enjoyment, and it made for delicious treats whilst having wine in the library.

The evening’s pre-dinner drinks in the lounge made for a good time for all the guests to enjoy themselves in front of the roaring fire. The manager of the evening came and explained the menu for the night. The food sounded delicious. We did feel that the dining area is a bit “cold” as it doesn’t quite match the interiors of the rest of the but it still is a nice venue for dinner.

The food itself was good. Not really gourmet food presentation etc, but good tasty food. We have eaten at better restaurants, and in the end we did feel that although the food was good and tasty it didn’t live up to our expectation that was created by Cleopatra as a gourmet food getaway. But I want to state that it was a good dinner. Breakfast was definitely a let-down, as the variety on the buffet station was small. The dishes on order were also extremely small and too rich for so early in the morning.

All in all with the price that you pay for the stay inclusive of all the above, we did feel that it is a bit on the steep side. We were glad that we’ve been there and stayed there, but I don’t think we’ll be back shortly.

Room Tip: Executive Suite no 7 & 8 are good options
See more room tips
  • Stayed September 2013, travelled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank mitxcoac
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Cleopatra Mountain Farmhouse

Property: Cleopatra Mountain Farmhouse
Address: Highmoor Road, Balgowan 3275, South Africa
Region: South Africa > KwaZulu-Natal > Balgowan
Amenities:
Free Parking Restaurant Room Service
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Balgowan
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££££
Hotel Class:5 star — Cleopatra Mountain Farmhouse 5*
Number of rooms: 11
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Cleopatra Mountain Farmhouse Hotel Balgowan
Cleopatra Mountain Farmhouse Kwazulu Natal
Cleopatra Mountain Farmhouse South Africa/Balgowan, KwaZulu-Natal

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