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“Great Potential”
Review of Makaranga Lodge

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Makaranga Lodge
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Kloof
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 4 March 2013

Having stayed here over December it was great to return and experience the hotel out of peak season. The staff are really helpful and go out of their way to try and make your stay a memorable experience.

This place has huge potential but being a charitable trust I suspect that capital for investment purposes is an ongoing challenge for Makaranga.

By way of a suggestion the undercover parking should be reserved for guests staying at the hotel as it is frustrating to come back and not be able to park.

We will be returning to this hotel next year!

Stayed: February 2013, travelled as a couple
Thank LondonSunseeker22
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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101 - 107 of 129 reviews

Reviewed 25 February 2013

A spur of the moment decision turned into an afternoon we thoroughly enjoyed in this magnificent setting! Great menu, superb view, excellent service and best of all - great food! We will definitely be back - an awesome experience!

Room Tip: We visited the restaurant - did not stay in the accomodation.
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  • Stayed: February 2013, travelled with friends
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Thank Jenny-Lee H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Pierre G, Front Office Manager at Makaranga Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded 4 March 2013

Dear Jenny-Lee H,

Thank you for taking the time to share your Makaranga experience on TripAdvisor. It is rewarding to find that our work has paid off.

I will relay your positiveness experience to the team. I look forward to the opportunity to welcome you back to Makaranga.

Kind Regards
Pierre Gertenbach

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Reviewed 14 February 2013

Used Makaranga for business accommodation. It has been a challenging experience... Standard rates R1350 per day, but they usually discount to R950 during quiet times. At these rates, one expects pretty high standards, but they fail to deliver.

On the first visit, the arrival was not particularly welcoming. Reception was very focussed on ensuring payment was made and that was it. During the first few minutes I was reminded three times I would have to pay before checking in. Nobody offered to assist with luggage. Once checked in, the receptionist vaguely directed me in the direction of the room, none of the facilities or procedures were explained, had to figure it out as I went along. Wifi is free, but password protected. You have to ask for the password. When arriving in the room discovered mini-bar facilities, but not stocked.

On the first trip, at 1 am the fire alarms started going off and kept going for about forty minutes. All guests were woken and wondered around complaining to the security guard who couldn't fix it. At 4 am the fire alarms went off again. Had no proper rest and spent a day in meetings yawning and unable to focus.

On the second trip, was given a room with broken air conditioner. Durban is hot and humid and it resulted in a very uncomfortable affair. Complained to reception in the morning and was assured it would be repaired. It was not. Spent a second evening in very uncomfortable conditions. Escalated matter to management and was relocated, which solved that problem. Some of the rooms feel a little damp and moldy. Maintenance could be much better. Paint bubbling from damp in areas. Little mildew visible in some bathrooms. Kettle was broken in one room. Air conditioner in other room froze up and dripped. Had a very good adventure over four occasions in the restaurant, which ended with a chicken dish that oozed a watery liquid (see review under makaranga garden lodge restaurant)

That briefly summarizes most of the negatives. Makaranga has a stunning view with gorgeous gardens. It is a luxury hotel, but seems to be poorly managed, poorly maintained and the staff aren't properly trained. It is conveniently situated close to a freeway (so you can sometimes hear the traffic, but not very noticeable). Makaranga has the potential to be an absolutely incredible destination, IF they get management, maintenance and staff performance levels sorted out. As it stands at present, I can definitely not recommend Makaranga. I've given up on Makaranga and would rather not return, but that is just me.

Room Tip: Room 10 was pretty good. Room 1 had issues with air conditioner dripping water on carpet. Room 6 sme...
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  • Stayed: February 2013, travelled on business
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Thank Rayno P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Pierre G, Front Office Manager at Makaranga Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded 18 February 2013

Dear Rayno P,

Thank you for taking the time in formulating the constructive feedback regarding your previous stays at Makaranga. Guest feedback forms the corner stone of how we aim to manage the property.

I do agree that our team do require additional training to ensure more discrete operation in regards to taking payment & rounding off the service interaction. Polishing the check-in service will solve the problem you experience regarding the Wi-Fi. We have placed the simple password on the Wi-Fi to ensure the bandwidth does not get compromised by the amount of day visitors the hotel receives.

The maintenance of the building is currently backlogged due to the neglect of previous management company. I do not wish to pass any blame, just give clarity into the situation. In an attempt to curve this we have placed rooms 1 to 10 out of order as of March. We will be completing a full room and public areas revamp on the wast side of the building. I do believe this will create a better Makaranga experience for our future guests.

The Makaranga vision is hoping to achieve its potential to be an incredible destination. Your feedback and incite will be of assistance while we direct the property into 2013.

Kind Regards
Pierre Gertenbach

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Reviewed 24 January 2013

Wow, what a hidden gem. The art, persian carpets and amazing gardens with secret corners and waterfalls are definately my most favourite place in KZN. Food is EXCELLENT, service great. Rooms big and tastefully decorated

Room Tip: All rooms are looking out on the lush gardens
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  • Stayed: January 2013, travelled on business
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Thank HanlieDurbanville
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 January 2013

Makaranga is a truly unique experience. The setting is superb with magnificent gardens and well appointed rooms which are both spacious and well equipped. This hotel is probably best suited for long weekends or a romantic getaway rather than a long stay.

Makaranga has a very large number of "day visitors" who seem to inundate the property to make use of the extensive gardens and the pool. This means if you are a guest wanting some quiet undisturbed time to lie at the pool in the sun or simply sit on the deck and enjoy the view in the sun - it is not going to happen! In holiday season families arrive to spend the day in the gardens and swim in the pool.

We were staying in peak season and the service was strained almost every day, with a number of diners complaining vociferously at almost every meal. Not sure if this was just a seasonal issue or whether they are generally understaffed. That said the staff who were on duty went the extra mile and really do try to make your experience outstanding.

If I have to be pick one of the signs of a good hotel is the quality of the towels provided and those provided during our stay had seen better days.

Makaranga is definitely worth a visit, if not a short stay!

  • Stayed: December 2012, travelled as a couple
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Thank LondonSunseeker22
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Pierre G, Front Office Manager at Makaranga Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded 4 January 2013

Dear LondonSunseeker22,

Thank you for lovely feedback on out property. It is satisfying to receive constructive feedback from our guests. At Makaranga we aim to deliver enchantment through impeccable service.

I have noted your concerns regarding the stretched service capabilities of our restaurant. I can assure you that this was a once off situation during our peak holiday season. We experienced an unexpected influx of day guests. We have now taken a firm decision to limit the amount of day guests to ensure a consistent level of service is obtained and delivered to our in-house guests.

Our towels has been overused due to the high level of day visitors. We have replaced our stock to ensure a quality thread count.

Thank you for constructive feedback on your stay. Makaranga believes in improving and responding urgently to our guests comments.

Kind Regards
Pierre Gertenbach
Front Office Manager

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Reviewed 12 November 2012

Makaranga is amazing. This huge property boasting a stunning Botanical Garden in the middle of suburb, Kloof, Durban. Make sure you take a walk around the garden and take note of all the beatufil plants, trees and flowers. Walk up to the waterfall too. The rooms are huge, nicely decorated and very comfortable. The bathrooms are good too. The bar area inside and outside is very pretty and nice to sit at and relax. The restaurant "Nonna" is very comfortable and has a good ambience although a bit noisy sometimes as it is kiddie friendly. Dinner was good as was breakfast but service terrible. If this can be fixed then it is a recipe to surely not fail. The staff coming in and out of the hotel early morning are very noisy so it would be good if management could address this issue.The entire hotel is geared 100% for disabled folk which is good to see. Definitely worth a stay.

  • Stayed: November 2012, travelled with friends
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Thank travelbabe40
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 September 2012

room cleaners have to take care of their job.
The structure is simply fantastic, a tale place. Everything is new because of a recent restructuraction, that have been done with a perfect design.
Behind the hotel there is a magnific swimming pool, in the middle of a tidy garden where you can have a relaxing walk.
There is also a very nice library/lobby where you can stay and drink a glass of wine.
The rooms are very big but quite dirty! In my room there were 2 single beds and one had very very dirty linen. Luckily the other one was fine.
Also the bathroom was dirty.
Inside the hotel there is a nice restaurant where you can choose from a quite wide menu.
The hotel can have 4-5 points but if it is not clean...sorry it deserve a poor judgment.
I didn't try the breakfast.
I will come back...hoping in a clean room, the rest if very good.

  • Stayed: August 2012, travelled on business
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Thank DiPiers
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Pierre G, Manager at Makaranga Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded 6 December 2012

Dear DiPiers

Thank you for your feedback on your stay with the Makaranga Family.

We have taken your experience to heart. I will definitely pass on your positive experience to our restaurant and garden team. I have spoken to our Housekeeping Manageress and have isolated your feedback to a lack of attention to detail.

We have started an extensive training program to reiterate the importance of cleaning with attention to detail. I look forward in welcoming you back to Makaranga in order to display our improvement.

Kind Regards
Pierre Gertenbach
Front Office Manager

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Additional Information about Makaranga Lodge

Address: 1A Igwababa Road, Kloof 3640, South Africa (Formerly African Pride)
Region: South Africa > KwaZulu-Natal > Kloof
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Kloof
Price Range: £76 - £116 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Makaranga Lodge 4*
Number of rooms: 22
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Makaranga is set in a tranquil 30 acre garden located in the subtropical village of Kloof within the Valley of a Thousand Hills, 25kilometres from Durban, KwaZulu Natal. Makaranga is a luxury accommodation and conference venue where guests can enjoy friendly service and superb cuisine. Day visitors are welcome to enjoy a walk in the garden followed by refreshments on the terrace. Our philosophy at Makaranga revolves around providing an opportunity for enjoyment as well as rejuvenation for all visitors. The lodge boasts an outstanding art collection and guests can wander numerous pathways through the garden to admire the Shona and Italian sculptures. Accommodation is en-suite, individually furnished and extremely spacious. Full facilities are available for those who are mobility impaired. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Makaranga Hotel Kloof
Protea Hotel Makaranga Garden

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