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“Birthday Boo boo”
Review of Makaranga Lodge

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Makaranga Lodge
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Kloof
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 24 August 2013

No-one can fault how beautiful the environment is both inside and outside this establishment but the quality of service has much to be desired.
I booked a week in advance for a 50th birthday tea and the manager assured me that they would take care of everything. I specifically mentioned that most of the ladies would want a cappuccino and could there be a selection of cakes for tea. This is what I found on arriving on the day:

1. The coffee/ cappuccino machine was broken. No plunge pots or the equivalent was to be had as they didn't have any! The option was instant coffee

2. The choice of cakes in the coffee ship had much to be desired - leftovers from the weekend eg 1 slice of bar one cake; 1 carrot muffin; 2 choc cup cakes; no tartlets and so it went on. When asked when the fresh stuff was arriving the reply was : "Sorry, no cake deliveries on a Monday".
I was extremely disappointed and felt totally let down. The manager did apologise but the damage was done!
3. The special birthday cupcake I was told was part of the 'special' gesture for the birthday girl never materialised.

Add this to the disastrous family Christmas lunch at Makaranga two years back, recent bad experiences I've heard from others and reading some of the stuff on this page, leaves me mystified as to why this establishment still has a 4 star rating!

  • Stayed: August 2013, travelled with friends
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Thank Bunny7753
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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89 - 95 of 129 reviews

Reviewed 19 August 2013

This was our third stay at Makaranga Lodge but the first since they adjusted their strategy to allow day visitors and bring more commercial business.

The lodge is built in stunning gardens which are immaculately maintained. Enjoying the peace of the tropical property without having to leave the city is definitely an amazing experience. There is a small playground for kids and a lovely pool for families to enjoy. The food is excellent too.

The down side is that although the gardens and large rooms are lovely and thoughtfully put together the management of the lodge is poor. Our room carpet was so dirty that after walking around in the room barefoot for a while the bottom of my feet were black. The wifi was off for our entire 4 day stay and each time we asked a staff member when it would be back on they would say that it would be on soon. It didn't return which is very poor considering the lodge is in a city with all of the necessary support available. The service was fair but unenthusiastic. The bath in the room is actually tiny and showering wasn't much better as the hot water quickly ran out. We saw no sign of management for 4 days and were not asked once how our stay was going or if they could improve on anything.

All in all a lovely place but sadly let down badly by the lack of management. I would highly recommend Makaranga for day visits to enjoy the gardens or perhaps on a special at a good price but at full-price it is poor value for money.

Room Tip: Most of the rooms are garden facing and have lovely outlooks.
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  • Stayed: August 2013, travelled with family
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Thank zimsean
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 August 2013

This is a real gem of a hotel hidden in the tranquil surrounds of Kloof. It is easily accessible from the N2 Highway and is a short distance from the shops and restaurants of Hillcrest. The rooms are comfortable and spacious with staff going of their way to make your stay enjoyable. This hotel is great for a romantic weekend getaway, conference or merely as a stop over on the way into Durban.

The garden is absolutely fantastic with many themed areas such as Japanese Garden, Italian Garden, etc. For art lovers the sculptures are a great feature and make for an interesting walk discovering these works of art within a carefully crafted garden setting.

This place is well worth a stay!

  • Stayed: August 2013, travelled solo
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Thank LondonSunseeker22
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 July 2013

Couldn't find suitable accommodation in Umhlanga but then stumbled across this gem in Kloof. Glad we did. Not only did we get a great deal but the setting was awesome and more convenient than we believed it would be. The grounds and the gardens were a real feature. The restaurant was very good and activities for the kids were laid on which was an added bonus. Our room needed a little TLC I believe but was still more than comfortable for a family of 4. A very enjoyable week spent at Makaranga and we look forward to returning.

  • Stayed: July 2013, travelled with family
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Thank Dazzler1974
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 July 2013

We recently enjoyed a wonderful stay at Makaranga Lodge . A beautiful and restful oasis and rare find - totally unexpected . The accomodation in the new section , where we stayed was lovely . The restaurant , Nona , was suprisingly good . Highly recommended for that part of the Natal midlands . Unfortunately , the service in part was disappointing . For the price that one is paying in this boutique hotel one expects better and more welcoming service . Their was no contact with us from management for the entire stay , from booking in when we told that nobody was available to show us our rooms to check out when we were not asked how our stay was .

Room Tip: Stay in the new section
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  • Stayed: June 2013, travelled with family
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Thank jeffrey k
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 July 2013

The past weekend our family stayed at Makaranga Lodge and enjoyed every minute! Waking up to birdsong is quite a treat, as is going for walks in the expansive gardens. The restaurant offers a good variety on the menu, but the breakfast portions are way too large!! I felt quite foolish sending most of the serving back, not being able to finish it. Also, before booking directly with the Lodge, check websites for specials - definitely worth your while going through this little extra effort as big savings are possible! To the owners: a coat of paint, repairing damp and clean carpets will add a lot of value, making this an even more special destination!

Room Tip: Ask for the new wing - more modern and larger rooms. Excellent bathrooms!!
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  • Stayed: July 2013, travelled with family
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Thank Jenny F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 June 2013

I stayed here for three nights on my own, really large and pleasant room, great breakfast, nothing too much trouble and security was first class. Would highly recommend it! I checked out a little later and it was no problem, no charge and a well run hotel in all.

  • Stayed: May 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank 341,801
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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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 - £117 (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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