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“Bergendal Eco Resort”

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Bergendal Eco & Cultural River Resort
Ranked #1 of 1 Berg en Dal B&B and Inns
Reviewed 9 January 2013

Awesome place in the Amazon jungle/Suriname river area of Suriname (former Dutch Gyana)
Great rates, limited, but excellent food. Awesome staff and adventure center. Flights out of Miami on Suriname Air, or I have been informed there is another airline. 45 minutes from airport. Beautiful lodges with mesquito netted beds. We have a LOT more bugs in Florida than I ever saw there!

Room Tip: An 'A' cabin on the river gives you a 1 bedroom. A 'C' cabin is a studio, but very n...
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  • Stayed: December 2012, travelled with family
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3  Thank KtsGonSailin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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36 - 42 of 131 reviews

Reviewed 17 September 2012

We read so many positive reviews on Bergendal- oh the power of Tripadvisor- we thought to give it a go. Supposedly Bergendal is the most luxurious resort in Surinam. And eco friendly to boot, so not going there seemed almost sinful. But upon arrival we almost immediately felt that this whole ordeal wouldn't become the happy experience we were hoping for.
The cabins were sort of luxurious, but stacked with so much furniture there wasn't even enough space to walk around properly. There were no curtains in the cabins, only very thin bamboo(?) roller blinds which allowed the many passers-by to have a good look at whatever was going on in the intimacy of your bedroom. An exhibitionist's paradise, but very uncomfortable for the more private among us.
The restaurant food was just okay and certainly less Surinamese than we hoped for. On the whole the food situation was a bit loveless and gloomy, more or less like the general atmosphere in Bergendal.
Except for the cocktail bar, where the tv was so loud that it was impossible to have a normal conversation.
Then there was the staff. The awkwardness and inexperience of the staff was mind boggling. Every question was met with a vacant gaze and if you were lucky enough to get an answer, the outcome would always be negative. Often they wouldn't even bother and just walk away. Does the staff even get trained how to communicate with guests? Hello manager, anyone...!!! We felt that it wasn't a case of unwillingness but rather of not knowing how to interact with people other that their colleagues.
All in all it was an extremely disappointing experience. But luckily it would remain the only disappointment on our tour through the beautiful country of Surinam.

Room Tip: I seriously wouldn't know what to advice....
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  • Stayed: August 2012, travelled with friends
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10  Thank Zwef
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 July 2012

Tourism, and especially eco-tourism, has really taken off now in Suriname, and Bergendal Resort - 1,5 hour drive south of Paramaribo - is one of the latest additions when it comes to sleeping in the jungle (although it is not really in the jungle as a main highway - from Paramaribo to Brokopondo Lake - gives easy access to the resort, and several villages and settlements are neighbouring the resort).
After our family had an excellent stay here in December 2010, we decided to visit Bergendal again this summer holiday for 2 nights. To our disappointment, however, we found that services have gone down and we are sad to mention that we experienced less value for our money. And staying in Bergendal is not cheap...
Some examples:
- the boat cruise on the Suriname river is now in the hands of the activity centre, and the duration of the trip is hardly 60 minutes (of which 15 are spend to pass by and promote the activity centre...), while the cruise we made in 2010, executed by a local guide (Bonanza) from one of the villages lasted 2 hours and brought us all the way to Babunhol.
- the computer in the business centre was out of order and taken for repairs to Paramaribo. None of the staff members could give me any clue how long this repair would take, let alone offering an alternative (there was none, as this was th eonly computer...). Yes, there is wireless access in the lobby and restaurant, but receipt is poor. And I left my notebook at home as I expected the desktop in the resort to be operational...
- we booked a canoe trip on the morning of our last day, and we were told that this should be no problem as the bus back to Paramaribo would leave at only 1 pm. However, check out of the rooms is at 11.00 am, and our request to hold the room for showering and changing was turned down. Fine, we thought, as these are the house rules, so we asked for a changing facility. "We don' t have these, you can shower once you get back to Paramaribo", was the reply...
- on our repeated request to use the room and check out at 12.00, the lady at the front desk was willing to verify with her manager. From her reply to the manager ("no, they are not foreigners but Hindostani"), we could make out that he was inquiring on our ethnic background. In any part of the world, even in Suriname (!), this would be called racism or discrimination on racial grounds. Taking into account the fact that part of our family are foreign (Dutch nationals, mixed ethnic backgrounds: hindostani and European) the answer from the front office lady was not only incorrect, but also highly inappropriate and the alleged question by the supervisor on our race out of proportion! I am intending to lodge a formal complaint to the board of directors of Bergendal Resort and C. Kersten & Co. (the holding company). Obviously, we cancelled our canoe trip.
- minor detail: in 2010, we received a packed lunch for our return journey to Paramaribo, now you will get a bottle of mineral water. Mind: check out is at 11.00 am, bus trip back to town starts 1.00 pm (in our case at 1.30 pm as a party of guests who were on the return trip was stuck on the river as the boat had motor problems....) - so you will have to wait and hang around in the lobby area, expect to be back in town around 2.30 - 3.00 pm.

Eco:
Bergendal pretends to be an eco-resort, but (apart from the separated waste collection, or an attempt to do so), there are not so many ecological aspects on this tourism undertaking. We understand and appreciate the presence of airconditioners in the room, but they run 24 hour a day, even if the room is not occupied.
In the morning of our departure, we saw a maintenance guy cleaning the bar area with a motorised high pressure water hose, and at the office buildings adjacent to the restaurant, a gardener was clearing and cutting the grass with a diesel-powered motorised handheld mower, producing an unbearable amount of noise and diesel fumes, forcing us to move from our chairs at the restaurant to go and stand at the lobby, waiting 2 hours for our bus, as the limited seating arrangements in the lobby were occupied by departing guests.
On our day of arrival, on the way to our rooms, we heard some shouting and screaming from the janitors. We found out that they encountered a harmless green tree snake and they were scared of the reptile. Understandable, maybe (although I expect staff - originating from the area and working in an eco-resort- to have some knowledge of flora and fauna of the grounds), but was there any need to beat the snake with a piece of wood, leaving the animal crippled??

Summary:
nice resort on a good location with fine rooms. Support staff is friendly and helpful, management is not.
Food is good, although choice somewhat limited. Not very eco in my opinion, and disappointing to see management of the resort deteriorating, resulting in less value for money. Discriminatory attitude by senior management is very disturbing and wil be followed up through a formal complaint to the directors/owners.

  • Stayed: July 2012, travelled with family
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7  Thank morevish
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 July 2012

This is the one state-of-the-art resort in Surinam, perched on the banks of the river south from Paramaribo. It's a well-managed place, with comfortable lodges (on the river and in the forest), and a fine restaurant with great local food. Staying in one of the forest lodges, high up, listening to the sounds of birds and other creatures at night (and who knows what else?), you'll imagine yourself deep in the jungle.
Which, by the way, you most certainly are not: Bergendal is just a few hours from Paramaribo, on a good road, and not yet in what Surinamese call ,,het binnenland'' (the interior). If you crave a real jungle experience, you'll have to go further south by boat or plane.
Still, around Bergendal, which started out as a Dutch slave plantation, are some great places to visit.Take a boat to the 'activities area' and walk uphill to a long-lost cemetery (watch out for snakes). You can also visit some cottages of former slaves. Across the river is a 'relocation village' of Marrons, displaced when their original villages were drowned after the construction of the Afobaka Dam. Take the tour, it's a grim slice of Surinamese history, but the people are welcoming and friendly. A boat trip further down the river takes you to Joden Savanne, the ruins of a Jewish settlement from the 17th century.
Of course, If you just want to relax, Berg en Dal is the perfect place to get away from the city for a weekend. With a bit of luck, you'll see a snake anyway ;-)
On our last visit there were some rumblings about ownership and management of the place, which seemed to be instigated by more people wanting a slice of the pie. I don't know has that has turned out, but let's hope for the best.

Stayed: August 2011, travelled as a couple
2  Thank Sjoerdd d
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 April 2012

Bergendal resort is quite a change from what was experienced in Paramaribo. It is south of Paramaribo and in the rain forest. See INJules review below for a good description.
I would add that this is a young resort, and it is still coming up to speed for what tourists need and want. For example, there were no postcards or T-shirts in the gift shop. And there were several glitches on tours and activities, which could be easily corrected.

On the tour of the nearby Brokopondo dam, you need real shoes (not sandals or crocs) to go completely into the dam. This was not mentioned until we arrived at the dam and had seen the video about it. So several of us waited for the others to complete the tour.

On the ziplines, the guides communicate to each other by shouting. They could use walkie-talkies and take some of the drama out of the equation. That happened when one guest got stuck on the river crossing segment, and while being rescued (very capably and well), a rainstorm moved in, and it was very hard to hear the shouts from the other side of the river, due to the wind.

When we went out at dark to look for caimans, the first thing our guide asked us was if we had brought flashlights, to help out his very ordinary flashlight in finding them. He needed a stonger flashlight. (But we did find caimans).

As was said by INJules, VISA is not accepted at Bergendal. Only MasterCard is accepted. And the $50 fee per person for activities has to be paid in cash.

But staying in the individual cabins was nice, and when we visited, there was very little rain and no bugs!! Even when hiking in the surrounding forest, there were no bugs. This made for a wonderful experience.

Room Tip: The rooms are all past the swimming pool, so chose how far you want to walk to the dining area and l...
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  • Stayed: February 2012, travelled with friends
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3  Thank Hedo-goer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 April 2012

This is a resort in the mid of the jungle. As an eco resort don't expect music around, everything is peaceful and calm, no TVs in the room. The are on the river side but its not possible to swim there, we even see a caiman over there, they have a well maintain swimming pool and a lot of activities: Canopy, Hiking, Kayak! Some night tours also to see caimans... Almost all the activities start at the Adventure Center, and the transportation from the hotel to there are done by boat, its a plus for sure!

Room Tip: Some rooms require to use an stair with so many steps, if u have any disability request a room close...
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  • Stayed: September 2011, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank mileidysg
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 30 March 2012

We stayed at Bergendal as part of a group tour. Loved every minute of our stay and wish we could have stayed longer. We stayed in both A and C type lodges thanks to a hiccup caused by two Presidents staying at the same time as our group. The staff handled the situation wonderfully (Presidents showed up unannounced) and our only inconvenience was having to switch rooms after our first night. This actually allowed us to see two types of lodges and staff were wonderful in helping us to switch (so it wasn't that awful). Type A lodges have separate living room and bedroom with two queen beds. Type C lodge have queen bed with couch and chair in same room. Both are lovely, comfortable, and clean. Beds have decorative mosquito netting, but it is really unnecessary as the air conditioning in the cabin is strong enough to chase away any bugs. Beds are magnificently comfortable.

Though there is no television or radio in rooms, I was never bored. We participated in many of the activities offered by the activity center including kayaking, hiking, and ziplining. The invisible edge pool in the resort area is wonderful and many people staying at the resort just relaxed in/near the pool for most of their stay. The staff at both the resort and the activity center worked hard to personalize our stay based on our interests and tastes.

Meals are buffet style, and while breakfast and dinner were generally very good, lunch was always my least favorite. Breakfast offers meats, cheeses, and an omelette station along with breads and cereal. Lunch and dinner always had at least a fish and chicken dish along with salad, rice, rolls, and dessert. The food was adequate, but as with a lot of buffets at resorts, it is often a little bland so that those with delicate palates aren't overwhelmed and a little repetative. We did attend a cook out at the activity center which was wonderful and offered several different types of grilled meats and other items.

Some tips on visiting the resort and Suriname: BRING A MASTERCARD!!! Several people on our trip only brought a Visa ATM card and it is very difficult to find an ATM (even in Paramaribo that accepts Visa). Many restaurants/stores/etc. also only accepted Mastercard and not VIsa. ALSO, BRING MORE US DOLLARS OR EUROS than you would usually travel with as well. Several activities and tours would only accept cash and that became a problem toward the end of our trip.

Room Tip: Riverside lodges or lodges set back in the trees (elevated) are the best. I preferred further from r...
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  • Stayed: February 2012, travelled with friends
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1  Thank INJules
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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Additional Information about Bergendal Eco & Cultural River Resort

Address: Domineestraat 36 38, Berg en Dal 597, Suriname
Region: Suriname > Brokopondo District > Berg en Dal
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free Parking Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Spa Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 B&Bs / Inns in Berg en Dal
Price Range: £130 - £189 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Bergendal Eco & Cultural River Resort 3*
Number of rooms: 44
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
On the banks of the Suriname River in the midst of the Amazon Rainforest, Bergendal offers you countless opportunities for revitalizing relaxation, adventurous activities and luxurious indulgence. Bergendal Eco & Cultural River Resort is a unique resort with 45 luxurious lodges along the river and on the hills and attracts tourists that are mainly interested in the natural, cultural and historical treasures of the area.The resort is characterized by quality service, well trained personnel and offers a restaurant, bar lounge, swimming pool, two piers, banquet and conference facilities and a convenient booking office capable of arranging travel plans, tours and activities of any nature. Bergendal Adventure Center is the ideal location for visitors in search of a fun-filled, physically active day. This unique new tourist attraction, the first of its kind in Suriname, provides visitors thrilling adventures such as the exciting Canopy zip line and kayak excursions. Bergendal aims to provide its guest with the best quality eco-cultural experience in an environment where good sustainable tourism practices are given top priority. Bergendal has received the international Travel Life Gold Certificate. This is the highest award for environmental friendly and sustainable tourism. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Bergendal Eco & Cultural River Hotel Paramaribo
Bergendal Eco And Cultural River Resort

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