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“OMG! That was a very funny night”
Review of African Queen

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African Queen
Certificate of Excellence
Royal Tunbridge Wells, United Kingdom
Level 6 Contributor
168 reviews
40 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 119 helpful votes
“OMG! That was a very funny night”
Reviewed 19 November 2013

Well, What can I say. We'd seen this on 'The Hotel Inspector' and thought it would be fun but never booked. When we got a voucher from a friend for a nights stay at 'interesting hotels' we found it and went for it. I'm so glad we did. I read all the reviews and 99% are spot on. Andy is fantastic, funny, charming and so NON PC. Bonny didn't appear at all - she's in the kitchen and lets Andy get on with it. Bobby and Cherry serve food and drinks and are so sweet, helpful and friendly. We arrived just after 5 as we were told not to arrive earlier and were welcomed by Andy, Bobby and Cherry. There was another couple there who we got chatting to immediately. We were shown to our room, which was small but lovely and told about the toilet ritual etc. No point sitting in there as there's no telly so took a couple of mags up to the bar area to sit and have a drink and a read. Shouldn't have bothered with the mags as from that point on people arrived, did the same as us and we sat there chatting. Everyone seemed to be up for a laugh and there was a good mix from 25 years old to mid 50's (that's nearly where we are). We'd taken some posh clothes to change into for dinner, which is served at 7:30, but, like everyone else just didn't bother changing as no one seemed bothered and the evening was flowing very nicely. Dinner was great, good choice which we emailed to them a week before, I had a fantastic dish of mussels in cream garlic sauce which was completely demolished and mopped up with bread. My wife had a lovely prawn cocktail. Mains, she had Duck which she enjoyed, I had 6 huge grilled prawns on rice with salad which where, again, lovely. Desserts were good too, I had a south african pudding which was like sticky toffee pudding and can't remember what the good lady had but she liked it. The beer and prossecco where flowing nicely and where not badly priced at all... £2.80 for a pint of fosters and £20 for a bottle of prossecco... From then on the evening just flowed from one funny moment to another. Andy joined us for the evening which made it even better. There was music laughter and fun untill we all nearly fell over at about 12:30. having started at 5:30 that was that ! The bed was so comfy and the room nicely warm. A good shower and a slightly dodgy toilet but hey ho, this is a boat after all. Breakfast is at 9:00 and be there or miss it. It was of a good size and quality but the coffee was the only slight let down as it was instant. (I'm a coffee snob) We chatted with everyone for a while and then left about 10:30 having paid our bill which, considering how much was ate and drunk, wasn't too bad. We will definately be back, maybe for a weekend cruise and a 2 nighter. I think anything more than that will do me in! Don't go there if you can't socialise and want a quiet romantic evening as this place ain't for you. Go with an open mind and enjoy and have a laugh. You'll be very glad you did. Cheers Guys.

Room Tip: There is one bigger room (No 6) but otherwise - you get what you're given
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  • Stayed November 2013, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
6 Thank Kipims
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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96 reviews from our community

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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (29)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Cambridge, United Kingdom
Level 5 Contributor
53 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
Reviewed 18 November 2013

We visited the African Queen, as we had a "Unique Stay" voucher as a present. We arrived not knowing what to expect. We were greeted by Andy, who owns the boat, saying that we were quite young and that they were use to Saga members. This slightly worried us.But as soon as boarded ship, the rest of the group were very friendly. We dropped our bags off downstairs, the cabin was actually quite spacious, we were in a twin room, the beds were so comfortable!!

We went back upstairs and met the rest of the group and grabbed a glass of wine. Dinner was served and was lovely, we went for the south african dish platter which i would thoroughly recommend.

I do think that the African Queen is a very sociable stay, as you dine in quite close quarters and the lounge is small but comfy. But we were such a mixture of people, everyone was great.

Andy told stories of getting the boat over and his regulars, and showed us the Hotel Inspector episode that the African Queen was on.

Breakfast was a choice of cereals, some fruit and then a fry up which consisted of a rasher of bacon, a fried egg, potatoes and half of tomato, but was pleasant. But there wasn't a choice.

It is located in the middle of nowhere, down a lot of small windy roads but that adds to the excitement.

I would recommend the African Queen, as we can look back on our stay and smile. We met a great group of people, and it was very interesting. We will be back.

  • Stayed November 2013, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
3 Thank Hollie P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
baughurst
Level 2 Contributor
7 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed 7 October 2013

This was sprung on me as a surprise break by my wife. We turned up a bit early, please don't, it messes up their preparation. Luckily another couple arrived who kindly gave us a lift to the pub as our transport had left. Despite this apparent bad start the weekend was a blast. If you are of a nervous disposition it may not be your cup of tea as Andy, the owner, was stoically opinionated. Should you have a more robust character this trip can be the most refreshing, funny, relaxing break imaginable. If I could ensure the other residents were of a similar disposition to the ones we travelled with I would go back tomorrow. Food on board was of South African origin and absolutely amazing, everything cooked fresh by Bonnie, Andy's better half. In addition there are the most wonderful couple, Bobby and Cherry, working on board who are completely immune to Andy's character and brilliantly helpful.

  • Stayed October 2013, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
3 Thank kev h
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Brighton, United Kingdom
Level 5 Contributor
26 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
Reviewed 29 September 2013

From start to finish our experience on The African Queen was absolutely perfect in every way. Our cabin was cosy and welcoming, large comfortable double bed with luxurious Egyptian cotton sheets you could literally sink into. The ensuite bathroom with a power shower (constant running hot water) soft towels and marine toilet was a lovely touch. Plenty of storage space, really warm and relaxing.

The food on the first night was a Cape Malay banquet perfectly cooked and extremely tasty. The food on the second night was a three course meal from a set menu which included salmon piri-piri, duck and beef. Vegetarian option available too. Delicious.

The cruise up the Thames to Goring was utterly stunning taking in the beautiful scenery and we had fun playing "who lives in a house like this?" It was great fun experiencing life on the water ways and cruising through the locks.

Most importantly we were made to feel very welcome and our hosts were attentive, generous and really good company.

We would like to say a personal thank you to Bobby and Cherrie who couldn't do enough for us. And finally we would like to say a HUGE thank you to Captain Andy and his wonderful wife Bonny for making us feel like part of the family and creating a weekend for us that we will simply never forget.

We would also like to mention that we feel very lucky to have shared our experience with eight fantastic people who were also guests on The African Queen.

Recommended to everyone who is looking for a relaxing and different weekend away. Good value and brilliant fun.

Room Tip: All Rooms Are Great
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  • Stayed September 2013, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
4 Thank HonestBod33
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Cambridge, United Kingdom
Level 5 Contributor
77 reviews
25 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
Reviewed 13 September 2013

ON booking this i didnt know what i was in for but turned out a lot better than i thought .Please note that the age range is quite high as it is on saga lists.On arrival we were sort of welcomed as organisation was bit off and was actually rang on the front of ship to find out when i was arriving. The staff are very friendly except Bonny who seems not to want to meet the guests very much and stays in the kitchen .Menu seemed to be fixed , and if you are vegetarian specify before you book otherwise no choice .All the tables are put together in long line so dont expect a romantic evening alone .Andy is larger than life and doesnt seem to like anything that throws his routine, if anybody easily offended watch out as PC he was not .,Bobby and Cherry who do most of the work are a delight .Breakfast was same both mornings but cooked side strangely had no sausages .Cabin was very small but functional dont bring much luggage .Cruises up and down river were very nice and relaxing with very welcome tea and coffee .Saturday evening was very strange as it turned into a older person disco with Andy upping the level of music at every turn.
All in all a enjoyable weekend but take note of comments above and it wont suprise you , probably wont do it again

Room Tip: Apparently the honeymoon room is very nice although why you would choose this for your wedding night...
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  • Stayed August 2013, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank pmar2uk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 19 August 2013

Thank you Andy, Bonny, Bobby and Cherry for a great few days on the African Queen. A really enjoyable, interesting and different few days relaxation. The "crew" worked extremely hard and nothing was too much trouble for Cherry, she did everything with a smile, even late at night!
The food was fantastic with Bobby cooking a lovely English breakfast and a great barbeque.
Bonny's cooking was superb, everything had a truly lovely flavour. Andy worked hard at the helm, but relaxing on our mooring evenings with tales to tell us all. We came away with a mememto DVD of our cruise to remind us of our pleasant stay. Our Australian friend also enjoyed the cruise immensely.
Dianne, Kanaks and Ian

  • Stayed August 2013, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank Dianne C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Cornwall
Level 4 Contributor
39 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 44 helpful votes
Reviewed 13 July 2013 via mobile

From the moment we arrived Andy was hospitable and full of stories, and Bobby an excellent no 2 who basically did everything from take us to rooms bar and waiting on.

Boat ouses charm very comfortable and well equipped considering it's maturity.

Highlight was the cruise towards Oxford and evening meal which was Cape Malay cuisine and meat to die for. Beef lamb and chicken in interesting sauces conjured up by Bonnie in the tiny galley

Best nights sleep I've had in ages and decent breakfast followed by relaxing meeting in lounge area

Nothing was too much trouble for Bobby and after a fine lunch we had to leave

Considerably better value than a 2 day meeting in a boring hotel chain, and certainly far better food.

Can't recommend it enough - yes we had great weather but am sure it would be just as enjoyable without the 30 degree heat!

  • Stayed July 2013
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank cornwallgas
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about African Queen

Property: African Queen
Address: Mapledurham Estate, Mapledurham RG4 7TR, England
Region: United Kingdom > England > Oxfordshire > Mapledurham
Amenities:
Free Parking
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Speciality Lodging in Mapledurham
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Hotel Class:3 star — African Queen 3*
Number of rooms: 8
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
After a rich and colourful past which includes Holland and Ireland, The African Queen has battled the Irish Sea to come to rest upon the Thames just outside Reading in an area of outstanding natural beauty and historical interest. With comfortable ensuite cabins and bar and restaurant, this is a unique opportunity to stay near Reading in special surroundings whether your visiting for business or pleasure! ... more   less 
Also Known As:
African Queen Hotel Mapledurham

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