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“Lesley W” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of African Queen

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African Queen
Denham, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
15 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
“Lesley W”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 20 April 2014

We have just returned from a lovely two day trip on the African Queen - we were not to sure what to expect - but very pleasantly surprised. We had seen this hotel on the Hotel Inspector and I thought then what a different experience it could be - then it came up on Groupon and was too good an opportunity to miss.

Andy - the Captain - is a very entertaining character who has many stories to tell and has obviously had many experiences in life to share. Bobby and Cherry looked after us really well and always smiling and happy and nothing was too much trouble. Bonny does the cooking - which was very tasty indeed - although we didn't see much of her on the trip.

We were with a lovely group of people and really enjoyed their company and getting to know them all. We took a trip down to Goring which was very relaxing with so much wildlife to look at along the way along with beautiful scenery. Breakfast was very nice - cereals and cooked breakfast - egg, bacon, potatoes and tomato - would have been nice to have had sausage and mushrooms and perhaps a bit more choice for vegetarians.

The evening meals were very tasty and hot - I would recommend the Mixed Platter of bobotie, sosaties and tangy chicken served with chutney - absolutely delicious! Drink prices were very reasonable - although the food was a little pricey.

The cabins are small but comfortable - as someone else said in their review - don't take too much luggage - everything is really relaxed and you don't have to dress up for dinner and there really isn't much space in your cabin for mountains of clothes.

I would highly recommend the African Queen Boat Hotel - I really enjoyed the experience and would say that everyone should give it a go.

Room Tip: Our room was number 8 and was very comfortable.
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  • Stayed April 2014, travelled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
4 Thank LesleyAnn5517
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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94 reviews from our community

Traveller rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (28)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
tonbridge
Level Contributor
34 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 55 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 11 March 2014

Spent last weekend on The African Queen and had a great time.!
If you are easily offended and can't take the banter from Andy, don't go !
Personally I think he is a legend, one of the funniest and most amusing people I have ever met.
We were also lucky to have had glorious weather and a good crowd on board who enjoyed a drink (or ten) and a good laugh ! The boat is moored up at a truely beautiful spot which is so peaceful and very pretty.
Just in case you are reading this Steve... I will say just one thing... Reg Varney !!!

Room Tip: You get what you are given. They are all small(its a boat) but cosy.
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  • Stayed March 2014, travelled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
4 Thank paul h
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hastings, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 March 2014

Just returned from a lovely weekend on board The African Queen, Kipims review is absolutely spot on. We were a diverse crowd brought together by our host Andy, like he said if you want politically correct this wont be for you but if you go with the flow you will have a great time.
Bobby & Cherry are so good looking after the guests whilst Andy holds court and there is a warmth between them all that is clear to see, if Bonny could be coaxed out then the unit would be complete!
Thoroughly recommend it to anyone, enjoy one and all.

  • Stayed February 2014, travelled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Gimpeygit
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Royal Tunbridge Wells, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
170 reviews
41 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 120 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles 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
    • 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?
6 Thank Kipims
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Cambridge, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
54 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles 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
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 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?
3 Thank Hollie P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
baughurst
Level Contributor
7 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles 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
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank kev h
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Brighton, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
26 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles 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
    • 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?
4 Thank HonestBod33
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 
Reservation Options:
TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Ebookers so you can book your African Queen reservations with confidence. We help millions of travellers each month to find the perfect hotel for both holiday and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
Also Known As:
African Queen Hotel Mapledurham

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