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“Fantastic”

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Chitwan Jungle Lodge
Nottingham
Level Contributor
64 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
“Fantastic”
Reviewed 26 April 2012

This place was an oasis of calm after Kathmandu. It is really well organised, enough time for activities and relaxing. Rooms are simple but well done and the elephant bathing is a real highlight. Tips are to take a torch as there is no electricity at certain times and if you like bird watching your own binoculars. If you are wondering whether to spend the extra money to be in the park it is worth it. Allow 5-6 hours to get there by road from Kathmandu.

  • Stayed April 2012, travelled with family
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Helpful?
2 Thank Teal7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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61 reviews from our community

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English first
Cambridge, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
33 reviews
26 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 41 helpful votes
Reviewed 26 April 2012

We stayed at Chitwan Jungle Lodge for two nights as part of a two week tour of Nepal. The problem for me was that the accommodation was not correctly described by the tour company that we booked through, hence the "What a Shock" title to my review.

Having stayed at "Lodges" whilst on safari in Kenya, I was expecting something similar and this was the complete opposite. I am a lady who enjoys her comforts and amenities which were certainly lacking at the Chitwan Jungle Lodge. I should have questioned the tour operator more thoroughly after I read some of the negative reviews but was assured that I should take the negative reviews with a pinch of salt. Needless to say I will be informing the tour operator of my findings.

My first shock was being told that there was only electricity between 6 and 8 in the morning, a couple of hours in the afternoon (which is useless as you are kept busy during the day so can't take advantage at this time) and between 6 and 8 in the evening. I understand being environmentally friendly but sometimes this is taken to extremes and, in this situation, certainly doesn't do anything for the ecology "cause" in my book.

The rooms were awful - the bathroom was a disgrace. The walls are paper thin so you can hear everything from the next room. The bed was one of the hardest I have ever had the misfortune to sleep on (or try to sleep on - I was constantly awake with back ache, in fact every conceivable ache in my body). The mosquitos are swarming in the room (even though I was told that they spray the rooms to get rid of them, which I don't believe). I was eaten alive, even though I had doused myself in insect repellent and had insect repellent wrist bands.

This is not the type of place to stay unless you are prepared to rough it.

Having said these negative things about the accommodation, I would say that the staff were helpful and friendly and the organisation of the activities was excellent. I thoroughly enjoyed the elephant safaris although we only had one animal sighting - a mother rhinocerus with her baby but that's the luck of the draw as they say.

Having been told by the tour company representative in Kathmandu not to go on a walking safari due to the danger of being attacked by the animals, I was a little concerned about the "Nature Walk" which I thought was going to be a leisurely amble around the surrounding area of the lodge. By experience, I found out (too late) that "Nature Walk" meant "Walking Safari" for over two hours. Some of the terrain was quite treachurous - probably fine if you are young and fit but not when you are mid-fifties and not so fit!!

All in all, I will remember this stay as an "experience" in my world travels but I wouldn't want to go back.

  • Stayed March 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Location
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Helpful?
1 Thank Bronwen123
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
buffalo
Level Contributor
33 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed 24 April 2012

We picked this lodge out based on other recommendations. We didn't know what to expect but went away very happy. The director of the lodge spoke perfect english and was very courteous. Activities were well planned and kept things moving along to keep us busy. We saw many different animals and enjoyed the scenery. The rooms were simple and clean. The bathrooms were clean and had been obviously washed thoroughly before we arrived. Showers were hot. Electricity was available (with a charging station for electronics) several hours per day. The food was simple but hearty. The water was clean (boiled). The bar had cold drinks at very good prices.

The trip to the lodge was great, and you get to see quite a bit of the country side and the local people going about their lives.

  • Stayed April 2012, travelled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
5 Thank jeff m
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Copenhagen
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 15 April 2012

We stayed there 2 nights and enjoyed the relaxed atmosphere set by the skilled and top service minded staff. Went for elephant safari, elefant bathing, birdwatching, jeep safari etc. The rinos and crocodiles lives right outside your window. The nature is fantastic and the staff does everything to make you feel so well. The rooms are a little old .... but you only sleep there.

  • Stayed April 2012, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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Helpful?
2 Thank Lars C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Kathmandu, Nepal
Level Contributor
16 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
Reviewed 14 April 2012


On arrival there was no introduction no welcome, no orientation. The "manager" didn't greet us or even ask our names. Instead he informed us that there was no electricity (not correct there is limited power at specified times) and that activities started promptly (bootcamp style we discovered later, with a bell ringing) . He then demanded  payment  in full immediately for the planned 3 night stay (approx  $1100). He stated an unreasonable exchange rate for payment in Nepali rupees though we offered to check rates on xe.com 

Next we were told to have lunch immediately (it was now 3:50pm) or drop our bags in the room and be ready to leave in 10 minutes for the elephant safari. We opted for the latter, dashed to the rooms, went to the loo, put on appropriate clothes. we had to ask for a welcome drink back at the reception area and gulp it down in seconds. We were very nearly left behind. The seating on the elephant is dangerous as there is no rear safety bar which is standard with all other elephant rides we have taken in chitwan. During the elephant safari the mahout got off and left us for several minutes without explaining anything. 

In the morning we were woken at 5:45 for the bird watching even though we had not been asked to confirm if we wanted to do it or not. the breakfast was unappetising - badly fried eggs swimming in oil in a catering tray and lukewarm tea/coffee. We missed the nature trail - the guide left without us and no one came to the breakfast area to alert us that they were leaving. My daughter was bitterly disappointed by that.

The manager was rude, dismissive and threatening at times. Common courtesy was lacking and his manner offhand at best. The atmosphere at the lodge was tense and subdued and we felt uneasy and unwelcome. Others in our group will say more about our experience on their reports. 

We decided to cut short the stay and offered to pay one night pro rata even though we had been at the site less than 24 hours and missed lunch and two activities out of 3. The manager refused point blank and threatened not to arrange transport off the site and out of the park until we paid in full.   We were increasingly worried by the managers aggressive attitude and behaviour eg saying we couldnt charge our phones to check the exchange rate, we couldn't speak with his manger to discuss the situation, pretending to use both the landline and his mobile to call his boss and then pretending to be cut off.  

We didn't argue the unreasonable exchange rate and tried to pay cash but he would not accept the money. At this point things were very stressful and we decided our only option was to walk off the site 7km through the park to the road. After some minutes he caught us up and said he would accept the money and get a jeep - we gave him the money but he started arguing again about full payment for 3 nights and did not call for transport. We were getting very worried by his devious actions and no longer trusted him. We took the cash back out of his hand and said we would give it him only when he brought transport. Finally he called a jeep and we got in. As we set off I had to ask him for his name!  We were dropped off at the road and i asked the driver if he would take us to Sauraha - he said yes for 3000 rupees. We declined and got a public bus for 100 rupees for the 4 of us. 

We went to Sauraha and the following morning were shocked to find Santosh had tracked us down, called our new hotel manager 7 times, driven more than 30km to approach us at the breakfast table demanding we settle a small bar bill and threatening not to leave until we had. we asked for a full itemised receipt for the $360 we had paid and an invoice for the outstanding amount he was demanding but Santosh refused. CJL need to replace him immediately and get a professional in. 

Other reviews explain the dilapidated state of the site and room furnishings etc. CJL is not an Eco lodge it's a run down place with waste water leaking from rusty pipes and neglect masquerading as simplicity and oneness with nature . The place has a lot of potential though and perhaps under different management it could get better. Reviews from 2009 suggest it was better then. 

We are not fussy people, we have trekked and travelled and stayed in very basic accommodation in Nepal where we have always had a warm and friendly welcome.

All in all a dreadful experience for all of us but particularly for my young daughter and extremely poor value for money

  • Stayed April 2012
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
7 Thank trinitylouise
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed 12 April 2012

We bought a three day / two night package from Pokhara to Chitwan Jungle Lodge. The lodge itself is somewhat rustic and fits in the surrounding nature. Guides were very helpful and did their best to try to show us as much animals as possible (although we didn't end up seeing very much).
Food was ok. Nothing special but at least different each day.
However! We were greatly disappointed with the transportation back which was organized through the lodge. Santos - we had bought (and paid!!) tickets for a tourist bus! Not a local worn out bus. Oh don't get me wrong, we didn't expect any luxury but I expected a seat that could fit a person taller than 1m! The 'seat' in front of me had a nail of an inch that pointed straight out!! Seriously! It was an entire inch long! It ripped my pants apart and it was pure luck that I didn't end up with it stuck in my leg! The conductor just said 'sorry' and walked off. It wasn't that there wasn't any other seats either but these were sold off to various people we picked up along the way.
The journey back to Kathmandu was a nightmare. I know you're going to say that you can't help what bus we get but you could! You booked us on the bus and the bus trip was organized through your lodge. Work with companies you can trust otherwise you're lodge will go down with them. I'll upload the pics of the bus with company name so other people know which one it was.
Very disappointed!

  • Stayed April 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
3 Thank DaveSG76
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Level Contributor
12 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed 8 April 2012

A jjeep picked my friend and me up from the small town outside of Chitwan National Park, and drove us through rice paddies and streams into the Park and to Chitwan Jungle Lodge. It was March 2012 and we spend 3 amazing, awesome and restful nights. The main lodge, with the dining room and outside lounge area is complement by about 20 small bungalows spread out around the compound, each with 4 rooms (and each with a private bathroom). The meals were excellent and we wanted for nothing. Every evening there was a talk and slide show provided by staff who were clearly well-informed and commited to the park and its inhabitants. Water was solar heated, so showers were best taken at the end of the day. Electricity was available in the over the meal timess - enough to recharge camera batteries! After that, it was early to bed and up early! We helped with the bathing of the elephants every day - it was just too sweet. The elephant safari was something none of us will ever forget. While not as exotic, the jeep safari and nature walks were excellent. We heard and say many types of birds, monkeys, crocs, sloth bears, deer - and, of course, a mama rhino and her baby. For us, it was a privilege to be able to have such an experience and to meet staff who were so professional and friendly. A special thanks to them (namaste) and to Santo, the manager.

  • Stayed March 2012, travelled with friends
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank dennise_11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Chitwan Jungle Lodge

Property: Chitwan Jungle Lodge
Address: Rapti River, Chitwan National Park, Nepal
Region: Nepal > Central Region > Narayani Zone > Chitwan District > Chitwan National Park
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Restaurant
Hotel Style:
Ranked #15 of 23 Speciality Lodging in Chitwan National Park
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Hotel Class:2 star — Chitwan Jungle Lodge 2*
Number of rooms: 32
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Chitwan Jungle Lodge is one of the few select hotels operating inside Chitwan National Park, which is a World Heritage Site rich in unique flora and fauna. Come to CJL for an unforgettable jungle experience. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Chitwan Jungle Hotel Chitwan National Park

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