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“I stayed at Vaalnest Boutique Hotel”

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Vaalnest Boutique Hotel
Ranked #1 of 16 Vereeniging B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
Johannesburg, Gauteng, South Africa
1 review
“I stayed at Vaalnest Boutique Hotel”
Reviewed 24 May 2012

I was shocked to see the review on Vaalnest Boutique Hotel. I stayed there personally and was always treated with the utmost courtesy. The service and food was fantastic, the owners giving it a home-away-from-home feel. Everything was neat and clean and the bedding is far superior to some of the mainline international hotels I have stayed in around the world.

Security was a main priority and everything was securely locked, but the owner's dwellings is just next to reception in case of an emergency.

Vaalnest Hotel is in a remote little village on the banks of the Vaaldam. It is an idyllic setting and when sitting in the room, the restaurant or the lounge the view over the dam is breathtaking and healing.

The owners have many years experience in hospitality and whenever city life is too much, it is easy to take the 1.5 hours from Johannesburg to go and rest, being served with a smile.

I would strongly recommend Vaalnest Boutique Hotel for a weekend breakaway, a company function or a special occasion function. They really are great.

  • Stayed April 2012, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank FrancesRay
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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104 reviews from our community

Traveller rating
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8
Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
  • Location
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (4)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Italian first
  • Any
English first
Great Missenden, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
213 reviews
59 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 137 helpful votes
Reviewed 17 April 2012

We were infuenced (misled) by their website. It claimed that Vaalnest was a "boutique hotel" and also promised an "A la Carte" fine dining experience. We thought it would be an ideal place to spend the last night of our 16 day trip in South Africa, leaving us with an easy drive to JNB the following day. I really think they should consider the definition of the term "Boutique Hotel" before continuing to use it on their website. They refer to the rooms as suites, they were not. The bathroom was not en-suite it was actually a shower in the corner of the bedroom, with a WC in a cupboard in the other corner.

We arrived Sunday around 2.00 to be told that the restaurant closed at 3.00. I referred the owner to the fine dining restaurant part of their website and her answer was that since the hotel was empty apart from us the chef would finish at 3.00pm. The nearest alternative restaurant was 30Km away. It was then agreed that the chef would stay until six and we were asked to pre-order our dinner. When we ate dinner at 6.00 it was clear that the food had been prepared earlier and re heated, the chef had gone some time earlier. Since the hotel was empty I couldn't figure why they had put us in a room on the top floor as far away as possible from the reception. Maybe they enjoyed watching us carry our luggage up two flights of stairs since there is no lift.

In the afternoon we decided to relax by the pool for a couple of hours which was another experience. No pool furniture until we asked someone of they could find us some which they did. The pool was unuseable because it was so dirty, perhaps due to the fact that the pump and filtration system wasn't switched on and by the look if things, hadn't been on for days.

The hotel was run more like a hostel with lots of rules such as guests are not allowed to bring their own alcohol and if anyone is found with alcohol in their room they will be charged 70 ZAR per bottle corkage. The rational was based on the fact that the hotel has a bar which incidentaly was closed by 6.00 pm on the day we stayed.

The worst part of our trip came in the evening. At 9.00pm I wanted to get something from our car and it was at this point that I found out we were locked in. Yes the hotel was in darkness and every door to the outside was locked. There were no panic bar fire exits anywhere in the hotel. I searched and found one set of locked doors which didn't have any shutters and postioned a chair nearby in case I needed to smash the window in the middle of the night if there was an emergency.

Needless to say my wife and I hardly slept that night. I questioned the owner in the morning about their total lack of fire precautions especially since this was a thatched building. His response was that had I read the hotel information I would have seen that there is a number one should dial if exit from the building is required. Aparently this number directs you to the owners private accomodation on the ground floor. He really felt that his answer was perfectly adequate. Can you imagine waking up in the middle of the night in a smoke filled room trying to remember the number you need to dial to escape from a blazing hotel?

I would not recommend anyone to use this hotel for many reasons but most importantly, on the grounds of safety. Does South Africa really have no fire regulations with which hotels must comply?

Room Tip: The best rooms are the ones in a different hotel
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  • Stayed March 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank Miles7000
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Vaalnest Boutique Hotel

Property: Vaalnest Boutique Hotel
Address: 587 Kob Street | Vaal Marina, Vereeniging 1945, South Africa
Region: South Africa > Gauteng > Vereeniging
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 16 B&Bs / Inns in Vereeniging
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Hotel Class:4 star — Vaalnest Boutique Hotel 4*
Number of rooms: 12
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Vaalnest Boutique Hotel at the Vaal Dam is a small and intimate hotel in the quaint town of Vaal Marina in the Vereeniging/Midvaal area, it redefines luxurious accommodation with a 4 star rating. We are a number one stop location on route to Durban, Drakensberg and even Lesotho. Our boutique hotel is a popular couples escape, team building and conference venue. Showcasing some of the most spectacular scenic sites perfect for bird watching, fishing and yachting enthusiasts. Come and experience the perfect outdoor base camp with tailored made accommodation packages to suite your needs. Bookings can be made for various activities such as Paint Ball games, River Rafting, Quad Biking, Inflatable Sports, Archery, Boat Cruises and visits to the birding routes. We have our own in-house events organiser who can coordinate everything from accommodation package to the perfect milestone birthday celebration, conference or team building session. Just about an hour's drive from Johannesburg, it is a perfect weekend getaway in one of the scenic sites of Gauteng. "An alluring nature experience with a touch of tranquillity" The perfect Spa boutique hotel... Rejuvenate your body, and get treated to a relaxing body massage facility that features first class service. Vaalnest together with Kalahari brings you a well sort after Spa therapy that incorporates the finest aromatic body oils to help the body relax and let the juices flow. Our Vaalnest Spa incorporates a lavish tranquil experience with nature and feature luxury service with the right advice, from our outdoor gazebo stations that offer various treatments, to our private indoor room service spa therapy sessions when requested. Vaalnest Spa can be ideal for that relaxing getaway you have been waiting for. Because we care for our client's well-being, we have made some products available for purchase once your treatment is done ... more   less 
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