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“Peaceful, exclusive, value for money - exactly what we were looking for”

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Bushwillow Collection
Certificate of Excellence
Johannesburg
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
“Peaceful, exclusive, value for money - exactly what we were looking for”
Reviewed 9 May 2010

We spent 2 nights at Bushwillow Lodge and we were both very pleasantly surprised by what we found. The booking and confirmation process was online, quick and easy; we received timely and relevant correspondence from Liz and Julian, including accurate directions for our journey from Johannesburg.

When we arrived, there was someone waiting to greet us and help with luggage. We were plesantly surprised to find that there are only 3 or 4 chalets, nicely spread out in the bush, so guests can enjoy privacy and peace and quiet.

The staff were exceptionally friendly, polite and helpful. The meals were delicious and we liked the "honesty bar" concept, where we could help ourselves to drinks and write it down. We never felt "over-crowded" by hovering staff, but there was always someone there if you needed them. Bushwillow Lodge favours privacy and exclusivity over commercialism, which is exactly the right note in a bush environment.

The rooms were clean, comfy and contained everything a traveller would need. The Lodge is close to the Hluhluwe-Umfolozi Game reserve; and our walk through the Kuleni Game Park (in which Bushwillow Lodge is situated) was a highlight. The vegetation was interesting and we enjoyed some great bird sightings.

We would certainly recommend Bushwillow Lodge to other travellers and will endeavour to return there in the future!

  • Stayed May 2010, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Vanschoor
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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309 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
  • Location
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (38)
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English first
Johannesburg
Level 2 Contributor
7 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 May 2010

Arrived late in the evening to find the cot we had requested (and re-confirmed) sitting in it's flat-pack box outisde the entrance of our chalet. Seriously, for a lodge of this supposed quality to not bother to assemble a camp cot on behalf of guests is pretty poor service.

After struggling with the thing for twenty minutes (no instructions provided) I requested staff to assist. The first two people who tried didn't have a clue either and the manager who apparently did was not avaialble. When he eventually made an appearance, it was almost 9 at night. Wonderful start to the holiday after 8 hours in the car with a 9 month old baby.

That aside, the food was really shocking. When you are stuck miles from the nearest restaurant, it does put a dampener on things when the meals are of such poor quality (Frozen fishcakes with "sandwhich spread"!?!?) and there is no alternative.

Chalets are ok, no great shakes, staff are friendly and try hard but are obviosuly not particularly well-trained or comfortable dealing with anything but the most standard requests, management is very scarce and not particularly helpful when they arrive. 3 star at best.

  • Stayed July 2009, travelled with family
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Helpful?
4 Thank ahunter197
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bushwillow, Owner at Bushwillow Collection, responded to this review, 7 May 2010
These guests visited our lodge in August 2009 and only write a review in May 2010 (10 months later). This is the only contribution that these guests have made to TA, and one has to wonder why they would wait so long before making such a review.....

Management and staff remember these guests very well..... and this is because they were extremely rude and abusive throughout their stay.

I fully agree that the cot should have been assembled before the guests arrived. They arrived at 6pm (not late in the evening, as suggested). We remember the incident well for several reasons. We had purchased the cot especially for these guests and our instruction to our house-keeper to put the cot in their room had been taken too literally! Yes, it was in their room but still in its packaging, which was a communication error. Of course, this has been rectified for the future.

The male guest came over to the main lodge with the cot and threw it at our house-keeper and chef. He shouted and swore at the staff and was overly angry. Once the staff realised that they were having difficulties assembling it, the owner was called and he assemled the cot BEFORE dinner time, which is served at 7pm. The house-keeper took it over to the guests room who settled the baby in to the cot and then they came over for dinner. The guests suggest that the manager/owner only came at 9pm - this is incorrect.

Regards the food - it is correct that we had a few weeks whereby the chef prepared either great food/average food/ poor food. She was experiencing some personal problems, which is absolutely no excuse, and I don't attempt to make any. A few days later she was dismissed and we have been preparing consistently good quality, home cooked food ever since.

It is also disappointing that this guest refers to our chalets as 'no great shakes' and our staff as 'not particularly well-trained'. Guests continue to rave about the nicely appointed and furnished rooms and often ask if they can take our staff home with them!

Our staff remember these guests so very well, unfortunately because of how demanding and offensive they behaved, especially the local staff. Whatever they tried to do was wrong. No wonder they tried to keep a low profile, not wanting to get their heads bitten off any more.

We would like to reassure future guests that Bushwillow offers excellent, personalised service, great home-cooked food and good value for money.

Prepared by: Owner
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
usa
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 6 March 2010

great location close to major national game park and also a world heritage site.
existential experience waking up early in the morning to be staring right into the eye of a giraffe three yards away.....good food and hospitality

  • Stayed February 2010, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank rdgc1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Worcester
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 22 February 2010

From the moment we arrived we were treated like royalty, we thoroughly enjoyed our five days. The staff and the owners were a great team looking after our every need, we enjoyed our meal times so much as the communal dinning room meant that you met the other guests and could share your experiences of the day with them.
Let Julian and Liz arrange your day trips you will not be disappointed.

  • Stayed January 2010, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank golfer1worcester
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
France
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 18 February 2010

Bushwillow has been designed to fit perfectly into the environment. To lie in bed and watch the Nyalia at the water hole and the giraffes walking past is a wonderful experience. The lodge offers privicy, tranquility and is a marvellous place to replenish the soul. It is ideally located for many of the local sites such as Cape Vidal, St Lucia, Hluhluwe and Sodwana.

  • Stayed January 2010, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank Turtle47
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Amsterdam
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 30 January 2010

A beautiful location in a spacious appartement, providing all comfort you wish on your holiday. Romantic spot, good food and nice people running the place.

  • Stayed January 2010, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank MichelAmsterdam
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Zaandam
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 9 January 2010

We found Bushwillow a fantastic place to stop for a couple of days. The room was just beautiful, located smack in the middle of a small park with giraffes, zebras and other animals. The service is also super. We had dinnners included and they were great. Very romantic place to visit in our view. Walking around in the park we encountered many giraffes, which was great (compared to driving by in a car...). What we also really liked was the size of the park - it's only you with at most a couple other guests. Only downside, if you want lunch or don't have dinner included you will need to travel as the nearest restaurant is approx. 15kms away.

  • Stayed December 2009, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank GreetingsfromNL
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Bushwillow Collection

Property: Bushwillow Collection
Address: PO Box 693 | Kuleni Game Park, Hluhluwe 3960, South Africa (Formerly Bushwillow Lodge)
Phone Number:
Region: South Africa > KwaZulu-Natal > Zululand > Hluhluwe
Amenities:
Free Parking Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 32 Speciality Lodging in Hluhluwe
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:4 star — Bushwillow Collection 4*
Number of rooms: 9
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Traditional, Quirky or Cosy! Choose between self-catering, dinner bed & breakfast or all inclusive packages. Bushwillow Collection offers 3 totally different accommodation style options to suit your mood and we strive to provide a very personalised service, and we pride ourselves on this. Stay at our LODGE with warm wooden floors, reed ceilings and muted colours for a feeling of serenity and oneness with nature, together with good, honest home cooking. Meet fellow travellers at the central lodge area with pool deck and share adventures. Choose one of our BOUTIQUE self-catering chalets with private pool and quirky design and let the bright and cheerful colour schemes lift your spirit whilst still allowing nature to bring balance. Ask nicely, and we can bring you breakfast... or try an evening meal at our lodge one evening, subject to availability. Retreat to our self-catering COTTAGE with thatched roof set under tall and rare Lebombo Wattles for a cosy and relaxing escape. Relax in the spa bath on the outside deck and listen to the sounds of the African night. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Bushwillow Collection Hluhluwe, South Africa - Zululand

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