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“Great lodge, but local tourism is wanting” 3 of 5 bubbles
Review of Shiluvari Lakeside Lodge

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Shiluvari Lakeside Lodge
Ranked #2 of 3 Hotels in Louis Trichardt
johannesburg
Level Contributor
45 reviews
25 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
“Great lodge, but local tourism is wanting”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 5 May 2008

Stayed at this lodge recently and loved the understated sophistication and impeccable service. The tranquility is amazing and the environment feels very safe.
The food was good home cooking, but deliciously so.
The only problem is that the local tourism industry in the area doesn't appear to be jacked up at all, and we struggled to find anything to see or do.
You can visit local craftspeople at their homes, but this entails driving over some very rough offroad terrain so a 4x4 is pretty much mandatory.
If you want to get away from the city bustle, and you have time to travel, this lodge comes recommended.

  • Liked — Isolation and tranquility
  • Disliked — Noisy neighbours - other chalets too close to ours. Food not amazing.
  • Stayed May 2008, travelled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Check-in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
Thank mpumalindy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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53 reviews from our community

Traveller rating
    11
    29
    8
    3
    2
See reviews for
13
21
3
5
Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (7)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
Marsden
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 20 February 2008

Okay, so this is not your average 5 star Lodge in South Africa.....forget landscaped gardens and white gloves, instead be prepared for one of the most authentic places we stayed at. We stopped here en-route from Botswana and on the way to the Kruger National Park, and were not disappointed!! The rooms were charming - all decorated with local arts and crafts, but still with some 'luxury' - think feather duvets, overhead fans, good tea & coffee facilities, hairdryers etc.....Nothing over the time, but certainly suited us...We went out with one of the local guides - Daniel, who took us along the arts route - what wonderful hospitality, we were truly humbled!! The food was fantastic , the staff very friendly, and we would certainly be back!! Loved the swimming pool overlooking the Dam......oh, and great birding too for those interested....thanks guys!!

  • Liked — down to earth hospitality
  • Stayed November 2007, travelled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Check-in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
1 Thank flyingdutchman_8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Toronto, ON, Canada
Level Contributor
55 reviews
32 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 59 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 27 October 2007

I have to say I was extremely disappointed in this place.
The things I went there for seemed to be not there, eg the sunset cruise(water is down 40% due to drought), the hippos (locals said they hadn't seen or heard hippos for years), and the myths and legends tour, which I booked, but got taken on the crafts tour, and though I complained, no recompense or new tour booked. The other things are advertised on the lodge site, but are not available and may have not been for quite some time.
All accommodation has thatched roofs, which, I discovered on this trip, is basically just a home for every crawling and slithering thing alive. I had more kinds of insect life inside my room than I saw outside. Four kinds of spiders, some white flying things, things that looked like big ticks, beetles, millipedes and some flying things that sounded like mozzies but didn't look like them. Sheesh!
AS for the food, it was great in concept, but failed in execution due to the SA love for overcooking and salt. And while the salt level in other places was generally too high for any other taste to be left, the salt content here actually brought tears to my eyes.

On the positive side, the staff were pleasant, the birds and flowers around the grounds were gorgeous, and the peace and quiet were soothing. The views were lovely. The owners kindly made an appointment for me with their family doctor as I arrived ill with a respiratory infection. So, not all bad, but not sure I'd recommend it to anyone who was not at home with sharing their space with crawlies, having their bookings mangled and extremely high salt content in the food.

  • Liked — Birds and flowers
  • Disliked — The accommodations
  • Stayed October 2007, travelled solo
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Check-in / front desk
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
1 Thank cybercrone
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Girardin, Owner at Shiluvari Lakeside Lodge, responded to this review, 8 June 2009
Dear Cybercrone,
Thank you for you valued feedback....All comments are always welcome and we endeavour to use these to improve our product.....In response to your comments, all we can say is that we are really sorry you were so disappointed...Had you voiced your concerns (to me - as I did meet you...??) we would of done our utmost to rectify the situation whilst you were still at the Lodge....especially with rgds the food - as we pride ourselves on the exceptionally high quality of our food, we were quite surprised to hear that you did not enjoy this at all, especially with rgds the high salt content!! Shiluvari is best suited for the more culturally minded person, who is mobile and is either part of a guided tour or has their own vehicle...I think in this case your expectations as to what exactly we were were a bit misguided...either from our side or yours, either way, we are sorry to hear that you did not enjoy your stay with us, maybe one day you'll give us another try and we'll make it up to you!
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Johannesburg
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 9 March 2006

If you're looking for 5 star, luxury Big5 lodges - then Shiluvari is probably not the place for you. It's a small, intimate, family-run lodge situated on the banks of the Albasini Dam. Although it's fairly close to the Kruger Park, their focus isn't really on the typical African safari thing. Shiluvari is geared more towards peaceful relaxation, bird watching, walking trails and a fantastic local arts and crafts route which takes you into the homes and work places of rural artists, potters, sculptors, etc. We stayed in a cute little thatched cottage with great views (especially from the bathtub!). Lots of spiders, bugs and monkeys - which comes with bush territory, obviously. Great attention to detail...and FANTASTIC food - especially the 3 course supper. Hosts are friendly and helpful and arranged a sundowner cruise on the river where we saw crocodile and a fascinating variety of bird species. Probably not the best place for small children as there's not that much for them to do. There are no TV's or phones in rooms which forced us to relax and just enjoy the sounds of nature and of the owls and bushbabies while we lay in bed at night.

Helpful?
2 Thank Hatpat
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Shiluvari Lakeside Lodge

Property: Shiluvari Lakeside Lodge
Address: Louis Trichardt, South Africa
Region: South Africa > Limpopo Province > Louis Trichardt
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 3 Hotels in Louis Trichardt
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Hotel Class:3 star — Shiluvari Lakeside Lodge 3*
Number of rooms: 12
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Shiluvari Lodge is set on the Banks of the Albasini Dam and overlooks the picturesque Soutpansberg Mountains...the cool, thatched chalets form the perfect base from which to explore 'this land of legend'. On site facilities include the award winning wood-owl country restaurant, the Hog & hound pub and fireplace, wrap-around al-fresco terrace, lakeside swimming pool and motorized raft for sunset cruises. One of the first properties worldwide to be accreddited with the FTTSA trademark (Fair trade and tourism south africa) ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Shiluvari Lakeside Hotel

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