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“Beautiful, but very disappointing”
2 of 5 bubbles Review of aha Casa do Sol

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aha Casa do Sol
Ranked #7 of 12 Hotels in Hazyview
Certificate of Excellence
Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Beautiful, but very disappointing”
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 6 May 2012

We visited Casa do Sol for the second half of our trip after spending the first four nights further north at a safari lodge. At first it seemed like a really wonderful place to stay, but there were just too many problems for us to give it a higher rating.

The grounds were truly beautiful, and our room was spacious and clean. The housekeeping staff was excellent and managed to zip in and turn our room around very quickly when we left for only a short time. We really appreciated their hard work and patience with our irregular schedule of coming and going.

The hiking trails were extensive and beautiful. We really enjoyed exploring the trails and the solitude they provided. We didn't see anyone else the entire time! A map was provided to us at reception, but we were only able to find one of the landmarks before getting quite lost. It would have been nice if the trails were a little better marked, but we also should have known better and gone earlier in the day when we wouldn't have had to worry about it getting dark.

The receptionist gave us some misinformation about some of the activities nearby. It seemed that he wanted us to do one specific tour, so he told us others were fully booked when that was not true at all. Once we did figure out what there was to do, the proximity to zip lining at Gecko Lodge and Elephant Whispers was really great.

The phone in our room and the internet access at the resort were not working for the entirety of our stay, which seemed strange since they advertise having internet access on their website. We needed a wakeup call the last day so we asked the receptionist and reminded him that since our phone did not work we would need someone to knock on our door. He assured us that would be fine, but no one came in the morning to wake us up.

Most of the staff we chatted with were very nice, but it seemed like they were not very happy with their jobs. They mostly did their jobs just fine, but there was no desire to go above and beyond. It seemed like there was a big disconnect between management and the general staff.

The food at Casa do Sol was really not very good. Breakfast the first day was ordered off a menu and it was okay, but every morning after that there was a buffet. The buffet food was honestly not appealing at all. We didn't mind too much until the last meal when we both got food poisoning. We almost didn't make it back to Johannesburg in time for our flight because I was so sick.

We would not stay here again, which is a shame since the resort itself is so beautiful. There were just too many issues for us to recommend it to anyone.

  • Stayed August 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Lindsay H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (36)
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Ellisras South Africa
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 24 March 2012

My husband & I stayed in Casa do sol hotel grande for a week and it was the most beautiful week, with our own pool & jacuzzi we couldn't ask for more. To wake up with birds singing, real made me felt close to nature. It was my first time in the bushes and I fell so much in love with it, honestly we will again visit this Hotel again.

Room Tip: Casa Grande is very quite, close to spa & suitable for honeymoon
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  • Stayed March 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Bibi883
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Johannesburg, South Africa
Level Contributor
103 reviews
40 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 41 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 27 February 2012

We visited Casa do Sol on Saturday and found this place to be a gem in the bush. What an experience, quiet secluded "small village" feeling you have there....... The gardens, birdlife and the elephants close by make this an weekenf hide-a-way not to be missed.

Room Tip: The suites are great!!
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  • Stayed February 2012, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank JokerNev
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Cape Town
Level Contributor
8 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 6 February 2012

Casa do Sol will be one of those hotels, I'm thankful I only booked a single night, because both my friend and I were less than impressed with our accommodation and the general service.

The GPS co-ordinates they provided on their website was wrong - so we lost precious time trying to locate the hotel in the evening. It puzzled me greatly after phoning reception to be told to look for the Elephant Sanctuary sign, when it's Casa do Sol I'm going to? Would it hurt to put up a few signs at the R40 turnoff to R536? Apparently it would.

The power was out on arrival. But this we could cope with. These things happen and it did not phase us much. But we did however want to have something to eat and the hour and a half trying to get to the property exhausted us further. A simple thing like ordering a sandwich became quite an ordeal. Service was slow and communication lacking. We could not even call using the in-room phone, because it did not work, even when power returned later.

When power did return, things became a little clearer. The Casa Room was not clean. In the lounge area there were ants having a nice chip party from bits of crisps on the floor. There was a picture frame missing. I kinda wondered if this was the spare room, where fixtures were removed and used elsewhere. The bathroom looked clean, but on closer inspection - the cleanliness of the bath was questionable. There was a visible dirt ring around the bath and there was some hard substances that flaked off when scratching at it. Bath was not used during my stay.

Oh my ..., the shower. As some other reviewer described "showers were horrendous!". So absolutely true. It is unthinkable that a hotel can provide such a miserable shower experience. Half the fun of going to a hotel is to use the bathroom! The Casa do Sol shower experience, was so bad, it became a joke between my friend and I as we went comparing the shower experiences at other hotels. Needless to say, Casa do Sol faired the worst. Even an unscheduled stay at the StayEasy Emnotweni (Nelspruit) from a cancelled flight back home proved to be way better than our stay at Casa do Sol.

Sleep quality at Casa do Sol was no good either. What is it with housekeeping that they feel compelled to chatter loudly at 6-7am... ? No chance of sleeping late, the noise level is too much, compounded by luggage wheeling down the cobblestones.

Moreover, when I sent my feedback to Casa do Sol, they did not bother to even acknowledge my email or offer any kind of explanation. So they can be certain of one thing only... I will not be visiting their property again and will not recommend to friends either. Sadly for them, better options exist.

Room Tip: sleeping pills, earmuffs, a torch, disinfectant, a broom and scoop, a portable shower
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  • Stayed August 2011, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank cwl-sa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Johannesburg, South Africa
Level Contributor
109 reviews
32 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 53 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 18 January 2012

My husband and I stayed there in August 2011 for 3 nights. We drove from Johannesburg after work on a Friday and there was a huge traffic jam. We got there at 10:30pm and the guard at the gate did not have our name on the list. We had booked and paid in full online at hotels.com so we thought we would not have any problems. After struggling with the guard for about 10 minutes, he finally let us in to reception. The man at reception looked on the system and told us we had no booking at the hotel and that they were fully booked out that weekend.

We showed him our confirmation from the website and he said that he would only be able to help us for that night and then the lady in charge of the bookings would only be able to help us the next day to sort this problem out. It was after 11pm when we eventually were shown to our room. The room was very nice n spacious and the porter was friendly and helpful. This room was a twin room so as it was late they just pushed the two beds.

The problem with bookings was eventually sorted out. When the lady came back she told us its fine,we could stay in the room,but we need to pay, as they did not receive payment from hotels.com. It then became our problem to call hotels.com so they could sort it out with them. What a lack of communication! Why offer online bookings through third parties if it cannot be handled?!

Moving onto the hotel itself. It's in a very beautiful setting close to Kruger national park. It's nice, but definitely not four star. Our hotel room was clean and spacious but the showers were horrendous! The water pressure was low and the water went hot and cold..was horrible. Some plug points were not working.

We decided to have dessert and wine at the restaurant one night...was very deserted and the power went off! We definitely will not be going back there!

  • Stayed August 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank saiyuri m
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Pretoria
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 20 December 2011

Casa Do Sol is a beautiful hotel. With a very sort of Spanish/European idea of little stone walkways, lovely lush gardens, inviting swimming pools, and comfortable rooms.

They are perfectly located near the Kruger Park gates, and have a selection of fantastic restaurants and outdoor activity areas nearby.

Having said that, I now come to the part that unfortunately trumps all of the good parts of the hotel, i.e...horrible service!

After driving for +4 hours, we reach the hotel at around 9.30pm. We are a group of two couples and a 2 year old child. We are tired, have had a very stressful drive due to bad weather, and are very hungry. Let's put this into point form:

- we get to reception, and have to wait +/- 10 mins for the receptionist to end his chat with his colleagues
- we are given our room cards, and when I asked him which room is the room that has been set up for the child, his answer was "I don't know. I stand here at reception and so I can't see what is happening in the rooms. You will have to go and check both the rooms and see which is set up for the child."
- we then ask him if the kitchen is open for dinner - kitchen was closed and neither was there an option for room delivery
- as we were very hungry, we went to the restaurant while they were packing up to ask them to try and get us some left-overs. They were very rude and not at all helpful. We at least got some plain bread!
- the breakfast selection was not at all of 4-star standards
- once again, we received poor service at breakfast
- the All Gold tomato sauce was mixed with water, juice was not fresh juice but a juice concentrate mix, the fish gave my friend diarrhoea
- the staff at the spa were rude
- the shower head broke
- and the list goes on

For a 4-star hotel and the price you pay, the standards were very low, and the service was very poor.

Very disappointing.

Room Tip: Stay here if you want a beautiful hotel in a good location. Don't stay here if you're expect...
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  • Stayed December 2011, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Smita N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Florida
Level Contributor
43 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 30 October 2011

Stayed at Casa do Sol for visit to Kruger N.P. You never know a hotel until you stay there. We were throughly pleased with the hotel once we arrived. Built on the order of a Mediterranean village, it was very nice. The grounds were very nice with outdoor settings throughout. Good for sundowners.
Our room was huge, with a sitting area, large bath, nice bed and an outdoor patio.
The minor problem we had were the cobblestone walkways. While they are nice, they can be ankle twisting, so you have to watch your step. In addition, the lighting at night could have been better because of the cobblestones. The staff were very good and we had no problems at all. The food was pretty good, and I did like the rusks for breakfast. One other thing, it is very quiet and peaceful. You can hear yourself think.

  • Stayed October 2011, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Charles S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about aha Casa do Sol

Property: aha Casa do Sol
Address: Sabie Road (R536), Hazyview 1242, South Africa
Region: South Africa > Mpumalanga > Hazyview
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#4 Luxury Hotel in Hazyview
#4 Spa Hotel in Hazyview
#6 Family Hotel in Hazyview
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:4 star — aha Casa do Sol 4*
Number of rooms: 54
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Also Known As:
Casa Do Sol Hotel Hazyview
Casa Do Sol Hazyview

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