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“Great Place”
Review of Rissington Inn

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Rissington Inn
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 12 August 2013

It was such a pleasure to stay at Rissington Inn, very warm, comfortable, clean, peaceful and quite place to spend the long weekend with my husband. The food was out of this world, served fresh and delicious! Chris and your staff are the best! we will sure be back soon...

Room Tip: Bring your own robes/gowns as those are not provided.
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  • Stayed: August 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank Jemina M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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277 - 283 of 564 reviews

Reviewed 2 August 2013

We stayed at the Rissington Lodge on July 24, 2013 on our way to Kruger Park. We found the lodge over-rated and unusually hostile to its visitors. Specifically, the lodge does not have a reception area. We arrived at 7 PM (not what I would consider particularly late) and there were three waiters in the restaurant and one bartender. They ignored us for about 10 minutes until I finally got the bartender to pay attention. Our key was on the table along with an envelope with our name on it with what was later revealed to be an insincere, unsigned form letter “welcoming” us. The bartender said he would get someone to “deal with us”. He then went back to shooting the breeze with the customers at the bar.

About five minutes later a waitress brought out a huge, ancient hotel register ledger which we duly filled out (our reservations were about two months old at that time, but we restated the information on the ledger – the only ledger we encountered in Southern Africa). We waited another ten minutes and they continued (quite successfully) to ignore us. I asked one of the waiters where our room was, so we could just go there and he sternly told me “no, our rooms aren't labeled”. So we waited another ten minutes. Finally they told the small waitress to take us to our room. We had come by transfer (not our own car) and our luggage was still on the stair. She took the roller bag and wheeled it, but I took the others since she was not big enough to help us with luggage. But obviously she was the least important since she had to “deal” with us.

We looked at the guest book which is large, detailed and filled with “cheeky” statements like:

“Please, please do not feed the dogs or encourage them to sit by your table (Korean clients, please do not eat the dogs).”

The guest book is labeled with a card in the name of “Christopher Harvie, Proprietor”, and Mr Harvie brags in detail about his accomplishments in this volume.

Specifically with regard to Reception Mr. Harvie states “We do not have reception, but a seemingly endless number of staff will be on hand to see to your every need. Someone is on hand from 7:30 AM until at least 11:00 PM to offer advice and information and to provide for your service requirements.” So we now know that “seemingly endless” can be defined as three waiters otherwise occupied and a barman talking to customers at the bar.

Mr. Harvie also states “If you need help with your bags we have a dedicated porter. Please ask a staff member to locate him. Do not struggle with them on your own and then complain later that there wasn't a porterage service!” The exclamation point is Mr Harvie's and not mine. Mr Harvie has clearly not bothered with the obvious which is that if there is a porterage service the person who gives you your key can and should inform you. Simply putting a glib note with an exclamation point in the guest book provides the information at a time that's too late to be of any use. Why couldn't one of “seemingly endless staff” (or at least one of the three waiters) have told us about the porter if one existed?

The room when we finally got there was fairly large but not well appointed. It had a dangerously slippery painted concrete floor (don't wear socks). This was particularly dangerous where there were two rugs which slide when you step on them. There was a jute under-layer but it was ineffective at preventing the sliding.

We went to the restaurant which features mediocre food. I was supposed to get a “hunk of our cheesy beer bread”. I asked the waiter for the “cheesy beer bread” and he returned with 2 slices of overly sweet, nearly inedible South African “Wonder Bread”.

In the morning the food was worse. My wife couldn't eat the omelet because either the cheese, eggs, or onions were toxic (or perhaps all three). The cold buffet was average. “Hot Scones” were advertised in the menu. They didn't exist.

For those who want it, additional information on Mr. Harvie is present in the restaurant bathrooms as wallpaper. It must be said that the grounds of the hotel are very nice and well maintained.

The guest book had an interesting section on “PRIMA DONAS” as follows:

“Should there be any aspect of your stay with which you are not completely satisfied, please tell us immediately, and we will do our best to rectify the situation. Do not suffer in silence or point out any shortcomings on TripAdvisor after the event! We really want you to enjoy your stay with us...”

Really? Perhaps Mr. Harvie should try having one of his seemingly endless employees greeting guests in a timely way when they arrive. Instead of spending his time trying to think up pithy commentary which categorizes anyone who is unhappy with the Rissington as a “PRIMA DONA”. The guest book tells us that the poor, grudging reception we received was a policy of the house. Should we have told the waiters to serve us instead of serving the restaurant patrons? Should I have told the guy tending bar to attend to us and not chat with the people at the bar? (a good way to start a bar fight I'd say). The contemptuous manner in which we were received was a premeditated choice created by not having enough staff or the right staff.

As to the porter, there was no porter either in the evening or the next morning. The porter was as real as the scones and crusty beer bread.

In a strange place, there is often nothing more important than the initial greeting. The initial greeting is was welcoming at every other place we stayed in Southern Africa and it was clearly something that all the other hotels, lodges, etc. regarded as important. It was contemptuous at the Rissington. Of all the places we stayed in Southern Africa, the Rissington was the least appealing. There are many guest houses, hotels, and B&Bs in Hazyview, and there is no reason to stay at this one.

  • Stayed: July 2013, travelled with family
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9  Thank Arizona_GTraveller
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
OwnerRissington, Owner at Rissington Inn, responded to this reviewResponded 3 August 2013

Hi

Wow. I am so sorry that I didn’t get to ‘deal’ with you myself - I had a broken toe which precluded that pleasure – but it seems incredible that, in the face of such ‘hostility’, you managed to allow four competent breeze-shooting friendly people in a small bar to ignore you for what adds up to a total of 25 minutes! We are, in fact, renowned for our friendliness and hospitality even to people from Arizona (see 5 reviews down) and for our prompt, efficient and willing service.

How should I respond to such a long, weird diatribe? Well, firstly, you attack me personally with great venom and I don’t think (despite what you say) that I brag, but your review is totally at odds with the norm. Secondly, poor ‘small’ Sheila is far from unimportant and much stronger than she looks; she is also a very ‘dedicated’ porter who exists for people who can't carry their own bags just as much as the beer bread and the scones exist; the ledger is not ancient but new (and a legal requirement); the guest book contains useful information interspersed with what is known as ‘humour’ and I am flattered that you took the trouble to memorise great chunks of it; I have never heard of an omelet being toxic (did you mean omelette?); our food is far from mediocre, it is one of the high points of staying here; and I am not sure why you think we are a ‘strange place’. Nobody else seems to think so.

Oh, and it is Prima Donna, not Prima Dona. I checked. Definitions from the dictionary: someone who thinks they are special or important and is difficult to please; a vain, temperamental and petulant person.

I am glad we have cleared that up. Do come again. The other Arizonans are coming back next year. They say so in their review.

Cheers

Mr Harvie
Aka Christopher Harvie, Proprietor
(but more generally known as Chris)

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 July 2013

Spent four nights at Rissington Inn before returning to UK. Lovely place, beautiful grounds, great food and very friendly staff. Superb view across to the mountains and was a haven of tranquillity. Didn't go into Kruger from there as we had been there prior to going to Hazyview. It was however an excellent site from which to explore the canyons and waterfalls. Looking forward to returning next year.

Room Tip: Stayed in one of the garden rooms.
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  • Stayed: July 2013, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank IGH7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 July 2013

My wife and I stayed 2 nights in Rissington Inn. It was very good surprise to find a quiet place so near to the road N40 with all the noise and trafic. At the Inn we heard nothing form the trafic and we could really relax. The rooks has plenty of space and every thing were functioning vell. The restaurant served the fines measl you could think of and that is both evening and breackfast. The area were nice to be walking in and the garden is nice keapt. Even the sign with "Beware of hippos" felt realy nice because the hippo fence were intact.
The personnel were very helpful even with guiding us in the trafic and told us how to deal with the currupt police. And it was tested and functioned to our full satisfaction.
We give our best recomendations to Rissington Inn

  • Stayed: June 2013, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Jesper Kjaer P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 June 2013

This is a very nice place with friendly staff. It is a little outside the town and has several restaurants within a few minutes drive. The on site restaurant serves good food inside or on the veranda. The lodges are quite good and they even wash your car on the day of departure. Also very nearby the Krugerpark.

  • Stayed: May 2013
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Thank halliearno
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 June 2013

We booked three separate nights, using the Inn as base for our three weeks in and around Kruger Park. Driving through Hazyview was somewhat of a challenge but turning off on a narrow dirt road brought us to bright, white buildings set in a green park. The staff was wonderful, the food excellent, the rooms comfortable and quiet, and our special requests taken care of with a smile. We plan to return in 2015.

  • Stayed: April 2013, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank R O
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 May 2013

This was a very nice lodge to start our Kruger experience; fabulous food and very friendly people. Rooms are very special - we loved this place and would consider returning whenever we are back in the area - we will be for sure soon!

  • Stayed: April 2013, travelled with family
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3  Thank marimariSwitzerland
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Rissington Inn

Address: Route R40 | 2 km South of Hazyview, Hazyview 1242, South Africa
Region: South Africa > Mpumalanga > Hazyview
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 41 Speciality Lodging in Hazyview
Price Range: £61 - £143 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Rissington Inn 3.5*
Number of rooms: 16
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Affordable, award-winning country lodge. Stylish, relaxed and informal. A la carte restaurant, open 7 days. Superb food. Fully licensed bar. Colourful gardens. All rooms have own bathrooms, fridges, ceiling fans, air-conditioning, private entrances, verandahs and breathtaking views. Garden Suites and Hillside Suites have hammocks or daybeds. Cheerful, attentive hospitality. Swimming pool and walks down the valley. Spectacular birds and game sightings.On the Panorama Route and 10 minutes from the Kruger National Park. Golf, riding and a host of activities nearby. Rissington Inn - Exceeding expectations. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Rissington Hotel Hazyview

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