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“Unusual Hotel”

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Hippo Hollow Country Estate
Ranked #3 of 12 Hotels in Hazyview
Certificate of Excellence
Derry, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
912 reviews
140 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 653 helpful votes
“Unusual Hotel”
Reviewed 29 August 2013

Stayed here two nights as part of our South African tour . It is a perfect stopover for Kruger park being only 20-30 min from the gate. The accommodation we stayed in was in individual thatched huts for 2 some have tvs and fridges and others don't so ask for these when booking . Rooms a bit dark but its all part of the charm with the thatched roof . Two nice heated pools and even though it was winter we had a lovely swim. Hotel is on the Sabi river and seemingly hippos can sometimes be seen on the hotel grounds in the evening but we didn't see any. We did see a crocodile however.
There is free internet only in the reception area but it is very slow and doesn't always work . A good buffet dinner was 165 rand ( about £12) and had roast springbok at the carvery. Desserts were very good. Breakfast was usual fare and very tasty but dishes of food could be organised a little better to avoid congestion
Rooms comfortable and very quiet at night.Staff very friendly and helpful.

  • Stayed August 2013, travelled with family
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Helpful?
Thank holidayseeker
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Melani K, Manager at Hippo Hollow Country Estate, responded to this review, 4 September 2013
Your feedback is greatly appreciated and I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for taking the time to share it with us.
I am glad to know that you enjoyed our swimming facilities and in particular the friendliness of the staff. I do hope to welcome you back to Hippo Hollow in the not too distant future.
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Rating summary
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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (182)
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English first
Leicester
Level Contributor
91 reviews
42 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 123 helpful votes
Reviewed 29 August 2013 via mobile

Stayed for 4 nights as a gateway to the Kruger NP and surrounding area. We had high hopes for Hippo Hollow but sadly were often left disappointed.

Firstly the positives. The biggest draw has to be the location and the setting. Set on the Sabie river, we had hippos on the first night during dinner. It's also close the Numbi gate of Kruger NP, and close to many other attractions including the Blyde River Canyon and Elephant Whispers. Rooms were cleaned very well and some staff were very friendly and chatty. The property grounds are maintained to a high standard and the property is also guarded so it feels perfectly safe.

Now for the negatives. On entering the room and turning the light switch a bulb blew. This could obviously happen anytime but when we informed reception no one seemed bothered that there was glass everywhere in our room. The power also went on 2 occasions, once just our room and once a power cut affecting many rooms. The toilet failed to flush one day, and the shower cubicle leaked every time it was used, it couldn't have been sealed properly as after 2 showers, the bathroom floor was soaked. The cubicle door didn't close properly either. Although maids were efficient, they came knocking very early every morning, even on our day of check out. They know we hadn't checked out yet so why not wait.

Food in the restaurant was ok. Evening meals were expensive for the area. A vegetarian pasta dish came with minced beef in it and the pork ribs were pretty tough. When we raised our concerns there was no apology or anything. Some staff in the restaurant smiled but others were miserable and didn't seem to want to speak, especially at breakfast. There were hot items available at breakfast and although breakfast is served until 10am, when we went at 9am the hot plates had already been turned off, leaving cold baked beans, scrambled egg, bacon etc.

Wifi is available when it connects which is rare. When it does connect it requires you to re-sign in every 10 minutes or so which can get very annoying. We asked reception one day for a map of the area which they didn't have. We then asked for directions to Blyde River Canyon and God's Window, but the receptionist didn't seem to have heard of either of these places.

This place has huge potential to be a truly great hotel and the foundations are there. However there are so many small things that need to be addressed to bring this place up to the high standard it could easily achieve.

A small tip on dining options, there are many in the area. Topolino's at Perrys Bridge Trading Post is a great, good value Italian and further up the road on the opposite side is Pioneer's Butcher & Grill - serving amazing steaks at very reasonable prices.

  • Stayed August 2013
    • Value
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    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank ItchyFeeet
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Melani K, Manager at Hippo Hollow Country Estate, responded to this review, 5 September 2013
Here at Hippo Hollow we strive to upkeep & improve our service standards through guest feedback and would like to thank you for providing us with yours.

We follow a strict maintenance program guided by management. Had these matters been brought under the attention of management, I assure you it would have been addressed with great urgency.

We pride ourselves in the products and services which we offer at our establishment and wish to welcome you back to Hippo Hollow.
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London
Level Contributor
17 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed 25 August 2013

We stayed at Hippo Hollow for a week this August and found it to be delightful. We were in a chalet overlooking the Sabi River and were able to watch the elephants across the river and the local crocodile from our deck outside. The chalets are huge for two people and would easily accommodate a family of four as there is a mezzanine floor with two single beds as well as the very large double in the main room. The chalets are rustic but comfortable with a large bathroom with a double shower and a small kitchenette. Be prepared for early 'wake up' calls from the wildlife if you are in a riverside chalet!

The staff could not be more helpful, providing adapter plugs for us and even drying our clothes for us when we came back drenched from a storm one day. The restaurant food is very good and i would definitely recommend the tempura prawns!

We stayed here as it is only a short drive to Kruger Park and there is plenty to do in the area. Elephant Whispers a short walk from Hippo Hollow is a must to visit and the Panorama Tour and Zip Wire experience are great. We also enjoyed watching the hippos on the lawn during dinner.

Room Tip: Definitely worth staying in the riverside chalets we were in no 7 with resident crocodile across the...
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  • Stayed August 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank LanfrancLondon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Melani K, Manager at Hippo Hollow Country Estate, responded to this review, 26 August 2013
Having the opportunity to be a part of making your trip such a memorable one, brings us great joy. Thank you for taking the time to share it with us.

I am thrilled that you were able to have a true African Experience and that you enjoyed the nature on your doorstep.

It was a pleasure having you stay here with us and making you part of the Hollow Family. I do wish to welcome you back in the not too far future.
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Munich, Germany
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 23 August 2013

If you plan to go to Kuger Park, you should think about one or more mights at Hippo Hollow Country Estate. It can be easyly reached by car and is rather quiet. Staff ist very friedly and effective.

Be aware there might be bus groups, but not more than one for the same time. You can avoid the rush in the dining area by choosing your own meal-time.

Room Tip: Ask for a room overlooking the river. May be you see a hippo from your room!
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  • Stayed August 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank Walter K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Melani K, Manager at Hippo Hollow Country Estate, responded to this review, 26 August 2013
At Hippo Hollow we strive to upkeep & improve our service standards through guest feedback. Thank you for sharing yours with us.

I hope to welcome you back in the not too distant future.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ayr, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
11 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed 21 August 2013

Absolutely mind boggling Most unusual hotel I have used. Lives up to its name and wild life viewing was exceptional. Wish I was back there, Good centre for Kruger park and elephant experience was most memorable!!

  • Stayed August 2013, travelled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank EAG280244
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Melani K, Manager at Hippo Hollow Country Estate, responded to this review, 22 August 2013
Thank you for sharing your valuable feedback with us. It’s heartwarming to know that you thoroughly enjoyed your stay with us.

I look forward to welcoming you back to Hippo Hollow, with a even more mind boggeling experience.
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Mainz, Germany
Level Contributor
55 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 43 helpful votes
Reviewed 13 August 2013

We stayed here with a large group of German tourists for three nights at the same time as another group from the UK. We had the good fortune to get chalet no. 46 with a balcony overlooking the river and saw our first hippo from the room just a few minutes after arrival. It was an ideal starting point for Kruger Park safaris and provided a good breakfast buffet from an early hour. We also had booked the evening buffet which had a good selection of main courses and mouth-watering deserts. The members of our group who ate a la carte were also more than satisfied. On two of our three evenings we were able to watch hippos from the restaurant and the terrace. The warning signs in the grounds were unnecessary during our stay. The biggest animal on four legs was a very attractive tabby cat.
However as a hotel which regularly deals with groups of tourists who often breakfast and dine at very similar times we were a little disappointed that the buffet was so cramped together in one small space, that dishes that ran out took so long to be replenished, and that the solitary toaster - a real favourite with German tourists - was placed right in the middle of the counter to add to the chaos. Long queues were the standard morning and evening.
The other rough edge worth mentioning is the internet. I don't need it in my room if I can find a place in the hotel where reception is reliable. The area outside reception with a computer terminal available was only satisfactory briefly on the first evening. After that we also had to queue for a place on one of the three sofas near reception. To compete with other hotels which provide reliable wi-fi all over the site there need to be improvements here.

Room Tip: The small row of chalets to the right of reception (41? - 47) have a wonderful view of the gardens l...
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  • Stayed July 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank colinson
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Melani K, Manager at Hippo Hollow Country Estate, responded to this review, 22 August 2013
We appreciate you taking the time to give us your feedback. It brings us great joy knowing that you were able to enjoy your stay here with us along with all the beautiful surroundings and wildlife nature has to offer.
I do wish to welcome you back to Hippo Hollow in the not too far future.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
UK
1 review
Reviewed 12 August 2013

We picked Hippo Hollow due to the name and my love of the animals and sure enough, out they came during dinner on our first night. Wonderful to be so close to these animals. The hotel was very comfortable; we were staying in a 4 person "lodge" with self-catering facilities, but due to it being the middle of winter we opted to eat in the restaurant. Food was good and plentiful and the staff were very helpful. The only suggestion I have is to provide better lighting in the rooms!

Room Tip: Ask for a room overlooking the river
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  • Stayed July 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank TMcD1964
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Melani K, Manager at Hippo Hollow Country Estate, responded to this review, 13 August 2013
We regard guest feedback as very valuable to us and appreciate you taking the time to share it with us.

I am very pleased to hear that you thoroughly enjoyed your stay here with us. We are in the process of refurbishment which entails better lighting.

I do wish to welcome you back to Hippo Hollow very soon.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Hippo Hollow Country Estate

Property: Hippo Hollow Country Estate
Address: Po Box 2304, Hazyview, | Mpumalanga Kruger Area, Hazyview 1242, South Africa
Region: South Africa > Mpumalanga > Hazyview
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#2 Romantic Hotel in Hazyview
#3 Family Hotel in Hazyview
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:3 star — Hippo Hollow Country Estate 3*
Number of rooms: 91
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Hippo Hollow Country Estate Hotel Hazyview
Hippo Hollow Country Estate Hazyview

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