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Simola Hotel Country Club & Spa
Ranked #17 of 30 Hotels in Knysna
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 9 July 2014

Attracted by their "Special Rates" advertisement on their website, we booked this accommodation almost 6 months in advance. My wife and I flew down from Johannesburg specifically to receive 5 star treatment, ride a MTB race and spend romantic time together in what I expected to be a beautiful setting.

We arrived to be welcomed into a room overlooking the parking lot. None of the photos on their website, nor any communication prior to our arrival prepared us for the two single beds, shower only tiny room. There was not even a bar fridge to keep anything cool.

After complaining to staff we were shown to a suite that boasted a spacious bedroom with en-suite bathroom / shower / separate toilet (all being larger than the room we had been in), as well as including a generous living area with fireplace, large balcony, private braai area, it's own kitchen (including 3 fridges / freezers) and dining area. I was told by the manager showing us the upgrade that it would be an extra R1000 (30% more than I'd already paid). I readily agreed, but when preparing to pay, was corrected that the charge was R1000 PER NIGHT!

After escalating through the ranks for THREE HOURS (including being told the manager who could make the decision had already left), we finally spoke to Bregitta, the general manager (who had obviously not left) and settled on a rate that was almost double what I'd already paid.

Facilities are basic.
Room Service was poor quality.
Breakfast nothing spectacular.
Internet is basically non-existent.

The suites advertised all over their website are really beautiful, but I would not recommend anyone fork out the R2000 (around $200 USD) per night for this experience.

We stayed in a 1 bedroom apartment at Meriton Serviced Apartments in Zetland, Sydney, Australia just 3 weeks ago for approximately R1100 per night (A$110), so understandably expected something slightly more special than dingy accommodation with poor facilities. Being told this is usually the room they rent out to children or Chinese tourists did nothing to alleviate our disappointment.

This would have been a truly abysmal experience unless I'd coughed up the "upgrade" money. Since I'd already come so far and no advance warning, I had precious few alternatives.

Room Tip: Bring plenty of extra money.
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  • Stayed: July 2014, travelled as a couple
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5  Thank Joshua F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
andrewb12311, General Manager at Simola Hotel Country Club & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded 12 July 2014

On arrival you were not satisfied with the size of the room that you had booked on a special package.
You were offered an upgrade to a larger suite but were not prepared to pay for the upgrade.
You were abusive to our staff and threatened to make our life a misery during the course of your stay.
As a result management offered to make alternative accommodation arrangements for you.
You eventually agreed to pay for the upgrade and decided to stay.
Our rates are in line with our five star rating and are comparable to other Hotels of similar standing.
Whilst we make every effort to to go the extra mile for our clients we were not able to satisfy you in this instance and wish you every success in your new country of residence.
Regards
Andrew Bonham

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151 - 157 of 249 reviews

Reviewed 24 June 2014

Knysna, amazing scenic coastal town on the garden route with beaches, forests, and mountain ranges boasts one of the most beautiful 5 star golf resorts anywhere in the world.
The views from high up from most tees are unbeatable on this Jack Nicklaus designed course even though an ability to get out of the hundred of bunkers is essential!
The restaurant is also 5 star with regards food and friendly service. The spa and gym facilities are excellent and well worth a visit.
The winter specials are excellent value. Try for a luxury suite with the most unforgettable views from every room.

Room Tip: The extra expense to book a luxury room is well worth it.
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  • Stayed: June 2014, travelled as a couple
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Thank MICHAEL F F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
andrewb12311, General Manager at Simola Hotel Country Club & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded 30 June 2014

Thank you for your positive response regarding our Hotel and Golf course we are very proud of our Estate and make every effort to ensure that our guests are offered a truely memorable experience whilst staying with us.
We are currently looking forward to the Oyster Festival in Knysna and welcoming the incoming participants and their families. It really will be lots of fun for all.
Book early for next year to avoid disappointment!
Best Regards
Andrew Bonham

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Reviewed 15 June 2014

I spent two nights with a group of 16 tourists. Beautiful setting. Rooms are spacious. The 4 kids with the group found it boring. There was nothing much for them to do. Repairs in the bathrooms not attended to and management should look at this. Breakfast was great and excellent view of Knysna Heads from the restaurant. Overall the service needs improvement. The reception staff was friendly and very efficient.

Room Tip: Families are not guaranteed adjoining rooms and this should be booked well in advance.
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  • Stayed: June 2014, travelled on business
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Thank AladdinCapeTown
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
andrewb12311, General Manager at Simola Hotel Country Club & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded 17 June 2014

Thank you for the review of our Hotel during your recent trip to Knysna.
I believe that you spoke to our Front Office Manager prior to your departure and the maintenance issues in your bathroom were rectified immediately.
With regards to the children activities apart from the onsite Golf course there are fantastic walks, biking trails in and around the property and in close proximity there are some really amazing activites offered within the area which may be booked and discussed with our receptionists.
Thanks again for bringing us your tour and we look forward to seeing you in the near future
Regards
Andrew Bonham

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Reviewed 19 May 2014

I stayed in this hotel with my friends,nice location with hilly golf course,beautiful views,quit so it is not a in town hotel,we stayed in luxury suits beautifully furnished,all to high standards. suitable for golfers and area tourist,good swimming pool and spa.

Room Tip: ask for golf course view
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  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled with friends
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1  Thank Abdullah A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
andrewb12311, General Manager at Simola Hotel Country Club & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded 21 May 2014

Thank you for taking the time to pass on your positve comments regarding your recent stay at our Hotel.
We are situated seven k's from the centre of Knysna and this means the you are able to enjoy the serene quiet of the local forests.
The journey from town usual takes only 10 minites however during the recent Jaguar/Simola Hill climb some of the speedsters for reducing this to a matter of seconds. A must do for next years calendar!
With best regards
Andrew Bonham

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Reviewed 13 May 2014 via mobile

We stayed here with a family of 4 (kids 6 and 2) for 5 nights. The place is really beautiful and has amazing scenery. The rooms are lovely and spacious although the service could improve and also not the best place for kids. The outside pool which has the most amazing view is freezing and the heated pool is part of the spa so no kids are allowed (understandably). The location is also quite far from Knysna town (10 mins). This place is ideal if you are on a golfing or romantic trip, would not recommend it for families.

Stayed: December 2013
1  Thank sublime123
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
andrewb12311, General Manager at Simola Hotel Country Club & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded 14 May 2014

Thank you for taking the time to review our Hotel.
I have noted your comments regarding Children facilities and advise you that we are currently looking at constructing a new childrens centre adjacent to the Hotel which should be completed in time for the Christmas Season.
We have in the past advised parents with children to avail themselves of the wonderful trail walks in and around the Hotel which can either be on foot or by mountain bike which we provide free of charge. Alternatively you are able to make Simola your luxury base and explore the wonderful surrounds of Knysna, a short distance away.
We look forward to welcoming you back to Simola in the not too distant future.
With Best Regards

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Reviewed 12 May 2014

We stayed at the Simola fully furnished luxury apartments/villas, when we visited as two families over 4 days. The apartments are on top of a hill, there are 10 of them, and the one we were in (#8) faced a valley and the Knysna river. Views are superb.

The Simola website shows a video of the villas - basically a ground level parking with an electronic door, opening into a lower level luxurious living cum dining area, and an open kitchen. The kitchen has all required gadgets and utensils. There is also a gas fired fireplace. One side is a huge balcony that looks down into a grassy knoll which is part of the property and that overlooks the valley and river. Then one level higher is the master bedroom, with a huge, huge bathroom (tub, shower, WC etc). The master bedroom is huge as well, with a sofa on one corner, and opens into a balcony which is just above the one in the living room so the view is the same. This balcony is also accessible from the bathroom. Sleep quality was top notch.

One more floor up, are two smaller bedrooms and a common bathroom. Most of the villa is carpeted, barring the living and dining area which has wooden flooring. The bathrooms, and the master bedroom have heating (the latter being under floor heating!). Food options are either self catering, or going to the hotel's restaurant, which is a 5 minutes drive away.

The cleaning of the apartment (bathrooms, sheets changing, tea/coffee/sugar replacements) only happens upon request and an additional minor charge. We found the price to be huge value for money, though it could be that we went in off season (winter had started).

We, especially the kids, had a fanstastic time. Just one problem with the garage automatic door, but that was fixed as soon as we called. We did not use any other amenities, but only travelled to various tourist spots along the garden route using Simola as the base, which was very convenient.

Recommend this to anyone wanting to spend a few days on the garden route.

Room Tip: Ask for any out of villas 6-10, which all have a great view.
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  • Stayed: April 2014, travelled with family
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Thank NSDSVSMS
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
andrewb12311, General Manager at Simola Hotel Country Club & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded 14 May 2014

Thank you for taking the time and effort to offer your positive comments regarding your recent stay at the Top Ten Golf Lodges here on the Simola Estate. It is indeed pleasing that you enjoyed your stay and we would be delighted to see you and your family return in the not too distant future.
With Kind Regards

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Reviewed 2 May 2014

Stayed here Easter weekend 2014. Love the venue but, like a previous reviewer suggested, not sure all well on the inside here and would suggest that lies with management.Breakfast service slow and you almost have to go find the staff to get service and food is average. Watching out for the rationing of toast - 1 piece per person unless you ask for more. Don't know for other meals and the restaurant as I didn't eat there. The hotel shuttle to town is fairly priced and the guys that do this, George and James are stars. Golf is excellent, great course and facilities but an open driving range would be an advantage.

Hotel room was a time share suite. Very nicely designed with magnificent view and looked well organised. Had a bad smell of drains when I was there during one of the nights but that may be a temporary thing.

Potentially could be a top hotel, and was previously I understand, but now appears average given the lack of attention to detail and service level.

  • Stayed: April 2014, travelled solo
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Thank Timothy L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
andrewb12311, General Manager at Simola Hotel Country Club & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded 5 May 2014

Thank you for your comments and I apologise if we did not live up to your expectations during breakfast. It is a pity that you did not try our restaurant during your stay as we have recently been awarded Best Resort Restaurant on the Garden Route and I am sure that you would have enjoyed our cuisine.
This Easter Weekend we introduced several festive events to enable our guests and their children to celebrate this time of the year, ending on Sunday with a children's egg hunt which proved to be very popular
I am delighted that George and James were able to assist you and that you enjoyed our award winning Golf course. The driving range was closed for a short period of time due to rain and it is currently fully operational.
We will continue to strive to meet our guests needs and constantly review our standards and thank you for your comments which will assist us in the future.
With best regards

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Additional Information about Simola Hotel Country Club & Spa

Address: 1 Old Cape Road | Simola, Knysna 6571, South Africa
Region: South Africa > Western Cape > Knysna
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#5 Spa Hotel in Knysna
#12 Family Hotel in Knysna
#15 Luxury Hotel in Knysna
Price Range: £169 - £894 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — Simola Hotel Country Club & Spa 5*
Number of rooms: 40
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Simola Hotel And Spa
Simola Hotel Knysna

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