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“Good country lodge with nice setting - but not quite 5star”

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Budmarsh Country Lodge
Ranked #2 of 7 Hotels in Magaliesburg
Certificate of Excellence
Pretoria, South Africa
Level Contributor
128 reviews
80 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 125 helpful votes
“Good country lodge with nice setting - but not quite 5star”
Reviewed 7 January 2013

Our stay at Budmarsh was very peaceful and quiet, as we were only 1 of 2 couples at the hotel. The grounds are very pretty and once we’ve settled into our room, we had lunch underneath the big oak tree alone overlooking the gardens. The management actually gave us a complimentary bottle of bubbly for our anniversary, as this was part of our anniversary holiday. This was greatly appreciated.

The rooms are big, seeing as we stayed in the Luxury Room. The bedroom area has a fireplace, 2 chairs for lounging with coffee table and then the massive bed and cupboards and doors leading onto balcony overlooking gardens and trees. Very pretty. The bathrooms are also big, but they felt a bit void of any personality, and they were also a bit outdated with regards to the feeling of the room itself. Otherwise a decent room.

Service from everyone was good with lots of smiles, friendliness and helpfulness.

All previous reviews raved about the food, and as such we were very excited about the food. Our lunch that we had underneath the oak was good. We enjoyed the presentation, flavour and taste of the food. The evening’s dinner at the restaurant was also good. But, that is basically where it stopped. The food and taste-combinations were good and presented nicely, but nothing that I would rave about.

We were informed by the personnel that the water of the area went off at about 16:00 and as such we couldn't shower, which forced us to go for a swim prior to dinner, which we enjoyed immensely. We were assured that the lack of water will not deter with food, and that 2 x 5l of water has been left in the rooms for use. We obviously can’t hold the lodge responsible for this, as this was an issue in the area, but they handled it well and kept us informed of what is going on. Luckily after dinner the water was back on and everything back to normal.

There are also just a few things that we found a bit weird. The sound proofing between the passages and rooms are non-existent, as you can hear each person walking and talking in the passage. Being an architect. I realised that the walls between the passages and rooms don’t go up to the RC slab, and as such allows all the noise & evening lighting from the passage to filter into the room. There are no telephone in the room, which is also very funny for a 5* establishment, as you would need to walk down to reception or use your cellphone everytime you want something in the room. Also, there is no safe in the room, which is also very funny for a 5* establishment.

So a bit of hit and miss, and not quite the 5 star that we expected, but we enjoyed our stay.

  • Stayed December 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
3 Thank mitxcoac
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ken_and_Meg_Fargher, Owner at Budmarsh Country Lodge, responded to this review, 9 January 2013
Thank you for taking the time to write a comprehensive review which will be helpful to other travellers and it is hoped this reply will also be a form of edification for other readers. Budmarsh is a Country Lodge and receives its rating in that category. It cannot begin to compare itself to five star hotels such as those found in Sandton, for example. Ratings are awarded according to the cateogory of the establishment. The environment would not lend itself to the glitz and glamour of a city hotel. We want our guests to feel relaxed enough to curl up anywhere or lie on their backs and count the clouds or stars and yet feel their needs will be met unobtrusively and with care. The food compares most favourably to any five star establishment and foodies certainly attest to this. Many of your comments are very useful to the management team and again we thank you for them.
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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (51)
Date | Rating
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English first
Johannesburg, South Africa
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 4 January 2013

My wife and i needed a break from our hectic city life. We needed to be just by ourselves , a time to relax , reflect and rejuvenate. Budmarsh was just the answer, not far from home, small yet cozy,magnificent gardens , peace and tranquility. The food was outstanding , the staff were the highlight of our stay, they are simply the best . However, i think the accommodation needs a facelift especially the bathrooms . This property has the potential to be the best country lodge in the country with an exceptional team of Chef Chris and his kitchen staff , the wonderful and delightful staff , management should give attention to upgrading the accommodation to be truly five star in every department .

  • Stayed December 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank Mohamed J M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ken_and_Meg_Fargher, Owner at Budmarsh Country Lodge, responded to this review, 9 January 2013
Thank you for your review. We are very pleased that you found rest and peace and that you enjoyed the food. Chris is very talented as is the staff he has trained. Your comments are most helpful and we look forward to welcoming you to Budmarsh again.
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Johannesburg, South Africa
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 26 December 2012

We have just returned from a 4 night stay and discovered a piece of heaven . We had high expectations to begin with but can honestly say they were exceeded . The location is good , the gardens lovely and well maintained , and the accommodation had all that one reasonably needs. The 2 highlights had to be their staff and the cuisine . The staff , at all levels , were friendly and very hospitable - nothing was to much for them . The food - what a treat . The menu 's were varied and beautifully presented and oh so delicious . A Master Chef at work . An all round 5 star treat indeed and we look forward to our next visit . Abe/Claire J .

  • Stayed December 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
3 Thank AbeClaire
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ken_and_Meg_Fargher, Owner at Budmarsh Country Lodge, responded to this review, 28 December 2012
Thank you so much for taking the time to write a review. It is greatly appreciated as is your acknowledgement of the staff. We are very blessed with an excellent chef and management team who are also generous in sharing their knowledge and passing it on to the staff. It seems as if you are a foodie who enjoys fine cuisine. May 2013 be a wonderful year for you with many things along the way for you to celebrate. Please visit us again.
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Johannesburg, South Africa
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed 14 December 2012

A trip to Budmarsh is always a pampering experience. Having visited Budmarsh regularly over the years, one goes with high expectations which I always find are exceeded. Management are always looking for new ways of providing visitors with an exceptional experience. The setting is tranquil and beautiful - carefully and meticulously maintained. Chris Tustian, Executive Chef, is adventurous and highly skilled, blending exotic flavours, adding new dishes to an already outstanding fine dining experience, not to mention growing his own fresh herbs right outside the kitchen window. It is a delight to watch him carefully harvesting the most suculent fronds for inclusion in the next meal. And of course, one can only allocate 200% for titilating presentation!
Ken knowledge and love of wine is reflected in a magnificent cellar - well deserving of a recent top 100 wine venue in SA award. Annatjie runs a tight ship and is always at hand to ensure one has everything needed. All the staff are attentive and so invested in making one's stay memorable. The true indication of the harmony and peacefulness is the abundance of exotic birds that have made Budmarsh their home - they add to the sheer pleasure of the Budmarsh experience!

Room Tip: If you enjoy birdlife, book a room above the main diningroom, by the oak tree which hosts a wonderfu...
See more room tips
  • Stayed December 2012, travelled with friends
    • Value
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    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Jenny4654
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ken_and_Meg_Fargher, Owner at Budmarsh Country Lodge, responded to this review, 28 December 2012
Thank you for your review and thanks too for visiting Budmarsh again and appreciating the tranquil, unostentatious space. Next time you visit, look for the SASOL Bird book in the lounge as Kate Turkington has compiled a wonderful bird list. Not mentioned in it, is the Woodland Kingfisher which is a wonderful electric blue kingfisher with a liquid call. Sadly they are only in the area in the summer months. We hope that you will be a regular visitor in 2013. May the new year be a prosperous, peaceful and rewarding one.
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Level Contributor
27 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 7 December 2012 via mobile

Wine tasting was such fun where i learnt so much i never knew before.What an amazing place! The food was a journey beyond my wildest dreams! Will definitely be back! Crisp linen was my favorite. I cannot wait to see what the Christmas lunch holds.

  • Stayed December 2012
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank Bellsyoungleson
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ken_and_Meg_Fargher, Owner at Budmarsh Country Lodge, responded to this review, 28 December 2012
Thank you for your review. We are so glad you enjoyed the wine-tasting organized by your company. It was wonderful for the Lodge staff to host a group of dedicated and fun-loving professionals who are able to appreciate good food and wine. We hope to see you often in 2013 as you celebrate yet more achievements!
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Johannesburg, South Africa
Level Contributor
11 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 1 December 2012

We had our wine club Christmas party here and have to say the food was excellent, as was the ambience in the wine cellar, however despite an incredibly comprehensive cellar there was no somelier to advise on the food pairing and no sign of managment until the next day. The bedrooms are really beautiful but the bathrooms need to be refurbished our shower didnt work and the toilet didn't flush properly. The staff were very friendly but did not seem to be properly trained for a 5 star hotel, when we asked for some nibbles with our drinks before dinner they said nothing was available and then brought us some fatty frozen biltong. The service at breakfast was simply shocking, we had to wait an hour for our food and then many of the guests got the wrong order. We only saw the manager once and that was from afar.

  • Stayed November 2012, travelled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank Philippa C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ken_and_Meg_Fargher, Owner at Budmarsh Country Lodge, responded to this review, 5 December 2012
We are glad that you found the food excellent. Our Executive Chef enjoyed speaking to your group and discussing the food with those who were interested. Because you were from a wine club the incorrect assumption was made that your group would not want additional information on the wine; in addition no pairing had been requested. Jacob was your waiter and our guests invariably rave about his service so we are sorry that your experience was different. We will certainly look into the breakfast service levels and thank you for bringing that to our attention. We are disappointed that you were disappointed as Budmarsh strives to provide good service in spite of being in the country where access to certain skill levels can be a challenge. Generally, our staff try very hard to please the guests and we share your disappointment that you found them to be wanting in their endeavours. They too are disappointed with the review and will continue to try to reach consistently excellent levels of service appropriate for a five star lodge.
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Salt Rock, South Africa
Level Contributor
7 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 15 November 2012

I visited the lodge for a workshop with clients. Tranquil setting, very friendly staff, spacious rooms, great food and wine, nice conference facility for workshops at a reasonable price - an overall great experience not too far away from Joburg.

  • Stayed November 2012, travelled on business
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Helpful?
4 Thank Verena B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ken_and_Meg_Fargher, Owner at Budmarsh Country Lodge, responded to this review, 20 November 2012
Thank you for taking the time to write a review. We are pleased that your conference was a fruitful one. The positive comments about the staff mean a great deal to them. We value your support and hope to see you at Budmarsh again, not only for conferences but also for a break from the demands of work.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Budmarsh Country Lodge

Property: Budmarsh Country Lodge
Address: T1 Magalies Meander Road, Magaliesburg 1791, South Africa
Phone Number:
Region: South Africa > Gauteng > Greater Johannesburg > Magaliesburg
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 7 Hotels in Magaliesburg
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:5 star — Budmarsh Country Lodge 5*
Number of rooms: 18
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Away from the hustle and bustle of the city, in the heart of the magical Magaliesberg, Budmarsh Country Lodge awaits to welcome you to its world of understated elegance, tranquility and personalised attention. Escape through beautiful gardens to ramble amongst abundant bird life. After a sumptuous dinner, conjured by our Master Chef, relax in front of a roaring fire, engage in a game of snooker or simply escape to the quietness of the library to read and forget the stresses of your world. Retire to your bedroom with its antique furniture, underfloor heating, en-suite bathroom and sink into your king size bed for a sleep that is truly nature’s balm. With its lovely landscaped gardens, exquisite trees and alluring scenery, there is no better place than Budmarsh for an intimate wedding for special people. To enjoy your friendships in the peacefulness synonymous with Budmarsh, simply book for a High Tea, Picnic or Sunday Lunch. With enchanting views of the Magaliesberg Mountains, our state-of-the-art conference facilities are designed to inspire, motivate, develop and spoil your staff. Enjoy five star dining, service and accommodation. ... more   less 
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