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“Beautiful Retreat”
5 of 5 bubbles Review of Thonga Beach Lodge

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Thonga Beach Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
Melbourne, Florida
2 reviews
“Beautiful Retreat”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 5 April 2014

A little out of the way, but once you are there you are in heaven on earth. The service, staff, food and beach made this a once in a life time vacation. I would definitely go again if the opportunity lends itself. Go and enjoy if you have the chance.

  • Stayed March 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Review collected in partnership with this hotel

Helpful?
Thank John P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
IsibindiAfrica, General Manager at Thonga Beach Lodge, responded to this review, 11 April 2014
Dear John P

I am delighted to hear that you found Thonga to be "Heaven on Earth".

Thanks for your review and we hope to have the opportunity to host you again in the future.

Kind Regards

Gerard
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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346 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (72)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
Schweiz
Level Contributor
6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 April 2014

We were looking for a natural, luxurious, boutique hotel in South Africa with beach access and therefore choosed the Thonga Beach lodge which was a good choice.

The sea view room was just beautiful since it was a bit distanced from the other rooms and had a really nice view, the room itself has a nice atmosphere and the bed was very comfortable. Also the other hotel facilities were really nice and we enjoyed the very relaxing atmosphere, were you walk around barefoot and meet other people for a drink before you start your dinner. In addition we enjoyed the cultural village tour since the nature is just beautiful (especially the close by lake) and the village has a compeltely different flair from all other villages we saw in South Africa.

But the high-light of this hotel is definitely the beach!! We already travelled around in North America, Australia, New Zealand, entire Asia and EU and we never saw wuch a beautiful beach before. Very natural, almost no people, very nice sand and clear water (do not expect to go for a swim due to the high waves and animals).

the only negative point is the price-value-ratio. The price was the highest one we payed on our entire trip and compared to other hotels it was definitely too high. As said, the beach was outstanding, but for such a high price level, we would have expect more details, a bit more service and we were surprised that we had to pay in addition for certain trips like the turtle tour. It's not a real criticism since we like the fact that local people incl. school and hospital are supported by the hotel income, but we would recommend to offer freshly brewed coffee in the afternoon, a richer lunch buffet, freshly made cookies for the guest present at the end of the stay, fresh tea. there are so many options to offer fresh made things, there would be enough staff in our opinion and it would suit the environemtn perfectly. So this is meant to be an improvement idea and not a negative fact.

Room Tip: sea view room
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  • Stayed March 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank PinkHibiskus
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
IsibindiAfrica, General Manager at Thonga Beach Lodge, responded to this review, 11 April 2014
Dear PinkHibiskus

Thank you very much for your positive review and all your input. We have taken note of your suggestions.

The remoteness of the lodge, along with the fact that you share miles and miles of beach within a world heritage site with only 30 other lodge guests, make the operating costs for the lodge very high.

I am very pleased you enjoyed our beach so much and had a good relaxing time at the lodge.

Kind Regards

Gerard
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Marlborough, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
291 reviews
49 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 104 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 26 March 2014 via mobile

After a series of short stays in a trip around South Africa we decided to chill for three nights at Thonga.
There are some very good reasons for staying there. The food is excellent, it is an oasis of luxury in a beautiful remote coastal setting and the resort,which only takes about 20 guests, has a very friendly staff drawn in part from the local communities. The deserted beach is stunning and after time on the beach you can relax with a lovely massage in the small spa before a trip to nearby Lake Sibaya or a stroll in the forest that surrounds the resort. On the downside, the diving is difficult as the RIB/rubber duck used for the diving is launched from the beach which suffers from a lot of surf, which made the launch impossible during the three days of our stay and we had to argue for a refund on the dive package that we had paid for. The same problems affect the 'ocean experience' trip on offer. In addition the snorkelling from the shore was not available.
Visitors should therefore factor in the fact that the sea based activities may not be possible and if you come just for the diving then prepared to be disappointed. However, I would come back for the 'Robinson Crusoe' experience, the fabulous beach, the spa, the interesting and varied fellow guests and the food, delivered by a very friendly staff crew who always have a smile on their face and a willingness to help.

Stayed March 2014, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
2 Thank Dave H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
IsibindiAfrica, General Manager at Thonga Beach Lodge, responded to this review, 11 April 2014
Hi Dave H

I am very pleased to hear that you enjoyed your stay at Thonga, but sorry that the sea conditions did not play their part and that you were not able to experience the great diving we have offshore from the lodge.

Thanks very much for your review

Kind Regards

Gerard
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
New York City
Level Contributor
23 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 8 March 2014

After a few days in Cape Town, we spent four nights of our honeymoon at Thonga Beach Lodge and were treated like royalty. The staff was incredibly warm and even taught us some Zulu. We planned to SCUBA dive and while we did manage to get out on one day, storms out at sea made for unfavorable conditions. But our experience helping the leatherback turtle hatchlings make their way to the ocean by moonlight was incredibly moving and more than made up for the diving. Plus sundowners at the lake and the best biltong we had across South Africa were so enjoyable we did it twice. The room was beautiful and comfortable, as was the whole lodge. Very Africa Beach Chic! Highly recommend.

  • Stayed March 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank WVillageTraveller
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
IsibindiAfrica, Public Relations Manager at Thonga Beach Lodge, responded to this review, 10 March 2014
Dear WVillageTraveller

Thank you for taking time to write your review on Thonga Beach Lodge.
We are so very thrilled that you so enjoyed your stay and also had the unique experience of watching the start of a long life at sea with the turtle hatchlings.
We hope to welcome you back to Thonga in the not too distant future.

Kind Regards
Yolande.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Brussels, Belgium
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 7 March 2014

we had an amazing experience in an amazing place.
nice staff, nice rooms, delicious food and great service.
i recommend a stay in thonga to everyone who needs a break from hectic occidental city life.

  • Stayed February 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Review collected in partnership with this hotel

Helpful?
Thank Eric J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
IsibindiAfrica, Public Relations Manager at Thonga Beach Lodge, responded to this review, 10 March 2014
Dear Eric J,

Thank you for taking the time to write a review on Thonga Beach Lodge.
It is such a pleasure to know that you had such a lovely relaxing stay and we hope to welcome you back when you next need to get away from City Life!
Kind Regards
Penny Rice
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
44 reviews
30 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 March 2014

Stayed with my wife and young son and we had a truly wonderful holiday whilst touring South Africa.

The management and staff made us feel at home and even though they had a few power outages they battled through to ensure we had a fantastic time.

Great choice for breakfast with buffets and hot choices, Lunch was again a different buffet each day and two choices at dinner. Saw lots of young turtles and my son had a great time also hanging out with "My Baby" the resident baby goose, very sweet!

If you're looking to get away from everything with an amazing beach go here you won't be disappointed and everything is insanely cheap.

Room Tip: All rooms have a small view of sea but this adds to the "remote" feeling of the place
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  • Stayed February 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank cooldudes1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
IsibindiAfrica, Public Relations Manager at Thonga Beach Lodge, responded to this review, 10 March 2014
Dear cooldudes1

Thank you for taking the time to review Thonga Beach Lodge.
We are so thrilled that you and your family had such a lovely time in that special place.
Our chef at Thonga strives to use as much local and fresh produce as possible to produce the meals that you so enjoyed.
Kind Regards
Penny Rice
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Edinburgh, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 25 February 2014

My wife and I stayed here for a week in February 2014. We came here to scuba dive and whilst this has the potential to be excellent, with some lovely reefs and big fish/sharks, the weather had been very bad before we arrived and so the visibility was not great. Due to the National Park restrictions, the boat can only be launched and landed two hours either side of low tide. This means that it is only possible to do one dive daily, if there are any guests going on the 'Open Ocean Experience' trip which utilises the same boat!
Elsewhere, the room was huge (we had room 3) with air conditioning and the biggest comfiest bed I have ever slept in!
The Spa was brilliant and inexpensive as these things go (typical range of £15-£35) for treatments.
The restaurant was excellent with buffet and cooked to order breakfast, plentiful buffet lunch and superb dinner (choice of 2 starters, 2 mains and one sweet or ice-cream or cheese).
Laundry was back the next day and very inexpensive.
Turtle watching after dark was brilliant, immediately in front of the lodge, by safari style jeep. We didn't see any turtles nesting the evening we went, but it seemed that everyone else did when they were out! We did, however, see Loggerhead hatchlings bolting down the beach to the sea, which was fabulous!
Sundowners on lake Sibaya were lovely at the days end with us watching hippos playing just offshore with the amazing sunset behind.
The staff were all very friendly and helpful and I would thoroughly recommend the lodge to anyone.

  • Stayed February 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Review collected in partnership with this hotel

Helpful?
1 Thank Steven M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
IsibindiAfrica, Public Relations Manager at Thonga Beach Lodge, responded to this review, 10 March 2014
Dear Steven M,

Thank you for taking the time to write us such a lovely review on your stay at Thonga Beach Lodge.
We are absolutely thrilled that you and your wife so enjoyed your stay and that we gave you a really good nights sleep!
We hope to welcome you back in the not too distant future and that this time you will be privileged to see a Loggerhead or Leatherback Turtle laying her eggs.
Kind Regards
Penny Rice
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 Thonga Beach Lodge

Property: Thonga Beach Lodge
Address: In Isimangaliso World Heritage Wetland Park | Mabibi, iSimangaliso Wetland Park 4399, South Africa
Region: South Africa > KwaZulu-Natal > iSimangaliso Wetland Park
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 4 Speciality Lodging in iSimangaliso Wetland Park
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££££
Hotel Class:4 star — Thonga Beach Lodge 4*
Number of rooms: 12
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
This intimate, luxury lodge is nestled on the pristine coast of Northern KwaZulu-Natal, within the Isimangaliso World Heritage Park. Its clear, warm waters offer superb snorkeling and unspoiled off-shore scuba diving, arguably the best in South Africa. Air conditioned suites, mouth-watering cuisine, romantic candlelight dinners on the beach and relaxing Sea Spa treatments. Guided forest walks, kayaking, sundowners and seasonal turtle tracking. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Thonga Beach Hotel Mabibi
Thonga Beach Lodge South Africa/KwaZulu-Natal

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