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“Best Experience!”
Review of Thonga Beach Lodge

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Thonga Beach Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 6 May 2014

It was the best holiday and experience of my life! My highlight would surely be snorkeling with dolphins as this has always been something on my bucketlist. The staff is very kind and makes you feel at home. I want to go back! :)


  • Stayed: April 2014, travelled with friends
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Review collected in partnership with this hotel
Thank Justine L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
IsibindiAfrica, Guest Relations Manager at Thonga Beach Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded 19 May 2014

Dear Justine L
Thank you for taking the time to write a review on Thonga Beach Lodge.
We are so thrilled that you have such a lovely holiday there.
Swimming with Dolphins is truly a magical experience.
We hope to welcome you back soon.

Kind Regards
Penny Ricde

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviews (367)
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175 - 181 of 367 reviews

Reviewed 22 April 2014

What a fantastic Lodge, only managed to spend a couple of nights there but look forward to getting back there one day. Can't recommend it enough, we all loved the place/food/staff and overall experience

  • Stayed: April 2014, travelled with family
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Review collected in partnership with this hotel
Thank BandC2004
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 reviewResponded 23 April 2014

Dear BandC2004

Thanks very much for your review and for recommending us. We look forward to hosting you again soon, hopefully for a bit longer next time!

Kind Regards

Gerard

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Reviewed 20 April 2014 via mobile

Be aware the transfer from carpark to hotel is 1 hour with a 4x4 wehicle and you are way out on the countryside! Thonga is a lovely and very special place. Local people who work at the hotel and always share their smile with you. Hence the atmosphere is unforgettably nice. Hovever the pictures in the ads are a bit overdone and reality is not luxury, rather genuin. Activities well taken care of and the best; the food! One of the best so far in the area. Hope the chef stays - If so it is Worth comming back again!

  • Stayed: April 2014
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1  Thank Cala084
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 reviewResponded 23 April 2014

Dear Cala084

I am very pleased to hear that your experience at Thonga was unforgettable and that you enjoyed the warm hospitality that our staff are well known for.

The good news is that our chef, Carl, is staying. In fact, because he has had such a great influence on the food at Thonga we have promoted him to be Group Chef of Isibindi Africa Lodges. So he will be overseeing the kitchens in all of our lodges, something we are very excited about.

Thanks very much

Gerard

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Reviewed 14 April 2014

OK, it is a almost 60 minutes drive from the main road all the way to the Lodge (4x4 required), but it is 100% worth it... even the 60 minutes drive through woods, across hills was fun. Once you are there, you know paradise is veeeery close. Beaches, you normally know from books...
Friendly staff (you can also learn Zulu:) ), and the service is TOP!
Rooms are spacious, clean and with a tasteful interior design. Also the SPA is highly recommended..
We are not Scuba Divers, but courses are available....snorkelling is a MUST!
First time there - and we will be back for sure!

Room Tip: We had a forest room, which is (from our point of view) ebough. Seaview is not necessary Sundowner...
  • Stayed: March 2014, travelled as a couple
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Thank miracolimuc
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 reviewResponded 16 April 2014

Dear miracolimuc,

Thank you for taking the time to write a review on Thonga Beach Lodge.
We are so thrilled that you so enjoyed your stay and look forward to welcoming you back hopefully in the not too distant future.
Kind Regards
Penny Rice

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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
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Review collected in partnership with this hotel
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 reviewResponded 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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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
  • Stayed: March 2014, travelled as a couple
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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 reviewResponded 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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Reviewed 26 March 2014

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
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 reviewResponded 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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Additional Information about 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 #2 of 4 Speciality Lodging in iSimangaliso Wetland Park
Price Range: £478 - £586 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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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