I have just returned from the most amazing 3 night stay at Thornybush Waterside Lodge. Having stayed at many lodges in both South Africa and Tanzania I thought I had a good idea what to expect but what what we experienced far surpassed my expectations!
We arrived just before lunch and were greeted with a fabulously warm welcome and drinks. We were shown to our room (beutiful thatched bungalow withi lovely crisp white linen beds, fluffy towels, bathrobes and slippers) and then lunch was served at around 1:30pm. Don't even get me started on the food. It was far better than anything I have eaten anywhere in the world. I was travelling with my mom and 3 year old daughter and the staff couldnt be more helpful in ensuring that she was catered for at meal times. They always had pasta on standby incase she didnt fancy anything on the menu and they made sure she had ice-cream after every meal!
Our butler/waiter, Surprise was the best I have ever experienced. Just seeing his smiling face in the morning brightened my days and he kept my daughter well entertained at mealtimes as well! How he juggled serving and babysitting I'll never know.
We were introduced to our game ranger, Lucky, after a sumptious afternoon tea which I came to look forward to every day. I very nearly proposed to the pastry chef - thats how good his cakes are! Lucky was just the most amazing guide I have ever had the pleasure to meet. His knowlege of the bush is unsurpassed and he has an amazing calm and confident manner. His driving skills must also be up there as some of the best in the world! After the drive you are greeted with cool scented hand towels and drinks before another amazing dinner served either in the boma or outside. Whilst you are at dinner the staff ensure that your beds are turned down, mosquito nets are in place and chocolates are on your pillows. We even got a really lovely bed time story left on our beds one night!
The next day Lucky took my daughter on a bug walk. She had been given a "Ranger in training" backpack complete with magnifying glass and animal book as a welcome gift - just another lovely touch that they offer for children. Lucky's bug walk turned out to be just as amazing as his game drives and we left with loads of knowledge.
What really made this experience was the people. Thornybush have really got their recruitment right because we loved every one of them and it was clear they loved their jobs as well.
This is also a great place to bring a child. It is difficult to find lodges who accept children but Thornybush not only accepts them but accommodates them and embraces them.
I would reccommend this place to everyone. It is a MUST to visit. I have never stayed anywhere so seamlessly perfect in every way.
Thank you to each and every one of the staff for making our stay so special. I am already rebooking for next year.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Thornybush Waterside Lodge(Graded 5 star by the Tourism Grading Council of South Africa)20 Luxury Suites (40 Guests)Set on the banks of a tranquil lake encompassed with breath-taking views of the African bushveld, Thornybush Waterside Lodge affords instant relaxation.The lodges 20 comfortably appointed air-conditioned Thatched Suites blend into the natural habitat and are located along pathways surrounded by an abundance of trees and manicured gardens. En-suite air- conditioned accommodation tastefully decorated by crisp white bedding.Highly skilled rangers and trackers ensure Big 5 game viewing opportunities during dawn and dusk safaris, whilst bushwalks are for the more adventurous. Guests are invited to relax and take in the African surrounds after breakfast on the main deck area overlooking the lake, the swimming pool or alternatively retreat to the comfort of your suite.Thornybush Waterside Lodge will from mid-January 2012 have access to an even greater Reserve making game viewing some of the best in the Country. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Thornybush Waterside Lodge Thornybush Private Game Reserve, South Africa