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“A stunning Game Lodge, but not the best if you are serious about Big 5 Game Viewing.”
Review of Clifftop Lodge

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Clifftop Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
South Africa
Level Contributor
72 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
“A stunning Game Lodge, but not the best if you are serious about Big 5 Game Viewing.”
Reviewed 12 February 2014

Went here for our Wedding Anniversary. As our Bush and nature is disappearing rapidly, I am not a fan of "modern looking" game lodges and prefer the old British Style Safari's & Tented Camps but this This Game Reserve is one of my favourite designed lodges.

It was given a "white-out" which is unusual for the dusty bush but this lodge lent itself perfectly to it's new white look. I have nothing bad to say about this lodge except that that the game viewing is mild at best and not for guests who want to see serious game.

Also we were overcharged by the Internet site we booked through by 300% compared to what other guests paid, which spoiled the stay for us because we felt ripped off. The staff were very nice and tried their best to spoil us to make up for a problem that had nothing to do with them.

Great! Looking forward to going again, but won't be expecting the great game viewing this time, so won't be disappointed about that again.

  • Stayed March 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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Helpful?
Thank TheHotelGuru10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
LBucceri, Marketing Representative at Clifftop Lodge, responded to this review, 7 March 2014
Hi sbus2014,

Thank you for your review. We are thrilled that you liked the lodge and that on the whole, you enjoyed your stay.

We are sorry to hear that you were disappointed with the game viewing, and sincerely hope that the next time you visit, you experience more sightings.

Regards,
The Clifftop Team
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (78)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
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  • Italian first
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  • Any
English first
Johannesburg, South Africa
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 19 January 2014

My stay at Clifftop was easily my most memorable bush experience. The 4 days I spent there left me feeling as though I had been on holiday for a month. The breath-taking views from our room and the lodge alone were worth a visit; but coupled with the most accommodating and welcoming staff, knowledgeable and friendly guide and spectacular game viewing the trip was unforgettable. I will definitely be returning as soon as I can. Thank you Clifftop!

Room Tip: Room 2 had a spectacular view
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  • Stayed January 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank JessmessB
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
LBucceri, Marketing representative at Clifftop Lodge, responded to this review, 13 March 2014
Dear JessmessB,

Thank you for your lovely feedback on Tripadvisor... we are thrilled that you had such a good time at Clifftop and look forward to seeing you again for another memorable holiday.

Regards,
The Clifftop Team
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Johannesburg, South Africa
1 review
Reviewed 18 January 2014

I have only a list of superlatives to describe all of the interactions we experienced at Clifftop Lodge (14-19 Jan 2014). From the gate pick-up, to the service, game drives, attentive staff, knowledgeable rangers, amazing wildlife, luxurious rooms and sightings, including but not just limited to, an un-orchestrated interaction with a python in the main reception area which was singularly one of the most memorable in my life, as well as very special moments with a large pregnant female rhino, her daughter and spa treatments at the local mud bath.
The food tempts the most disciplined foodie, and the personal butler with ever-present smiles and OTT service is so easy to get used to. The venue allows you to experience very private, special memories both in the bush and at the lodge. The only problem was that the time went by too quickly!! I shall be back...

Room Tip: Ask for number 2, the view is unbelievable
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  • Stayed January 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank PamBam44
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
LBucceri, Marketing representative at Clifftop Lodge, responded to this review, 13 March 2014
Dear PamBam44,

Thank you for your wonderful review. We are delighted that you had such a great time, and had such remarkable wildlife sightings! We hope to welcome you back to Clifftop soon.

Regards,
The Clifftop Team
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Johannesburg, South Africa
Level Contributor
19 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
Reviewed 13 January 2014

We spent 3 nights at Clifftop to round off a 7 month round the world trip and couldn't have asked for a better end to our trip. We had a really warm welcome to the lodge and our guide, Odette, was superb. The rooms were the most spacious we have ever stayed in and the decor was exceptional. We lazed around our plunge pool each day before going on a game drive. We made full use of the indoor and outdoor showers and the view from our pool was incredible. We had amazing game sightings and the food at the lodge was delicious. Our butlers were very attentive and polite and saw to our every need. Thank you to everyone for making this a most enjoyable stay.

  • Stayed January 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank EricaCawdry
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
CSWalker71, Director of Sales at Clifftop Lodge, responded to this review, 16 January 2014
Thank you for your wonderful feedback, we look forward to welcoming you back in the near future.

Kind Regards

Clifftop Exclusive Safari Hideaway
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Johannesburg, South Africa
Level Contributor
58 reviews
35 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 40 helpful votes
Reviewed 13 January 2014

Having stayed at, and reviewed numerous hotels, lodges, game reserves; I am sad to say that Clifftop Lodge was a disappointment from the start. Whilst most of the team working at the Lodge were lovely and very personable, the start of our vacation was marred by the worst ranger imaginable!

We had planned this two night break months in advance to celebrate friends coming in to visit us from the UK. The weather seemed to take an instant dislike to us visiting the region with rain and cold weather for the first half of our stay. Whilst the weather was unfortunate, it could have been completely forgotten if we'd had a ranger who was interested in his job. Unfortunately we were greeted at the gate by a surly, disinterested, rude man who did not want to be there. He proceeded to speed us through to the lodge without stopping at anything along the way; he didn't engage us in any information regarding the area, the lodge, any animals we might see, etc, etc. Our first night's game drive was a disaster which I was prepared to put his bad mood down to not wanting to go out in rain.....

His rudeness continued to the following morning's drive, where he actually told a few of us to show him more respect when asking him to not drive off before we'd taken pictures! Of the 8 of us on the drive, 6 of us complained upon our return to the lodge. Thankfully our complaints were dealt with immediately and all 6 of us were handed over to another ranger! We were also informed that the reason he was so disinterested was that he had resigned and was leaving in 4 days! - Just a point to management: You have 4 people that I know of who are so disappointed in the way the stay started that none of us want to return! This could easily have been very different if you had Just let him go when it was obvious he didn't want to be there.....

The remainder of our trip was as if we'd gone to another lodge! Odette was informative, excited about her job, passionate about all wildlife, and generally made our last two drives worth the weather and disappointment from the start.

On a general note: The manager, butler s and general staff where all very helpful; the Lodge itself seems a bit run down, stains on the bedding and furniture in our room, doors that didn't open properly, and just all seemed a bit tired.

I would say that at best Clifftop Lodge is a good 3 star or weak 4 star resort.

Sad to say that it was a trip I'd prefer to forget

  • Stayed December 2013, travelled with friends
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Grahamc33
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
CSWalker71, Director of Sales at Clifftop Lodge, responded to this review, 16 January 2014
It was with regret that we read of your disappointment at Clifftop Exclusive Safari Lodge. I would like to reassure you that this is certainly not the usual standard of our delivery. We would like to assure you that your concerns have been addressed fully and we would like to apologize for the inconvenience.

Kind Regards

Cindy
Director of Sales
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Paris, France
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 11 January 2014

We were recommended by my sister who lives in Joburg. We came with my wife for 3 days and we did not regret it. Not only the reserve is beautiful (very mountainous which differs from KNP) but also the lodge itself and particularly the rooms with the deck and this little pool to observe the surroundings.
Service is absolutely 4 stars as well as the food. "Mes compliments" to the chef. Various, tasty and original.

I most definitely recommend the place.

Hadrien B

Room Tip: Choose the room N°1. It's the one with the best view according to us.
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  • Stayed January 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Hadrien92
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
CSWalker71, Director of Sales at Clifftop Lodge, responded to this review, 16 January 2014
We were delighted to read your wonderful feedback - thank you for taking the time to post your comments. We sincerely hope that we could have an opportunity to welcome you back to Clifftop Exclusive Safari Gideaway in the future.

Best Regards

Cindy

Director of Sales
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 9 January 2014

I would not recommend Clifftop Lodge to any visitor.

We booked and paid for our Christmas stay in full, three months in advance. Ten days prior to our reservation we were contacted and informed that there was an overbooking situation at the Lodge. However subsequently it was confirmed, in writing, that our reservation did not need to be moved and we did not need to make any alternative plans.

On the day of our arrival, having driven 300km out of Johannesburg, we arrived at the Welgevonden Reserve gate and called the Clifftop Lodge for our 4x4 pick-up. The front desk informed us that our reservation had been cancelled! I cannot even begin to explain the sheer disappointment of having a long awaited and special get-away cancelled upon arrived at the gate (That being said, we were then bumped along to an empty lodge – but that defeats the very purpose of selecting your own preferred lodge from the myriad available).

I have never in my life had the misfortune to experience such appalling and dishonest service and would sincerely recommend that if you are travelling to Welgevonden Game Reserve you rather go to Nungubane Game Lodge or Nedile Lodge. We have stayed at both lodges in the past and have received outstanding service at both establishments.

  • Stayed December 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank JKM_SA
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
CSWalker71, Director of Sales at Clifftop Lodge, responded to this review, 16 January 2014
Dear Mr and Mrs Mc Laren,

Our sincere apologies again for your inconvenience due to an error on the reservations system. This computer system error was honestly not something we could have anticipated and whilst we understand your disappointment please be reminded of our letter of apology below which offered you a completely complimentary stay on a future date as a token of our remorse.

The following letter was given to you on the 28th December 2013
28 December 2013

Dear Mr and Ms Mc Laren

"I would like to convey my sincere apologies for the inconvenience caused resulting from the error with regards to your booking at Clifftop Lodge.
These unfortunate circumstances necessitated us to move your booking to Nungubane in the Welgevonden Game Reserve

In lieu of the inconvenience caused I would like to offer you a complementary 2 night stay at Clifftop lodge valid for the next 12 months with the exception of use over public holidays or long weekends."

We are honestly saddened that you are unable to accept this and can only again apologise.

Best Regards

Cindy
Director of Sales
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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 Clifftop Lodge

Property: Clifftop Lodge
Address: Welgevonden Game Reserve | East Gate Entrance, Welgevonden Game Reserve 0530, South Africa
Region: South Africa > Limpopo Province > Welgevonden Game Reserve
Amenities:
Hotel Style:
Ranked #4 of 16 Speciality Lodging in Welgevonden Game Reserve
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £££
Hotel Class:5 star — Clifftop Lodge 5*
Number of rooms: 8
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Clifftop Exclusive Safari Lodge is an exquisite bushveld hideaway, a unique resort, where service is understood and luxury is elegantly understated. The setting is breath taking and provides a beautiful African backdrop for a world of easy going elegance.All 8 suites have a private deck with plunge pool,thatched sala and indoor and outdoor lounges. The en-suite bathrooms have both indoor and outdoor showers, separate bath and bath consumables. The suites are non-smoking and have air conditioning, direct dial telephones, hairdryers, hotel stationery, mini bars, room safes, electric blankets and tea/coffee making facilities. Private Wine Cellar dinners are available by prior arrangement.The Lodge is situated in the 36000ha malaria-free Welgevonden Game Reserve in the Waterberg Mountains, offering the Big 5. Gate entry fees are applicable and are charged per person per night.Halaal, Kosher and any other special meal requirements are catered for by prior arrangement. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Clifftop Hotel Vaalwater
Clifftop Lodge South Africa/Welgevonden Game Reserve

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