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“Cavern was awesome!” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Cavern Drakensberg Resort & Spa

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Cavern Drakensberg Resort & Spa
Ranked #1 of 4 Hotels in Bergville
Certificate of Excellence
Johannesburg
Level Contributor
12 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“Cavern was awesome!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 5 February 2013

There's no rating option for the food... LOVED the food!
Our family room was good, not luxurious like some of my family's rooms, but it was OK.
Hotel was fantastic, and the service was amazing!
AWESOME place to spend a few days! Kids loved the pool and the kids dining area. Trails around the hotel were amazing

  • Stayed February 2013, travelled with family
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank JentySA
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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359 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
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (96)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
Randburg, Gauteng, South Africa
Level Contributor
23 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 5 February 2013

I stayed at the Cavern for 3 nights this past weekend and wasn't expecting much. I usually approach a three star hotel with a bit of scepticism and at 850 ppspn I was expecting a bit of a rip off. Boy was I wrong!

The Cavern is nestled within a small valley that provides a fantastic range of walks through forests, behind waterfalls and up to caves with rock paintings. We went there as a family to celebrate my fiancé's mother's 60th birthday. In our group, were 8 adults and 3 children from 5 to 9 years old. There was so much to do for everybody from walks to canoe rides, fly fishing, bowls, photography walks, spa treatments, tennis, table tennis and much much more.

This is a truly awesome country hotel with the kind of service that people reminisce about. The resort is extremely well staffed and ready and willing to serve at every corner without getting in your face.

What makes this trip really worthwhile is the opportunity to truly put your feet up and relax. The board comes with full dinner bed and breakfast and they do it properly! 2 course breakfast, 3 course lunch and 5 course dinner. The quality of the food leaves nothing to be desired and should you find yourself unsatisfied after a course, you can just order more.

As you sit down for your first meal at The Cavern, a waiter introduces himself to you. For the rest of your stay, that waiter takes care of you and makes sure that your every need is taken care of. The booze prices at the bar are excellent as well. I paid R14 for a SAB beer, R19.50 for a boutique style beer and R20 for a Mojito. R131 gets you a bottle of Warwick: The First Lady.

The rooms were nothing fancy but extremely comfortable. There are a range of rooms available but we took the most basic offering which consists of a spacious bedroom, patio/balcony looking onto a hill and a waterfall in the distance. The bathroom had a bath and shower and the bed was a King Size, hard, high density foam mattress. I slept like a log :)

When I next stay in the Northern Drakensberg, The Cavern will DEFINATELY be the place!

Room Tip: The resort is set on a slope. Ask for rooms at the top of the slope. They are quieter, away from the...
See more room tips
  • Stayed February 2013, travelled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Bryan R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Durban, South Africa
Level Contributor
8 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 February 2013

This was our first trip to the Cavern and we were not disappointed. The setting is beautiful, right in the mountains with gorgeous views everywhere you look. The rooms are comfortable although not sound-proof due to the thatched roof, so next door's soccer match on the TV was very much ours as well. The walks are amazing, every one different and through beautiful countryside. Out of five dams there are really only three worth fishing and they are a considerable climb to get to so you need to be a keen fisherman. The food is fantastic, we simply couldn't fault it and the service excellent. Dogs resting on the lawn and mingling with the guests completed the picture of a charming family hotel. We will be back.

  • Stayed January 2013, travelled with family
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Iona S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Durban, South Africa
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 21 January 2013

The Cavern is a have too holiday experience. The staff are friendly and well versed with the history of the hotel. The guides have good knowledge of the plants and animals of the surrounding terrain. The food is exquisite and made from fresh vegetables grown in there garden. Rooms are big and airy .Activities are for all ages. The scenery is breath taking .

Room Tip: Just been there is amazing all rooms are good
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  • Stayed January 2013, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank craigTaylor
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Johannesburg, South Africa
Level Contributor
7 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 15 January 2013

The staff, resort facilities and ambiance are fantastic!
The menu and food presentation are really an asset to the resort.
Activities and facilities - too many to mention - make the visit an experience to remember!

  • Stayed January 2013, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Andy K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
geneva
Level Contributor
36 reviews
32 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 9 January 2013

The Cavern Drakensberg Resort is a family orientated historical hotel with good old fashioned Drakensberg charm and tradition. Most of the guests are local south african families who return year after year generation after generation and consequently receive priority booking. We were lucky enough to get in for the christmas week and were not disappointed.
The food was excellent and itself in another class. As mentioned in previous reviews it was more akin to fine dining or a gourmet restaurant than a big family hotel. The chef pulled out all the stops for Xmas with eight beautifully presented and delicious courses and we all agreed that we could not have eaten better in an expensive restaurant in Europe. Compliments to the chef!! The staff were charming and helpful too. They have their own zulu choir "The Cavern choir" and although not up to Ladysmith Black Mombazo standard we enjoyed their display and bought their CD to support them. Many of the staff have been there a long time and it is obvious that there is a good team spirit and that the resort supports the local amazisi community. The organized walks are a good way to meet fellow guests and to talk to the staff guide and learn all about local flora and fauna. There are afternoon games on the lawn, before tea, with the hotel dogs sometimes taking an active part. There is also tennis, bowls, pool, darts, table tennis and horse riding. In the evenings there are games or movies in the mini cinema, and we even had a barn dance and a christmas nativity play. Never a dull moment at the Cavern. The pool was overcrowded with kids at Xmas of course, with the little slide and the trampoline being a big attraction. The hotel is set amongst spectacular trees and gardens and there is an informative nature walk in the nearby indigenous forest, with a 200 year old cape ash tree. The cavern maintains all its own walking paths within its boundary. It is an exceptional Drakensberg property with a long history.
We stayed in one of the bigger superior rooms a little way down from the dining room near the Forest Retreat spa. These rooms have their own parking right next door. The bathroom smelt of urine when we arrived but it seemed to be clean. It could have been the septic tank. The room has a big thatched roof and a comfortable bed and a big flat screen TV which we certainly did not need with so much nature right outside. There was a fridge and a kettle for tea and a small patio from which we could hear baboons barking and listen to birdsong and watch for the practically tame mountain reedbuck. It was the proximity to nature and the beauty of the place which made our holiday here so special. The Cavern is not a luxury resort but it has a very high standard and it has a unique natural and unpretentious atmosphere which is no longer easy to find in a hotel.

Room Tip: The superior rooms below the forest retreat are quiet and have their own parking.
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  • Stayed December 2012, travelled with family
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Chris P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Toronto
Level Contributor
10 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 6 January 2013

My wife and two kids (13 and 9) spent a week here just prior to Christmas 2012. The Cavern is very much a "local" destination with +90% of the guests being South African. Many come year after year. This stay was the most pleasant surprise of our three week trip. It felt like a throwback to earlier times. We thought it was the South African equivalent of the resort in "Dirty Dancing" if you are familiar with the movie! I think it is ideal for families with young kids and who love the outdoors. A typical day for us was up early for birdwatching and photography, a sit-down, hot breakfast in the dining room at 7:30 followed by a morning hike organized by the resort, tea at 11, a hot lunch on the patio, swimming at the pool after lunch, tea at 4 and dinner at 6:30. Other things we did included a day trip to Royal Natal NP with one of the Cavern guides, a trip to his village (interesting but not for everybody!) and horseback riding. Other guests brought their mountain bikes and there appeared to be some serious riders staying at the resort. There was always a group event at 8 in the evening (trivial games, bingo, etc.) but we did not partake as we were always ready for bed!

We probably had the best room in the resort. It is right at the top of the hill, very private, with ample room for our family of 4. Private patio, three bathrooms, two bedrooms, AC, TV. It could use a bit of freshening up but was very clean and very comfortable. There is no fitness centre (the great outdoors is your fitness centre!) and I don't believe there was room service.

I reiterate. If you like the outdoors, have small kids and are casual people who are looking for a relaxing holiday in a breathtaking location, try the Cavern! It is a great LOCAL secret. I would like to change that!



One thing I would like to emphasize is that the food is MUCH BETTER than some of the reviews would indicate. Maybe this is a recent improvement. But I can assure you that the evening meal was much more akin to fine dining (including the impeccable service) than not and we always enjoyed and looked forward to out meals.

  • Stayed December 2012, travelled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Dave_In_Oakville
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Cavern Drakensberg Resort & Spa

Property: Cavern Drakensberg Resort & Spa
Address: End Of D 119 Road 3350 | Amphitheatre, Northern Drakensberg, Bergville 3350, South Africa
Region: South Africa > KwaZulu-Natal > Drakensberg Region > Bergville
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beverage Selection Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Spa Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 4 Hotels in Bergville
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:3 star — Cavern Drakensberg Resort & Spa 3*
Number of rooms: 55
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Cavern Resort & Spa welcomes you to the adventures of mountain holidays. The Cavern, named after the “Cannibal Cavern”, is situated on 3000 hectares of private mountain reserve adjacent to the Drakensberg Amphitheatre World Heritage Site.This holiday offers you daily guided hikes to bushman paintings and rock carvings. For the more energetic, walks are organised to the Tugela Gorge, the second highest waterfall in the world, and to the top of the Amphitheatre (3100m). An extensive range of recreational facilities, from a forest spa, horse trails, trout fishing and mountain bike trails are available. This stunning resort has won numerous accolades. Honeymoon suites, superior suites and standard accommodation are available with spectacular views of the surrounding valleys, indigenous forests and mountains. Honeymoon suites are complete with four-poster beds and fireplaces for cool evenings. The superior accommodation is set away from the resort, in tranquil gardens, with magnificent views of the surrounding mountains. The reserve is home to abundant wildlife including leopard, baboon and eland and over 200 species of birds and 150 species of trees.The Forest Spa, set high up in the indigenous forest, is a relaxing space to unwind in whilst being treated by our therapists. Afterwards the unique Cave Bar is the ideal place to meet for a sundowner while looking over the valley below. Just over three hours from Gauteng and Durban it is the ideal area to spend some time in the mountains. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
The Cavern Drakensberg Hotel Bergville
Cavern Drakensberg Resort & Spa South Africa/Bergville

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