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“Delightful” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Rorke's Drift Hotel

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Rorke's Drift Hotel
Certificate of Excellence
Camber, United Kingdom
1 review
“Delightful”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 20 November 2013

This hotel is like two ring doughnuts set in a beautiful landscape redolent of Anglo-Zulu War history. I went on an early morning run each day and felt quite safe, not always the case in SA. Loved my big room, particularly appreciated excellent breakfasts and wifi. Charles gently controls everything and got us an excellent guide, Dalton, who enlivened Isandlwana and Rorke's Drift. It is quite a special place, you will enjoy your stay.

  • Stayed November 2013, travelled with friends
    • 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 Mary W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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204 reviews from our community

Traveller rating
    153
    43
    7
    0
    1
See reviews for
43
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5
Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (76)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • Any
English first
Chicago
Level Contributor
155 reviews
64 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 74 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 19 November 2013

This is a quaint but modern hotel set along the Buffalo River and a couple of miles from the site of the Rorke's Drift battlefield of January 1879. While comfortable, the rooms and baths are not well finished so this is a more rustic experience than the rates might imply. The food was OK, but again not outstanding unlike many dinning experiences in South Africa. Likewise, the entertainment -- native dancing albeit in modern costume (tennis shoes, pants) -- adds to the feel that this is still a work in progress. That said, viewing the hotel from the low bridge across the Buffalo River, set against the side of a low mountain strewn with boulders and little vegitation, it fits in well with its surroundings and the history on which its location is based. We are glad we came to Rorke's Drift and Rorke's Drift Hotel was a suitable place to stay for our visit. Charles was, indeed, interesting and helpful. We particularly enjoyed reading the official account of the engagement (and part of the account of the prior disaster -- for the British -- at Islandwana, nearby) in the hotel's library and media room. Yes, for those with time, the hotel has both "Zulu" and the prequel "Zulu Dawn" about Islandwana.

Room Tip: Get there early. Most rooms had a balcony view of the mountain or countryside. As we were the last...
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  • Stayed October 2013, travelled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Reamor
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
RorkesDriftHotel, Owner at Rorke's Drift Hotel, responded to this review, 20 November 2013
We are always concerned if guests are not fully satisfied so would like to offer the following comments to this review, made by a guest that we recall. Rorke's Drift is a rural area, 45 minutes on a gravel road from the nearest supplies; so like any rural hospitality privider it is reliant on local skill and resources. In the context of modern tourism and encouragement to minimise carbon footprints and give maximum opportunities to local people, there may be some compromise to guest standards. However we are proud to offer an African experience, and if (in t the words of the reviewer) that is Work In Progres, we make no apology for our guests experiencing it. The dancers come to perform for the pleasure of an audience; they are not paid and are local boys who were showing their traditional artistic interpretation of their culture.
The appreciation of the guest may have been coloured by arriving later than expected, in the dark, and only having a half day to enjoy their destination. Managing time and distance is a real skill for travel in S A.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Somerton, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 17 November 2013

The Rorke's Drift Hotel is a one-off and a must when visiting the Zulu Battlefields. The owner, Charles, is a charming and enthusiastic host who welcomed us and other guests and skilfully blended us into a group for evening dinner. We had a delightful stay which superbly complimented our tour and Charles' stories and descriptions added atmosphere and colour. The hotel is modelled on a Rondavel design with a cavernous interior and has wonderful views over the Buffalo River. This is a hotel we would be delighted to return to. Thank you Charles.

  • Stayed November 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 Cliff M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Arklow, Ireland
Level Contributor
6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 10 October 2013

Presumably the reason you are at Rorke's Drift Hotel is for the battlefields in the area. This hotel is mandatory to stay in. Accommodation, staff, meals, ambiance and bar are super. The rondavel designs are stunning with parapet views over drift itself and the Buffalo river enchanting. The proximity to Blood River, Isandlwana, Fugitives' Trail and Mission Station makes touring the sites viable over a couple of days feasible in comfort, with or without guide; we chose the latter one day and were thrilled.
However great this seems, it is the personal attention the owner, Charles, that will remain in our memory of a splendid holiday. He drew all the guests together, regaled us with anecdotes and real history of the characters (warts and all) in the Zulu War local battles. As an ex-army officer he explained the deficiencies/successes of strategy of the combatants. True entertaining at a rivetting level.
We intended a two night stop but remained for four! Best value in ZA!

Room Tip: One with a view of the Buffalo river. We had surgeon "Reynolds" room.
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  • Stayed September 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 W2N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Cheltenham
Level Contributor
23 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 7 October 2013

Rorke's Drift Hotel was designed and built by Charles Aikenhead, who owns and manages the hotel. It over looks the Buffalo River, a short distance down river from where Lt John Chard of the Royal Engineers was left in charge of the pontoon allowing the centre 3rd column of Lord Chelmsford to cross from Natal into the Zulu Kingdom on 11th January 1879.

The main reception area is in a beautiful 'Rondavel' shaped building, with a thatched roof and the accommodation is in a separate Roundavel, with singles bedrooms under the main building facing the River.

The setting is stunning, the hospitality exceptional and the rooms really comfortable.

This is a place of exceptional value and an absolute 'must' to stay in

Room Tip: Ask for a room facing the Buffalo River
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  • Stayed September 2013, travelled solo
    • 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 ShoutCheltenham
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Mauritius
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 7 October 2013

We spent 4 nights at the Rorke’s Drift hotel and it wasn’t enough. We made the most of everything, getting up early every day, doing the battlefield tour, visiting the local schools, climbing the mountain behind the hotel and walking along the trails. In the evening we socialised with our fellow-guests, sharing our experiences of the day at the dinner table and in the bar. It was the perfect combination for us – history, nature, exercise and socialising.
We had the King Shaka room which was spacious and offered stunning views of the river and sunrise.
We liked the communal triangular dinner table and the convivial company of the other guests. There was limited choice at meal times but the food was simple and tasty and you could help yourself to what you wanted.
We didn’t use our car at all and enjoyed being able to walk to most places. Our battlefield guide taught us some useful phrases in Zulu which allowed us to engage with local people in their language. We spoke to everyone we met and they were all very friendly.
This was our first trip to South Africa and we hadn’t realised how cold it would be in winter. There was a frost in the mornings and it was very cold at night. We always went out well wrapped up and peeled off the layers as the temperature rose during the day. There was ample bedding to keep us comfortable in our room but we needed warm clothing at dinner. After 3 years living in Mauritius we’ve got used to higher temperatures.
The owner of the hotel is the perfect host. He arranged all our activities and made it seem like we were spending a few days with friends rather than staying in a hotel. After dinner on the day of our battlefield tour he gave a fascinating account of events that took place in the area immediately around the hotel on 22 January 1879.
We hope to return to Rorke’s Drift some time to walk the rest of the trails, to visit other significant historic sites in the area and to relax in this beautiful part of the country.

  • Stayed June 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?
1 Thank Kay F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Level Contributor
30 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 September 2013

Rorkes Drift Hotel commands spectacular views and is ideally located for battle field tours. The accommodation is clean, spacious and comfortable, all rooms with incredible outlooks. The lodge is homely, with guests encouraged to mingle, with Charles (the owner and manager) being the most fantastic host. Charles has a wealth of knowledge about the area and is an incredible raconteur - truely bringing the history of the area alive and ensuring that your time at Rorkes Drift is a memory to be cherished forever.

  • Stayed February 2013, travelled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 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?
Thank spike123452016
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Rorke's Drift Hotel

Property: Rorke's Drift Hotel
Address: Isandhlwana Road, Rorke's Drift, South Africa
Region: South Africa > KwaZulu-Natal > Rorke's Drift
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 4 Speciality Lodging in Rorke's Drift
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Number of rooms: 12
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
At Rorke's Drift on the Buffalo River the new Rorke’s Drift Hotel stands the slopes of Shiyane Mountain (The Oscarberg), in the rolling hills of Zululand. The historic crossing that gives the area its name is within its grounds and the comfortable modern facilities are priced to meet the needs of the discerning traveller. The visitor will enjoy peaceful relaxation in the rural landscape, surrounded by iconic history and natural countryside. Phase One of the construction is now complete with 7 double and four single en-suite rooms. Phase Two will raise the capacity to 30 rooms so that coach touring parties can be accommodated, for the recommended two night stay. The hotel provides an affordable destination at this historic location. Visitors will be stunned by its position overlooking the Buffalo River and with its open views towards Isandlwana, and by its architectural design that is a modern amalgam of Zulu and Victorian cultures. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Rorke's Drift Hotel South Africa/KwaZulu-Natal

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