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“SANI TOP CHALET: It is what is is”

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Sani Mountain Lodge
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Sani Pass
Durban, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
Level Contributor
6 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“SANI TOP CHALET: It is what is is”
Reviewed 8 August 2012

Sani Top Chalet is not a four-star lodge or a luxury hotel group resort. It is a rustic, offroad, fun stop for people with a sense of adventure and travellers who are used to four-wheel-drive territory and accommodation. Those expecting heated towel rails and room service should book in elsewhere . . . this venue doesn't promise to be anything other than what it is: a place with the most spectacular views, atmosphere and location. That there's hot and tasty food, booze, bed, and bogs, is a bonus! Four-by-four adventurers are generally used to roughing it, so Sani Top is more than adequate for most! As for other complaints, local rural labour is employed, and do the best they can. Get a life, all you whingers who complain! Go to Sun City or the Oyster Box if this is too tough for you!

  • Stayed October 2011, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
1 Thank Peta104
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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215 reviews from our community

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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (37)
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Cape Town Central, South Africa
Level Contributor
333 reviews
99 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 118 helpful votes
Reviewed 6 July 2012

What you must remember is that if you are staying there you are on a 4x4 trip. Accessibility is difficult and at a cost. We spent two awesome days there and did not want to leave. Under new management, Brian is making a great effort, but there is lots to sort out. Good wines for such a remote place at fair prices. Meals were very good.

  • Stayed July 2012, travelled with family
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Helpful?
1 Thank RicotheGreat
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Cape Town Central, South Africa
Level Contributor
6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 31 May 2012

Sani pass top has recently undergone a change in ownership (circa March 2012). The new owners seem to have really jacked up the prices.

The backpackers dorm is located in the village, far away from the views. The toilets are in a separate, unheated, freezing building with plumbing issues. In general, it just seems there has been a lack of effort that doesn't justify the R185 dorm bed.

Room Tip: There is another dorm a few km down the road, signposted. It might be worthwhile to investigate....
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  • Stayed May 2012, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
3 Thank SA_Traveller_Budget_
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
14 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
Reviewed 6 May 2012

Sani Top used to be basic and cheap, unpretentious and full of character and tradition. The current owners have traded on this reputation and have created a nice facility, but sadly have forgotten that high prices in out of the way places require top service and standards. And frankly, at the exorbitant price, it is now a rip-off. When it was cheap and cheerful, there was warm beer and cold water. Now that it is expensive, there is STILL warm beer and cold water. I like it better before: I didn't expect too much, and it didn't pretend to offer very much. Consequently, Sani Top is now very poor value for money.

The managers are perfectly indifferent to the guests, barely communicating with them at all. One of them spent most of his time smoking outside or watching sport on DSTV. The rooms are good...except that the door rattled all night in the howling wind, the gas fire died, there was no hot water and the place was dusty and too rapidly built to pay attention to detail. The food was quite good though.

What happened to the good ol' days? The view is great and the pass is exciting...but it always was.

  • Stayed May 2012, travelled with family
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Helpful?
5 Thank Lloyd C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bielefeld, Germany
Level Contributor
32 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 May 2012

The drive up the pass was slighly hair-raising by my standards, but perfectly passable in a 4x4 and very very scenic. The Sani Top Chalet (highest pub in Africa) is under new ownership and big changes are planned. We slept in a Rondavel, with a fire in the stove in the evening - very romantic, though at the same time pretty basic. Plenty of hot water - but be aware that the electric goes off early and doesn't start again until breakfast time. The food was astonishingly good and the welcome was warm from all the staff. Great place to meet fellow adventurers - everybody shares their experiences and you can easily strike up friendships.

Room Tip: Would recommend the Rondavels - very special.
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  • Stayed April 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
3 Thank Sue H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Seattle, Washington
Level Contributor
89 reviews
37 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 April 2012

The drive from Himeville, up Sani Pass is an adventure, prefferably in a 4X4 as the road is steep and rocky but the views and scenery amazing, the Sani Top Challet offers day travelers a very cozy pub and restuarant on the top of the escarpment with roaring fireplaces (it gets freezing cold up there) the food and atmosphere is fantastic.

  • Stayed May 2011, travelled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank Jonathan M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Tellitlikeitwas
Level Contributor
25 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
Reviewed 30 March 2012

We visited Sani Top Chalet, now renamed Sani Top Lodge, a few days after it was taken over by new owners. Due to a mix up during the handover, our 4x4 up Sani Pass (you have to have a 4x4 or rely on Sani Top Lodge to provide a transfer service) was two hours late - and only had two seats for three of us. Not a good start, going up a very dangerous pass in a torrential thunderstorm while sitting doubled up on the gear stick. However, the trip up was very exciting and the food alone at Sani Top Lodge made it worth it. The new owners have poached an excellent new chef from an upmarket North Drakensberg hotel. His enthusiasm and talent were boundless. Our thatched hut (rondavel) was spacious and atmospheric. But much needs to be done: our bed desperately needed new bedding and pillows, which were being organised imminently; the gas fire in our room made our eyes stream so badly that we couldn't bear to light it, so we froze - the new manager is converting all the gas fires to log fires for more atmosphere; the Lodge ran on a generator, switched on for a couple of hours in the morning and from 6 to 10 in the evening but the lighting was not good enough to read - new solar panels are about to be installed; when the mist came in, there was nothing to do, as you could not risk accidentally walking off the nearby cliffs, though Sani Top Lodge is home to 'The highest pub in Africa', so you can always sit and have a drink. However, when clear, the views from the top were amazing and we really enjoyed our guided walk. One night is probably sufficient for this location but you can dine out on the experience for a long time to come. I will watch with great interest to see how the new owners rise to the challenges ahead.

  • Stayed March 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
6 Thank Tellitlikeitwas
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Sani Mountain Lodge

Property: Sani Mountain Lodge
Address: Sani Pass, Sani Pass, Lesotho (Formerly Sani Top Chalet)
Phone Number:
Region: Lesotho > Mokhotlong District > Sani Pass
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Shuttle Bus service
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Sani Pass
Number of rooms: 14
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
A one of kind Lodge located at the top of Sani Pass,2874m above sea level,located on the border line of Lesotho and South Africa some 300m from the entry border post of Sani Pass, Lesotho.The lodge has a 48 seater restaurant, serving breakfast, lunch & dinner daily.The Highest Pub in Africa stocks a wide varity of beverages accompanied with a varst selection of great wines, satisfying all ones needs.Satilite TV and free WiFi is available in the lodge area ,enabling one to keep in contact with the outside world and family.The lodge has 9 rooms, made up of double & twin bedded rooms, on suite, togther with 6 & 4 sleeper family rooms.We also have a 22 sleeper Backpackers and Camping Area located next to the backpackers. Both the main Lodge & Backpackers are run on generator power.Activities available-guided hikes,fishing, bird watching and horse riding. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Sani Top Chalet Hotel Sani Pass
Sani Top Chalet Pass

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