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“Underwhelming”

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De Ark Mountain Lodge
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Underwhelming”
Reviewed 12 July 2012

While this rustic lodge may be what some are looking for, we found it to be a disastrous experience. Admittedly the rooms were clean and average in quality, they were however grossly over emphasized on the website.

Despite the average accommodation, we decided to give it a shot. After going out for dinner in Clarens, we arrived at the lodge and immediately built a fire in the in room fire place. This being one of the main reasons we chose the lodge in the first place.

What started as a romantic fire soon turned into a health hazard as we realized that the chimney was not sufficiently extracting the smoke from the room. Instead it seemed to be filtering directly into the room.

We spoke to Kathy about our situation and politely informed her that our entire room was filled with smoke. Instead of issuing us a new room as we expected (no one else was staying there), Kathy's advice was to "open a bit of a window". This presented a problem being the middle of a particularly cold Free State winter.

After opening a window and attempting her suggested technique of pushing the fire to the back of the fireplace, we realized that not only our room was still filled with smoke, but staying there would present a very real threat to our health.

While I would like to say that the story has a happy ending and we were promptly given a new room and apology, this was not the case.

We decided to pack our bags and leave in the middle of the night , forgeighting a rather large deposit and checking into the Protea Hotel, Clarens.

  • Stayed July 2012
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Kim333446
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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31 reviews from our community

Traveller rating
    20
    8
    0
    3
    0
See reviews for
4
11
2
2
Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (7)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Any
English first
Centurion, Gauteng, South Africa
2 reviews
Reviewed 1 April 2012

We have just returned from a fantastic weekend @ De Ark. We booked out the whole place, as there were 19 in our group. De Ark is a home away from home, and definitely the first of hopefully many visits for us. It is PERFECT for special celebrations, and it was really ideal to have the whole place to ourselves. Kathy and her staff spoilt us to bits and went out of their way to make us feel welcome. The bar area, lounge and dining room are cozy and ideal for groups of about 20. The views are amazing and there is so much to do in the area. Most of the people in our group went white river rafting on the Saturday. Our only complaint was that the weekend was too short....next time we would like to stay an extra day or two.

I would absolutely recommend De Ark for family reunions, get-togethers and celebrations for 20 to 25 people. It was an unforgettable weekend.

  • Stayed March 2012, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Sue W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Tampere, Finland
Level Contributor
15 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 15 February 2012

Stayed here for one night on our way from Johannesburg to east coast. Kathy, the hostess, was very friendly and service was excellent throughout the stay. Cottages 5&6 were a little outdated, but value for money was good.

  • Stayed February 2012, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank retski
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Johannesburg, South Africa
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 12 September 2011

We visited de ark for a romantic weekend away. The pictures on the website was much nicer than it actually is. the location is beautifull but the facilities are not worth the money. we were hoping tp get away from people, but got placed next to another couple, where u can here them talk at night. def not romantic. The manager is extremely helpful and very nice. The breakfast was fantastic. I htink the owner should charge less or let ppl know that its not 3 star quality or upgrade the rooms.

  • Stayed September 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank christia123
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about De Ark Mountain Lodge

Property: De Ark Mountain Lodge
Address: R 712, Clarens 9707, South Africa
Region: South Africa > Free State > Clarens
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free Parking Kitchenette Restaurant Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #7 of 31 Speciality Lodging in Clarens
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Hotel Class:3 star — De Ark Mountain Lodge 3*
Number of rooms: 8
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