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“Pleasant stay, great hospitality”

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De Ark Mountain Lodge
Reviewed 29 June 2013

We found this place online and decided to give it a try. The website is great and shows the awesome panoramic views in summer. In winter the views are still awesome but not as colourful. Based on the research we did, the prices seemed good compared to general prices in Clarens. We stayed in chalets 5 and 6. Other reviewers have noted that these need an upgrade to bring them out of the 80's. however they were very comfortable and the fire places worked excellently (other reviewers had issues with these so I guess they got some maintenance). The staff were all very friendly and helpful, including phoning us one day to apologise for accidentally breaking a bottle of cough syrup - glad they phoned as we were able to replace it in town. We had dinner at the l lodge on our first night and it, together with the breakfasts, were excellent home cooked food. Hopefully when we return I will not be sick and we can enjoy some walks in this beautiful setting.

Stayed: June 2013, travelled as a couple
4  Thank TS_SouthAfrica
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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19 - 25 of 35 reviews

Reviewed 1 April 2013

We decided to visit Golden Gate again using the long Eastern weekend, two families, 10 people. De Ark was an excellent choice, very good value for money, reasonable size and clean rooms, good breakfast and very nice dinner, very friendly staff who are ready to help in anything. The location is just perfect, far enough from the crowd, but close enough if you wouldlike to have a drink or the dinner in Clarens, very close to the Golden Gate park, wonderful view to the mountain and the valley as well as great opportunity to walk/hike in the farm or the nearby farms - we had excellent guided walk in the last day with Romario. Various activities (quad, horse ride, 4x4, archery etc) are also available nearby. We decided to visit the Tugela Falls, about 2 hrs drive to get to the car park, trail start point, and took an other 4.5 hrs to do the trail, including the chain ladders, was an amazing trail, breath taking view. As per our experience, De Ark is ideal place for families (we were with teen age kids) or small groups especially if you are looking for activities in or nearby, like the open space and would like to avoid the crowd. We deffinitelly will try to come back again, still many trails and activities are waiting for us.

Room Tip: 1 - 4 are good,
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  • Stayed: March 2013, travelled with family
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Thank Ferenc B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 March 2013

This is the fifth time that we've stayed at De Ark, and as always a very memorable one. Adri and the staff are always friendly and helpful. You can ask them absolutely anything and they will try their best to accommodate you.

The rooms are always clean, the brakfast room have great mountain views and the bar well stocked. An awesome breakfast is served every morning and supper ... Always tasty home cooked food with a extra touch of love.

Having no television in the rooms makes it the perfect couples getaway and is great for nature lovers.

Fernando, we would like to thank your staff for excellent service and we will continue to come and stay at De Ark lodge.

Andre and Niki

Room Tip: Room 5 & 6 have excellent views and are separate from the rest.
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  • Stayed: March 2013, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank Niki B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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
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1  Thank Kim333446
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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
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Thank Sue W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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
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Thank retski
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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
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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

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 #5 of 33 Speciality Lodging in Clarens
Price Range: £66 - £127 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — De Ark Mountain Lodge 3*
Number of rooms: 8
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