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“Excellent location but unprofessional service”

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Umtamvuna River Lodge
Adelaide, Australia
Level Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Excellent location but unprofessional service”
Reviewed 21 May 2014

This rustic riverside setting is idyllic for a romantic getaway. And its proximity to the Natal south coast attractions and the Wild Coast Sun across the river makes it a great base.
The breakfasts are also generous and delicious with a nice variety.
Yet we were disappointed with the customer service - there was no dedicated staff member on the premises after 5pm (rather a live-in caretaker who was more busy running after her children than being available for guests). We were also asked to move to another room for our last night because there was a wedding party coming to stay and their needs seemed to take preference over ours. In fact, we got the general feeling that this is a wedding venue first and an accommodation establishment second - which is not the way you want to feel when you spend more than R1000 a night.
The last insult was when our account was incorrectly deducted an additional time a month later for another 50% of the cost!
Lovely spot but they need to work on their professionalism, especially for accommodation guests

  • Stayed April 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank moozle
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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18 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (6)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
  • Any
English first
Killarney, Ireland
Level Contributor
10 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
Reviewed 25 January 2014 via mobile

We started planning our wedding a year & a half ago. We looked at a few places & made appointments. Umtamvuna was the first place we went to and we didn't look any further!! To say that the setting is spectacular is an understatement!! It took out breath away!! Very quaint, quirky & rustic! I believe that they can do bigger weddings but we had around 50 at ours. From the preparation through to the big day we felt looked after. Our guests all loved it & we r still getting amazing compliments about it. All due to the staff & owners @ Umtamvuna. Go & have a look at their website, the photos are amazing but believe me, do the place no justice. It is fantastic! Thanks once again for a super weekend & we'll definitely be making a return visit.

Stayed January 2014
Helpful?
2 Thank Anthony B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Johannesburg, South Africa
Level Contributor
53 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
Reviewed 28 December 2013

We were looking for a beach wedding and we found no better place. With only 8 rooms you book out the entire place for yourselves.

The venue is perfect with plenty of guest accommodation within 5 km. The beach is protected and when it started to rain we were able to switch to a B venue that turned out to be even better than the A venue on the beach.

The staff are incredible, the caterers were fantastic and owners were so friendly and helpful. Cheryl, the wedding manager made sure everything happened as planned. Kevin and Nicole, the owners, gave us such great advice throughout the process.

Room Tip: Trust the venue. Go with their suggestions. James Carlson, photographer, videography and DJ, is bril...
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  • Stayed December 2013, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank THW03
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Durban, South Africa
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 23 September 2013

We got the shock when we arrived at the lodge.
We revived early to let the lodge know that we have arrived and that we would be back later to check in. At the restaurant entrance we were met by a lady I think was called rachel. She was friendly and helpfull.
We were busy talking to Rachel , when we were rudely interrupted by a lady but did not catch her name. We had a few questions about what there was to do, but instead a c\c machine was pushed into our hands to make payment. I don't need to be treated like a king but really I was on my honeymoon and got no hallo just make payment .
Payment was made and that was the end of it.
No one showed us around still today I have no idea what the pool or river or fitness centre looks like. We were shown our room witch the photos on the net did not show the true looks.
The rooms were clean ,but it has no view, your room view looks out on the parked cars ans a really untidy driveway.
I will make sure never to go back there and advise my friends to.
I'm really sad my honeymoon had to end at this lodge.

it's only money that matters to this lodge and not the guests,it's not the cheapest lodge around but not worth the money spent

Room Tip: No comment.
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  • Stayed September 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Trevor C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

Travellers are raving about these Port Edward hotels

London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
54 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 63 helpful votes
Reviewed 18 April 2013

We were treated to a weekend here and we had a super time. We traveled as a family and found it to be a lovely relaxing place. The river was great for fishing and the gardens and grounds fun for the kids to run and play, especially bouncing on the trampoline and squelching in the mud. There is a lovely clean pool to enjoy.
The rooms were well decorated and very functional. We were provided with a camp cot for our baby and the 3 year old was accommodated on a sleeper couch. The bathroom was clean and newly refurbished. We had a bar fridge and we could bring our own drinks etc. The fridge was especially useful for baby products and travelling with small kids. Rooms are provided with a kettle plus tea and coffee making facilities. This is great especially with kids.

We were on a B&B basis and the breakfast supplied was tasty and freshly prepared. The both nights we stayed there we chose to eat at Umtamvuna and the food was good, especially the delicious pizzas on Friday night. The spaghetti bolognaise served on Saturday night was good, however at ZAR62- per person was definitely not worth the money charged. It was a very basic bolognaise and no side accompaniments therefore a shocker of a price for a homely dish.
Cindy our waitress was very friendly and great with the kids. There is a bar but you can bring your own drinks.

The surrounding area is beautiful and worth a trip here. We had a super day at the Wild Coast Sun, Wild Waves water park. Umtamvuna is essentially a wedding venue and you can most certainly see the appeal as the place is beautiful.

Room Tip: There are only 8 rooms so space is limited here. All rooms are in a row. If you want a ' quiet...
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  • Stayed April 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank mumonholiday76
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Durban, South Africa
Level Contributor
122 reviews
75 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 83 helpful votes
Reviewed 16 December 2011

This place was a huge disappointment. It looked gorgeous in the photos and I wanted to spoil my partner on his birthday, but reality didn't match the photos at all. The location is superb but that's it. The whole place really needs a general renovation (so much wasted space!). I wanted the luxury room and I paid good money to get it but there was absolutely nothing luxurious about it. I've been to many lovely guesthouses and lodges in South Africa that give you so much more for a lot less money... If I had paid half the price, maybe, but for R 950 for a double room (relatively high price for South African standards) it's definitely not good value for money.

There was no chair or bench (let alone chaise long) where one could seat to enjoy the wonderful view of a river full of activity. There was something that looked like the dreamed location for a bar (in fact, that's what they make you believe it is, in the website), but it was totally abandoned. The dining room was only decorated for an evening function, the rest of the time looked naked and poor, as did the little corner they called bar, not welcoming at all. There was only one small common area to seat outside the rooms but it seemed to be always busy with the owner or manager and his friends or family. Service wasn't good (besides the girl that served breakfast, who was sweet); it was hard to find someone around to help with something you needed and when we asked to change rooms because of the constant chatting outside our door (also because it didn't have a private deck, as promised), no one helped us to carry our stuff.

The "luxury" rooms (what might the "standard rooms" look like?!) were badly designed (wasted space), there was no small towel in the bathroom, you could hear the constant running of children on the room above us (forget about a nap), the shower had no pressure at all, there was only one bedside table, there was no place to put your bag, the TV must be 20 years old, there was no milk for the coffee, there was no juice for breakfast ("they just went to get some", we were told at 9 am and we never got it), etc.

I know this might just sound like a lot of minor details but that's exactly what "luxury" is all about, isn't it? Give me half the rate and I won't complain at all, but if I pay for luxury I expect to be spoiled. I would never recommend this place: besides the location there's nothing worth the price.

  • Stayed December 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank moniqx
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Umtamvuna River Lodge

Property: Umtamvuna River Lodge
Address: Lot 80 Holiday Rd | Banners Rest, Port Edward 4295, South Africa
Region: South Africa > KwaZulu-Natal > Port Edward
Hotel Style:
Ranked #6 of 12 Speciality Lodging in Port Edward
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Number of rooms: 8
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