Review by: Tara Schembri

Overall Impressions

I'm giving 5 star based on the fantastic service for South Africa and how Mauritius was managed.

Countries Visited

South Africa

Absolutely LOVED South Africa thanks to the way the trip was organised for us by Monique - Everything was absolutely perfect ! ! On day 2 we were already talking about when we could make our next trip back!

Mauritius

From the first to the last day we felt totally let down by the hotel - It was of a completely different experience to that we received in SA. So much so, we commented that we wished we spent the days we had in Mauritius travelling back home or extended in SA. We had our issue with our hotel room where i actually had to take the hotel manager to our room when i complained about our 'sea view', the cocktails were horrible - i stopped drinking them after 2 days - they seemed to have been diluted. There was a rowdy wedding group during our trip which ruined much of the vibe of relaxation. Whilst the hotel can't do much about this, there seemed to be numerous complaints from other guests who we spoke to during the day and areas should be kept more private or not offered to honeymooners as a destination. The beach wasn't a natural sandy beach which was what we would expect to find in Mauritius (when we took lunch at the BBQ on a different island it was nice though). There also seemed to be a 'honeymoon' package that all guests were on during our stay except us - This did lead me to question the relationship that Mahlatini has with Zilwa - particularly also for all the shortcomings of the hotel. The catamaran cruise that Ilaria organised for us on our last day was a real treat as we were out of the hotel and really enjoyed the experience so we didn't end it on the much sour note that we had throughout our stay on the island.

Accommodation Visited

The Three Boutique Hotel

Great location and kind service

Hermanus Guest House

Leisure Isle Boutique Lodge

Absolutely LOVED this place!

Amakhala Woodbury Lodge

We weren't given any information as to what time we should arrive at Amakhala so we took our time to get there - when we arrived, were told our first game drive was in 20minutes so we had to quickly eat some leftover lunch they kindly offered us and change for this. Had we gotten there 20minutes late, we would have missed out on this drive that we were entitled to. Separately, we had 3 other couples on our drive who were honeymooners or celebrating a birthday - they all received a bottle of champagne in their rooms except us. I didn't want to mention this during the stay in case the property was organising something we didn't know about and felt a little awkward to mention just for a bottle of bubbly; but, upon check-out i commented on this and that this was the 4th accomodation we stayed at where all properties knew we were honeymooners yet they said they had no information (not sure if communication with the property fell through here). Apart from that though - great experience.

Ocean Bay Guest House

Excellent room & service. We had a super early check out and were offered a packed breakfast basket which would be left in our room - when we returned from dinner it wasn't there, nor was any staff - same thing when we left in the morning so we were a little disappointed to have been offered this and then not received it.

Zilwa Attitude

From the first to the last day we felt totally let down by the hotel - It was of a completely different experience to that we received in SA. So much so, we commented that we wished we spent the days we had in Mauritius travelling back home or extended in SA. We had our issue with our hotel room where i actually had to take the hotel manager to our room when i complained about our 'sea view', the cocktails were horrible - i stopped drinking them after 2 days - they seemed to have been diluted. There was a rowdy wedding group during our trip which ruined much of the vibe of relaxation. Whilst the hotel can't do much about this, there seemed to be numerous complaints from other guests who we spoke to during the day and areas should be kept more private or not offered to honeymooners as a destination.

Staff Review

Monique was amazing from the first contact we had with her - Our honeymoon would not have been as great as it was had it not been for her meticulous planning and making everything so perfect for us. She will be on speed-dial the moment we are able to plan another trip to South Africa where we left a little piece of our hearts. Ilaria was great in handling our Zilwa situation as best she could given the circumstances which whilst we are a little bitter with having our honeymoon end on not the best of experiences, the Mahlatini service shined through here.