Review by: Mimi Pollard & David Bagley

Overall Impressions

Out of this world! 5* treatment all the way.

Countries Visited

Kenya

As we were staying in luxury safari lodges we can only comment on Kenya as a Safari destination and we loved it. The area was incredibly beautiful with an immense number of game. The Kenyan people we encountered were so friendly and accommodating. Those employed as staff considered their only purpose was to ensure that we had everything we needed and enjoyed our visit to their country. They were incredibly polite, calm and quietly spoken. The Tribe members did not appear to resent us as tourists and in fact seemed proud to share their customs and way of life with outsiders.

South Africa

We travelled the garden route and wine lands and encountered stunning scenery on our journey. There are however areas where we would not have felt safe as a tourist and were vigilant in such areas and did not visit them. The only reason for a score of 4 and not 5 was that it is an extremely windy coast and we were glad that this was not a summer beach holiday for us. It was their busy season and the place was buzzing - just great. Again loved it!

Accommodation Visited

Hemingways Nairobi

Our only regret was that we did not have time to really enjoy this wonderful hotel. Due to a delayed flight we arrived around 1am and were collected for our onward journey at 8:30. ð??¢

Sasaab

Oh my goodness a score of 5 is just not enough. This camp is just amazing from start to finish. The personal service and attention to detail is second to none. The location of the lodges, the staff, the accommodation, the game drives all absolutely superb. We loved the plunge pool and the main pool area. The service was incredible. Our guide Daniel was great as was our warrior Samuel - their bush breakfasts were fantastic and in such beautiful locations. Fly camping was just unbelievable; they really do pull out all the stops for this and at no time did we feel unsafe. We could not believe how many people were involved in this evening just to ensure 2 people had an experience of a lifetime and we most definitely did. Oh, nearly forgot, fabulous game sightings!

Mara Plains Camp

A super camp, very well run with lovely staff - manager Stella and deputy manager (and our guide) John. The food here was first class and was served wherever you wanted it either al fresco in the main area, in a private dining room or on your own decking. We chose to eat on our decking one evening and were amazed that whilst we had been enjoying a pre dinner drink around the boma our decking was transformed into an intimate dining setting. The meal was then served by our own private waiting staff - a wonderful evening. We were here for Christmas and Stella arranged a BBQ for all guests complete with Christmas pudding, mince pies and crackers. When we returned to our lodge there were presents awaiting us on the bed. A really lovely touch. Unfortunately our lodge didn't have an open view but we did have a resident hippo and buffalo!

OR Tambo City Lodge

Considering this is an airport lodge the accommodation and facilities are first class. Check in was straight forward and a porter was available for our luggage. We had an early start and were provided with a wake up call and a packed breakfast.

Vilacqua Guest House

This is a lovely guest house and Loretta the owner is super, down to earth and friendly. She has a real attention to detail and the rooms are well equipped. The breakfasts are superb and her chef prepares freshly baked quiches, muffins, scones etc on a daily basis. She provides lots of local information and recommendations for nearby restaurants. We had a great stay.

The Plettenberg

Fantastic hotel in a fantastic location. It offered great facilities but did not loose the personal touch. All staff were lovely. But The breakfasts were superb served al fresco, in the dining room or in your room. Lovely shop and a very helpful tour operator to assist with local info and booking excursions.

Mont Rochelle Hotel

Stunning property. Service was very attentive and the restaurant was very good. Nothing was left to chance here. Great breakfasts with a stunning view.

Asara Wine Estate & Hotel

Unfortunately this accommodation did not match the standard of those we had already enjoyed. The property was larger and the management and staff were less friendly and helpful. The pool area is nice and the guys in the bar and restaurant were nice. The restaurant was really busy and the bar was full of people waiting for tables making it difficult to get a meal ordered before 10pm when they closed the kitchen. However they serve superb ribs in the restaurant. We would not stay here again.

The Clarendon Fresnaye

This was a nice hotel in a good location for Cape Town. This was just a 1 night stay but we could not fault our experience. The staff were really nice and attentive.

The Clarendon Bantry Bay

Wow another stunning location. Our room overlooked the ocean as did the breakfast terrace. All management and staff were super and very friendly. Good location for visiting Cape Town.

Kensington Place

This is a nice boutique hotel within a 10-15 minute walk to an array of restaurants. Also well situated for visiting table mountain. The room was very comfortable.

Staff Review

Nikki was absolutely super. From our first conversation (in November!) I knew she understood what was important to us. We set her an almost impossible task of a safari in Kenya followed by a tour of South Africa's garden route and wine lands at their peak time December/January and she delivered all the way even so late in the day. She then supplied us with all the information we needed regarding vaccinations, insurance, car hire and even advised on packing. She also informed accommodation of special requirements to make our stay enjoyable and run as smoothly as possible. Nikki was an absolute godsend and helped us every step of the way - an absolute star.