Emdoneni Lodge is located in Hluhluwe, around 2 hours and 39 minutes from Durban. Picture: Clinton Moodley.
Emdoneni Lodge is located in Hluhluwe, around 2 hours and 39 minutes from Durban. Picture: Clinton Moodley.

WATCH: We rate Emdoneni Lodge

By Clinton Moodley Time of article published Nov 4, 2020

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Clinton Moodley spent a night at Emdoneni Lodge. He shares his views on the experience:

Location

Emdoneni Lodge is located in Hluhluwe, around 2 hours and 39 minutes from Durban.

First impression

I did not know what to expect checking into a hotel during the pandemic, but being surrounded by nature (I love the well-kempt gardens and the pool) helped me relax and bask in the serenity around me.

Who visits here

Emdoneni Lodge welcomes majority of international travellers, mainly from Europe and the US. With the current travel restrictions, most guests are domestic travellers.

Check-in

A few days earlier, the 3-star establishment sent me a Covid-19 questionnaire that I needed to complete before my arrival. Check-in is a speedy process. I got my temperature checked, which is written down in a form with other guests' temperatures. The staff sanitise everything in front of you, which lessened my Covid-19 fear.

The staff

The staff were always at hand to ensure that I had everything that I needed for a pleasant stay, whether it was arranging the cat tour, taking my food order or sharing insight on the area and its attractions. Staff were friendly.

The room

The lodge offers chalet and rondavel style accommodation. There is a honeymoon suite available for those who want added privacy and something more luxurious.

My room was number 45. It had a twin bed (I wish I alerted the hotel that I do not enjoy sleeping on twin beds before my arrival), a large artwork of a cheetah hanged above the bed and the nightstand was minimalistic, decorated with only a lampshade.

There was a charming seating area with two chairs and a table - perfect for reading or enjoy your morning cup of coffee. A desk and tea and coffee complete the main space. There was no TV in the room but there is wifi available.

The bathroom comes kitted with a large shower. The room was spacious and offered all the amenities one needs during a hotel stay.

Food

Head Chef Cindy Masinga deserves a worthy mention. I haven't enjoyed a hotel meal as I did at Emdoneni. That vegetarian pizza served at lunch was the best pizza I've eaten...ever! My three-course dinner was equally impressive.

I couldn't get enough of the button mushroom soup for starters and the penne with roasted eggplant and caramelised onion was flavourful. I admit I was not a fan of the wild berry cheesecake with berry compote. It tasted more like lemon cheesecake. Breakfast was a sumptuous affair with freshly baked scones and cream on the menu, followed by a bowl of yoghurt and savoury pancakes.

The activities

Be sure to book a cat tour at the Zululand Cat Conservation Project located on the property. The tour runs for an hour. Entry is R180 per adult and R90 for scholars.

For those who want to spoil themselves, why not opt for an afternoon pamper session at the spa? There are plenty of activities for the children and for those who enjoy scenic walks. Travellers can also enjoy some time at the pool.

Final thoughts

The hotel is ideal for those yearning an escape. I would consider booking again, but only if I have Kheeza the resident cat as my dinner guest again. The cat was my plus 1 for the duration of the trip, walking me to my room and sitting at my table during dinner.

Price

Travellers will receive a 40% discount if they book more than 1 night. Travellers will pay R 837,00 pp/pn. The rate includes dinner and breakfast.

Contact details

Located at Emdoneni Farm, District Road 123 in Hluhluwe. Visit http://www.emdonenilodge.com/

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