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Traveller reviews

Travel reviews by Mr&Mrs LS from Oxfordshire

Review Distribution

Excellent
Good
Average
Poor
Terrible

Total number of trips

1

Countries visited

1

Lodges stayed in

5

Excursions taken

2

Our January 2020 trip to South Africa

South Africa between 4 Jan 2020 and 19 Jan 2020

Trip rating: Excellent
"We have had the most amazing trip of our lives. We have travelled to many places but this holiday, to get a feel for South Africa, was very special.

Our itinerary was followed to the letter as we had expected and the whole trip just flowed so well. Pick-ups and drops offs were exceptionally well organised - Ilios is an excellent company. This was our first experience of South Africa - a BIG birthday present for my husband who has always wanted to visit South Africa based on the tales told to him as a boy by his late father.

The trip certainly exceeded all of our expectations - more in fact. We are already thinking of another trip maybe the same time next year in advance of another BIG birthday perhaps.

A very big thank you to Lucy and the Team in Cape Town for making this such a memorable experience

Suggestions to help us improve our trips or our service:

We can't think of anything which could have made this trip more enjoyable other than maybe an extra night in Kwandwe and Grootbos and one less night in Cape Town but nevertheless we enjoyed the whole whole experience.

Thank You"

Arranged By Lucy Copson


Cape Grace

Cape Grace

"Short stay in Cape Town at the Cape Grace "

4 nights Arrived 5 Jan 2020
"Beautiful location, wonderful room overlooking the marina and Table Mountain.

Hotel is so convenient for the Waterfront amenities etc.

The hotel staff were all so graceful and friendly - nothing was too much trouble for them. Restaurant food and wine was excellent - we ate there every evening.

Courtesy chauffeur (Edward) to Table Mountain and back was a great plus. Ilios pick ups were so punctual, clean and very friendly. Great service.

We would definitely return to this hotel in future."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Cape Point and Peninsula Tour

Cape Point and Peninsula Tour

"An amazing day"

7 Jan 2020 • All-day excursion

Had a great day with Faisal (Abraham ??) our driver from Ilios. Very friendly, experienced and very knowledgeable. We really enjoyed his company and invited him to join us for lunch.

The tour covered a wide area including Cape Point, Chapman's Peak, Simon's Town and the Botanical Gardens. Seeing the penguins was the highlight of the day for us but the baboons, ostrich and other wild life were all exciting to see as well. The coastline was stunning, and the weather was perfect. Took so many great photographs.

Excellent
Grootbos Forest Lodge

Grootbos Forest Lodge

"Incredible stay at Grootbos Forest Lodge"

2 nights Arrived 9 Jan 2020
"Well what can we say? This was an amazing experience and wish we had stayed longer.

The breathtaking views of the coastline across Walker Bay from reception was a real WOW factor on arrival. Everything about this place exceeded all expectations. The Lodge was beautifully furnished and equipped, amazing bathroom with fabulous views of the ocean. Lots of space. The staff were all so friendly and hospitable. The food from breakfast to dinner was wonderful as was the wine.

We really only had time for one activity so chose the Reserve Drive with Rouwen who was very experienced and passionate about the fynbos and we were amazed at bow many specimens of flora and fauna were to be found there including some species of plants and insects which were unique to the reserve. He showed us the farm and Community project which helps to educate and motivate young people to go on and do other things to improve their future. We met one of the Etymologists, Gary, who really blew our minds about the number of insects the team had discovered which were unique to the Reserve.

An amazing, relaxing experience which we shall certainly consider doing again - for longer."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
La Petite Ferme

La Petite Ferme

"Relaxing few days at La Petite Ferme"

3 nights Arrived 11 Jan 2020
"Franschhoeuk is a beautiful place and La petite Ferme was a wonderful place to stay. The incredible views of the valley from our suite overlooking the pool were stunning - we could see for miles. We had a very warm welcome by Dylan who introduced us to the hotel and its amenities and included a welcome glass of Pink Champagne while he registered us . We enjoyed lunch outside under the trees and enjoyed the views with a chilled bottle of Chardonnay!

The staff were all so friendly and helpful - nothing was too much bother for them.

We ate in the restaurant most nights. The food was very nice although a little too fancy - we would have preferred more simple dishes but nevertheless the quality of the food was exceptional. We were staying in the Manor House - previously the owner's private residence. The room was lovely (no. 9 The Bridal Suite) with access to the shared pool and of course the stunning views.

We had read that the Manor House suites were due to be refurbished this year (May 2020) and although the bedroom was very clean and comfortable the bathroom was looking tired and the shower leaked considerably. We mentioned this to Dylan and he immediately had someone address the problem. This wouldn't put us off staying there again as so many other things made up for it and in fact we look forward to returning to enjoy the refurbished rooms in the Manor House. Also, I do hope they will consider a wall mounted mirror somewhere in the room for when drying hair etc. Had to struggle a little but eventually achieved the desired outcome.

All in all a wonderful few days at La Petite Ferme."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Good
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Winelands Private Tour

Winelands Private Tour

"Winelands Private Tour review"

12 Jan 2020 • All-day excursion

This was another day spent with our favourite Ilios tour guide Faisal Abraham. Faisal had pre-booked 2 tastings which we really enjoyed. They were in stunning locations and the wine was so good we shipped 18 bottles back to the UK via CAPREO to enjoy and remind us of our trip to South Africa.

Faisal knew that we were planning to have lunch at Tokara, another well known wine farm the next day but as it was some way out of town he managed to get us a table while we were out so all three of us enjoyed a lovely lunch over the vineyards - so regimentally planted they had to be seen to be believed.

I would certainly recommend this tour to anyone who enjoys wine and with a knowledgeable driver it made the trip much more personal. The following day was spent in Franschheouk shopping. Some lovely little boutique shops, cafes and restaurants in a very smart location.The hotel arranged a local taxi firm who drove us the short distance into town and back again which was so convenient and the bill was settled by the hotel so no excessive charges which Faisal had warned us about.

All in all a great day out made all the more enjoyable with our friend Faisal.

Excellent
Kwandwe Great Fish River Lodge

Kwandwe Great Fish River Lodge

"Kwandwe Great Fish River Lodge"

3 nights Arrived 14 Jan 2020
"Well, this was definitely the most memorable experience of the holiday.

We were completely overwhelmed by the vastness and beauty of this private game reserve from the moment we arrived (with yet another friendly Ilios driver) at reception where we were welcomed with an enjoyable glass of bubbly and chilled wet towels while we registered. We were then transported by Toby, a trainee ranger for approximately 25 minutes down to the Lodge itself.

Great Fish River Lodge was amazing - built in traditional African style, thatched roof with lovely facilities including a small shop to buy essentials for the early morning game drives. Our own lodge was just stunning - it had every thing we needed including an optional outdoor shower which my husband made a point of experiencing. The views across the river were breathtaking and we spotted a lone giraffe feeding in the distance - wonderful.

We did 2 game drives each day with a very experienced ranger - Rouen (a real larger than life character) and his amazing Tracker Vusi. They made a great team and had worked together for a number of years. The afternoon/evening drives were memorable as the sun set (sun downers were obligatory) and the nocturnal animals amazing. We saw lions, elephants, giraffe, a cheetah and her 3 cubs and lots more and really had the most wonderful experience that we definitely plan to return to the reserve.

We were very impressed by how much the owners of the reserve have done over the last 20 years to encourage and reinstate many species which had previously disappeared due to poaching etc. Thankfully the black rhinos have a future on this reserve."
Excellent
Location
Excellent
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Rooms
Excellent
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Excellent
Hacklewood Hill Country House

Hacklewood Hill Country House

"Hacklewood Hill Country House review"

1 night Arrived 17 Jan 2020
"This was a stop over in Port Elizabeth prior to our flight to Johannesburg and on to London. We couldn't quite understand why we had come to Hacklewood House as we could have enjoyed one extra night at Great Fish River Lodge and then gone directly to the airport at Port Elizabeth for our flight later in the day.

However, the Manager, Wynton and his staff made us feel very welcome and were very hospitable. We enjoyed a very nice dinner in the restaurant with more wonderful South African wine. The room we had was comfortable with a small balcony overlooking the pool and very lush tropical gardens.

We had quite a lot of time on our hands but decided not to leave the hotel so stayed put until our driver arrived at 1.15 the next day. We would definitely have added one more night at Kwandwe had we known but hindsight is a wonderful thing and our next trip can be more tailored to our needs."
Excellent
Location
Average
Service
Good
Rooms
Good
Food
Good

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