Maritane Horibalis

I spent the weekend with some colleagues at Kwa Maritane in the North West Province of South Africa. It is approximately 2 hours drive from Johannesburg and 8km’s from Sun City.

“Capture the spirit of Africa at Kwa Maritane Bush Lodge, where Mother Nature and civilisation meet in perfect harmony. Located on the slopes of an ancient volcano, Kwa Maritane offers guests all the amenities of a prime resort on the doorstep of the malaria-free Pilanesberg National Park.”

The hotel is rated 4-star and that’s where my gripe starts. This hotel should be rated no more than 3-stars. I don’t know who rates these hotels or what process they follow but they clearly didn’t stay at the hotel, or not in my room at least. I stayed in the “executive” suite and I certainly wouldn’t rate it 4-star.

I really enjoyed the company and appreciate the weekend away and with this blog I am not being ungrateful but feel it is necessary to inform my loyal readers 🙂 about this establishment.

So where to start? I find it fascinating that companies spend millions building these hotels and then either do not stay in the hotel before it opens to experience it for themselves or just don’t care and screw it up on purpose. If you spend so much money on the buildings then the small details cost very little in the bigger scheme of things. It’s the small things that make the difference. Everyone knows that? It seems not.

The hotel itself is quite nice but the first problem that you encounter is the fact that you park your car hundreds of meters from the reception where you have to go first to check in. Then walk back to your car to get your luggage and walk hundreds of meters again to get to your room. The hotel is built in a 55000 hectare game reserve. Don’t they have enough space to build it in such a way that you can park at your room?

The service is poor with everyone having this attitude that they are doing you a favor. If I managed this hotel I will start by firing everyone. The only exception is Margaret at the wildlife center who was quite helpful. The rest are beyond useless.

The room has an old tv. You know one of those tube tv’s that went out of fashion 5 years ago? They have satellite tv provided by DSTV. Why oh why would they have SABC 1,2 and 3 on the telly? It’s free to air and we don’t come to this exclusive establishment to watch “sesame street”. No MTV, no VH1 and only one documentary channel. No CNN. They do however have the French News Chanel. Why? I didn’t see any French guests!

  • There is a bar fridge with nothing in it. Go figure.
  • The outside sliding door is useless and impossible to open or close.
  • The bath is minute and probable made for the Japanese. I cannot imagine an older person using it. The handles on the bath are poorly positioned and you can seriously injure yourself trying to get out of the bath.
  • The hot water is boiling and very dangerous, especially for kids.
  • The cushions are horrible and I ended up sleeping without them.
  • The rooms have Wi-fi but you have to walk all the way back to the reception to sign for it. It’s free but you have to log in. What on earth for? I would understand if you had to pay but there is no logic in this.
  • The Internet is free but so slow that I ended up using 3G instead.
  • The food was ok but not 4-star.

So in conclusion it was very disappointing and certainly did not live up to expectations. The website is one big hype with very little substance. One would expect more from a Legacy Hotel. My rating for Kwa Maritane is 2 out of 10. Don’t bother. I certainly won’t be coming back.

Predator World

Predator World is approximately 10km’s from Sun City and provides guided tours to see the “predators”. The animals are in enclosures and cages and frankly terribly disturbing. The animals are clearly unhappy in their environment and I felt terribly sorry for them. The Hyenas were particularly bad and a sorry sight to say the least. The whole place is depressing, dull, run down and a serious con. The Italian, German and American tourists flood into the place to the see the pathetic, emaciated lions, tigers and other predators on display. The Johannesburg Zoo would be a better bet.

I urge anyone that is planning on visiting this sorry excuse for a tourist attraction to give it a miss. You will save yourself 75 bucks.