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All reviewsoutdoor showergame lodgecomplete privacylunch and dinnerwonderful experiencefamily suitehuge bedevery staff memberwent above and beyondspa treatmentsrose petalsstandard roomonce in a lifetimeperfect staysafari experiencehigh tearooms are beautiful
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Reviewed 24 February 2018 via mobile

From arrival to check out a great and worthwhile experience. Friendly an attentive staff going out of their way to please guests. Some of the best meals we ever had with no attention to detail spared. Small operation with only 30 rooms but special attention to detail allowed us to really enjoy ourselves. Great game drives with knowledgeable rangers. Beds are good as well as bedding. Great wifi but no cell signals. Quiet location away from the buzz of normal life and the ideal break away for families and couples. Highly recommended.

Stayed: February 2018, travelled with family
Thank Christo M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Tafa_Manyowa, Deputy General Manager at Shepherd's Tree Game Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded 27 February 2018

Dear Christo M

Thank you for taking the time to post your wonderful feedback on this platform.

Feedback such as yours is lovely to read and I will be sure to share this with the passionate and hard-working team that I’m lucky to have.

I look forward to welcoming you back to your "home away from home".

Kind regards
The Shepherds Tree Team

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 February 2018

Overall, I felt that the cost for this hotel ( >$1000 USD per night) did not justify the services or the facilities offered.

### PROS: ###

GAME DRIVE: We very much enjoyed our game drive with Yolandi in the mornings and the evenings. She was great showing and explaining to us the various animals and insects we had the honour of viewing during our drive. She was also mindful to include our children in the conversation during the game drive.

GOLF CARTS: We didn't have to wait too long for the golf carts to arrive (approx 5 minutes). We stayed in cabin 27, which is a 15 minute walk from the lobby. With that said, the hotel was not busy so that could be the reason why they were prompt.

### CONS: ###

ROOM: We booked the executive room that had a separate bedroom and a living room (I don't think it's called the family room, though). The description on their web site is misleading since a "sleeper couch" for our children is just bedsheets placed on top of sofas rather than an actual sofa bed so that was disappointing. The living room area also didn't have AC so it was uncomfortable for the kids, especially when they slept at night.

CONCIERGE:
(1) The concierge did not follow up with the additional information we wanted on hot air balloon rides or the quad bikes. They take in the information but I don't think they action them. We asked about both activities when we checked in but did not hear back from them at all. So, we searched the activities ourselves.

(2) When we checked in at around 12pm after a 13-hour flight and a 2-hour drive with two children in tow, they did not offer a room for us when clearly there were less than 10 cabins out of 30 cabins on the premise that were occupied. We had to wait for 2 hours before we were able to get a cabin. Furthermore, I had requested a cabin close to the main lobby two month prior to our arrival and explained that I was 6 months pregnant then but instead, I got the 2nd furthest cabin from the main lobby.

FOOD: Believe what other reviewers have said about the sub-par food. The food tastes like it was either from a discount supermarket or from places like Costco. "Bread rolls" are hamburger buns and the quality of the meals and their afternoon teas were borderline disrespectful to guests who have paid at least USD$700/night/person. This is by far not fine dining. I went to another lodge (3-star) after this Shepherd's and the food there was restaurant quality.

FACILITIES: The pool is extremely small. It's more like a dipping pool rather than a proper pool. Only two adults can really swim in the pool at a time. There are no other way to pass the time other than the semi-open spa.

STAFF: A small handful of the staff are professional and courteous. Most of them, however, require serious cultural sensitivity training. It was beyond irritating when the staff constantly asked either my husband or me to teach them Mandarin/Cantonese when it was clear that English is our first language despite our ethnicity. There were so many international tourists on the premise and I did not hear any of the staff constantly asking other international guests on how to say this or that in their native language (when clearly English is NOT the other guests' first language). But somehow, the staff think it is alright to constantly harass us everyday and at every encounter to give them Mandarin/Cantonese lessons (e.g., one of the staff actually walked my husband around the breakfast buffet table to ask what each dish is in Mandarin/Cantonese).

OVERALL SERVICE: We can definitely see the difference in their service level, especially when a big tour group arrives. For example, the staff changes their uniforms from their normal blue attire to crisp and white get-up. We even notice that big tour groups get better plates than the rest of us. We found these changes laughable but it clearly shows that there is an hierarchy of guests in the staff and management's eyes.

CONCLUSION:
I will not stay at Shepherd's again for all the reasons listed above. The 3-star hotel had far superior, restaurant-quality food; a proper pool and a separate children's pool for 1/3 of the price than Shepherd's Tree game lodge.

Room Tip: Ask for cabins that are close to the main lobby (cabin #10 and below)
  • Stayed: January 2018, travelled with family
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
Thank marianchew0326
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Tafa_Manyowa, Deputy General Manager at Shepherd's Tree Game Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded 27 February 2018

Dear Marianchew0326

Thanks for sending us this detailed feedback about your recent stay at Shepherds Tree. I’m happy to hear that you enjoyed your game drives with Jolandie, and you found our shuttle service to be efficient.

Regarding the other points raised, please accept our sincere apologies for not being able to meet your expectations. Unfortunately, with most of it, it is our standard service and product offering and we have not encountered similar feedback in the past from guests who have stayed with us. The rave reviews on this platform can attest to that.

We are continually striving to improve and uplift our standards and we therefore take any feedback extremely seriously and would also in your case make sure that we consider all the facts at hand and act accordingly to improve wherever necessary.

I sincerely hope that you will afford us another visit in future.

Kind regards
The Shepherds Tree Team

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 February 2018

The lodge is situated on a private concession within the reserve, which gives it a premium feel. Cole was our bush guide and he was exceptional in every way. The food was consistently very good, but not amazing.

The only negative was that some money was stolen from our room, and the assistant manager treated us like he didn't believe us and did not offer to help in any meaningful way. They offer a safe in the room, but we didn't feel this was necessary when we checked in due to the premium feel. We had some money hidden within our luggage, and at some point during our stay it was stolen. Someone would have had to go through most, if not all, of our belongings to get to the money. This invasion of privacy was bad enough, but was made worse by the assistant manager's refusal to believe us or offer to help in any meaningful way. This really soured an otherwise positive experience.

  • Stayed: February 2018, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
Thank Russell G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Tafa_Manyowa, Deputy General Manager at Shepherd's Tree Game Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded 27 February 2018

Dear Russell G

Thanks so much for taking the time to give us feedback regarding your recent stay at Shepherds Tree, and at the same time apologise for the inconvenience caused as a result of this isolated incident.

As communicated to you on departure, when such incidents occur, we carry out a thorough investigative process in order to determine if our staff is involved or not. This is what is prescribed in law, as we simply cannot point fingers without any compelling evidence to that effect. The investigation yielded results which did not link or show involvement of our staff. As a precautionary measure, we always suggest to all our guests to use electronic safes provided in the rooms.

Once again, I sincerely apologise for the inconvenience this has caused you, and I hope you will afford us another visit soon.

Kind regards
The Shepherds Tree Team

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 February 2018 via mobile

This was our second trip to Shepherds Tree.. We were not disappointed. The lodge architecture is modern and stylish yet captures the bush lodge feel. The rooms are luxurious with big windows and doors. Both the room and the bathroom open up, giving you the outside inside-feeling. There is also nothing like the feeling of showering in the outside shower. The units were also fairly close to the camp fencing which allowed us to see elephants feeding on the trees around us in safety. The game rides were great, we got to see a leopard in the wild for the fist time and we have been to a number of reserves. The meal were outstanding, tasty and well presented. We did find the 3 x 3 course meals daily to much food, so we ended skipping lunch. Overall a great weekend break away.

Stayed: September 2017, travelled as a couple
Thank Gail123456
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Tafa_Manyowa, Deputy General Manager at Shepherd's Tree Game Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded 27 February 2018

Dear Gail123456

Thank you for taking the time to post your review on this forum.

I’m absolutely thrilled to hear that you found everything to be superb. The staff will be delighted to hear that you enjoyed everything that you experienced during your stay, from the luxurious accommodation, to the amazing game drives and the delicious meals in the dining room.

As always, Shepherds Tree will never disappoint and I look forward to welcoming you back for another memorable stay.

Kind regards
The Shepherds Tree Team

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Reviewed 11 February 2018

Best gamedrive! The property has their private part of the parc and the elefants love that! Peter our ranger was king! Simba was on point. He even called us to see the elefant drinking in front of the Breakfastroom. Dinner and lunch are oké, but I think not to standard of this level. Looks amazing , taste is everage.

  • Stayed: February 2018, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Review collected in partnership with this hotel
Thank logowesley
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Tafa_Manyowa, Deputy General Manager at Shepherd's Tree Game Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded 18 February 2018

Dear Logowesley
Thank you for your valuable feedback. It is wonderful to know that you found our game drives to be the best. I will pass on the compliments to Peter and Simba as well as the rest of the team. Regarding the food, I have communicated your constructive feedback to our Executive Chef. I hope to see you soon when you visit us again.

Kind regards
The Shepherds Tree Team

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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