Saturday, November 10, 2007

Staying at Aintree Lodge




















In Pietermaritzburg we stayed at Aintree Lodge from October 3rd to October 5th, and one night from October 7th to October 8th. I have seen fancier hotels on my journeys, but at a price of around €50 a night, it was absolutely I place I can recommend. Still there were a number of improvements to suggest to the owners, but the staff of the lodge provided great service. I can therefore highly recommend Aintree Lodge for those of you visiting Pietermaritzburg. It is worth every Rand!!

Location: BBBB

Aintree Lodge is located at the end of Alice Grainge Road in Scottsdale, a quiet residential neighborhood in Pietermaritzburg. The Lodge is however very close to the N3 highway, and there you can clearly notice the heavy traffic when seated outside. This, however, did not seriously affect our stay at the Lodge.

Service: BBBBB-

Aintree Lodge had a staff that provided good service during our stay. It is particularly important for me to thank the woman in charge, as she stepped in for the proprietress that was on vacation in England. She had no previous experience from the hotel business, buy she did a truly great job for us.

The only think to put my finger on was some lacking service during breakfast.

General Hygiene and maintenance: BBBBB-

The rooms were well cleaned and maintained, but some of the window frames were a little distressed.

The bathroom were tiled, but they should have been some maintenance that would improve the hygienic standard. There were areas where cracks had appeared and that had collected some dirt. This was, however, not a large problem at this state, but the bathrooms may appear less appetizing if these damages are not attended to.

The reception area and the dining room were very well attended to. In general, Aintree Lodge offers a good hygienic standard to the guests, but it may get a little better.

The rooms: BBBB

I stayed in two rooms. The first had an extra bed, and could accommodate a whole family. Tone, one of my traveling companions, got a large family room with two levels the last night, with five beds. So this is definitely a place to travel if you need to accommodate a whole family.

The first room was a little dark, as it was located in the shade, behind trees and bushes. If you are allergic to mosquitoes (as I am) you are well advised to pick a room away from the inner garden area, as here there were fewer mosquitoes there. My lower arms and my legs were covered with bites the first morning I woke up as I had been sitting outside during the hot evening with a pair of shorts and a T-shirt. That changed the course of the trip, for my part.

The second room was at the end facing the partly forested terrain on the lower part of the garden. Here you faced grasslands with acacias

The interior of both rooms were nice and cozy, and the beds were large and comfortable, perfect for my taste. You had a hot water kettle where you could make a good mug of coffee in the morning and a fan hanging down from the ceiling providing relief during the heat of the night.

Both bathrooms were tiled, one with a bathtub (hooray!!), the other with a shower.

Both lacked somewhat in standard and maintenance, but at the price, I was very satisfied with the overall standard of my room.

Both rooms had a seating area outside where you could sit down and admire the South African spring.

Breakfast: BBBB

Breakfast was included. Scrambled eggs, bacon and spicy sausages. As we arrived, however, there were not much left of the stuff, and what was there was rather cold. What we definitely found lacking was the fact that we did not get freshly made coffee, but had to mix our own from instant coffee. Instant coffee is a definite no-no for breakfast. Get a proper coffee machine and serve you guests the real thing.

Aintree Lodge provided a breakfast for all tastes. Muesli, yogurt, milk, jam, and toast. The only thing I missed (except the coffee) was whole grain or brown bread.

The scrambled eggs, bacon, and sausage tasted good (even lukewarm), and after two slices with jam I was happy. But try to achieve a better score!! It would be so easy for you - just make proper coffee!!

Price: BBBBB

To stay at 50€ a night deserves the highest score.

Rating the Aintree Lodge Experience: BBBB+ (4,45 points)

Recommended at Pietermaritzburg. Bring you own mosquito repellent, though! How to get to the top. Check your bathrooms and make proper coffee for breakfast. I'll check this the next time I visit.

Address:

Aintree Lodge
31 Alice Grange Road
Scottsville, Pietermaritzburg, 3201
Phone : 033-386 7956
Cell : 083 270 1218
Fax : 033-346 0480
Email : b-b@aintreelodge.co.za
Official website here

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