A B&B Review

I’m not in the habit of reviewing the places where I stay for work because firstly – this is not really a travel blog and secondly, I stay in so many places that I’ve become a bit blunted to the finery and treat of staying in a Bed and Breakfast. For me, mostly, it’s a place away from home, where I’m forced to stay a night because of work.
I’m tired, generally starving and not in the mood to sleep in someone else’s bed.
Sleeping out is an ordeal that I try to get over as soon as possible.
Big was my surprise then – when I stayed at a really nice place.
The lodge’s name was Maruntwane and it’s situated between Groot Marico and Zeerust in our country’s lovely North West Province. It’s a hunting farm during the winter and as far as I can gather, quite a popular vacation retreat. I’ve driven past it a couple of times on my Zeerust trips, but I’ve never had the pleasure of staying there till this week.
The first thing that I liked about the lodge was that they helped me in a pinch. I had not known about my trip till the day before I actually had to leave. Frantically, I had called up my usual Zeerust haunts, only to find out that they were all booked full for some kind of military function. (Booked full in Zeerust doesn’t happen often…). They couldn’t help me, so I phoned up the information centre in Groot Marico. After I explained my predicament, the woman immediately referred me to Maruntwane. I didn’t waste any time to book my night, told the people that I’ll be there after four and went about my day with the usual touch of anticipation that always accompanied staying in a new place (you never know what you’re going to get).
On Wednesday I sailed into their farm well past five with the sun just setting around the Zeerust hills. I was in a good mood I have to admit, because my trip had been successful and the day had been beautiful. For once, I was in a bit of a holiday mood – (despite the fact that I had gotten up at 4am).
The owners greeted me kindly and warmly and, before I knew what was truly happening, they had me sit down for a meal with them and gave me a room in the family house so that I didn’t have to stay in the chalets on my own.
They showed understanding for my demanding job, showed genuine concern whenever I coughed and allowed me to watch the news with them. This sounds silly but it made me feel at home and it made me relax. I have learned in my years of traveling, that there is nothing better than human concern and interest at the end of a difficult day. The simple pleasure of sitting down for a meal with someone is luxury you only learn to appreciate when you’ve spend countless meals eating on your own.
The room that I was given was clean, the bedding warm and fresh – the mattress firm. I had a massive bathroom all for myself and despite the fact that the owners had a pack of Jack Russels, they never barked once (nor did they act in any way that dogs normally do that’s inappropriate).
I slept better there than I had in any Bed and Breakfast before. The farm was quiet, the area beautiful and I’d imagine that if I had kids, they’d have been more than satisfied with the space available to them.
If you’re in Zeerust, and you want a place to stay for the night – go to Marunthwane. It was worth it.

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7 thoughts on “A B&B Review

  1. hearandlearn May 16, 2011 / 3:51 am

    Hello Alyssa! I know how you feel when mentioning in a strange place, but feeling like home. Back around the time of the dinosaurs, I was in the Navy, and station in Europe. I had an unexpected opportunity to go up into Germany and see the sights while attending a big meeting. I had only booked a place to stay when I was at my final destination, and found myself wanting to stay a night in Munich, before moving on. While I was milling around, trying to decide what to do, A wonderful lady came up to me and asked, in English, if I needed help. I explained my situation, and she quickly said, “Oh, you must come home with me, have supper with the family, and we have plenty of space for you. She was the wife of an American soldier stationed in Germany, so in the middle of thousand’s of miles from home, I was blessed with the treat of a great meal, wonderful family conversation including three precious kids, and the best night’s sleep since I had been in the Navy! It was Heaven! So I not only enjoyed your B & B critique, your story hit home for me as well. Take Care! Don

    • Alyssa May 22, 2011 / 5:47 pm

      It’s amazing what feeling at home can do for a person. It’s great. Thank you for the comment Don!

  2. Jenn May 17, 2011 / 1:11 pm

    I’m so glad that you found a place to stay in Zeerust that you liked! I know how much you travel out that way 🙂

    • Alyssa May 22, 2011 / 5:47 pm

      I feel like lifting my hands up into the air and going: FINALLY!

      • Jim July 27, 2011 / 11:43 pm

        Well, I just returned to the US from a business trip to South Africa, and I had the distinct pleasure of staying at Marunthwane, as well. The owners were fantastic, made us truly at home, fed us wonderful food and quenched our thirst with some mampoer. As this was my first trip to Africa, it was a great introduction! I can’t wait to go back and spend time with Johan and Sarie.

      • Alyssa August 18, 2011 / 4:04 pm

        My apologies for taking so long to reply to this. As the world worked, we had just missed each other. I remember Oom Johan and Tannie Sarie speaking off the americans that they were going to have. I am glad that they did not disappoint, they are truly great people!

  3. Charl Marais November 30, 2011 / 10:12 am

    I have to agree. Isometimes pull in there just to say hallo as I have known the owners for a while from doing mampoer tours in the area. Most often saying hallo ends up spending the whole afternoon.

    Great people with a warm heart.

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