I have just had my 2nd stay at Riviera Hotel Hartenbos and am compelled to write a review. I don’t write hotel reviews for this website but I have to share my experience at this hotel. Staying at this hotel is a sensory experience unlike any. I have stayed at a couple of hotels in Hartenbos and Riviera is undoubtedly the best one in the whole town. The views from the deck of the lagoon are priceless.
The Riviera Hotel Hartenbos
The hotel has a choice of hotel rooms or self-catering units. The hotel rooms and suites accommodate two adults. The self-catering units come in 2- and 3 bedroom units. The two bedroom units can accommodate 4 adults and two children, while the 3 bedroom units can accommodate 6 adults and 2 children. There is also a restaurant on-site if you don’t want to do the cooking yourself and want to splash out.
The room that I stayed in had a kitchenette with an oven, a flat-screen TV, a seating area and a bathroom. The lounge area was open-plan and leads to a private balcony area with chairs and a table. The rooms are modern in their décor, with clean lines throughout and a great use of colour with the furniture. Upon arrival, the room that I stayed in was completely spotless. There is a nautical theme carried out throughout the hotel, from the boat bar to the spiral boat stairs.
The Views and Ambience
There is a deck on the roof with seating area and braai facilities. There are sufficient views at ground level by the pool area. This place is even more elevated and almost give a feel as if you are in the clouds. I must really commend the hotel for this neat feature.
When you wake up you wake up to pure serenity. The place is a bird sanctuary itself and you wake up to the sound of chirping and clean air. You can easily spend half a morning just sitting on your balcony or in the pool area soaking it all in. While relaxing in on the balcony, I saw some people on horseback riding past which just added to the whole atmosphere. It is a really nice place and you should stay there if you are in Hartenbos.
Across the lagoon is a hill area with a few homes scattered throughout, looking like a hillside village. They have a wooden walkway right on the border of the lagoon with chairs for you to sit on if you want to luxuriate in the view. This establishment really goes all out in maximizing the views and incorporating the beautiful surrounding environment to stimulate all of your senses.
While sitting on the wooden benches, if you are lucky you will be visited by some ducks that swim in from the lagoon and sit on the grass right in front of you. Just off the bank of the lagoon you can see sea birds diving into the water to catch fish. It is hidden in small seaside town that is very safe. There is a strong community feel to it and a lot of the character of the town is preserved deliberately.
My only complaint with the place is that there is no internet access available. The hotel does not offer any WiFi and I was using Telkom Mobile LTE for data, which has no reception at all in Hartenbos. That meant that for the whole time I was there I was practically in an internet blackout.
I have to reach very hard to find further complaints about this hotel so I will state issues that other reviewers have reported. Complaints that other patrons seem to have had was that the corridor is a bit dark and can use some lighting. Additionally, some have complained about there not being a laundry service available and no local information about the surrounding areas or things you can do while you are staying at the hotel.
How It Compares To Nearby Hotels
For my first time in Hartenbos I stayed at the timeshare establishment right next door. What made me want to stay in the Riviera Hotel is that I was next door and unfortunately, there were trees in the way that ruined an otherwise spectacular view, so from then on, I decided that I would have to stay at the Riviera at least once. In the timeshare hotel, I was with the family on a per room basis so it was definitely worth it and much more cost effective. If you are part of a scheme that offers it, you can still check it out. Riviera had to be a guilty pleasure that I had to experience. I decided that I would have to stay at the Riviera at least once and since then, there has been no turning back.
As you can already tell, I am a huge fan or Riviera Hotel Hartenbos. When in Hartenbos, there is no better place to stay than the Riviera. It is very conveniently located, on the lagoon and in reach of everything. It is walking distance to the shopping centre (Spur) and attractions like Hartenbos Museum. The beach is also a short stroll away. If you like to escape away to a sanctuary, this place is ideal. For me, even more so during the off-peak season when there aren’t that many visitors and it feels like you have most of the hotel to yourself. Be sure to consider this hotel if you are planning a trip to Hartenbos.