Is This the Best Guest House in Nelspruit, South Africa?
We heard of Chez Vincent from a friend while we organised our New Year’s trip to South Africa. We needed to stay in Nelspruit for a night before going to a safari at one of the private game reserves in Kruger National Park. At that time I already suspected that this is the best guest house in Nelspruit.
photos: ©When Woman Travels & ©Chez Vincent
The travel from Johannesburg to Nelspruit with AirLink was comfortable and short. (There is always something adventurous about flying on the board of small planes!) It came out that our luggage didn’t follow us and we arrived with just small bags to face the night. In addition, the highly experienced travel diva (I mean myself) didn’t think of writing down the address of Chez Vincent Guest House!
The pleasant sensation of arriving safe and seeing the beautiful small airport of Nelspruit was quickly overridden by worries. But we were not alone. The Johannesburg airport is a famous trap for lost or stolen luggage. But this time the fault was with the short transfer time so we just had to swallow our frustration and go on.
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At the luggage claim desk, it was a young man whose family, including an infant, was standing a few steps behind him. It came out that he is a local and quickly helped us to find online the address of Chez Vincent. It took more time to understand us (we pronounced Chez Vincent with a French accent as the name is of a French origin but people here pronounce Vincent with the English pronunciation). So, be aware of this when asking for directions! We needed that address to fill the airline’s form and to receive our luggage on the next day.
Because of this man, our first impression of Nelspruit was that of an amazingly friendly town.
I’m telling you all these because it is crucial for the experience we had at Chez Vincent. Arriving at the guest house, we faced the South African reality – high walls, electric fence. Yet, behind these ugly installations, we met the kindest faces. They were waiting for us. We were their first guests for the year.
We felt as VIP guests. We felt safe and cared for. We dined at the gourmet restaurant and we were the only guests. It was one night but it was more than that. The small guest house with its colorful rooms, gourmet food, and polite staff felt much more as a home I want to go back than the hotel we stayed for a whole week in Cape Town.
Next day, we met Jessica. She is the person I was in contact with while making our reservation. She cared about us and our luggage problem same way an old friend will do. She phoned the airport office every two hours checking if our luggage has arrived. I don’t know how she did it happen, but we got our luggage exactly on time for our transfer to Savanna Private Game Reserve. Our three days of safari adventures would be totally ruined if we didn’t have our things with us (I’m speaking about photo camera, medications, and clothes to change).
Our stay was not sponsored although they knew I’m a travel blogger. My opinion is as always – I share what I have experienced and the way I perceived the place. I’m totally aware that experiences are subjective. But I still believe that Chez Vincent, if not the best, is one of the best guest houses in Nelspruit.
Chez Vincent recently changed the owners. I’m happy they kept the name (that comes from the previous owner who was French). Like those people who have been coming to stay here for years, people like our South African friend, will still feel as they are connected with the place.
The restaurant at Chez Vincent is one of its best features. Tripadvisor users gave it a Certificate of Excellence. Go ahead, read what they have said about Saffron Restaurant. I can confirm that the food is delicious, looks appetizing and it is served with grace. Apart from the quality of food, the restaurant ambiance is such that you would like to stay here, drinking the excellent South African wine and enjoying the relaxed atmosphere for a long time. And as an interior design buff, definitely enjoyed the design of this space.
Speaking about interior design, I doubt there is a woman who will not enjoy the colorful yet tranquil setting of the Chez Vincent rooms. Designed with the African traditions in mind, these rooms are as comfortable as they look on the photos.
Chez Vincent guest house is not only the best guest house in Nelspruit (in my opinion) but also has a very good location. Nelspruit is situated at less than 4 hours’ drive from Johannesburg and Pretoria. You need the same time to arrive here if you drive from Maputo, Mozambique – something I did with my husband many years ago). People come here mostly for one thing – to see the African animals in the Kruger National Park. The park is just an hour drive from Nelspruit and the road passes along beautiful sceneries from which I mostly remember the banana plantations. You can combine your visit to the area with a trip from Swaziland – it takes 2 hours’ drive.
Nelspruit airport is small but very convenient to visit the Kruger Park. There are 2 or 3 flights per day to Johannesburg and the same number to Cape Town.
Another reason why the Chez Vincent is the best guest house in Nelspruit is the number of services they offer. I found the room prices very reasonable in comparison with some other accommodation options in the town. But the additional services are those that make a guest’s stay even more facilitated. Airport transfer and babysitting can be a great help but car wash and laundry service are sometimes very useful too.
This is my favorite best guest house in Nelspruit, South Africa. I know where I will be when one day I go back to Kruger Park. Do you have favorite places to stay in South Africa? What did you like the most about them?
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