As if making a statement to show that this is a lodge which pays attention to detail, if arriving by 4x4, you'll be dropped off at a specifically built platform allowing you to get down from the vehicle without fuss. You'll be greeted by a manager wielding a refreshing face cloth before being taken down the meandering path leading to the camp's entrance which takes the form of a pair of hefty wooden doors opening up onto a narrow corridor whose walls are decorated with cow bells from the herd of a local tribe. The first thing that hits you when you step into the lodge proper is the beautiful rock water feature which acts as a basin for the cascades of water falling from the semi-circular roof as well as the bushveld beyond it. To the left-hand side is a seating area where your check-in will be done and the formalities of your stay will be gotten over and done with, while next to this is the cabana-bordered old swimming pool whose floor has been raised and tables and chairs placed inside it in a few inches of water. Over to the other side is the reception desk which is made of various woods including zebra wood, lead wood and weeping boer-bean. In fact all of the wooden sculptures you see around the property are works by Geoffrey Armstrong who exclusively used driftwood reclaimed after the Sabie River flooded in 2000. And talking of materials, the main structure of the lodge is made from a traditional mix of concrete, river sand and thatching grass.
The library, between the curio shop and the bar, is a warm, stylish room where guests can enjoy pre-dinner drinks or relax between game drives with a book or game or chess. Complete with a comfy array of armchairs and sofas, a working fireplace and a good selection of books on a range of topics, the glass roof makes this a space that is welcoming in both summer as well as winter.
The lodge's Amani spa is arguably Earth's big pull. Shared with guests at two of the other Sabi Sabi camps, it offers a range of treatments including boy rituals, massages, wraps, facials, waxing, manicures and pedicures and special treatments for men. Each of the three treatment rooms is coloured differently with each shade corresponding to a principle of Shakra: orange for peace, green for healing and red for love. The rooms, which each have an iPod docking station, are used for different treatments while outside is a shower and a zen meditation garden. An additional treatment at the spa sees guests covered in mud before going into a steam room where drops of water help to clear away the mud which has slimming and hydrating properties. The friendly staff uses all natural products using ingredients found in the bush such as aloe, merula, African potato and rooibos. For couples, there is a double treatment room.
Although the lodge cannot boast the best views in Sabi Sands, there is certainly a special atmosphere around the camp thanks to the light, (you can see the sunrise from you bedroom window) the unique architecture/decoration and the well tended to grounds. The staff too is a credit to the lodge making guests feel welcome and seeing to their every need. The lodge itself is kept in excellent shape, being spotless and tidy without exception.