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“never again”

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Friends Cafe & Guest House
Reviewed 10 June 2014

i think:

i will never support this owner he is not a good men.

the staff dont get paid, so the rooms are not, realy not clean and a lot of flies in the beds, many thinks going stolen, the list is long, to have the Chance to make a buisness on a such a nice place have to support the comunity - and this is here not the case - shame!

Room Tip: be careful of the flies
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  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled with friends
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11  Thank 1976Claudia2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 7 May 2014

Although we did not stay at Bomvu we had the best party there one night. The African drumming is amazing to watch and the fire dancing not too shabby neither. Guests are requested to participate and we had a ball. Definately worth one evening while in Coffee Bay

Stayed: May 2014, travelled with family
Thank StellaJ09
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 April 2014

The owners were lovely, as were their pet dogs and the staff, however facilities were very poor, even by backpacker standards.

The shower only had hot water for a few hours a day, and more often than not it wasn't hot when it was meant to be. Nor did the shower have a light inside so I had to use my torch in the shower.

Electricity was intermittent, so recharging a phone proved a nightmare in a dorm of 10 with only two sockets, especially when electricity could be gone for days.

Despite electricity to us going down, their massive speakers were almost always on. So whether it be mid afternoon or 11 at night, they had this booming bass music on. I know it's not a 5* hilton but I personally didn't enjoy it.

Food was a rip off, they wanted upto 100 rands for a pizza, when pizza chains in other towns offer a pizza and bottle of coke for 40. With no alternative restaurants nearby they have you stuck and exploit it.

The bed was painfully thin and the wooden slats could be felt. I was eaten alive by mosquitos but arguably my own fault for leaving my mosquito net, hands up.

I intend to return to coffee bay, but not to this hostel. Lovely couple who own it, but definitely not for me.

Room Tip: Don't go near the speakers, find a quieter room if you're going to stay here.
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  • Stayed: March 2014, travelled with friends
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4  Thank Matt S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 March 2014

Staying in Bomvu was addicitive! I stayed 2 weeks instead of 1. The friendly staff made me feel at home (almost as part of the 'family'). They organize lots of things like daily free yoga on top of the mountain with an unforgettable view, and 4 times a week they play insane African rythms on drums (on Friday with an amazing singer). One of the band members gave me a few inspiring drum lessons (wow, didn't know I could do that!). Most nights there's a fire in the big fire pit and you can learn the basics of 'fire dancing' (sort of twirling with a burning staff). The garden is a fairytale that's so big you can get lost in it. And within all that goodness there's always great people around. Not only backpackers but also locals and the staff themselves. It felt like an amazing festival every day. Miss everyone already and will definitely come back!

  • Stayed: March 2014, travelled solo
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Thank Panda-panda1234
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 March 2014

i have read past reviews and see that some people dont like Bomvu. It is a pitty to say that most dislikes are from South Africans who probably never traveled through Africa, For me Bomvu was a true African experience and besides the small things that people complain about my overall experience was fantastic. i seldom find in any backpackers that that the owners make guests feel at home but Carl and his team does do a great job of giving people the true experience. A Backpacker or a african lodge is always a work in progress and i feel that people who complain about this place have to go and travel a bit to experience bad before they criticize people who put in a effort.

The place has got alot of character and is to me a very creative lodge. The owner has got loads of knowledge about the area and the information he can give you plus the wonderful drumming every night truly made it a happy place to stay. I will recommend Bomvu and would say that the negative comments might be a bit vindictive

Room Tip: try their campsites, it must be the best i have ever seen
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  • Stayed: March 2014, travelled with friends
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Thank monkey2319716
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 January 2014

Coffeebay is a beautiful place. And Bomvu looked as a nice place. But everything is under construction, although they are not really working to improve anything.
The rooms, toilets and showers are dirty. There were no lights in the dorm, when i asked for it, they would repair it that day, after 4 night there was still no light. The staff is not friendly, they work really slow and it looks like you are bothering them if you ask a question. Also the food from the restaurant is not nice, the pizza's are ok, but the breakfast is terrible. We always went to Coffeeshack (backpackers next door) for our meals and drinks.

  • Stayed: December 2013, travelled solo
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3  Thank karin h
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 January 2014

for December holidays my friends and I wanted to experience Coffee Bay as it has some of the most beautiful coastlines in South Africa.
HOWEVER we book to stay at Bomvu,,, when we arrived we were told to park in the street or be parked into a junkyard they "lock" at night.
Dorm 1 was at the bar: dirty beds and linen, filthy floors and the shocking excuse for a bathroom(moldy shower with no light or working Curtin, the toilet has never been cleaned also no light and previous visitors disgusting rubbish in there "sanitary bin" oh and don't except a lock for your door either we had to argue to get one. The door also does not close from the inside so while you are attempting to sleep drunks wonder in. (this happened on more than one occasion.)
Dorm 2: Shocker... no beds, they provide planks on the floor with a mattress if you are lucky. The roof of dorm 2 was thatch that has never been rethatched or cared for so you can have all creepy crawlies fall on you.
The actual facility that is Bomvu is not cared for, dilapidated and dangerous. One cant believe their free spirited approach as the organic garden is 90% weeds, there is little to no relaxing areas that are useable only relics of past furniture.
My biggest concern is that their idea at Bomvu of a free spirited approach to life is the rampant and open drug use. I only hope the "owner" Karl reads this and realizes if you make it ok for yourself, staff and guests to openly roll joints use mdma,LSD, shrooms, whatever drugs which is openly and abundantly available you make it ok for the poor community to make a living off selling drugs and make it ok for guests to embrace such unhealthy substances. You are no better then than a brothel or a child trafficking ring. If one illegal thing is ok then you are saying they all are.
This is not a destination I would recommend even to the scum of society.
It is one thing to offer cheap accommodation: you offer your guests a bed and a bathroom BUT you OFFER BASIC facilities THAT ARE CLEAN, SAFE and USEABLE. Just because you offer cheap accommodation does not mean you throw your guests in squalor and except them to live in slums.
Please investigate Coffee shack/ maybe sugar loaf or look a little further at accommodation at hole in the wall.

  • Stayed: December 2013, travelled with friends
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4  Thank Chris O
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Friends Cafe & Guest House

Address: 1 Main Road | Intersection to Hole in the Wall, Coffee Bay 5080, South Africa (Formerly Bomvu Backpackers)
Region: South Africa > Eastern Cape > Coffee Bay
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Beverage Selection Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service
Hotel Style:
Ranked #6 of 7 Speciality Lodging in Coffee Bay
Number of rooms: 13
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Friends Wild Coast Backpackers is situated on the picturesque Bomvu River Mouth. Mingle with locals around the fire, enjoy good conversation and a wood-fired pizza and a drink in Paradise Bar. Grab a dorm room, treat yourself to a lovely en suite or camp in their magical garden. Fill your days with fun, sun, yoga, table tennis, darts and great board games. When hunger strikes, hit Friends Wild Coast Café for homemade meals, freshly baked breads and cakes, fresh veg juices, shakes and smoothies - all served with an epic ocean view. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Bomvu Backpackers Hotel Coffee Bay

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