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“Cold room, cold shower and lost things”

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Riverlodge Backpackers
Helsinki, Finland
Level Contributor
232 reviews
46 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 73 helpful votes
“Cold room, cold shower and lost things”
Reviewed 11 February 2014

I stayed in River Lodge as a part of a bigger (around 50 persons) group. The common areas and the size of the hostel worked well for that big group and we become friends with a cool dude working there but those were the only positive things I can say about the place.

So what was wrong there? I was accommodated a shed in backyard with 9 other people. The walls were really thin and there was no lock and latch in room door so you couldn’t close the door making the accommodation insecure and cold. The showers next to the room in the hut had hot water 1/5 of times and only 1 of them was working. There wasn't 24/7 reception and no safety boxes in rooms so you either left your stuff at reception without being able to get them when you wanted or hid them in your room without possibility to close the door. Besides cold nights and cold showers perfumes, deodorants and food went missing during the last couple of nights (around 10 people lost something).

I wouldn't stay here again. You’ll find cheaper and better options in centre without all these problems. This hostel is located 9km away from centre.

  • Stayed October 2013, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank JiiBird
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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115 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (11)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
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English first
Cape Town Central, South Africa
Level Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 5 February 2014

I stayed at the hostel for 3 weeks and I really enjoyed the atmosphere there. The staff is young, helpful and very friendly. I felt safe the whole time around this area. Every evening there is a guardian who takes care about the safety in and around the hostel.
If you are alone or in a group and keen on meeting new people from all over the world than you have to stay there. I had luck and found new friends during my stay at the hostel. But you also have to be a person who can share the bath room and the kitchen with other people. If you have a problem with it I cannot recommend it. For me it was an experience and I will come back for sure.
Thank you for the pleasant time I had there!

  • Stayed January 2014, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Review collected in partnership with this hotel

Helpful?
1 Thank Carolin K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
RiverlodgeCapeTown, Manager at Riverlodge Backpackers, responded to this review, 20 August 2014
Hi Carolin K
Thanks for your comments! Please come again
Regards
Louise
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Durban, South Africa
2 reviews
Reviewed 19 January 2014

My booking was changed from a double room to a four bunk dorm when i got there. The service on arrival was pathetic! Natsha's response to the changed booking was that she had not heard from me and was uncertain of my arrival - this despite having paid a deposit!!!As for the flies - that in itself is another saga. will not recommend Riverlodge to anybody.

  • Stayed January 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Review collected in partnership with this hotel

Helpful?
Thank fpatel22
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

Travellers are raving about these Pinelands hotels

Cape Town Central, South Africa
2 reviews
Reviewed 8 January 2014

i will not stay at riverlodge backbackers again i will make sure i book well in advance for a backbackers in long street . every other backbacker was fully booked so we never had a choice where to stay, the service was terrible your lady at the front desk Natasha was the rudest person iv ever come across at any backbacker iv stayed in throughout capetown .

you guys need to set aside a budget for maintenance because your building is falling apart just saying ..

  • Stayed December 2013, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Review collected in partnership with this hotel

Helpful?
Thank Stuart D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Chichester, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
63 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
Reviewed 26 December 2013 via mobile

This hostel isn't in the best location. We had to get a train or taxi to get anywhere and trains are a bit rough!!! Lots of drugs on the premises and sometimes loud during the night. In a secure area which made it safe. Wouldn't stay here again but is cheap

Stayed December 2013, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
1 Thank Travelaholic2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Port Elizabeth, South Africa
2 reviews
Reviewed 3 December 2013

We booked into the Riverlodge backpackers on Saturday, 30 November.
Our booking and payment was made well in advance.
Upon arrival after 2 - one of our rooms was not yet cleaned and we had to wait to go into our rooms (this after leaving Port Elizabeth just after 2 the morning).

When we returned to the lodge at 01:00 the next morning (after watching the Dave Matthews Band) there was a party going on.
When we entered the premises, we were asked if we were joining the party.
We said 'no, we are here to sleep'.

The noise carried on.

When we had to take a shower, there was no curtain on the window and no door at the front of the room in which the showers were.
You had to get undressed and dressed in a very tiny shower as there were people outside and would be able to look into the room if you had to get out the shower.

The outside showers had no hot water.

The beds made a HUGE noise - you could not even turn.

The photo's on their website are also deceiving - the rooms are MUCH smaller than indicated!!!!

At about 05:00, people started running around in front of our rooms and kids were screaming like crazy - needless to say - we couldn't sleep anymore.

Everyone felt exhausted.

When speaking to the receptionist the morning and complaining, she phoned the owners.
The owner indicated that it was their sons party and the music was supposed to be done by 12.
The normal hours (according to their notices) indicates that noise should stop by 10.
Should the PAYING customers not have been notified of a party past 10??????
Because we did not complain the previous night - we were not going to get our money back for the second night we booked (as we were not staying there ONE more night).

There was no one around to complain to in the evening as reception was closed.

We got in our car and made other arrangements for our second night.

What upsets me is the fact that we were NOT in the wrong.
If this place was concerned about customer service, they could have dealt with this so much better.

I would not ever make use of this place EVER again and would spread the word to as many people as I know.

This place does not deserve to be supported.

  • Stayed November 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Nolene J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
CharlotteVisagie, Owner at Riverlodge Backpackers, responded to this review, 20 December 2013
Greetings and thank you for your review.

We at Riverlodge take all our customer reviews seriously and deal with all complaints, when they are bought to our attention. In this way we can rectify the little discomforts that out guests might experience.

I would like to take this opportunity to respond to this review.
2nd The numbers to contact a staff member after hours, is prominently displayed.
Futher more we have an security, whom has all the staff numbers at hand and if approached will immediately call a staff member to deal with the issue.
None of my staff received any phone calls during the night in question.

They came to my office staff the following morning and demanded an refund and stated that if we do not refund them their monies that they will leave a bad review on Trip advisor.

So how does one deal with a threat of this nature?

We are a busy hostel. The previous client booked out late and so we were running a bit late.
So my apologies for you having to wait a little in one of our comfortable lounges for your room to be thoroughly cleaned and prepared for you.

As for the party, ALL of our guests were informed that we would be having a part at the lodge that evening.
The guest complained that the music stopped well after 1pm.
Upon investigation I found from all my staff members that the party ended at 00H45.

As for the curtain in the shower room, which houses 4 showers, all with their own doors the curtain had been removed for washing and unfortunately had not been replaced by the time that these guests were showering. If they had asked reception it would have been sorted immediately.

We do not have an door on the 4 x shower room, as we have found in the past that one individual will go into the shower room and lock the door, thus closing off all the showers to all other guests who might want to use the communal showers, as advertised on our webpage and reconfirmed in all our correspondence.

The outside showers, again, had these guests gone to reception and told them that there was no hot water in the outside showers, our staff would merely have gone a exchanged the empty gas bottle with a full one and there would have been hot water. These guests did not at any time approach reception about any of the above issues.

The beds made a HUGE noise - you could not even turn.........Here I would really like to thank the guest for bring this to my attention.
I recently bought 3 x brand new wooden double bunks, to replace the old ones. I went and had a look at these bunks the morning after and indeed did find them to be making a lot of noise.
I have subsequently removed these bunks and replaced them with steel bunks.
Thank you for bring this to my attention.

According to the client........The photo's on their website are also deceiving - the rooms are MUCH smaller than indicated!!!!
This is difficult to respond to, the photos on the web site are the photos of the rooms.

The clients says........At about 05:00, people started running around in front of our rooms and kids were screaming like crazy - needless to say - we couldn't sleep anymore.

We had some guests from Durban who had children with them. Once again if they had approached reception or one of our staff members we would have gladly dealt with the "noisy" children.

I feel that the South African public at large need to be educated about backpackers hostels. As all of the complaints about hostels from all over South Africa are all coming form South African nationals and not the international travelers.

So in conclusion:-
As I have said before, all complaints are dealt with immediately, if the guests come and talk to us about it.
To be threatened with bad reviews if their demands are not met!!!! I'm sorry I do not respond to this kind of unacceptable behaviour from anyone.

PJ van der Walt.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Edmonton, Canada
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 30 November 2013

Great staff-- very helpful and friendly. Offered us extra blankets when we were cold, helped us figure out trains and buses to get around the city. Clean, well-stocked kitchen with 2 fridges and tons of cutlery, dishes, pots and pans. Clean washrooms, showers with hot water and good pressure. Dstv is always a bonus. Lots of grass if camping with your own tent. Very laid back atmosphere. Kwikspar a short walking distance away if cooking for yourself. Overall a nice place to stay, would come back again for sure.

  • Stayed November 2013, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank N S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
CharlotteVisagie, Owner at Riverlodge Backpackers, responded to this review, 20 December 2013
Thank you for your candid response.
We do really appreciate your feed back and welcome your review. Thank you for choosing to stay with us here at Riverlodge.

Looking forward to being your hosts next time around.

Warm regards

PJ van der Walt
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Riverlodge Backpackers

Property: Riverlodge Backpackers
Address: Oude Molen Eco Village | Alexandra Road, Pinelands 8000, South Africa
Region: South Africa > Western Cape > Cape Town > Pinelands
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beverage Selection Business Centre with Internet Access Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Shuttle Bus service Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #4 of 6 Speciality Lodging in Pinelands
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Hotel Class:3 star — Riverlodge Backpackers 3*
Number of rooms: 17
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Riverlodge offers you Cape Town Backpacking at its best. Our backpacking lodge is based in the Oude Molen Eco Village, Pinelands, the closest backpacking hostel to the airport. Cape Town City center is only a 12 min drive away. We offer a convenient on site shuttle service and we are an accredited Baz Bus stop. WIFI, internet, office services and a travel desk are just some of the facilities available. River Lodge offers the best of both city and country living. An fantastic backpackers - self catering, clean & homely, high ceilings, wooden floors - cozy in winter, cool in summer. In our large spacious kitchen you can indulge in your favorite pastimes, chilling at the bar, lazing by the fireplace, prepare your favorite meal while watching DSTV, or enjoy our spacious BBQ facilities. You can relax on the enormous stoep or climb into a quiet hammock on one of our lawns. We boast of having one of the largest in city camp sites in Cape Town, catering for vehicle and tents, safe and secure. The Backpackers dorms are perfect for Volunteer Accommodation (60 pax), sporting groups, school groups, group stays, business and self drives -- we are regularly used by Volunteering Organizations. We offer a range of accommodation: 2 bed, 4 bed, double rooms and family room en-suite and a 10 bed dorm with it's own showers and toilets. Configuration of sleeping facilities can be adapted to specific needs. This is the place to base yourself and explore Cape Town as we are centrally situated, 12km away from both Cape Town International Airport and City Center, as well as a 2min walk from Pinelands railway station. A heartbeat away from the N1 and N2 highways. ... more   less 
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