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“Great, friendly, clean and welcoming”

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Happy Hippo Accommodation
Ranked #10 of 81 Speciality Lodging in Durban
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 17 May 2012

I'd like to thank the staff & management for a great welcome and stay in a very friendly atmosphere.
The ambiance in the communal areas is nice, rooms are basic and clean and so are the communal bathrooms and the kitchen.
I only met friendly faces and everyone was willing to point you in the right direction and to compare different options/prices/times.
I also like the fact that they are as eco friendly as they can be and point this out to the guests. Good thing!
The value for money is absolutely great.

Thank you so much Happy Hippos!

The 'unhappy hippo' a few reviews ago was perhaps expecting to be in a hotel instead of a backpackers?

  • Stayed: May 2012, travelled solo
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Thank sabpo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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176 - 182 of 227 reviews

Reviewed 22 March 2012

Happy Hippo is a good place to base yourself when exploring the Durban area. Not much frills... the backpackers lacks a bit of vibe. However, for the person who want to explore Durban over and rest at night, this is an ideal base camp.

  • Stayed: March 2012, travelled with friends
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Thank MySouthAfrica
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 March 2012

I spend quite a few nights over a few months, in these accomodations.
They are always clean, offered a safe and warm place to rest my head & the owners/staff were friendly and went out of their way to make me feel at home.
Well done guys - you really help me through a tough period !!!
Keep up the good work & I highly recommend them to anyone looking for a cheap, safe place to stay...

  • Stayed: November 2011, travelled solo
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Thank Wayne S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 February 2012

I've stayed here a few times simply because the cost of accommodation is quite good for an ensuite room in Durban. It is also minutes walk away from UShaka Marine World and the Beach, and in an area of town where you don't feel too unsafe as it is the end of the marine!

The bar is on the roof with reasonable views of the locality. Would recommend if you need somewhere to kip overnight.. very spacious inside, good basic facilities, really not for disabled people or those with heavy luggage as there is a lot of stair climbing to do to get to the main floor (and more to the bar!)

  • Stayed: November 2011, travelled solo
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1  Thank Stormchild83
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 January 2012

Happy Hippo is for those who want to explore Durban, but are not looking for the centre of attraction at their place of stay. With clean, open spaces, Happy Hippo provides good contemporary (African themed) accommodation, reminding one of the quality yet sparse furnishing of a Formula 1 or Road Lodge hotel with a dash of culture, but faces an inner city cosmopolitanism that lends some blandness to the experience. The bar is a nice big rooftop experience, but the rooms need open windows in the sweltering summer heat and bring in a fair share of the late night traffic.

A great space for exploring the centre of the city, or for travelers seeking a pit-stop and are not sure where to go, but it is not the laid-back and enriching experience found in some backpackers in South Africa.

Stayed: January 2012, travelled solo
1  Thank s0uth_coaster
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 January 2012

I was very happy with the stay was great. You get to meet people from all over the world and the rooms are comfortable giving me ample rest at night and the staff are great . Was perfect for me as i worked at ushaka so i could walk to work everyday and not worry about my car as it is locked in the garage. The bar upstairs is very good with a great bar tender who is always friendly

  • Stayed: December 2011, travelled on business
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1  Thank LEM4diving
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 December 2011

It's 7am. I'm in my room at Happy Hippo Backpackers. Didn't get much sleep last night, despite ear plugs, blindfold and the soothing sounds of heavy trucks and taxis throughout the night. Plenty of time to mull over this review...

The room provided the comforting environment of a mothers womb with temperature of over 30 degrees centigrade and 100% humidity, combined with a heady smell of sweat permeating through the walls. (An alternative room overlooking a local alley wall, had a delightful musty dank odour, for an additional R90). We were fortunate enough to have an overhead fan in our room (there's no air conditioning at this establishment), which had a rattling sound reminiscent of the Huey helicopter blades of the Vietnam war. This combined with the heat, humidity may be comforting to Vietnam Vets, but not to us Capetonians. Fortunately however, the death rattle of the fans helped to drown out some of the drunken carousers in the street below and on the balcony above and to the side, but unfortunately did little to alleviate the heat. The communal fridge had aromas that were more difficult to place,
but distinctly rotting character, with stalactites of frozen slimy, non-descript ooze.

The accommodation has an urban feel, appears to be a converted factory or wharehouse, situated on a dodgy major road, with immediate access to a garage next door, within walking distance of a local brothel, or alternatively, the nauseating uShaka Marine World. Lovely view from our room of the traffic on a major road. The secure parking (situated below our room) had a charming uriniferous odour, and what appeared to be piles of rubble and possibly bodies in white linen bags. Our room price was R155pp/pn (with a R50 deposit for the room key), and i was left with a distinct impression that i could have done better.


PROS:
Friendly, well-meaning staff
Large, well equipped kitchen
ample toilet paper (although we were warned to turn off the bathroom lights and spare water, as apparently there is an "energy crisis" at this backpackers.)

Yours sincerely,
Very unhappy hippo

Room Tip: Avoid rooms... I found one backpacker sleeping on a couch in the lounge area to escape the noise/hea...
See more room tips
  • Stayed: December 2011, travelled with family
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2  Thank Simonidies
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Happy Hippo Accommodation

Address: 222 Mahatma Gandhi Road | KwaZulu-Natal, Durban 4001, South Africa
Region: South Africa > KwaZulu-Natal > Durban
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Parking Kitchenette Shuttle Bus service Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #10 of 81 Speciality Lodging in Durban
Price Range: £12 - £42 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Happy Hippo Accommodation 3*
Number of rooms: 24
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Born from a passion for traveling, the legacy of the Hippo Hide has been passed on to this unique and amazing lodge. Situated approximately 500m from Durban's best beaches and right next to uShaka Marine World, you couldn't ask for a better location. Durban's first purpose built backpackers hostel for the discerning budget traveller, welcomes you to come and enjoy state of the art facilities. These include the amazing roof top party and recreational area, known as "The Globe", FREE WIFI, travel desk with up to date information and the best deals. This is your one stop youth hostel with all your amenities close by. ... more   less 

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