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“Happy New Year Happy Hippo”

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Happy Hippo Accommodation
Certificate of Excellence
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
“Happy New Year Happy Hippo”
Reviewed 1 January 2013 via mobile

During our holiday in SA we visited Happy Hippo(HH) in Durban. We came late by BAZbus so we were tired. The service in the reception was really nice and friendly and after a little tour we went to the room. The rooms are very nice, simple but effective! We were in HH during New Years Eve, HH organised a good party in their rooftopbar which is fantastic. The staff is very friendly and is always willing to help out and is willing to book tours as well. The kitchen is very big and very clean. Thumbs up Happy Hippo!!

  • Stayed December 2012
    • Value
    • Location
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Kortewegjim
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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219 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (30)
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English first
Rotterdam, The Netherlands
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 7 December 2012

A generally clean Hostel. However the staff was rather annoyed when asking for tips. The official description makes the location of the hostel sound very central, which it is NOT. As a matter of fact when arriving at the hostel one gets the recommendation not to use the roads but rather take the detour of walking on the beach. Ignoring the recommendation I walked on Mahatma Gandhi Road (The road on which the hostel is situated) and indeed it is full of drug dealers and people who were all too keen to see my phone.

Friends of mine stayed here and were robbed IN THE HOSTEL in the night. All the owner of the hostel did, was being very uncooperative and actually hindering the police work.

If you are looking for a hostel in a nice location in which you can reach things by foot, dont go here. All that is here is the uShaka marine world which is nothing more than a daytrip to which you could take the bus.

  • Stayed November 2012, travelled solo
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank dakoschu
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
BrooksieDurban, Owner at Happy Hippo Accommodation, responded to this review, 23 December 2012
Thank you for your review, however I feel I need to respond to some of your accusations: We will be having an enquiry as to why my staff were annoyed when asking for tips, as this is not acceptable in our business and for that I apologise.Could you kindly give us a description of the person/s reponsible? With regards to being central, there is only one hostel closer to the centre of town, and when getting buses it takes approximately five minutes to reach the town hall. I thank you for pointing out that our recommendations on personal safety should be adhered too, it is people who ignore the locals' recommendations that end up getting mugged or worse.I am also sure that my staff explained to you the option of getting the bus into town which would take only five minutes and then proceed to explain the safe walking route, if walking is your preference.
Your friends that were robbed IN THE HOSTEL obviously have failed to inform you that we were the ones who found out who robbed them & spent many hours watching through the camera footage at the lodge with them. They also failed to tell you that we were the ones who gave them the full name of the fellow traveller who robbed them. This was through our thorough investigation & not the attemp of the SAPS two representatives, who by the way were discaplined for their unrurely behaviour in our lodge. World wide, the police are there to help & NOT "do us any favours!" as they retorted! In fact they were more of a hindrance & did not find out all the information required for the girls in question. These ladies failed to tell you how our staff were accused by them & the fact that we had spare keys made it even more possible that it was an inside job! They failed to tell you how they never apologised for these accusations against us & my wife, Michelle. These ladies also failed to tell you how they kept our other paying guests up after they returned to the hostel after celebrating a birthday within their circle & how they spoke to my wife in the morning after the event.
Everyone is entitled to review a lodge/hostel and yes we cannot please all the people all the time, but when the review in question is not accurate it is the owners right to respond. I hope that I have cleared a few things up and I regret that your stay was not desirable and all I can do is apologise.
Yours sincerely,
Michael Brooks
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Liestal
Level 4 Contributor
26 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 December 2012

Our triple-room was located to the street side.
In the night there were a lot of the pimped minibuses driving around near the Happy Hippo with very loud subwoofers (the whole building was shaking) and in the morning the heavy trucks started driving up and down the road.
One night we locked the door, the lock got stuck and we were not able to open the door from the inside in the morning. We had to wait about one hour till 7am till somebody answered the phone on the reception and unlocked the door from the outside.

The shared bathroom is missing storage area to put any washbag or else somewhere. The ceiling is breaking apart and only half of the lights are working.

The living room and kitchen are good and big and offer enough space to eat and relax.
Prices are OK and also the service personal was very helpful in organizing trips etc.

  • Stayed November 2012, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
1 Thank CHRACH
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
BrooksieDurban, Owner at Happy Hippo Accommodation, responded to this review, 23 December 2012
Thank you for your review and your constructive criticism.
I am sorry for your experience at our lodge and if I could respond to a couple of points you have brought up maybe I can clarify them.
With regards to pimped minibuses, unfortunately we do not have any influence on when and where these buses stop and play their music, I can assure you that this not a regular event and if it happens we try to call the local security company to come and sort it out.
The lock that got stuck is just part of the wear and tear of being a very busy lodge. The lock has been replaced and I am very sorry that it happened to you.
Storage are in the bathroom comes in the form of a hook that is approximately 30cm from the shower head, once again I am sorry that this was not adequate for you and we will investigate the viability of another form of storage.
If you were there in November you would have noticed that we had extensive building alterations in progress, a leak was caused by this work and with Durbans heavy rains in the past two months there was serious damage to this ceiling and lights. We have fixed the lighting and we are waiting for our insurance company to pay out for the repairs to the ceiling.
However I thank you for your positive comments about our staff and the prices.
Yours sincerely,
Michael Brooks
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London
Level 3 Contributor
19 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
Reviewed 24 November 2012 via mobile

We were looking for just a place to stop over in Durban for one night and this backpacker was a good choice. The rooms are basic and quite small but clean with clean sheets. The shared bathrooms and communcal areas are spotless however the lounge area is so big it felt quite cold... Although there didn't seem to be many people staying when we were there so this may be quite different in the busy period. There is however a good and big rooftop bar which is reasonably priced.
The location is Ok although I felt a bit wary walking around at night. It is near a complex on the ocean front you can walk to dinner, it is only a short 10min walk to restaurants (chain restaurants) but it is very dark.
This is good basic accommodation and cheap for a night or two in Durban.

Stayed September 2012, travelled with friends
Helpful?
Thank BollyBroke
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Cleveland, Ohio
Level 6 Contributor
245 reviews
112 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 91 helpful votes
Reviewed 21 November 2012

If your travels take you to Durban and you have to stay in the area then The Happy Hippo is your place. We stayed 2 nights because we had errands to run and since we had our own car it was easy to get to. I would recommend reservations, we got the last rooms on a Friday night and the place has over 60 beds and this was low season! The staff is very helpful and nice. The place is very clean. This is a converted loft and is well taken care off. Plenty of places to hang out and talk to other travelers. There is a very large and very clean communal kitchen. Well stocked and a big coffee pot filled with hot water all day. They do not have a restaurant and it is not in an area with a lot of restaurants so either bring your own food to cook or expect to go out a lot. The rooftop bar is under construction so there is now a little bar area in an outdoor covered balcony that serves soft drinks and beer. It is also the only place for the smokers to congregate. The rooms are nicely furnished for a backpacker place and the bathrooms are spotless and now have hooks for your cloths! If in Durban this is the place to stay!

  • Stayed November 2012, travelled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank bikingmom
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Gainesville, Florida
Level 4 Contributor
21 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
Reviewed 5 November 2012

Stayed in January with my Grandfather and my brother and we loved it! Very spacious and quiet when you need it to be, yet also fun and lively. The rooms are on the smaller side but they are really clean as well as ours had a great bathroom. There is also a rooftop bar where you can relax, enjoy the view of the city, and meet some pretty awesome travelers. The staff is super friendly and if you need anything at all they are the first to lend a hand. We also had the pleasure of meeting the owners, who are also extremely helpful and nice. They have put a lot of work into the place and it really does show. We even told them about the wifi being a bit slow and they were quick to fix it. You are minutes away from the beach where you can also find the Ushaka Marine World. This place is filled with little shops and offers an array of ocean activities. If you are up for a short drive I would definitely recommend heading to Victoria Market, as it is quite the experience. If you are visiting Durban and are looking for an awesome place to stay, as well as a great price - this is it! I would suggest booking for more than one day. You won't regret it.

  • Stayed January 2012, travelled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank Tanya L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
New York
Level 6 Contributor
44 reviews
27 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 November 2012

the people who work here are great. i reserved over the phone, and they texted me driving directions that were right on [no gps and first time in Durban]. just when i thought I'd gone and taken a wrong turn, the directions came through. When I arrived as well, the person on duty helped me get settled in, set me up with my baz bus ticket, helped me make arrangements to return my rental car. the dorm i stayed at [with the en suite bath] was nice and clean as was the bathroom. they are repainting and redoing a few rooms so the smell of paint was a bit obvious in parts of the common areas, but there is a lot of open space that you can hang out and do whatever, so it wasn't a real issue. the kitchen is nice and kept clean, and with plenty of plates and cups, etc. the only thing I'd say is that if there is a big group in the common area, the sound can echo a bit and be a bit loud, but that wasn't really an issue for my stay. The location is pretty good at least for a short durban stay. it's a few minutes walk to uShaka Marine world, which i didn't visit, but there are a few restaurants in there for a quick bite to eat, and it's just at the beach. It's also where the people mover bus leaves from, and you can use that to quickly get around the major sites, or get a day pass and explore a bit further afield.

Only thing I'd say was missing are hooks. The bathroom [en suite in the dorm] has no hooks for hanging up towels or clothing. The room only has one on the back of the door.

Room Tip: The en suite dorm is nice and if you're first in you can snag the bunklss bed in there.
See more room tips
  • Stayed October 2012, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Location
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank sjk1976
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

Property: 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 #8 of 77 Speciality Lodging in Durban
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
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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