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“Inconsiderate and expensive”

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Happy Hippo Accommodation
Ranked #11 of 85 Speciality Lodging in Durban
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 11 June 2014

The place itself is nice, although the area is dangerous - near the harbour and the notorious Point/Mahatma Gandhi Road. So stay in at night unless you're prepared to spend money on a cab.

It is much more expensive than other backpackers - they charge b&b rates for private rooms, and their dorms are more expensive too.

There were only a few guests, but they shoved us all into one dorm. I had to wonder why, as the place is huge, and there were plenty of empty dorms. I would've thought they'd try to make their guests as comfortable as possible, especially at the rates they charge.

Wifi is a mission - you have to like their Facebook page, then they give you an app to download. Unnecessarily complicated, and I don't like being forced to like someone's Facebook page.

There's no atmosphere, it's just a huge empty place, although quite nicely furnished. They have a bar, but it only opens at 5pm.

That being said, the staff at reception, while not really friendly, do give some good advice about catching buses around Durban, etc.

I cannot recommend the place to other travelers, however. There are other backpackers in safer areas, with more of a vibe and less expense - which is what backpackers are supposed to be about anyway.

  • Stayed: June 2014, travelled solo
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Thank Mazi-Wazi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
DurbanBrooksie, Owner at Happy Hippo Accommodation, responded to this reviewResponded 13 June 2014

Mazi-Wazi, Thank you for taking the time out to make a review that is factually incorrect and unnecessarily untrue. We are in an area that is statistically the safest in the province of Kwa-Zulu Natal. There are also bars and restaurants within walking distance, so why would you tell people to stay in? To say we are much more expensive than other backpackers is completely untrue and anyone with access to the internet can find this out easily. We do not charge b&b rates for private rooms with our double en-suite costing R250 pp.
Sorry for the wifi situation, we are locked into a contract with an third party and are busy negotiating a way to provide free wifi. It is very easy to unlike us on facebook and to delete the app, being the first backpackers in South Africa to have an app, it is something we are proud of and want as many people to see/use as possible.
With regards to being an empty place and no atmosphere, I think you will see on your travels that June is a quiet time for our industry and you will find many places with no atmosphere.
It is quite clear, that whilst your budget dictates that you must utilise backpackers your attitude and expectations are at another level. I suggest that you re-evaluate your travelling strategies and when reviewing establishments get your facts straight.
Please try and enjoy the rest of your travels,
Michael Brooks

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132 - 138 of 235 reviews

Reviewed 8 June 2014

I stayed twice at the happy hippo, once for business and once as a backpacker. Both the private rooms and the dorms are really comfortable and spacious and what I think is great value for money. Private rooms have plenty of character and the whole place was very very clean! Both times there was a great crowd and always interesting people to chat to be it other guests or staff. Well equipped kitchen so easy to self cater but also within walking distance to plenty of restaurants. Wouldn't stay anywhere else when in durban!!!

Stayed: May 2014, travelled solo
Thank Claire G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
DurbanBrooksie, Owner at Happy Hippo Accommodation, responded to this reviewResponded 12 June 2014

Hi Claire,
You are quickly becoming our favourite guest, what a superb review which makes the hard work worthwhile. We are in the game of making your stay as comfortable as possible for the amount you pay, and clearly for you, we are succeeding. It will only be pleasure to host you again, so please hurry up and come back.
Thank you very much,
Michael Brooks

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Reviewed 7 June 2014

Reasonable, neighborhood a little runb down, but so is durban... withjin walking distance of a lot of good shops and shaka zulu world and the beach... Nice kitchen and room good... Would recommend it, ghreat staff

Room Tip: In durban this is the place
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  • Stayed: November 2013, travelled solo
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Thank James_KK9185AX
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
DurbanBrooksie, Owner at Happy Hippo Accommodation, responded to this reviewResponded 12 June 2014

Hi James,
Thanks for taking the time to review us, our staff are very proud that they are improving our service levels (something we continue to work on). Over the next five years the area we are located in, will be rejuvenated and upgraded, like most things in Africa, things take a little longer to get going but when they do it promises to be the premier tourism destination in Durban. Hopefully if you come back things will be sorted out.
Thanks again,
Michael Brooks

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Reviewed 7 June 2014 via mobile

Friendly smiles await u as u enter by reception. Fantastic service. I felt relaxed in my room with no disturbance at any time. The bar area was great. Chico was always at my side when he was needed. Very close to restaurants and night life. Safe and affordable.

  • Stayed: June 2014
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Thank 605Mel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
DurbanBrooksie, Owner at Happy Hippo Accommodation, responded to this reviewResponded 12 June 2014

Hi 605Mel,
Wow, you have made our day! taking the time out to review our lodge and then making such positive remarks makes us all fuzzy inside. It would be our pleasure to host you again and Chico will be there to help you when you arrive.
Thank you,
Michael Brooks

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Reviewed 24 May 2014 via mobile

Happy hippo is really clean, has a good kitchen, large communal areas which unfortunately are right outside the rooms so it can be a bit noisy. Rooms are small, bathrooms clean and nice showers. Staff mostly friendly and helpful. Quite pricey but in a nice area close to the beach and a mall. Internets expensive and slow, much cheaper at an internet cafe in town.

Stayed: May 2014, travelled with friends
Thank ccknight23
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
DurbanBrooksie, Owner at Happy Hippo Accommodation, responded to this reviewResponded 27 May 2014

Hi Chris K,
Thank you for your review, it is always nice that our reviewers can give us positive and constructive negative comments. This helps us to adjust the way we operate and improve our business. Our internet is a bit of a bugbear, we entered into a partnership with our IT supplier many years ago, he does not want to give free wifi and we know we must give it. This is why we have made three hours free if you check in on social media and then download our app, (I would love to know if you were offered this option). Anyway your positive comments outweigh the negatives and I thank you very much for that. Please enjoy the rest of your travels and we hope to see you soon.
Thank you,
Michael Brooks

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Reviewed 8 May 2014

We are two females who stayed at Happy Hippo Back Packers. The staff were very helpful and nice. Make sure when you book happy hippo you confirm your reservation again we had a problem with this. The hostel is close to a local grocery store so you can shop for groceries and make your own meals. I liked how close it is to Ushaka beach and it is lovely to go for an early morning run or walk. We had no safety problems in this area and traveled late at night with the public/tourist buss to go to the theatre/casino/restaurants. It was a cheap and clean place to stay. I would definitely recommend it to others.

  • Stayed: November 2013, travelled with friends
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Thank kulsum k
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
DurbanBrooksie, Owner at Happy Hippo Accommodation, responded to this reviewResponded 27 May 2014

Hello K Kulsum,
What a superbly positive review, thank you so much for your kind and truthful comments. It is always very rewarding when our guests have a good stay with us and enjoy the environment that we have tried to create for our customers. We hope to see you again soon.
Thanks again,
Michael Brooks

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Reviewed 2 May 2014

Happy Hippo offers industrial style accomodation in an old warehouse, lacking atmosphere. No free wifi (as opposed to what is advertised). The area around HH isn't safe to wander around, even during the day.

Stayed: April 2014, travelled with friends
3  Thank Giant J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
DurbanBrooksie, Owner at Happy Hippo Accommodation, responded to this reviewResponded 22 May 2014

Hi Giant J,
Thank you for the review, I am sorry that our lodge did not agree with you, the industrial style is not for everyone we know. I am very concerned that you were not offered our free wifi options by our staff and this is something we are looking into and will address immediately. I do however have to point out that the area around HH is statistically the safest in the Durban area, we are the closest accommodation establishment to Ushaka marine world and the area is continuously patrolled by a private security company and two different police forces. Once again sorry for not meeting your expectations and enjoy the rest of your trip.
Michael Brooks

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative 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 #11 of 85 Speciality Lodging in Durban
Price Range: £11 - £39 (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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