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“The Boathouse ... a nightmare !”
Review of The Boathouse

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The Boathouse
Ranked #14 of 23 Ballito B&B and Inns
Tremelo
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“The Boathouse ... a nightmare !”
Reviewed 21 January 2008

We just returned from a 3 weeks holiday through South Africa. It was really great ! But the worst experience of our life, was at the Boathouse in Ballito. Our expectations were very high ... it's quite expensive compared to other 4* guesthouses/lodges ... we stayed there from Dec 29 - Jan 1 and were looking forward to have a great New Years celebration.
But, it started already when we arrived at the reception. Where was the nice South African hospitality ? We were not welcomed in a friendly way, but the receptionist seemed to be a very unprofessional lady who does not know how to treat clients. To make a long story very short ... we received (as the staff of The Boathouse claimed themselves at the end of our stay) the "most horrible room". We had room nr 3, just above the kitchen ... you can imagine all the noise that goes together with this .... the floor of our room was so hot due to the kitchen below, that the airco could not even get the room to a decent temperature to sleep .... and what a wonderful view we had on the parking lot and the street, not as expected the nice sea view ... but the worst was the horrible, huge generator which was only 1 m situated next to our bathroom ... it produced so much noise 24hrs a day that we could not even hear each other talking when one of us was in the bathroom and the other in the bedroom. They told us that they have to inform the clients upfront when they want to give this room. That dit NEVER happen, we were not aware.
Also, the hairdryer was missing in the room, when we asked for one we got a broken one. We found a big piece of old meat in the fridge .... etc etc.
It was like a punishment for us and we don't understand how they can ask the same rate for this horrible room as for the other rooms. We had debates about this with the staff but they just ignored us. Even the GM did not do any attempt to come and talk to use personally ... he was always hiding away and sometimes quickly coming to the terrrace to have a look at us (very sneaky but very clearly to check who we were). The least you expect is that they would offer you something nice, but nothing ... they are so unprofessional.
And then about the New Year's Eve dinner ... just a disaster. It would take us too long to explain everything, but believe us, the famous buffet, only made from sandwiches, was not worth the 400 SA Rand at all. It was funny to see everybody's faces, how surprised they were about this food and how disappointed. It's strange because during the other evenings the food was good (at least something we can not complain about) so you wonder how this could be possible. But that evening, 4 people even left and refused to start eating ... that's to show how bad it was. No ambiance, no nothing ... how sad.
We have never been so happy to leave a place as this one. It's a shame we had to leave so much money there ... wished we had left it at one of the so many nice places in South Africa.
One good advice ... if you happen to go there... definitely avoid room nr 3.

  • Liked — the breakfast
  • Disliked — the room
  • Stayed December 2007, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank fred_sonja
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
BoathouseBallito, Assistant General Manager at The Boathouse, responded to this review, 18 October 2009
Firstly we would like to apologize to the guests for them not enjoying their stay.

We did get a email from their agent with regards to their complaints and they were followed up. When we receive bad comments from guests we do try our best to ensure that it does not happen again. We try ensure every guests enjoys their stay with us.

The room the guests are referring to was a standard room. As these guests did book later than our other guests they did get the last room available. Since their complaint we have changed this room type from a standard to an economy room. The guests are now warned about the position of the room and the noise that you can hear from this room. The rate has been amended accordingly.

The receptionist who checked them in was spoken to as this is not our normal check in. This lady has left us. When ever we get a new receptionist we inform them that the reception gives the first impression to the guests of what to expect from the rest of the staff. They need to be friendly and professional at all times. If we find they are not they are dealt with accordingly.

The hairdryer was unfortunately taken by the guests who stayed in the room before these guests checked in. We had ordered more as our spare one had already been given out. This had not arrived yet. When the guest requested one,one of the managers went home to get hers from her house. Unfortunately it was not used oftern so the manager did not realize it did not work any more.

The old piece of meat in the fridge is totally unacceptable. I can assure you this does not happen oftern and the house keeper was dealt with accordingly.

I can not respond with regards to the GM not speaking to the guests as he is no longer with us so I can not find out from him why he did not speak to the guest. I can only apologize as again this is not standard practice. If there is a complaint from the guest the duty manager will follow it up and check if the guest is satisfied. If the guest is still not satified it then gets referred to the Assistant General Manager or the General Manager.

New years eve dinner, the menus were sent out in advance so the guests could see exactly what they were getting. On the evening when we did receive complaints we did add in extra food. With regards to the no ambiance this was unfortunate. We tried to get the guests to dance and get more into the spirit but this was to no avail.

Once again all I can do is apologize but I can assure you everything has been followed up with regards to this complaint and a lot has changed since then
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Rating summary
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Lancashire
Level Contributor
29 reviews
24 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 42 helpful votes
Reviewed 20 November 2007

My wife and I stayed here for one night. The hotel was OK in most regards. The room was clean and well furnished and the evening meal that we had was excellent . There are two drawbacks however:-
1) You are advised not to swim because there are no shark nets and, I have to say there were a number of unsavoury looking prople wandering around on the beach so I would not have felt safe from humans let alone marine life. This was very disappointing as we had completed a our own independent tour of the Zulu battlefields and stayed in a game park as well. I was so looking forward to a swim !
2) We found night time quite unnerving . As dusk fell all sizes and shapes of people started to appear shuffling around the hotel. We were very reluctant to leave. That is why we ate in the hotel. I have little doubt that they were mainly poor beggars but the numbers of them and the peculiar gait of them was disturbing

  • Liked — Excellent food
  • Disliked — No sea swimming and the nighttime around the hotel
  • Stayed November 2004, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
1 Thank DavidBLancs
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
BoathouseBallito, Assistant General Manager at The Boathouse, responded to this review, 18 October 2009
We are glad that the guests enjoyed their stay. It is always nice to hear this as it is always the guests who do not enjoy their stay who put things on the internet. It is not very often that guests who did enjoy their stay will put something on.

With regards to no swimming in the sea directly in front of us, this is true. It is not a swimming beach. There is a tidal pool with in walking distance from us. We also do have a swimming pool on site so guests can always take a swim in the pool.

With regards to people that hang around the hotel at night, this is no longer true. This comment was put in awhile ago and I can assure you this is not the case. Our guests’ often walk to the restaurants close by with out any problems. Any where in the world you will get the odd strange person hanging around but this does not mean they are all dangerous. We do however have a security guard that comes on duty from 6pm to 6am every day.
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Jhb
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
Reviewed 23 October 2006

The owners are not ethical at all and when we started our wedding plans at this venue, that person was fired. Then we, (after numerous requests ) met with the "then" GM, who subsequently got fired. We dealt with a new lady (who has no previous experience- owners friend) and all prescibed in writing costs became more and more. Room hire = R5000.00 they claimed R7500 Breakage deposit = R1000 they now wanted R3000 R265 per person for braai and still now I had to pay for waiters at R50 per waiter per hour (I have never experienced this in all my time in the industry) Yet again the lies and the goal posts are moved !!!!! I drove to the venue to sort out problems and went to the owners house in PTA. I moved my wedding date to accommodate them to get threatened that I had to book "all" the rooms to use the deck.....this was the reason for wanting to use this venue wa due to a beach wedding on the deck. Oh...the beach is another supplier at costs never truely given to us...yes another R6-10k to hire in as the venue does not supply!! Staff were unfriendly, unprofessional to the extent that a knife is handed to a guest staying in the venue with the waiter holding the blade!!! My father ordered a plai easy meal on the day of the wedding for lunch at 13h00....at 14h30 the 3 groups of guest went to get ready and the food was brought to there rooms without cutlery etc etc at 15h20. My wife was spoken to like a dog by the owner on our departure that sunday morning.........not what you would expect from a 4 star establishment (going for 5 stars)

This venue is a gold mine, however it is owned by people who as I was told verbatim" I do not care what the people of Ballito think of me and my Boathouse as I prefer the International trade anyway!!!
It scares me to think that this venue could ever be considered a 5 star Luxury Guest House/Hotel

One only needs to look at the staff turnover to see.

Helpful?
26 Thank uptome
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
BoathouseBallito, Assistant General Manager at The Boathouse, responded to this review, 18 October 2009
This wedding was a problem from the start. We do not want to start the fights and arguments again. All I am going to say is this was an unusual wedding. This wedding was years ago and we never had a wedding like this again.
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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 The Boathouse

Property: The Boathouse
Address: 33 Compensation Beach Road | PO Box 1166, Ballito 4399, South Africa
Region: South Africa > KwaZulu-Natal > Ballito
Hotel Style:
Ranked #14 of 23 B&Bs / Inns in Ballito
Hotel Class:4 star — The Boathouse 4*
Number of rooms: 22
Also Known As:
The Boathouse Hotel Ballito

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