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“Beware! Will take your money without providing services!”

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Alba House Bed and Breakfast
Ranked #7 of 47 Paarl B&B and Inns
Reviewed 18 December 2013

Beware ~ Pet policy is False! Just because this listing states "No Pets Allowed" that does not mean that there are no pets on the premises. Due to allergies to animal dander we booked this B&B based on their "no pet" policy, but when we followed with an email to confirm, we were told that the owners' cats are on the premises and they "try to keep them out of the guest rooms." When we requested cancellation within a day of booking, we were rudely refused. When we suggested that they change their add to reflect pets on the premises, the owner refused. We got Expedia involved, and when the agent called the owner directly he went off on her, yelling and screaming. Long story short, Alba house kept half of our total 9-day booking, $500+ USD and we did not stay there. We DO NOT recommend booking with Alba House!! Beware of bad business practices!

Room Tip: Stay at the Oak Tree Lodge~they provide excellent service!
  • Stayed: November 2013, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Claudia B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
AlbaPaarl, Owner at Alba House Bed and Breakfast, responded to this reviewResponded 20 December 2013

These people booked via EXPEDIA. The reviewer does not tell the truth, the ONLY conversations we had, were with EXPEDIA (no shouting; screaming; and not rude) who confirmed, that our actions were in accordance with our standard cancellation policy, as published and that we were correct to take such action. Our pet policy is standard as for many other establishments in South Africa.
A vindictive; malicious review - they never stayed with us

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Reviews (91)
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41 - 47 of 91 reviews

Reviewed 18 December 2013

We stayed at Alba House for a few days in December 2013 and really enjoyed our visit. Alba House has wonderful views, a stunning garden and swimming pool for everyone to enjoy. The bedrooms are well furnished with all amenities and the guests lounge provides a beautiful area to relax in.The property is located in a quiet and safe residential area. The breakfasts are magnificent and the owners, John and Ivana, are very welcoming and helpful. Paarl is a great place to stay, there are plenty of activities to keep you busy during the day, we played golf on the 2 golf courses near by, Paarl Boschenmeer and Pearl Valley. The Paarl Mountain Nature Reservation is well worth a visit. There are many wine farms for wine tasting, we went to Laborie and Glen Carlou. both had some interesting wines and varied cuisine. There are also a number of really good restaurants to enjoy in the evening. Alba House and Paarl are highly recommended.

Room Tip: For a view choose the superior double room. The king size room is the biggest.
  • Stayed: December 2013, travelled with friends
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Thank Pieter355
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 December 2013

We had the good fortune to return to Paarl once more this year and it was a no brainer to come back to Alba House! The house is and surroundings are stunning, as is the hospitality of Ivana and John.

We stayed this time with our children in the family room which I think is the one the previous reviewer stayed in? We too are seasoned travelers and I am not sure if they are talking about the same Alba House? We found the accommodation extremely comfortable, spacious and especially private being further away from the rest of the main house.

Once again use of the pool was a great bonus that you really don't get everywhere in B&B's as was the off street parking and security which is a great stress reliever which small children.

I'm not really into reviewing places we stay however Alba House merits a mention as it is such a cut above the norm.

  • Stayed: November 2013, travelled with family
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Thank 297RickB
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 December 2013

I booked 2 rooms for December with 2 rounds of golf also arranged. Upon arrival we were shown to our "room" if you can call it that by the housekeeper. The owners John and Ivana were apparently away for the duration of our visit. Our double room was more like a converted garage or basement storage room full of old mismatching furniture with stains. We didn't even have a duvet on our bed - just a sheet and some sort of fake fur blanket - it looked like the whole room was a dumping ground for all their old bits and pieces - not at all how the rooms look on the website. The whole place had a slightly unclean and unloved feeling to it. The shower basin took forever to drain which might have been helped if the hair from previous guests had been cleaned from the broken drainage area. Breakfast was very unexciting and even the "fresh" fruit salad had frozen blueberries sitting on top. Again when looking round the kitchen floor and units it had a slightly dated and unclean look to it.

I have to say the housekeeper was very nice and helpful but I felt unable to complain about the quality of the room as the owners were nowhere in sight.

The second room I booked for a friend traveling with us was a little better but the wifi connection didn't work in that room and the housekeeper of course couldn't help to fix that.

For the golf package just small complaints - the offer of a loan of trolleys and drinks to be provided for the rounds did not materialise.

All in all, more effort should be put into the cleanliness and general appearance of the rooms to bring them up to the standard their website shows.

  • Stayed: December 2013, travelled with friends
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2  Thank Ritabirdie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
AlbaPaarl, Owner at Alba House Bed and Breakfast, responded to this reviewResponded 13 December 2013

You make comments that are insulting and totally inaccurate. We find it astonishing that you comment on the private areas of our home. You were a party of three who stayed at Alba house, and one of your friends thoroughly enjoyed their stay and wrote in our Guest Book " thank you for a wonderful stay at your beautiful home, we enjoyed every minute of it. Breakfast was Devine. Hope to see you soon"
Our web site is constantly updated and reflects the property as it is updated.
We apologies that you were not give the trolleys and cool drinks for your golf.
Quite frankly we find your review totally inaccurate which is reflected by the numerous positive reviews that we have
ALBA HOUSE

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Reviewed 24 November 2013

Agree with a previous review that you have to confirm your booking a couple times before your actual arrival, as I had the same experience. He ease of the initial booking was good, but even a day before our arrival, I called to confirm and it took some time for Alba to find our booking. But that was not so much of an issue as the lack of communication about payment.

My initial booking for the twin room cost R630 for two people sharing. I received an invoice from Alba to confirm my payment was made in full. Unfortunately, a couple of days before, I called to postpone my booking due to rain and bad weather (we were looking forward to swimming in the pool!). New date confirmed, with no issues.

The morning before checking out, I receive an invoice with an outstanding amount. When I queried this, Ivana said that my initial booking I that cost R630 was no longer valid due to the change in our booking dates. I politely said that I wasn't advised of the change in rate when I changed my dates and therefore was left with the impression that my booking was paid off. For those of you who have been there before, you'll know that the kitchen area is quite intimate and that all the other guests are in close proximity to one another. Ivana's response to me was, "How can you expect to pay the same rates in November? This is high season. Cancellations in any case have a 100% penalty fee. We were actually doing you a favour!"

The guests looked up when they heard this (and I think some of them were family of Ivana and her husband, John). I was taken aback with her tone and response, but politely again said that I wish I had been informed of this when I changed my dates, and that a new invoice with the additional amount would have been appreciated. I paid the difference and we left.

My complain is not about the money. My husband and I are seasoned travellers and we respect that rates change with seasons. What left all bad taste was the way in which Ivana responded to me, and the fact that she had no discretion infront of he other guests present. Secondly, that when I changed my dates, there was no communication of the extra cost, a new invoice was not re-issued, and lastly that she made me feel like I don't deserve this right to change a date because "she actually just did us a favour".

The venue is beautiful, and most reviews are good, but I don't think we'll be going back.

  • Stayed: November 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank hartmanruth
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 October 2013

We found Alba House via TripAdvisor and were not disappointed. The location, amenities, hospitality and cleanliness of the room were all excellent. You felt right at home and were extremely comfortable in the beautiful surroundings. The owners are real sweethearts and booked a fabulous dinner for us at Noop the night of our arrival. The room was spacious, clean, comfortable and they had literally thought of everything - from the stocked frig to the hairdryer and robes. It was an excellent stay and we would certainly come back.

  • Stayed: October 2013, travelled with friends
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Thank hwarnold
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 October 2013

I can only echo all the positive reviews Alba House has received and be bemused at the odd negative review. The house itself, the guest rooms and the setting are all quite beautiful and both Ivana and Evie were extremely helpful and friendly. Their restaurant recommendation, Noop, resulted in one of the best evenings we have experienced (see my review of the restaurant for details). Ivana provided maps and directions for exploring the area which led us to a spectacular view of the valley from a nearby hilltop. I can't recommend Alba House too highly.

  • Stayed: October 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank Sandra K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Alba House Bed and Breakfast

Address: 16 Lille Street | Courtrai, Paarl 7646, South Africa
Region: South Africa > Western Cape > Paarl
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Shuttle Bus service Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #7 of 47 B&Bs / Inns in Paarl
Price Range: £66 - £94 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Alba House Bed and Breakfast 4*
Number of rooms: 4
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
WELCOME TO 4* ALBA HOUSE BED AND BREAKFAST: Situated within the golden triangle of Paarl, Stellenbosch and Franschhoek at the Western Cape. Surrounded by world renowned wine estates. Cape Town International airport 40 minutes drive, Cape Town only 30 minutes. Alba House offers spectacular views, en suite air conditioned rooms with king size beds, own private entrances and patios, huge salt water swimming pool with fresh water solar heated pool shower, beautiful garden. The picturesque town of Paarl, is one of the 3 oldest in South Africa. Ideally suited for Cape Town visits. The Cape Peninsular and the sea side towns near Cape Town easily accessible from us. We offer airport transfers, holiday planning and visits to local attractions.Special discounted "Play and Stay" golf packages at Paarl-Boschenmeer and Pearl Valley Golf Estates arranged. The amazing Val de Vie Polo Estate within easy reach. Walk to wine farms for wine tasting and leisurely lunches under oak trees. Paarl area produces 1/3 of South African wines. Great restaurants, cafes, shops, galleries, museums, mountain trips with picnic. ... more   less 
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