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“Want space - take the "couple caboose"”
Review of Santos Express

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Santos Express
Ranked #10 of 54 Mossel Bay B&B and Inns
Reviewed 25 November 2013

We decided to stay there on short notice -
we just asked about accommodation when we arrived - and they offered us the couple solution - good value for money : you have a small place for your own, double bed, own bathroom, fridge (ok..it was not working when we were there), coffee making facilities - and when you sit outside your place you have that lovely view!
The restaurant offers a good choice - we have eaten better - but views, surrounding, friendly stuff and reasonable prices made up for it!

Just be careful - its easy to trip on the premises!

  • Stayed: October 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank orlandos66
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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228 - 234 of 387 reviews

Reviewed 23 November 2013

The main complaint we have heard from fellow travelers that have stayed at this establishment is that the rooms are small. Well, I don’t like to point out the obvious but when you book a night in a guesthouse that is set within the confines of an abandoned locomotive, square footage is not at the forefront of your mind. Yes, the rooms are tiny, it’s a train, there’s not really any getting round the fact that space is at a premium. It is however ingenious. For anyone who has actually slept on a real-life moving train, it’s a real treat to see how homely, light and airy these sea-view rooms are. We had a blissful night’s sleep in our cosy room, listening to the waves crashing on the beach outside. There is wi-fi in the main café however the food is a little expensive.

Stayed: November 2013, travelled as a couple
Thank carys m
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 November 2013

Stunning spot, but sadly you will be disappointed beyond belief. This place is a proper rip off, food is terrible and absolutely no value for money at all. With a quick glance through the kitchen stations, one could easily see how dirty it is. After complaining, the managers were extremely rude and unprofessional.

  • Stayed: November 2013, travelled with friends
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2  Thank Slevin S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
SantosTrain, Owner at Santos Express, responded to this reviewResponded 21 November 2013

This review has been reported as blackmail to tripadvisor. Reviewer received his order promptly and said all was fine during the table check. He cleaned his plate and when it came time to pay his bill said he is in the industry and that he has a blog with 38000 followers and will write a bad review if he has to pay his bill.
We are very proud of our restaurant on the beach and are fanatical about cleanliness and providing an extensive and affordable menu. We have thousands of satisfied customers per year, many of whom eat with us on a weekly basis. It is a shame that someone will try to abuse a good system like tripadviser to try and weasel out of paying their bill.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 November 2013

The service was not good. Being a family, I was promised to have a whole wagon for ourself so we could have our private shower and WC. At midnight there were a group of bikers accommodated in our wagon….. On top of it the geyser was broken and they couldn't repair it, so we had to take the shower on another wagon.
Beside that, the restaurant was ok. And the position next to the beach is fantastic. Its safe and quite, you'll hear just the sea. No soap on the shower.

  • Stayed: October 2013, travelled with family
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Thank Fernando N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
SantosTrain, Manager at Santos Express, responded to this reviewResponded 11 November 2013

Dear Fernando847,

Thank you for taking the time to review us. We do regret that you did not enjoy your stay with us. Due to a miscommunication with a new staff member, unexpected late arrivals were erroneously booked in to your coach instead of the one behind you. We do apologize if this caused you any discomfort.

Our coaches are equipped with gas geysers and occasionally the pilot light is extinguished by the wind from the beach. We do have information signs up in every shower, requesting guests to inform the front desk should the pilot light need relighting. Three of our staff members relit the geyser on three different occasions that evening, but due to the strong ocean wind, they were unable to keep it lit. We do apologize for this inconvenience.

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Reviewed 6 November 2013 via mobile

That was on my opinion the worst hostel/something where you sleep,in whole South Africa,and I am traveling already for a month in this country.
Never thought it will be like that.
Not to mention the staff which is doing the minimum to help you and not a bit more.

Stayed: November 2013, travelled as a couple
1  Thank Ron D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
SantosTrain, Manager at Santos Express, responded to this reviewResponded 11 November 2013

Dear Ron D,

Thank you for taking the time to review us. We do regret that you did not enjoy your stay with us. Most of our guests rather enjoy our unique accommodation and return regularly. If you can let us know what exactly you found unsatisfactory, we will be sure to investigate and rectify it.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 29 October 2013

Rooms are clean but very uncomfortable ans small and had to split the family into 2 rooms. The beds where extremely uncomfortable and walls to thin (try to explain to the kids what the honey moon noises are from couple in the next room). The shower and toilet on the far end of the coach and had to escort my wife and kids to the toilet during the night because they felt unsafe. For a overnight stay for young couples who don't have kids, I recommend this place but not for a family.

Room Tip: Get the room with the shower and toilet.
  • Stayed: November 2012, travelled with family
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1  Thank Andy G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
SantosTrain, Manager at Santos Express, responded to this reviewResponded 1 November 2013

Dear Andy G,

Thank you for taking the time to review us. We do regret that you did not enjoy your stay with us. It is true, the compartments are small, as they are still the original compartments of the train as it was in the 70’s when it was operational. We feel that keeping the train in it’s original state while preserving and restoring it, lends a certain charm and uniqueness, very popular with the more seasoned and adventurous traveler. While we realize it’s not luxury accommodation as you would find in an expensive hotel, we do provide unique and affordable accommodation. We also find it popular with families, as most children have never been or slept on a train and may never again.

We do apologize for the inconsiderate neighbours you were unfortunate enough to have. Due to the train not moving, sound does travel further along the coach than it would have on an operational train. We regret that you did not inform our reception staff, who would have gladly moved you to another coach if there was space available.

Our train is perfectly safe and all coach doors are locked at night by security. We have never had any incident on our coaches where guests were made to feel unsafe. We do apologize if this was your experience.

We are looking into acquiring more family suited coaches, so hopefully your next stay with us will be more enjoyable.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 October 2013

If you want an original place, this is your option!
is just a train original, the only change is the bathroom with shower. the room is clean, very nice restaurant with a terrace overlooking the sea.
Start your day with that view from the window is spectacular and then have breakfast on the terrace with that view is really superb.

  • Stayed: September 2013, travelled with friends
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Thank trottamundo7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Santos Express

Address: Munro Road | Santos Beach, Mossel Bay 6500, South Africa
Region: South Africa > Western Cape > Mossel Bay
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #10 of 54 B&Bs / Inns in Mossel Bay
Price Range: £16 - £55 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:2.5 star — Santos Express 2.5*
Number of rooms: 28
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Accommodation is in a train parked just 30m from the beach.We have an onsite restaurant and fully licensed bar. Function/Conference venue is available, perfect for a beach wedding. We can accommodate large groups comfortably. ... more   less 
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