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“Poor experience unfortunately”

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Amapondo Backpackers Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 25 May 2014 via mobile

This hostel has a great location overlooking a secluded beach with cows and a donkey. It has a lovely bar area with ok food and an adequate self catering kitchen. Unfortunately we had a bad experience here as our double rooms infested with mice. There were fabrics on the ceiling and reed walls which when the lights went out were full of mice scurrying up and down the roof and walls and the stench of uribe. We complained in the middle of the night and after initially being laughed at by the staff were moved into a lovely cabin. My parents also stayed in a double room with NO mice. We cancelled our next night and the staff were really apologetic saying they don't usually use that room but they were fully booked and would sort it out soon. If your booking a room check it out first as it made a really unpleasant experience however hopefully it is now sorted.

Stayed: May 2014, travelled with family
Thank ccknight23
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Amapondo, Owner at Amapondo Backpackers Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded 28 May 2014

Glad you had a good time apart from the mice. We live right on the edge of a beautiful forest with lots of small critters living there. Occassionally they visit. For some reason they love the room you were in and despite our efforts, they sneak out the jungle and into that room.

However we are changing that room into a utility room so it should be sorted now. Please come again

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108 - 114 of 213 reviews

Reviewed 21 May 2014 via mobile

The hostel itself was cool with a resident donkey and friendly dogs. The restaurant there is also nice with good food. Get your hair wrapped and buy some Beautiful jewelry from the lovely Israeli girl whose name has escaped me. However, the tours were some of the most expensive in all of South Africa. Also the guide was very pushy as soon as we arrived and we felt pressured into trips. We had personal issues with him as well and he made my sister and myself feel uncomfortable. Albert is a guide I would recommend if you do want to do tours, he is really nice. So if you can avoid the pushy, strange tour guide you will love the place!

  • Stayed: April 2014
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Thank Eadela3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Amapondo, Owner at Amapondo Backpackers Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded 28 May 2014

Glad you enjoyed Amapondo and all it has to offer. We are currently reviewing our tour prices. Sorry for your bad experience. We have actually let that tour guide go as we had too many complaints. He also set the tour prices too high (its a commission basis) but things have now changed.

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Reviewed 7 May 2014

The general feel of the place is quite Bohemian and Rastafarian. This is an ideal dig for young backpackers. The staff are laid back and chilled out. Rooms are dorm style with communal bathrooms and kitchens. The beach is quite close by with a very busy town about 10 minutes driving distance. Access to "The Gap and the Blow Hole" are easily gained from here. A walk to Sileka Nature Reserve is worth the views. We stayed in a quaint, basic, self contained 2 sleeper cottage, on the property. It has great views, with very little else to offer.

  • Stayed: April 2014, travelled with friends
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1  Thank Roshael H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Amapondo, Owner at Amapondo Backpackers Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded 28 May 2014

Hmmm, Bohemian and Rastafarian ... Well Port St Johns definately attracts some interesting folks, some of whom have dread locks. But its very rare that we get Rastafarians in to visit. We pride ourselves on the quirky and interesting folk that pass through this town. And although its ideal for young backpackers, we do cater for a lot of families and children, especially in our private Self-Catering cottages on the hill. (We also have double rooms, quads, and dorms with communal bathrooms and kitchens). Its a pity you didnt check out our cottages on the hill. Sounds like it would have been better for you. Kids also love our pet donkey.

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Reviewed 1 May 2014

Nice hostel with well equipped kitchen and a bar that serves good cheap food. The hostel run local community projects and send volunteers out to assist people in the village. All areas are accessibly from a verandah outside, which makes the rooms a bit damp. It's a great area to go out for a walk and explore the beach. No swimming though, because of bull sharks. Beautiful views from the verandah. Wake up to monkeys running on the roof (also some mice running through the roof, which I've heard they're working on). 45 min walk to town, catch a minibus/taxi back to town for a nice experience. Although we had a really good time and the hostel is well organised and clean, we've got mixed feelings about the place. There were some long-stayers/staff, who seemed to be living in their own little bubble, which made it a bit awkward for us short term visitors to fit in. People were smoking everywhere as well which was a bit annoying. The 'activities guide' Alan is a nice guy and will show you the way to different sites, but it would be nice if he could add some information about the area/culture/flora/fauna to the trips. That would make for greater value for money.

  • Stayed: April 2014, travelled as a couple
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Thank IngeCvC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Amapondo, Owner at Amapondo Backpackers Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded 28 May 2014

Hi, i'm glad you enjoyed Amapondo and all it has to offer. There certainly is a lot of free stuff to do, including many activities. Our guided activities are charged a bit high cos of the travel costs included for getting out of town to see some of the more exciting stuff. Plus we always include lunch and trained guide for your enjoyment and safety.

Sorry about the credit card machine. Its rare that it goes down...

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Reviewed 18 April 2014 via mobile

The location and the houses are beautiful. There is a practical selfcatering kitchen. The most of the staff is nice. However, I think the prices for activities are to high and you could explore a lot by your own. For my taste it is to alternative with some strange people. The credit card machine was not working and therefore we were almost unable to pay everything by cash.

Stayed: April 2014, travelled with friends
Thank leandrae88
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Amapondo, Owner at Amapondo Backpackers Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded 21 April 2014

Thanks for the review. I am glad you enjoyed yourselves, and that you thought the location was beautiful. Its really stunning here, and we consider this paradise. The self-catering kitchen is well stocked, and we also pride ourselves on our delicious menu at our Ala Carte Restaurant.

Sorry if you thought the prices are a bit high for the tours. We recently put the prices up a bit but have included lunch. For example hiking to the Bululo Waterfall will cost you R120 per person, but this includes a meal worth about R60. So its only actually R60 for the guide for the day. Its not possible to do this hike without a guide. There are lots of other cool FREE things to do in the area too, and we are happy to provide information and advice about these.

I take it as a compliment that you found us 'alternative'. We certainly are very alternative. Port St Johns, and even the whole Wild Coast, attracts a lot of interesting folk who want to explore off the beaten track. Its aslo home to the highest percentage of traditional African people in the whole country. For example we often host training Sangomas (Shamans from the Xhosa Culture). Interestingly this 'training' is becoming extremely popular amongst Europeans too.

If you want an experience that is a little 'alternative', but really something quite special, visit Amapondo

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Reviewed 15 April 2014

We stayed in a self-contained cottage for two nights. The cottage was basic but cosy and had a beautiful view over the beach. Unfortunately we didn't sleep well either night as there were parties at the hostel and the music was really loud until the early hours of the morning. The dorms and communal areas looked a bit scummy and the staff were quite vague and scrappy. Their website advertises "free activities" but they now charge for these and the prices are way too high. Do not bother walking to the waterfall. The trip to the airstrip was good but the staff member who drove us there got lost more than once, and drove us back after drinking beer and smoking pot.... For couples, I would still recommend the cottages, but avoid weekends and bring your own food etc.

  • Stayed: April 2014, travelled as a couple
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Thank Gebailey
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Amapondo, Owner at Amapondo Backpackers Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded 21 April 2014

I am very glad you enjoyed the cottage. Shakti and Shiva are simple cottages that are ideal for two people. Turtle Cove and Crystal House are bigger and better equipped, and can sleep up to 5 people. They all have great views.

Sorry you didnt sleep well. We did have big party weekend when you were here. We have befriended, and often host, a number of doctors and physiotherapists who work in some of our local hospitals. They were celebrating here that weekend. Apologies if it was too loud for you. We throw parties occassinally, but believe me, they are worth getting involved. Amapondo sure knows how to rock that dancefloor.

Our dorms and communal areas are not scummy - take a closer look. Its only when guests don't clean up after using them. Of course our cleaning staff do clean up, but only during working hours.

I am shocked at what you say about our staff - 'vague and scrappy' is a weird way to describe people. Our staff are AWESOME !. We are extremely proud of our wonderful and loyal staff team.

I am totally surprised you didn't enjoy the Bulolo Waterfall Hike. We often get people from abroad who were told about this AMAZING walk from friends that did it. Its really quite fun, and is more of an obstacle course than a hike. Plus the 11m jump into the waterfall is a real ADRENALINE RUSH.

Our website does not advertise "free activities". Although there is a lot of FREE stuff to do, our daily activities are guided tours that include lunch. They are charged but are not expensive. The Airstrip is amazing. Our tour guide is new and I believe had only been once to the airstrip when you were here. Tour guides are allowed to have one beer on the airstrip with the guests, as its a sundowner experience. I will speak to him about the Pot, but I really believe it was rolling tobacco and not Pot.

For couple I agree, book a cottage. No need to avoid weekends - you just happened to be here on a big party night, but I assure you its not always like that. Everyone is welcome to bring their own food - the cottages are self-catering and the communal kitchen downstairs is open and well stocked. There is a big supermarket just down the road too. But I definately recommend eating in our delicious Ala Carte restaurant - we really do have yummy food.

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Reviewed 25 March 2014

Beautiful place! Beautiful people! and very good vibes. Once you get there it's difficult to leave.
I must say that staying in Amapondo it's one of the best experiences in my life...the location is amazing and the cultural experience as well. One of the best places to stay in the amazing Transkei.

Stayed: February 2014, travelled solo
Thank Abril L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Amapondo, Owner at Amapondo Backpackers Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded 4 April 2014

Thank you for your wonderful review. Yes, it is such a beautiful place! This morning the sun is shining, the weather is still and warm, there are so many birds around, and the monkeys are playing right in front of the restaurant. Good vibes, good people.

I am so glad that Amapondo touched you so closely. None of us can leave either!

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Additional Information about Amapondo Backpackers Lodge

Address: Second Beach Road | Wildcoast, Port St Johns 5120, South Africa
Region: South Africa > Eastern Cape > Port St Johns
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 14 Speciality Lodging in Port St Johns
Price Range: £8 - £34 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:2 star — Amapondo Backpackers Lodge 2*
Number of rooms: 14
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Amapondo is Ama-azing. Amapondo is nestled on a hill on the verge of a tropical rain forest and only 2 minutes walk from a beautiful beach. Head down to sunbathe or plunge in the clear warm waters of the deep rock pools nearby. The African-themed rooms and deluxe private self-catering cottages all have their own unique design and style. The quirkily designed cottages have incredible views, are really comfortable and come at a price that you'll find hard to match. Turtle Cove has one of the best views on the Wild Coast from its upstairs bubble bath, whilst Crystal House, with its glass frontage, offers classic panoramic ocean views. Whether you want a quiet, relaxing break in your own piece of paradise, a base from which you can explore the natural beauty of the area, an adventure on one of their many tours, close interactions with locals, genuine cultural experiences, yoga lessons, a deep tissue massage, or a thumping all-out party at their buzzy bar, you'll find it at Amapondo. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Amapondo Hotel Port St Johns

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