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“Mediocre hotel with NO security.”
Review of Outspan Inn

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Outspan Inn
Glastonbury, Connecticut
Level 6 Contributor
100 reviews
22 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 65 helpful votes
“Mediocre hotel with NO security.”
Reviewed 1 April 2011

As soon as you begin to travel in SA, you will notice that all properties have security. Dogs, night guards, locking gates, and/or full fences are the norm; even for the most basic backpackers hostel.
The Outspan Inn was notable for having none of those things.

Lest you think this meant it was safe; we were robbed at knifepoint, the three thugs threatened to murder us and took only our cash. This was on the busiest street in town in broad daylight at the entrance to a very nice resort.

Even more disturbing to me the Outspan Inn's owner's reaction. Barry and Kathryn said there had NEVER been a single crime in Port St Johns before.

That is an outright lie and I am stunned that they said this to me. Google Port St Johns and you will see that not only is robbery common, it is out of control. Entire restaurants have been surrounded and every patron robbed. Tourists have been MURDERED. Not just once, a man was murdered last week and his wife critically injured as the approached the bridge.

AVOID Port St Johns. The violence can happen even when you willingly give up your money. There seems to be true resentment of tourists by some young Pondo men and the seem to take pleasure in inflicting fear and violence.

The most disturbing

  • Stayed March 2011
    • Value
    • Location
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank BarbaraHRockwell
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
kathrynoutspaninn, Owner at Outspan Inn, responded to this review, 15 April 2011
Dear Sirs

I'm totally confused about this review. None of the comments are true. Other than the fact that you were held up at knife point, which as the writer will recall, and as it states in her statement to the police, that it happened half a kilometre away from us, at the entrance of another guest house.

Her quoting of what I supposedly said is also untrue. Why is she trying to hurt Outspan Inn? When you and your husband spoke to me, I said no such thing that there is no crime. But there is very little of it. And yes, I am so sadly aware of Mr Roberts' murder during the hi-jacking on 23 March 2011. If you follow the report on that, you will see that the crime was not perpetrated by Port St Johnians, but by escaped convicts from Mthatha, it was Port St Johns' lousy luck that they came here.

Her comments about lack of security and the stabbing outside our premises are a complete lie, and I will appreciate if you remove your review from Trip Advisor. We do have security - we are probably the only guest hose with security men, as opposed to 'watchmen'.

Also, if she was at any stage unhappy with our facilities, why did she not check out, instead of staying a second night, or even one night? She was booked into our self catering unit, where budget conscious travelers stay, as opposed to our standard rooms or suites. There was no reason for her to stay, afterall, she only settled their full bill on departure. And on the departure, not a single word was said to me ( I checked them out), about any unhappiness. As a matter of fact, i was very impressed with their attitude to the mugging, which was that they were thankful that they were not hurt, and that more things like phones and cameras had not been stolen.

Sincerely yours

Kathryn Costello
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Rating summary
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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (7)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Any
English first
London, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 21 January 2011

We hadn't booked accommodation in Port St Johns, when we drove into the Outspan Inn, We were met by a very friendly man, Patrick, who said they were fully booked, but that there was an unconfirmed reservation. Would we mind while he checked? A phone call later, to which he had a negative answer, and we had a room for the night. our room was upstairs, clean and tastefully decorated. Breakfast was served untill 11 in the morning (as the manager Cathy said - you're on holiday, why rush breakfast?). So relaxing, lovely pool, and there was a path that went down to the beach.
We ended up staying another two nights. What a lovely relaxed B&B it is. If you want quiet, we recommend you book into Outspan Inn.

  • Stayed December 2010, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
2 Thank delangeadrian
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 17 January 2011

We arrived after a long day's travelling to find there was no electricity. OK that wasn't their fault but they should have some sort of back up system. We were given just 2 candles - i had to ask for more. Then I found there was no hot water. I was told that everyone else must have used it up. I then asked if there was any way of getting some hot water and was told they had a stove. I got given a bucket of hot water to wash with. The bathroom was decidely grotty, the bedroom was ok. My fiance had booked the place and couldn't remember what the rate was. I was guessing it would be about 300-400 rand for the room. I couldn't believe it when we got the bill for 990 rand! I asked if they were going to discount the rate given the lack of electricity and hot water - we got 90 rand discount - big deal! The breakfast was distrinctly average. I really wouldn't recommend staying here unless you can get a rate of no more than 400 rand for the room. They are completely ripping people off. Glad we only had to endure one night there.

  • Stayed December 2010, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Sandy_B0tt0m_L0nd0n
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
kathrynoutspaninn, Owner at Outspan Inn, responded to this review, 15 April 2011
Dear Sirs

I'm sorry that these guests were unhappy. The electricity situation was an Eskom problem (South Africa's electricity supplier), over the period that these guests were here, we were really plagued by power cuts - but we were lucky, a guesthose not far from us was without power over the entire Christmas period. The lack of candles - as the power cuts were quite common, we were prepared for them, but I would say that we had given out more than we had bought. A situation that I do apologise for.

As to our price - all guests are told on check in what our rate is, and the peak period rate is higher than out of season. If our rate was out of the guests budget, I do wish he had gone to stay at a backpackers or similar, where the rate would have been much lower, instead of slating us quite vindictively.

Yours sincerely

Kathryn Costello
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Johannesburg
Level 4 Contributor
36 reviews
29 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
Reviewed 7 January 2011

Place is very basic with B&B accommodation slightly better than the SC units, which had peeling paint, lose electric connections, faulty appliances, dirty chair covers and so plenty more annoyances that I won't even attempt to list.
Overpriced and definitely not worth 3* they have (apparently) been awarded.
We went to Cremorne Estate for lunch and then dinner and it's very nice and clean, much better than Outspan Inn - rather stay there.

Stayed December 2010, travelled with family
Helpful?
1 Thank AM-Johannesburg
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
kathrynoutspaninn, Owner at Outspan Inn, responded to this review, 15 April 2011
Dear Sirs

I and the rest of our guests were very happy to see this family leave. They arrived unhappy, didn't have anything pleasant to say to anybody, and then bullied and hectored me into discounting their stay, Which I did, because they really needed to go book in somewhere else.

They mention Cremorne, which is a lovely guest house, but also much more expensive than us. If they thought Cremorne was so great, why were they not booked there?

Yours sincerely

Kathryn Costello
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
The Hague, The Netherlands
Level 6 Contributor
229 reviews
141 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 160 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 January 2011

When you want to stay in Port St Johns, there is not a lot of choice in accommodation. This is a part of South-Africa not yet discovered by mass tourism and part of me hopes it remains that way. Port St Johns is a place of unnatural beauty where a river meets the see and a complete new eco-system has developed. The Outspan Inn is very basic, but probably the best accommodation in the village. And because the tourist-infrastructure in Port St Johns is underdeveloped, even a basis accommodation can charge a lot. We paid 700 Rand a night for a very simple room with mosquito nets and an inadequate fan. The bathroom was old and small and had stains everywhere. The toilet-seat was cracked and the water didn't flush properly. The breakfast was adequate and the food was of a high quality. And the service level was alright. In the only restaurant within walking distance from the Outspann Inn, you have to be very patient with the staff, but they mean well. The village itself doesn't have anything to offer. No real shops or sights to visit. And in November 2010 there also were a lot of road works, so everything in the village was untared and dusty. But if you want to experience the real Africa in South-Africa, Port St Johns and the Outspan Inn are definitely worth a visit for a couple of nights. You can always do the garden route after that and live the good life again in luxurious hotels and dine out in excellent restaurants. The village and accommodation may be very basic, but the beaches and views near Port St Johns are magnificent.

  • Stayed November 2010, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
1 Thank Will de d
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Melbourne, Australia
Level 6 Contributor
176 reviews
52 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 106 helpful votes
Reviewed 4 July 2010

Compared to other options in Port St Johns, the location of Outspan Inn is quite good (a short walk from centre of town). I think the price we paid (1,200 rand per twin share room) was too high for a guest house of this standard. Office was often unattended and we could not raise anyone some times which was a little frustrating. The breakfast was quite good. Overall, Port St Johns was quite a boring place to visit - very few places open on a Monday night in June.

  • Stayed June 2010, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank StuieG
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Outspan Inn

Property: Outspan Inn
Address: Main Road, Port St Johns 5120, South Africa
Region: South Africa > Eastern Cape > Port St Johns
Amenities:
Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 8 B&Bs / Inns in Port St Johns
Hotel Class:3 star — Outspan Inn 3*
Number of rooms: 10

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