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“Great place to stay!”

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The Spotted Grunter Resort
Bloemfontein, South Africa
Level Contributor
9 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“Great place to stay!”
Reviewed 26 December 2013

We stayed at The Spotted Grunter for a week and had a really good time. The cabins are neat and clean and well equipped. The staff are very friendly and helpful and will go out of their way to make your stay as comfortable as possible. There is also a restaurant and bar where we had some good meals and enjoyed the view of the river from the deck upstairs. It is also a really wonderful setting between the two mountains and right on the river.

  • Stayed December 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
3 Thank Psychokitty444
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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19 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
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  • Sleep Quality
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  • Value
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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (6)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
East London, South Africa
Level Contributor
47 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed 9 December 2013

Well I read the reviews of people years back, and I must agree with the latest review of marianne the new owners and manager and Gary who works very hard to keep the place in ship shape order. My husband and I ventured on a well needed holiday and we ended up at a place inside of Port St Johns and after a week we were thrilled to have found Spotted Grunter to move to , the place is very clean the food we ordered was very good and the price was also very good. The new owners are terricfic people and the gentleman working in reception was excellent at his job and as I mentioned Gary made us feel at home, and my husban who loves his fishing had a fantastic time fishing from the slipway and he caught a few fish which made his holiday complete. The chalet we stayed in was great and the shower worked perfectly. The only very big draw back of the time there was having to shop in Port St Johns what a terrible town and what a horrible experience we had there, while there the mayor of the town was on tv saying how lovely his town was for tourists, well beleive me when he made this interview he deffinetly was not near this town, we arrived on the monday 11th November 2013 and the town was filthy and dustbins laying all over we went to our destination and the tuesday went to town to buy supplies , well what a horrible time we got caught up in the middle of the town and the town people had decided to riot the roads were filled with rubbish strewn all over we had to ride on the pavement to get thru the mess the main entrance to the town was closed off with burning tyres the flames were at least 10mt tall , we saw that we were in great danger , we tried to get back to the place we were staying at and all the roads were being blocked we found a pathway that fitted our little bakkie and road on it at an angle in the mud till we got behind the big burning tree stump accross the bridge we managed to get thru and went back to our resort.
The army had to be called in to restore peace and Three people lost their lives. Two days later we ventured back into town which was still in a very dirty state and did some shopping which we did by running with the trolley thru the store to get finished as quick as possible. We wont ever visit this town again thankyou the Mayor can keep it for himself. Thank goodness we went to Spotted Grunter and didnt have to go back to this horrible town again.

Room Tip: the corner chalet no 16 right by the river. its peacful and the view is stunning.
See more room tips
  • Stayed November 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank Sandra D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Durban, South Africa
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 26 November 2013

We stayed for 4 days. What an experience. Bronwin and Alex are the new owners. Reading the comments of years back I would like to change peoples view of this lovely place. These people went out of their way to make our stay as homely as possible. We arrived and we were taken to our cottage by their 12 year old daughter, Sky. She gave us a full tour. We stayed in No 11. A beautiful family business.

With the pool next to us and the lovely weather we could braai every day. The kitchen is fully equipped so we used the self catering facilities. With all our goodies packed we could relax in the atmosphere of their beautiful gardens. There is a beautiful deck overlooking the river. You can fish from the river bank or from the slipway. You can take you own boat along and enjoy the river.


The owners are friendly and very helpful. The bar is fully stocked and have Tv facilities as well as a snooker table and a dart board. The restaurant is beautiful and the kitchen is clean and big. We did not have their food as we used self catering.

On Saturday we lit the fires and the owners and the guests braaied together, the kitchen supplied the salleds (on the house), Fantastic.

A real plus to use this resort for business trips and for contractors working in the area as well as just a lovely family stay. They are fully equiped and ready at all times for any walk ins, that is if there is still space.

We can recommend this place to stay to anyone visiting their town and will definately go back when we are in the area again.

It is not fair to comment on the electricity outages as per the previous comments as the new owners have a generator which kicks in when the electricity goes off, so people you are without electricity for less than 15 seconds. The gas did not run out so there no problem either, put the hot water on first then add the cold water and you will not have a shower problem either.


Loved the Stay


Marianne & Darryl
Amanzimtoti

  • Stayed November 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank marianne r
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
S
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed 24 September 2011

I booked a snorkelling/diving trip for the sardine run in South Africa and we were lodged at the Spotted Grunter Resort. I didn't know anything about it and never did any research on the resort either.

The setting of the resort is beautiful. It's got a beautiful lawn with a nice platform overlooking the river.

As the food was included in my trip price I didn't really pay attention to the prices so I can't tell you if it's expensive or not. But I can tell you that it still takes them around 45 minutes to cook everything. The trick is to be earlier than other people so you'll be the first one served or be a lot later so you don't have to wait longer than necessary. They take so long because they don't have anything precooked so there's no waste (which I think is a good idea and certainly worth the wait) and you'll have everything freshly cooked. Having said that, the food was excellent. I had different things every day of my stay (10 days) and all of them were good. I've got absolutely no complaints about the quality of the food. They were very forthcoming in out wishes regarding the food. However, if you find the food expensive, there's a supermarket across the street and there are all kinds of cooking utensils available in the room.

One of the downsides is that there are power outages every evening, but that can't be helped by the staff/owners. That happens all around Port St. Johns.
Another downside is that they have gas-heated water. Which means that when the gas runs out and you're in the shower all of a sudden there's no hot water anymore. Even though that happened to me the chance of that happening is very, very slim. And they fixed us up with a new gastank in no-time. So all praise to the staff for taking quick action there.

We were notified that ownership had changed a couple of months before and the new owners were trying to get rid of the "bad" name they have on the internet. I read the other two reviews and can understand it. I never came across any form or hint of racism in my ten days there.

As far as I'm concerned this is now (with the new owners) a good option if you want to stay around Port St. Johns.

  • Stayed July 2011, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Location
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    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
8 Thank Peter814
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Boston, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed 26 July 2010

PROS:
Beautiful Setting: The cabins are nestled in between mountains, and right on the river.
My family and I made constant use of their deck overlooking the river.

Rooms: Each unit has two rooms - one with a queen bed, one with bunk-bed, small tv, table, sink/fridge/microwave. Everything is very clean. In our 3 night stay, there was not one time the deck was being used.

Canoing: For R30 you can rent a canoe for 1/2 day. I took my 8 year old cousin out and we had a blast, very relaxing.

CONS:
Shower: In our 3 night stay I was not able to have one decent shower. The temperature is temperamental, and even after some maintenance men came to fix it, it still did not work properly. My family and extended family stayed next-door to each other, and there shower was just as bad..can you imagine our frustration?!

Restaurant: DO NOT, I repeat, DO NOT eat in the Spotted Grunter restaurant! Upon arrival, all the adults were craving seafood. Being right by the water we thought it'd be delicious - boy were we wrong! We ordered sea food platters (prawns, crawfish etc). The manager assured us "it was to die for", but that it is cooked slowly and would take 45 min - we agreed it was worth the wait. 1 hr 45 min later we got our food and it was awful! In addition, the kids pizza tasted like cardboard. When we politely told the manager about our dissatisfaction she put her head down, mumbled something and walked away.

Racism: On our last night as we had a BBQ outside our cabin, we found ourselves witnessing a completely unnecessary confrontation initiated by the owners (husband and wife). At 8:30pm, they accused the Indian family next-door of having too many people in the cabin, of ppl complaining of noise (certainly not us!) and got in the father's face calling him a racist name. The owner apologized to us for our neighbors, and we immediately let her know we have absolutely no problem with the men. It was disgusting to see such ignorance and poor customer service, and we vowed we will never come back.

  • Stayed July 2010, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
11 Thank BostonChristina
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Umtentweni
Level Contributor
117 reviews
31 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 80 helpful votes
Reviewed 14 July 2010

On arrival, I was glad to have booked this self catering resort. I was happy with the location and the rooms were very clean. There is a lovely deck over looking the river which we loved. We spent as much time there as possible. We are not a fishing family, but I hear the fishing is great here too.

The grounds are lovely with a very beautiful well kept garden. The braais outside the units were even cleaned and scrubbed every day. I was very impressed by that.

We were excited to have a restaurant on the premises. Unfortunately this was short lived! The menu prices were very, very high. When we ordered we were told the meal would take 45 minutes to prepare. We didn't mind that as they warned us. Well! It arrived 2 hours later! Not only did it arrive so late, but it was awful. When asked if we enjoyed our meal, we very politely mentioned that the wait had been very long and that it wasn't great. The grumpy manager just gave us a look as if to say she didn't believe us and turned on her heal and quickly disappeared. We even overheard her in the bar next door telling the owner that we complained and he wasn't concerned either. I think that is very poor management on their part.

We had some Muslim people staying in the unit next door to us and the following night the owners came down to the units and started shouting at them very loudly. They were being very racist and told them to leave immediately. I find that unacceptable. If they had a problem with them, they should have quietly sorted it out, not shout so everyone could hear. They then had the audacity to apologise to us the next day for the commotion the Muslim people had caused. They in fact, hadn't bothered us at all. On those grounds I would never go back there or recommend it to anyone else.

Before that all happened, I would have highly recommended the place as I could live with the dinner problem as we just found other places to eat. It was very clean and well located. However, I find racism in this day and age in South Africa, absolutely unacceptable.

  • Stayed July 2010, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
14 Thank TravelBug4235
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about The Spotted Grunter Resort

Property: The Spotted Grunter Resort
Address: Umtata Road | Undercliff, Port St Johns 5120, South Africa
Region: South Africa > Eastern Cape > Port St Johns
Hotel Style:
Ranked #5 of 14 Speciality Lodging in Port St Johns
Hotel Class:3 star — The Spotted Grunter Resort 3*
Number of rooms: 18

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