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“A gem on the Wild Coast run by a super manager!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Coffee Shack Backpackers

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Coffee Shack Backpackers
on the beach | Bomvu River Mouth, Coffee Bay 5082, South Africa   |  
Hotel amenities
1 review
“A gem on the Wild Coast run by a super manager!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 15, 2013 via mobile

We stayed at the Coffee Shack for a night's well deserved rest after we completed a 5day hike from Port St Johns to Coffee Shack. We were welcomed by a very friendly Cindy who ensured that we had everything we needed. The room in King's House had a great view, the dinner was great value for money, awesome party in the evening and overall a spot not to be missed.
I have to commend Cindy furthermore - we had to be in Mthatha on the day before Madiba's funeral to catch a shuttle back to Cape Town when several roads were closed. Cindy researched alternative back roads and got us safely in Mthatha (despite hectic pot holes and animals "grazing" in the road), on time, amongst all the chaos.
Make sure to experience their hospitality when u are in the region!

  • Stayed December 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
David M, General Manager at Coffee Shack Backpackers, responded to this review, December 20, 2013
Hello Clarisse
Thank you very much for the great review and the compliments you paid to the staff and in particular Cindy.

Make sure that you guys come and stay a little longer next time? Safe travels and have a great festive season.
Cheers
David & the Coffee Shack crew
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110 people have reviewed this hotel

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (27)
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English first
toronto
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 10, 2013

.What an amazing place to stay when in South Africa. Coffee Shack is located on Coffee Bay on the Eastern cape. This place is over all the best place to stay with in 'The Bay'. The staff makes you feel so welcoming and know everyone by first name, I though was having trouble keep up with their names. The kitchen staff make the most amazing food and well worth the price for the amount you get. The sleep quarter are nice weather you stay in a dorm or one of the hunts which were very comfortable. Coffee Shack also provides day trips and always has Suring lesson, best place to surf (best kept secret). Locals are friendly and few local restaurant's and store in walking distance. I go back every year as they make your trip worth coming back for more

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
David M, General Manager at Coffee Shack Backpackers, responded to this review, December 20, 2013
Hello
Thanks for the great review, but more importantly to us is that you had an unforgettable stay. I will pass on a copy of your review to the other staff members to read, they will be super happy, with your compliments.

As you noted the R50 for 2 hour surf lessons, are winner for anyone who would like to give surfing a try. Safe travels and hope to see you again soon.
Cheers David & the Coffee Shack crew
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Brisbane, Australia
Top Contributor
71 reviews 71 reviews
33 hotel reviews
Reviews in 39 cities Reviews in 39 cities
52 helpful votes 52 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 13, 2013

Coffee Bay is a choice on the BazBus route which requires a connecting (small extra cost) shuttle from its stop at Mthatha, and takes about 2 hours. Don’t for a second let this put you off and make sure its Coffee Shack where you choose to stay (& book ahead)! This is a party place f’sure, but not exclusively young, and locals as well as volunteers and workers from towns about 4 hours near, make this the place they go on their time off – so you meet lots of types, of all ages. BBQs, pool comps, drinking games, solo guitarist/vocalist and ahhhh-mazing local drum & dance performance, on different nights, all made for a great vibe and plenty of fun. It’s not in-your-face though and the indoor and outdoor areas make it easy to mix and meet people or find a dark corner. All staff were terrific: reception, kitchen, cleaners, bar. All of them! Own towel and toiletries needed, credit card accepted, no ATMs. Stayed a dorm the first night and a private room w/shared bathroom, the next three – basic and clean, but linen is in dire need of renewing. The communal bathrooms are huge, clean, decorated with flowers and have blowdryers. Short walk to the beach, sunbake or do the super cheap surf lessons, which my bus compatriots took advantage of, and loved. Hike to “Hole In The Wall”, which reception can organise for you, is a must, and takes about 4hours round trip. But if you’re short of time, or even a little unsure of walking for that duration, I can recommend just hike to the first, smaller (but somewhat more spectacular) hole, and return. It’s also this part of the walk which is the most breathtaking. There’s no wifi at Coffee Shack, but at the Ocean View Hotel up the beach, there’s an all-you-can-eat buffet lunch (until 2pm), which will permit you access to theirs. Try to get to one of the highest craggy-rocked cliffs you can and watch the sun go down, or come up. Coffee Shack, like its namesake (and the Bay on which it rests), is perfectly brewed for a good time; whichever way you like yours.

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled solo
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
David M, General Manager at Coffee Shack Backpackers, responded to this review, November 16, 2013
Howzit
Thanks you very much for the great review let us know when you are next in the area; I am sure that we could put you to work writing some copy for Coffee Shack! Your review sums up Coffee Shack very well, particularly the fact that there is space for virtually everyone to get comfortable, have a fun time and make some great new friends and meeting other interesting people.

Thanks for pointing out the problem with worn out linen, we have already been in the process of replacing it. The private traditional rondavals across the river are also in the process of getting a major upgrade and should be really comfortable and stunning when completed.
Safe travels please come and visit us again
Cheers David & the Coffee Shack crew
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Warsaw
Senior Contributor
27 reviews 27 reviews
20 hotel reviews
Reviews in 22 cities Reviews in 22 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 6, 2013

We came over with two small guys (2 and 4 years old), as used-to-be backpackers, we still try to stick to places like this even though we have kids, and want the kids to get used to places like this, as we believe they'll enjoy it at some point of their lives :)

Anyway, we stayed in the tent, so cannot say about the rooms, but bathrooms are SUPERB, nice, clean and artistic, social area very spacious, braai facilities, bar, pool table, reading area, drums available with the teacher, very clean kitchen, nice places like hammocks to relax and read. The whole hostel is right at the coast, near the beach.
But best asset of the place is its staff, they just let us feel at home there. They were just there when needed and our kids loved them.
The food for dinner was also very good, portions were American size and price was reasonable.

Well, what else do you need to enjoy your holidays? We would stay longer if we could.

And there is no drumming after 22, our kids had no problems with good night sleep staying in the tent.

  • Stayed October 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
David M, General Manager at Coffee Shack Backpackers, responded to this review, November 16, 2013
Howzit
Thank you very much for the fantastic review, we really appreciate you calling Coffee Shack the best place you stayed at while in South Africa. We are very happy to hear that you and your family felt at home, because we do try hard to be the proverbial home away from home, and thanks for the compliments about the staff being fantastic, we (the staff) all really appreciate that.

Sorry to hear that you could not stay longer, but hopefully next time you can. We do find that most people do not plan to stay long enough initially and end up extending their stay a few days, once they have arrived, to either relax and take advantage of the hammocks and beautiful surroundings or do some surfing lessons or the many day trips on offer. We recommend planning to stay at least 3 to 5 nights, remember you 5th night is free.
Safe travels, hugs to the kids from us (the staff) and hope to see you again soon.
Cheers David & the Coffee Shack crew
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Cape Town Central, South Africa
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 30, 2013

If you are anywhere within 50km of the Coffee shack - make the effort to spend some time there.

The backpackers set-up make you feel like you are in our own little village.

The hike to Hole in the wall in a must-do and fork out the fee the hostel charges for them to guide you, we even drank some local beer.

Free activities happen all the time which is great for filling time, having fun and meeting new people. Staff are enthusiastic, welcoming and helpful.

Beautiful location and the most happening spot in the bay.

Our dorm was cleaned while we were out, which made us feel slightly uncomfortable. Only to find some boxes of cigs missing.

But overall a great place. Even had the hostel kitty come to sleep on my bed :)

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
David M, General Manager at Coffee Shack Backpackers, responded to this review, October 26, 2013
Howzit Roxanne
Thanks for the great review, and that you enjoyed your stay at Coffee Shack. The staffs were very happy to hear your positive comments and compliments.
We hope to see you back at the Coffee Shack soon.
Cheers
David & the Coffee Shack crew
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Manchester, United Kingdom
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 10, 2013

This place is amazing- do not miss out on Coffee Bay!
BBQs, drum circles, organised activities, sundowners trips, great vibe!
It is not luxorious accomodation, however once you have travelled down the dirt roads to get there you will realise it is quite remote, which is part of the beauty of this place!

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
David M, General Manager at Coffee Shack Backpackers, responded to this review, September 21, 2013
Howzit
Great to see that you enjoyed your stay at Coffee Shack and managed to stay long enough to take advantage of some of the many well priced activities that we have on offer, like surf lessons, daily hikes and cultural excursions, free sun downers etc.

One of the most common comments from guests is that they wished they could stay longer. Many of our guests forget that every 5th night is free.
Cheers
David & the Coffee Shack crew
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Montreal, Canada
Contributor
20 reviews 20 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed August 19, 2013

I beleive it is the only low budget accomodation in coffee bay. That would be the main reason to come back. Coffee bay and the hike to or from port st-john are terrefic so it is worth staying there. But I was highly annoyed by the summer camp feeling. People always trying to over organise you for the day. Some annimation at night. They suggest games that end up meaning you should buy more alchool if you forget about the rules. You cant pay as you consume. Have to wait the check out to find out you should have keep track of money spent. Dorms are really summer camps like. Many beds, not much space and how ever late you go to sleep there will still be a loud drum beat until morning comming from the bar. I must say, most campers seemed very happy about the Coffee Shack. But I feelt I was taken for a 13 years old.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled solo
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
David M, General Manager at Coffee Shack Backpackers, responded to this review, September 6, 2013
Salut Jerome
I am sorry to hear that you feel this way about your stay at Coffee Shack. While we can be passionate about encouraging people out on our free “sun downers”, or to try the free fresh oysters and mussels or cheap activities (R70 including lunch) guests obviously can choose to do what they like. We do encourage guests because the activities show off unique parts and experiences of our stunning Wild Coast. These experiences are frequently the highlights of our guests stay with us. Unfortunately not everyone is as lucky as you to have done the PSJ to Coffee Bay 5 day hike, which is one of best hikes in South Africa, in my opinion.

Everyone is welcome to pay cash at the bar, but most guests prefer the convenience of the tab/account system, and guests can check their accounts/tabs at any time by asking one of the staff in the bar or office.
We do not allow drumming after 22h30; usually if there is drumming late, then it is at one of the other establishments nearby.

Safe travels
Cheers David & the Coffee Shack crew
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Additional Information about Coffee Shack Backpackers

Address: on the beach | Bomvu River Mouth, Coffee Bay 5082, South Africa
Location: South Africa > Eastern Cape > Coffee Bay
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Shuttle Bus service
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 6 Specialty lodging in Coffee Bay
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Explore, discover and enjoy a unique taste of rural Africa! Coffee Shack is a backpackers’ tropical paradise, located on the beach at the Bomvu River mouth on the Wild Coast of South Africa, where you will experience a way of life far removed from Western culture. We have a reputation of being a fun, good-value hostel with excellent facilities and the most amazing, friendly staff. We offer accommodation in traditional, thatched-roof huts, ranging from private rooms to dorms, as well as camping facilities in the garden next to the beach. Choose between self-catering options or try our delicious meals with a free ‘potjie’ meal every Sunday night. Weather and ocean permitting, join us for daily sundowners with magnificent views or taste freshly caught oysters and mussels at the bar before dinner. Stay for five nights and get your 5th night free! Our ‘Babalaza Bar’ is fully licensed and rocks in the evenings with its free pool table and range of drinks and cocktails. Join in the Killer Pool game or enjoy the chilled-out atmosphere around the firepit. Our variety of day trips include cultural walks exploring the local Xhosa culture, a traditional evening of dance and song at the home of a local family where you can try traditional Xhosa food and beers, beach days on the beautiful Coffee Bay, surf lessons, exploring Mapuzi cliffs and caves, hiking to the legendary "Hole in the Wall" or just walking in the local countryside with one of the local guides. We are accredited by Fair Trade Tourism South Africa and are committed to the improvement and upliftment of the greater community through various education and support projects. We are dedicated to making a difference to the local community and are thus 30% owned by the local Tshezi Community, who receive direct financial benefits from being involved in the business. We aim to encourage growth and empowerment opportunities for the local community through the development of meaningful partnerships. Coffee Shack runs a daily shuttle to Mthatha to meet the Baz Bus and other mainline buses at the Shell Ultra City in Mthatha (Umtata). We have a good internet connection, safe parking and a laundry service. For self-drive, we are located in the Eastern Cape of South Africa, in the former Transkei area. Turn onto the Coffee Bay road approximately 20km south of Mthatha, continue 80km down to the coast. ... more   less 
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