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“You Live You Learn - Everything is Relevant” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Hole in the Wall Hotel and Holiday Village

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Hole in the Wall Hotel and Holiday Village
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Coffee Bay Rd,, Coffee Bay 5080, South Africa (Formerly Hole in the Wall Hotel and Backpackers)   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Coffee Bay
Washington
Top Contributor
74 reviews 74 reviews
55 hotel reviews
Reviews in 47 cities Reviews in 47 cities
252 helpful votes 252 helpful votes
“You Live You Learn - Everything is Relevant”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 15, 2011

Heading for the Hole in the Wall formation, we departed Coffee Bay (unfortunately after staying one wretched extremely poor value night at the White Clay Resort - read my review). Looking for a safe spot to park our car and contents before embarking on foot to view the Hole in the Wall. We found the fenced and gated Hole in the Wall Hotel and Holiday Village. I believe the place also trades as The Hole in the Wall Backpackers but we did not experience the backpack aspect of the operation. Went inside to look around, and it was such an extreme difference from our previous night’s accommodation and a huge step up in comfort and safety that we decided to stay the night. Our accommodation slept 6 with 2 bedrooms - one bedroom with double bed and bath, the other bedroom with 2 twin beds and a bunk bed and bath, open and spacious proper lounge area and kitchen. Clean, Clean, Clean, including bottled water and the price was a fraction of the previous night’s stay. We felt like we were in a 5 star hotel after the other places we stayed on our trip. The staff was knowledgeable and friendly. The restaurant was nothing fancy - hamburgers/pizza/sandwiches - but we were satisfied with our meals. The location is beside the beach for sunning/swimming/fishing/boat launch and is a short, easy, safe walk to The Hole in the Wall formation, and there are plenty of activities to stay busy with for a day or so. During the night of our stay, it rained very hard, and the next morning there were several puddles here and there in the rooms but not enough to dampen my enthusiasm. If I ever return to Hole in the Wall, I would hope this place keeps doing what they are doing. It’s by far the best value of 5 establishments we visited in Coffee Bay, and we would definitely stay there again, http://www.holeinthewall.co.za/
Final thoughts and reflections now from the comfort of my home... I read the other reviews for this property and find no fault or argument with the reviewer’s observations, perhaps just their perspectives. While this place is by no means a resort by international or national standard, by local standards a resort it is. For this locale it doesn’t seem to get any better so it's a waste of time to judge or review against a preconception. Additionally, they also have a number of accommodation options available and I suspect ones experience might largely depend upon which accommodation one resided and on which day one was there. One can find fault at any of the local dining and lodging establishments because there is little competition and most certainly it’s difficult to operate with any consistency. Also, a visit to the region is not for everyone - it’s a difficult drive, hard on passengers and vehicles alike, and one must have the free time, be flexible and really prepared for the experience. Additionally, while the landscape and inhabitants might initially appear charming, be honest and grudgingly accept a number of disturbing and festering social, environmental and employment problems. We came to view “The Hole in the Wall” costal feature and experience the beaches. This we did but in doing so experienced little to prompt a return visit. So, after visiting the region my suggestion to those considering the trip is to do your homework, consider all the time and preparation needed to be safe and comfortable and ask yourself if the juice worth the squeeze.

  • Stayed January 2011, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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37 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3 of 5 stars
  • Service
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    3.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (16)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
  • Any
English first
Johannesburg, South Africa
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed December 28, 2010

My fiancee and I were looking forward to a long-awaited trip to Hole in the Wall but now deeply regret not having had the time to properly research accommodation beforehand as our experience was deeply disappointing. We booked at the Hole in the Wall backpackers for 5 nights and yes, we were mentally prepared for roughing it in a backpacker environment, as the self catering units were booked and we were on a budget.

Getting there...
We were warned about the roads by the booking agent and made the necessary planning to drive with enough fuel and not during the night. As it's a rural area you will encounter the following on the roads in the Wild Coast: cattle, sheep, goats, donkeys, horses, dogs, potholes and opportunist locals either begging for sweets or money. I would suggest you travel with a high raised vehicle or 4x4 and not a sedan.

The Resort (Backpackers)...
Various self catering bungalows and chalets scattered around the hills. The backpackers has 9 rooms, some with 2 single beds other with a double bed with an ensuite bathroom (toilet and shower). Some rooms were equipped with kettles and wardrobes, others not.

What we didn't like...
Reception and checking in: waited for 10 minutes to get someone's attention to check in. We could see somebody dusting behind the check-in desk and hear discussions of a manager's/senior staff member in the back office, but despite trying to draw their attention, none of them made the effort of coming to help us.The receptionist eventually made an appearance but was on handling a phone call at the same time and multi-tasking checking us in and answering another holiday maker's questions. When I eventually had her attention I asked about activities in the area and she couldn't offer me any suggestions or options other than the hole in the wall and horse riding (which is R150 per hour and R250 for 2 hours) and did not seem eager to give any more information about the horse riding other than where to book and how much it cost. I was hoping to get a welcome or this is what our resort offers speech, but nothing... We were not asked whether we would prefer a double bed or two singles, were given vague directions to make our own way to our room andhad to find the kitchen and other facilities with no help from the resort staff.

General cleanliness was poor: bedding and pillowcases were dirty, plates in the restaurant were cracked, glasses and cutlery were dirty, furniture in the bar area is in bad condition

Water: if we had known beforehand that the tap water is untreated river water, we would've been better prepared mentally and brought our own drinking water. Residents in the self-catering units had the same situation and complained about the whole family being sick from the water. Rain gutters collect and feed a steel tank with water for drinking and cooking. Actually saw a goat urinating next to the tank.

Communual kitchen: not enough mugs, glasses, eating and cooking utensils, generally felt dirty, would suggest they invest in a microwave and connect a hot water pipe to the washing basin

Beggars: the resort is fenced off but beggars outside the fence yell (even at 5:30 in the morning) trying to sell all kinds of illegal delicacies. Outside the resort you are harassed constantly with offers of paid tour guides or locals who know of someone who will be able to supply you with whatever you require. 'Help' might be forced onto you (at a cost), despite politely indicating that you do not need assistance.

Polution: the beaches aren't clean, lots of plastic bags and bottles on the beach. A local programme to clean up the area will do wonders.

Drunk people: we encountered drunk people on 2 occassions. Why doesn't the resort have a policy against drunk and lude behaviour or enforce something? They do market and present itself as a hotel and holiday (family) resort... I can understand if they were only focused on being a backpackers.
The green "under maintenance" pool (in peak holiday season).

Parking: No dedicated/demarkated parking for backpackers and campsite. Result is that people park all over, parking people in

Condition of facilities: Everything has a feel of neglect, one or two broken chairs on the backpacker veranda is the only seating available, the restaurant only has four wine glasses, furniture is old and damaged

What we liked...
- The hole in the wall.
- Relaxing on the green hills and cleaner parts of the beach.
- Taking pictures of the cattle on the beach and the natural unspoilt beauty.
- Some meals at the restaurant.
- Cindy the waitress (always friendly and ready to assist).
- Ally the gatekeeper (organised a fishing rod and bait for me, gave me good advice on the roads and weather).
- My stomach medication.

The area is rough and rural and we expected it. Just didn't expect it to be rough and rural at the resort...
Don't go there if you have small children or if you are squirmish. If you stay at the backpackers take along plenty of drinking water, your own cooking utensils and plates and easy to make food.

  • Stayed December 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Pretoria
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed November 24, 2009

Rather search on the internet for 'Hole in the Wall' than to spend thousand of rands and time to travel on these non-existing roads and polluted country side. It is a far cry from unspoiled and I suppose best left to the local people. Our self service apartment was dirty and way! overpriced (R580 per room per night). The towel rack came down, the water is dirty and furniture stained. Swimming pool was without water. We arrived 19:30 and lady greeted us in her night gown. Owner was there but too busy with his friends. Much better value for money elsewhere.

  • Stayed November 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Nelspruit, South Africa
Senior Contributor
35 reviews 35 reviews
17 hotel reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
31 helpful votes 31 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed July 13, 2009

Amazing position: practically on the beach, 10 minute walk from the hole in the wall. Beautiful surrounds: rolling hills and ocean.

We stayed in backpackers: rooms were plain, but perfectly acceptable and comfortable: 2 single beds, shower, toilet.

Problems: no clean tap water, only rain water for drinking (this would have been fine had we been forewarned!). poor plumbing in communal kitchen. backpackers ran out of toilet paper: took a day to resupply.

Poor customer service and non-customer orientated management. Promise of 5th night free (on website: http://www.holeinthewall.co.za/accomodation.php) was not followed through. Overpriced.

Additional advice: a 4x4 (or at least a raised vehicle) is preferable on the local dirt roads. full up on petrol at Mqanduli (just off N2), as petrol not always available in Coffee Bay (as we discovered!).

  • Stayed July 2009
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
2 of 5 stars Reviewed April 12, 2006

Having paid 50% deposit, we were told on arrival to pay the balance up front? Manageress attitude was no way Customer orientated. Not told we should "book for dinner on check in, so come evening ???? Went to find restaurant - nearest one "kitchen closed".
The Hotel room - a rondavel ( see website pictures - not evident) in the midst of self catering cottages. Path from security gate to hotel was right outside our door - not even half a metre. Constant flow of people.
Bedroom - bedside tables warped cane - drawers did not open, bedside lamp falling apart, no globe, night frill dirty/stained, water bottle old plastic, two different sized glasses, no kettle or tea facility. Many flies, nights plenty mosquitoes.
Bathroom - shower door did not close properly. Water ran thru bedroom. Door opened onto basin. Towels changed if left on floor.
Cupboard - walk in dressing room - door no handle, did not close, mosquitoes breeding in thatch and dust under cement shelves.
Pool green and sewerage line being dug whilst guests in hotel (understandable at a push but it was peak season.)
Dining room - breakfast ok, and dinner too if you booked. Second night adv of R15 corkage, but first night given glasses, ice bucket etc - no corkage. Lucky?
Am not a complainer by nature as am in service industry, but Manageress was so unwelcomimg at first meeting, felt it was not worthwhile complaining.
Beautiful place - pity with monopoly that they do not stick to self catering.
Three people warned us it was not good, but we gave benefit of doubt and were disappopinted. At least in self catering we could have had a cup of tea!
Strong contrast to the fantastic care at Ocean View Hotel.
Will definitely not be recommending it to anyone.

Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Hole in the Wall Hotel and Holiday Village

Address: Coffee Bay Rd,, Coffee Bay 5080, South Africa (Formerly Hole in the Wall Hotel and Backpackers)
Location: South Africa > Eastern Cape > Coffee Bay
Amenities:
Business Center with Internet Access Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Coffee Bay
Number of rooms: 41
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Situated in Coffee Bay and surrounded by vast stretches of unspoiled coastline, Hole in the Wall Hotel and Holiday Village offers some of the most picturesque scenery in South Africa. The remoteness of Hole in the Wall resort lends itself to excellent bird watching, nature walks, hiking trails as well as being an ideal spot for fishing. The beach is directly in front of the resort and has a lovely natural bay. This secluded location makes it the perfect destination for a relaxing holiday and the ideal base from which to explore the pristine Transkei coast. ... more   less 

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