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“Best Accomodation for our Semester Abroad in Durban” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Hippo Hide Backpackers

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Hippo Hide Backpackers
2 Jesmond Road, Durban 4001, South Africa   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #15 of 60 Specialty Lodging in Durban
Durban, South Africa
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“Best Accomodation for our Semester Abroad in Durban”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 24, 2013

The Hippo Hide Backpackers Lodge is well located in Durban, you will find a checkers (supermarket) in walking distance close by. The nearest Mall is called Musgrave it includes a food court, cinema, Pick 'n' Pay and lots of stores...
The Management at Hippo Hide Backpackers is very friendly, Ntando and Precious offer very good service. They helped us a lot with further bookings for our trips throughout the country.
And the cleaning ladies took good care of our laundry. On the premises you will find a nice pool (which is lovely for hot days) and a great BRAAI area (BBQ), which we made use of a lot.
For us as students it was a perfect place to study as you can see on the picture.
Thanks a lot to Precious & Ntando for this great experience.

Room Tip: My favourit room is called "Huberta" (Single)
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  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
DurbanBrooksie, Owner at Hippo Hide Backpackers, responded to this review, October 25, 2013
Hi JB,
Thank you very much for the positive feedback, it is great to hear that my staff are making our guests happy and that the place was to your satisfaction.
Thank you once again and we will strive to maintain these standards for all future tourists.
Yours Sincerely,
Michael Brooks
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24 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    5
    12
    3
    4
    0
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Families
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7
7
2
Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (6)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Portuguese first
  • Any
English first
Hamburg
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 24, 2013

When I came to Durban for the first time I had some back luck with the choice of my backpacker – it was full, noisy and chaotic. So this time I decided to try different ones out before settling into the most suitable for my purposes for several weeks. At the end this was the Hippo Hide in Overport, a nice and quite place where I spend at the end spend four weeks during my time in Durban. It’s neither on the beachfront nor at the party places which makes it unattractive for those travellers coming in late on the day, partying at the clubs or the bar and sleeping the next day on the bus but that’s the reason it is so appealing for those that seek to stay at a place which feels more like home than sleeping under a rock concert stage.
As a result I was joined during those days by foreign students doing exchange classes at the universities in Durban, South Africans working far from home seeking some solitude after a long working-day and people that stay most of the time for several days relaxing instead of rushing in and out on a daily basis.
The premise is situated on a slope of the Overport Ridge in a calm side street. The lush area offers many spots to discover and accommodation ranges from camping, dorm beds, wood cabins, houses in the main building to ensuite-cabins. Public transport to the city centre can be easily reached and the Durban beaches are 10 minutes away by car. The access to the main highways are easy accessible going with the N3 to the west into the Drakensberg or choosing the N2 for the run to Zululand in the north or the famous beaches and spots along the Wild Coast to the south. Cafes, Restaurant and two major shopping malls (Overport-Atrium and Musgrave Center) are within 1 km walking distance.
The backpacker offers off-street parking, Wi-Fi, a pool, braai facilities and a small deck – all arranged around the hippo theme. The staff is very friendly and helpful and even help the guest if they miss the last player for their card games. Thanks to the three holding the day and night shifts in the office, especially Precious and Nthando. After experiencing all range of backpackers this became the most fitting one for me as I was able to work at the dining table even with the TV running because nobody staying there forgot about respecting the other visitors and joining each other’s needs and wishes.
Nevertheless there are some minor negative points. Being sister-backpacker to the Happy Hippo the Hippo Hide is on sale for some time now. As a result you get the impression that maintenance and investment isn’t kept up as much as possible anymore. As a result minor repairs are not done from a towel-rail in the dorm shower falling apart to missing lightbulbs at the garden paths to shacky handrails at the braai area and lose cupboard-doors. Here small things with improve the overall impression. The most crucial point is the kitchen as on my opinion it is not able to cater for a certain number of guests at the same time especially when people are staying for more than a night and don’t go dining out everytime. The 4-plate-stove isn’t enough and some of the plates are almost on strike concerning the time for heating up. The fridge is easily filled up because of a lack of space. Moving the book shelf and setting up a second one would be helpful as those longer staying guests usually store some food or leftovers and try to keep it in labelled bag which doesn’t work when you have to put your stuff in many little vacant spots. Additionally you run easily out of cutlery if not everybody is cleaning the dishes immediately. As a result you sometime feel like queuing for cooking and using the kitchen equipment.
I haven’t been using the existing computers but the WiFi is reasonable, accessible even from the dorm and you find more power sockets available than in any other place I’ve been before (which gives you the freedom to use you laptop almost everywhere. The bar is substituted by a fridge with drinks on sale which seems a reasonable solution and fitting to the crowd living here.
Hopefully the place will be the same when I’m coming back next time.

Room Tip: The 11 people dorm should be avoided by those sensible to noises by other people as there could be 1...
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  • Stayed September 2013, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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DurbanBrooksie, Owner at Hippo Hide Backpackers, responded to this review, October 2, 2013
We have to thank you for your review, it is both positive and constructive. We have taken on board everything you mentioned regarding maintenance and are in the process of fixing up these relatively easy things. We are sorry that these things have even occurred, I am sure that you noticed that the whole property was painted two months ago and that we have just renovated three rooms. We are in the process of going though the property room by room as time and money allows, and we hope on your return that things have not only stayed the same but improved. So once again thank you for your review and we look forward to hosting you again.
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Ottawa, Canada
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed September 5, 2013

My partner and I recently stayed at Hippo Hide and were overall disappointed with the service and accommodations.

We stayed in the double room with the ensuite bathroom. On first inspection, the room appeared quaint and comfortable. We noticed a few moments later that the ensuite bathroom had NO DOOR! I would not have minded as much if I had not been subject to some digestive distress in the middle of the night, which obviously awoke my partner. The room stripped all the romance from our stay in Durban. Moreover, the room itself was quite run-down and appeared to be in desperate need of maintenance. The shower's hot faucet would repeatedly fall off. My partner also scalded his foot on the hot water pipe which runs along the floor adjacent to the sink.

The extra blanket in the room was VERY musty and seemingly never washed. The blanket on the bed, although clean, was too small for a double bed and my partner and I were both freezing overnight. We would have used the extra blanket if it had not resulted in my repeated sneezing.

Some staff were quite friendly, however, one in particular was extremely unfriendly and not at all accommodating. Moreover, this particular staff member would be watching tv every time we went into the main lounge area.

Hippo Hide did not have a simple map of Durban! As a backpackers' hostel, this is an absolute essential, especially given the fact that their poster boards were recommending various tourist venues within the city!

We purchased a wifi package, which was quite expensive (given that we had been offered free wifi at most other guest houses). We specifically asked prior to purchase if there was good reception in the bedroom. They stated that it was no problem. In spite of this, we found the wifi just BARELY reached our rooms and would often spontaneously disconnect.

Overall, we were both extremely disappointed with Hippo Hide. It needs some serious attention and an overhaul by the owner.

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
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DurbanBrooksie, Owner at Hippo Hide Backpackers, responded to this review, September 16, 2013
Thank you for your review Rachel, it is always a shock when we get such a bad review, however we will take your points and gladly remedy them. I must point out though, that not once did you bring any of your concerns to the attention of my staff, if you had, we would have taken action immediately.
Your reference that the Hippo Hide needs 'serious attention' is totally unfounded as we have just painted the entire outside of the house and property, at great expense. The room is not run down and if anything needs a paint touch up where guests knock paint chips off of door frames etc. Also all the blankets have been washed, to avoid any repeat of your experience.
You are the first person in 17 years to have complained about the door situation in the room and we are sorry that any romance was ruined for you.
With regards to having maps, the local tourism board supply these to us and they are behind with their order, I am aware that one of my staff members showed you the map in the lounge and explained places of interest to you and your partner. I am not sure what else she could have done.
We offer two free hours on wifi when liking and checking in on our facebook page, if you were not made aware of this we are sorry and will take this up with our staff. We are looking at the signal reception for that room and have tweaked it.
Can I suggest that if you have a problem with the next accommodation establishment you stay in, please go to the management or owners and raise your concerns at the time, by writing reviews such as yours after the event does not serve to enhance anyones' experience.
We thank you for your time,
Michael & Michelle Brooks
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New Delhi, India
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 16, 2013

It is a nice safe place to stat in Durban. Well maintained,centrally located, easily approachable. All the staff are cooperative, well behaved and cooperative. The place is away from noise and pollution free. Rooms are clean and bathrooms are also good.Garden place is well maintained. Oh pool is life of this place. Kitchen clean and well organized. I stayed here in April 11-14, 2013.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled on business
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hasselt, Belgium
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 13, 2013

A good and safe hostel which is located about 40 minutes away from the beach by foot.
Quiet location, far away from noise of Durban city.
But there are no restaurants in the direct surrounding.
Friendly and helpful personnel, clean bedroom, bathroom and blankets on beds.
Nice garden and original pool.
But unfortunately, the surrounding of dorm-house is smelly.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled solo
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Perth, Australia
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 28, 2013

The staff at Hippo Hide are very friendly and helpful. We had several day trips organized for us at good prices. The location is very safe, with a security gate in a quiet residential neighborhood. But it is at the bottom of a steep hill, and the local buses never seem to come. The closest shopping center is a good 20 minute walk, so I recommend this place to travelers who have their own cars.

The whole place is spotless. It is the cleanest backpackers I have ever stayed in. The kitchen has pretty much everything you need. The rock pool is a nice refreshing place to cool off on hot days.

Room Tip: The cabins are nice and private, but the one with an ensuite got very damp. The ones with shared bat...
See more room tips
  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Johannesburg, South Africa
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed December 8, 2012

We stayed at The Hippo Hide
3 - 7 December 2012

Booking:
We needed a place to stay on very short notice and they were able to
accommodate us. Just has a side note: they didn't ask for a copy of our ID numbers or identification which I don't think is smart on their part because what if thief had occurred with visitors then how can they form a case.

Location:

It is a little far from the beach, but pretty close to Florida Street,
which is a Durban party street.

The hostel itself:

The hippo theme is definitely present, with a large wooden hippo with
it's baby as you come in. It should be said that it appears there was
a lot of time was spent on ensuring that the location has various
hippo-related ornaments. An African theme runs throughout the hostel,
the main feature being the fabulous rock pool. This would be better if
it wasn't so fill of algae.

Rooms:

We stayed in the dorms. In Durban, most dorms cost between R120 - R150
per night. In order for a hostel to differentiate itself from its
competitors it needs to have something special and unfortunately just
Hippo Hide doesn't that that something special. The dorms reminded me
of primary school camp dorms with mattresses that made me think the
floor would've been more comfortable and pillows that have see
thousands of restless heads. You may say that since we choose the
cheapest option, we deserve the cheapest comfort but this just made me
think we should have booked ay of the other hostels in the area.

Staff and helpfulness: The staff already seem a bit tried of young
travellers, even though the December holiday hasn't even started yet.
They were not very friendly or welcoming. One would expect them to be
friendlier as they aren't fully booked and to welcome new clientele
but this was not my experience. Personally, I don't appreciate being
addressed and treated like a teenager.

Services:
The pool is lovely - it would be great to swim in it, if it was clean.
Although there is a nice TV it only shows two of the three SABC channels.
There is a braai facility and a surprise of a pizza oven.
There are also computers with Internet and WiFi - we all love a bit of WiFi. (Unfortunately it wasn't working while we were there)

Room Tip: Only advice do not sleep in the dorms.
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled on business
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Hippo Hide Backpackers

Address: 2 Jesmond Road, Durban 4001, South Africa
Location: South Africa > KwaZulu-Natal > Durban
Amenities:
Free Parking
Hotel Style:
Ranked #15 of 60 Specialty Lodging in Durban
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 10
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