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“Quiet but nice” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Happy Hippo Accommodation

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Happy Hippo Accommodation
222 Mahatma Gandhi Road (previously Point Road), Durban 4001, South Africa   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #11 of 59 Specialty lodging in Durban
Erlangen, Germany
Contributor
19 reviews 19 reviews
16 hotel reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
“Quiet but nice”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 1, 2013 via mobile

We came with BazBus and check-in at 23:30 at night was no problem at all. Staff was ALWAYS very friendly and answered any questions about the area and where you can do what. We stayed in a 6 bed dorm which was ok (only one plug, beds good!). All in all, all of the public areas are very nice - lounge, bathrooms, information center next to reception - so you can really enjoy your stay there, as long as you want it quiet. This is why I take 1 point away. It was too quiet for us. Even on a Friday night their bar closed at 11 and the area is not very safe to just look around the city. The only thing I like about the location is that it is close to the uShaka Marine (maybe 300 m).

Stayed September 2013, traveled with friends
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
DurbanBrooksie, Owner at Happy Hippo Accommodation, responded to this review, December 3, 2013
Thank you for your honest review, it is a shame that we were quiet at the time you stayed. Usually the lodge is buzzing with activity, but there are times we slow down, thankfully these are the times we catch up with maintenance and deep-cleaning of the rooms.
Thanks again,
Michael Brooks
P.S. Happy holidays
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85 people have reviewed this hotel

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (11)
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English first
Morro del Jable, Spain
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 15, 2013

We only stayed here for 1 night and the hostel was perfect for that. It was really quiet when we were there with nothing really going on. The dorm was good and the facilities correct. It is close to the sea world wich is a really nice place to see. Wifi is not free like most places in Africa.

Stayed October 2013, traveled as a couple
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
DurbanBrooksie, Owner at Happy Hippo Accommodation, responded to this review, December 3, 2013
Thank you for your review, we are in the process of implementing a wifi solution that can benefit everyone involved. I would love to know if you were offered the free internet for downloading our app or checking in online on the various social sites.
Thank you,
Michael Brooks
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London, United Kingdom
1 review
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 31, 2013

Stayed in 3 different hostels in Durban (2 near Florida Road) and the Happy Hippo. The Hippo was by far the best. Great open space for eating and socialising and a bar with terrace on the top floor. The rooms and facilities are well-maintained, which include an in-house laundry service. The staff at reception were particularly friendly and helpful, especially Bongani and Nmufundo (sorry, I'm pretty certain I have got both of those wrong but hope they are there or thereabouts). These guys were great on general hostel queries, as well as tours and onward travel and went out of their way to be helpful. They really made staying at the Happy Hippo a pleasure.

Oh and second best of all, the Hippo is 5 mins from the beach.

  • Stayed October 2013, traveled solo
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service

Review collected in partnership with this hotel

Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
DurbanBrooksie, Owner at Happy Hippo Accommodation, responded to this review, November 11, 2013
Hi Xagi1,
Wow! thanks for the great review, we are very proud that you enjoyed our place so much. It makes it all worthwhile when our customers leave us with a smile on their face, it also inspires my staff to maintain such a good level of service.
Thanks again,
Michael Brooks
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Froson, Sweden
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 27, 2013 via mobile

This is a quiet, spacious and charming place close to the beach and to the city. The self catering kitchen is well equipped and clean, but you have to pay extra for wifi, which was slooow! :( The dorms are quiet and the beds comfortable.

Stayed October 2013, traveled with family
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
DurbanBrooksie, Owner at Happy Hippo Accommodation, responded to this review, October 29, 2013
Hi Kristina,
Thank you for your positive review, I would love to know if you were offered the Wi-Fi special by my staff (If you check in on Facebook you receive 1 hour free internet). Otherwise with regards to the speed, we have logged a fault with our provider, but sometimes when we have many users online at the same time this also slows the connection down. Sorry about that. Thanks again for reviewing our lodge and we hope you enjoy the rest of your holidays.
Michael Brooks
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New York City, New York
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed October 16, 2013

Just got back from a two night's stay here that was quite disastrous. Location is mixed, it is close to the beach but forget about walking the other direction. We were continuously warned not to. You have to take a 10-15 minute taxi to go out to enjoy any kind of restaurant or nightlife if you want something more than the touristy expensive uShaka food options. On top of that, expect to wait over 30 minutes for that taxi to arrive.

That's only where the problem begins. First of all, our check in took forever as the check-in lady kept answering phone calls and being distracted and we just stood there with our backpacks on for what felt like an eternity. Then our key to our room does not work. It will not lock. We try and we try to lock our room - we cannot. Someone comes to help us, they also cannot lock our private room. They say - don't worry about it! We say - this is why we are paying for a private room, so we can lock up our valuables. They say - Oops! We are full tonight. We say - Well, figure something out because we are checked in, have paid and it is now late evening. They say - Fine, you can move all your belongings to the staff room. We move all our stuff we had unpacked to a jail cell like room. No window, no fresh air, no shelving, no drawers, no mirrors, no bedside lamp, NOTHING. It was a jail cell. The next morning we inquire if the lock has been fixed on the original room. The front desk says No, but it will be done that day. Upon returning from the beach, and checking in again, they tell us - whoops, turns out we gave you the wrong key! Here is the right key for that room. And you can move your stuff back. The worst part was they were not apologetic, they were not understanding and they treated us like it was somehow our fault!!!! We still paid full price and just were treated very poorly.

I would not recommend staying at this hostel to anyone.

  • Stayed October 2013, traveled with friends
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 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 Happy Hippo Accommodation, responded to this review, October 17, 2013
Hi Gallery4665,
I am completely shocked and horrified that you have had such an experience at our lodge, and I can only say I am truly sorry for what has happened. Firstly I would like to offer you a full refund for the duration of your stay, please contact us and we will effect the transaction immediately. Secondly, I would like to inform you that we are having an internal inquiry as to who is to blame, if you can help us with any names that would be of help. As owners who strive to give our guests the best experience possible to be let down by what is obviously complete apathy and amateurism is distressing to say the least. I have no excuses as I employ the staff so once again I am extremely sorry and promise you that no guest will experience such a bad experience again.
Yours sincerely,
Michael Brooks
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Bangkok, Thailand
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
3 of 5 stars Reviewed October 16, 2013

I stayed at this hostel for a few days before moving on. The hostel is clean, and you will get a great night's sleep, however, it just seemed a bit dead. The bar rarely had more than 10 people in it, and there seemed no intention from the staff to bring people together. It was really close to the uShaka Marine World which is great for restaurants, but sadly too close to the troubled point road area to make the evenings enjoyable.

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled solo
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
DurbanBrooksie, Owner at Happy Hippo Accommodation, responded to this review, October 17, 2013
Dear Timlad84
Thank you for your review. We are so sorry that you visited during our quiet time as we do have functions on our roof top area, the next one being on the 26th of this month. We try to have a few so as to bring people together. We will be talking to the staff about creating a nicer atmosphere when the lodge is a bit quieter. You refer to the troubled Point road area, I would like to just clarify that it is statistically proven that the Point area (sector 5) is the safest area in Kwa-zulu Natal, a fact that we and the community policing forum is very proud of. There is an on-going and strenuous effort to make the Point area the safest and most attractive place to visit in Durban. These things take time but hopefully if you visit Durban again the area will be well and truly developed into a world class tourism attraction.
Thank you again for the review and we hope to see you again.
Michael Brooks (owner)
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Israel
Top Contributor
102 reviews 102 reviews
47 hotel reviews
Reviews in 49 cities Reviews in 49 cities
55 helpful votes 55 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed October 10, 2013

I stayed in a private en-suit room in this backpackers. The room is very basic but also very clean. It had two twin beds, a sofa to put staff on, a ceiling fan, a small toilet with shower. Only one plug in the room. The communal area can be very noisy if the hostel is full, I was lucky as when I stayed it was half empty so didn't suffer too much. In any way ask for far away rooms for the central communal area. They have big self catering kitchen with all the tools needed, very good and clean. They don't serve any breakfast even for money so make sure you have some food for the morning. There is free coffee and tea in the kitchen. Overall good stay, but staff not too nice so don't trust you will get much assistance from then.

  • Stayed October 2013
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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.
DurbanBrooksie, Owner at Happy Hippo Accommodation, responded to this review, October 17, 2013
Thank you, Rehber for taking the time out to write a review for us. It is always good to know where we could improve. I am so sorry to hear about your experience with the staff. Would it be at all possible for you to name the members who were not helpful or to describe them, as we would like to remedy this? We are continually doing staff training so am a bit disappointed to hear this. I look forward to hearing from you. Thank you once again and safe travels to you.
Michelle and the Happy Hippo team.
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Additional Information about Happy Hippo Accommodation

Address: 222 Mahatma Gandhi Road (previously Point Road), Durban 4001, South Africa
Location: South Africa > KwaZulu-Natal > Durban
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Parking Kitchenette Shuttle Bus service
Hotel Style:
Ranked #11 of 59 Specialty lodging in Durban
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Born from a passion for traveling, the legacy of the Hippo Hide has been passed on to this unique and amazing lodge. Situated approximately 500m from Durban’s best beaches and right next to uShaka Marine World, you couldn’t ask for a better location. Durban’s first purpose built backpackers hostel for the discerning budget traveller, welcomes you to come and enjoy state of the art facilities. These include the amazing roof top party and recreational area, known as “The Globe”, a wireless broadband internet café, travel desk with up to date information and the best deals. This is your one stop youth hostel with all your amenities close by. ... more   less 
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