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“What a disaster!” 1 of 5 stars
Review of Life Hotel Ballito

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Life Hotel Ballito
3.0 of 5 Small Hotel   |   Nandi Mthembu Drive, Ballito, South Africa   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #17 of 23 Ballito B&B and Inns
Durban, South Africa
11 reviews 11 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
“What a disaster!”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed October 13, 2013

I booked at above hotel about a month ago, as we had a wedding to attend in Ballito. They insisted that we pay in full prior to check in... well now I know why! I phoned on Friday just to confirm my booking and that all was in order. On arrival on a hot Durban summer's day we had to discover that the air-conditions where not working! the room was so small and no ventilation at all, they then attempt to move us to another room with the promise that they just switch that side the aircon on and that it will get cooler soon! There a small little fan in the room and I asked if there are aircon why are there fans in each room?? Only to later discover that the aircon are not working at all!! the carpets in the passage and room was so disgustingly dirty and full of marks all over that I would NOT walk with my bare feet on those carpet! if all the reviews about this place are so negative then I don't understand why something does not get done about this disgusting dirty hotel???

  • Stayed October 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 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.
BallitoLodge, Manager at Life Hotel Ballito, responded to this review, October 15, 2013
Dear Wilnaventer

Thank you for your feedback, it is very much appreciated and it a great asset for us to learn and move forward from.
Just to explain I represent the new Management Company that is taking over the Management of the property and we have seen that there is a serious need for refurbishments and upgrades on the current property. We are soon to start on major upgrade and improvement of the standards on the hotel.
We do apologize for your stay and are making the necessary changes that are needed. On that comment we ask that you please contact our New Operations Manager Byron Samuelson so that he can get your details and what happened and that he can arrange a complimentary stay for you and your partner when we have completed the refurbishment to the hotel.

Yours Sincerely,

Gaspard Bossut
Group Operations Manager.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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7 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    3 of 5 stars
  • Location
    3 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    2 of 5 stars
  • Service
    2 of 5 stars
  • Value
    2 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    2 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room Tips
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
1 review
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 25, 2013 via mobile

I am writing this sitting on the bed of this hotel. We did not sleep well last night. A conference took place during the day - Friday. SSome guests either stayed overnight or new ones booked in. The noise was unbeafable. Doors slamming, shouting at the top of gheir voices. The staff are no better. At around 5 each morning staff start making a noise and shouting at the top of their voices. What is it wuth the Africans? Can no one speak in a civilized manner?

The bed is good. The hotel I am told opened in 2010. However the rest of the furniture has been knocked together in a hurry and in very poor taste. For $20 more I could have booked into a more decent place. Living here makes me feel I am in rural Africa with its poor service. The price is not cheap but I booked through AARP and paid in advance for six nights. No refund. The telephone still does not work. No iron or hairdryer in rokm. No towel rails in bathroom. Doors jam and needs to be slammed.


  • Stayed January 2013
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Durban, South Africa
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed December 26, 2012

Our family from NZ decided to book at Life Ballito for Christmas....By far the worst hotel I've ever stayed at. I called the night before we check-in to ask for an earlier check-in, which was agreed to. We arrived only to be told our rooms aren't ready and the electricity was faulty anyway so the computer booking system can't be accessed by a very abrupt staff member. When it was 2pm (check-in time), the same lady says that they have forgotten it's a 3 sleeper and the best they can do is a floor mattress(for an adult). We get to our rooms to find that instead of the standard numbering on room doors, they had used little book labels on the door indicating the number. After airing my annoyance, a proper single bed magically appears in the room which was apparently not available. The telephone didn't work, our aircon was broken and replaced by a poor excuse for a fan, the bathroom door wasn't closing and our linen was filthy. It depressed me to know that this is the hotel we would be spending Christmas at. After constant complaining with no real responses, we were moved to a new room. Initally being told that all the aircons were broken, this room had a working aircon. This hotel seems to have a lot of magicians!!! This room had water leaking onto the beds, the electricity tripped off every hour and was on the 3rd floor (hotel has no lifts). The staff take forever to get anything to you and you become used to them saying they don't have anything you ask for. The breakfast is cold, unattractive and poorly put out. We vowed never to stay there again!!! The so-called manager partying with a group of her friends at the hotel until 5am within earshot of all the guests was certainly the cherry on the top.

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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 9
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kimberley, South Africa
Senior Contributor
37 reviews 37 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 20 cities Reviews in 20 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed May 7, 2012

We stayed at the Life hotel in Ballito only for a weekend. We had a wedding in the surrounding area.
Ballito is a wonderful place to visit all year round. The Hotel is not close to the ocean (Not within walking distance). It is within walking distance of a mall or two.
I booked over the internet and it all went smoothly. Or so I thought. I asked for a early check in on the internet booking, as we had to prepare for the wedding. When we arrived they could not see on their system that the amount had already been deducted from my credit card, luckily I printed the proof and could show them. Otherwise they would have charged me double? They made us wait for two hours before we could go to our room(Check in is at 14h and not a minute earlier?) I phoned ahead to find out if they have hair-dryers in their rooms, they said yes.... we waited 1h for the hair-dryer and had to walk down to reception to remind them about it. The breakfast is basic (Cold toast, cold bacon, cold sausage of unknown origin, slightly warm egg, which cools down very quickly in the cold plate... ) The general atmosphere was not very calming in the buffet area. House music reverberating in your ears.... And I like a bit of house every now and then, but not with your first cup of COLD coffee. You can get much better ambiance and value for your money at one of the closer malls. I advise to not take the package with the breakfast included.
The room was basic but nice, the beds were wonderful and we had a good nights rest. There was a smear of some kind of fluid against the bathroom wall. Our friend who stayed with us at the hotel, in a different room, found hair on his towel (very suspicious hair)! You win some you loose some I guess?
By far the most irritating thing about this hotel are the staff, they just seem to not really care about the people staying in their hotel....It is still quite new, so maybe they will improve with time...

So in general an average place, the staff should be reminded about your specific needs (at least four times? maybe four) please do not take the package that includes the breakfast

  • Stayed March 2012, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed May 2, 2012

My partner and I booked into Signiture Life hotel in ballito expecting a comfortable, and nice stay for 2 nights. We were not expecting the ritz or a luxury hotel in any way.

What we got was a terribly uncomfortable stay in a hotel that looked like it had been slapped together in 5minutes.

Before i continue i would like to point out that the ordinary staff (manager not included) went out of their way to be nice and helpful.

The walls are all dry walling which means little to know privacy. The locks on the doors were a garden latch you'd find on a gate. We requested (i especially phoned twice to check) a double bed, what we got was 2 single beds (with single bedding) pushed together, no attempt had been made to fullfil my request or to explain why my request could not be filled.
To make matters worse, when we got into the beds, they were crawling with ants.

The carpet was stained with paint and the over head lighting was still the lighting used when the hotel was an office block. There was no air-con (infact the panel hadnt even been wired up)

The bathroom was clean but the water wasn't turned on. the toilet seat and flush button was broken. there were no toilet roll holders, no towel racks and the shower messed the entire floor when showering.

When asking the manager to fix these things for our second night he made all kinds of promises but nothing was done about it.

Breakfast was included in the price and i must say the food looked absolutely delicious, except it was absolutely ice cold! the hot trays had just not been switched on at all.
this is where the staff shone, they were very happy to warm your plate up as well as do special meal requests when asked (eg scrambled eggs instead of fried)
The management of this establishment could really learn a thing or too from their staffs friendliness and courtesy.

In my honest opinion i would definitely not be staying in this hotel again.

  • Stayed April 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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.
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Additional Information about Life Hotel Ballito

Address: Nandi Mthembu Drive, Ballito, South Africa
Location: South Africa > KwaZulu-Natal > Ballito
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #17 of 23 B&Bs / Inns in Ballito
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3 star — Life Hotel Ballito 3*
Number of rooms: 50
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Ballito Lodge is conveniently situated just 5 minutes from the world famous beaches of Ballito and just 10 min from the King Shaka International Airport. This makes it a perfect place for accommodation and conferencing. ... more   less 
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