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“Great location next to the sea” 4 of 5 stars
Review of The Boathouse

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The Boathouse
4.0 of 5 Guest house   |   33 Compensation Beach Rd | PO Box 1166, Ballito 4420 , South Africa   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #11 of 23 Ballito B&B and Inns
Cheltenham, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
“Great location next to the sea”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 8, 2011

Stayed 5 nights (the last one unplanned due to being snowed out of next destination) in two luxury rooms overlooking the sea. Food in the restaurant was good and varied with a very good value included breakfast. Rooms were well equipped and staff very helpful and flexible. Only issue occurred when Inidian Ocean storm hit and one room leaked but they were happy to move us to an alternative. Ballito itself was fairly suburban but good location for visiting Durban for the day.

  • Stayed July 2011, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 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.
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57 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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    8
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3.5 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)
Date | Rating
  • Danish first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • German first
  • Russian first
  • Any
English first
Geneva, Switzerland
Senior Contributor
36 reviews 36 reviews
19 hotel reviews
Reviews in 26 cities Reviews in 26 cities
45 helpful votes 45 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed November 24, 2010

Again a mixed review...I was reading the reviews before deciding on getting married there and weren't quite sure about our choice but it was a destination wedding so choosing a place was hard.

My feelings are mixed. I would do it all over again. Rina who I was in contact with per email and phone was really nice, so was Henry, who was in charge of our wedding.

What to expect if you are getting married at The Boathouse:
- huge quantities of food - we had the buffet and ate less than 1/4 of what was ordered
- nice room with a nice view
- little details like a card, a heart of flowers and champagne in the room - something that no other hotel did knowing we are on our honeymoon. It was greatly appreciated.
- nice beach, places where you can go in the ocean
- nice places for pictures
- nice place for the arch if you decide on getting married on the beach
- nice little pool which is actually being cleaned and you are able to use which we discovered is something quite rare in SA. Hotels make a pool just to get the 4 stars and than forget to clean it and nobody uses it. At the Boathouse you can actually get into the water.
- Internet is OK
- Henry arranged for us to do a late check out - again a wonderful service. If you don' like Henry you are a hard to please bride. He is a darling.

What not to expect:
- food is average. Meet was dry. I was disappointed with the quality. Especially as on the website it looks so good. It was not bad either. Same goes for the breakfast.
- dinner was a little rushed. No time to get served a second time. Waiters move all away without asking.
- the stairs going to the beach really need to be mended although I do not know whose responsibility that is. I kept tripping. It was hard enough going down the stairs with a trail.
- it is a rather expensive hotel compared to what you get in other hotels in SA. It has a certain charm though - round windows, room smells nice, it has a beautiful balcony, nice decoration.
- there is no shortage of staff. In fact there are too many people, lots of them don't seem to know why they are there or who you should address.

Avoid:
- booking with Status Productions - Jo-Anne. They are the event management company who usually works with The Boathouse. It took long months of communication to plan a simple small wedding. She never got my and my husband's names right. I kept asking the same questions till I get an answer. Quite the opposite of Rina! She actually thinks ahead and tells you things you might not have thought of yet. Rina would also give you good recommendations for hair, make up etc. She could be a wedding planner. Again, Status were OK, nothing more. Not very efficient either they kept setting up the arch inside, than outside, than inside...than finally outside. Weather WAS changing but I explicitly asked to be set outside and was willing to take a chance. I did not fly so many km to finally get married in a conference room.

So, I AM THANKFUL TO HENRY AND RINA, to my GORGEOUS MAKE UP ARTIST TJ. I would do it all over again. They made it special for us. This review should be seen as a realistic feedback to help you plan your own wedding and for The Boathouse to make it even more special for you.

  • Stayed November 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed October 17, 2010

My review is very mixed. Some of the staff were excellent, the venue was lovely and the wedding ran nicely, but there were some unsavoury elements to our stay.

We were at the boathouse for a wedding. It was an absolutely perfect wedding venue - the beach was idyllic and the venue very clean albeit a bit out of date. Unfortunately, there were a few things which dampened what would have otherwise been a lovely evening. Firstly, the night before the wedding the party dined at the restaurant. We were a bit late arriving, but since we were the only guests eating at the restaurant we guessed this wouldn't cause any problems. I unfortunately misunderstood the waiter, he had asked the table generally if we would like chicken, beef or seafood. I said I'd like seafood and didn't realise that this would imply me ordering the seafood platter - the most expensive dish on the menu. My meal came, it was a good platter of seafood, but I'd really only wanted a few prawns or a paella, and it cost more than the total bill of the couple sitting next to me alone (who hadn't been shy with the alcohol. The other meals were very reasonable prices and looked excellent, the drinks were quite expensive). Then when I went to pay the waiter rang the whole tables' 16 person bill up on my card rather than the individual amount I had asked for. The amount is yet to be refunded and the staff were unable to do the refund at the time as they were unfamiliar with refunding to a debit card. But the staff were very friendly and apologetic. A few staff members went out of their way to accommodate the wedding party which was much appreciated. The bridal party were exceptionally happy in the penthouse. However, the TV only had the free channels and two or three obscure sports channels (we were hoping for the Curry Cup game, but got a frozen frame of a wrestler for most of the evening). The DSTV magazine on the table dates to three months prior.
However, at the wedding the waiting staff were unaware of the situation with the wedding tab and charged guests for their drinks while the tab was still running. When queried about it by the guests, the waiting staff were indignant and although they accepted that the tab was running, and should cover the R15 coke, they insisted on being paid because it had already been run up. Such a conversation was unnecessary and badly dealt with by the staff at hand. The guests didn't mind paying for the coke, but such a confusion ought not to happen, and constant queries about the bar tab stressed out the bride and groom a bit.
It was also unfortunate that no measures are taken to somehow cordon off a section of the beach for the ceremony. I am not sure if it would be possible, since it is a public beach, but several people wandered into the ceremony, positioned themselves, standing next to the bridesmaids, whipped out their cellphones and took photos. It was a bit bizarre, but luckily the bride and groom were very laid back.
On the whole the wedding was beautiful and the venue was perfect. But these things just dampened it a bit. I would still recommend it, but would warn the bridal party. Some wedding couples wouldn't put up with small things going wrong.

  • Stayed October 2010, traveled with friends
    • 1 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
    • 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.
London
Senior Contributor
33 reviews 33 reviews
18 hotel reviews
Reviews in 21 cities Reviews in 21 cities
45 helpful votes 45 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 16, 2010

The boathouse in Ballito is in a beautiful spot on the coast, but sadly this is its primary redeeming feature. The rooms are tatty and out of date, and the bedspread had a curious brown stain on it, which was quite revolting. The bathroom was tiny with no space for belongings. The restaurant was average, the food seemed to be a victim of a chef trying too hard to be high class but not quite getting there. The staff were generally helpful and friendly. I wouldn't tell people to not stay here as I had a lovely time, but perhaps look around for an experience that offers better value for money. Ballito is a nice spot to be for a couple of days and this saved the experience for us.

  • Stayed August 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 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 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Milwaukee
Top Contributor
66 reviews 66 reviews
49 hotel reviews
Reviews in 49 cities Reviews in 49 cities
49 helpful votes 49 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 25, 2010

My husband and I stayed at the Boathouse for a night while driving from Pietermaritzburg to St. Lucia. The staff was very kind and helpful and we had a wonderful view. We kept the patio doors open and listened to the sea, which was fantastic! The location is unbeatable and there are restaurants and pubs in walking distance. The breakfast was delicious, and the main areas of the hotel are lovely. My only complaint is the room quality. I think that for the same price or a bit higher, it is possible to stay in more updated places in Ballito. I was disappointed that our romantic evening by the sea was met with heavily stained carpeting and an almost digustingly stained duvet. The bathroom was very small and the tiling and grout was very discolored. It seems that the hotel is making some updates, but had I seen the room before we booked, we probably would've chosen a different guesthouse.

  • Stayed August 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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London, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 28, 2010

As several recent reviewers have said...I was a bit concerned about this the final stop at the end of a three week holiday...I need not have been concerned...it is a lovely place...my room was very nice...it had a huge balcony overlooking the beautiful beach and wraping around the side of the hotel...I could follow the sun with ease...and watched dolphins and even a whale one morning...

We had a great meal on the first night, and breakfast from the buffet and cooked to order was excellent.

The staff very friendly and efficient throughout the hotel.

Please give this hotel a chance...I don't think you'll find better in Balito...it is lovely

  • Stayed June 2010, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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.
Harrow, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
38 reviews 38 reviews
27 hotel reviews
Reviews in 29 cities Reviews in 29 cities
31 helpful votes 31 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 7, 2010

I had read conflicting reviews about this hotel so arrived with a little apprehension, but did not find anything wrong. We can honestly say we found the hotel a lovely place for a few days r&r after those early mornign starts on Safari.
The hotels itself is lovely, situated in a beautiful area, right on the beach with fantastic views of the Indian Ocean. Our rooms were on the first floor with huge terraces overlooking the Ocean, an ideal spot to soak up the sun.
The staff were all very friendly and attentive and couldn't do enough for you. The restaurant was very good we have an excellent dinner on our first night and breakfasts were also excellent. The reception staff were fantastic and very helpful.
All in all, it could probably do with modernising slightly but I have no complaints and would stay there again.

  • Stayed June 2010, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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.
BoathouseBallito, General Manager at The Boathouse, responded to this review, June 11, 2010
Thank you for taking the time to put up your review about our lovely guest house.

We really appreciate it that you gave us a chance and did not listen to all the bad reviews. Unfortunately not all guests look at the dates of the reviews and also most guests who do enjoy their stay with us do not put their reviews up. It is generaly people who do not enjoy their stay who want to write a review. We are improving every day. Each bad comment we do look at and try to improve on it. It is not always possible to keep everyone happy but we do try our best.

We look forward to your next stay with us.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about The Boathouse

Address: 33 Compensation Beach Rd | PO Box 1166, Ballito 4420 , South Africa
Location: South Africa > KwaZulu-Natal > Ballito
Amenities:
Free Parking Restaurant Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #11 of 23 B&Bs / Inns in Ballito
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — The Boathouse 4*
Number of rooms: 22
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
The Boathouse Hotel Ballito

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