We arrived at this hotel to be greeted with an argument. A customer was screaming at a member of staff that they had been waiting for something for 3 hours and later they left. Not a good start.
There was a large queue to get in which was solely down to the fact they were shamelessly plugging their tours. Altogether we had to wait around 75 minutes to get to our room. A point of advice guys - why not just provide a brochure for all guests about the tours, then there would be no delays at reception (which was always busy).
The good points is the rooms themselves are quite nice and clean and the location is stunning. However, although this is a backpackers, I do think for the price, towels could be provided without having to bother asking or paying deposits. The bar is also lively and happening and good for meeting people and they do have a jacuzzi and table tennis table etc (although these were always being used). There is also a decent pool.
Now for the real gripes with this place:
We booked a tour to Lesotho for 500 rand. Very expensive I think. The night before, we decided to pay 2000 rand towards our overall bill, as we did not want to run out due to there being no VISA/ATM facility. We overslept and missed our tour unfortunately and were then held to ransom. Reception told us smugly "you cannot have a refund, as you've already paid". On this logic if we had not already paid there would have been no problem. They added "we can move you onto tomorrows tour of the Amphitheatre". How kind, even though this was not a tour we had wanted to do.
Interestingly, on doing the Amphitheatre tour, they took a register of people booked on the tour and on realising people were missing did absolutely nothing about it. They could have therefore spent 30 seconds walking to our room to wake us for our tour.
On doing the tour, you go to the top of Tugela Falls. A number of people had forgotten jackets, something I have seen happen on most tours with large groups. In severe conditions of 3000 metres+, other tour companies I have seen always provide spares. It can be dangerous not to, so I was very surprised this did not happen. The pack lunch for this tour was also poor and insufficient.
In all honesty, I'm sure it would be better to get a shuttle to the Royal Natal Park where you can do a walk to the bottom of the falls. From the top you do not really get any kind of view of them. Walking yourself is much, much cheaper probably more like 150 rand in total rather than 500, including entrance.
Meal times at the place were also not great. I had to wait 90 minutes for one of my meals, which ended up being cold. My friends food took 60 minutes even though they had ordered at the same time.
Overall, this place could be ok, but they need to stop plugging the tours so much and treating customers like cash cows. I don't usually write bad reviews, but as a customer it gripes that they could have woken me for the tour and that I would not have been out of pocket if I had not paid up front. Feeling essentially blackmailed into doing another tour and ripped off at the end of the stay is not great. On another point, the bar bill at the end (they use a tab system), also seemed much higher than expected!
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.