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“A bit Shabby” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Amapondo Backpackers Lodge

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Amapondo Backpackers Lodge
Second Beach Road | Wildcoast, Port St Johns 5120, South Africa   |  
Hotel amenities
Western Cape, South Africa
Senior Contributor
28 reviews 28 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 21 cities Reviews in 21 cities
25 helpful votes 25 helpful votes
“A bit Shabby”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 31, 2014

Service was ok, reasonably friendly staff. We stayed in a chalet and it was comfy except for the hideous pillows. Instead of all the dream catchers hanging on the walls a few decent hooks would come in handy. The location overlooks 2nd Beach (sort of) - it is on a hill so getting to our chalet meant climbing a million stairs. On the other hand the chalet had the best view. The Bar and restaurant were not that clean. If the backpackers put a small effort into thoroughly wiping down the tables and bar counter and not have so much clutter it would be a whole lot nicer. Also the donkey poo in the path was off putting. Also did not like the cat at the table.

Room Tip: Chalets are above the main area so are much quieter. The campsite also looks nice.
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  • Stayed January 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Amapondo, Owner at Amapondo Backpackers Lodge, responded to this review, February 5, 2014
Thanks for your email. Glad you enjoyed the staff. We pride ourselves on our very friendly staff. If you stayed in one of our chalets, you would have been lucky to enjoy that beautiful view. Although its a bit of a walk up (precisely 32 steps), its worth the view. Sorry about the pillows. You should have come down to reception and informed our staff. We have a whole laundry full of pillows and we would have gladly replaced them. There are new ones in there now. There are a few hooks in that chalet, and thanks for letting us know that a few more would have been useful. My maintenance guys are looking into that this week. I hope the dream catchers brought you wonderful dreams though.

I'm sorry you didnt find the bar and restaurant clean. I assure you that its cleaned very regularly.

Though I'm sorry about the donkey poo - although my maintenance guys clean it regularly, she does sometimes drop a load in the campsite area. At least it doesnt smell - its basically just grass. Our donkey has become one of our favourite pets and brings a huge amount of entertainment to our guests so we're change things.
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149 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    85
    34
    15
    7
    8
See reviews for
9
52
18
3
Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (27)
Date | Rating
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  • English first
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  • Italian first
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English first
Brighton, United Kingdom
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 28, 2014

Whether you want a quiet relaxing break and your own piece of paradise with stunning views of second beach (check out one of the uniquely designed and perfectly situated cottages), a base from which to explore the natural beauty in the area which is incredible, opportunities for adventure on one of the many tours, interactions with locals and genuine cultural experiences or a good all out party- Amapondo has it all! As a backpackers you have to expect a mixed crowd, some drinking and some late nights, but Amapondo, its staff and the owners go out of their way to respect and accommodate all tastes and cater for all needs. Talking of catering its some of the best grub in town- don't miss the dinner specials! Some stunning beaches are within walking distance, the beautiful air strip a short drive and opportunities for hiking, waterfalls, kayaking and much more all on the doorstep or easily arranged with one of their tours. Did I mention the Donkey- a wonderful addition that adds to the unique experience you get here. What makes this place special is the ease at which you can meet other travellers, feel at home immediately and explore the local area with ease. The Owners are always on hand to offer advice and actively engage with their guests to find out how they can improve your experience. All of this in paradise at such good value- what more could you ask for indeed?!

Room Tip: The cottages (crystal and turtle cove) have incredible views, comfort and have a unique and quirky d...
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  • Stayed December 2013, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 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.
Amapondo, Owner at Amapondo Backpackers Lodge, responded to this review, January 29, 2014
Thanks for such a great review. It really makes me (and all my staff) so happy to read such positive feedback. We have a staff meeting this Friday, and I will proudly read out your comments to all our staff. We all go to so much effort to ensure that everyone has a good time. Its sometimes difficult to please everyone, but we try our best. And we are certainly blessed to live in such a beautiful place.

Please come again. With a review like that - I know you will be happy to return to our little paradise.
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Pohang, South Korea
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 28, 2014

We really enjoyed the campsite and facilities and it's in a stunning area. Easy directions, nice location and great place. Thanks for a great stay.
Very easy-going vibe. Nice and chilled, interesting people and friendly staff. Not luxury accommodation but really great for people on a tighter budget

Room Tip: We camped - first come, first serve basis. Have stayed in the dorms before, was a nice communal vibe...
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  • Stayed January 2014, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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.
Amapondo, Owner at Amapondo Backpackers Lodge, responded to this review, January 29, 2014
I'm so glad you had such a great time. We do live in a stunning area, and we strive to create a fun and chilled vibe. Our staff are extremely friendly and all enjoy being part of the magic here. If you are looking for luxury accommodation, check out our unique cottages. Situated at the top of the premises, with screen-saver views, these individually designed, creative self-catering cottages do offer a luxury that surpasses most backpackers' accommodation. They're usually booked up, so its essential to book in advance. I highly recommend the Turtle Cove and the Crystal House for bigger groups of up to four, and Shakti and Shiva are fantastic for couples.
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London, United Kingdom
1 review
1 of 5 stars Reviewed January 17, 2014

I agree with the comments written 4 December, 2013 - this accommodation is dirty! I feel sorry for the cleaner who has to clean up the mess not only made the guest but also by the staff! There was a poker game taking place - there was no consideration for the guests- the game continued to the early hours of the morning and the bar was kept open till then. Not only was there a good amount of alcohol consumed by guests and staff but there was a strong smell of illegal substances contrary to the posters stating 'no illegal substances on the premises! Furthermore, why is the resident cat allowed to sit so comfortably on the table that individuals have to eat their food from. The owner should make an effort to speak to guests on checkout to find out how their stay was| i

Stayed January 2014, traveled solo
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Amapondo, Owner at Amapondo Backpackers Lodge, responded to this review, January 20, 2014
jetsetjan2014
London, United Kingdom
1 review
“Horrendous”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed 3 days ago NEW

I'm really sorry you had a bad experience. Its a shame you felt it was dirty here. Our cleaners do work hard, and the staff are obviously not meant to make a mess, so its strange you say that. We offer poker on Sunday and Wednesday nights in the bar, and a lot of our guests enjoy getting involved.

Our staff do not drink whilst on shift, but if they have a few beers after work, then we don't stop them. Its an open bar after all. Its a shame that you smelt marijuana being smoked. This is the Transkei and its well known in South Africa as a place of quality dope. Its something that we don't like at Amapondo, but it can't be stopped. Guests are able to buy it from some of the locals, and they bring it on to the property. We put signs up to stop people smoking, but its extremely difficult to police. Sorry for this.

And finally regarding our cat - like all our animals (dogs, cats and a donkey), they are all so comfortable hanging out with the guests that the cat has been known to jump on the tables around the bar. If she does, I push her off, and encourage all the guests to do the same. It doesnt bother most people so they let her jump on the tables. But simply pushing her off will keep her away. She is clean, I can assure you. And I don't have the heart to get rid of her just for this.
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Pretoria, South Africa
Senior Contributor
32 reviews 32 reviews
22 hotel reviews
Reviews in 20 cities Reviews in 20 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 17, 2014

Amapondo is well located in Port St Johns. Walking distance to waterfall, blowhole, second and third beach and more. We were camping and loved it. They have a cute donkey making his rounds in the backpackers which makes you feel the true vibe of the place. My parents stayed in a room that was clean, spacious and comfortable. The parties in the night can get a bit hectic (especially on a special occasion), which you do hear in the rooms. Communual shared bathroom for male and female which is a first for me, but very clean and neat. Nice cheap food and bar. Nice kitchen and chill areas to make your own braai. Very friendly staff, well organised with options for day tours etc. It is a bigger place so you dont have that 'intimate' vibe like with other backpackers. Would go back again.

  • Stayed December 2013, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Amapondo, Owner at Amapondo Backpackers Lodge, responded to this review, January 20, 2014
Glad you had such a good time. We have lots of great activities, great food, some party nights that can get crazy - people love to party here, and of course a very cute donkey called 'Donkilizwe'. Please come again, you are very welcome.
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Pretoria, South Africa
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 8, 2014

We had a great time at Amapondo. It was my personal favourite, great time of my life... Had a great welcoming, awesome party, breathtaking adventures. The camp site had a view to die for! I can't wait to visit again!!!

  • Stayed December 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 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
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Amapondo, Owner at Amapondo Backpackers Lodge, responded to this review, January 14, 2014
FANTASTIC !!! We loved you being here too and can't wait for you to come back.
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New York City, New York
Contributor
18 reviews 18 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed January 6, 2014

This was my second visit to Amapondo, this time with friends from abroad. I must say I was very disappointed. It was just too wonky, for want of a better word. I knew what I was getting my friends into by staying at Amapondo, but it ended up disappointing us. Some of the staff were just too fried and too slow, so everything from ordering food, ordering a drink, paying a bill, going on a tour etc took forever. PSJ is a fun town, and Amapondo is a fun hang out spot. But as a place to stay we found it stressful. There are other places in the Transkei I would rather spend an extra night at.

  • Stayed December 2013, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Amapondo, Owner at Amapondo Backpackers Lodge, responded to this review, January 14, 2014
I'm sorry you were disappointed. December is our busiest time, and so its best to a bit patient sometimes. However I am surprised you felt that it took long to do anything or get service as this is quite the opposite report we are getting from most guests we had over December. Perhaps you were just unlucky.
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Additional Information about Amapondo Backpackers Lodge

Address: Second Beach Road | Wildcoast, Port St Johns 5120, South Africa
Location: South Africa > Eastern Cape > Port St Johns
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 14 Specialty Lodging in Port St Johns
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 14
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Amapondo is Ama-azing. From the moment you walk in and meet their friendly pet donkey (who's a bit of a barfly), you'll know it's an Ama-Awesome spot. Amapondo is nestled on a hill on the verge of a tropical rain forest and only 2 minutes walk from a beautiful beach. Head down to sunbathe or plunge in the clear warm waters of the deep rock pools nearby. The African-themed rooms and deluxe private self-catering cottages all have their own unique design and style. The quirkily designed cottages have incredible views, are really comfortable and come at a price that you'll find hard to match. Turtle Cove has one of the best views on the Wild Coast from its upstairs bubble bath, whilst Crystal House, with its glass frontage, offers classic panoramic ocean views. Whether you want a quiet, relaxing break in your own piece of paradise, a base from which you can explore the natural beauty of the area, an adventure on one of their many tours, close interactions with locals, genuine cultural experiences, yoga lessons, a deep tissue massage, or a thumping all-out party at their buzzy bar, you'll find it at Amapondo. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Amapondo Hotel Port St Johns

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