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“Nice location very alternative” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Amapondo

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Amapondo
Second Beach Road | Wildcoast, Port St Johns 5120, South Africa   |  
Hotel amenities
Bern, Switzerland
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“Nice location very alternative”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 18, 2014

The location and the houses are beautiful. There is a practical selfcatering kitchen. The most of the staff is nice. However, I think the prices for activities are to high and you could explore a lot by your own. For my taste it is to alternative with some strange people. The credit card machine was not working and therefore we were almost unable to pay everything by cash.

Stayed April 2014, traveled with friends
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Amapondo, Owner at Amapondo, responded to this review, April 21, 2014
Thanks for the review. I am glad you enjoyed yourselves, and that you thought the location was beautiful. Its really stunning here, and we consider this paradise. The self-catering kitchen is well stocked, and we also pride ourselves on our delicious menu at our Ala Carte Restaurant.

Sorry if you thought the prices are a bit high for the tours. We recently put the prices up a bit but have included lunch. For example hiking to the Bululo Waterfall will cost you R120 per person, but this includes a meal worth about R60. So its only actually R60 for the guide for the day. Its not possible to do this hike without a guide. There are lots of other cool FREE things to do in the area too, and we are happy to provide information and advice about these.

I take it as a compliment that you found us 'alternative'. We certainly are very alternative. Port St Johns, and even the whole Wild Coast, attracts a lot of interesting folk who want to explore off the beaten track. Its aslo home to the highest percentage of traditional African people in the whole country. For example we often host training Sangomas (Shamans from the Xhosa Culture). Interestingly this 'training' is becoming extremely popular amongst Europeans too.

If you want an experience that is a little 'alternative', but really something quite special, visit Amapondo
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136 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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    14
    6
    8
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8
49
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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
    3.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (25)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Senior Contributor
49 reviews 49 reviews
44 hotel reviews
Reviews in 45 cities Reviews in 45 cities
30 helpful votes 30 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 15, 2014

We stayed in a self-contained cottage for two nights. The cottage was basic but cosy and had a beautiful view over the beach. Unfortunately we didn't sleep well either night as there were parties at the hostel and the music was really loud until the early hours of the morning. The dorms and communal areas looked a bit scummy and the staff were quite vague and scrappy. Their website advertises "free activities" but they now charge for these and the prices are way too high. Do not bother walking to the waterfall. The trip to the airstrip was good but the staff member who drove us there got lost more than once, and drove us back after drinking beer and smoking pot.... For couples, I would still recommend the cottages, but avoid weekends and bring your own food etc.

  • Stayed April 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 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.
Amapondo, Owner at Amapondo, responded to this review, April 21, 2014
I am very glad you enjoyed the cottage. Shakti and Shiva are simple cottages that are ideal for two people. Turtle Cove and Crystal House are bigger and better equipped, and can sleep up to 5 people. They all have great views.

Sorry you didnt sleep well. We did have big party weekend when you were here. We have befriended, and often host, a number of doctors and physiotherapists who work in some of our local hospitals. They were celebrating here that weekend. Apologies if it was too loud for you. We throw parties occassinally, but believe me, they are worth getting involved. Amapondo sure knows how to rock that dancefloor.

Our dorms and communal areas are not scummy - take a closer look. Its only when guests don't clean up after using them. Of course our cleaning staff do clean up, but only during working hours.

I am shocked at what you say about our staff - 'vague and scrappy' is a weird way to describe people. Our staff are AWESOME !. We are extremely proud of our wonderful and loyal staff team.

I am totally surprised you didn't enjoy the Bulolo Waterfall Hike. We often get people from abroad who were told about this AMAZING walk from friends that did it. Its really quite fun, and is more of an obstacle course than a hike. Plus the 11m jump into the waterfall is a real ADRENALINE RUSH.

Our website does not advertise "free activities". Although there is a lot of FREE stuff to do, our daily activities are guided tours that include lunch. They are charged but are not expensive. The Airstrip is amazing. Our tour guide is new and I believe had only been once to the airstrip when you were here. Tour guides are allowed to have one beer on the airstrip with the guests, as its a sundowner experience. I will speak to him about the Pot, but I really believe it was rolling tobacco and not Pot.

For couple I agree, book a cottage. No need to avoid weekends - you just happened to be here on a big party night, but I assure you its not always like that. Everyone is welcome to bring their own food - the cottages are self-catering and the communal kitchen downstairs is open and well stocked. There is a big supermarket just down the road too. But I definately recommend eating in our delicious Ala Carte restaurant - we really do have yummy food.
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Buenos Aires, Argentina
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 25, 2014

Beautiful place! Beautiful people! and very good vibes. Once you get there it's difficult to leave.
I must say that staying in Amapondo it's one of the best experiences in my life...the location is amazing and the cultural experience as well. One of the best places to stay in the amazing Transkei.

Stayed February 2014, traveled solo
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, responded to this review, April 4, 2014
Thank you for your wonderful review. Yes, it is such a beautiful place! This morning the sun is shining, the weather is still and warm, there are so many birds around, and the monkeys are playing right in front of the restaurant. Good vibes, good people.

I am so glad that Amapondo touched you so closely. None of us can leave either!
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Cape Town Central, South Africa
Senior Contributor
45 reviews 45 reviews
22 hotel reviews
Reviews in 26 cities Reviews in 26 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 17, 2014

We spent one night in one of the self catering cabins. You can't get better than this, it felt like we were at a hotel!! Super comfy beds, stunning views, right on the beach, friendly staff and the most delicious food available all day. Hammocks and other comfy places to lie in the common areas. Port St. John's itself is beautiful and well worth a few days visit. Well defiantly be back!

Stayed February 2014, traveled with friends
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Amapondo, Owner at Amapondo, responded to this review, February 20, 2014
Fantastic. That's what I like to hear. Glad you had such a SUPER time. Looking forward to having you back....
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Western Cape, South Africa
Senior Contributor
25 reviews 25 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
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
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Amapondo, Owner at Amapondo, 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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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, 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
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
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, 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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Additional Information about Amapondo

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 Room Service Shuttle Bus service
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 rests on a hill just across from the Beach. Boasting breathtaking views, Amapondo is known for its VIBEY ATMOSPHERE, SCRUMPTIOUS FOOD, BUZZING BAR, PRIVATE SELF-CATERING COTTAGES, and wide variety of THINGS TO DO. We are proudly passionate about Pondo Culture and would love you to experience it too. Born and bred in the area, our FRIENDLY PONDO STAFF bubble over with Pondo-licious ideas to keep you entertained. Stay longer and get involved with our Community Volunteer Programs. WARNING: The ground beats with rhythm and soul - the magnetic energy soaks into your skin – and you’re guaranteed to catch ‘Pondo Fever’ and not want to leave.We love FANCY DRESS. FREE DRINK if you contribute to our BOX.Stuff to do: Yoga, Meditation, Massage, Horse Riding, Cultural Tours, Sacred Mud Caves, Waterfall hikes, Canoeing, Mountain Biking, Boat trips, 4X4 Trails, Drumming, Xhosa cooking lessons, Live Music, Fire shows, Party nights FREE Wifi. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Amapondo Hotel Port St Johns

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