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“Simply awesome”

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Coffee Shack Backpackers
Certificate of Excellence
Luxembourg City, Luxembourg
Level Contributor
195 reviews
42 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 74 helpful votes
“Simply awesome”
Reviewed April 12, 2013

This has to be the best backpackers I have ever stayed in. The vibe is just so awesome with multiple tours per day going all around the village. I would def recommend staying in one of the beds as opposed to camping out. You must also go on the tour to see the hole in the rock. Im not sure if they still do it, but when we stayed we went upto Sugar Loaf mountain which was a nice little walk and then had oysters (FREE) on the cliffs overlooking the sea and the bay, they also had a free seafood potjie which was also amazing. I def recommend this to anyone!!

  • Stayed May 2012, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
Thank Geoff W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
David M, General Manager at Coffee Shack Backpackers, responded to this review, April 19, 2013
Howzit Geoff
Thanks for the great review and more importantly it is great to hear that you enjoyed yourself at the Shack!

For your info, we still offer all the same activities and trips, including the hike to Hole in the Walk and the free “sun downers” (to watch the sunset) most evenings, either by vehicle or walking to various beautiful locations, this is obviously weather dependent. As you mentioned we also still offer a free “potjie” every Sunday night we still have a (traditional South African Stew) for all guests.

We hope to see you back again, safe travels
Cheers David & the Coffee Shack crew
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319 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (55)
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English first
Oslo, Norway
Level Contributor
8 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed February 25, 2013

Coffee Shack was a terrible experience us, but let it be said, Coffee BAY is an amazing place! The scenery is terrific, and the walk to "Hole in the wall" was amazing.

Coffee shack had a nice atmosphere, and lots of activities. It was nice that they arranged different day-trips and helped with other activities such as surfing, horseback riding etc. The dinner/breakfast was good, and we really enjoyed the dinner in the village, where we got to try xhosa beer and some real nice food while the Mama Africas was dancing for us.

Unfortunately we had some bad experiences as well....
1.We booked in advance, and because of this they wanted a 10% deposit. We transferred from our bank as we have done with other hotels before, and then their bank charged them 160zar, which was deducted off of our deposit. So we payed 160R to make a deposit they claimed.
2. We booked a double ensuite room. We got a hut on the other side of the river with shared bath/toilet.
3. Yes, we had to cross a river every time we wanted to go from the main area to the room. In daytime we could try and balance on some rocks, but seriously not that easy at night when you don't see a thing. There was truly nothing exotic about walking in mud, slipping on rocks just to get to your room at night.
4. The positive thing about staying at the other side of the river was that it was quiet and away from the bar - Oh wait, but it wasn't. Some guy was banging on a drum constantly - probably high on something home-grown.
5. Drugs. We were asked about twenty times a day if we wanted to buy mushrooms or weed, and the use was apparent - even around the fireplace at the shack.
6. Last but not least we got accused of lying when we upon checkout saw that there was a couple of drinks on the tab that wasn't ours. They didn't believe us when we said so, or when they found the receipt with both our and the other guys signature and saw that they obviously didn't match. They called the bartender and he also accused us of lying, and when i tried to tell him - come here- look at this guy and you´ll see he´s not the one - he hung up on me. After a lot of back and forth they got convinced because we didn´t have tattoos....

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank Sa_Ka87
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
David M, General Manager at Coffee Shack Backpackers, responded to this review, March 11, 2013
Hello Petter & Sandra
We are very sorry and disappointed to hear that you did not enjoy your stay at Coffee Shack. We do work very hard and make a serious effort to try and ensure that our guests enjoy their stay with us.

I must point out that we did let you know by email, more than 3 weeks in advance that there was no ensuite double available but only a standard double, with shared bathroom, and you did acknowledge that we could book this room for you.
I do share your unhappiness with the cost of bank charges, but it is out of our control and we do indicate in our terms and conditions that the guest has to pay the bank charges. We do offer guests the alternative of paying by credit card, in which case Coffee Shack pays a small charge, this option is much more affordable.
The marijuana sellers around Coffee Bay can be a bother, and it is a difficult problem for the area, it is something that we are constantly working on with the police and community; however are yet to find a lasting solution.

We have looked into your incident regarding your bar tab. From our investigation, there seems to have been some bad communication from the Coffee Shack manager on duty, Nomandla and a general miss-understanding, between everyone.
I can assure you they were not accusing you of lying, they were just being very thorough in their jobs and trying to find out who should pay for the drinks that were mistakenly put on your tabs. When a guest queries an item on their tab, we obviously have to check and compare signatures, as guests frequently forget they had a cold drink whilst on a day trip or bought drinks for someone else, because they lost a game of pool for instance, (as happened yesterday).
If a drink is taken off someone’s tab, the staff try to find out who should have paid for it. Which is the reason why they phoned Thoko, the bar lady on duty the previous night and she indicated to Nomandla that “the person who’s tab the “voided” drinks should have gone on had tattoos on his arm.” They were not trying to clarify or verify that it was not you, but, rather they were trying to find out which person should have paid for the drinks. The person who should have paid for the drinks was identified by the fact that they had tattoos on their arm. Coffee Shack has a policy to employ people from the immediate area, so for 95% of our staff English is a 2nd language; many have not had the opportunity of finishing school, so there is always on-going training; these two factors sometimes complicate the communication.
If you would like more information or feel that this is incorrect, you are welcome to contact me on wackypt"at"iafrica"dot"com or directly through the Coffee Shack web page.

Sorry again for any unhappiness that Coffee Shack caused, safe travels.
David & the Coffee Shack crew
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Nottingham, England, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
7 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed February 24, 2013

Coffee shack really looked after my friend and I while we were travelling. It is a varied crowd who go there. From 18 yr olds to 40+ .

They had run out of double rooms when I went and I stayed in a dorm, which could have been worse. it was across the river from the main coffee shack, this was perfect for us. A lot more chilled (I would say quiet as but due to the hostel next door......)

Value for money, relaxation, activities this is a fantastic place!

Room Tip: go across the river for a quieter time. book early!
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank Jude H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
David M, General Manager at Coffee Shack Backpackers, responded to this review, March 5, 2013
Hello
Thanks for the positive review and more importantly that you enjoyed your stay at Coffee Shack. Sorry that we did not have any double rooms available for you, but we only have a limited number and they are in demand, particularly the ensuite double (we only have 1). So it is recommended that you book private rooms well in advance.
Safe travels
Cheers David & the Coffee Shack crew
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Berlin
Level Contributor
41 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
Reviewed February 23, 2013

Place is 80 km away from the main road. village consist of few huts backpackers hostels and restaurants. Beach is great and uncrowded.
If you want peace and quiet consider staying in the kings house or the huts across the river and avoid staying in the dorms near the cafe/bar..
Food is ok.
Party in the main camp will go on normally till 4-6...

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled solo
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank OerlyBerlin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
David M, General Manager at Coffee Shack Backpackers, responded to this review, March 5, 2013
Hello
Thanks for your positive comments. As you suggested the traditional thatched rondavals(huts) across the stream are always recommended if you want a little bit more space & quiet. There are both dorms and double rooms on that side.
Safe travels and hope to see you again.
Cheers David & the Coffee Shack crew
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cape Town
Level Contributor
8 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviewed January 24, 2013

Coffee Shack was my favourite stop on a two week journey around South Africa. It's a bit of a trek to get out there but well worth it. As with many of the out of the way places in South Africa, make sure you bring your own food to cook otherwise you will spend alot of money buying their food, which is very tasty but will add up nonetheless. The beds are comfy, the bathrooms are clean and the kitchens have everything you need. They have a great list of activities for much cheaper than you would be charged almost anywhere else in South Africa. Coffee Shack had a great vibe, especially in the evenings and some of my best memories were made here.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank Traveller41CapeTown
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
David M, General Manager at Coffee Shack Backpackers, responded to this review, February 18, 2013
Howzit
Great to hear that you enjoyed yourself at Coffee Shack. Thank you for mentioning the surf lessons, they are definitely our passion, and we are proud that they are probably the most affordable professional surf lessons in South Africa, possibly anywhere, at R50 for 2 hours, including wetsuit and board.
We hope to see you again soon, safe travels.
Cheers David & the Coffee Shack crew
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cape Town Central, South Africa
Level Contributor
58 reviews
29 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
Reviewed January 24, 2013

This was my second visit to Coffee Shack and I was not disapointed. Coffee Shack is just amazing, their dinners were definately a highlight, sooooo much food, and so much variety even if you are a fussy eater you will not go hungry. Their meals were also much cheaper than the other rural backpackers. I also did the surf lesson with Neil which was just amazing. They have a daily excursion which is very affordable. Would reccommend coffee shack to any traveller.

Room Tip: The huts across the river are lovely.
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Melj234
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
David M, General Manager at Coffee Shack Backpackers, responded to this review, January 25, 2013
Howzit Mel
Thanks for visiting us again and great to hear that you had a fantastic time! Thanks for highlighting the rooms across the river (stream), we always recommend them to those who want a little more space.
We hope to see you again soon, we always recommend May & June, which is the best time of the year weather wise.
Cheers
David & the Coffee Shack crew
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Johannesburg, South Africa
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed January 21, 2013

I called last week to make a booking at the Coffee Shack. I was not getting details to make payment. Called them today and find out how should I make payment and they kept telling me a EFT but I could not get them to understand I have not got banking details because I can not get them to invoice me, they then said they did not make my booking. The people there dont seem to care about lost business. If they have that attitude before they have my money, imagine how little they care when they do have your money...

DONT BOOK AT COFFEE SHACK!

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Kerry H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
David M, General Manager at Coffee Shack Backpackers, responded to this review, January 24, 2013
Hello Kerry
We apologise about your bad experience, when trying to make a reservation at Coffee Shack. We do pride ourselves in being professional and organised, so would like to resolve your problem and find out what went wrong on our side. Please could you email me directly at wackypt(at)iafrica(dot)com with your name and contact details and we will contact you. We would also like to offer you a complimentary couple of day’s accommodation at Coffee Shack, so that you can enjoy our special part of the world.

We have already followed up your problem with the receptionist on duty, Delani; who recalls your phone call on the 21st January 2013, which you alluded to.

Delani remembers the conversation and not being able to find your booking. She did request your contact details so that the manager could follow up when she got back to the office, unfortunately you hung up before leaving your contact details.

To find out what went wrong on our side we need to know what happened with your booking, so it would be much appreciated if you could please let us know the date and approximate time you made your original reservation and the receptionist’s name if you called. If the reservation was made by email, your email address so that we can find the original booking email.
Thanks for making us aware of this problem and hope to see you at Coffee Shack one of these days.
Cheers David & the Coffee Shack crew
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Coffee Shack Backpackers

Property: Coffee Shack Backpackers
Address: on the beach | Bomvu River Mouth, Coffee Bay 5082, South Africa
Location: South Africa > Eastern Cape > Coffee Bay
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Parking Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 6 Specialty Lodging in Coffee Bay
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 13
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Explore, discover and enjoy a unique taste of rural Africa! Coffee Shack is a backpackers' tropical paradise, located on the beach at the Bomvu River mouth on the Wild Coast of South Africa, where you will experience a way of life far removed from Western culture. We have a reputation of being a fun, good-value hostel with excellent facilities and the most amazing, friendly staff. We offer accommodation in traditional, thatched-roof huts, ranging from private rooms to dorms, as well as camping facilities in the garden next to the beach. Choose between self-catering options or try our delicious meals with a free 'potjie' meal every Sunday night. Weather and ocean permitting, join us for daily sundowners with magnificent views or taste freshly caught oysters and mussels at the bar before dinner. Stay for five nights and get your 5th night free! Our 'Babalaza Bar' is fully licensed and rocks in the evenings with its free pool table and range of drinks and cocktails. Join in the Killer Pool game or enjoy the chilled-out atmosphere around the firepit. Our variety of day trips include cultural walks exploring the local Xhosa culture, a traditional evening of dance and song at the home of a local family where you can try traditional Xhosa food and beers, beach days on the beautiful Coffee Bay, surf lessons, exploring Mapuzi cliffs and caves, hiking to the legendary "Hole in the Wall" or just walking in the local countryside with one of the local guides. We are accredited by Fair Trade Tourism South Africa and are committed to the improvement and upliftment of the greater community through various education and support projects. We are dedicated to making a difference to the local community and are thus 30% owned by the local Tshezi Community, who receive direct financial benefits from being involved in the business. We aim to encourage growth and empowerment opportunities for the local community through the development of meaningful partnerships. Coffee Shack runs a daily shuttle to Mthatha to meet the Baz Bus and other mainline buses at the Shell Ultra City in Mthatha (Umtata). We have free WIFI, safe parking and a laundry service. For self-drive, we are located in the Eastern Cape of South Africa, in the former Transkei area. Turn onto the Coffee Bay road approximately 20km south of Mthatha, continue 80km down to the coast. ... more   less 
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