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“Best place to get away”

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Coffee Shack Backpackers
Certificate of Excellence
Cape Town Central, South Africa
Level 2 Contributor
9 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Best place to get away”
Reviewed August 7, 2013

Other than the dodge roads that lead you to your destination, this is a must see spot. Super staff and even better facilities. I'm not really the Backpacking type but was very happy to learn that they offer so much more than just dorms.
Great to meet other international travellers and the staff are amazing.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank ParkInn-byRadissonCT
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, September 5, 2013
Howzit
Great to see that you enjoyed your stay at Coffee Shack, thank you for the positive review it is always motivating for staff and management.
We hope to see you again soon.
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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322 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
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  • Sleep Quality
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  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (55)
Date | Rating
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English first
New York City, New York
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
Reviewed August 6, 2013

When I think of my backpack adventures around South Africa, my fondest memories were in Coffee Shack Backpackers. I loved it so much that I went there twice. It’s located in Coffee Bay, a secluded beach town in the Eastern Cape.
The area is very beautiful and the locals are hospitable. The hostel had activities everyday, such as surfing and hiking. Also, it’s built up to be a very social place (they had trivia nights with prizes). They served meals (at a cost) or you can cook your own. I remember eating Xhosa bread and wishing I could bring it back to the States.
The best thing about the hostel is the “Buffalo Rules.” They include: no drinking with the right hand and no drinks on the pool table. If you broke the rule, you had to drink the entire contents of your current drink. No excuses!
Have cash because ATMS don't exist in the area. Coffee Bay is only accessible by vehicle. So, you would have to drive there or wait for a van to pick you up. This place is not for light sleepers since drinking and socializing is quite evident. You might have a drunken person stumbling into the dorms and stepping on your belongings. I luckily avoided such issues.

Room Tip: The dorms are okay. But if you're traveling with friends, I recommend getting a room all to your...
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
Thank Don D
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, August 23, 2013
Howzit Don
Great to hear that you enjoyed your stay at Coffee Shack, and thanks for the positive review. We are happy to hear that you enjoyed our activities and appreciated the effort we make to create a friendly environment for people to meet.

Just a reminder for those people who want a little more space and quiet, we recommend the traditional thatched rondavals across the stream or beach. There are both dorms and private rooms there.

Thanks also for pointing out the fact that there is not a regular ATM in Coffee Bay. The easy alternative is to pay by debit or credit card, we don't charge a commission, and if you use the tab system, which we recommend, you can pay everything when you leave, that way cash is not an issue. Guests can check their tabs/accounts in the bar or the office at any time, to prevent any surprises at the end, or you can pay cash of course.

Safe travels, hope to see you back 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 Central, South Africa
Level 5 Contributor
93 reviews
65 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 56 helpful votes
Reviewed July 28, 2013

We stayed in kings house which is across the stream/river depending on the time of day and is at the top of a nice big steep hill (although nothing compared to the hills around) it has amazing views of the ocean. House is very basic including the kitchen.
The main bar/kitchens dorms and communal showers (which I have to say are much nicer than kings house, they even have hair dryers). So not necessary pay more get more :(
The food is amazing here and definitely great value for money. 2 courses for R55.
They only do a tab service here so you get a bill at the end of your stay (which can be a bit of a shock if you stay for a few days).
The staff are great and the place has a lovely vibe to it.
The surf lessons are really good value for money & Andrew is extremely patient. Be prepared to walk carrying a pretty big board and make sure you take something for you feet. It's all gravel and stones (some glass) on the walk to the beach.
The only down side I feel to coffee shack is you get a shuttle from Mthantha service station to coffee shack that takes around 2 hours. And it cost R70 each way per person. The main problem with this is the bazbus from PE onwards is always running really late due to 1 driving making several stops causing the rest of the drivers to also be late. This is particularly frustrating on the journey after coffee shack as we had to wait at the service station for 2 hours for the Bazbus to turn up to go on to Durban (getting to Durban after 11 pm). This is a regular occurrence.

Room Tip: Apart from the fantastic view at kings house, it is not worth paying more money. it's very basi...
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  • Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Darren 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, August 3, 2013
Howzit Darren
Great to hear that you had a fantastic stay and enjoyed the Coffee Shack experience. Thanks for mentioning our meals; we do work very hard to keep them well priced, yet great quality and quantity enough to fill a hungry stomach after a surf lesson or a hike to hole in the wall. I will pass your comments onto the kitchen, it will make their day.

Sorry about the wait for the Baz Bus, but with big road works near Qunu (Where Nelson Mandela grew up) the buses are sometimes later than usual currently. But at least they are upgrading the road and next time you come it will be quicker to get here.
Safe travels and hope to see you again soon.
Cheers David & the Coffee Shack crew
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Level 5 Contributor
55 reviews
53 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
Reviewed July 23, 2013

A very well run hostel with a true backpackers vibe. The owner was very welcoming (including free welcome drink). We did the good-value hole in the wall walk with other guests and the guide was great. The rooms were good and bathrooms excellent. They offer cheap surfing lessons, great food and a well equipped self catering kitchen. We would certainly choose coffee shack over sugar loaf in terms of staff, rooms, tours and pretty much everything! Good place.

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Joe-p-01
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, August 3, 2013
Howzit Joe
Thanks for the great review and great to hear that you took advantage of our well-priced activities and surf lessons.
Safe travels and hope to see you back 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.
Johannesburg, South Africa
Level 4 Contributor
34 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed July 8, 2013

Arrived at Coffee Shack late at night and was VERY sceptic due to the surroundings. Within two hours i felt right at home around the fire! Awesome facilities, very helpful and friendly staff, cheapest and best surfing lessons in the world! My one day booking turned into 5 days and if i could it would have been 5 weeks. Relax, enjoy, party your sox off! 7 Thumbs up for The Shack!!!

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled solo
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Helpful?
Thank Lian L
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, August 3, 2013
Howzit Lian
Glad to hear that you slipped into Coffee Shack mode, and enjoyed our great meals, fantastically cheap surf lessons and the friendly vibe. I hope that you also took advantage of the well-priced day trips to Hole in the Wall and the other surrounding areas.

We hope to see you back 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.
Halmstad, Sweden
Level 4 Contributor
25 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed June 22, 2013

Fantastic place in the middle of nowhere, arranges shuttle from Mthatha for 70R o/w, the driver is pretty terrible but you'll forget all about that when you arrive. Fantastic place and lovely owner. Surfing lessons for 50R, great teacher. Just mind your economy - it's quite easy to overspend in the bar :)

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank RegularJohan
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, June 23, 2013
Howzit Johann
Great to hear that you enjoyed our little paradise, that we love sharing!

Darn, I hope that it was not me, who was the terrible driver, I do occasionally drive the daily shuttle to Mthatha, if it was me, I owe you a beer next time you are next at Coffee Shack. Although I must add we have had virtually no accidents (touch wood) in the 13 1/2 years, which we have run the shuttle, every day of the year, except New Year’s Day.
I will pass on your positive comments regarding the surf lessons, to the surf instructors Neil and Andrew, they will be happy.

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.
Underberg, South Africa
1 review
Reviewed June 17, 2013

Myself and my girlfriend Booked 3 nights at coffee shack. we were pleasantly surprised, staff were incredibly friendly they all remembered our names right from the beginning of our stay. I was Upset to see negative comments left here as the people complaining should stick to stuck up hotels. I agree a bridge over the river would be nice but walking through it late at night after enjoying activities was part of the fun and added to the overall experience. The sound of Drumming late at night also added to the experience and was very pleasant.
We look forward to visiting Coffee bay again as soon as we can especially Coffee Shack

Room Tip: If you Staying in the hut take some gum boots to cross the river.
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  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank james t
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, June 23, 2013
Howzit James
I hope that you guys got home safely? Thanks for the great review and more importantly that you enjoyed your stay at Coffee Shack.
Yes; we agree that a bridge would be very useful, for those spring high tides and those very rare occasions when there have been heavy rains. As you know the "river/stream" is generally a small stream most of the time, and in fact during dry months, it can disappear, or you can at least step over it. The main problem is during unusually high tides, then during the 3 hours of peak high tide, the water gets over knee high, or covers the crossing stone path. Being an estuary it is unlikely that environmental permission would be ever granted to construct a foot bridge…. But who knows.
Safe travel, hope to see you again soon.
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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