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“Exceeded our Expectations”

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Whalesong Hotel & Hydro
Ranked #64 of 81 Plettenberg Bay B&B and Inns
Reviewed January 1, 2013

Having read reviews on Trip Advisor about Whalesong Hotel, we approached our stay there there with some trepidation and low expectations. What a pleasant surprise we had when our rooms (23, 25 & 27) were really very nice. The weather was great so we could enjoy drinks on the balcony looking across towards the ocean. Great bathrooms- large with a bath and shower. A bar fridge was available in each of our rooms and all the usual amenities were provided shower gel, shampoo, body lotion, hair dryer.
The staff were friendly and helpful especially at breakfast when they ran around organising an umbrella so we could sit on the terrace. Breakfast itself was nothing to write home about and bit chaotic in that there were three stations set up without much indication about what was available and where.
If you’re looking for a beach holiday, then you will have a bit of a drive. Straight down Marine Drive but in season (like Christmas) get there early- finding parking can be a challenge.
Otherwise, if we’re passing through Plett again, we would certainly consider staying here.

Room Tip: Ask for one with a view of Plettenberg Bay
  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled with family
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Thank CraigvE
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviews (102)
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55 - 61 of 102 reviews

Reviewed December 5, 2012

Our group stayed here for three nights on our Garden Route tour, and most people wished it had only been two. The hotel is attractively laid out, with pleasant gardens, and most of the rooms have "African-style" thatched roofs. The bathroom was very modern but unfortunately it was a bit chilly when we arrived and the cold wind whistled through the roof. I expect it's more user-friendly in mid-summer. We got off to a good start, with the general manager giving us a brief welcoming speech. It's true the hotel is close to the main road but we didn't hear any traffic noise. There are good views of Plettenberg Bay from the hotel but, as other contributors have said, it's a pity a large "Shell" sign is bang in the middle of the view. Don't think there's anything the hotel can do about that. To the left there are sweeping views of open country. Other contributors have said the hotel was in a bad state of repair but we certainly did not find that to be the case. The staff were very efficient and did their best to be helpful and deal with any problem. My major criticism is of the restaurant which, we were told, is outsourced from the hotel. The food on offer was generally mediocre, with a couple of notable exceptions, and just dumped on the plates like portions of school dinners. The chef needs to take a few lessons in presenting his food attractively. For three nights in a row my vegetables consisted of a piece of cauliflower, a couple of carrots and a few beans, presented in exactly the same way in the same small pot. By the third night it had become something of a standing joke with our party. Every evening at the end of the meal, the chef came out to ask everyone what they thought. No one had the courage to tell him. He certainly wouldn't win Masterchef South Africa, if there was one. On one of the three nights we were at the Whalesong, someone stole bits from our tour coach (parked in the hotel car park) , including one of the wing mirrors and this made us wonder just how effective the hotel's security was, despite the fact that two security guards were wandering around. In conclusion, my advice to the general manager is to get a grip on the restaurant asap, as it was easily the worst on our tour.

  • Stayed: November 2012, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank DavidWJ006
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 3, 2012

The name does not really live up to the expectation. On arrival our luggage was collected from the car and taken to our room. Reception staff were polite. Our room was a disappointment. However there was a view of the ocean in the distance from the balcony. Although there was a kettle in the room I could not find anyway to plug it in. We were there in September 2012 and the room felt cold, although the heater was on. If we had been booked for more than one night, I don't think we would have returned. On leaving the hotel in the evening before going out for dinner, I asked for an extra heater. They said they did not have one but would I like the electric blanket put on. I said they did not need to bother. When we returned later, they had been in the room and put on electric blankets and the bed did feel lovely and warm. This was appreciated. Breakfast was acceptable.
Overall the hotel needs some TLC.

  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank tutles
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 5, 2012

If you ignore the signs for the Shell garage there are great views over Plettenberg Bay. Other reviewers have mentioned the traffic noise which diminishes the closer your room is to the reception area (choose low numbers). The rooms are in need of decoration. Breakfast food was acceptable if you don't mind sharing with the cat. There is no back up generator so during our stay there was a power cut and we were provided with lamps to find our way from the restaurant back to the room.

  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled with family
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1  Thank Richard H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Michelle B, Senior Marketing Assistant OBO General Manager at Whalesong Hotel & Hydro, responded to this reviewResponded October 12, 2012

Thank you for taking the time to review our property, your invaluable input will assist us to ensure that we offer the Legendary experience we strive to create for all guests. Please be assured that the issue of the cat has been addressed with the GM and onsite team. We do hope the issued raised does not deter you from visiting us at Whalesong Hotel & Hydro in the future and allowing us the opportunity to create a truly memorable stay for you.

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 5, 2012

The Whalesong Hotel was not what I expected from a four star hotel.
1. Disliked — Location and steepness of access, especially with luggage
When we arrived we had to carry our own luggage
2. The wood is in need of paint. It look terrible
3. The receptionist showed us our room and told us that the hotel is fully booked and suggested that we go later for breakfast the next morning. Breakfast was not particularly good, it was terrible with very limited choice!! When we arrived for breakfast we found empty bowls and a fly problem all over the show. It was awful and I did not even want to eat breakfast - and that for a four star hotel!!! We left without eating breakfast
4. Another negative thing was the wooden toilet seat that was badly worn and chipped!
5. It is very noisy, we could hear lorries driving up the hill to the N2 all night. Our view was spoilt by a huge Shell Petrol sign directly in front of the hotel. Convenient for travelling but not really a good place to stay if you want to be on the beach, as it is a couple of miles from the bay.

Needless to say we will never be back or recommend the hotel!!! If it was not that we had paid in advance, I would never stayed there.

  • Stayed: February 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Anita C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 31, 2011

We stayed at this hotel for 3 nights whilst touring the Garden route. Staff were OK, but it is close to the N2 and very close to a petrol station. We did not suffer from any road noise, but we were in rooms furthest from the road, if you get one of the room closer to the road and are a light sleeper, then it may be noisy. The rooms were decorated with an Africa theme and are quite large with a good size en-suite. Breakfast was poor with very limited choice, it may be better in teh height of season. Pool very small and the water freezing.

  • Stayed: April 2011, traveled with family
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1  Thank KTMKent
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 23, 2010

We stayed here for two nights, it is very noisy, we could hear lorries driving up the hill to the N2 all night. Our view was spoilt by a huge Shell Petrol sign directly in front of the hotel. Convenient for travelling but not really a good place to stay if you want to be on the beach, as it is a couple of miles from the bay. The rooms were very nice and the bathroom was quite different. Unfortunately not many rooms were occupied when we were there. Breakfast was not particularly good although the staff were very happy to make you anything you wanted. We felt the swimming pool was not something we would want to swim in and was in a bad state of repair. During our stay most of the hotel was being updated so there were always work men around. Staff were very helpful and friendly.

  • Stayed: March 2010, traveled as a couple
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Thank auditt6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Whalesong Hotel & Hydro

Address: Marine Drive, Plettenberg Bay 6600, South Africa
Location: South Africa > Western Cape > Plettenberg Bay
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Spa Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #64 of 81 B&Bs / Inns in Plettenberg Bay
Price Range: $71 - $199 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Whalesong Hotel & Hydro 4*
Number of rooms: 24
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Whalesong Hotel & Hydro is situated in a lush, landscaped garden in Plettenberg Bay, the jewel of South Africa's Garden Route, renowned for its unique scenery and moderate climate. ... more   less 
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Whalesong Hotel And Hydro

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