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“Cool place to relax and chill”

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Fairy Knowe Backpackers Lodge
Reviewed May 28, 2014

Spent a night there after a long awaited move to the Western Cape. Everyone is so laid back and the room was basic yet neat and had everything we required. Hannes was very attentive and the drinks are the cheapest outside of a bottle store. The fire on a cold evening was the perfect way to end off a tiring day.

  • Stayed: May 2014, traveled with friends
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Thank RLockart
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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90 - 96 of 164 reviews

Reviewed May 12, 2014

The location and ambience of this backpackers is absolutely magic. Besides the campsites, there are a number of self-contained more upmarket looking cottages and an old farmhouse set slightly apart from the main buildings. I stayed within this farmhouse in a double-bed room which was relatively clean. It wasn't great but suited me because I only needed a place to stay overnight. I fixed the lock to my room myself - maintenance appears to be a big issue and the place could definitely benefit from some TLC. Windows are busy rotting away and nothing seems to be done to repair these - all part of the relaxed atmosphere. I recommend to use the shower upstairs close to the dorm rooms as this looked like the cleanest and most modern. The other bathrooms/toilets on the ground level look mouldy and not very inviting. Around the farm house is a verandah with old sofas which are very comfortable and a great place to relax. I just looked into the shared kitchen which reminds a little of a biological warfare site in need of a major decontamination exercise. I had my dinner in town. Breakfast is optional and reasonably priced. There is a very cosy bar area with drinks at reasonable prices. Staff are young and friendly. Overall, I enjoyed my stays in this place because of the interesting mix of people ranging from overseas students to Canadian pensioners on a Africa adventure, the overall ambience and closeness to nature. I would therefore stay there again in the future. I recommend to have meals in town which is a 20-30 minutes walk away along the estuary.

  • Stayed: February 2014, traveled solo
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Thank Peter F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 25, 2014

Fairy Knowe is a place you don't want to leave. This lodge is located next to the entrance of the Wilderness national park, and away from the small town of Wilderness so it's very quiet, just listen to the birds in the morning. The place is clean, and the staff is incredibly friendly and helpful. The only thing is that if you don't have you own car, it might be difficult for you to get there, but the Baz bus stops at Fairy Knowe. This is a good choice if you want to take a bowl of fresh air and quietness from the busy Knysna.

  • Stayed: April 2014, traveled solo
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Thank LynxDa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 22, 2014

I stayed at Fairy Knowe Backpackers for three nights and loved it so much. Wonderful staff who are friendly and attentive. Felt comfortable and instantly at home as I arrived. Really good facilities. Clean and and comfortable. Beautiful set up in the trees with a lovely bonfire area and the most amazing bar. Low prices and lots of different seating options (bar stools, couches, tables, outside benches, pool table, etc) mean that there is always a 'vibe' in the evenings with people coming out of their rooms to mingle. Great music thanks to the excellent Hennie. Made some really amazing friends and I think this has a lot to do with the wonderful atmosphere that Digby, Charl and Hennie have created. The delicious breakfasts also deserve a mention - well priced and sure to keep you going well into the afternoon. Overall I couldn't have been happier with my stumbling on to this little spot of joy.

  • Stayed: April 2014, traveled with friends
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Thank Kathleen S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 17, 2014

At first glance, the place is idyllic, set deep in the trees in a quiet and scenic location. Digby the host is affable and apears keen to ensure that everyone enjoys their stay. The bar area is an absolute gem, set in a boma style hut with big screen tv, good music and a varied though expensive selection of alcohol.

The lower rooms appear to be everything that the fans of this hostel claim them to be. However:

The accommodation in the top property, which is where most backpackers are confined, leaves much to be desired. Filthy bathrooms, mouldy shower curtains, all pervading smells of bad drains. Not great. The accommodation units themselves are creakingly badly maintained, stuffy, grubby and hopelessly overcrowded. Uncomfortable beds, tawdry pillows and no lockers. Quite frankly, way below the standards current in most other SA backpackers. In Feb 2014, price per head is 125 SAR. Way more than they are worth and completely outrageous when taken against what is offered elsewhere.

When asked for a fan to stir the turgid air of a full dorm, all that Digby could offer was advice to," open up the windows." Great! With mosquitoes at squadron strength, no fly-wire and an insecure rural location to deal with, it was good to know that our caring host had our welfare at heart.

The self catering kitchen would benefit from a good steam clean. The fridges are packed with expired food, mouldy cheese and milk which looks as though antibiotic cultures are being harvested. Apart from the lack of cleanliness, the whole place smells nasty and has an unloved atmosphere. With it's ratty carpets broke,n down and tired furniture and general air of decay, the only thing missing from the facility is Miss Haversham.

Back down at the bar, meals are wildly overpriced and not very substantial. 60 Rand for a dinner which may possibly satisfy a supermodel on a diet is a little cheeky.

All in all, a super location, huge potential but needing a giant rocket into the back pocket of the owner. It is not sufficient to trumpet a caring nda laid back welcome when the product is very distinctly below par.

  • Stayed: February 2014, traveled with friends
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1  Thank mr_metaxa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 11, 2014

My husband and I stayed at this totally wonderful place for five nights and it was hard to leave. Digby, the owner is a great guy and extremely helpful. Evening meals are delicious and we all eat together like one big family. The rooms are very nice and comfortable and the bathroom facilities are super clean.
We highly recommend this wonderful place for a relaxing chill holiday. Evenings are cool and days re warm. Hiking trails galore including one to a gorgeous waterfall where you can swim

  • Stayed: February 2014, traveled as a couple
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Thank McGill_Tripper
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 12, 2014

Being hikers, we're used to roughing it but the Backpackers Lodge at Fairy Knowe was appalling. It's run by a father and son combo and they obviously need a woman around to organise the chaos. There were FAR too many campers for the facilities, so the kitchen fridges were over flowing, we had to queue for ablutions and toilets, and campers even put their tents in the parking lots. Although the braai area under millkwoods was appealing, there were only two small braai places which we also had to queue for because no fires were allowed outside the designated area. A beautiful setting but completely spoiled by the owners trying to make a quick buck. Never again.

  • Stayed: December 2013, traveled with friends
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2  Thank Ethnee H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Fairy Knowe Backpackers Lodge

Address: Dumbleton Road, Wilderness, South Africa
Location: South Africa > Western Cape > Wilderness
Hotel Style:
Ranked #10 of 39 Specialty Lodging in Wilderness
Price Range: $22 - $40 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 12
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