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“I left my heart at the Fairy Knowe”

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Fairy Knowe Backpackers Lodge
Cape Town Central, South Africa
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“I left my heart at the Fairy Knowe”
Reviewed February 12, 2011

Just finished the Garden Route with friends. This was by far the best hostel we have ever visited. We began our stay here and had to return a couple nights later. The staff are great! Friendly and very relaxed. It was a great deal as well. Great breakfasts, rooms, bathrooms, and bar area. Free internet and shuttle to the town as well. Going back soon.

  • Stayed February 2011, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
Thank LMoats
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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160 reviews from our community

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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (15)
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English first
Bradford, United Kingdom
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed October 11, 2010

Booked under old ownership and rang 4 days before to confirm. New owners had no record but said they could accommodate us with a slight change to booking. Arrived and was then told they had no room. Annoying to say the least, but owner seemed uninterested and said he couldn't remember if he had spoken to me.
I have used many backpackers in the past and when thing go wrong they are usually more than helpful, sadly not here.

Stayed September 2010, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
2 Thank Allanmoff
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level 2 Contributor
9 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed October 1, 2010

Just taken over by new management, this cozy backpackers is a great base from which to explore Wilderness. Rooms are spacious and clean and the staff friendly, if still finding their feet in terms of organising activities

  • Stayed September 2010, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
Thank Luke H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
South Africa
1 review
Reviewed April 15, 2010

My friend and I arrived to this beautiful, quiet and remote backpackers in the early evening via Baz Bus. We were warmly greeted by Linda and instantly fell if love with the place. Not only was it gorgeous to the eye but the ambiance and staff made us feel right at home. We stayed in the dorms which were clean, comfortable and affordable. All of the amenities were great. The communal kitchen was not only the sweetest kitchen due to decor but we were offered the use of nice pots and pans and dishes. Additionally, breakfast and dinner can be purchased and we would highly recommend the breakfast--absolutely scrumptious! Both Linda and Monica were so helpful with ideas for wonderful things to do in Wilderness and gave us so many tips for the rest of our trip up the garden route. We can't express enough how kind, friendly and accommodating they were to us. Wilderness is beautiful and Fairy Knowe backpackers is nestled in the woods but right at the foot of a wonderful trail that is part of Wilderness National Park. Town is about a half hour walk away but it is a nice walk along the river and we enjoyed staying in a more remote place. It was so relaxing to sit at Fairy Knowe and listen to nature. This place is truly a little slice of heaven and we would recommend it 110% to every traveler along the Garden Route.

  • Stayed April 2010, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
Thank nellmag14
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
edinburgh
Level 3 Contributor
16 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed April 13, 2010

I have been going to Fairy Knowe Backpackers Lodge on and off for the last 12 years and I always feel I am going home. It’s great to catch up with the ever friendly owner, Monica and her amazing helper Anneline, who has been at Fairy Knowe Backpackers for 16 years. Its a pleasure to drive the 2 km from the bubbly little village and head along the lagoon, into the National Park, leaving all worries behind and turning into the Fairy Knowe grounds and seeing the lovely old( oldest stone building in Wilderness)surrounded by the Millwood forest. In the beginning I was very budget conscious and always stayed in the pristine white linen dorms. They are spacious and the one upstairs overlooks the park on two sides. But these days I like a room to myself and always request “Riverside”, it’s a double room that over looks the wetlands, river and the hills of the National Park. This last trip though was different, as I was with my sister and parents from Scotland, none of whom have stayed in Backpacker accommodation. So I was apprehensive that my family would love it as much as I do. My Dad and his wife stayed in the En Suite and my sister and I in ‘Riverside”.
The En Suites are a relatively new addition and my folks loved it. Fresh and beautifully decorated with a fridge, pretty plants, luxurious bedding with a sundeck. But the house itself is still my favorite. Built in 1874 with creaky yellowwood floors, old paintings, a rustic kitchen and a gorgeous veranda overlooking the Touw River (a great spot for bird watching, read a book or lookout for deer
Always a highlight at Fairy Knowe Backpackers is their animals; living in a city we can’t have pets. So it’s been fantastic over the years to meet Clarissa (the famous big pig) Gippy) the naughty little pig) a bunch of horses, loads of dogs and Jerry the ginger cat. At the moment Jerry, Gemma, Scooter and the guinea fowls are the furry entertainment.
We spent 4 nights at fairy Knowe Backpackers this time. Two nights we ate at the restaurants in the village. One night we had Monica’s specialty lamb Potjie and the last night an awesome Cape Malay curry, both came with rice, potatoes, salad and warm homemade bread. But for the last 12 years I’ve been raving to anyone who would listen about their breakfasts. A medley of different fruits, muesli & yogurt, that the artistic Annelien arranges and then homemade muffins, toast etc.
There was always some great Salsa music playing in the bar and I got beaten constantly by my sister on the pool table. We had great fun and some great conversations with the friendly barman and other backpackers in the bar, or at the Braai area. The music was turned of at a reasonable hour, so all could have a lovely sleep in the Wilderness and then walks to the nearby waterfall the next morning, others went horse riding and one person went kloofing. Needless to say my family had a great time, my sister now wants to try some of the hostels in Scotland and my 72 year old dad and his wife want to go back to South Africa next year and travel the backpacker route. I have been working for years in a 5 star hotel in Edinburgh and I know class and Fairy Knowe Backpackers is 5 star.

  • Stayed April 2010, traveled with family
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Helpful?
2 Thank EdinburghKaren
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
TX
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed January 13, 2010

A nice place, the staff was very helpful. Difficult to find if you don't have a car. Wilderness itself is quiet touristy- something of a misnomer for the town. But there are a couple of nice, very easy, hiking trails.

  • Stayed December 2009, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
Thank Lo55
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Forfar, United Kingdom
Level 6 Contributor
112 reviews
31 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 102 helpful votes
Reviewed October 14, 2009

NOTE: this is a review on the hostel, not the hotel. We booked one of the ensuite rooms, paying in the end much more than we could have paid for a nice B&B nearby. When we got there I asked about dinner, and was told that there was no food as the hostel wasn't busy enough. This is despite them saying they offer “Traditional South African Meal Of The Day” on their website. This was the only reason I booked with them, as I thought we'd be in a nice, quiet place but not have to drive (after driving all day to get there) to get a meal. Well, we had to get into the car and drive into the town anyway. They also advertise a full bar - what a joke!! This amounted to a box o' wine, which they literally squeezed the last drops out of for my 1 glass of really awful white wine, and a couple of beers in the fridge. That was it! And when we got back from dinner (not late mind you), it was closed anyway - totally dark and NO ONE around at all. One of the guests got the fire pit going but no sign of any staff anywhere at any time, apart from when we checked in and then the cleaning staff took my payment the next morning.

The only good thing about this hostel was the wee puppy one of the guests brought along with her.

The worst thing was realising the next day, after we left, that we were covered in ticks/tick bites, my husband worse than me, and nearly a month later, still receiving treatment for them. And these bites were in places where he wouldn't have got them by sitting by the fire, as we were wearing warm clothes, socks, long sleeves, trousers, etc, i.e, the bites were widespread, so we can only assume they were in the room/bed.

Perhaps the atmosphere is better in the high season, but I wouldn't send anywhere there, as it is way overpriced (for the en suite room anyway) for what you get, which is not a lot, apart from a lot of tick bites.

  • Stayed September 2009, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank BridgetC
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

Property: Fairy Knowe Backpackers Lodge
Address: Dumbleton Road, Wilderness, South Africa
Location: South Africa > Western Cape > Wilderness
Hotel Style:
Ranked #11 of 36 Specialty Lodging in Wilderness
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 12
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