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“In need of a major refurbishment!”

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Wilderness Beach Hotel
Ranked #5 of 5 Hotels in Wilderness
Cape Town
Level 3 Contributor
16 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“In need of a major refurbishment!”
Reviewed January 6, 2009

Having stayed recently at the Wilderness Beach Hotel, I have noticed the consistent decline in maintenance and service levels of this hotel. I have stayed on numerous occasions and still remember the hotel from its former Holiday-Inn days before African Sky Hotels bought the property.

The hotel appears to be in desperate need of refurbishment. In fact, it doesn’t look like anything has changed in the last 15 to 20 years! The rooms and bathrooms are extremely old, out toilet didn’t stop running when we flushed it, the shower above the bath did not work, there was rust all along the bath handrail. Just generally, the hotel is poorly maintained and is clearly in need of a MAJOR refurbishment. The furniture in room looks like it was bought in the 70’s and has never been replaced or updated! The sliding door in our room locked – but the plastic lock is about to fall apart. The curtains are old and dirty and do not cover the entire window – resulting in a very bright room at sunrise!

Our room didn’t have a lock on the inside – something that did worry us a bit considering the crime rate in South Africa.

Besides the room, the general service is appalling. We sat at the pool, a waiter would walk up and down on the odd occasion but not offering anything. It was a mission to attract his attention. When we finally decided to order something we had to find the barman at the back who took forever to give us a menu. Eventually, we went inside to Patrick’s Pub. Our waitress had to confirm our order about 5 times before she left… she didn’t know what the soup of the day was… she couldn’t tell us if we could replace feta with carrots in a salad… everything had to go back and forth. The staff are not empowered to make decisions… instead everything goes back and forth between the kitchen and the waitering staff!

A friend of ours ordered the Cauliflower soup, which had a worm in it… the manager came and apologized and we were offered the meal for free… as you can imagine, an awful experience! Not only was the service shocking, but the food too.

We booked a wake-up call for our day of departure, but never got the call. Luckily we set our own alarms to wake us up!

At breakfast, none of the waitresses even noticed us. It was as though we were invisible and the restaurant wasn’t even busy at the time! Nobody offered tea or coffee. Our plates weren’t cleared. There was 1 poor lady making eggs who seemed to be struggling to keep up. There was no tomato, nor mushrooms. Only omlettes with cheese and/or onions?!?! The milk had not been replenished at the cereal station, there was no white bread (and nobody around to ask to bring more). The food was not labeled… nobody even knew that there was a pot of scrambled eggs – it was hidden away without a label so nobody bothered to open it.

Overall there seems to be some major service issues and a desperate lack of maintenance. The hotel needs a MAJOR refurbishment if they wish to continue to attract guests. How it was ever rated a 4 star hotel is beyond me. More like a 2 or 3 star by international standards!

A very disappointing experience! If it wasn’t for your amazing position on the beach, they would loose so many more guests!

  • Liked — The location right on the beach
  • Disliked — The lack of maintenance
  • Stayed December 2008, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
1 Thank AdelsK
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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  • Value
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France
Level 5 Contributor
51 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 57 helpful votes
Reviewed November 23, 2008

This hotel was selected for my wife and I by a tour company as accommodation during their Garden Route Tour.
The hotel foyer smelled rather like the foyer of a public swimming pool and the corridor to the bedroom that we were allocated had damp, musty smell. Although allocated a non-smoking room it was clear that it did not always enjoy that status since it had a horrible aroma of stale tobacco smoke. The rooms looked out on to a car park and building site and there was no privacy if one opened the curtains because there were no net curtains. Other rooms looked out to the central garden/pool area which is much nicer but I expect these are more expensive. The bathroom floor and walls had soiled grouting to the tiles and some grout was missing. The toilet leaked water over the floor at the rear. The light switches either didn't work properly or differently in each room! The shaving socket was missing its surround and was loose in the wall. Soaps were not replenished. The evening buffet did not look very appetising to us but I accept that it a matter of taste; however, I think the laminated Burger type á la carte menu in Patrick's Pub is a joke as is the Pub itself - obviously the designer has never been near Ireland. The rooms had not been made up by 14.30 hrs even though vacated by 0730! The manager was advised of these (in my view) shortcomings and told that it is difficult to believe his hotel warrants a 4 star rating plaque it displays. He has only been there since March and has had to spend in the order of 3,000,000ZAR to effect emergency repair and cosmetic improvement. There is much to be done. I would not stay again.

  • Liked — A Manager receptive to criticism
  • Disliked — The smell and very tired bathrooms
  • Stayed November 2008, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Nigel Y
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers are raving about these Wilderness hotels

Vitznau, Switzerland
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed December 14, 2007

In search of accommodation in Wilderness, we came across this hotel and read all the bad reviews. Therefore we decided not to stay there. But all other hotels/guesthouses were fully booked or not available for the whole duration we wanted to stay. In the end we still booked the Wilderness Beach Hotel and went there with no expectations. But what a surprise! The staff was extremely friendly and helpful, the rooms were nice and with all necessary amenities, nothing looked out of date or badly kept. The breakfast was super (even at 9.45am) and the Pub was great with extremely friendly and cheerful staff. Absolutely nothing wrong with that place and when considering the room rates, this is more than excellent value for money! We will definately go back there and enjoy the hotel, it's beautiful location, the swimming pool and the Pub. I am a frequent traveller and do not particularly look for budget accommodation. This hotel is not a luxury type of place but even for the more spoilt traveller still a decent place to stay. I wonder why there are so many bad reviews, this hotel deserves a better rating. Thanks again to everyone at Wilderness Beach Hotel who made our stay a most enjoyable one.

  • Liked — Friendly atmosphere, stunning location, Pub
  • Disliked — breakfast staff with no skills - but still friendly
  • Stayed November 2007, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank LGutknecht
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bridport, United Kingdom
Level 6 Contributor
294 reviews
34 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 320 helpful votes
Reviewed June 16, 2007

The Garden Route is truly worth spending a few long days. If you are considering checking into to this place have a look at the sky first. We had the best room (444) top floor with a double corner aspect over the stretch of sand and rollers. When it rained though, water poured throught the light fittings in the corridors, and remained in puddles. The buffet meals were pretty decent but not outstanding. The staff seem used to dealing with clients by the coachload and lacked the personal touch, appearing remote and uncaring. The whole experience was saved by two visits to the Wellness Centre, run by Ms de Kock and her team. They were able to perform miracles on a travel-tired body and set me up for the rest of my trip. The Wilderness Beach management team need to spend out a little - this place is tired. I'd recommend the Hydro, though, wherever you are staying.

  • Liked — fabulous view, but we were in a suite on the top floor
  • Disliked — room service poor, phone not working, roof leaked.
  • Stayed June 2007, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank beachbuddy10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cumbria, United Kingdom
Level 5 Contributor
82 reviews
48 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 87 helpful votes
Reviewed March 11, 2007

The only thing going for this hotel is its location. Set above a long sandy beach, accessed by a long flight of wooden steps, this hotel is ideally situated for exploring this beautiful part of South Africa.
However, it appears to be geared up for the mass market - coach tours rather than motorists - and hotel staff have no time or inclination for niceities. Unusually, this includes reception desk staff. If you want help with your bags a porter is available but only if you pay for him.
Meals are by way of a self service buffet. Breakfast is reasonable, if you can find a coffee pot that isn't empty, but dinner is poorly prepared and presented.
The hotel incorporates a "pub" called Patricks Bar. Here the staff are interested in serving you and, believe it or not, you can get a meal cooked to order, albeit by way of a limited but nevertheless attractive bar menu. It is definitely a better proposition than the dining room. The pub has a good atmosphere but is a bit over the top with the number of different channel TV sets on offer (4) in addition to background music.
Hotel rooms are old and in need of refurbishment and it is a very long way from reception to the furthest placed rooms. Those overlooking the pool area can be noisy. One tour that stayed over during my stay there was made up predominently of youths who enjoyed a late and noisy party at the poolside.
By South African standards it is a poor hotel and does not offer value for money.

Stayed February 2007
Helpful?
Thank exkgs
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London
1 review
Reviewed December 12, 2006

I agree to some extent with Jonnyredpants, although this is listed as a 3 star hotel in Trailfinders brochure/website.

I think this place suffers primarily due to the numerous fantastic accommodation options throughout the Western Cape.
We had a suite here (basically 2 rooms knocked together) with wonderful views of the beach.
The hotel is dated and the service and amenities consistent with a large 3* hotel
We had booked two nights but due to the standard of accommodation (and the none running Chjoe Train) only stayed one before moving up the coast to Hunters Country House which was absolutely fantastic

  • Liked — Location
  • Disliked — Decor
  • Tips/Secrets — Walk the beach and then move up the coast to Ksnysa/Plettenberg
  • Stayed November 2006, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Rattee
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London
Level 4 Contributor
25 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
Reviewed December 7, 2006

I am have just got back from 2 fantastic weeks in South Africa and this hotel was the worst place we stayed. We booked our holiday through trailfinders UK and every place we stayed was rated 4 star. The Wilderness beach hotel should be a 2 star hotel.

The hotel is just off the N2 about 4km from the wilderness shops and restaurants. It over looks the beach and some rooms have a great sea view. The Hotel sits on a cliff and the beach is about 100 steps down (with the odd step missing), The hotel itself boast about 400 rooms and is a labyrinth of long corridors and stairs. It has a pool and a spa.

The decor of the hall ways and rooms are dated and old. We stayed in a sea view room with panaramic views of the sea. The windows and curtains where dirty and old. We had two small double beds with horrible bed linen that was so old and used that it had become transparent. The bathroom was a horrible browny baige and the towel were brown and stained and smelled like the swimming pool.
The breakfast was a buffet with a hot and cold selection but it was very poor. Even the fresh fruit had a slightly musty taste to it.

Basically if you got the room for free then great but if it's like your honeymoon or something special you will be disappointed. We stayed in some fantastic 4 star hotels and this was very poor. For people in the UK it's worse than your basic travel lodge or Ibis.

My advice is if you are going to the Wilderness the stay in the Wilderness get a lodge or cabin for a better experience. I am going to complian to my travel agent and ask for a refund!

  • Liked — the views
  • Disliked — everthing else
  • Tips/Secrets — don't stay here
  • Stayed December 2006, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
Thank JonnyRedPants
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Wilderness Beach Hotel

Property: Wilderness Beach Hotel
Address: N 2 Wilderness, Wilderness 6560, South Africa
Location: South Africa > Western Cape > Wilderness
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #5 of 5 Hotels in Wilderness
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3 star — Wilderness Beach Hotel 3*
Number of rooms: 149
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