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“worst holiday place ever”

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Dolphin Dunes Guesthouse
Ranked #8 of 57 Wilderness B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
cape town
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“worst holiday place ever”
Reviewed January 10, 2012

On the 26th December 2011 our 2 adults and 2 children) and our friends 2 adults and two children left our homes in Cape Town and headed to Dolphin Dunes in the Wilderness for a much needed break. We were greeted with a warm welcome by Mathilda and shown to where we would be staying. The accommodation was tastefully decorated and the rooms were large. Each bedroom had its own bathroom-en-suite and televisions. There was no television in the lounge area, which was a bit disappointing.Also despite having advertised full Dstv services there were no sport channels on arrival and we had to complain to get one sports channel .

Our en-suite had a corner unit spa bath, so I ran a lovely hot bath that I could relax in with the jets going. I switched the plug on and pressed the button that had a note "press to switch on", but nothing happened. The button was not attached to anything, so therefore the spa bath did not work.

There was no oven in the kitchen, only a hob and there was also no braai to be found. We asked for a braai, which we were given. The following day when we wanted to braai, we found that it had gone. I went to reception, rang the bell for over 15 minutes, to which there was no answer. We phoned the telephone number we had and there was no reply to that either. It was 4pm and we had two chickens to get cooked, so we searched the grounds and eventually found one. I find it unacceptable that there can be noone on duty in peak season in what is advertised as a 4 star resort . Later that evening we were making a pudding for the following day. We needed a tin opener, but there wasn't one to be found, and it was too late to go and ask for one.There had been one on arrival and this had obviously been removed to accomadate another geust . The following morning we went to reception to ask for a tin opener, we were informed that they keep going missing. They gave us one, which we returned as soon as we were finished as there was only the one. We also only had three cereal bowls between us for 8 people , but didn't dare ask for more for fear of upsetting them further.

On two occasions, our 2nd and 3rd days, we were asked by Andre to keep our children quiet in the splash pool(they were not making that much noise).Andre had the audacity to say that they were not a child Friendly resort . Our response was why do they allow children at their facility. Andre's response was that they didn't know we had children! (That was nonsense, as we had booked as two families) He had taken an instant dislike to us.

On our last evening, there was a football match on television that started at 10pm. I admit towards the end of the game, we made quite a noise with excitement when one goal was scored , but never imagined the unpleasant scene that followed (which is the main reason for this letter). Andre banged very, very loudly on the bedroom window, making us all jump, and then again on the front door. Joseph Stoltz opened the door, Andre said "You have 10 minutes to pack your bags and leave", a stunned Joseph replied "I think you should leave", to which Andre replied "I will call the cops if I have to", Joseph then said "Do what you have to do", and he closed the door. Andre then switched the DSTV off at the main house so we couldn't finish watching the football game. We all climbed into bed. About 10 minutes later, I heard a police van pull up. I watched from the window as Andre spoke to the people in the van, and then they drove off. I didn't sleep at all that night, I was terrified at what Andre's next actions might be. My 11 year old son woke up screaming with a nightmare as a result of the evenings happenings. I felt completely humiliated, traumatised and violated over the whole ordeal. What happened to service, and why did he not have the common decency to ask us to quieten down before treating us in such a shocking and disrespectful manner? I have never been treated so poorly in my entire life. We paid R2400 per night, for five nights for the two families. For a 4 star establishment, and that kind of cost, I would have thought that customer service would be of a high standard, but it clearly isn't high on their priorities.

I feel that they most definitely do not deserve their four star rating. We should be given a written apology as well as a refund, for such appalling and shocking treatment. They do not deserve to be in the tourist industry.

I have contacted the Tourism Grading Council of South Africa but they have not renewed their grading since 2009. So where do they get their 4 star rating from.Clearly this is no longer valid .

We will also be filing a complaint with SATOUR in an effort to make sure that establishments like this are made to take account for their service and actions .

I look forward to hearing your response from this letter.

Humilated and traumatised

  • Stayed December 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
3 Thank emma w
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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240 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
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  • Sleep Quality
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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (23)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed January 5, 2012

When researching a place to stay, our travel agent was given specific instructions about our needs, specifically that we were two families with young children. Dolphin Dunes would be perfect our agent claimed, friendly staff who would happily host us.

Imagine our surprise when our kids, on the first afternoon of our stay, are playing in the pool and the owner/manager tells us that in order to use the pool, the children must be quiet?? Oh, and children are only allowed by arrangement? Huh, we booked for 4 adults and 4 children, what does he want, robots?

To add insult to injury we had to pay in full 3 weeks BEFORE our booking was accepted.

I won't waste your time listing the problems we encountered, from no tv in the lounge, having to request a braai and then watch it disappear and have to ask for it again, the case of the tin opener not be available (as the unit was self catering)....there is actually not enough space to list our concerns and our frustrations.

But the clanger was our last night, the night before New Year's Eve. Watching football, after having to request the sports channels, our team scores their 3rd goal and my friend, his son and I celebrate, albeit quite loudly. The owner/manager bangs angrily on our door and waving his torch in my face demands that we pack our bags and leave (this at 11:30pm!). This before even bothering to ask us to keep the noise down?

Needless to say, the door was closed in his face when he threatened to call the police. This vindictive little man than switched the DSTV service off....excellent service indeed.

Don't bother taking your family to this guesthouse, you'll feel pretty unwelcome.

  • Stayed December 2011, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Mike W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed January 3, 2012

My wife and I travelled to South Africa during November and stayed at many places during our stay.
We were impressed with the hospitality and service we received at all of the lovely places we stayed except for Dolphin Dunes.
We found Andre the owner to be rude and arrogant . He seemed more interested in having a holiday himself than helping his guests.
Many things in our room didn't work and when reported to Andre he didn't seem to care and did nothing about it . My wife commented that he seemed more interested in walking around all day shirtless trying to show his muscles to the world than helping his guests .
Clearly this man needs to go on a public relations course to help him understand the importance of his geust.
Overall we loved our stay in South Africa and will hopefully return later next year again .
Sadly though this is not the case for Dolphine dunes.

  • Stayed November 2011
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Jmsap
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level 4 Contributor
26 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
Reviewed December 31, 2011

Any visitor to Cape Town should take a trip up the garden route. I would recommend staying a few days in one place and Wilderness is the best, far nicer and hospitable than the very commercialised Knysna. And the Dolphin is the ideal place to stay. A place to relax and unwind.

  • Stayed December 2011, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Rebecca B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 2 Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed December 30, 2011

We booked our family holiday with another family at dolphin Dunes for a week over the Christmas period . They were happy to take our booking and had the nerve to insist on 100 percent payment prior to arrival. if we didn't have to make full payment prior to arrival we would have left on the first day because of the facilitys and the owners attitude didnt meet expectations.


Dolphin dunes is not family friendly in anyway.In fact I must state that if you have children of any age this is simply not the place to go ever . AT the time of making the booking it was clearly explained to the The owner that we were two family's with two children each . After taking our money a month prior to arrival the owner had the audacity on arrival to tell us that they were not a children friendly resort.

The rooms didn't live up to expectation either . We took a self catering unit and there wasn't even a oven to cook in .There was no television in the lounge , no sports channels on the television .a number of the power plugs didnt work and the jacuzzi bath didn't work .
This is simply not something that is fitting or acceptable for any four star establishment .
Being a regular visitor to the area Dolphine dunes is simply not a place I'd ever visit or want to visit again.

  • Stayed December 2011
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Likeitisa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
dolphinWilderness, Owner at Dolphin Dunes Guesthouse, responded to this review, January 12, 2012
Unfortunately Tripadvisor gives guests like you the platform to try and take revenge even if you were at fault.

I would hang my head in shame if I was you, why dont you write that we had to call the police on you because of noise, drunkenness and general disregard for other guests?

Kids are welcome, I told you it is unfortunately not a large property like a hotel or holiday resort where kids can run riot. I also asked you numerous times and in a decent manner to consider other guests.

Funny that we are not kid friendly according to you, but we have 2 families at the moment with 5 children between them. The one family visits us at leats twice a year. They are one of many that return year after year.

Please remeber that I called the cops while you were making a noise watching soccer, so how can you say that we do not have sport channels. You had no Tv in your lounge, but had 1 in each of 3 bedrooms. Why not move 1?

You were trouble from the day you arrived. I do not regret one thing I said or did. You will never be welcome at our Guesthouse.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
The Hague, The Netherlands
Level 4 Contributor
33 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
Reviewed December 23, 2011

We stayed for 3 nights and had many plans for things to do in Wilderness but from the moment we arrived we skipped them all.Stunning views,right on the beach.
We were in Africa room and can recommend to everybody because you get the best off both.
Private sundeck seafront as the other rooms and private garden with thached roof with deckchairs and comfortable seats for windy days or if you just want to sit in the shadow.
Breakfast very good.
We regret we booked not more nights,the walks on the beach were great take the dog Trixie see will love it.
Great restaurant nearby called Serendipity,Gary will tell you more about it.

Room Tip: Africa room;garden/shadow seat and seafront seat same as the other rooms
See more room tips
  • Stayed December 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank mimiton
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 2 Contributor
7 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed December 19, 2011

Stayed here often during last couple of years. Will be back!

  • Stayed December 2011
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank 1744
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Dolphin Dunes Guesthouse

Property: Dolphin Dunes Guesthouse
Address: Buxton Close, Wilderness 6529, South Africa
Location: South Africa > Western Cape > Wilderness
Amenities:
Free Parking
Hotel Style:
Ranked #8 of 57 B&Bs / Inns in Wilderness
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:4 star — Dolphin Dunes Guesthouse 4*
Number of rooms: 4
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Nestled on golden sand dunes, overlooking the unspoilt beaches of Wilderness, lies Dolphin Dunes - a charming beachfront guesthouse with luxurious and tasteful guest accommodation. Our casually elegant home is wonderfully comfortable. Relax on the sea facing sundeck and watch dolphins at play in the surf, take a stroll along the endless unspoilt beaches and forest, go canoeing on the lagoon. Come and enjoy the natural splendour of Wilderness - the Garden Route at its most captivating. Once you visit Dolphin Dunes, you'll find it very hard to leave¦ ... more   less 
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