Indeed poor service and very much sales orientated hostel. This really ruined my impression of this hostel. The hostel itself is nice, but got totally disguisted by their attitude. Bring enough cash! You cannot pay with any cards here!!
When we arrived we got a very long detailed sales talk about the trips they offered. We planned to do some hiking on our own and not interested to do any of their overpriced tours. We asked about the possibilities to do hiking on your own, and the sales person gave us some maps, which also gave driving directions on how to get there, he was very short on telling us anything about things to do by yourself and did not give any information. If you do not buy, it seems they are not very interested in spending much time on you. No service.
The tours they offered are overpriced. Travellers who are not travelling by car are somewhat relaiable on these tours to see the Drakensberg (as this place lies in the middle of nowhere and you are helpless if you dont have a car), they make handy use of this and that is probably why they can charge what they charge. The same for the meals. If you cant drive to the supermarket you will have to buy their overpriced meals. They communual kitchens are very dirty. The stoves were so sticky with greace, it looked like they had not been cleaned in years. Perhaps they want you to buy their meals. If you see the amount of people booking the tours, you assume they are making very good money.
The hostel itself is nice, especially the main building. We stayed in a double room, which was ok. Except for the bathroom which was very scruffy. See photo's.
We stayed 3 nights.
In the end we decided to do one of their tours to Lesotho, as the roads are poor and we did not want to risk it with our rental vehicle. In the morning the salesperson tried to remember everybody to sign up for the meal, telling what was on the menu that day and obviously wanted to sell some more! The trip was a good experience and the guide was very good.
At the end of our stay we asked the reception guy if he could phone a hostel for us for our next stay. So far all hostels we stayed do this with no exception. But in this hostel you are directed with a fake smile to the payphone. We could have booked online otherwise, but the WIFI had been broken for the last 2 weeks. When we checked out the next day, we were not asked if we enjoyed our stay but got a comment like: "Pay at the bar, my till is still closed".... Nice! Would not reccomend this hostel.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The venue is really amazing. The lodge is found on a stunning 300 hectares of land near the foot of the Amphitheatre (Royal Natal National Park) and Cathedral Peak. The Mpande River weaves through the lands. There are buck, small mammals and a fantastic array of wild birds near the 2 dams and a picture postcard view from the lawn, a 360 degree panorama that takes in the entire Northern range from the Amphitheatre all the way to Cathkin Peak. The lodge is a base from which you can explore different sections and all the highlights of the Drakensberg Park each day. Built from stone, thatch and wood, the place is like an artist's sculpture with stained glass, metal and wooden carvings, mosaics and beautiful indigenous rockeries. ... more less
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