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“Great place- crappy staff”

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Amphitheatre Backpackers Lodge
Johannesburg, South Africa
Level Contributor
34 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
“Great place- crappy staff”
Reviewed July 8, 2013

We camped for two nights at the backpackers and it's an amazing place to wake up in. The facilities are clean and overall very cool. The staff however is TERRIBLE. We waited over 30 MINUTES to be served a beer. This was during off season- i'd hate to see what it's like during peak season. Also, the lady at reception is the rudest person that i encountered on my month long trip in SA, she really needs some manners. A card machine would also be a nice touch, seeing as not everybody prefers to carry around R1500 in their pocket. Shape up guys!

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
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Helpful?
1 Thank Lian L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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334 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (36)
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English first
Viken, Sweden
Level Contributor
20 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed June 22, 2013

Loved it here, owners and staff are a little bit difficult but the lodge and view makes up for it. Cheap tours that are worth the money, they push them a bit to much but it didn't bother me.

The backyard is fantastic!

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank RegularJohan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Pretoria, South Africa
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed June 18, 2013

Great back packers and venue but rude staff. I would definitely not go back unless the management are more helpful. Maybe it was just a very busy long weekend and they could not handle the volume of people. Love the setting of the back packers and it is very well looked after and clean!

Room Tip: Dont book hikes or adventures through them - very expensive
See more room tips
  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Outdoorspta
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers are raving about these Jagersrust hotels

Pretoria, South Africa
Level Contributor
21 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
Reviewed June 17, 2013

If first impressions was to go by this place is great! The decor and feel is great and much more than one would expect from a backpackers. In backpacker standards is most definitely 5 star, or at least the room we stayed in. Unfortunately that is where it ends! If you want to experience the worst level of rudeness that South Africa can offer, book in here.

With the exception of a few staff members, most of the staff members here is rude to a level of utter disgust!! We eventually felt that the less we dealt with the staff the better. Here I must single out one person. Eleanor. Rude and unhelpful does not begin to describe this lady. She is most definitely in the wrong industry!! One gets the distinct feeling that this lady is used to dealing with children. She is yet to discover that the backpacker culture also extend to adults and in many instances professional people who at the very least expect friendliness.

I would have liked to single out the individuals who were helpful and friendly but in fear of them being victimized, would refrain from doing so in a public forum. They know who they are!!

The backpackers is also a little out of the way of main attractions and unless you have your own car you would do well to rather look at other accommodation alternatives in the area.

The value for money as far as accommodation go is good and once this establishment get rid of the staff that are dragging them down and perhaps look at their other value propositions, they can really be the 5 star backpackers they aim to be.

My advice would be to steer clear and look for an alternative.

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
4 Thank BobRoss_SA
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sioux Falls, South Dakota, Usa
Level Contributor
13 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed June 15, 2013

We stayed here with our 23 yr old adventurous son. I feel like I really accomplished something big staying in a backpackers place on our vaca to SA & I can now cross it off my bucket list. However, 2 nights was all I could do. Both mornings began with jackhammers banging away...guess it's good they are doing some updates but it was right next door & VERY loud. We brought in our own food & enjoyed doing our day hike to Tiger Falls in the park. Our son had stayed at Amphitheatres once before & he knew the drill on the hikes so we didn't bite on any of their offers. It is an easy drive to the park & the Information office had great maps, etc. The room & bath were very basic but I must say everything was clean & tidy. One recommendation is to eat at "Tower of Pizza" after your hike in the park...best pizza in SA...right off the main road.

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled with family
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Helpful?
Thank De C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Montreal, Canada
Level Contributor
25 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed June 12, 2013

Very nice backpackers, just dont fal into buying their tours. We really enjoyed our stay and we did not pay much attention to what the owners suggested so it was all good. Has a very pretty view, nice and clean rooms and big communal kitchens. We cooked and had a ton of fun. Very good price!!!

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank Rey05
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ljubljana, Slovenia
Level Contributor
7 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed May 2, 2013

Definitely it deserves all 5 stars... Amazing scenery, great atmosphere, free jakuzzi, sauna, pool, bar, rooms, huts, kitchens, bar... undescribable!!!! :)
Also the stuff was nice and good.

But the owners were very rude and insulting to us. The blond lady and the short haired lady. :/
When we didn't take their trips to waterfall, Lesotho.... They really want to sell you those - and por a very high price as well. 500r for a hike!
Maybe I'd even consider, because everyone says they are worth it. But after we were asking for alternatives - booking a shuttle to do our own hike - they wouldn't help us at all. And when they give us the shuttle number. And where we told them our shuttle was late, they told us, she said 4pm not 3pm and accually use the phrase " I have vitnesses"! Don't even try to disturb them, when they are trying to sell the trips to new customers! You will get rudely dismissed.
They were very childish and even asked my friend around - eyes physically!

They work on a tab sistem - so the bill on the check out is very high - because the drinks and the food is quite expencive.
There is nowhere to buy your own food - so I recomend you to shop in advance.
The food is not very good either.
But all and all- i strongly recomand the place for relaxation. :)

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled solo
    • Value
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Helpful?
4 Thank Nina_Ljubljana_13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Amphitheatre Backpackers Lodge

Property: Amphitheatre Backpackers Lodge
Address: R74, Jagersrust 3354, South Africa
Location: South Africa > KwaZulu-Natal > Jagersrust
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 4 Specialty Lodging in Jagersrust
Hotel Class:5 star — Amphitheatre Backpackers Lodge 5*
Number of rooms: 34
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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