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“worst hotel I've ever stayed at?”

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African Train Lodge
bangkok
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“worst hotel I've ever stayed at?”
Reviewed May 11, 2014

I'll start this by saying I've stayed at some horrific places before, including a room in India where the "mattress" was a large bag filled with sawdust & 2x4 pieces. So I do not say this lightly, train lodge is hands down the worst place I've ever stayed.

The logo for train lodge says established 1999. And while I do not doubt that, I do doubt they have updated the facility at all since. Well aside from the single wifi router, that contrary to what it says is hardly available in all areas. Hell, it is hardly available within 10m of the router itself & there is no refunds for this overpriced add on, even when you can not connect at all.

The room I stayed in had a broken a window & the toilets in the car my room was on no longer had working toilet seats. I also had to shower far away, as there was no hot water available in the car I stayed in. There was also no soap in any of the fancy liquid soap dispensers -- you know the kind that you are proud to show your guests. Well some time between installing them & now all that pride died. And that pretty much sums up this place. There is no pride anywhere to be found as there is simply nothing to be proud of here anymore.

After paying 250rand a night they still expected me to rent a towel, like it was an awful by the hour hotel, which by the prices they are charging is clearly not what they are going for. Only the helpfulness of the staff sure does seem this style of guest is what they desire. I asked three or four times about tourist things to do in town and the only advice I could get was "I can call you a taxi". For a place that clearly is geared towards tourist consumption, this is unconscionable. And for a place called the train lodge, you'd think they would not nearly break out in hives when you asked if you could get there via public transit

The walls are so thin that like in many other places I could hear my neighbors cough. Unlike most other places, I also heard my neighbor's stomach growl in the middle of the night. To be awakened by this sound when you are alone is very disconcerting to say the least.

I keep thinking what price point would make this change from worst hotel experience ever to just utterly regrettable, and really the price would need to be at least quartered to make it just another bad hotel. Yes, even with their train theme, and I LOVE trains. In other words, this should be a slam dunk great hotel for me.

Every other place I stayed in South Africa was infinitely more friendly and better in every way.

All this makes me horrendously sad, as I can see that with even a small bit of care and concern and passion, this place could be great. Sadly, there is none of that to be found here & you'd do yourself a huge favor to avoid it like the plague.

Room Tip: find a room in another place!
See more room tips
  • Stayed April 2014, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank alifein5years
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Steve312659, Director of Sales at African Train Lodge, responded to this review, October 2, 2014
Hi There

Thank you very much for taking the post to post a review. I would also like to take this opportunity to apologise for the negative experience you had while staying with us.

Although some time has passed since you posted this review, I still wanted to respond to assure you that in the time since you have stayed with us, we have made significant improvements to both our product and services.

We are proud of our Train Lodge, and although by nature a train has some constraints and we want the experience to be authentic as possible, we can never justify experiences that do not leave our guests wanting to return.

In the time since this review was posted we are proud that we have regular guests returning again and again, and so I do hope that if you are in the area again you would accept an invitation from us to experienced us again in a more positive light!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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43 reviews from our community

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English first
Cannock, United Kingdom
Level 3 Contributor
21 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
Reviewed December 31, 2013 via mobile

Private twin room looked & felt like a prison cell. Lots of undesirable people staying / lurking around!!

Check out the photo's.. Are you really prepared to sleep on a pillow like that?!

Window to the room didn't fully close which resulted in 31 mosquito bites for me alone!!!

Wouldn't recommend for anyone but def not a female. Member of staff even stated "I wouldn't stay here!!!"

Stayed December 2013, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
1 Thank M1ssChief
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Steve312659, Director of Sales at African Train Lodge, responded to this review, October 3, 2014
Hi There

Thank you very much for posting a revue, and I apologise that it has taken a while to respond.

We are very grateful for your feedback, and I can assure we have used this information to improve both our quality of product and as well as our service standards.

Thanks again for taking the time post a revue.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers are raving about these Cape Town Central hotels

Level 5 Contributor
83 reviews
83 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 47 helpful votes
Reviewed December 18, 2013

Perhaps the cheapest single in Cape Town. That is what you will get there.
Rooms are clean though small as they are the compartments of the old train cars.
On the other hand the common bathrooms were rather dirty.

Conveniently located for walking around the town but I was told it was not safe
around the hotel at night. Staff were very friendly. Anyway, quiet at night.

Room Tip: Avoid rooms viewing the mountain. They are very hot during the day.
See more room tips
  • Stayed December 2013, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank J Hoon K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Steve312659, Director of Sales at African Train Lodge, responded to this review, October 3, 2014
Hi, thank you for your feedback, we are very pleased to hear that you enjoyed the accommodation in the carriages.

We have used this feedback to ensure that we have good maintenance and cleaning programmes in place and our bathrooms are now much improved.

With regards to safety, we have very good security at the Lodge, and in addition in recent times, the City has made major strides in making Cape Town safe for its visitors.

Thank you again for the feedback
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 2 Contributor
8 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed November 27, 2011

Good value and nicely unusual. Only downside was the very small rooms

  • Stayed November 2011
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Cazciren
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Steve312659, Director of Sales at African Train Lodge, responded to this review, October 3, 2014
Thank you very much for taking the time to post a revue.

We are very pleased to hear that you found the lodge good value.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hong Kong, China
Level 4 Contributor
19 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
Reviewed September 11, 2011

Me & my partner decided to stay in African Train Lodge due to its proximity from the Civic Centre (where you can get a shuttle bus to the airport for 53 Rand, one way) and its cheap rates. The lodge is just a 6-minute walk from Civic Centre, and is located by the rail lines from Cape Town's main train station.

The manager, Adolph, was kind enough to offer us the twin room for just R400 (original price is R440) since we were only going to stay there for the night. My first thought of the lodge is that it's a BYO (bring your own) type of lodge, so we had to pay R25 for one towel, and a soap, which they also kindly offered to us for R5.

The twin room was very small & old-looking, and there was little space to put your things on - you can put it on the bunkbeds above, or the drawers under the beds (it was too hard to open though). The only entertainment we had was the window outside that showed nothing but a car store. But despite everything, the beds were very clean & neat, no signs of dust, and there are even two plugs to charge your electronics.

The shower rooms looked like the ones you will see in a resort. The good thing about the shower rooms is it has plenty of hot water - perfect when we went there and it was about 10 degrees outside. They also have a restaurant inside & we ordered the ordinary breakfast for R25, and it was pretty much average. The staffs were also delightful, especially Adolph, who organized the Cape Peninsula tour for us the next day.

Overall, if you're willing to stay in a very small room but pay a very small value for it, then I highly recommend you this place.

  • Stayed September 2011, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank A_Lana_A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Steve312659, Director of Sales at African Train Lodge, responded to this review, October 3, 2014
Hi There

Thank you very much for posting a your revue we are pleased to hear that your stay was enjoyable
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about African Train Lodge

Property: African Train Lodge
Address: Monument Station Old Marine Drive, Cape Town Central 8001, South Africa
Location: South Africa > Western Cape > Cape Town > Cape Town Central
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beverage Selection Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #104 of 127 Specialty Lodging in Cape Town Central
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 48
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Ideal for tourists, backpackers, school & sports groups. Unique budget accommodation in 10 vintage railway coaches. The coaches are original and completed their service with the Rhodesian railway in 1950 and are now fully revamped to make your stay as comfortable as possible. Central to the Cape Town's city centre and great views of the mountain with swimming pool, restaurant, bar, braai/barbecue area, television lounges, pool tables, a travel centre and internet cafe. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
African Train Lodge Cape Town, South Africa

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