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.
- 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
- Reservation Options:
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- Also Known As:
- African Train Lodge Cape Town, South Africa