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“Not a place for peaceful sleep”

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Zoete Inval Travellers Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
Cape Town Central, South Africa
Level Contributor
106 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 49 helpful votes
“Not a place for peaceful sleep”
Reviewed December 10, 2013

My wife and I spent a weekend in December 2013 at Zoete Inval Travellers Lodge and the experience was not “Zoet” at all. We stayed in Room 1 which is, unfortunately, right next to the Dining Room. It is also downstairs below a wooden floor, so sleep was a rare commodity with all the noises coming down through the ceiling. Sadly, to compound the discomfort (although no fault of Zoete Inval Travellers Lodge); there was a crowd of Hockey Players staying there at the same time, and they certainly seemed to enjoy their revelries into the early hours – much to everyone else’s discomfort.

The place itself could do with some general maintenance, for instance, the drains from the basin in the kitchen area upstairs and the shower next to Room 1 were blocked – which would have been OK if you wanted a foot-bath at the same time as your shower; but a little disconcerting otherwise. There are large cracks in the floor near the door and mould-gathering orange peels on the shield in front of the fireplace ?!?!?! These have obviously been there a while to have grown a good cover of mould. The shared fridges are useful to have; but obviously not very secure – as someone kindly demonstrated by “borrowing” (on the non-return basis) a block of our cheese from one.

The breakfast was very basic – some cereals, bread and toast and coffee. Unfortunately some of the patrons get up VERY early to have breakfast (at around 5 a.m.) and just to make sure that others get to share in their joy of rising early, they sing and whistle …….. loudly !!!! Again, this is not the fault of Zoete Inval Travellers Lodge; but it does leave one with a more negative impression of the establishment as a whole.

The staff are very friendly and always up for a chat and that is definitely a plus factor.

I don’t expect much luxury when staying at Backpackers-type accommodation; but for R450-00 per room per night, I would certainly expect more than what we got. We were looking for a peaceful room where we could wash and sleep in between hikes in the beautiful mountains around Hermanus – and Zoete Inval Travellers Lodge did NOT give us this at all. It is definitely a place I will avoid returning to.

Room Tip: Do not stay downstairs
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  • Stayed December 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank stranger_and_pilgrim
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
gardengirlafrica, Wife of owner at Zoete Inval Travellers Lodge, responded to this review, December 19, 2013
Yes, we agree, a visit to Hermanus is seldom a peaceful experience in December/January. Your immediate alert to the drain emergency, enabled us to respond quickly to correct the situation. Thank you VERY much. Maintenance is certainly an ongoing process and we appreciate the fresh eye of a guest to draw attention to our shortcomings. ( Feedback forms are provided in each room to enable visitors to share their concerns, if one is uncomfortable speaking directly.) We would like to offer you a free night's accommodation during the off-season, so you might experience "peace on our premises", and relax by the fire. (P.S. The peels you saw are meant to be dried in the sun, not on the fireplace shield in summer! It may have been the act of a well meaning but misunderstood guest. The dry peels in the clay pot next to the fireplace and the oils they contain, make fantastic fragrant fire starters in winter or at one's own "braai plek"...) Thanks for taking the time to share your thoughts and experiences. From them, we can all learn.
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106 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
  • Location
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (7)
Date | Rating
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English first
Utrecht, The Netherlands
Level Contributor
21 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed November 3, 2013

Zoete Inval is a somewhat old-fashioned lodge near Hermanus, South Africa’s whale spotting place to be. There are private rooms and two dormitory’s, a jacuzzi, a community space and a courtyard. Maintenance is not the top priority of the management, nor is neatness. Everywhere you look, you’ll find yellow signs (don’t smoke, don’t forget your key, remember check-out time, etc. etc.). Even a conscientious policeman would feel uncomfortable. On the other hand, the Canadian lady of the house runs the place with a smile and embraces you with good intentions and a warm chat.

Stayed October 2013, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
Thank Arjan-14
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
gardengirlafrica, Wife of owner at Zoete Inval Travellers Lodge, responded to this review, December 18, 2013
Yes, some would describe us as "old fashioned" as we strive to provide that "farmhouse style" ambiance with fresh veggies from the garden and homemade jams, muesli and kefir at the breakfast table. Thank you for sharing your views and the heads up on issues you raised. We appreciate your taking the time to write and each day is an opportunity to improve what we do. Thanks again.
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Mountain View, California, United States
Level Contributor
24 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
Reviewed October 18, 2013

Stayed here for a full week as two backpackers on foot and enjoyed it thoroughly. It's a two-building secure complex with a central patio and enclosed parking area with a lot of variety in its rooms and common areas.
The Good:
Wifi throughout
Quiet at night for sleeping
Super comfortable with multiple well-furnished living rooms, home-like rooms, fireplace we were allowed to operate at our leisure, outdoor patio with a fountain, hot tub (for a fee- did not use)
Really friendly and helpful staff, map and directions provided for hikes, restaurants, shops, etc.
Low cost- a great value
Good breakfast with homemade jams
Use of Braai (South African BBQ) for cooking (pay for wood)
Good hiking trails nearby, though not the best for running as they are pretty rocky and narrow
Very secure-feeling facility

The Bad:
Definitely "out of the action" meaning a long walk from town/the waterfront that gets creepy and deserted at night despite passing the police station on the way (the reason for only 4 out of 5 stars). Encountered a long trail of blood on the pavement leading into said police station one night which is always a bit unsettling.

Neutral:
Not a particularly social atmosphere if that's what you're looking for. No parties happening here.

Room Tip: The rooms in the more hostel-y of the two buildings (the one with the hot tub on it and the guest-us...
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  • Stayed October 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank JamesBradley5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
gardengirlafrica, Wife of owner at Zoete Inval Travellers Lodge, responded to this review, December 3, 2013
Thank you for your encouraging words and taking the time to describe your stay. Sorry to hear the ten minute walk from the CBD was unpleasant one night. Tuktuk transport service (cards at reception) provides lifts all over Hermanus at a very reasonable price. The bubbling water feature and homemade jams await you. Come again soon to recharge your batteries.
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PE
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed October 15, 2013

Great staff and very helpful. The rooms, kitchen and toilets were clean and I the atmosphere was brilliant. It's a perfect stay if you want a quite and relaxing time. If we ever come to Hermanus again, we will definitely stay here again.

  • Stayed October 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank D K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
gardengirlafrica, Wife of owner at Zoete Inval Travellers Lodge, responded to this review, December 3, 2013
Thank you for taking the time to post. We value your feedback. Hope to see you again.
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Maastricht
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed October 2, 2013

Great place to start your whale watching! Very friendly staff, passionate owners and a good location. Free brekkie is provided. A 15-minute walk from the town centre with its nice restaurants, and only 2 minutes away from the start of a nice walking/hiking trails which gives you a magnificent view over the area. Note: It is a Baz Bus stop, even though not stated in Coast to Coast. If you're travelling with Baz Bus though, make sure you confirm your shuttle with the backpackers lodge too!

And, make sure you make use of the jacuzzi whilst enjoying some local wine available from the front desk!

Cheers, Katya & Simon

Room Tip: The double in the backpackers part is nice and cosy.
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  • Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank KaSi20132013
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
gardengirlafrica, Wife of owner at Zoete Inval Travellers Lodge, responded to this review, December 3, 2013
Thank you for your kind and encouraging words. We hope to see you again soon.
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Reno, Nevada
Level Contributor
185 reviews
68 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 123 helpful votes
Reviewed August 9, 2013

My family of 6 stayed there, the second time for 3 of us. It is very safe, with enclosed parking. The location is great, right on the main road into town. If you are looking for comfort, safety, cleanliness, and economy, then this is the place for you. We had 3 separate rooms with 2 baths and found them all very comfortable. We really liked the den's fireplace, as it was winter and central heating is not common in South Africa. If you get really cold, ask for a portable heater for your room. I am sure they would accommodate.

Room Tip: The only thing lacking was heat in one of our rooms. I did address that on checkout so, hopefully...
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  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank fiftystatesevenconts
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
gardengirlafrica, Owner at Zoete Inval Travellers Lodge, responded to this review, August 15, 2013
Thank you your suggestion. Yes, we recognize now that the suite you occupied is too large for the wall mounted heater to be adequate. We do have a portable heater in the office and are most willing to share it with our guests. We also have hot water bottles for guest use on request. We apologize that we may not have brought it to your attention during your stay. Thanks again for taking the time to give feedback to assist us. Blessings always.
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Groningen, The Netherlands
Level Contributor
19 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed May 2, 2013

I stayed here for two nights and the owner picked me up from the Bazbus to bring me to the lodge for 75 Rand. The rooms where clean and the hostel is on walking distance to the city centre. I really wanted to go shark cage diving and the owners did everything to help me book it, but unfortunately everything got cancelled anyway because of the bad weather at sea. There was also a possibility that the owner dropped you of at Grotto Beach and you could walk back at the very scenic route to Hermanus. It was wonderfull and a very good alternative...The people who work for Zoete Inval are very friendly and in the morning you can order a really good breakfast with specials for reasonable prices!
A great place to stay!

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Ryanne H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
gardengirlafrica, Owner at Zoete Inval Travellers Lodge, responded to this review, August 15, 2013
Thank you for the encouragement. Our complimentary breakfast has changed a bit to include some healthy additions: homemade meusli, homemade kefir (probitic and similar to yogurt), our farm fresh jams, seasonal fruit with tea or fresh plunger coffee. We are so sorry the weather was not with you on the shark viewing trip. We hope you can come again to "take the plunge" to see the sharks. Blessings always.
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Additional Information about Zoete Inval Travellers Lodge

Property: Zoete Inval Travellers Lodge
Address: 23 Main Road, Hermanus 7200, South Africa
Location: South Africa > Western Cape > Overberg District > Hermanus
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Shuttle Bus service
Hotel Style:
Ranked #5 of 41 Specialty Lodging in Hermanus
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:4 star — Zoete Inval Travellers Lodge 4*
Number of rooms: 7
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Zoete Inval Traveller's Lodge provides a RE-experience for the budget conscious traveller. REjeuvenate, RElax and REcharge in the REfreshing atmosphere committed to environment conservation and community upliftment. REcreate takes on a new meaning through their application of full-on REcycle, REuse and REduce policies and support of the "REcycle Swop Shops". Come experience REstoration of your body, soul and spirit in our lush garden, enjoy the fresh garden greens or soak up the sun in the mountain view jacuzzi. For swingers, the wine barrel hammock beside the bubbling water feature and braai area is the place to be. Come experience hospitality from the heart. ... more   less 
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