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“Avoid! The very worst hospitality”
Review of Pelagus House

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Pelagus House
Ranked #42 of 86 Hermanus B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
CapeTown
Level 6 Contributor
102 reviews
30 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
“Avoid! The very worst hospitality”
Reviewed January 13, 2013

My wife and I are seasoned travelers, and, of all the the places we have visited Pelagus/Nautilus guesthouse management are the worst!
Upon our arrival, we requested a sea facing room because we did not specify this on our online request (Room 1 appears to be the only actual room facing the sea). We were informed that this room had been booked half an hour earlier - really? My hunch was correct; we were the only guests in Pelagus that night. She later said room 1 cancelled after 6pm that night (really??)
We were then told that we HAVE to be at breakfast at 8am - no later because "the staff have a life too". Where on earth do hosts tell their guests to eat at specific time? Elsewhere we are given a time frame like 8 to 10am. I queried this and was told again 8am only.
No offer was made to help with luggage and it now began to show that the staff (management) priorities are not the guest's comfort at all.
I took ill with an extremely sore throat, which was obvious to all, and when we went to speak to the manager, rather than be sympathetic, all she could say was "pay for the second night'.
I then felt it was time to raise the issues about Room 1 and prescriptive breakfast times and her lack of hospitality.
That was when she shouted that we are not the kind of people she wants in her guesthouse and how I did not thank her for bringing me coffee at breakfast! (I was in the middle of a coughing fit).
My wife tried to explain our point of view, but she was told we are not special (most guests are) and to JUST GO. We did.
Now when I look at TripAdvisor, I read reviews by AlexWaetens and Craig W (Johannesburg) and they are spot on the mark.

Room Tip: Try another guesthouse!
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank CapeTownChris
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
pellanauta, Manager at Pelagus House, responded to this review, January 14, 2013
The pettiness and hysteria of this review astonishes us. It is amazing how people (even seasoned travellers it seem) can be so vicious as to twist facts in order to put a decent establishment down. The 36 “excellent” and 10 “very good” reviews Pelagus has received thus far on Tripadvisor should say something about the experience most of our guests have. To us all guests are equal and extremely important. Unfortunately the Van der Merwe’s expected special treatment of some sort to which we were oblivious. To use Tripadvisor to air malicious allegations because you are angry at yourself is really childish. Mrs Van der Merwe booked the incorrect room (she admitted to this) so she must have been quite upset with herself when she realised that the room she actually booked was a not a full frontal sea view room. That’s probably why her husband was furious upon seeing the side sea view of the room when they arrived at Pelagus. The request to upgrade to a full frontal sea view room (of which there is only one) was declined as that room had already been booked. Really!! Why would we not allow an upgrade, which would have given us a higher income for the night – the full frontal sea view room is more expensive than the side sea view room so really!! it doesn’t make financial sense to “lie” about the most expensive room in the house not being available. There was never a mention of a cancellation of the full frontal sea view room. As for the 8am breakfast: we always give our guests an option – either between 8am and 9am or between 9am and 10am. As this was a Sunday the request was put to the Van der Merwe’s to have breakfast at 8am in order for our housekeeping staff, who work 6 days a week, to go home a bit earlier to be with their families. When they hesitated they were offered a later breakfast which they declined. What is the complaint then???
A sore throat none the less Mr Van Der Merwe thoroughly enjoyed the full English breakfast he ordered and yes not once did he thank the waiting staff who served him. Not very good manners especially for a seasoned traveller.
Seasoned travellers such as the Van der Merwe’s should not book in to a 4 star B&B when they are actually used to a 5 star hotel with a concierge service. They were asked if they were ok carrying their luggage (1 small overnight bag and handbag) at which the reply was yes. Again why the complaint??
Upon check out there was a very sympathetic enquiry to Mrs van der Merwe as to Mr Van Der Merwe’s illness but when it was mentioned that they had to pay for the early check out (they booked two nights and only stayed one) his illness miraculously disappeared and he started shouting and threatening us. The remark about “not wanting people like them” here is a blatant lie and nothing less. We did however inform him that he was the one that was annoyed, unfriendly and diva like from the moment he arrived. Maybe the fact that they were greeted as Mr and Mrs van der Merwe (pronounced the Afrikaans way) irritated this couple as they immediately insisted the pronunciation was incorrect…..
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154 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (31)
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English first
Johannesburg, South Africa
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed January 4, 2013

A flat tire delayed our journey back from Knysna which resulted at arriving 1 hour late after last checking time which in this case was at 6 pm... Arriving at the gate we have been told that our booking was cancelled and despite the room was still vacant the lady who was still at the place didn't want to host us " this was not her problem" but she didn't mind to cash our deposit... The best was when we were told to leave the gate when I was desperately looking for an other accommodation on a 1 st of January... A great example of their lack of respect and hospitality, as Hermanus is full of great places Icahn only advise you to look at something else!

Room Tip: Go elsewhere !
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Stayed January 2013, traveled with family
Helpful?
4 Thank AlexWaeytens
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
pellanauta, Manager at Pelagus House, responded to this review, January 7, 2013
What is mind blowing about this review is the number of untruths stated. First of all this guest never informed us of having a flat tyre. On arrival at the gate at around 7.30pm, he informed us in very broken English that he noticed on the booking site he used that our reception closes at 6pm but that he "visited too many places" that day hence the reason for being late. We informed him very courteously that there was no-one after 6pm that could receive him. If we had know beforehand that he would be late because of a flat tyre we would have waited at the guest house for him. As per our booking policy on the particular site he used the booking was automatically deemed a "no show" hence cancelled when he did not arrive by 6pm or called to inform us of his whereabouts. Secondly when he refused to leave the property he was kindly requested to move away from the gate as he was blocking the entrance. It was at this time that he started calling us names which cannot be repeated on a public website such as Tripadvisor. We then had to call the booking site through which he booked to report this behavior and also requested them to make contact with him and explain why his booking was cancelled and why he would loose his deposit of 50% of the room rate. We were actually entitled to charge him 100% of the room rate which we did not do as a gesture of goodwill.
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London
Level 5 Contributor
66 reviews
26 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 44 helpful votes
Reviewed January 1, 2013

Hotel perfectly situated overlooking the sea and within walking distance of the town, restaurants etc. The two ladies running the establishment could not have been more helpful, even though we arrived just before they finished for the day. The room was spacious, extremely well appointed and very clean. Breakfast was delicious. Only disappointment was the whales had moved on!

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank 2CAM
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Liphook, United Kingdom
Level 6 Contributor
279 reviews
65 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 158 helpful votes
Reviewed December 28, 2012

We stayed for 2 nights as part of a tour along the Garden Route. When we arrived we were given a quick tour of the facilities and shown to our excellent room. Plenty of space and a side balcony with a view to the sea. We were informed that whales were still in the bay so we dropped our bags and rushed out in case we missed them. We needn't have worried as there were whales everywhere, for the entire duration of our stay.

Our room was scrupulously clean and breakfast was delicious. The staff were really pleasant and helpful. One of the staff asked us at breakfast if we were planning to go out on a whale watching boat. As neither my wife nor I have particularly good sea legs we hadn't planned to do this but this lady said we really should do this. We changed our minds on the strength of her recommending a really good boat trip which they booked for us (Southern Right Charters) which turned out to be magical.

Pelagus House was typical of the incredible value and quality found in B&Bs along the Garden Route and wouldn't hesitate to stay here again.

Room Tip: A sea view room adds to the experience if you stay here in whale season
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank KeithmT
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Simon's Town RSA
Level 3 Contributor
19 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed December 16, 2012 via mobile

Very nice and perfect location, close to restaurants and shopping areas. Friendly and helpful staff. If you are lucky you can watch Wales from the hotel balcony or from the shore very nearby. Approximately 50 km to Gainsbaai where boats are available for wale watching and shark cage diving.

  • Stayed December 2012
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Stefan H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bremen, Germany
Level 3 Contributor
13 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed October 18, 2012

The primary reason for our stop off at Hermanus during our tour of the Eastern and Western Capes was to see the Whales, for which the town is well renowned. We were fortunate enough to have booked Room 1 at Pelagus which has a spectacular view of the bay area and upon our arrival we were treated to a Southern Right Whale 'playing' in the bay right before us, amazing! The hotel, service and breakfast were also great. Highly recommended

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank PMBrem
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Johannesburg, South Africa
Level 3 Contributor
19 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed October 9, 2012

We had booked a room through hotels.com and arrived in Cape Town a bit late due to some delays. We got a phone call from the manager as we were getting our luggage at the airport and when we told her we would be on our way shortly, she started screaming at us...literally! According to the fine print on the website, we were to have checked in by 6pm, the drive to Hermanus is just over an hour, so we would have been just over an hour late. We told her we would hurry and would appreciate if she could still maintain our reservation. She said "NO!" So we offered to stay in Cape Town for the evening and check-in the next day...she said "NO!" After a 15 minute conversation of going back and forth, telling me I should have read the website, she finally just said she "has a life too" and would not wait for us and will be cancelling our entire reservation. Now we are in Cape Town, heading to Hermanus for one of the busiest weekends, and have no place to stay. She didn't offer any help and didn't care about us at all...not the way to do business, unless you already have someone else in mind to take that reservation that would be paying more than us. Hmmmm...

Also, we checked our confirmation document that was emailed to us, and in no way did it say we had to check in by 6pm. It was only in very small print on the website...

Luckily, we found other AWESOME properties with great customer service. Thank you to Misty Waves for taking us in at the last minute and to the Hermanus Dorpshuys B&B. I recommend both of these highly!

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank Craig W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
pellanauta, Manager at Pelagus House, responded to this review, October 15, 2012
We would like to take the opportunity to respond to this very negative review and would like to start by clearly stating that we never have and never will “scream” at any of our guests as we value them far too much. Secondly the author (Craig W from Johannesburg) never made a booking with us – the booking was under a totally different name and came through as a booking made via Hotels.com. On the Hotels.com website for Pelagus House it clearly states “Check in time ends 6pm” under “What you need to know” and it also states “The front desk has limited hours. Guests must contact the property 24 hours prior to arrival for arrivals after 6pm” under the section “Check in information”. So in two different locations on the home page of Hotels.com (and not in fine print as Craig W is claiming) is our check in time and conditions clearly stated. We make provision for guests arriving late as long as we know prior to arrival. When we phoned this guest at just before 6pm to find out where they were we were informed that they would arrive at the guest house at around 9pm. The manager in question had a very hard time trying to explain to the guest that our reception is literally closing in a few minutes time and if we had known about their late arrival beforehand we could have waited for them but because they did not inform us of arriving after 6pm prior to their check in date it was impossible for us to accommodate them. The conversation did go backward and forward as stated and when the manager realised that no amicable resolution will be reached she informed the guest that we had no other choice but to cancel the reservation and refund him his deposit immediately – which we did. As for the comment of “having a life too” these were not the words used but the implication was that we have limited hours but still make provision for late arrivals if only we know before hand in order to arrange our after-hours activities to coincide with this. As management we recent the comment from Craig W as to selling the room at a higher rate to someone else. We were the ones that lost money when this booking had to be cancelled and we had to refund the guest. That room was not sold to anyone after that.
As for Craig W’s final comment on the confirmation document (we emailed to our guest one month prior to arrival), it clearly states “Please note that check in time is anytime from 2pm to 6pm” in bold font.
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Additional Information about Pelagus House

Property: Pelagus House
Address: 11 Church Street, Hermanus 7200, South Africa
Location: South Africa > Western Cape > Overberg District > Hermanus
Amenities:
Free Parking Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #42 of 86 B&Bs / Inns in Hermanus
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:4 star — Pelagus House 4*
Number of rooms: 7
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
UNDER NEW MANAGEMENT AS OF 1 MARCH 2014 Pelagus Guest House is situated in Hermanus, South Africa - a picturesque little town, world renowned for its beauty, whales and champagne air. Our guest house offers you accommodation in Hermanus that has all the elements necessary for a stay that is truly special. Our position, our style and our dedication to the highest standards ensure that the accommodation we provide meets your expectations. A spectacular view of the ocean and the sound of waves greet you on arrival at Pelagus Guest House; you'll awake to the smell of a fresh sea breeze and seaside sounds every morning and you'll be able to relax on the patio and enjoy the vista of Walker Bay whenever it pleases you. ... more   less 
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