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“Terrible place”
Review of The Alexander

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The Alexander
Ranked #3 of 126 Knysna B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
london
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“Terrible place”
Reviewed May 19, 2009

I visited the Alexander in December 2008 and I whole heartedly agree with the review below "Was very disappointing and marred our honeymoon". This guy has it spot on - bathrooms that smell so bad due to the drainage system that your whole bedroom stinks (and poor excuses provided), no telephones, although they said by Jan 2009 they would have them all installed so anyone who has stayed there since should have them - ye right! The best bit was the second morning of our stay at breakfast I was sure that I recognised the shrivelled up croissants as the same ones from the day before - when I mentioned this to Wayne and his sister I was assured that they were baked fresh that morning - aren't fresh croissants supposed to be soft and smell delicious? Um...liars springs to mind.
While I appreciated the gesture of rose petals on our arrival as it was our honeymoon, I didn't like them so much the next morning, or indeed the next evening, when they were still scattered all over the room and had started to rot.
Then there was the pool that wasn’t filled (in the middle of summer!) and the owner’s ‘friends’ that took over the outside communal area and the lounge area.
Last but not least to top it all off we decided to have some of our clothes washed - DON'T DO IT! They threw all our clothes in together, not separating black from white and then proceeding to throw everything into a tumble dryer - our clothes came back in an absolute state -I wouldn’t have minded so much if they had been ready for us when we checked out. Unfortunately they weren't and we had to hang back for an hour - thank goodness we weren’t catching a flight!
But wait, I almost forgot the best bit – the dogs. The dogs, that you are not pre-warned about and then proceed to do their business just outside the bedroom door leaving a lovely odour.
6 stars???!! I'm sorry? What?
all in all the biggest waste of money and we wont be going back - thank goodness it was only for 2 nights.
I wonder if we are the other 2 'idiots' mentioned in the review below??

  • Stayed December 2008, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank agclondon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
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  • Value
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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (52)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
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English first
uk
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed April 7, 2009

the car journey to the place was amazing. the houses in that area are spectacular. we were welcomed by raeleen who gave us a free drink from the bar. we booked the pilots view penthouse as the honeymoon suite was already booked, but the staff had decorated our room with petals on the floor, champagne and a bouquet of fresh roses. the view from our private balcony was great and had its own mini pool (not heated but fine for summer months). wayne was very humble and gave us a hand to take the bags to the room. there is no lift or phone in the room as it is meant to feel homely. there is a very friendly atmosphere and all staff were great. breakfast and dinner is personally cooked by wayne -delicious food. Cedric the driver will take you and collect you from the knysna centre. he was so friendly and efficient. knysna is made more beautiful because of the alexander -a great place to honeymoon or be pampered.

  • Stayed April 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank bhatgirl1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Henley on Thames
Level 4 Contributor
33 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
Reviewed March 23, 2009

My husband and I stayed at The Alexander for two nights at the end of our trip to South Africa. We stayed in the honeymoon suite which we found to be excellent - sumptuous decor and really effective aircon. The breakfast was wonderful, with Raeleen taking real pride in their homemade breads etc. Our views were great - there was a house in front of ours, but we did not feel that it took away from the overall views that we had. (see photos from our balcony) Like some of the other reviewers, the jacuzzi wasn't working while we stayed, but we understood that, as the weather wasn't great. (we had some rain and high winds). Overall a lovely, chilled stay. A & K

  • Stayed March 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank AMJ_7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
Reviewed March 22, 2009

My partner David and I spent 4 amazing nights at The Alexander in Kynsna, we wished it could have been 7. They really know how to make your stay an experience and not just another night in a bland hotel. We stayed in the Amber room and found it lovely. From the luxurious king sized bed, to the large soaking tub everything was first class. After spending the 4 previous days in the bush on safari the Alexander was a bit of heaven. The whole staff knew our names by the second day there! Wayne was so charming, friendly and helpful. We relied on him for dinner reservations every night, and each night was amazing. One of the best things about the Alexander is the private driver, Cedric. He will drop you off for dinner, and then just ask the restaurant to call him when you want to come home and he is there! No worries about getting lost, safety, or drinking & driving! The breakfast they serve each morning is beyond belief...6 types of breads,carved meats, a dozen cheeses, 5 types of juice, and eggs made to order. All served on an outdoor table hundreds of feet above the crashing Indian Ocean below. Cocktail hour is before dinner where guests are encouraged to mingle and share their travel stories. The Knysna area has so much to do...Monkeyland Primate Sanctuary, Tenikwa Cheetah & cat sanctuary, an Elephant sanctuary, amazing beaches, loads of golf, great forest hiking, tons of wonderfully unique restaurants, a touristy waterfront, fun shopping, even some fun clubs and nightlife for all walks of life! Compared to other places we stayed on our trip we found the Alexander to be a very good value. We can't wait to go back!
Christopher & David
San Diego, CA

  • Stayed February 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank chrisois
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Killarney
Level 2 Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed March 16, 2009

We spent our honeymoon in South Africa and picked Alexander house because of it's very good Tripadvisor review. It was day 8 of our honey moon and we had spent 7 fantastic days so far in Cape Town and Franschoek.

Upon arriving in The Alexander we were very impressed. A very nice welcome and A great location on top of the cliffs, vary nice decor in the house. We had booked the Honeymoon Suite which per the internet was spectacular. It was expensive but we wanted somewhere very nice. As promised there was a cheese platter and a bottle of Champagne waiting. Great start. The room while very large and very nicely decorated was not 5 star in my opinion. Maybe I am being unfair in comparing it to a 5 star hotel but The prices were more than The Cape Grace in Capetown and nothing near the same attention to detail. Towels, linens, toiletries, fresh flowers,cleanliness and general attention to detail was lacking. Never mind we had a fantastic view from The balcony and could have a jacuzzi.

The jacuzzi was luke warm and dirty. Excuse 1. They said that the Jacuzzi could not be turned on the previous day because of high winds and they could not get a jacuzzi cover for high winds. Instead they have a type of floating bubble wrap weighed down with a stone. The story does not make sense to me as I have seen many jacuzzis in use in areas of high winds and is there really a point having a jacuzzi on top of a cliff if it cannot work because of high winds.

There was no telephone in our room seemingly the telephone company went out of business so everytime We needed something we had to go down stairs. So 2 hours later having decided to stay in and have a jacuzzi in the Balcony and relax we could not do that.

We then decided to make use of he lovely flat screen TV and watch a DVD. After looking through an extensive DVD collection none of them were the correct format for the DVD player in our room. Different formats world wide was the excuse. Finally when we got a DVD the DVD player was not working so we had to operate from the system down stairs. If we wanted to pause we had to go down stairs. Great fun.

After that I decided to surf the internet in the room on their computer as mine could not access the wi-fi. Not working due to the mirrors in the room and the walls. Again what is the point of having a computer if you cannot surf because of thick walls and mirrors. Again a highly interesting as answer as wi fi can have a problem with walls but not reflection.

No matter, at this stage we were tired and could do with a good nights sleep. By around 3am we both could not sleep as the air con was not working and was creating a racket. We turned it off and figured we could at least get some peace. We did not call down as trying to resolve the problem at that time was not feasible.

Afraid not, the Air Con was "drip" "drip" "drip" all night. We did not get much sleep. In the morning around 7am there was a foul stench in the bathroom Cubicle and coming into the shower cubicle of effluent. Later on as I explained this I was rudely told that " you could not have smelled that as that only happens in the ground floor rooms.

At this stage my wife was quiet upset not having slept a wink and just wanted to leave. Despite it being 7.30am in the morning and not having anywhere else booked at that time we decided to check out a day early. I spoke to Raeleen at the desk and she was apologetic and as a gesture allowed off some mini bar beverages off our bill. We had paid our 1st nights accommodation and She assured me that there would be no further charges for our early checkout. Off we went without breakfast.

That evening I received a call from Wayne wanting to know why we checked out. I explained my story. He did not accept any of it. I said that is fine and said that we will let it be as I did not want to mess around with our honeymoon any more.

A few days later I noted a charge on my credit card bill from Alexander house. I sent an e-mail to Wayne. He was having none of it and said he was well within his rights. I e-mailed him again, irate at this stage and telling him that he could not do that. wayne responded with a crazy story that I checked out because I was recognised by another hotel guest. He went on further to say that my wife and I were 2 of the only 4 idiots that ever stayed in his guest house and he signed off by saying "please evaporate".

My money has since not been refunded as my wife signed the registration card and at this stage I do not see the point in raising my blood pressure by sending any further e-mails.

I work and have been brought up in the hotel business and I do believe that there are times when customers are wrong or have overly high expectations. The prices they charge in the Alexander and the sign of 6 stars as you find your way there clearly state that they are something exceptional.I would never write a bad review about another hotel but the way we were treated in this property was so bad people should be informed.

Hotels or guest houses are about a few basics and they are so far off the mark here it is a scandal. I am sure that Wayne will revert with a comment that will state that I am all wrong and he is all right. one thing that he cannot deny is that I was told that I would be charged no further by his sister Raeleen and that I was charged 5 days later. It is also possible that Wayne will post a predatory review against my hotel. I hope not.

South Africa is such a lovely country and all the people we met and the accommodation was excellent. It is just a pity that this marred our lovely trip. I promise soon to write up some of the really lovely places we stayed.

  • Stayed January 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
7 Thank Tom R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed January 23, 2009

I've never been driven to write a review before but we found this accommodation excellent in every way. You are wowed from the moment you arrive until the moment you leave by every aspect. The reception was warm the room delightful and every effort was made to provide food and service of the highest standards. A character guest house that deserves its stars.

Stayed January 2009
Helpful?
3 Thank DavidJ63
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reading
Level 6 Contributor
101 reviews
30 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 55 helpful votes
Reviewed December 10, 2008

This modern guest house is in a prime location on the clifftops above the Heads, with outstanding sea views from the upper levels. The property has been luxuriously furnished and equipped. Exceptionally clean.

The 2 suites on the top floor have huge windows opening on to large, private decks with jacuzzi or plunge pool.

The public area on the next floor down is an open-plan reception, comfortable lounge and bar. An excellent breakfast, with matching views, is served on the outside terrace. There is also another pool and jacuzzi.

The management and staff are exceptionally friendly and helpful. A courtesy bus is provided to drop and collect from restaurants.

  • Liked — Location
  • Disliked — Nothing
  • Stayed November 2008, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
2 Thank Jacntone
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about The Alexander

Property: The Alexander
Address: 30 Glen View Road | Pilot's View, The Heads, Knysna 6570, South Africa
Location: South Africa > Western Cape > Knysna
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Beverage Selection Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 126 B&Bs / Inns in Knysna
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:5 star — The Alexander 5*
Number of rooms: 6
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Perched in a prime position on the spectacular Knynsa Heads with panoramic views of the Indian Ocean from the middle,top and some lower decks of the house, The Alexander takes style, ambiance and personal service to new heights. Each of our six suites and rooms has been individually created using lavish furnishings, decorations and objects d’art to provide guests with a uniquely sensual environment for relaxation and recreation. From the moment you are offered a complimentary welcome drink on arrival you can expect to be pampered. Let us spoil you while you relax and enjoy your holiday with us ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Alexander Hotel Knysna

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