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“Fractured ankle and callous treatment ruined honeymoon”
Review of Spier Hotel

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Spier Hotel
Ranked #4 of 16 Hotels in Stellenbosch
Certificate of Excellence
Durban, South Africa
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Fractured ankle and callous treatment ruined honeymoon”
Reviewed May 15, 2013

My husband and I were so excited to stay at Spier for the second half our honeymoon. We came all the way from Durban and booked the Taste of Spier package which included a segway tour of the wine farm, wine tasting and an eagle encounter. We also added a gourmet picnic to our package.

When we checked in at the hotel we received the vouchers for the activities. The segway tour was already booked for 10:30am the next day as it said on the voucher, but all of the staff behind the desk said it had been moved to 11am and that we should get there at 10:45. The next day we arrived at the meeting spot for the segway tour at 10:30 as we were told it started at 11 and wanted to get there early. There was no sign of anyone around and we walked around the area a few times. Eventually my husband went into the wine tasting place to inquire. We were told by Sandile Magidigidi that the tour's time had never changed and was always at 10:30 and you had to get there at 10:15. He contacted the segway guy who said they were still training and that we should join them. Sandile then hurriedly gave us indemnity forms to sign which I didn't even get a chance to read. We then walked to an open field where they were training. I remarked to my husband and Sandile that it looked like we'd missed a lot of the training. Sandile assured us that it would be fine. Eric the segway instructor quickly rushed us through the training. I asked him if the segway could ever fall over and he said that it could never fall over. I honestly didn't feel like I had had enough training and practice and that was the front desk staff’s fault for bizarrely telling us to get there at 11. We started the segway tour and ended up in the Protea Garden which was a stony area only about 2m wide with wooden fences on either side. The ground veered to the right and as I noticed that the segway was going too close to the fence, I tried to pull the handle bars to the left and the wheel caught on the fence and the whole thing toppled over. I fell on my left elbow and grazed my hand, while the segway bar fell hard on my right ankle and leg causing a deep cut and extreme ankle pain that I later found out was a fractured ankle. I had blood dripping down my leg and I was crying while my husband who was behind me rushed to me and helped me up. My husband had to wipe my leg with a tissue from my bag as the segway staff didn’t have so much as a plaster let alone a first aid kit. The segway staff asked if I was okay but looked shocked and didn’t know what to do. It seemed like they had no training of what to do when a person gets injured on the tour. I tried to walk a bit but it was so painful. Eric asked if I wanted to continue with the segway tour which I thought was totally ridiculous as I was crying and injured. I said definitely not. Sandile said he would go get the gold cart to take me back to my room, but as were over a walking bridge we had to get to the cart because he couldn't take it over the bridge. The rest of the segway tour carried on and when Eric saw I was struggling to hope on one foot he asked if I wanted a segway to take me over the bridge. I know he was trying to help but it was insensitive at the time. As I struggled to limp with such a painful ankle Sandile and my husband had to carry me over the bridge to the golf cart.

As our room was up many steep stairs my husband and Sandile had to carry me up the stairs. We then had to ask for a first aid kit which a man who seemed totally unqualified in first aid brought up to our room. My husband had to instruct him on how to clean my wound. We had to ask for an ice pack. The security manager then came into our room to compile a report while I was in so much pain. He wanted me to write and fill out a long form while lying on my bed. We asked him if the hotel had crutches and he found out that they did not. They also did not have a nurse or a wheelchair even thought the hotel is huge with many activities. The security officer asked if I wanted them phone for an ambulance to take me to the hospital. I asked him who would pay for that and he just kept quiet so I said that I should be okay because at that stage I thought it was a sprain. However, after he left, I realised that things weren't right and my husband decided to take me to the hospital. Once again a golf cart driver had to help carry me down the stairs. My husband went to the front desk to ask them to postpone our picnic we had planned for after the tour and to get directions to the hospital as I waited in the car. The hotel manager and security officer came to the car with my husband. The security officer had rewritten my statement from before claiming it was the wrong form. He said it’s basically what I had said and asked me to sign it. The manager then joked that he was sure it was just a sprain and that I looked like I wanted to hit my husband. I found this extremely insensitive given the circumstances. I had injured myself on my honeymoon on his property and I expected some compassion.

At the hospital I had x-rays and was told my ankle was fractured not just sprained. They put on an air walker boot that I had to wear for six weeks and gave me crutches and a script for painkillers. My husband had to pay for the hospital and medicine out of his own pocket. When we arrived back at the hotel my husband went and got our picnic basket at reception to have in the room and told the manager that I fractured my ankle. He didn't offer to move us to a downstairs room or do anything to make me more comfortable even though I had been injured at his hotel. Once again I had to be carried up the stairs to our room. Even though I had crutches I couldn't get up the stairs as they were extremely steep and I was in too much pain as well as having landed on my arm. This incident happened last Friday. So from Friday until our check out on Sunday morning I had to stay in my room as I couldn’t go up and down the stairs. We couldn’t believe that we never once got asked if we would like to be moved to a ground floor room. We had to miss all our other activities that we had planned such as the wine tasting and the eagle encounter. We got a phone call after we got back from the hospital from Sandile and then not one call or visit from anyone else checking on me or offering to move us to a ground floor room. No-one even offered to send breakfast up to our room, my husband had to go to the buffet breakfast on Saturday and ask for croissants, scones and muffins. My husband put the do not disturb sign on our door so that the room wasn't made up but asked for coffee, sugar and milk to be replenished which was not done all day until he phoned. When we checked out I had to struggle down the stairs and my husband hurriedly grabbed me a croissant for the car drive to the airport. My husband had to organise a wheelchair at the airport to get me on the plane.

I am shocked and appalled by the lack of compassion displayed by Spier. I shudder to think what would have happened to me if I had been a solo traveller and didn’t have my husband. It is disgusting that Spier has such a dangerous activity yet the instructors don’t carry a first aid kit and seemed totally unqualified to handle an emergency situation. They did absolutely nothing to make my stay more comfortable even though I got injured doing one of their activities. I have a broken ankle and have to be on crutches for the first six weeks of my marriage as well as having half my honeymoon ruined. I have been traumatised by my experience and have been extremely upset since it happened. I keep getting flashbacks to the incident and have been extremely depressed about how my honeymoon turned out. I am still in shock by the whole experience. It was supposed to be a romantic end to my dream honeymoon but instead became a nightmare.

Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
3 Thank PamelainPink
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Spier2011, General Manager at Spier Hotel, responded to this review, May 23, 2013
Dear Moon_shimmer8

I am extremely alarmed to read your report on your stay at Spier, particularly as it was such an important time for you. I have spoken with my team, including the senior managers on duty at this time. There were clearly some areas where we were remiss and I offer our sincere apologies.

Guest comfort and safety is our highest priority and I am dealing with this internally in a very serious light.

I wish you a speedy recovery and will stay in touch.

Warm regards

Wayne Siepman
General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Cape Town
Level Contributor
10 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed May 13, 2013

What a great hotel - very charming and I love the character and atmosphere. The rooms are large with a small patio looking onto the gardens. It was a really cold night in Stellenbosch, but there was both a gas heater and airconditioning in the room. The bathroom was comfy and all the products were also great.
The food on the menu in the main restaurant was something different and catered for everyone. I had aubergine pasta pockets and it was devine. Not to mention the wine from the farm - simply love the Creative Block range. The breakfast buffet was also great.
I will definitely go back!

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled on business
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank CapeMom_8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Portishead
Level Contributor
25 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
Reviewed May 13, 2013

We recently stayed at this hotel as part of a tour. The rooms are in blocks around the main hotel. We had a lovely room (509) which was accessed up our own set of stairs and had a large terrace overlooking the garden and main hotel with fantastic views of the surrounding countryside. The room was huge and set out in old colonial style. The food was excellent and the bar was very well stocked. We particularly liked the large lounge and bar area with log fires (it is winter and gets a bit chilly at night). All of the Staff were helpful, particular thanks to Joyce our waitress who always greeted us with a warm smile.

The only down side for us was that we were on a tour with drivers between each destination so we did not have access to a car and it was quite a long taxi ride into the main town of Stellenbosch. We liked the little nature reserve and the walks around the Hotel, so despite the fact that we did not have a car we made the most of our stay.

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank loubylouportishead
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hoedspruit, South Africa
Level Contributor
8 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed May 12, 2013

On our three week trip through South Africa we arrived at the stylish Spier Hotel with tastefull modern interior design, 3 restaurants (a Lunch restaurant, a a la carte restaurant and a Mojo's serving only buffet dinners). The huge parking area and the nearby highway causes a lot of constant traffic noise on the propety and inside the rooms you can clearly hear this.This doesnt give you the impression you are in the peacefull tranquil wine-lands even though the gardens are tidy and well maintained. We took a walk around the propety which is well developed with some green left and a little stream that meanders through a park land landscape.The reception was welcoming and friendly even though our small group did not get help from the porters with unloading the luggage. They did transport it to our rooms. The rooms are clean and very spacious but inpersonal. We had diner at the a la carte restaurant and it was well prepared and deliciously cooked. All in all excellent for a business trip or conference but not suitable for a vaction trip for a small group as the personal contact with the staff is missing and the whole experience is very business like.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
Thank Robincornelis
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cape Town
Level Contributor
20 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed May 8, 2013

Having never visited Spier in all my years as a Capetonian, my husband and I recently spent a night at the Spier Hotel. We were warmly welcomed in the stylish lobby, very easily checked in and then escorted to our room via golf cart, with a quick tour of the main lounge area, breakfast room and restaurant. The elegance and simplicity of the main building is really easy on the eye, with a fair emphasis on the famous Spier wines - I couldn't wait to taste them!

Our room was ground floor in one of the garden suites, with a large king-size room, en-suite with bath & shower, TV, fireplace and private patio opening onto a shared courtyard swimming pool. Really very relaxing and easy walking distance to the main buildings.

We enjoyed a walk through the grounds - really so pretty and scenic! We enjoyed FABULOUS wine tasting at the Spier winery - I recommend the premium tasting, although more expensive, it really was worth it - with generous helpings of their best flagship wines. If you are going to buy a bottle, go for the 21 Gables Chenin Blanc or Pinotage - South Africa's original varietal wine.

We then wandered over to the Eagles Encounter but didn't use the facility. We booked an evening at Moyo - the African restaurant on the estate, which was really fantastic! Amazing food, lovely setting, entertaining music.

Breakfast the next morning was lovely, fresh and plentiful! From vanilla flavoured cream on scones to a full hot breakfast there was everything.

I would have to say that our stay at Spier was relaxing, invigorating and peaceful. It's a lovely setting and so close to multiple wine farms and markets for a weekend's getaway. Plus Stellenbosch is just down the road so it's really convenient! I really recommend.

Room Tip: I would say get a ground floor room so that you have access to a private patio.
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  • Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Kimberood
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
30 reviews
26 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
Reviewed May 7, 2013

The staff is absolutely lovely. They always try their best to be helpful and friendly. The property is surrounded by a marvelous landscape but the close by noisy highway often breaks the peaceful atmosphere. Remarkable art pieces are spread throughout the property. The buffet breakfast was delicious and generous. The only reason why I rated the property as "average" and not "very good" was because the internet Wi-Fi was terrible, both in the room, the lobby area and the meeting rooms. It never worked. It's unacceptable for a hotel that hosts seminars and business meetings.

Room Tip: Avoid the rooms close to the highway.
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled on business
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Helpful?
Thank ReneDijon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Saint Louis, Missouri
Level Contributor
105 reviews
31 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
Reviewed April 26, 2013

Such a cozy feel in these rooms. Large. Large bath with huge tub that would fit two. Did not try out the gas fireplace. The weather was not really fitting.

The common area seems mis-matched as it has a very contempo vibe. Doesn't really affect anything, but it was noticed.

Ordered off the ala carte menu. Food was good. Our tour group had a special buffet arranged and that was the bomb!(wonderful) I wanted some of the dessert for breakfast!
Best dessert I have had in quite some time.
Breakfasts were first class.

Recommended.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled solo
    • Value
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    • Service
Helpful?
Thank cheri b
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Spier Hotel

Property: Spier Hotel
Address: R310, Stellenbosch 7599, South Africa
Location: South Africa > Western Cape > Stellenbosch
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #4 of 16 Hotels in Stellenbosch
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:4 star — Spier Hotel 4*
Number of rooms: 153
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Spier, in the heart the famous Cape Winelands, is more than a hotel. It is a destination in itself. One of the first hotels in South Africa to be Fair Trade in Tourism certified, Spier offers visitors a variety of authentic experiences - from food and wine to outdoor activities - in beautiful surroundings. ... more   less 
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