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.
- 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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