We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.
The latest reviews. The lowest prices. The perfect place to shop for hotels.

“Disappointing”
Review of Santos Express

Best prices for -
Check In mm/dd/yyyy Check Out mm/dd/yyyy
Prices are for 1 room, 2 adults
Show Prices
Compare best prices from top travel sites
and 5 more sites!
Santos Express
Ranked #9 of 52 Mossel Bay B&B and Inns
Johannesburg
Level Contributor
7 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Disappointing”
Reviewed January 3, 2012

This is really just a back packers. The people at the service desk ignore you and pretend to not see you. It is very old and not well maintained. There are spiders in the bathroom (oh and expect cold showers) and a wretched smell throughout the train. The windows barely open, the door of the unit I was in couldn't close properly and the walls are so thin that you can hear the conversations of the people next door. The breakfast was below average and the fruit not fresh. The service in the restuarant leaves much to be desired. They say that quality and service are their main objectives but I can say that they are failing dismally at this. The waitresses ignore you and the simple things, like the advertised cocktails on offer are not available, or a clean glass of water comes dirty. The Wi-Fi offer is over priced and you cannot access it in your room but only in the restuarant. You cannot plug anything other than 2-pin plugs in the room. If ever you are really that desperate, then stay and eat here, otherwise, pay that little bit extra and get decent service.

Room Tip: Just make sure its max 2 people in the room. Anything more will be too cramped. 2 people is already...
See more room tips
  • Stayed December 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank GuguJohannesburg
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SantosTrain, Owner at Santos Express, responded to this review, January 12, 2012
Thank you for your review. We do class ourselves as being a backpackers establishment with a unique twist. We try to keep it, as much as possible, authentic and in good condition, most of the fittings are original, which we feel lends a certain charm to your experience. As we are situated so close to the beach, small spiders do tend to creep in from time to time, and as we are as environmentally friendly as possible, we relocate them instead of killing them on sight. This particular one may not have checked out in time, we do apologize. Keeping things clean and tidy so close to the beach is a challenge, we therefor have cleaning staff on duty from 7am until 22pm daily. As you stayed with us during the busiest time of our peak season, it may not have been as squeaky clean as you would hope, due to the massive numbers of clients we have passing through. With shared facilities it is always a challenge to keep things neat and tidy on a permanent basis throughout the day. We are not aware of any wretched smell, it may be the pine fragrance cleaning products we use and you not be partial to that particular fragrance. We do apologize for offending your nose.

All of the doors to the compartments are still original and do not close completely when locked from the outside, they do however close snugly when locked from the inside. Unfortunately the rooms were not designed to be sound proof, as the movement of the train would have disguised most of the background noises on the carriage. This does however allow the sound of the waves to lull you to sleep at night, which most people find very soothing.

All rates include a continental breakfast (excluding dorm rates):
Tea / Coffee which is full Arabica ground beans
Fruit Juice
Selection of cereals
Toast and spreads
Fresh fruit / fruit salad

We do have a full a la carte menu available and all day hot breakfast is served from 7:30am onwards.

We offer electrical outlets in all rooms that are able to charge cell phones and laptops free of charge. Every second bathroom also contains an outlet where hairdryers may be used. For any other electrical equipment needs, we offer guests the use of our office outlets, also free of charge. We do offer a WIFI hotspot and ours is available throughout our restaurant, bar and deck areas.

We apologise for our staff not attending to your needs immediately, but with a few hundred customers making use of our facilities over the New Year, it may happen that guests are not immediately attended to.

We regret that you did not enjoy your stay as much as expected. The Santos Express Train Lodge was voted one of the most unique places to stay in the world and we are geared towards the more adventurous spirited and seasoned traveler and is not for everyone. We are sorry it was not to your liking.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

372 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    113
    132
    66
    32
    29
See reviews for
53
165
37
7
Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (88)
Date | Rating
  • Czech first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Norwegian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
Boca Raton
Level Contributor
75 reviews
61 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 57 helpful votes
Reviewed December 29, 2011

We really enjoyed our stay here. You can't beat the location of the train right at the beach, and the restaurant and bar are very convenient. The rooms are as you would expect- small and cramped but it was wonderful to wake up to and fall asleep to the sounds of the ocean and the beds were comfortable. Definitely recommend if you want to be close to the beach and don't mind the small quarters. It is a 10 min walk to the center of town.

  • Stayed December 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank bluepassion264
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cape Town Central, South Africa
1 review
Reviewed December 18, 2011

If you love trains you will love the experience of staying on this stationary train set on the edge of a beautiful beach with glorious views across the bay.As I lay looking up at the stars from my pillow beside the open window, I fell asleep to the soporific sound of the waves, secure in the knowledge that security guards were on duty outside. The single First Class "coupe" rooms of South African trains are compact, with a useful table, a full-length mirror on the door and adequate space for luggage, and are certainly larger than those you'll find on any Amtrak Superliner. With a shower and two toilets on each coach, the accommodation is immaculate - much cleaner than those I have encountered on working trains. My only criticism is that the blind was slightly torn, but I'm sure they will soon sort that out. The staff are welcoming and accommodating, and the included self-serve breakfast can be taken on the deck of the adjoining restaurant which shares those spectacular views. My overnight stay offered a touch of ocean-side train magic at a very reasonable price and I can't wait to stay there again.

Room Tip: The single rooms seems small at first, but by the following morning you'll be won over.
See more room tips
  • Stayed December 2011, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank valbed
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Buenos Aires, Argentina
Level Contributor
6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed November 22, 2011

Looking for somewhere unusual to stay in Mossel Bay? Book a bed at Santos Express, a converted train on the beach.

Seats have been removed to make way for 16-bed dorms, private rooms and small social areas that overlook the sea. Showers and bathrooms are nice and clean – and there’s even hot water.

The only downside is the lack of kitchen facilities and lockers. Be extremely careful if you have laptops, phones and credit cards. Lock any small items, such as passports, in the safe at the front desk.

http://fabuloustravelguide.com/2011/07/mossel-bay-stay-converted-train-beach/

Stayed July 2011, traveled with friends
Helpful?
1 Thank Fabtravel1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mossel Bay, South Africa
1 review
Reviewed November 16, 2011

I had a good experience on the Santos Express Train. It is exactly that. It is a sleeper train on old train tracks right next to the beach. The accommodation is what you should expect on a sleeper train. The staff was very friendly and I had a good experience.

Stayed November 2011, traveled with friends
Helpful?
Thank Derek S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Johannesburg, South Africa
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed September 29, 2011

My son is part of a cricket tour group to Mossel Bay and within hours of checking in he has advised me that his bags have been rummaged through and all his cash has been stolen out of his bag from his locked room. His room was still locked when he returned - the bag open and the cash gone. This is completely unacceptable....what of the security in this place and surely people with guests keys should be trustworthy! It is outrageous.

Stayed September 2011, traveled with friends
Helpful?
2 Thank lampstandlodge
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SantosTrain, Owner at Santos Express, responded to this review, October 1, 2011
Police are investigating this incident and we will post the outcome here. This is a rare occurrence and quite upsetting to us as well as to our guests and their mothers.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers are raving about these Mossel Bay hotels

Port Alfred, South Africa
Level Contributor
30 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
Reviewed August 19, 2011

Thank you to all the staff at Santos Express for a lovely stay. Everyone went out of their way to help with all my requests. Although the train beds are slightly narrow, I would recommend this unique experience to any back-packers travelling to Mossel Bay.

  • Stayed August 2011, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Laurie R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hotels you might also like...
Travelers also viewed these Mossel Bay hotels
0.3 mi away
Protea Hotel by Marriott Mossel Bay
1.2 mi away
Hotel Portao Diaz
Hotel Portao Diaz
#5 of 9 in Mossel Bay
4.0 of 5 bubbles 117 reviews
1.1 mi away
Point Village Hotel
Point Village Hotel
#3 of 9 in Mossel Bay
4.0 of 5 bubbles 487 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices
1.9 mi away
Oceans Hotel
Oceans Hotel
#4 of 9 in Mossel Bay
4.0 of 5 bubbles 175 reviews
17.7 mi away
Eight Bells Mountain Inn
Eight Bells Mountain Inn
#1 of 9 in Mossel Bay
4.5 of 5 bubbles 332 reviews
1.3 mi away
The Point Hotel
The Point Hotel
#8 of 9 in Mossel Bay
3.5 of 5 bubbles 234 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices

Been to Santos Express? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Additional Information about Santos Express

Property: Santos Express
Address: Munro Road | Santos Beach, Mossel Bay 6500, South Africa
Location: South Africa > Western Cape > Mossel Bay
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #9 of 52 B&Bs / Inns in Mossel Bay
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:2.5 star — Santos Express 2.5*
Number of rooms: 28
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Accommodation is in a train parked just 30m from the beach.We have an onsite restaurant and fully licensed bar. Function/Conference venue is available, perfect for a beach wedding. We can accommodate large groups comfortably. ... more   less 
Reservation Options:
TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Booking.com, Expedia, Orbitz, Hotwire, Priceline, HostelWorld and Hotels.com so you can book your Santos Express reservations with confidence. We help millions of travelers each month to find the perfect hotel for both vacation and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.

Is This Your TripAdvisor Listing?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing