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“Santos Express”
Review of Santos Express

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Santos Express
Ranked #10 of 53 Mossel Bay B&B and Inns
Utrecht, The Netherlands
Level 5 Contributor
83 reviews
50 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
“Santos Express”
Reviewed February 6, 2013

How nice is that sleeping in a train and waking up with view on the beach from your bed!
We had a really nice time at Santos express, a warm welcome a clean room. Small but what do you aspect when you sleep in an old train. The bathroom facilities are clean and good.
Iff you jump out of the window you are on the beach and the village is on walking distance.
Further I want to compliment the staff, we had 'some' troubles with our further transport and they did everything they could. Even iff this meant the phone was ringing all the time for us!
I recommend!

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank AnoekV
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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382 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (88)
Date | Rating
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  • Dutch first
  • English first
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English first
Cape Town
Level 2 Contributor
8 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviewed January 24, 2013

The Santos Express seems like a great idea at first, even if just for the novelty sleeping in a train. However it was a total let down and almost ruined our short stay in Mossel Bay. Firstly, they are a Baz Bus stop which promotes the idea they are a backpackers. This couldn't be further from the truth and we were woken up on the last day of our trip round South Africa by screaming kids running around the carriage at 6AM.
The staff act as though you are an inconvenience to them, and were stupid enough to moan about the guests in Afrikaans, not realising that we (along with probably 90% of their guests) understood. The toilets and showers were not clean and the rooms are incredibly cramped. I would definitely recommend staying at another backpackers in Mossel Bay. The only redeeming feature is it's proximity to the beach, although even this cannot make up for all the other shortcomings.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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Helpful?
Thank Traveller41CapeTown
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SantosTrain, Manager at Santos Express, responded to this review, February 6, 2013
Dear Traveller41CapeTown,

Thank you for taking the time to add your review. We do regret that you did not enjoy your stay with us. We apologize for the utterly unprofessional behaviour of our staff and aim to increase our training standards significantly.

We do not advertise our Train Lodge exclusively as a backpackers. We are merely a convenient stop for the Baz Bus, they do not have too many stops in Mossel Bay. We try to cater for as many different types of traveler as we can and we try to be as family friendly as possible. During the time of your stay, we did have a large group of mothers and their children staying with us. We apologize if they inconvenienced you in any way, but unfortunately we do not have any control over the parenting skills of our patrons. We try to be tolerant of all our guests, no matter their age or upbringing.

Unfortunately we cannot change the size of our compartments to make them more comfortable. We do realize that they are on the small side, but they are still the original compartments and fittings from the mid seventies when our train was functional. We try to maintain as much of the original train as possible, as we feel this enhances the uniqueness of the experience. We do struggle with the sand in the showers, due to being right on the beach and our cleaners fight a constant battle to keep the facilities in tip top condition.

We regret that you were not able to enjoy the experience and the unique charm of the accommodation. We appreciate your candor and do hope that you will visit our amazing little town in future, as we do have a lot to offer, more than can be experienced within a day or two.

Regards,
Management
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Travelers are raving about these Mossel Bay hotels

Montreal, Canada
Level 6 Contributor
175 reviews
27 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 259 helpful votes
Reviewed November 18, 2012

This train hostel was the most unique lodging experience ever! We loved our cute compartment with its comfortable beds and crisp linens. The view of the beach and constant sound of waves were lovely. Contrary to some previous reviews, there was hot water and everything was clean. We found the staff to be very friendly and helpful, and they conversed with us in a way that helped us gain a better understanding of today's South Africa. Wifi in the restaurant worked well and we spent a long time there enjoying cup after cup of delicious (free!) coffee... :-) My only suggestion for improvement would be to provide towels, as it was a hassle for us to bring one on our long trip just for this night, and many people try to minimize luggage. Nevertheless, we strongly recommend choosing this quaint accommodation and we thank the Santos Express for a memorable experience.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank RebeccaPeter
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Port Elizabeth
Level 4 Contributor
25 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
Reviewed October 27, 2012

With a position right on the beach it is really good value for money. The cabins as can be imagined, sleeping on a proper train are a little cramped but the experience is BIG. Watch whales in the bay and the fishing boats coming and going from your bedroom window. Breakfast is perfect on the balcony overlooking the superbly clean beach, while in the evening the restaurant is not only good value but great food and the waitrons are pleasant and courteous as well as on the ball. The surroundings on the town side oif the train could do with a clean up and maybe pull the fences down they don't seem to have a function. Be great if they had to have decent direct access to the beach from the carriages / rooms. Nice clean linen on the beds too.

Room Tip: The first carriage is the closest to the restaurant.
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled on business
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank wildguide
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cape Town Central, South Africa
1 review
Reviewed October 10, 2012

First of all great value for money. It was myself and my wife we were there for 4 nights. It was absolutely fantastic falling asleep and waking up hearing the waves breaking on the shore - awesome.
The breakfast was good (coffee is a must). We had supper there 2 nights - real quality, there calamari was the best I had, the service was out of this world, everybody was always so friendly and always greeted you.
I would go back again and I have recommended people already.
Must go to place!!

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank Richard C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 5 Contributor
89 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 53 helpful votes
Reviewed August 14, 2012

Stayed last night and loved it! I like unique and unusual and this certainly fits the bill. I enjoyed watching the sunrise and even saw whales in the bay from my room. Close to the harbor and lots to explore nearby. I'm going to the lighthouse, Dias Museum and taking a historic walking tour later today. The train is also a BazBus stop so easy to get to while exploring the Garden Route of South Africa.

Room Tip: All rooms have a view of the water. You can hear the waves.
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  • Stayed August 2012, traveled solo
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Helpful?
Thank Bethleen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cape Town Central, South Africa
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed July 22, 2012

The very best part of the Santos Express is the location. Any closer and the waves would be splashing over you. Great value for money, even basic breakfast is included. I have stayed a few times and will continue to visit.
The "room" is small, but that is the nature of a genuine train room, this is the real deal experience. You can charge your cell phone, but that is all. Rooms and bedding that I have stayed in were all clean and well kept. The bathrooms are also compact and shared. I found them to be clean and functional with hot water. Internet cafe at reception, 220vac Power plugs in reception and bar.
Food at the restuarant is good and fair value for money. Staff are friendly and helpful.
Even the gardens around the train are very well kept.
Would I stay there again - Yes.

Room Tip: All rooms are good and have a wonderful view
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  • Stayed July 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Jerome M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SantosTrain, Owner at Santos Express, responded to this review, July 24, 2012
Thanks Jerome,

It is quite clear to us that there are those people that enjoy unique accommodation such as the train and others that will be more comfortable in more generic lodgings. Thanks for being a more adventurous traveler and also to inform you that we are busy with a big winter spruce up and you should enjoy your next visit even more.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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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 #10 of 53 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 
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