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“Dont Give A Damn”
2 of 5 bubbles Review of Santos Express

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Santos Express
Ranked #11 of 52 Mossel Bay B&B and Inns
Christchurch, New Zealand
Level Contributor
18 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
“Dont Give A Damn”
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 12, 2013

I guess because its a bit unique and only 10m from the beach that is a great place to stay. However, when we checked in they told us it was safe car parking and 24 hr security. But during the night or morning we had a bag that was locked tightly on our bikes cut off and taken. When we approached the reception and said "We just want to make you aware you have a security issue we had stuff stolen last night. In Africans they said "Why should it be our problem?" to her other peers. Little did they know we actually understand Africans and was discussed by that response.

Anyway - to cut a long story short. They told us that its wasn't safe to leave anything in cars or on motorcycles and it was our fault because even though they said it was safe they didn't actually mean it!

The food in the restaurant was overpriced and pretty poor standard. You can eat for the same price in a much fancier restaurant. Breakfast was included in the room price but toast and cereal doesn't cut it for a continental breakfast (normally priced at R85)

As for the rooms - well there is only one double room and that was what they call the honeymoon suit - its small (as it is a train) overpriced and dated to hell and glory! The ensuite is nearly bigger than the bedroom!

The best thing about this place is the view and the 50m between you and the sea. But i think you can find gems like this for a much better price!

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Danielle M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SantosTrain, Manager at Santos Express, responded to this review, April 16, 2013
Dear Motomonkey Adventure,

Thank you for your review. While we regret that you suffered loss due to theft, our parking lot is safe and we have not had a problem in the past. We do have security at night in our parking lot, as you were informed when you checked in. You were also asked to park your bikes next to the security hut, however, you opted to park them right at the back of the train, out of sight of the security guard and not in the parking lot at all. We offered to call the police on your behalf when you reported the incident, but you declined.

We are afraid that you may have misunderstood the comment in Afrikaans. Our standard procedure with any incident is to encourage a guest to file a police report, this is not only beneficial for insurance purposes, but also ensures that the police can determine the cause and nature of the incident. As you were uninterested in filing a report to the police, the staff member in question merely enquired “how” this now affects us.

The light breakfast that we offer free of charge with your room rate is normally priced at R35, not R85, that would be our all inclusive Maxi Breakfast with bacon, eggs and the works. A continental breakfast typically consists of cereals, bread products, fresh fruit and hot drinks, which is what we provide.

While we realize that our accommodation is not necessarily as spacious as luxury hotels, it’s an unique experience and most adventurous, well seasoned travelers appreciate it’s vintage charm. Due to the fact that we have restored a vintage train, with all the original fittings and furnishings, we are rather limited in the amount of space we can offer and the number of double rooms available.

We hope that you will return to our charming little town and we wish you safe travels through the rest of South Africa.
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366 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (87)
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English first
Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa
1 review
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 31, 2013

different and charming, just steps from the beach which is magnificent, parts for 2 people are very, very small like beds. The restaurant and bar are very good and entertaining. I didn't clean the bathrooms, looked rusty and neglected things. The breakfast said that was continental but were only toast and cereals. The part that touched me is extremely hot in summer.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Fran Z
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cairns, Australia
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 21, 2013

i have stayed at the santos express twice now and love it! the first time was in the honeymoon suite with my husband which a recomend for couples and the second time was with friends and family. it is right on the beach with a fantastic resaurant and bar attatched.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
1 Thank kylliehoile
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
25 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 18, 2013

Santos Express train Lodge is definitely a unique venue. It is nicely located right at the beach of Mossel Bay, with a bar/restaurant facing it, where you can have a complimentary breakfast, which is also pretty decent! The staff was nice, however the accommodation is what you call it a “I try it once, and it’s enough”. I wouldn't stay there for more than one night and most likely not return there to stay over. But it was great to hear the ocean through the window during the night!

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank kl3tk1na
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Port Elizabeth, South Africa
2 reviews
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 18, 2013

At the end of 2012, my brother made use of this facility to host his daughter's 21st birthday party. We were a party of about 30 people, ranging from 80 to 5 years old, and most of us spent 3 nights at Santos.
One has to take the accommodation for what it is, ie. compartments on old train coaches, with shared bathroom facilities, otherwise, this is not for you.
I would agree with comments in another review, that one needs to be able to secure one's compartment, during the day and at night despite having the windows open. The slatted shutters in our compartment did work, but this was not the case in all the compartments we occupied.
The only real negative for us as guests at the Santos Express, was the parking. We were there during the peak summer holiday season, and the general public flock to the beach from early morning, and despite the best efforts of a couple of gentlemen trying to control the parking situation, it was absolute pandemonium. Those of us who did need to use our vehicles, ended up having to park blocks away on our return, and then move our vehicles closer again late in the day. We did note this in our thanks to the Santos team following our stay, and our suggestion is that they try and secure the parking from outside their reception area, to the boom leading into the yacht club, for guests of the Santos Express.
Other than that, the most relaxing break I have had in a long time, and we have every intention of returning. 100% for location. Good food at the restaurant, with a lovely deck overlooking the beach. Very helpful staff. Fantastic beach.
An additional attraction for us was the little tram that travels between Hartenbos and Mossel Bay which was in operation during our stay, with Santos being one of it's stops. A few of us hopped on the tram to the mall, without having to negotiate peak holiday traffic and be hassled about finding parking.

Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
Helpful?
Thank BJN9
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cape Town Central, South Africa
1 review
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 17, 2013

at 21h00 on the eve of our arrival, we had a sudden jerking of the door to the caboose with someone trying to get in. very scary and disconcerting. from there we had a mouse in the room scouring for the most part of the night making a noise behind the fridge. speaking of the fridge, sounded like an aeroplaone landing every 10 minutes, not appropriate for such a small room.

the room needs air-conditioning or fan; otherwise put burglur bars on the windows so people can sleep with windows open. it is way too hot!!!!

otherwie, the restaurant was lovely and loation is brilliant. very cute concept.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank debraharmuth
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SantosTrain, Manager at Santos Express, responded to this review, March 24, 2013
Dear debraharmuth,

Thank you for your review. We are glad that you enjoyed your stay, apart from the heat and what turns out to be a faulty fridge fan bearing, not a mouse. Unfortunately you stayed with us during the warmest and most humid part of the year. We have been considering burglar bars for some time, but that would mean that we would essentially have to deface the original look of the train, which we find to be a very sad concept. The windows are however equipped with shutters, which do allow you to keep the windows open but safe, and the fresh sea breeze blowing through.

The caboose is currently undergoing a complete makeover and the fridge has a brand new fan bearing. Thank you for bringing it to our attention. Our security guard does his rounds every night and checks all the doors, to make sure that everything is safe and secure. We do apologize if he gave you a fright!

We do hope you will stay with us again in future.
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LITTLE ROCK
Level Contributor
134 reviews
26 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 71 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 25, 2013

This is traditional sleeper train car in an nontraditional place. Each compartment has either 2 or 4 beds. It's cheap and cozy. Open the window and enjoy the ocean and it feels like you're moving. The restaurant has good food and since there is a full bar, you are only a stumble away from your room! The three drawbacks are shared toilet and bath but that more of an inconvenience than anything. The second is the 40 years old mattress. The MAJOR drawback is the sink in the compartment, not to use mind you but if your neighbor is using it very much it will wake you from a dead sleep. The pipes rattle so loud that it be heard from 2 compartments away and if they use to say brush their teeth or wash their face it will drive you to hit the wall. Not kidding, but it's because they automatically shut off in a couple of seconds so you have to keep pushing it. They should just disconnect the compartment sinks from working at all. But still, it's fun and I would do it again.

Room Tip: No air conditioning but it's not needed. All rooms face the ocean. It's a train car with a...
See more room tips
  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank woodywould
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member 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 #11 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 
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