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“trainsuite with a beach front view”
Review of Santos Express

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Santos Express
Ranked #9 of 55 Mossel Bay B&B and Inns
Reviewed August 21, 2013

the blue train greeted us parked along the tracks at santos beach, it has been painted as it is quite old already. R50 deposit for the key upon arrival, the train is parked permanently along the beach and right next to it runs the actual tracks. when you climb the built stairs, to make it easier, you can imagine that the train will be pulling out of the station, the toilet is where is is suppose to be at the end of each carrage but has been changed to a normal updated toilet, next to it you will a shower, big enought to put down you toiletry bag, towels, change of clothes and the compartments and coupe's start, some look like the actual compartment with 2 single beds and the top bunks hooked up, some compartments have been changed into a double beds. Blue duvets, white linen and pillows welcomes you. the lights, bed lights have been disconnected it is suppose to work with the a diesel or elctric engin pulled the train, there is now a single main light. The windows slide up and down to be open or closed for how long, one cannot say. no noise of the moving train to soften the opening and closing of doors during the night or people/passengers walking in the passage,all in all you get what you paid for, acompartment on a train?!

  • Stayed: August 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank yvettealbertse
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed July 9, 2013

A quirky place to stay. It's an old converted train carriage which is literally right on the beach with superb sea views, especially at sunrise. There is a good restaurant and bar but no communal kitchen, although the owner did kindly store our fridge goods overnight for us with no hassle. Good value and well worth a stop just for the novelty. We found it difficult to find in the dark but that may be our own fault. We arrived without a booking and secured a private room no problems. Recommended

Stayed: May 2013, traveled as a couple
Thank Joe-p-01
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 6, 2013 via mobile

Location is great, beachside and quiet. but the service is terrible. In the coast to coast book it says the staff are on the ball and help with reservations for activity. This is not the case, it looked like they even struggled to let us use the phone to try book the cango caves. No help at all. The staff also lied to us about the dorm rooms, saying they were full, trying to up sell us. There was only one other person in the dorm. Had dessert at the restaurant there, pretty much a minute heat up choc pudding and a scoop of ice cream for 50rand.
Un impressed... The beach is great tho :)

  • Stayed: July 2013
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Thank Sezza77
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SantosTrain, Manager at Santos Express, responded to this reviewResponded July 8, 2013

Dear Sezza77,

Thank you for your review. We do regret that we were unable to make your stay more comfortable and pleasurable. We did indeed have a group of nine males booked for the dormitory the night that you stayed with us. On check in, you were advised of this and asked whether you would prefer a private room, in case you would feel uncomfortable sharing with such a large group of men. The other single girl in the dorm was also given this option. It was not a ploy to “up sell” at all, as there was no extra charge, merely a concern for your well being and to make sure that you were aware of who you would be sharing with.

Our receptionist went to a lot of trouble to accommodate your requests for assistance, even calling to Pretoria Embassy on your behalf in order to assist you with visa queries. This is something that we do not normally do, seeing as you did have your own cell phones and were able to call yourselves, we tried to help and did it at our own cost. You were also offered advice on the George Internal Affairs branch, but you opted to ignore the offer.

After 6pm that night you requested assistance with reserving the Cango Caves tour, even though you were repeatedly told there was no need to book, since the tour departs hourly. Our receptionist was unable to reach their booking office, which was most probably closed for the night. She did however contact one of the other tour operators in the area to double check that she had the correct number, as it was listed on the Cango Caves website. It was indeed the correct contact details, the same details you were given and were also unable to reach them on.

We do regret that we were unable to do more to assist you.

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Reviewed April 28, 2013

It was my 2nd stay in the caboose 1st time we stayed for 2 nights and 2nd time for one night but if I could have I would have stayed longer for sure and we will be back. We enjoyed great lunch on the deck and a decent breakfast with friendly staff. I love the sound and smell of the ocean and too look through the window and see the ocean was just great. I think people expect more from a room with en-suite on a train but forget it is a train and it can't get any bigger even in the other rooms. Remember it is a real train although it is not moving it will have limited space. Enjoyed every min of our stay, Thank You Santos we will be back :)

  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Charmaine M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 28, 2013

Great value, an adequate breakfast & a comfortable night's sleep.
I've stayed here in Feb & Mch 2013 with a group & no complaints.
We left the motor cycles near the security cabin & were assured they would be safe.
Yes, I will be staying again, it suits our purpose & is close to the venues we frequent.
Our only objection was the occasional cigarette smoke wafting in from the bar area into the dining room.
Be secure & keep your valuables with you or store in the office safe.

Room Tip: Try to secure a mid section sleeper.
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  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled with friends
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Thank Keith A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 25, 2013

I tried during a couple of days to book a train ticket from Johannesburg to Capetown in tourist class with a cabin and beds but they were all fully booked.
We had the occasion to experiment that in this hôtel, but the problem, is that you don't have the train noise that cover other cabins noise. The noise isolation is very poor. We in between the toilet and two girls that didn't knew that at 11 pm and more, it's not the time to yell in an hotel...
Except for that, location and the experinence are great

Room Tip: I supposed I was silly to take it close to the toilet anyway!
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  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank MChouinard
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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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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 reviewResponded 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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Additional Information about 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 55 B&Bs / Inns in Mossel Bay
Price Range: $26 - $38 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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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