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“An experience to try at least once!” 3 of 5 bubbles
Review of Santos Express

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Santos Express
Ranked #9 of 53 Mossel Bay B&B and Inns
Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa
Level Contributor
45 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“An experience to try at least once!”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 30, 2013

The idea of staying on a train appealed to me and I am glad we did it. It was only for one night and I think that was perhaps enough but I still can't say anything too bad about it. Yes there was a lot of sand in the train but what can you expect if the place is RIGHT on the beach and people are in and out all the time. You sleep in a train compartment so it is very cramped and you literally just go there to sleep, you can't do anything else. We had some gorgeous walks on Santos beach and Mossel Bay itself is lovely with plenty to do.

Room Tip: A compartment a little further from the bathoom is a good idea so you don't have people up and d...
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
Helpful?
Thank KimandRudi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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357 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    109
    128
    62
    30
    28
See reviews for
50
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7
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
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (86)
Date | Rating
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  • Dutch first
  • English first
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English first
Tulbagh, Western Cape, South Africa
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 16, 2013

Santos Express is the perfect place to stay! Best service and accommodation! What a unique experience it was to sleep in a train and to hear the trains go by. The beach is in walking distance so no need to drive anywhere. I would definitely make use of them again.

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Tiaan V
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mossel Bay, South Africa
Level Contributor
153 reviews
26 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 65 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 30, 2013

If you are looking for a uniquely different experience a one night stop over at the Santos Express is definatlely worth your while. Sleeping on a train what a exciting experience for children of today who are not used to train travel at all. The beautiful beach is only a couple of meters from your window and I doubt if you will find a spot closer to a beach on such a budget beating price. Please keep in mind that it is a restored train and that you are not going to find 5 star luxuries. The compartments are genuine train size and thus not big at all.

Room Tip: If you would like to sleep on a double bed please request that upon making your reservation as most...
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  • Stayed May 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank StellaJ09
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Stellenbosch, South Africa
Level Contributor
85 reviews
57 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles 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
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank yvettealbertse
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
56 reviews
54 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles 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
Helpful?
Thank Joe-p-01
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
3 reviews
2 of 5 bubbles 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
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
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 review, 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.
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

Bothasig, Western Cape, South Africa
Level Contributor
18 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles 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
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Charmaine M
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 #9 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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