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“great location, stunning views, good facilities, shame about the attitude”

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Swellendam Backpackers Adventure Lodge
Ranked #4 of 4 Hotels in Swellendam
Reviewed December 15, 2013

Clean and comfortable a walk from town but makes up for by the great location. Unfortunately the ensuite rooms have wafer thin walls and we shared every moment of our next door neighbours abulations, music, and conversations. The raised walkway resonates every footstep and herds of baby elephantss could have walked more quietly. No soap in the shared showers or rooms was provided. The shower and basin were a wash tub base and bucket respectively. Good idea but impractical and I would have thought for people with mobility problems stepping unrealistic. Sadly we were woken up one morning by the manager shouting at a member of staff outside our door. Later when we asked for more washing up liquid she replied well there was plenty earlier, then told us we had enough. Not a very helpful attitude to take with paying guests.

  • Stayed: December 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank sue l
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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40 - 46 of 83 reviews

Reviewed September 15, 2013

Stayed one night here on a solo bike tour along the garden route. Made an enquiry through the website but didn't realize that a room wasn't guaranteed (my own fault!! Make sure to BOOK in advance). Luckily there was room available in one of the garden cottages. The cottages don't have electricity, but there is something romantic about reading a book by the light of a paraffin lamp. At night, the infamous Cape Winds blew at close to 30mph but these cottages are built to last!! The bathrooms and showers are cleaned daily and centrally located and the water is HOT! (After riding 65 miles from Cape Agulhas the hot shower was reinvigorating). In the morning, a couple of the other guests chose to go on one of the many mountain hikes that are a stones throw from this backpackers, and the owner Steff was more than happy to go over the maps. As some of the trails aren't marked, she made sure the guys knew where to go and also told them that if they weren't back by dark SHE WOULD GO LOOK FOR THEM!! Good luck getting that kind of service elsewhere lol. Finally, when the BazBus came to pick me up and the driver wasn't trying to take my bicycle (the BazBus website states that ALL busses have trailers for bikes and surf boards, but apparently you have to let them know in advance) Steff once again came to my aid and said something to him that made him change his mind and I was on my way!!! If I'm ever passing this way again there will be no question as to where to stay. Thanks Steff!! :)

  • Stayed: September 2013
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2  Thank Terpsfan22
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 5, 2013

We arrived in Grahamstown at dusk, without having previously arranged accommodations. We were anxious to find a place and settle into the town.

When we first entered Adventure Lodge, no one was present at reception. We waited for a good 5 minutes. Finally, a person I presume was the owner, came to our attention. Thankfully, they had accommodations. The owner, however, was entirely unfriendly and seemed to want to rush us through our check-in, hastily answering our questions. When it seemed everything was in order, we took the keys to our room, and the owner rushed away. When we returned to reception to ask a few questions about the town and where to dine, she was again not present. When we were finally able to track her down, the woman indicated that you "just go to the main area and there are lots of restaurants". This was hardly a recommendation, and vastly incorrect, as when we went to the main strip, only one restaurant was visible and open!

The room itself was okay, however, the bathroom toilet was filthy, requiring me to rub it down entirely with sanitizer and paper towel.

Overall we were quite disappointed with Adventure Lodge, however, this review does not appear to stray from the norm of this place.

  • Stayed: August 2013, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank AreP1234
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 17, 2013

I stayed here for one night as part of a tour. We had originally planned to stay in a dorm but these turned out to be garden shed in the garden with gaps in the walls and with no electricity so we paid more to stay in one of the newer rooms instead. They smelt of paint and looked brand new but the walls were paper-thin - I could hear everything people were saying in the rooms next door - and although the bathrooms were quirky (corrugated metal doors, tin baths for shower trays and a tin bucket for a sink) the water temperature control was poor and the tin baths meant that you could hear everyone in the block having a shower.

The communal kitchen was nice, but the man who checked us in was rude and Internet was expensive.

There were lots of other places to stay in Swellendam which were also more central.

  • Stayed: May 2013, traveled with friends
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Thank mandaland
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 10, 2013

On various business excursions over the last ten years I have stayed at the Swellendam Backpackers and enjoyed it very much. The location is awesome with a beautiful garden and as it runs down to the river makes for a great space to hang out. The staff are friendly and helpful. I took them up on the opportunity to go for a horse ride in the mountains and it was one of the best rides ever. Whichever room I have been assigned I have always been satisfied. It has been interesting to see the changes and the new rooms now built are great.

Room Tip: Definitely ask for one of the new rooms especially Room 6.
  • Stayed: May 2013, traveled on business
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1  Thank Mauveen350
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 30, 2013

This was the nicest hostel we stayed so far. We stayed in a double en suite room which was new and very nice. The rooms were a bit noisy but the environment and the place made up for it. We wished we could have stayed one more night.

  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank BastiaanWest
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 10, 2013

I felt very welcome right from the beginning. The staff is great and I had 3 very relaxed days there. They are building at the moment but only during the day so u don´t really have to bother with it since u don´t want to spent your whole day at the Backpackers. Swellendam is a nice place to go for a hike, do a horse ride and suck in the landscape. I liked staying there and would go again. Keep it up cheers!!!

  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled solo
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1  Thank packal
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Swellendam Backpackers Adventure Lodge

Address: 5 Lichtenstein Street, Swellendam 6740, South Africa
Location: South Africa > Western Cape > Overberg District > Swellendam
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant
Hotel Style:
Ranked #4 of 4 Hotels in Swellendam
Price Range: $52 - $58 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 8
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Cosy wooden cabins and luxury en suite rooms lie in a lush bird filled garden fringed by its own gurgling mountain stream and the Marloth Nature Reserve. Halfway between Cape Town and the Garden Route it is ideally situated to hike or horse ride through indigenous forests or wander through the picturesque village. Beneath the most spectacular peaks of the Langeberg Mountains Swellendam is the 3rd oldest magisterial district in South Africa with plenty of inspiring and peaceful experiences. Sit around our welcome fire under starry skies and enjoy the countryside. ... more   less 

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