This is by far the worst place you could ever stay at. The place is not well looked after at all. The rooms have paint peeling off the walls, the toilets don't flush well, the matrasses are old and thin, the bathroom in one of the rooms has no door but it is a 10 sleeper, the communal kitchen is revolting with no cutlery or crockery and a tiny gas stove (the gas cylinder comes out of the stove in the front which I'm sure is dangerous?). We actually booked for 5 nights and only stayed for two before moving to another place. We asked for a refund and were assured by Brian that he would look into it but we haven't heard a thing since. Do not even think about staying here.
So the one and a half nights I stayed at the Mad Hatters was one of the worst experiences.. My boyfriend and I arrived at Mad Hatters very hopeful & excited to be experiencing a Backpackers for the first time. I had researched a few different backpackers in Port St. Johns, but Mad Hatters seemed to stand out - the bright colours, the cosy looking bedrooms, en-suite bathrooms it all looked very inviting. for a backpackers. Any ways, it turned out to be a nightmare. The place was not what I expected, as it looked nothing like it did in photos.. especially the rooms, the rooms were disgusting. We had no power from the day we arrived, our mattress was sinking in, there was no one around except for the nice guy who would open the gate for us at night, the water was cold (due to no power) which meant cold showers with a stream of water that only came out of 2 or 3 holes in the flipping shower head and the whole room was just so dirty. My boyfriend and I had booked to stay for 5 nights and left at around 21h00 on our second night there and went elsewhere.. we couldn't handle it any more. Needless to say we weren't very impressed and after complaining to the owner, Brian, he ensured us that we would get a refund which turned out to not be OUR MONEY BACK but instead a complimentary 3 night stay back at Mad Hatters with one complimentary breakfast.. because we would travel all the way to the Transkei (approx 9 hr drive from home) to stay at Mad Hatters for 3 whole nights. I am not impressed with Mad Hatters and the owner in the least.…
The fresco's ugly and the kitchen a bit basic, but Brian and Stefan, the associated owners, are top, very friendly and helpful. It's well situated between town and beach, the view from the terrace is great.
Once we were lost in Port St. Johns, very helpful guy with Bob Marley hairdo emerged from bluish smoke of dagga in this peacefull place and showed us the right way to more traditional and more conventional guest house in this small town.