We booked last minute after our accommodation at another lodge fell through. We called the number for Amali and asked if they had a room. The woman on the phone said that there was only one room left with a toilet, a bath and a double bed. That sounded the same as other rooms I have occupied and enjoyed. No problem.
I did not suspect that the toilet and bath, our only toilet and bath, were in fact in the actual bedroom. Sharing the same wooden floor. At least they had a TV with satellite in the room. After turning on the TV, we discovered that the satellite subscription had not been paid and so there were literally no channels on the TV. The bedding was old and left bits of fluff on our clothes and hair the following morning. The bed itself sagged in the middle and creaked violently with the slightest shift in weight. All in all it seemed the room had not been opened for years until moments before we arrived, when two after-dinner mints were placed on the bed.
We asked the guest house's manager whether we could use the kitchen to cook dinner for ourselves and she obliged. After returning from the nearby Spar with groceries, we entered the kitchen. All the dishes were dirty despite being packed away in cupboards. All the surfaces were greasy or sticky. We guessed that not many guests make use of the self-catering kitchen during their stay and that the kitchen had not been used or cleaned in a while.
Imagine our surprise when we stumbled into the kitchen the next morning where guest house staff were cooking the guest breakfast using the same dirty appliances and cutlery and crockery that we had seen the night before. And I'm not just talking watermarks on the knives and a little bit of greasiness on the counter tops. This was serious grime.
We thanked our lucky stars that it was only a one-night stay and left the guest house in the morning, opting out of our complimentary breakfast; instead stopping at a filling station for a Shamrock pie and to make use of the loo.
The manager was a lovely person and there is secure parking but other than that, this was not a pleasant stay.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Amali Guest Houses opened in 2006. The name comes from the owner Marlize and her two daughters Amé and Lize. Amali offers Karoo friendly reception to all travellers and pride ourselves to our motto "Be our Guest." We care. Amali has available rooms and self catering chalets. Each guest are serviced to their individual need and most of them return as friends. We are situated in the historical town of Cradock that offers ample activities and site seeing ventures... Do make your next visit to Cradock a visit to Amali Guest Houses! ... more less