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“Used and ripped off”

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Atforest Guest House
Ranked #141 of 156 Cape Town Central B&B and Inns
Reviewed 17 May 2017

Let me start this review off by stating two facts.

One, I have no desire to be treated any differently than anyone else and secondly I have never, in all my years of travelling on the road ever found it necessary to vacate an accommodation establishment for any reason what's so ever, never mind over the last 10 years that I have been working as a guide and tour operator. Never, not once! This is the first time.

It is with the above in mind that I would like to point out to you why I was so disappointed in the accommodation we were allocated at the Atforest guesthouse.

We have been very loyal, as is the way we like to operate, providing your establishment with a number of bed nights over a period of time, where we have been accommodated in Atforest in the inside rooms quite comfortably if a little cramped in the first room we stayed in at the back of the house, the bathroom was however adequate for two persons to use.

In this case we booked our accommodation sometime ago, nearly 3 months ago to be precise. This I believe is ample time to allocate a reasonable room for two persons for a period of 4 nights.

Unfortunately this was not the case we were shown to the outside room having to drag our bags through the kitchen.

Once in the room and discussing the room with my partner I decided to speak to the manageress to ask what other accommodation was available but she said that you were fully booked but that she would ask a single person if he wouldn't mind moving from his room inside the house into our confined match box of a room outside.

We later decided that it was not an option to disturb another guest at our expense.

The allocated room at the pool is tiny and not suitable for two people to move around in at the same time with luggage in the room. One person must lie on the bed when the other is unpacking or doing something else.

There is practically no ventilation in the room bar two tiny windows on the wooden outside wall and in the late summer heat the temperature was probably around 35 degree C. Yes, I know you will say that there is an air conditioner but maybe some people don't like air conditioners and we are two persons who don't. We prefer the open air. Always have and always will, no options there.

During the night a squadron of mosquitoes invaded the bedroom and even with the peaceful sleep WE PROVIDED (there was no protection offered by Atforest) we were still bitten so much that it was impossible to sleep until we had to switch the aircon on to try and prevent being bitten further and try to salvage some sleep before the morning when we had to attend to business on hand.

There are NO cupboards in the bed room as there is simply no space for any sort of cupboard to be built, when I was complaining to the manageress about the room my partner discovered, an excuse for a cupboard in the bathroom, which she initially thought was the hot water geyser. This cupboard, built half way up the wall and was totally inadequate, if the so called cupboard door was open you could neither access the bathroom from the outside nor get out of it from the inside. Simply a pathetic attempt at providing a cupboard on paper.

The bathroom was an absolute joke, cramped to the point that it was difficult for a single person to move around in never mind two persons trying to prepare for a busy day. The cistern to the toilet for example is buried into the wall so that one has to grope around in a gap between the top of the cistern and the wall enclosing the cistern to flush the toilet. One was unable to dry ones self off in the bathroom as there as no space to manipulate a towel to dry ones self off.

Ja, the list goes on but I think the worst thing is that there is just no way that this room would pass the health and safety regulations set down by the city of Cape Town for the hospitality industry.

The walls on two sides as well as the ceiling is constructed from wood from an old building, tinder dry and if there had to be an electrical fault or someone knocking a candle over or for any other reason that a fire was started in this room or above it for that matter, there was no way to escape except through the front door but if the fire was around this door you were practically trapped in this tiny room where you would become asphyxiated by the smoke almost immediately.

There is no fire extinguisher provided at all.

Quite frankly this room is a complete rip off of paying guests where I am sure many of the persons using this room are foreign clients, many of them too polite to even think about complaining and that is precisely what you seem to be trading on.

From the next day after leaving Atforest I was waiting for a phone call from you or even your wife, or at least from your manageress that you would be refunding the balance of the amount. But no it was below you to consider giving us a call, no, nothing at all. When I eventually did pick up the phone to ask you, the owner what you were going to do about the situation? You said that you were waiting for my call and that I must send you ("I must send you" an e-mail!! How about you sending us an e-mail apologizing for your bad service) an e-mail telling you about the circumstances and you would look into the situation. It's as if this whole sorry saga is of my own creation and that my partner and I are to blame. As if the onus is on us to explain ourselves. Shame on you.

Well Sir, I am sorry to say that it is you and your total lack of care and attention to your guests, trying to squeeze them for very cent you can from an inadequate and unsafe accommodation establishment that created the problem. Something for which I would appreciate an apology.

For the poor service and sub-standard accommodation we were allocated I expect a full refund for three days accommodation that we prepaid you for. I do not want a refund for the first day, as yes, we did stay there and ate a well prepared breakfast the next morning so I have no problem paying for that but I wasn't going to subject either my partner or myself to that little hole you have built outside your house for the next night or ever again for that matter.

I wrote an e-mail giving a report of why we moved accommodation detailing much of the above as I was asked to do by yourself, well that was almost a month ago and still I have heard nothing??

Room Tip: If you have to stay at Atforest get one of the front rooms
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  • Stayed: April 2017, travelled on business
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Service
Thank wildguide
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
PietCapeTown, Owner at Atforest Guest House, responded to this reviewResponded 26 May 2017

Alan is also in the hospitality industry and seems to think he should get a better deal than other guests paying the same. He is also not shy to twist facts in his favour, making out that the room he was allocated was on a different level, which is not true. His room was part of the house. That room is pictured on the first page of our homepage and over the past ten years we have been operating Atforest Guest House, most visitors loved it and even specify the room, although smaller than the others, when booking again, as you have a view of the cable car going up Table Mountain and can relax next to the pool.
The room has four glass piano doors opening towards the pool and a double door on the one side opening towards the steps on the side. He received keys for both sets of doors. His complaint that it is unsafe, is unfounded and enough fresh air can enter the room through the bathroom window and the two small windows. The room has wood panelling on three sides adding to its charm. Also the ceiling is wood, giving a room with so much glass, a warm feeling. The stone floor has electric heating and if you are cold or hot, you can use the air conditioner. I do not know of another 3 star establishment offering all that, and at the lowest price in Oranjezicht, a very popular destination, close to the city and yet in a quiet, upmarket neighbourhood.
Admittedly, the bathroom is narrow (about 1mx3m), but adequate for one person to move around. Also, the room has just enough space for two extra long hotel beds and pedestals and two chairs and a desk.
I do not think it fair I return Alan's money as he requested, because after arriving the first night after 11 o'clock, he gave our manageress a hard time, as he aggressively insisted she finds him a bigger room, which she could not as the house was fully booked. The next day she found him alternative accommodation. I would have told him to do it himself. Furthermore, when checking out after that one night, he dangled the keys in front of her and refused to return them, so she could not re-let the room. He did return the keys and remote for the gate 5 days later. This rudeness is reflected in what his own clients said about him in a Tripadvisor review: “Alan is a very unhelpful rude man so beware!” Our manageress, who is a very helpful and friendly person, said: What I could not and still can’t understand, is the anger he had in him."

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2 - 6 of 40 reviews

Reviewed 22 March 2017

This is a nice b and b in Cape Town, but it is a bit quirky. Room is fine (a bit old-fashioned), shower room did not look great, but the water pressure was good and strong and it was clean. Pool in garden, was a strange shade of green but it was pleasant sitting there for a short period one afternoon. The air-conditioning system was leaking water so had to be switched off, we were provided with a fan. The lady who was managing the b and b was very friendly and very helpful, she absolutely did her best to make sure we felt well looked after.

  • Stayed: March 2017, travelled with family
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
Thank Michele22London
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
PietCapeTown, Owner at Atforest Guest House, responded to this reviewResponded 25 March 2017

Dear Michele,
Sorry to read about the pool, air conditioner and shower room. The problems will be investigated, but the old fashionedness you might have seen on photos before you booked! We are just old fashioned! The house is 110 years old and I, myself, am not far behind.
Kind regards and please try us again.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 February 2017

Rooms are very old and shabby.
Bathroom is very cramped, the shower is full of black mold. Disgusting!
Breakfast is lower average
The wind is blowing through the closed windows.
It is a cheap guest house, but for the offered performance nevertheless too expensive

  • Stayed: February 2017, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Review collected in partnership with this hotel
Thank Oli_Konditor
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 January 2016

Atforest is clean, safe and has easy access to Cape Town. Lance and Mama (as I referred to her the helper and cleaner) are very friendly and helpful in helping you to find your way around on your own and attending to queries.The breakfast is eatable, but lacking Inspiration and eggs are very oily when served. The view from the guesthouse is great too.

  • Stayed: December 2015, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Service
2  Thank 674amelia
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 January 2016 via mobile

We had a lovely stay at Atforest. Lance was incredibly helpful, the room was clean, it had a great location for Table Mountain and the breakfast was delicious. We spent four nights here and it was a gray base for exploring but we did have a car. We really enjoyed our time here.

Stayed: December 2015, travelled as a couple
1  Thank Ejstirn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Atforest Guest House

Address: 14 Forest Road | Oranjezicht, Cape Town Central 8001, South Africa
Region: South Africa > Western Cape > Cape Town > Cape Town Central > City Bowl , Oranjezicht
Hotel Style:
Ranked #141 of 156 B&Bs / Inns in Cape Town Central
Price Range: R 1 127 - R 1 568 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Atforest Guest House 3*
Number of rooms: 6
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Atforest is a 3 star b&b in Cape Town under Table Mountain. We are near restaurants, a bus service (around the corner), and all the beaches and other attractions. ... more   less 
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