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Reviewed 13 September 2017 via mobile

This north coast gem is utterly unique and so relaxing. You arrive to this remote location and have a beautiful view of the river with the frequent sound of fish eagles calling.

The accommodation from the outside looks like literal shacks but once you go into your room it's beautiful with unique pieces and custom made furniture. It is very "arty" and appreciated if you like that sort of thing. If you are looking for a Protea Hotel type of stay then this might not be for you.

The kitchen is communal and is fantastic with everything you need. The Hatchery has a unique "Butler" menu. Almost like a pay as you go system. So if you want your room cleaned you pay R20 - R30 or so. If you want the butler to cook for you, you pay about R50 and you can even have a butler that will carry your cooler box down to the beach for you. It's a great system as I enjoyed not having service to the rooms and having the awkward feeling of having to leave the room so people can clean it.

The Hatchery is very, very relaxing and the random pools and things of interest make for an amazing stay. We will be back very soon!

Stayed: July 2017, travelled with family
Thank Yachal_D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Matthew M, Owner at The Hatchery, responded to this reviewResponded 16 September 2017

Dear Yachal_D

Thank you for your informative review. We are glad that you enjoyed the feeling of being at the Hatchery and hope that the memories of your stay live with you for a long time.

Kind Regards,

Matthew

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Reviewed 2 May 2017

What you see is not nearly what you get. The "gin pools" were green and despite sending several messages to the owner over the long weekend, he never once responded and never showed up to attend to complaints. There was a horrible stench at the "Forest" room, and the sewer must have been blocked the whole weekend. Don't be fooled by the words " make the bathroom your own" when you rent the Chapel room, you will be physically attacked by the campers at the back of the premises, as there are no amenities available for them. All this the absent owner left to the guests to sort out amongst themselves. We stayed over for 4 nights, and not once did he show up or respond to any messages that were sent to him. Best advice - stay away as far as possible.

Room Tip: Stay away as far as possible
  • Stayed: April 2017, travelled with family
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
2  Thank dwella333
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
MatthewMyburgh, Owner at The Hatchery, responded to this reviewResponded 3 May 2017

We are sincerely sorry that Elsabe did not enjoy her time at the hatchery despite our best efforts to make her stay a pleasant one. The hatchery is a different kind of place and not for everyone. We wish her well in the future.

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Reviewed 29 March 2017

I feel a duty to add this review to make right the wrongs of the previous reviewer, who nearly put me off going.

At first glance The Hatchery does appear quite run down but that is because you haven't opened your eyes yet to how stunningly rustic this place is.

The decorator is a truly creative person, who has created art mosaics on all surfaces big and small, built strange Moroccan style doors in the middle of nowhere, hung propellers as ornaments, used dried palm seed stems as light fittings, etc. It is really delightful - if you open your eyes to it all.

I went as a woman on my own with two small kids and felt perfectly safe. It is very rural but every person you pass on the dirt road in is full of smiles.
PS: no 4x4 needed - it's a very passable albeit bumpy compacted red sand road.

We stayed in the stargazer treehouse tent, which my kids loved. Some things if you decide to go for this more adventurous tented accommodation:

Take EVERYTHING you need to make life more pleasant camping. They provide you with towels, mattress, sheets, pillow, duvet...the rest is up to you. Luckily I took a camping extension - you need one if you want to live on your deck and not below it, where the plug point is. Take a kettle and a light of some sort as there is none on-site, I was glad I had taken my own beach and bath towels too. My kids thought the outdoor bathroom with a cow bell for warning was a hoot (you'll find this near the tonic pools). Take a 5l water to save yourself trekking to the communal kitchen 4 times a day with your kettle. There is also no fridge so you have to use the communal one.

The units are quite close to each other and while this sucks if your neighbor is loud or playing music like ours was, it is good for security. The monkeys are probably going to be your biggest security concern as they wait patiently for you to leave before coming in to raid your cooler.
P.S: Take fishing rods for kids to fish in the old hatchery ponds.

The lagoon is amazing and my kids didn't want to stop playing on the lagoon's beach. Definitely take buckets and spades. Hiring a canoe is only R50 for the day and I saw many fishermen out doing their thing. I believe crocs and sharks are not a concern here but wouldn't like to tempt fate too much.

Things that would make my rating a 5 star:
- a light on the deck of the tent
- a tap for water (a basin would be a real luxury/treat)
- somewhere to put your things under cover...We tried to line up everything on the sides of our tent but it made sleeping interesting
- a bin to throw away rubbish
- a table for kettles etc

This is a really unique and beautiful place that is definitely well worth a second and third visit and only 35 mins from Blythdale near Stanger.

Room Tip: Ask for a room with a lagoon view but if you get the one with the round pool people may be chilling in the pool, right outside your door.
  • Stayed: March 2017, travelled with family
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
Thank Janey d
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
MatthewMyburgh, General Manager at The Hatchery, responded to this reviewResponded 30 March 2017

Hi Janey

Thank you for your comprehensive and honest review which we hope will be helpful to other people wanting a new, different, and relaxed experience and to create special memories for children. We will start with the procurement of the items necessary to make the camping experience a little easier.

Matt

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Reviewed 6 February 2017

The location of the Hatchery is very far off the beaten track! You seriously need a 4x4 to access it! The road is washed away and seriously scary to drive. None of this is mentioned on the website or when you make a reservation. It is extremely rural. We reserved the Penny Cottage. Although it had no windows out, some of the adjacent buildings had smashed out windows. The grass hadn't been trimmed or cut in weeks and the 'swimming pools' were all dank green and unpleasant. The welcome was by one lone attendant who unlocked the cottage and then just left. No explanation on what is where or anything! So much for the "butlers"! From the moment you hit the dirt road until your arrival you feel unsafe and unwelcome. Due to the remoteness neither Matthew or Annemarie were available on cellphone. We simply made the decision not to stay and left. Upon further communication to both Annemarie and Mathew they refused a refund.

Room Tip: Just don't bother to book.
  • Stayed: February 2017, travelled with family
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
2  Thank MerivW
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
MatthewMyburgh, General Manager at The Hatchery, responded to this reviewResponded 30 March 2017

Hi MeriVW

Thank you for your review. We are sorry that you chose not to stay with us.

Kind Regards,

Matthew

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Reviewed 10 January 2017

This idyllic place is tucked away alongside the Amatikulu estuary just far enough from the rest of the world to afford one great peace and tranquility. This old prawn farm has been converted into the most unusual accommodation with such an arty twist that every corner surprised me. Loved that bit! Each room is given a lovely name related to the prawn farm and we were holed up in "The Forest" which could sleep 5 adults in comfort. The spacious communal kitchen is well appointed and opens into a rustic porch with a huge table . We explored the lagoon, walked along small trails and members of our group fished in the estuary with successful catches. So essentially an ideal place to unwind, bond with family and friends all aided by the lack of television. Besides the activities mentioned there is not much else to do and parents should factor this in should they take along kids/family members that cannot appreciate these offerings. We had problems with the hot water supply from the gas fired geyser that could not be resolved but otherwise all facilities were good. Since these are self catering units take into account that there are no stores for basic provisions within a 15-20 kilometer radius of the establishment

  • Stayed: January 2017, travelled with family
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank nadara859
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
MatthewMyburgh, Front Office Manager at The Hatchery, responded to this reviewResponded 20 February 2017

Hi Nadara

Thank you for your feedback!! We most definately agree that this is truly a hidden gem where one can really unwind and forget about the real world.

We have been been working on the issue with the gas fired geyser to ensure you will have hot water the next time you come for some R&R at the Hatchery.

Hope to have you guys back again real soon.

Regards,

Annemarie

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