the no B&B rule

My fiance and I do not plan a lot of holidays within South Africa because we are always getting invited to weddings which are usually outside of Johannesburg and we use those opportunities to travel around the country. On our travels we have stayed at quite a few B&B’s (bed & breakfasts) and unfortunately we have had more bad experiences than good and this has resulted in the no B&B’s rule. We refuse to stay at any B&B’s unless we really, really have no choice.

I am reminded by this rule because at the end of September I was a bridesmaid for my friend Londi’s wedding and she booked the accommodation for the entire bridal party and I was not aware that she had booked us into a B&B and of course this led to another bad experience. We arrived at the B&B and let them know that we were part of the bridal party for Londi’s wedding and we had a room booked, the B&B people then told us that all of their rooms are already occupied and we didn’t have a room with them. I had given Londi the money to book for us months before, so I called her to let her know and she then called the B& B people to let them know that we do have a room booked. The B&B people refused to let us in to our room still saying that it was occupied by someone else, we ended up being stranded in our car parked inside the B&B at 22:00pm waiting for Londi to come back from dinner to resolve the issue. When she arrived, all of a sudden there was a room available for us, it was so upsetting to realise that the black helpers that worked there were merely just scared of opening the room up for us without Londi present because the white madam was already sleeping. My fiance and I were seething, we literally could have killed them for such stupidity!

B&B’s are usually run by tannie’s who were probably great housewives and decided that because the children were all grown and had left the house, this would be a great idea to make a good income and keep busy. I think sometimes they forget that you have paid for hospitality and service during your stay.  This of course is a generalization on my part based on my experience so please don’t take it to heart.

Last year we went to Sun City and stayed at a B&B in Rustenberg, it was my first time in Rustenberg and I didn’t know that they had a Road Lodge and Southern Sun Stayeasy Hotels otherwise we would have stayed there. The owners of the B&B had a huge dog whom I assume had been trained to bark and bite black people because that dog was after us every time we came and went. I am not afraid of dogs which is why you this one became such an issue. We actually dreaded leaving and coming because we had to do sprint walk to the car to avoid it and the owners kept saying it wouldn’t bite. That dog ruined our stay at that B&B.

We also stayed at another B&B in La Lucia, Durban after we found out a month before that friends were getting married there and wanted my fiance to be a groomsmen and me to be a bridesmaid (some people are so disorganized!) and we had to make a quick booking and most of the hotels were fully booked already so we ended up at a B&B. The morning after the wedding we were having our breakfast in the dining area when the son’s owner joined us for breakfast, he looked as if was about 14 or 15 years old. He went over to where my fiance was sitting and held him as if hugging him from behind and started rocking him. We didn’t know that the boy could barely speak and that he had down syndrome so we were just shocked at his behaviour. No matter how nicely and gently my fiance tried to get the boy to let him go, he just wouldn’t budge. The owner eventually came to check on us and decided to have a conversation with us whilst her son had himself entangled all over my fiance, it was such an awkward and uncomfortable situation. My fiance didn’t even finish his breakfast because he could barely eat and I had to pack our bags in the car because the boy refused to let him go. Another B&B in Newcastle had cigarette stains all over the inside of their linen, so disgusting!!

Hotels just seem to be the better option because I want transactional service, I pay you and I get the service I deserve and that’s it, I don’t owe you a chat at breakfast, small talk when I arrive etc. Just leave me to enjoy my stay!

The best B&B and the only good experience we had, was in La Lucia Durban, it’s called Villa Siesta and run by a lady named Carol, it is so beautiful and the service is amazing, if you’re ever stuck in Durban, please try them.

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