Atlantic View Guest House complaint

Sep 10th, 2008, 09:37 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 97
Atlantic View Guest House complaint

I would like to know what right the above guest house has to dictate which touring company their clients use.?

I would like to know what prompted the managers to contact the owner overseas in this regard.?

I would like to know what gives them the right to demand to see transport permits and guiding permits of the guide.?

I would like to know if they demanded this because the tour operator/guide was non-white...?

I think that clients have the right to make their own choices.

I have a good reason for asking the last question....this is not just a "wild question"
africanj is offline  
Sep 10th, 2008, 12:50 PM
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 4,232

pls be a bit more precise!
i would like to learn what was the matter etc.

pls advise......


generally speaking: you're right! but a bit more content pls.

divine54 is offline  
Sep 10th, 2008, 01:05 PM
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 3
Hi africanj

I am not suprised at all by your questioning.It happens all the time.

The answer to all of your questions is money and greed.
Guest houses use their own operators as they get a 20 to 30% kickback per person on tour.
Some of them are not interested in the quality of the company or tour.Few of them have actually been on a tour to see exactly it is what the companies are offering.THey send their receptionists who have no idea about tourism in the first place.

It saddens me to see the attitude of some guest house and hotel staff to tour guides.It is as if the world owes them a living.

I am sorry to hear what happened to you,but be rest assured there are guest houses and hotels who look after the needs of their clients first and not theire back pocket.
mzala is offline  
Sep 10th, 2008, 02:21 PM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 1,097

Wow something must have burst your bubble at Atlantic View quite seriously. You have to tell us a lot more as to exactly what happened before anybody can comment fully. I know that I most certainly will when I have heard the whole story.

Just to tell you I am most certainly not a favoured friend of the Atlantic View management in that I also had a run in with them a couple of years ago for what seems to be totally different reasons to the ones you seem to be quoting.

Hope to see more.

Very proudly part of the wonderful nation of South Africa
Selwyn_Davidowitz is offline  
Sep 11th, 2008, 10:04 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 97
that is an under-statement.

One of my good freinds got a call from one of their guests for a tour the next day. During the trip he gets a call from the owner who is overseas to ask him, in the worst manner, who he was and who granted him the right to take their guests on a tour; whether he is a registered guide and whether his vehicle is registered etc.

I have come accross so many guests who have told me that the guesthouse owner or manager had told them not to go on a Township tour.
I have had people who have complained about their guests making racist remarks in conversation

I try to steer away from calling people racist and will rather try to look for another reason why people make such remarks. I try to down-play the fact that we are still plagued by so many problems of that nature.
I really want tourist to enjoy our country and all it's people.

You may notice that i mark harsh comments from time to time but thats because i see the injustices that happen in the tourism industry.

I really love my job and my country.

africanj is offline  
Sep 11th, 2008, 03:37 PM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 1,097

I certainly recognise from your past writings your sincerity of how much you love this country and thus I dont see why you have to apologise for what you have experienced at Atlantic View Guesthouse.

Assuming that all that you have said is spot on (and I see no reason why this is not the case) I dont see what right a guesthouse owner has to phone any tour operator and ask how come he/she is with their guesthouse clients. It has absolutely nothing to do with them as far as I am concerned especially as they had not booked through the guesthouse.

In terms of the question of qualification re being a tourguide or road transportation licensing I would have no problem if this question was asked by the guesthouse owner of the relevant guide or operator BEFORE he recommended them to any of his guests but he would have absolutely no right to do so if the guest elects to hire a guide themselves. That truly is arrogance of the highest order. What he/she could well do is warn the guests against travelling with an unregistered guide or someone who does not have road transportation licensing beforehand. My problem with this is that in my opinion most guesthouse owners are not even aware of these rules and laws (see later in this posting)

I honestly dont know of Atlantic View Guesthouse telling their guests not to go on township tours. In this regard I have to mention that I took two groups of the Atlantic View Guesthouse guests on township tours about 3 years ago. The one couple were visitors who found me on their own while the other was a couple sent to me by Atlantic View Guesthouse who I can assure you would have known that I was taking them on a township tour however they never said anything against this.

Overall my opinion of Atlantic View Guesthouse is that it is a high quality, upmarket guesthouse which certainly have staff who care BUT what irks me is the high price they charge and most important the constant little things reminding one of how everything costs. I recall my biggest pet hate was that there was a charge for internet usage on an ADSL line. The rate was supposedly charged because the guesthouse rented a full time laptop to the guest during their stay. For all I know this is not the case any more but it certainly was the case about 3 years ago. Imagine this… my visitor had her laptop with her and logged into the Atlantic View Guesthouse ADSL line which was insecure at the time. Close to the end of her stay she was accused of stealing. She was so distraught as she honestly thought she could use the line as a service provided to those who had their own laptop, after all why was the line not secured otherwise? This incident and the way that it was handled turned me off the guesthouse completely and I will never use their services again.

Africanj I don’t want to hijack this imporatnt thread of yours however this is the ideal time to come back to something which we have just glibbed over and that is licensing of guides and their vehicles. I really believe this is something which should be made known on the Fodors board. I wonder how many visitors to SA hop into vehicles which are not road transportation licensed i.e the car is not licensed to carry paying passengers. Furthermore I wonder how many of these people realise that the minute they do this their insurances of all sorts are totally invalid because they are driving in a "non licensed to carry paying passengers" vehicle. A couple of days ago I picked my visitors up from a well known guesthouse (spoken about frequently on this page) and found someone else picking up other visitors to take them on a tour somewhere. I immediately recognised that the driver had no road transport license on his vehicle meaning that the visitors were uninsured for their drive that day. I told the guesthouse owner about this who was quite shocked because he never knew about this and to make matters worse had booked the driver via his guesthouse recommendation. He told me that he would look into this immediately and as he is an excellent and very reliable guesthouse owner I am sure he will do so and wont make the mistake again. For all I know Atlantic View Guesthouse follow the same precautionary rules these days and if this is the case I would laud them for this however to mix in on an ongoing tour which they had nothing to with as AfricanJ has mentioned is unforgivable as far as I am concerned.

Another issue that I think it is important to warn all Fodorites about is the concept of touring with an unregistered guide. This would not result in the visitor losing their insurance but it could, even though I believe the chances are very small, lead to a very embarrassing situation where the illegal guide is stopped fined and refused the right to continue a tour.

With the above said a very important piece of licensing that every visitor should also look for before going on tour with a tourguide is for him/her to be wearing a tourguide badge which contains his/her registration number. In the Western Cape this number would start with the letters WC (Western Cape). My badge number as an example is WC 0042 (yup I am one of the “oldies” in town considering that I have already seen badge number WC 4855 already). Another way to establish the credibility of the guide is to ask him/her to show you his/her tourguide registration card.

The second licensing to look for is whether the vehicle one is travelling in has a license disc proving road transportation licensing. I have already mentioned why this is an important license to see. This license should be displayed in one of the windows of the vehicle and will help the visitor establish the legality of the vehicle in terms of its right to carry paying passengers.

A third important piece of licensing that one should look or ask for is the license of the vehicle itself. This should be on a disc displayed in the window of the car. The important part of the license to look for is the line that reads “License disc and roadworthy certificate” as this will tell you not only whether the car has been licensed to be on the road but also that it is in roadworthy state.

A fourth piece of licensing to ask for is for the driver of your vehicle to show you his pdp (professional drivers permit). In effect this is his/her license to drive a vehicle with paid passengers on board. It is a normal drivers license which will be endorsed with pdp licensing on it and is compulsory by SA law for drivers to carry this license wherever they travel be it as a drivers license or else as a pdp.

Please go to to see what these licenses looks like.

Please note that it might be somewhat embarrassing to ask for the above pieces of documentation when starting a tour but you could well be sorry that you did not do so at the start of your journey. Furthermore a good tourguide will not be at all insulted or embarrassed if you ask this of him/her, as a matter of fact I think they would be quite proud to show you all and consider you to be quite a savvy traveler in the process.

Overall I am not staying that one should not drive or go on tour with anybody who does not have the above credentials. All I am saying is that if you want to stay on the legal side of matters it would be best to adhere to these rules. What truly amazes me is how many people don’t realize that these rules exist and only unfortunately find out when they land up in a horrid accident or similar.

Back to you africanj I say again don’t apologise for your sentiments as I believe you are on the correct side of matters and my suggestion is that you vote with your feet with any guesthouse that does anything that you believe is arrogant or wrong.

Just my twopence worth.

Very proudly part of the wonderful nation of South Africa

Selwyn_Davidowitz is offline  
Sep 12th, 2008, 10:22 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 97

the part about the Township tours was not levelled at that guesthouse. It's unfortunate that we are mentioning this GH all the time but the problem is really widespread.

I agree with what you are saying and thank you for taking the time to highlite the additional points.
The 2010 soccer worldcup is around the corner.....

Tourist have no idea what type of instructions and questions we sometimes have to endure, before a tour, just because we are keep your commentry neutral...and is your commentary "unbiased"

Anyway.....regards to Rob

africanj is offline  
Sep 12th, 2008, 10:57 AM
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 3
Hi Selwyn

I read your comment with much interest.
I fully agree with what you saying.

BUT,what about the tour operators who blatantly ignore rules and regulations and encourage and allow their guides to guide and drive on vehicles with more than 10 people and even allow their guides to driver guide on 44 seater buses.

What saddens me is that these operators have been reported to the SARTG many times and absolutely nothing has been done.

If you knew how many hours the drivers work e.g 18 hours a day is normal in season.They also do not get any time off work.They sometimes work 2 months without one day off.

I am really interested to know what your comments are relating to the above.
mzala is offline  
Sep 12th, 2008, 11:20 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 97

good point. Maybe the oversear operators must start adding that to the list of their requirements ie. that reasonable working hours be administered. That is of course also easy to audit by SARTG since these companies have i.d tags and tracker units on the vehicles.
africanj is offline  
Feb 22nd, 2011, 08:38 AM
Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 1
Dear All,

It is the 23rd Feb 2011 and for the first time I as the owner of Atlanticview have had time to look at this site and see this bit of tripe written back in 2008 you have all concocted and spun with to self promote particularly in Selwyns case. I would like to categorically state when a single guest finds a driver on the street (not by phone from our property) we have every right to find out who they are and if they are licensed properly to ensure our guests safety. Particularly if they are taking them into troubled areas of town like the townships. In this case the person checked out okay and we had his contact info so in case our guest disappeared or didnt return we would know who he went off with.

I am hands on and deal with our guests and their reservations virtually 365 days a year wherever we happen to be overseas or not. I am in touch all day long with the property and even speak to our guests from time to time on the phones. This is service and we are very very in the line called the owner overseas is nonsense. You make it look like we made something out of it when it is not. We have a direct line and communicate for hours each day about everything that happens and any safety or security issues are also discussed. We offer two private tours and employ our own licensed tour guide. We operate private tours in the Range Rover only to Cape Point and the Winelands. All other tours are subcontracted out by one company we trust our guests in the hands of. We do try to look out extra carefully for guests traveling alone and shouldnt be chastised for being or acting responsible.I would do this for anyone traveling on their own. This particular guest was very young also.

My personal opinion is that no one should be paying to see someone else poverty. I think this is really appalling. No tour operators should make a profit from this. The government should, if there is going to be such a tour, operate it themselves, giving the profits to the communities that they are visiting so that these impoverished townships can build more schools and medical facilities creating more jobs that they so desperately need.

Thats my first point. The second is in response to Selwyns accusations. We are the least expensive 5 star operation of its kind in Camps Bay and have been in the no 1 position in Trip Advisor for over 3 yrs now with a travelers award for best service in 2010. We have 18 staff to 18 guests, a fleet of Mercedes and a Range Rover, 2 solar heated Infinity pools and a gym. Most of our counterparts or competitors do not offer this and free flow of wines with fabulous hors-d'oeuvres every evening all included in the rate which by the way the internet or WiFi is also included. Selwyn brought 5 couples to Atlanticview. THe first 4 all complained all the while they were there and would not use any of the hotel services or even a water from our minibar. We were perplexed by this and wondered what the problem was that was with the guests brought in by Selwyn. If he thought we were that expensive why bring them to us in the first place. The 5th couple were very sweet and contacted me directly as the woman was ill and couldnt travel for some time. We allowed her to change her dates to 12 months later with no extra charge and I even upgraded her to the Penthouse suite. As I spend half the time in the US purchasing for the hotel and working our reservations I spoke several times with her and explained what seems to happen when Selwyn brings his guests to Atlanticview. I explained that he creates a website and posts all the guests pics he took on there to self promote and not even tell the guests what he was up to. I would be furious to have my honeymoon pics all over the internet without my permission. I also asked her to take notice of what he says about us to her when she is a passenger in his tour bus. Well it turns out that this travel guide brings guests to us and then tells them that we are so expensive not to take a bottle of water or any service what so ever. I suspected something along these lines as the guests behavior was so bizarre after check in and told Selwyn we are not interested in doing business with him in future. I made it clear he is banned from our property. He is the only person we have banned from the property in the 10 yrs we have been in operation.

As for all of you vultures who play these forums for self promotion and profit, you obviously have loads of time on your hands or you wouldnt be in all of the forums like I have noticed lately.

This stunt above was completely uncalled for and there was no complaint from a guest at all. This was 3rd party gossip
hyped up by a group of business hungry forum vultures. If the driver or whoever he was complained to you africanj why didnt you bring it up with us rather than try to damage
our reputation insinuating someone was racist..You are pathetic.

You all asked for it and now you got it. If I see any more of this garbage on any of the forums from any of you I will take the matter further both with the platform itself and directly via our solicitors.

These forums are supposed to be helpful to visitors and I cannot see how you helped anyone above here in these conversations other than yourselves.

Safe travels to all

Greg Boki owner of Atlanticview Cape Town Boutique Hotel
gregbowner is offline  
Feb 22nd, 2011, 08:57 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 5,997
Dear Greg,

You are mistaken.

It is, in fact, the 22nd Feb 2011 at this moment, in all parts of the world except the Far East.

Humbly yours,

DonTopaz is offline  

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