A couple of months ago we decided to use up some of our club holiday points and spend a week at a location not far from home.

As I often say, it was an opportunity to read and relax in a different venue. We booked at the resort, Chaka’s Rock Chalets, just 30 minutes to the north. I looked at their web page and considered all of the views which overall gave an 8.8 rating. So impressed by this and all the photos presented, we made our 7-day booking.

On arrival we found the staff very friendly, the Reception area clean and the Book-in process well organised. I was particularly impressed by the fact that the pens used by both staff and visitors were sanitised and the used ones placed in a separate container. It was the first time that the pen that I was given to use at any counter was seen to be sanitised and, then after use, removed for resanitising later.

ReceptionThe resort’s Reception area

It could be seen from the photos that it was rather steep but I had requested a ground floor unit so expected to be able to step out of the unit on to level ground. Unfortunately, that was not the case. The unit allocated to ourselves originally was accessed by using 12 stairs from the road followed by another 4 nearer the unit itself. Once settled in we were disappointed to find that there was no suitable area for sitting outside. The patio had a public path right next to it so, sitting there, was not pleasant and outside the front door was the access area with only a high wall for a view. From nowhere was there the slightest view of the sea. There were 4 units in a cluster, 2 up and 2 down, and we were one of the lower ones so, theoretically, on the ground floor. The patio overlooked the swimming pool which was maintained perfectly but to access it we had to go down 52 stairs.

poolThe pool area

Steep hillOur 2nd unit was at the top of this hill on the right

Something else we learnt on arrival was that the resort was in 2 sections, one on each side of the road and we had been allocated a unit on the upper side, furthest from the beach. This is advertised as a beachside resort but, to access the beach, we were not permitted to go through the lower section but had to drive a distance down the road, find parking in this popular area and then walk down some more to reach the beach.

On the evening of the first day we were shell-shocked. As mentioned above, we were in a 4 unit section and we soon discovered that the other 3 units were to be occupied by a total of 11 young people in their mid-twenties, I would think. At that age it would seem that there are only 3 things to do – drink, talk loudly and play loud music and they did all of these 3 exceptionally well. At about 22:30 on the first evening Trevor went down to ask what time they were expected to settle down but, sadly, found the office locked. The next morning we were told that we should have spoken to the Security Guard (SG). That is what we attempted to do the next evening but were thwarted by the fact that the SG doesn’t carry a phone and he was out on his rounds the when we tried to contact him. We gave up on the 3rd night as they were all returning homemthe next day. Apparently this is a regular problem at this resort at weekends as they are cash-paying guests who come just to party. The noise and activity was not only in the units but around the pool as well. There were signs all around saying that no glass or loud music were permitted at the pool but nothing was done to stop this. It was a relief to see them leave.

View of first unitOur first unit was in the block on the left at the bottom

Not all was doom and gloom though. Late on Monday we were moved to another unit which was semi-detached and single storey. A much better option as the patio had a piece of lawn in front of it and to the side a small putt putt course with a rocky fountain. A helpful advantage was that the car could be brought to the door to load and off-loadd. It was also very high up from the road and the view of the sea was neglible but we did enjoy the rest of our holiday (5 days). We were able to have lunch with friends on the patio one day while Trevor’s brother and family lived just down the road so we were able to see them a few times, for meals and just socially. Those 5 days were very relaxing.

Better view of the seaOur view of the sea from the 2nd unit

putt puttThe lovely putt putt course

What we did learn from this experience?

  1. Check more than just the web page of a resort. Ask local people about the place if you can.
  2. Be specific about any special needs you may have. For example: accessibility to facilities, how far are the beach and other advertised activities and how to get emergency assistance are some possibilities. Advertised on their webiste were dolphin cruises but when we enquired we were told that these were arranged from uShaka Marine World in Durban, about an hour away.