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Chris von Ulmenstein (WhaleTales Blog) Gone Sour

Firstly, thank you for the advertising!

After recent dealings with the self-acclaimed “blogger” (Chris von Ulmenstein) her label must rather be changed to “blubber”. After some insulting emails to us without reason, we quickly realised who she is – Google doesn’t lie!

Clearly she enjoys seeking confrontation as she has a weekly “Sour Service Award” – how sad to think that she must be the winner 52 times a year!

http://www.whalecottage.com/blog/cape-town/glasfit-sweet-service-and-the-south-african-butler-academy-sour-service-awards/

With multiple websites exposing her for her abrupt and inconsiderate behavior, there is obviously a trend and history that cannot be erased.

With that said, here are a few comments from her own clients:

  • “The manager was a charming lady but was clearly working for a very poor owner.”
  • “…paid no attention to her own credo at all”
  • “owner, Chris, who was very rude to me…”
  • “owner eventually arrived, her unbelievable rudeness (she really is the rudest most objectionable person we have ever met)”
  • “Chris was snapping at both staff and guests…”
  • “The owners attitude was unbelievably rude and we are astounded that she remains in the hospitality industry. Her harassment was completely unacceptable.”
  • “…i will not back down, if we need to go to court, so be it”
  • Chris, the owner claims to have over 16 years in hospitality. I don’t know how as she is the most awful person to engage with.
  • “Avoid this owner and her properties.”
  • “Chris was extremely rude on the phone, demonstrating no empathy for our predicament”
  • “The owner Chris who I contacted in the interim was extremely rude and abrupt”
  • “She is a rude, arrogant person and shows no concern for her guests…”
  • “Our cancellation was made 26 days before arrival, within the specified time, but the owner, Chris, refuses to pay up”
  • “…we were treated brutal and arrogant by the owner Chris.”
  • Chris, the so-called owner slash manager of this establishment is the rudest, miserable, crude and unhelpful human being I have ever met in my entire life!”

With a total of 201 reviews on TripAdvisor (between the 3 properties – 1 closed, 3 to go…) and 71 of them “terrible” will she ever change her attitude? The very few “semi-positve” comments were all made by world travelers that have only made one review on TripAdvisor? Makes you think the obvious…

http://www.tripadvisor.com/Hotel_Review-g312658-d595662-Reviews-Whale_Cottage_Camps_Bay-Camps_Bay_Western_Cape.html

http://www.tripadvisor.com/Hotel_Review-g469391-d595071-Reviews-Whale_Cottage_Franschhoek-Franschhoek_Western_Cape.html

A few sites and pages dedicated to her! She even made it to number ONE on Cape Town’s most wanted list! @FOBLOBulletin #FOBLO

http://neilpendock.com/whale-harpooned-again-for-racism/

http://neilpendock.com/whale-cottage-meltdown/

http://www.2oceansvibe.com/2013/03/20/2oceansvibe-receives-defamation-lawyers-letter-from-camps-bay-guest-house-whale-cottage-owner-chris-von-ulmenstein-read-it-here/

http://www.2oceansvibe.com/2013/03/01/outspoken-cape-town-guest-house-owner-knee-deep-in-controversy/

http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/stop-chris-von-ulmenstein/

https://twitter.com/TableMountain_

http://www.whale-cottage.com/

http://hellopeter.com/whale-cottage/compliments-and-complaints

http://www.iolproperty.co.za/roller/news/entry/cape_town_villa_owner_accused

http://whalecottage.blogspot.com/

http://www.thistourismweek.co.za/newsletters/how%E2%80%99s-this-for-censorship/

We hereby warn any potential guest, supplier, Guest House or restaurant against any dealings with Chris von Ulmenstein or any of the Whale Cottage Portfolio Establishments

Private: “Whale Cottage gone (even more) sour” – Chris von Ulmenstein

116 Comments »  | 

Clearly she enjoys seeking confrontation as she has a weekly “Sour Service Award” – how sad to think that she must be the winner 52 times a year!

http://www.whalecottage.com/blog/cape-town/glasfit-sweet-service-and-the-south-african-butler-academy-sour-service-awards/

With multiple websites exposing her for her abrupt and inconsiderate behavior, there is obviously a trend and history that cannot be erased.

With that said, here are a few comments from her own clients:

With a total of 201 reviews on TripAdvisor (between the 3 properties – 1 closed, 3 to go…) and 71 of them “terrible” will she ever change her attitude? The very few “semi-positve” comments were all made by world travelers that have only made one review on TripAdvisor? Makes you think the obvious…

http://www.tripadvisor.com/Hotel_Review-g312658-d595662-Reviews-Whale_Cottage_Camps_Bay-Camps_Bay_Western_Cape.html

http://www.tripadvisor.com/Hotel_Review-g469391-d595071-Reviews-Whale_Cottage_Franschhoek-Franschhoek_Western_Cape.html

A few sites and pages dedicated to her! She even made it to number ONE on Cape Town’s most wanted list! @FOBLOBulletin #FOBLO

http://neilpendock.com/whale-harpooned-again-for-racism/

http://neilpendock.com/whale-cottage-meltdown/

http://www.2oceansvibe.com/2013/03/20/2oceansvibe-receives-defamation-lawyers-letter-from-camps-bay-guest-house-whale-cottage-owner-chris-von-ulmenstein-read-it-here/

http://www.2oceansvibe.com/2013/03/01/outspoken-cape-town-guest-house-owner-knee-deep-in-controversy/

http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/stop-chris-von-ulmenstein/

https://twitter.com/TableMountain_

http://www.whale-cottage.com/

http://hellopeter.com/whale-cottage/compliments-and-complaints

http://www.iolproperty.co.za/roller/news/entry/cape_town_villa_owner_accused

http://whalecottage.blogspot.com/

http://www.thistourismweek.co.za/newsletters/how%E2%80%99s-this-for-censorship/

We hereby warn any potential guest, supplier, Guest House or restaurant against any dealings with Chris von Ulmenstein or any of the Whale Cottage Portfolio Establishments

116 Responses

  1. Hettie Novakovic says:

February 24, 2013 at 22:47

4 DAYS IN HELL

I was contacted by Chris von Ulmenstein on 14 February 2013 to come and work for her at Whale Cottage,,,,for free

Dear Hettie

Could you do a test day with us tomorrow?

Chris

I replied,,,

Dear Chris

I would love to,,,just tell me the time and address.

Warm Regards
Hettie Novakovic

More e mails

57 Camps Bay Drive, Camps Bay. 8h00. Please can you wear a white shirt and black pants?

Thanks

Chris

Dear Chris

If its OK with you, I will wear my uniform tomorrow,,
Black Skirt
Black Jacket
Black Stockings
White Shirt
Bow tie
Black Shoes

Regards
Hettie

That is far too formal Hettie – no bow-tie, no stockings, no jacket. We are a guest house.

Chris

And of I go to Camps Bay,,,Very excited,,,,Chris von Ulmenstein opened the gate for me, she did not ask me anything, just told me to put my bag behind her desk and go to the dining room,,the guests will be arriving for breakfast at 8.30,,,and not a second before 8.30,,,that is her rules.the breakfast serving went very well,I served the guests coffee and made them toast,egg orders were given to the chef by me, and when its ready, I take it to the guests..making more toast,serving tea and coffee, running to kitchen with dirty dishes, unpacking it in kitchen, taking eggs to guests, filling the coffee machine, filling the juice jars, cleaning the water spill from the leaking coffee machines, cleaning water on the floor around fridge, moving table settings from inside to outside as soon as guests were finished outside. All this keep on going for three hours, while Chris von Ulmenstein do some small talk with the guests, after breakfast I was instructed to check all the rooms and put out the correct amount of amenities in each room, there is ten rooms, all went well, and every time I pass her desk, she give me more orders, and I do it as she requested, you run up and down, back and forth, because every time see sees you, she give you a instruction, while she is sitting behind her desk busy with her blog. I was appointed to work from 8 till 12, it was a morning shift, I worked till 2..just before I went home, she called me to have a meeting with her, there she asked me about my training and where I have worked before, she also said that I must tell her everything that I have learned at the Academy and I must tell her if I see something that she can improve on.She said that I must not be so Butlery,and that she will get rid of the Butler in me. She offered me the Managers position, live in for me and my husband in Hermanus at her other Whale Cottage, and a salary of R5000. I accepted because I needed the work and would love to do this for her. She asked me how much I want to get paid for the two weeks that I will be working for her before I go to Hermanus,, and I can not ask a Butler salary because she cant afford that,,then she said, because I accepted R5000 for a full months work,, she will then give me R2500 for two weeks work,,working Monday to Sunday, I accepted it. She talked about the two cleaning ladies and said that they are cheap labor. We did not get any time to drink coffee and nothing to eat.

My next day I arrived before 8, because she said that I must take charge of the guesthouse, she will be in later.I went to the dining room and help Felicity with everything that had to be done. About 20 minutes after 8, two guests, very kind people entered the dining room, I asked if they want to be seated inside or outside, offered them coffee and toast and asked what kind of eggs do they want for breakfast. Then I went to the kitchen to make their eggs, I spoke to Felicity that these guests want to eat now because they have a flight leaving at 9.30…all hell brake loose…she said that Chris will kill us,,NO GUESTS WILL BE SERVED BREAKFAST BEFORE 8.30..Felicity called Chris, there was shouting from Chris side,she wanted to speak to the guests..the woman guest asked Chris very politely if they can have breakfast, Chris refused. then the lady asked Chris if she can go in the kitchen to make eggs herself, Chris refused, and after some more words, the lady said to Chris that she is a very rude woman. I felt so ashamed that these two people were not allowed to eat breakfast. She told me on the phone to get rid of these guests immediately, to take their keys and get them out, instead I offered them bread and coffee, which they were very thankful for. Chris arrived and all hell brake loose,she shunted me around, from the dining room, to the kitchen, I can do nothing fast enough for her, then I must go to her desk and write out the tasks for the staff, then write schedules for the next day in the book, run to dining room, serve guests, run back, write loyalty cards for guests, run to dining room, serve guests and do stock take on mini bar, help guests and run to office,,,,,, I went into kitchen because I could not take any more from this woman, the chef just told me to bite on my lip,she blame everything on me, shouting the whole time,, you do not listen, you don’t do what I tell you to do, you are too slow, work faster, you must be like a machine,,,,the chef made us each one boiled egg,,no time to eat, we must go work.

Because I did a beautiful 2 tier stand with flower petals and petit fours,for a wedding group, she asked me to do a table outside for the Wolthaus couples 25 wedding anniversary,,she said,,and i quote,,Hettie, you with your decorating skills, can you decorate a table outside for the Wolthaus couples 25 wedding anniversary..I said yes. the next morning I arrived with the most beautiful baby blue, white and silver under plates, crockery, cups, saucers, square glass bowls filled with artificial diamonds in water,tiny salt and pepper pots, crisp white table cloth, baby blue place mats, strings of pearls all over the table,, it was beautiful,some of the guests were watching while I prepared the table….. until Chris arrived, when she saw the table she screamed and were very upset, what are you doing, German people are common people, they don’t like this, they like simple things, take it of, then I said to her, but this is silver, for their silver wedding anniversary.. then she said,, ok,,leave the silver, but take the rest off, and inside my heart, I cried, my heart was ripped to pieces,with tears flowing I took everything of and put their ugly crockery on the table. Then she ran to her desk and write in her book, Hettie did that, Hettie don’t listen..etc, etc,,,,Later she asked me to go to Franschhoek on the Sunday afternoon after work to a meeting, when I arrived there, I asked her if she is going to pay me overtime. she looked at me with big eyes and said, I do not pay overtime, you can get one day of, but we will talk about this tomorrow.In that meeting she told me all her tricks, how to get customers to give their credit cards to her, she called it,,,A DANCE,,and she asked the lady that work there at that cottage to demonstrate it to me…first you welcome the guests with a glass of champagne, and while they are drinking, you do small talk with them, keep them busy, while she is filling in the forms, she holds one hand out and ask for the credit card, then she swipe the card through the machine and then through the other machine, then she write down the last 3 numbers at the back and let the guest sign everything,,,with this she can charge the guests for any breakage long after they went home.

Felicity and Mavis are working there for the last three weeks, they work very hard, without a break till two in the afternoon, Felicity asked for one extra lady to do the ironing, because she cant cope with all the work, after two she must do the washing, ironing and at night prepare everything for the next mornings breakfast. Chris said,,,NO..

One of the guests was moving from the Bay room to the Whale room, she told Felicity to take that dirty bedding from the Bay room and move it to the Whale room..then put the clean bedding back into the Bay room,the same must be done with the towels. Bedding and towels get changed every four days.She asked me what did I do with the left over watermelon that the guests did not finish, I said to her that I put it in the freeze, then I ask if the staff can eat it,, she screamed at me, asking me if I gave it to the staff, I said, No.. then she asked that if there was any leftover fruit, that I must bring it to her served in a bowl with yogurt over. The chef left two pieces of bacon in the kitchen, she asked me to put it in cellophane and into the fridge, the chef can use it for the following mornings breakfast.

Monday was the same as the other days, she, blowing and steaming, getting anxiety attacks, one time I thought, maybe I must call an ambulance, because she was sweating, breathing loud and fast while giving orders, she never stops giving orders, and all she do every day is sit behind her desk promoting her Blog,pretending she know everything that’s going on in Cape Town, catching happy smiling people on camera on her phone and posting it on her Blog,

She shouted at the guests outside by the swimming pool, very angry she told them to close the umbrellas after they have used them, she accused one of the guests son, that he broke the creepy and one umbrella, she said that she is going to charge the guests for an old pool lounger that broke, then there was fault with the pool, the one lid was put the wrong way around, no problem, everything was still working fine, then she came to me and blame me,,she said that I broke it by putting it back the wrong way around,,,,I never touched anything near the pool,,,somehow a red serviette landed between the washing,, some of the linen were stained pink, but Felicity cleaned it…she shouted at me and blame me..you did it..you threw the red serviette into the washing,,you are costing me now R4000..

Some of the guests went to buy lunch so they can eat it in there rooms. they asked us for 5 plates which we gave to them, Chris again shouted at us, very angry,,telling us that no guest get anything after breakfast,,,we are also not allowed to answer the door if she is not there..she told a woman guest to silence her child, because the child is disturbing the other guests. If a guest writes a negative comment in the book, she tears the whole page out.I saved the message on my phone where she instructed me to collect all the air conditioner remotes because she does not want the guests to use the air cons,, her power bill will be too high.

After four days, I had enough, I can no longer work for someone that does not value guests,,,she use and abuse people just to make money. and I am not going to degrade myself to her low, selfish, standards.

Dear Chris

Thank you for considering me for the position in Hermanus, but I will not make use off the offer.
You can pay my salary for 15, 16,17,18, February 2013, for the days worked at Whale Cottage, Camps Bay, which totals to R712 into the following bank account..
Hettie Novakovic
Absa
“””””””””””
Savings

Regards
Hettie

She refuses to pay me.

  1. Newton Cross says:

February 25, 2013 at 05:57

Dear Chris

My name is Newton Cross the Owner of the South African Butler Academy. I have been in contact with both parties Guild Recruitment and Hettie one of my students. I have noted both comments and the incidents which have occurred today.

In light of emails and the current blogs, I personally feel that we have to act ethical and professional here. It is your duty as owner of Whale Cottage to respond to correspondence in a mature manner. It is my duty to advise you as the owner to pay for work done by Hettie not because she was unskilled but because she offered her services and time to devote your establishment. let us build a better name for Whale Cottage rather than slander the name as it is done by several people and guests.

I advise you politely to change your current opinions and feelings as it has no effect on the public nor in the public domain. Take our sentiments as advisory and I politely ask you to refrain from your negative side and make a difference instead of boiling up your blood pressure! Not necessary…

Kind Regards
Newton Cross

  1. Daniel says:

February 25, 2013 at 07:57

Hi there

I have just read the blog about whale cottage and can tell you that I too have had nasty dealings with Chris. She came to one of the restaurants I was managing once and was honestly one of the most obnoxious and rude guests I have ever dealt with. Demanding this and that. Nothing was good enough. Wanted changes to the menu items and didn’t want to be charged, it was a nightmare having her with us. Then unaware to me she was busy writing all this down in her blog slating the restaurant.

A friend of mine lives in the house opposite to whale cottage in camps bay and says she continuously complains about everything. Se says it is a nightmare to live there an it’s become so bad she is considering moving house. Very sad situation.

Very very mean, sad woman indeed.

Good luck to Hettie.

I thought I just had to share this with you.

Regards
Daniel

  1. Faith Hans says:

February 25, 2013 at 17:03

This is really sad. As I know Hettie well and she will always aim to spoil and please. I am so sorry to hear she had to go through this considering what a wonderful caring person she is. I trained with Hettie and she always thought of others and continuously spoiled the students as well as the lecturers, this is her nature, to spoil and pamper. Always committed to whatever task was handed to her.

I feel this lady very sorry as she has lost a very valuable asset to her establishment.

Hettie carry on the wonderful work you have done, you are amazing. Do not let this get in your way, of bringing the sunshine in everyone’s day!!

Kind regards
Faith

  1. Keith says:

February 25, 2013 at 19:22

All support to Hettie and all the other junior staff and clients that has been a victim of Chris Von Ulmenstein. She is a disgrace and an embarressement to the hospitality industry. How her B&Bs stay open is beyond me. I have stayed in her Camps Bay Guesthouse and was shouted at because I wanted breakfast 10 mins before 8.30. I will warn everybody not to stay in Camps Bay because of this very rude woman.

  1. Adriaan Coetzer says:

February 25, 2013 at 20:44

Dear Chris,

After doing some research about Whale Cottage and yourself, I personally think you should review your work ethics and start “cleaning your House” before accusing other people the way you do. Reading the TripAdvisor (and many other Blogs, Sites & Pages) reviews clearly indicates who is credible and who not

Best of luck!
Adriaan

  1. Beverley (UK) says:

February 25, 2013 at 20:48

We came in some trepidation having booked from the UK and paid up front the full amount as we did not book a long way in advance. We looked at Trip Adviser later when in S Africa. We were “upgraded” on arrival to an upstairs room which was clean and had a lovely view. The bathroom door was glass and did not fit the doorway properly and had clearly been added later. The bathroom fittings were adequate but the workmanship of the fittings was poor. The wardrobe was adequate. The lounger chairs on the balcony were broken and since there were three broken ones there was a clear lack of maintenance. The swimming pool was dirty and the cleaning rod was left in it permanently which made it very uninviting. The manager employed made valiant efforts to hoover it but could make little difference. It needed a pool maintenance man on contract to maintain it. We had to ask for the soap dispenser to be filled which it was but this should have been refilled every morning. We suspect staff were kept short of replacements. The manager was a charming lady but was clearly working for a very poor owner. The pepper pot was empty at breakfast and when we asked for another one she could only tell us was that she had asked the owner to bring some more but she failed to do so. It was empty the next day too. The breakfast was meagre. In an earlier stay at Whale Cottage in Hermanus another guest asked for two rashers of bacon and was treated like Oliver Twist! The owner had framed newspaper articles of her accomplishments in the B and B business and, apart from being totally inflexible about returning unused booking fees, paid no attention to her own credo at all. The house could be an excellent b and b but has been sadly neglected for some time now and if the owner carries on being in competition with Basil Fawlty there will be no business soon. Such a pity because all the negative comments are completely believable. The best thing Chris can do is give the management over to a competent person who can ensure the guests comfort and enjoyment, go on a refresher course on hotel management, or sell it. It was the most expensive guest house we stayed in over a two and a half week holiday in the Western Cape and the poorest by far, quite simply because of the way the owner runs it. Charming staff do not compensate for poor attention to detail on the part of the owner and unwillingness to make simple running repairs. We would recommend staying elsewhere.

  1. Johanthan says:

February 26, 2013 at 09:56

Dear Hettie

I am sorry that you were treated so rudely by this woman. Chris von Ulmenstein has a reputation as the most ill-mannered person in Cape Town and Franschhoek. She has been banned from countless restaurants because of the same type of behaviour that you describe in detail in your blog. I feel sorry for all her employees. Good people who are being abused and used.

The wheel will turn soon on Chris Von Ulmenstein.

  1. James says:

February 26, 2013 at 10:00

Thank you for this article. The only way that a person of this calibre can be stopped is if we, as the hospitality industry, stand up together. We see Chris Von Ulmenstein at events and in our restaurants and painfully tolerate her because of the damage she can do. I believe the time has come for all of us to stand up against the bully.

  1. Alta says:

February 26, 2013 at 10:49

Chris Von Ulmenstein is a horrible person.. My husband and I stayed in Whale Cottage in Franschoek. We booked in and were welcomed by a very friendly receptionist, Evermore. We wanted to rest as we are both professional people who work extremely hard. We were just dozing when there was a BANGING on the door with an order “come and swipe your card”. Before I could dress the shouting was repeated even more loudly. I explained that I had already paid the bill in May and despite having all the paperwork on hand she refused to look at it and insisted I swipe my new credit card (The credit card I paid with expired), again saying she would refund me the next day. This did not happen which confirmed my instinct that she was lying. Monday, 3rd the money was paid back with R100 short. I queried the matter with my bank and got my money back. My husband and myself have traveled the world and have never experienced something like this in our lives!! The owners attitude was unbelievably rude and we are astounded that she remains in the hospitality industry. Her harassment was completely unacceptable.

  1. Barry says:

February 26, 2013 at 10:51

I am surprised that this person is still operating. Chris Von Ulmenstein is a disgrace. Ask any restaurant owner and person who stayed at her Whale Cottage places.

  1. Hettie says:

February 26, 2013 at 11:47

Thank you to so many people, with every comment, you touch my heart, and most of all, thank you to Newton and Adriaan, who believed in me, if I can only tell how kind and considerate they are, do yourself a favor, and call SABA, and you will hear their friendly voices, I did my training with them, you can not ask for a better teacher than Newton, sometimes when the days were warm, very long for our students, we get tired, struggling to concentrate, because this was a very intense course, Newton will wake us up by telling us about his life and what he encountered, and some of the funny things he came across, we found it very interesting to listen to him, personally he is a great example of a Professional Butler, he has a way of standing, the way he dress, always immaculate clean, on his suits, hands, the classroom, everything., we were also told how to answer a phone in a Professional way,you think you can do it until you hear Mrs.Wiese do it, my mouth dropped to the floor , I was sitting with her in her office, and the phone rang, she answered and I got a lesson in answering a phone, firsthand. I must say that I miss the Academy and all the students, you make good friends, and Mr. West, the father of the academy, we all miss him so much, he is always smiling, you could go to him with any problem you have and he will help you, he can not see so well, but you will never notice this, none of us knew until he told us, one day in class he was lecturing us, and he was a little angry at one of the students, and he looked at me, I thought, is he looking at me, I did not do anything wrong, but actually he is looking at a student three seats from where you are, I can only say that SABA IS THE BEST, and the most professional Butler school in the world, anyone can go and have a look at You Tube, go see how other schools all over the world are being taught, nothing compares to SABA, you feel welcomed, spoiled, each and every one got personal attention, and you might think that you can fold a serviette, make souffle, bake an egg, cleaning, make an espresso, etc,etc, think again, once you enroll for your course at SABA, you will learn all this and so many more, they refine you, teach you things in detail, and they sculpt you, teaching you manners, etiquette, how to stand and walk, how to work and not been seen, how to think on your feet, and how to think what your client needs before he even know that he needs it, ,After you finish your course, they stay in contact with you, always asking if you are OK, what you have been doing, they help you to find work and they assist you when you need it, Their doors are always open if you need to cry, or just little small talk or a cup of coffee. SABA, you are the best.

  1. Sonja says:

February 26, 2013 at 13:06

Down with Chris Von Ulmenstein and her ways of stealing money from clients by subtracting breakages from their Credit Cards. I got R750 taken off my card weeks after I stayed in WC Camps Bay. I didn’t break or damage anything. Chris Von Ulmenstein your day will come. You cannot go through life in such a destructive way and get away with it.

  1. Antoinette says:

February 26, 2013 at 15:26

I have also been shouted at by Chris Von Ulmenstein. I read Tripadvisor too late and realised what a hell-hole I booked into after the first shouting session because I asked if my bacon was fresh. (I am sure I got those left-over rashes of bacon from the previous day). My stay at Whale Cottage was a nightmare from beginning to end. No positive comments in her guest book, just torn-out pages. What an absulote disgrace. This place should be shut down.

  1. Kurt says:

February 26, 2013 at 16:54

Chris Von Ulmenstein – the most obnoxious woman in Cape Town. How can she get away with this? She is a stalker mafia woman.

  1. Christoph says:

February 26, 2013 at 18:05

This unfortunate woman, unlovely and unloved, just wants to feel wanted and liked.

Any establishment that achieves this gets the thumbs up from her – no matter how bad it is. Remember the way she used to punt Whatsoneatery?? (Gone bust and closed) or that nauseating little **** in Portofino? (gone bust and closed).

Add to this the fact that she is not well, not well at all, and in severe need of professional help.

But any schmuck that goes and stays with her, especially in this age of Tripadvisor and Hellopeter, and then complains about her behavior or the low standards, does not deserve an ounce of sympathy.

As for staff that have the misfortune of accidentally entering Gulag Von Ulmenstein (remember Charmaine) and now this poor girl Hettie, my heart goes out to them. My feelings lie more with her most poorly paid staff – people who have no voice or redress (they are not on computers, have twitter or Facebook accounts), can you imagine the way she treats them??

Von Ulmenstein has been kicked out of Fedasa and Cape Town Tourism, all because she is an abusive bully, troublemaker and general pain in the ass to all the decent honest folk just trying to do a good job and get on with life.

The only way she will be made behave is if paying guests vote with their wallets and stay elsewhere. – and avoid her old rashers, dodgy furniture, cloudy and dirty swimming pools and most of all, her.

  1. CA Meijer says:

February 26, 2013 at 20:51

I’m glad that you guys seem able to see the humour in this situation. She’s either completely lacking in self-awareness or has turned the hypocrisy dial way past 11.

  1. lolla says:

February 27, 2013 at 03:31

I’m sure you have seen this, but Chris has responded.

What a surprise :/

http://www.whalecottage.com/blog/cape-town/sa-butler-academy-grossly-misleads-its-students-and-hospitality-industry-clients/

  1. Jennifer Mars says:

February 27, 2013 at 05:43

Chris Von Ulmenstein doesn’t only have bad manners in her guest houses and restaurants. She drives an open top German car as if she own the road. She screams and hoots at cyclists and other motorists. She almost drove into me in my little Japanese car, stopping and calling me a f***ing idiot. I suggest serious treatment in Valkenberg for this lady. There is something very wrong with her.

  1. Jurg says:

February 27, 2013 at 05:47

Chris von Ulmenstein is a tremendous embarrassement to the German community in Cape Town. She gives us all a bad name.

  1. Leon G says:

February 27, 2013 at 06:55

Really SAD to think that not even Paul Watson from Whale Wars will be able to save her!

  1. Anya B. says:

February 27, 2013 at 07:38

“Monday was the same as the other days, she, blowing and steaming, getting anxiety attacks, one time I thought, maybe I must call an ambulance, because she was sweating, breathing loud and fast while giving orders, she never stops giving orders, and all she do every day is sit behind her desk promoting her Blog,pretending she know everything that’s going on in Cape Town,”

Sounds like Adolfo Hittler on his last days in the bunker in Berlin —- hilarious piece of writing. Sad to say,she sounds just as delusional and out of touch with reality.

  1. Marelize says:

February 27, 2013 at 09:11

Chris Von Ulmenstein is giving Basil Fawlty a run for his money, no doubt.

  1. Riaan says:

February 27, 2013 at 09:15

Speaking about Basil Fawlty and Germans. You will enjoy this Chris Von Ulmenstein:

  1. Marelize Delport says:

February 27, 2013 at 11:26

Thank you Riaan. This made me giggle. The nightmare of Basil Fawlty immediately came up when I read this blog and clicked through to the Hello Peter complaints I will be sure never to get close to 57 Camps Bay Drive. But seriously – this woman is surely a liability to hospitality?

  1. Sonia Cabano says:

February 27, 2013 at 12:24

What a deeply strange and frightening person
Chris von Ulmenstein is indeed. I’ve had my set-abouts with her on her blog and via Twitter, as everyone knows. What actually confounds me is her modus operandus: how she fires off missives to the CEO’s of big name brands, claiming personal injury and insult. I have seen big brand managers brought to tears as a result. She hates me, because I am the only person to say and tweet and Facebook as myself that she is bad bad news.

  1. Nils Lubbe. says:

February 27, 2013 at 14:50

Hello Sonia,

What you need to understand is that the only person she has damaged in her social media wars is herself.

She thought that social media would allow her to bully and intimidate with impunity.

It hasn’t worked, and has exposed her as a malicious,vindictive, deeply insecure and sad individual.

Everyone who counts in the food, drink and hospitality industry know her and her nonsense.

She’s a 65 year old obese diabetic with a bad attitude towards life – and it’s giving it back to to her in spades.

Karma, I believe it’s called.

Go well.

  1. Glynis says:

February 27, 2013 at 18:21

Do not believe the website. It states that a 50% refund will be made if a cancellation is made within the specified time. Our cancellation was made 26 days before arrival, within the specified time, but the owner, Chris, refuses to pay up.

  1. MW – Amsterdam says:

February 27, 2013 at 18:24

While trying to accomodate us with our baby (and asking the cottage for some help with that) we were treated brutal and arrogant by the owner Chris.
She was not intending to make us feel comfortable. What a rude lady! What a shame for Cape Town!
On top of that she claimed to have putted us on a black list for Camps Bay area by the Camps Bay Guest House Association which she appears to be herself. What a joke…
And… before this scene happened: She organized that these Camps bay guest houses share your contact info (of potential guests looking for accomodation) without asking you.
Sorry to have spend my energy on this.
Don’t even consider to go here. Go to Hout Bay or somewhere else in great Cape Town!!
We had a great time there, again! (:

  1. Suzy says:

February 27, 2013 at 20:56

There has to be a fly on the wall documentary here. Must send in Carte Blanche to do an undercover exposé. Arrive early for breakfast, get her to scream and shout, catch her swiping credit cards, abusing staff and customers. What a gas! The damage she must be doing to SA tourism!

  1. Sonia Cabano says:

February 27, 2013 at 21:28

… making us look bad. I have international clients. I always hope to *** they don’t read Chris von Ulmenstein’s blog. Sadly she has the habit of phoning and emailing my business partners with false and libellous claims. What to do about this woman and her strange obsessions, what to do?

  1. Kobus says:

February 28, 2013 at 07:52

Dear Hettie, I’m sure the local department of Labour will be very interested in the fact that you were employed, but not paid for the 4 days’work. Please contact them to complain. The office number is 021-4685500. Alternatively, email : Ngubo.Lubelwana@labour.gov.za

  1. Ilze says:

February 28, 2013 at 10:06

“We have received feedback from a number of our blog readers and past guests that their comments in support of ourselves have not been allowed on the SA Butler Academy blog” writes Chris on her blog today.

Claims that you are censoring them.

So why hasn’t she put them up on her own blog??

Does she think we are all stupid?

She’s getting no support at all.

  1. SA Butler Academy says:

February 28, 2013 at 10:27

Dear Ilze,

I wish you could see the emails and nasty blogs she is writing. This woman is seriously unwell. Trying to dissect the Butler Academy web site or our good standing name in the industry. What benefit will she have – the blogs above are guests who have stayed at her establishments.

The best part is I have never met her nor dealt with her in my life. I do think the time has come for Chris to give up this act. Chris here is a telephone number of a very good clinical physiologist – Belinda Train – Book a session or request further information: email us or call 083 488 5914.

@Chris: What are the benefits you are likely to get from your psychotherapy process?

Gentle guidance and feedback can allow you to make a critical shift from stuck to unstuck.

Solutions can arise more easily in a supported thinking space.

Sharing in an objective environment can allow you to find new perspective.

Reply

  1. SABA Blog Admin says:

February 28, 2013 at 13:08  (Edit)

Because she (Chris) is the only one trying to defend herself. She has multiple email addresses and aliases to disguise herself as a supporter of her own downfall. Her IP address is tracked, traced and blacklisted from our Blog and therefore going straight to the SPAM folder where it belongs!

Reply

  1. Martin says:

February 28, 2013 at 10:52  (Edit)

According to the property valuation roll ( http://www.capetown.gov.za/en/propertyvaluations/Pages/default.aspx ) 57 Camps Bay drive is a single residential residence with 4 bedrooms, thus not registered as a guesthouse according to the roll, therefore paying rebated rates. Objection anyone…?

  1. Kobus says:

February 28, 2013 at 14:28

Somebody needs to take this further. Chris von Ulmenstein and her Whale Cottages are a disgrace to hospitality. If this isn’t proof of her lying and cheating then nothing is. I know she is a bully but I am beyond astounded by the reaction to this post. We need to write a petition to the City of Cape Town to close her down.

  1. Martin says:

February 28, 2013 at 11:34

Taken from http://www.sa-venues.com/visit/whalecottagecampsbay/ :
“Whale Cottage Camps Bay is ideal as a venue for honeymooners and their party of friends and family. It offers seven double sea facing rooms and three mountain facing single rooms, as well as the Bay Suite for three persons, therefore accommodating a total of 20 guests per night.”
How is it possible that it is not officially registered as a Guesthouse with the Cityof Cape Town..??

  1. Ellen de K says:

February 28, 2013 at 14:26

I have a serious complaint about the management by Mrs Chris von Ulmenstein

Checkin time is according to their policy from 14.00-19.00
We were literally chased away at 13.45.

We could not wait in the garden or leave our luggage so we left. We came back at 18.00 and after ringing and phoning several times (she did not answer) we went to the police. At that stage they would not put my complaint in writing.

Chris v U phoned me at that same moment and said we should wait for half an hour until she arrived….our dinner reservation was cancelled because we were too late(Valentines day). In fact she ruined our day and our stay in Cape Town.

From the beginning of this booking i was skeptical; Mrs Von Ulmenstein worries more about your credit card than your well being. I have proof of that.

Please also look at the reactions on Tripadvisor….the Whale Cottage looks stunning on the website but the reality is different. They are not worth the 4star grading.

I travel a lot and I lived in this country but never experienced such in-hospitality and hatred. A discussion with Chris von Ulmenstein was not possible….she just walked away. I was there with my friends (my guests) and they witnessed the whole process.

  1. Martin says:

February 28, 2013 at 15:44  (Edit)

Really doing a lot of damage to tourism: http://scamhunter.com/2012/whale-cottage-wont-refund-me-r9100-after-cancelation/

  1. Dirk says:

February 28, 2013 at 17:02  (Edit)

Whoa there! that’s some serious that is!

It’s one thing to defraud customers (it is all he said she said stuff) but to intentionally defraud the city authorities???
Bet if she has done that in Camps Bay she is also doing it in Franschhoek and Hermanus – where I believe she has other b&b’s.

Who’ll be up for visiting her in Pollsmore?

Maria and Lolla I’d say!!,!

Reply

  1. SABA Blog Admin says:

February 28, 2013 at 21:33  (Edit)

This is the reason why service “in general” is non existant in SA. “Most of the time we prefer to keep quiet. But this time we will make sure to make an example…

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  1. Jeremy says:

February 28, 2013 at 20:54  (Edit)

It is all very well to complain about charges against your credit card but if you sit back and let this happen then it is only your fault. If money has been deducted by Whale cottage from your credit card then phone your bank and tell them to reverse the transaction immediately. It is completely illegal and actually act of fraud on her part to secretly take note of the three numbers on the back of your card. Lay a charge of theft against her at your local police statiion.

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  1. SABA Blog Admin says:

February 28, 2013 at 21:11  (Edit)

“…In that meeting she told me all her tricks, how to get customers to give their credit cards to her, she called it,,,A DANCE,,and she asked the lady that work there at that cottage to demonstrate it to me…”

first you welcome the guests with a glass of champagne, and while they are drinking, you do small talk with them, keep them busy, while she is filling in the forms, she holds one hand out and ask for the credit card, then she swipe the card through the machine and then through the other machine, then she write down the last 3 numbers at the back and let the guest sign everything,,,with this she can charge the guests for any breakage long after they went home…

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  1. Kurt says:

March 1, 2013 at 06:32  (Edit)

Seems, according to ads on the web, that all 3 her Guesthouses are graded 4-Star:

http://www.scatterhub.com/accommodation.php?cid=2073
http://www.scatterhub.com/accommodation.php?cid=7683
http://www.scatterhub.com/accommodation.php?cid=7682
http://www.capetown-traveladviser.com/whale-cottage-camps-bay.html
http://www.sa-accommodation-finder.com/wcwl_whalecottage.htm

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  1. Kurt says:

March 1, 2013 at 06:48  (Edit)

And the bad reviews keep coming, posted yesterday on Tripadvisor: http://www.tripadvisor.de/Hotel_Review-g312658-d595662-Reviews-Whale_Cottage_Camps_Bay-Camps_Bay_Western_Cape.html

Reply

  1. Sonia Cabano says:

March 1, 2013 at 10:51  (Edit)

I posted this comment on Chris’s blog she will not publish it, but it’s the truth.
Chris

You and I both know that you are trying to distract people from the fact that your reputation has taken somewhat of a dip lately. I do not ‘run’ any ‘Twitter abuse accounts’ against you. In fact, I am more than happy to state my disgust with you publicly under my own name. Fortunately for me, your habit of abusing people and businesses on your blog is so well-known that most people just laugh it off. Let’s put it this way: if you really want to make these claims about me, how about substatiating them with proof? I have asked Ian Little, the fiancè of Charmaine who worked for you, repeatedly not to include me in his tweets about you, and also to come clear about who he is and why he is pursuing you. What astonishes me is the fact that you and your various enemies choose to abuse the internet with scant regard for the innocent people and businesses dragged into your sordid mess. This is not healthy human behaviour. If you have an issue with me, you have my phone number (you did, after all, send me text messages at 3am before) and email address.

Thanks,
Sonia Cabano

LEAVE

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  1. Marelize Delport says:

March 1, 2013 at 12:52  (Edit)

And someboy has started a petition to stop Chris Von Ulmenstien. Spread the word good people:

http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/stop-chris-von-ulmenstein/

Reply

  1. 2oceansvibe.com says:

March 1, 2013 at 15:46  (Edit)

Chris Von Ulmenstein is no stranger to controversy.

Owner and operator of the Whale Cottage franchise of guest houses, Von Ulmenstein’s guest houses sport pages and pages of colourfully-worded reviews on user-generated review sites, like Trip Advisor, and has been embroiled in a number of public spats in recent years with a variety of individuals in the local hospitality industry.

While infighting is common in any industry, Von Ulmenstein has attained near-celebrity status for contention, with a number of news articles, petitions, and satirical sites dedicated to her having sprung in the last few years. (Here, here, here, here, and here are a few.)

Von Ulmenstein raised the ire of the South African Butlers Association this last week, by naming and shaming a graduate of SABA on her Whale Cottage blog, who she had employed and dismissed four days later for a list of alleged infractions.

According to the post, the SABA graduate was employed at her Camps Bay guest house, which she operates from 57 Camps Bay Drive, Cape Town.

SABA countered with a now-popular blog post of their own, before Von Ulmenstein hit back, and a familiar mud-slinging match played out in the comments section of both websites, and various social media platforms.

This list of allegations from both parties and their supporters in the comments sections of the posts alone is staggering.

However, one comment under the SABA post alleged that Von Ulmenstein had not registered the Whale Cottage Camps Bay property for commercial use, and by implication had evaded otherwise-significant commercial rates and taxes.

Contacted for comment, Rema Van Niekerk, Executive Officer of the Cape office of Federated Hospitality Association Of South Africa (FEDHASA), said that guest houses must be registered as commercial properties with their respective municipalities, because they pay substantially more in rates and taxes than residential properties.

Lwazi Kunju of the Property Valuations office of the City Of Cape Town confirmed that any given property would be billed substantially higher for rates in the event that it was registered as a commercial property, and not a residential property.

Kunju confirmed that residential properties may enjoy a rates rebate for a variety of reasons that include but are not limited to the registered owner being a pensioner, or earning and income of less than R10 500 per month. Kunju went on to say that a commercial property may not receive a rates rebate, for any reason.

Under the value roll entry for 57 Camps Bay Drive, the Rating Category is marked as “Rebated”, and the property is listed as “RES”, or residential.

Kunju confirmed explicitly that 57 Camps Bay Drive is listed as a residential, and not a commercial property on the City’s property records.

Kunju also stated that the onus is on the property owner to inform the relavent municipality that a property is used for commercial purposes, including the operation of a guest house.

In the event that a property owner had failed to inform the municipality that the property was used for commercial purposes, Kunju said that the owner would be re-billed for outstanding rates and taxes, backdated to the period in which the property made the transition from residential to commercial use.

The Whale Cottage website confirms that Whale Cottage Camps Bay has been in use as a guest house since 1998.

Failure to pay the outstanding amount would lead to the City instituting standard debt collection processes.

2oceansvibe confirmed that the Hermanus and Franschhoek Whale Cottages are registered as businesses according to the property valuation rolls of the Overstrand and Stellenbosch municipalities, respectively.

After 2oceansvibe made contact with Von Ulmenstein via phone call, text message and email, she stated that she is unavailable for comment today. 2oceansvibe requested via telephone, text and email that Von Ulmenstein confirm or deny our research, and she declined to engage with the questions.

Reply

  1. Kurt says:

March 1, 2013 at 20:47  (Edit)

Payback is a bitch….wonder what the SARS situation is wrt the “Commercial” nature of the businesses…???

Reply

  1. Martin says:

March 2, 2013 at 00:01  (Edit)

Referance: http://www.whalecottage.com/blog/about/
Given her extremely high level of education and background in Marketing,Advertising and Public Relations, as well as senior positions held on the board of Cape Town Tourism and Fedhasa, one has to wonder why, having been in the Accommodation/Tourism/Guesthouse industry for so long, none of her 3 Guesthouses use an online booking system, such as Nightsbridge ( http://www.nightsbridge.co.za/ ), which would allow potential guests to view availability, book, and pay, all in realtime. This would also then give the owner an immediate up to date array of reports, including income, audit reports etc etc. It most certainly helps keep ones TAX affairs in order and up to date.

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  1. Jeremy. says:

March 2, 2013 at 07:52  (Edit)

When the bailiff calls around to seize her goods he is going to be very disappointed – some scabby loungers, broken air con units, mildewed sheets, ancient TV’s. Even her old car isn’t worth much. She must be ******* her knickers. I suppose what goes round comes round and gives you a ****klap. Eh Chris?

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  1. Chris von Ulmenstein says:

March 2, 2013 at 08:47  (Edit)

POSTSCRIPT 27/2: We have received feedback from a number of our blog readers and past guests that their comments in support of ourselves have not been allowed on the SA Butler Academy blog, another proof of its unprofessionalism and one-sided presentation of information!

Reply

  1. SABA Blog Admin says:

March 2, 2013 at 09:02  (Edit)

Chris, you are the only one complaining. So sad to think you have to comment on your own Blog. We have prove that you also hide under the name “lolla” & “Maria”…

lolla says:

“Chris, rise above this. I realize it is easier said than done, but try.”

Maria says:

“Stay strong Chris. I overheard two of your archenemies last weekend, calling that bully of a Table Mountain account Ian.

Do you know an Ian?

Who could this possibly be? You have my support. Always!”

Reply

  1. Karen says:

March 2, 2013 at 13:49  (Edit)

I once commented on one of her particularly cruel blogs and suggested she show some compassion and understanding to young people and those that are new on the job. My comment was unpublished and she blocked me on Twitter. I am quite sure Chris receives many comments on her blog’s but only the self congratulatory alter-ego Lolla and Maria,with a couple of blind acolytes comments ever see the light of day. Chris has painted herself into a social media corner and may find there is no way out.

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  1. GJ says:

March 3, 2013 at 04:58  (Edit)

Someone out there needs to set up one website to consolidate all guest reviews and all ex employee accounts. This fragmented approach is not achieving anything despite a trail of destruction going back years. What an embarrassment for Cape Town tourism… how many visitors have returned home appalled at their experience in South Africa ?

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  1. Martin says:

March 3, 2013 at 06:24  (Edit)

Petition started at http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/stop-chris-von-ulmenstein/

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  1. GJ says:

March 3, 2013 at 08:37  (Edit)

Nice idea but what’s a petition going to achieve ? We need 1 site with all reviews etc. Tourists need to be warned before they get scammed by von Ulmensteins ‘dance’.

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  1. SABA Blog Admin says:

March 3, 2013 at 11:07  (Edit)

GJ,

According to our research, our Site is 8th on Google searching her name. The page ranking will keep going up the more comments there is.

Most of her reviews and movements are tracked and posted on the Blog and will continue to do so. Please keep us informed of any new developments. Don’t think people have time to waste on her by running another site

SABA

Reply

  1. GJ says:

March 3, 2013 at 17:48  (Edit)

Hi SABA
With all due respect you’re only 8th because of the interest in this post ! I found you via 2Oceansvibe’s link. It’s summed up in their post with the list of links / tweets about this woman. I agree that every minute spent on this is a minute lost but how do we make sure you stay high on the search to warn innocent parties before they get fleeced ? If there are any web wizards out there maybe they can help…?

  1. SABA Blog Admin says:

March 3, 2013 at 18:37  (Edit)

Dear GJ,

Thank you for your comment. We did a post on another Butler Training Institution that blatantly stole pictures from our site for their own use. Our post is still number one on Google 6 months later.

Best is for us to keep going on the Blog and leave the rest to the Authorities

SABA

  1. David says:

March 3, 2013 at 09:35  (Edit)

A website please, curated by someone who will collect all the “information” in one place, so that it can be accessed by anyone who needs to check her out. Good idea GJ.

The petition site will not work.

Then everyone with a cellphone just needs to keep her monitored as she moves around Cape Town. Is there an app for this – BLUBBERALERT?

This will be a valuable social service to the citizens of our beautiful city who will be able to go about their lives in a peaceful fashion, knowing that she is, for example, the other side of the mountain.

And can everyone out there who bakes just keep feeding her the cakes?
She loves chocolate, especially.

Reply

  1. GJ says:

March 3, 2013 at 17:56  (Edit)

Hi David
I think there’s more than enough information out there but many of her ex staff and business associates have moved on and just can’t be bothered to engage her for fear of being bullied or just feel its a waste of time. A website would be great as long as its fact based and doesn’t turn into anything slanderous. She will try to shut it down.

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  1. Chris von Ulmenstein says:

March 3, 2013 at 21:26  (Edit)

Dear Stuart

Thank you for your compliment, and for your concern about our Whale Cottage Portfolio.

I am unable to find any locally-based Stuart Davison via Google. Once you send me your questions again with your real name, we “(me, myself & I)” can answer your questions.

In the mean time, please do read this blogpost again, as you do not appear to have comprehended much of it. “(Only I know the truth)” Any details you want to know about “(me)” myself “lolla”, “Maria” and “(I)” the establishment of the Whale Cottage Portfolio you can read here: http://www.whalecottage.com/blog/shameonme

I look forward to hearing from you.

Chris

Reply

  1. David says:

March 3, 2013 at 20:18  (Edit)

Well fine, but what a Capetonian response…… She should then be allowed to continue unimpeded, trolling around Cape Town, picking on poor unfortunate innocent employees, settling old scores against restaurateurs who have barred her, bullying and intimidating anyone and anything in her path?.
That’s exactly what has allowed her to get as far as she has gotten.
What about the next poor Hettie or Charmaine? Or the next poor restaurateur who is unlucky enough to have her at a table, or the poor unfortunates who have to suffer her calling up their employers as she attempts to destroy their careers and jobs with her weasel words and lies. This is what she does, and continues to do in her perverse rampage of destruction wherever she goes.

Carte Blanche need to get a psychiatrist to interview her on air and ask her to explain herself. I’ll be alerting them to her mindless campaign of destruction. The Argus and Cape Times also need to be alerted.

The food and drink community are generally a decent lot in Cape Town, naturally you get the occasional tensions and squabbles here and there. But this Von Ulmenstein woman has been a river of toxic awfulness running through the village, poisoning everything and everybody .

I think the level of hostility displayed on these comment boards are an indicator of how much she is hated and despised.

Thrown out of FEDHASA, thrown out of Cape Town Tourism, barred from some of the best known restaurants in the country – does this not tell people something?

She is the schoolyard bully, and it’s time people stood up collectively and shouted STOP WHALE!!! ENOUGH NOW!!

In the meantime, let’s keep feeding her the cakes, and Mother Nature will take care of her own.

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  1. Jeremy says:

March 3, 2013 at 20:41  (Edit)

When von Ulmenstein doesn’t have the courage to publish disgraceful remarks about people under her own name for fear of being sued she uses the sock puppet aliases ‘Maria’ and ‘lolla’to post these allegations,and she also uses these logins to praise herself. However, up until now there has been no proof. So please do us a favour and publish her IP address here so other bloggers who are being flamed by her can filter out these fake comments.

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  1. SABA Blog Admin says:

March 3, 2013 at 21:06  (Edit)

Continent: Africa (AF)
Country: South Africa (ZA)
Capital: Pretoria
State: Western Cape
City: Cape Town
ISP: MWEB Connect
Organization: MWEB Connect
Time zone: Africa/Johannesburg

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  1. Frank says:

March 4, 2013 at 07:30  (Edit)

That’s not an IP address. Are you sure the lolla and Maria comments are coming from the same place as Chris herself, because that’s not proof?

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  1. SABA Blog Admin says:

March 4, 2013 at 07:46  (Edit)

Dear Frank. We do have an IP address coming from CvU and email address whalecot@iafrica.com

We are busy with some investigations and prefer not to post the IP here. You are welcome to mail us direct

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  1. Frank says:

March 4, 2013 at 09:09  (Edit)

No, I was just curious.

  1. Martin says:

March 4, 2013 at 12:22  (Edit)

Apparently she has just now painted over the 4 stars on her signage, think she is starting to get the message that pressure works both ways.

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  1. Martin says:

March 5, 2013 at 09:34  (Edit)

Her Franschhoek guesthouse is still marketed as 4-Star : http://www.sa-accommodation-fi

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  1. Martin says:

March 4, 2013 at 12:25  (Edit)

Also seems to be tweeting as much “positive” comments from guests, although only she would know if they are true or not.

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  1. M says:

March 7, 2013 at 09:49  (Edit)

She finally replied. Only took her nearly a week. She must have been really working hard at this one.
Another one of her masterful pieces of uninformed foaming-at-the-mouth nonsense.
http://www.whalecottage.com/blog/

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  1. Tom says:

March 7, 2013 at 21:12  (Edit)

Proof, if any we’re needed, that this person is truly, deeply, viciously deranged. She deserves our pity, and a whip round for a month in Valke burg Home for delusional narcissists.

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  1. World Traveler says:

March 7, 2013 at 22:45  (Edit)

Stayed here last year and it was awful. We had 2 little children with us and the room we were given was a death trap. The back of the fridge was exposed, there was loose wiring at floor level and a rusted whole on the balcony. It was that bad that we forfitted the second night of our stay and checked into a hotel instead.

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  1. B says:

March 8, 2013 at 19:16  (Edit)

Funny how Chris still ‘likes’ SABA on her Facebook page!

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  1. Lolla Maria says:

March 8, 2013 at 21:53  (Edit)

Chris is the most unprofessional human being I ever encountered. She is rude, have no manners and think she own’s Cape Town. 35% Of all her own clients complained and gave a “terrible” rating. We as Cape Townians and professionals will make sure that this will not continue…

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  1. Chris von Ulmenstein says:

March 16, 2013 at 22:26  (Edit)

POSTSCRIPT 4/3: The SA Butler Academy has taken note of our comments about its exaggerated claims and spelling errors, having removed all the quotes we featured in the above blogpost. Profiles of the owner Newton Cross and his partner Adriaan Coetzee have been removed. An attempt has been made to remove the illegal use of the five stars in its logo!

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  1. SABA Blog Admin says:

March 16, 2013 at 22:35  (Edit)

Chris, you need help. Who’s profiles has been removed? Maybe you must learn how to spell as Coetzee is incorrect. Where has any stars been removed? Who own’s the stars? Look up, there are many above you! O yes, your star is not shining anymore!

“O Derek, I was expecting you!”

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  1. SABA Blog Admin says:

March 23, 2013 at 09:15  (Edit)

3 Days after we received A Defamation Lawyer’s Letter from Camps Bay Guest House (Whale Cottage) Owner, CHRIS VON ULMENSTEIN her own Lawyer resigned and no longer represent her – need to say more? A similar letter was sent to 3 other people…

http://www.2oceansvibe.com/2013/03/20/2oceansvibe-receives-defamation-lawyers-letter-from-camps-bay-guest-house-whale-cottage-owner-chris-von-ulmenstein-read-it-here/

Dear Sirs,

Please be informed that Chris von Ulmenstein is no longer my client.

Please do not direct any correspondences regarding her to myself.

Kind regards,

Simon

Simon Dippenaar & Associates

Reply

  1. Uli says:

March 28, 2013 at 13:14  (Edit)

Well….she now claims in her “blog”

“Earlier this week the City of Cape Town confirmed the zoning of the property, and found that there is ‘no land use contravention in terms of the conditions of approval‘, which was granted to the property in 1999! This counters the unsubstantiated 2oceansvibe allegation that the property was incorrectly zoned by the City of Cape Town,” ( http://www.whalecottage.com/blog/cape-town/twitter-has-it-reached-the-7-year-twitch-will-mellor-of-2oceansvibe-warns-about-social-media-defamation-in-drag/ )

This would seem contradictory to the City”s own previous LUPO as well as new CTZS which came into effect this month. I was forced to apply by the City and granted permission for a 3 bedroom Guesthouse, wheras she has a 10- bedroom one. The valuation roll states the property is a Single Residential abode with 4 bedrooms. It would also seem from the roll that the property has never physically been inspected for valuation purposes.

If the above is correct then I and all other guesthouses should register them in a trust and qualify for normal residential rebated property taxes. I will be following this up with council as well as filing an objection via the online portal ( http://www.capetown.gov.za/en/propertyvaluations/Pages/HowToObject.aspx ). I would suggest others do the same.

Reply

  1. Eve UK says:

April 8, 2013 at 15:25  (Edit)

After waiting for Chris to arrive to let me in, she was surly and unhelpful. First thing she did was to demand payment – that sets the tone for the whole experience. The place is in a great position, but the rooms are becoming shabby and bathrooms need redoing. Breakfast is barely adequate, particularly in relation to other b&b’s in Cape Town. Her treatment of her staff is simply appalling. Agree with others – don’t be misled by blog or twitter comments – this woman has no place in the hospitality industry.

Reply

  1. Julian & Anita – Germany says:

April 9, 2013 at 00:31  (Edit)

Whale Cottage Guesthouse/Bed & Breakfast, Camps Bay, Cape Town, South Africa:

Our experience at the Whale Cottage in Camps Bay was a shocking and terrible experience. Starting from our check in, when we arrived straight from the airport after a 16h journey with a 4 month old baby. We unfortunately arrived at Whale Cottage 30 minutes before 2 pm, which is 30 minutes before check-in time and were therefore prevented from accessing our pre booked room, because the staff of Whale Cottage weren’t allowed to let us in- even after we phoned the owner Mrs Christiane von Ulmenstein and explained to her our situation. She just replied that she isn’t sure whether we had booked for that day, i.e. Our arrival or the next day so wasn’t prepared to help.
We therefore decided to have some lunch to spend the time until the check-in time. After lunch we returned to Whale Cottage, Camps Bay to find the owner, Mrs Christiane von Ulmenstein who then informed us that we are 30 minutes too late, because check in is at 2 o clock – talk about friendly service for someone arriving on their first holiday in Cape Town, South Africa.
After we put our entire luggage in the room we wanted to take a shower and were greeted with a dirty bathroom, there was hair from a previous guest in the drain of the shower and the bin wasn’t empty or clean.
We reported the issue and received a cold reply that “the rooms get cleaned every day”, but we found this to be untrue as the corners of the room were dusty and even found shards of broken glass.
Getting in contact with a friend who lives in Cape Town turned out to become a very awkward issue. Not only because the Wi-Fi was broken in the Whale Cottage, Camps Bay, but also because he tried to reach me there to confirm a dinner appointment and only had our email address and hadn’t yet been notified of our local mobile number. He was treated badly after trying to reach us by asking what he thought was the receptions and who refused to transfer the call to our room or to leave a note as a message for us. Our friend was badly treated to the point that he drove to the Whale Cottage, Camps Bay and asked to leave his business card, which also didn’t find its way to us and we therefore missed our dinner together due to her poor and rude service.
Two days later the owner, Mrs Christiane von Ulmenstein asked us whether we know the person who tried to reach us and then she accused him of being a stalker and that he is very dangerous and might become a threat for her guests.
After three days of staying there we enquired about getting new towels and were told by the owner, Mrs Christiane von Ulmenstein that it is not common in South Africa to get clean towels every day and that a B&B is not a five star hotel…”. We eventually had to resort to using the pillow case of our bed linen and she eventually took the towels and replaced them exactly as they were, it was obvious they had not been washed, but merely sprayed with a perfume of some kind.
We can clearly say that we wouldn’t recommend that place nor won’t ever go to one of her B&B’s again! By the way she doesn’t hold a permit to run a B&B even so she claims to have one on several pages (http://www.sa-venues.com/visit/whalecottagecampsbay/)
We would like to ensure that people traveling to Cape Town don’t fall into the mistake that we did and please avoid this place at all costs.

Reply

  1. Jane says:

April 12, 2013 at 00:36  (Edit)

The one time I didn’t check on Tripadvisor first, I land in the worst guest house I’ve ever stayed in my life! It’s Campsbay and Cape Town, surely all the places there must be amazing, right? Wrong!

The incredibly rude owner blankly refused that I check in even half-an hour or fifteen minutes earlier than the 2 pm check-in time, even though she knew my flight landed at 8 am and the wedding I was there for started at 3 pm. When I finally arrived at 1:54 she had the audacity to bark at me through the gate: “Who are you? You are early!”

The room was also horrible; mould in the shower, broken tiles, stains on the linen and curtains, dust everywhere – just downright gross and grimy! Breakfast was below standard, and there’s not enough parking inside, so my rental car had to stay outside on the street.

For the entire two-night stay I got the feeling that everything I said or asked was just a big hassle and effort for the owner – certainly not that I was paying for a service. Any other time in my life I would have kicked up a big scene and complained, but I decided not to ruin my trip and just keep quiet. As this trip was meant to be a well-deserved little treat to myself, staying in a luxury guest house with a great view, I can’t even begin to describe the disappointment and anger I experienced!

NOTHING about this place suggests that it’s a four-star guesthouse; I can’t imagine how Ms von Ulmenstein isn’t ashamed of herself for her manners, the way she treats her poor staff members, and complete and utter lack of flexibility, hospitality and service, for which even the view and location didn’t make up for! I’m ashamed on her behalf for our foreign visitors! Please avoid at all costs!

Reply

  1. DG says:

April 16, 2013 at 14:12  (Edit)

We have recently returned from a 12 night stay at Whale Cottage, Camps Bay, Cape Town.
During our stay at this Guest House we had the equivalent of £460 minimum, stolen out of our locked room safe.
The theft which took place over 2 days involved GBP, Euros, & SAR, notes. Initially we only suspected that money had been stolen from the locked room safe and could not confirm this until we had counted and documented the notes that remained in the safe, then on the second day we had further money stolen from the locked safe, the theft was then confirmed. We advised the owner who involved the Police. The owner does not accept or acknowledge that this theft ever took place at her Guest House, as she commented that nothing like this has ever happened before.
Six weeks have now passed and we have had no contact from the Police regarding this matter.
Regarding the Guest House.
The photographs on their web site, which I think might be a few years old, show the rooms in a newly decorated state, our room was well over due for refurbishment and re-decoration. There was no dressing table or chair in the bedroom, and the shower fitting over the bath was broken.
During our 12 night stay the bedding was changed only once, and the towels changed every 4 days.
This Guest House has been given a 4* grading, personally I would only rate it as 2*.
We will definitely not be returning to Whale Cottage Camps Bay any time in the future.

Reply

  1. Anette says:

April 19, 2013 at 09:08  (Edit)

I was attracted to this establishment because of the photographs on SA Venues website. One of the things that attracted me was the fact that they mentioned that they dont have a surcharge for single people. Well, I should have known from the start that I shouldnt go there when the owner denied this as part of their service when I phoned. I arrived there and despite that most venues were fully booked in Franschoek, I was the only person there! There was no-one to complain to when the tv and aircon didnt work. To top this, the place was absolutely filthy! So bad, the water wouldn’t drain out of the shower because of all the gumph in the drain. The very tiny shower cubicle had a broken, dirty, plastic floor!

I checked out the next morning after writing an e-mail to the owner. She just told me that their cancellation policy does not make allowance for early departure – the fact that I paid upfront in good faith was ignored. She refused to refund me. In my view, this establishment should be allowed to operate under such conditions.

  1. Luke from Denmark says:

April 24, 2013 at 22:57  

The Whale Cottage in Camps Bay is an absolutly terrible place. The staff is freindly but for 10 days I experienced nothing but endless problems. The internet only worked three out of ten days, the pool was very dirty and the aircon broke.

The worst though is the owner Chris. Don’t believe the stuff on the homepage – the ‘warm whale wishes’ and such. She behaves badly and is nothing like the friendly housemom she tries to brand herself as.

And don’t believe the guestbook if you actualy go to the place. I wrote my opponion when I left – that I had a horrible time there – but they removed the page. I told the girl in reception that I thought that was wrong and she told me that her boss, Chris, makes them remove all negative comments. Not very honest, is it..

  1. Heike (Germany) says:

May 8, 2013 at 00:15  

Unfortunately the worst accomodation on our 2.5 week trip around the South African Coast. This may have been a nice B&B at one point of time, but it is very old and run down and urgently needs repairs. There was mildew all over the bathroom, lots of tiles on the floor of our room and bathroom were broken, the pool was broken but in use, which makes it a health hazard!!! The place was not too clean either, neither the towels nor the bed linen were really clean. The whole place also smelled old and of mildew. We had to pay extra for our son who shared the room with us and were given a mattress for him to sleep on which does not deserve the name mattress. It was old, smelly and thin, something usually used as a lounge chair cover but definetly not a proper mattress. The breakfast served was the most simple we have experienced in all of the country, with the cheapest ingredients possible. And all of this for a very high price! (Acutally the most expensive we had booked on our trip). Had we not paid the full price in advance or had the horrible owner agreed to give us the money back, we would have left this place immediately!!!
The owner was the worst part of the experience!!! This woman is spiteful and seems to be hating her job. She was unfriendly from the first second and we could not believe that somebody in the tourism industry could be this impolite and insolent. But worst of all she charged our credit card advance payment twice which we only found out after returning from our vacation. We still have not received our money back and she ignores any correspondence from our side on this matter.
Please stay clear from this place, it is definitely the worst we have ever seen and experienced.

  1. Sam says:

May 12, 2013 at 19:33  

While the location looks great on the map, do not even consider this B&B. The location is noisy, the rooms are run down and the owner is unfriednly, inhospitable and dishonest. We are not alone in having had a bad experience, but it seems to be the norm (see other reviews). There are lots of friendly and nice places in Camps Bay….

  1. SABA Blog Admin says:

May 13, 2013 at 14:33  

Dear Sam,

Thank you for your comment. We are not sure what she is trying to accomplish, but surely know there is nothing positive coming from her rude & abrupt attitude! She really couldn’t care less how many tourists, guests and suppliers she upsets

Sad sad situation indeed!

  1. Jim Lovemore says:

July 24, 2013 at 11:53  

We stayed at the Franschhoek Whale Cottage guesthouse a few months back. There were faeces smears in the toilet, a puddle of nasty brown liquid surrounding the toilet, and the shower drain was blocked with a ball of hair, all from the previous occupants. You’d think for the inflated prices required, that they would bother to clean the room. I guess not. Oh, and the remote for the TV didn’t work properly, and the CD/radio in the room was broken. Not even a chair in the room. Don’t EVER stay there! The hostess was at least kind and friendly though (the owner wasn’t there).

  1. Blog Admin says:

July 25, 2013 at 23:15 

Dear Jim,

Thank you for your comment. She will never change. She enjoyes the attention and even made it to the most wanted list in Cape Town!

  1. Save the Whale says:

September 14, 2013 at 13:09  

LOL Classic! Never laughed so much!

  1. Warren says:

August 14, 2013 at 11:08  

I can not even begin to describe the experience I had with The Whale Cottage and its management. I had to change my booking with the Whale Cottage within 24 hours of being forced to pay a 100% deposit, but after contacting management they changed their cancellation policy on their website and the manager laughed at me when I phoned and thereafter refused to take my calls. I was told to get somebody else to stay in my room if I can not make it. I now have to institute legal proceeding to get my money back. This has been the worst customer service experience that I have ever had and I would caution anybody against staying there.

  1. SABA Blog Admin says:

September 6, 2013 at 11:46  

Finally we meet again – This time incognito.

Last night at the Chefs Who Share evening the Whale was spotted. We have to laugh here because we have never seen anyone so happy with our Butler Service, especially her! Snapping away at our Butlers / back of House, Sommeliers etc. The Butler Academy was incognito meaning no name badges, no titles – Just our excellent Service!

Luckily we kept a close eye and giggled away with most other staff in the kitchen.

Herewith her latest post on Facebook: “An amazing evening at the City Hall for ‘Chefs who share’, with 14 of our country’s best chefs working in pairs, and 7 sommeliers, as well as top restaurant support staff prepared the most amazing meals (7 menus of 4 courses)”

Just to let you know: We were the Restaurant Support Staff!

  1. Duncan says:

December 10, 2013 at 20:16 

We arrived a little later than we had estimated on our booking form. The owner Chris phoned us and was absolutely bad mannered about the delay.

We had stayed there before and had had a great experience. But boy what a shocker this time round.! The place is delapidated, mould infested and just basically crumbling away. I wont go into everything but the other posts have it spot on.

If it wasnt for the fact that she had my credit card security CVV number we would have moved there and then. However when it came to swiping our credit card the owner showed intense enthusiasm. Thats where it all ended. This after we had arrived and informed her we were moving to a hotel. She was quick to point out the cancellation policy – which was prominently displayed in the entrance ( almost as though it sees good use).

The owner is an example of what customer service IS NOT! The incidents during our stay of her ill mannered behaviour and attitude are numerous. I told her this and she just shrugged it off. I got the impression that she is used to such complaints.

The poor staff member even came to us afterwards and apologised. Wow she was about the only thing good about our stay.

What a disgrace! I felt so emabrrased as there were some German and other foriegn guests there. I felt like apologising as a South African for the behavior and poor service. To them – this is not a reflection of other B+B’s in Cape Town or our country.

Do yourself a favour and stay away from this place! I wish I could reach all the prospective guests and warn them before its too late and they have paid. This is a dying business taking money off unsuspecting travellers- mostly foreigners

To Chris -( who appears to be of German extraction) please leave the industry as you are doing our country harm .

The only good thing is that she got a piece of my mind!

  1. Butler Academy says:

December 10, 2013 at 20:25  

Dear Duncan,

Thank you for your blog post entry, it is time someone went to the police or Carte Blanche!

This woman is a horror story not to say a fraud, perhaps polsmore prison is the only best option!

As a South African we are so deeply sorry for your horrible experience, we are far more better than this whale cottage saga.

SABA Management

  1. Gareth James says:

January 6, 2014 at 19:42 

I stayed in a room in a separate part of the building from my 4 friends I came away with, the staircase (more like a ladder to a tree house) to my room (called: Penguin) was extremely steep and wobbly. Having read reviews prior to arrival I was a little apprehensive (Camps bay was fully booked so had to stay here), it didn’t take long to affirm the unpleasant nature of the owner, Chris. She really is in the wrong business, very rude and has not invested in this very tired property, the ONLY thing going for it is it is in quite a good location (10 mins walk up a very steep hill from the beach front). The towels smelt of damp, the breakfast was like eating at a Prison camp, far better to go to the beachfront for 50 Rand and have a wonderful breakfast with relaxed service. The other guests were pleasant, we could only joke at the behaviour/attitude of the owner!!
My friends arrived before me at 10am to be “told off” for arriving so early and to go away until 2pm, Chris reluctantly let them leave their bags without the opportunity to change and get their sun cream, they went to the seafront and got burnt in the rather intense sun. On the second day the cleaners pulled back the curtains and shutter to my friends room after we left for the day. This room was south facing and upon returning to the room the temperature was 44*C!! All their makeup and room snacks/chocolate had melted, it was ridiculously hot and totally avoidable. She complained to the owner of the unnecessary heat in the room to be told in no uncertain terms that this is what South Africans do to the curtains/shutters rooms without the slightest form of apology/concern.
She is proud of her business acumen of owning 3 properties because she has on the reception wall newspaper articles about her business approach, which i read with interest… an example of here approach was that she stated in one article that she learnt nothing from her college business courses and far more from her Divorce… that just about sums her up!!
I received a loyalty card on departing which will definitely not be used at the Whale cottage again.
Stay there at your peril….

  1. Christo says:

January 18, 2014 at 12:38  

I am a well travelled business man and cannot believe the service I got at booking stage from this owner. I want to warn other unexpected travelers that this is one of the places you MUST AVOID at all costs. I was lucky that I did not actually stay there as the rude service I got when just inquiring if my reservation was received made me immediately cancel the booking before it could be affected. The owner answered the phone and immediately went down on me for phoning so early in the morning (at 08:15am?). Mentioning my experience with my travel agent and also with the Local Cape Town Tourism board it soon became evident that this owner is known for her rude manners and poor service. I was also told, in no uncertain terms, that this is not a place to stay at. If you look at the website for this “institution” you soon realize why she so vigorously attack Tripadvisor publically on her website! I think this experience is enough to really now put my future trust in Tripadvisor and their reviews! It is my duty as a proud South African to warn prospective local and overseas visitors to avoid this place at all costs.

  1. SABA Blog Admin says:

January 27, 2014 at 21:34 

http://neilpendock.com/whale-cottage-meltdown/
  1. Renette says:

February 2, 2014 at 14:48  

We have travelled a lot, and this is the worst experience we have ever had.
we stayed in the bay suite, outside, upstairs.
the shower over the bath, was so badly designed, the water went all over the bathroom floor, and the bath was so slippery, you had to be very careful not to slip.
you could not bath either, as the plug could not close properly.
the carpets are so terribly stained, it is only fit for the rubbish bin.
the cushions on the couch badly torn, walls in desperate need of paint, as well as the swimming pool.
The jogurt that we got for our take away breakfast, which they offered to us, has expired 6 months ago, they knew it and their was no others.
the long life milk in the kitchen has expired 8 months ago.
the worst is, the owner chris, did not even have the decency to get back to us, just send the staff to replace the cushion cover.
this place is in

  1. SABA Blog Admin says:

February 4, 2014 at 11:55  

Thank you!

  1. L Jacobs says:

February 17, 2014 at 09:35  (Edit)

I’m sorry to say our experience at Whale Cottage was rather terrible. We stayed at Whale Cottage as no other accommodation was available in Camps Bay. Myself and a friend stayed in the very small Penguin room at the back of the property with a view of the car park. After speaking with other guests we realised we were paying a premium for what was the cheapest room, when in fact there were larger, sea view rooms sitting empty. We had to request a second towel and a bath mat three times before we were finally given them. The owners manner was incredibly curt, she seemed very uncomfortable and inept within her hospitality role

  1. SABA Blog Admin says:

February 20, 2014 at 19:44 

Thank you!

  1. JHB Girl says:

February 24, 2014 at 02:48  

“Dirty, awful place to stay”

We stayed at this B&B in 2009 and I couldnt believe the deterioration since then. We arrived at 13:50 and got told by a scared looking staff member that Chris the owner would be furious if she let us in before 2pm! We requested a cot for our toddler when booking, only to arrive to no cot. The staff told us Chris had forgotten the cot at the Franschoek property. There was no apology! They proceeded to bring in a mattress – which hardly fitted into the already tiny room. They had to remove both our side tables and lamps in order to fit the mattress on the floor. We could barely walk one foot let alone swing a cat! The bedding and towels smelt damp and dirty. I was convinced they had not been washed. The bedding and sheets are covered in holes – seriously time for new bedding!The room was dirty – long black hair all over the bathroom floor and on the rug in the bedroom. The room had not been cleaned properly.There is mould on the walls in the bedroom and bathroom, there are missing tiles in bathroom, bad paint job with patches. I can now understand why the owner requests full payment upfront. One of the other guests told us how she saw Chris take a tip given to the staff right out of the staff’s hands in front of the guest. I suspect there are serious cash flow issues there. Chris is rude and treats her staff terribly – we witnessed this first hand. All in all AWFUL experience… STAY AWAY!

  1. Neil C says:

February 28, 2014 at 09:53 

Thank you for your comment. It is really sad to notice that some do everything to destroy our industry when others devote their lives to of be of service to our clients & guests that pays our salaries!

  1. suzanne says:

March 16, 2014 at 05:59 

the more confrontation she receives the happier she become. what a sad individual

  1. D Norman says:

August 21, 2014 at 08:28 

I would not advise anybody to book at the Whale Cottage, Camps Bay. The owner, a lady, is extremely unfriendly, my room was dirty, the toilet was despicable and no towels on the rails. My bedding had holes in it and hairs from the previous occupant was in the bed. I cannot recommend this establishment to anybody.

  1. USA Visitors says:

August 28, 2014 at 11:27  

Booked two rooms from the USA for 10 days in March 2014. I arrived with my 82 year old mother and my stepfather. We were told to carry our own heavy suitcases up a narrow, steep and dark staircase to our rooms as there was no one besides Chris (the owner) at the guest house and she certainly wasn’t going to help. This should have been a warning sign. Our breakfast order was for bacon, eggs (soft fried) and tomato with toast. We were served one rasher of bacon, hard eggs and one raw baby tomato cut in 1/2. My step father had the fruit salad which gave him an upset stomach, so who knows how fresh or hygienically it was prepared bearing in mind the cleanliness of the entire establishment. The following afternoon, I spoke to the only staff member and requested breakfast at 8.30am as we had a long day ahead of us site seeing. Chris had left the guest house in the afternoon and was not there when we returned round 5.00pm. The next morning I had received a blasting from Chris and was told NOT to speak to the staff and that it was a public holiday and breakfast would be at 9.00am. Needless to say we made alternative breakfast plans to eat elsewhere. I was also instructed to tell my deaf elderly parents to be considerate of the other guests and not to talk so loudly. I have had to ask for clean towels which still smell dirty. The one poor staff member is responsible for the cooking, cleaning and just about everything else for 10 rooms. The rooms are filthy with only the bed being made. The shower which is a hose attachment in the bath is a hazard and water the water sprays all over the floor. There was old half used bottles of shampoo and shower gel and 4 hangers in the closet. In my parents bathroom, the light bulbs were out and my stepfather cut himself trying to shave in the dark. When he requested them to be replaced, he was handed two bulbs to change them himself. He managed to change one, but the other is a different older fitting for which she has no bulbs. Unfortunately we are booked in for ten days and have paid in full which is non refundable or I would certainly be moving despite the inconvenience of trying to get around with two elderly parents. Very disappointing considering we have travelled so far at such great expense. Stay away from this dirty, run down and poorly maintained establishment run by someone who is clearly sick of the business she is in.

I should have researched this establishment a lot more carefully. I will not make the same mistake twice!

  1. John says:

October 2, 2014 at 22:00  

It remains a mystery how this dump remains open

  1. GR says:

May 11, 2015 at 13:38  

http://www.guildrecruitment.co.za/in-response-to-chris-von-unthitler-whalecottage-blog-article-shaming-jani-allan/
  1. Mlukan says:

May 14, 2015 at 13:58 

I paid for a month’s accommodation including a deposit based on a month’s rental. At the start of the process Chris was pleasant and I proceeded with the booking and the moment I had paid she turned into the rudest person I have dealt with. She kept changing the terms, I was not allowed to contact her but only by email, screaming at me on the phone. On arrival she demanded I sign an additional “booking form” giving her my credit card details and permission to deduct costs from my credit card, plus I would now have to pay for my commuting husband and student children staying on weekends ( we are a family of four hence I had booked the two bedroom suite). On refusing she kicked me off her property and locked my hire car keys in the reception. She refused to return these and then tried to reverse her car in to me forcing me off the property. I had to wait outside for over an hour while the hire company delivered spare keys. Her guest house has been closed since then so we cannot collect the keys. She has advised she will not return the deposit (R15 000) although she has not right to withhold this, or the rental to me. So this is a complete scam and I would recommend anyone against staying here. I wish I had read about the bad service and state of her guest houses before booking but was taken in by her fake website!

  1. Rebecca says:

August 30, 2015 at 12:31  

This was the first stay of a trip life time, to say it was terrible is an understatement, we were advised by the owner Chris that due to the load shedding (electricity problems in SA) that there was no use of pool so we would be up graded, I hate to see what from! We had a mouldy fridge, dirt all over the surfaces in every room, a bath with a greasy tide mark around it and a shower curtain that was ripped and tied up, the floors were filthy and covered with dead insects, bed linen that was stained. We found uncovered sugar in a cupboard that was hard, crumbs all over others, there were wall panels falling off and water damage to ceilings and walls, this place should not be allowed to accept guests and definitely not advertise as four star! My son aptly called it ‘fail’ cottage.

  1. Christine F says:

November 7, 2015 at 08:11  

We stayed there a couple of years ago and it hasn’t improved! We weren’t allowed to look at the rooms before having my credit card imprinted and the room my elder son and daughter-in-law were in turned out to be a disgrace. Continued promises to fix the air-conditioning etc, but nothing done. The owner hung up on us twice when we tried phoning her and was thoroughly offensive. The young manageress tried to put things right but her attempts were thwarted every time. My husband tried reporting the situation to the Cape Town Tourist authorities, but didn’t even receive a reply. This place is an insult to an otherwise lovely city.

  1. airboard says:

March 14, 2016 at 00:37  

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ReplySave the Whale says:

September 14, 2013 at 13:09 

LOL Classic! Never laughed so much!

Reply

  1. Warren says:

August 14, 2013 at 11:08  (Edit)

I can not even begin to describe the experience I had with The Whale Cottage and its management. I had to change my booking with the Whale Cottage within 24 hours of being forced to pay a 100% deposit, but after contacting management they changed their cancellation policy on their website and the manager laughed at me when I phoned and thereafter refused to take my calls. I was told to get somebody else to stay in my room if I can not make it. I now have to institute legal proceeding to get my money back. This has been the worst customer service experience that I have ever had and I would caution anybody against staying there.

  1. SABA Blog Admin says:

September 6, 2013 at 11:46  

Finally we meet again – This time incognito.

Last night at the Chefs Who Share evening the Whale was spotted. We have to laugh here because we have never seen anyone so happy with our Butler Service, especially her! Snapping away at our Butlers / back of House, Sommeliers etc. The Butler Academy was incognito meaning no name badges, no titles – Just our excellent Service!

Luckily we kept a close eye and giggled away with most other staff in the kitchen.

Herewith her latest post on Facebook: “An amazing evening at the City Hall for ‘Chefs who share’, with 14 of our country’s best chefs working in pairs, and 7 sommeliers, as well as top restaurant support staff prepared the most amazing meals (7 menus of 4 courses)”

Just to let you know: We were the Restaurant Support Staff!

  1. Duncan says:

December 10, 2013 at 20:16  

We arrived a little later than we had estimated on our booking form. The owner Chris phoned us and was absolutely bad mannered about the delay.

We had stayed there before and had had a great experience. But boy what a shocker this time round.! The place is delapidated, mould infested and just basically crumbling away. I wont go into everything but the other posts have it spot on.

If it wasnt for the fact that she had my credit card security CVV number we would have moved there and then. However when it came to swiping our credit card the owner showed intense enthusiasm. Thats where it all ended. This after we had arrived and informed her we were moving to a hotel. She was quick to point out the cancellation policy – which was prominently displayed in the entrance ( almost as though it sees good use).

The owner is an example of what customer service IS NOT! The incidents during our stay of her ill mannered behaviour and attitude are numerous. I told her this and she just shrugged it off. I got the impression that she is used to such complaints.

The poor staff member even came to us afterwards and apologised. Wow she was about the only thing good about our stay.

What a disgrace! I felt so emabrrased as there were some German and other foriegn guests there. I felt like apologising as a South African for the behavior and poor service. To them – this is not a reflection of other B+B’s in Cape Town or our country.

Do yourself a favour and stay away from this place! I wish I could reach all the prospective guests and warn them before its too late and they have paid. This is a dying business taking money off unsuspecting travellers- mostly foreigners

To Chris -( who appears to be of German extraction) please leave the industry as you are doing our country harm .

The only good thing is that she got a piece of my mind!

  1. Butler Academy says:

December 10, 2013 at 20:25

Dear Duncan,

Thank you for your blog post entry, it is time someone went to the police or Carte Blanche!

This woman is a horror story not to say a fraud, perhaps polsmore prison is the only best option!

As a South African we are so deeply sorry for your horrible experience, we are far more better than this whale cottage saga.

SABA Management

  1. Gareth James says:

January 6, 2014 at 19:42

I stayed in a room in a separate part of the building from my 4 friends I came away with, the staircase (more like a ladder to a tree house) to my room (called: Penguin) was extremely steep and wobbly. Having read reviews prior to arrival I was a little apprehensive (Camps bay was fully booked so had to stay here), it didn’t take long to affirm the unpleasant nature of the owner, Chris. She really is in the wrong business, very rude and has not invested in this very tired property, the ONLY thing going for it is it is in quite a good location (10 mins walk up a very steep hill from the beach front). The towels smelt of damp, the breakfast was like eating at a Prison camp, far better to go to the beachfront for 50 Rand and have a wonderful breakfast with relaxed service. The other guests were pleasant, we could only joke at the behaviour/attitude of the owner!!
My friends arrived before me at 10am to be “told off” for arriving so early and to go away until 2pm, Chris reluctantly let them leave their bags without the opportunity to change and get their sun cream, they went to the seafront and got burnt in the rather intense sun. On the second day the cleaners pulled back the curtains and shutter to my friends room after we left for the day. This room was south facing and upon returning to the room the temperature was 44*C!! All their makeup and room snacks/chocolate had melted, it was ridiculously hot and totally avoidable. She complained to the owner of the unnecessary heat in the room to be told in no uncertain terms that this is what South Africans do to the curtains/shutters rooms without the slightest form of apology/concern.
She is proud of her business acumen of owning 3 properties because she has on the reception wall newspaper articles about her business approach, which i read with interest… an example of here approach was that she stated in one article that she learnt nothing from her college business courses and far more from her Divorce… that just about sums her up!!
I received a loyalty card on departing which will definitely not be used at the Whale cottage again.
Stay there at your peril….

  1. Christo says:

January 18, 2014 at 12:38 

I am a well travelled business man and cannot believe the service I got at booking stage from this owner. I want to warn other unexpected travelers that this is one of the places you MUST AVOID at all costs. I was lucky that I did not actually stay there as the rude service I got when just inquiring if my reservation was received made me immediately cancel the booking before it could be affected. The owner answered the phone and immediately went down on me for phoning so early in the morning (at 08:15am?). Mentioning my experience with my travel agent and also with the Local Cape Town Tourism board it soon became evident that this owner is known for her rude manners and poor service. I was also told, in no uncertain terms, that this is not a place to stay at. If you look at the website for this “institution” you soon realize why she so vigorously attack Tripadvisor publically on her website! I think this experience is enough to really now put my future trust in Tripadvisor and their reviews! It is my duty as a proud South African to warn prospective local and overseas visitors to avoid this place at all costs.

  1. SABA Blog Admin says:

January 27, 2014 at 21:34  

http://neilpendock.com/whale-cottage-meltdown/

  1. Renette says:

February 2, 2014 at 14:48

We have travelled a lot, and this is the worst experience we have ever had.
we stayed in the bay suite, outside, upstairs.
the shower over the bath, was so badly designed, the water went all over the bathroom floor, and the bath was so slippery, you had to be very careful not to slip.
you could not bath either, as the plug could not close properly.
the carpets are so terribly stained, it is only fit for the rubbish bin.
the cushions on the couch badly torn, walls in desperate need of paint, as well as the swimming pool.
The jogurt that we got for our take away breakfast, which they offered to us, has expired 6 months ago, they knew it and their was no others.
the long life milk in the kitchen has expired 8 months ago.
the worst is, the owner chris, did not even have the decency to get back to us, just send the staff to replace the cushion cover.
this place is in

  1. SABA Blog Admin says:

February 4, 2014 at 11:55 

Thank you!

  1. L Jacobs says:

February 17, 2014 at 09:35

I’m sorry to say our experience at Whale Cottage was rather terrible. We stayed at Whale Cottage as no other accommodation was available in Camps Bay. Myself and a friend stayed in the very small Penguin room at the back of the property with a view of the car park. After speaking with other guests we realised we were paying a premium for what was the cheapest room, when in fact there were larger, sea view rooms sitting empty. We had to request a second towel and a bath mat three times before we were finally given them. The owners manner was incredibly curt, she seemed very uncomfortable and inept within her hospitality role

  1. SABA Blog Admin says:

February 20, 2014 at 19:44

Thank you!

  1. JHB Girl says:

February 24, 2014 at 02:48

“Dirty, awful place to stay”

We stayed at this B&B in 2009 and I couldnt believe the deterioration since then. We arrived at 13:50 and got told by a scared looking staff member that Chris the owner would be furious if she let us in before 2pm! We requested a cot for our toddler when booking, only to arrive to no cot. The staff told us Chris had forgotten the cot at the Franschoek property. There was no apology! They proceeded to bring in a mattress – which hardly fitted into the already tiny room. They had to remove both our side tables and lamps in order to fit the mattress on the floor. We could barely walk one foot let alone swing a cat! The bedding and towels smelt damp and dirty. I was convinced they had not been washed. The bedding and sheets are covered in holes – seriously time for new bedding!The room was dirty – long black hair all over the bathroom floor and on the rug in the bedroom. The room had not been cleaned properly.There is mould on the walls in the bedroom and bathroom, there are missing tiles in bathroom, bad paint job with patches. I can now understand why the owner requests full payment upfront. One of the other guests told us how she saw Chris take a tip given to the staff right out of the staff’s hands in front of the guest. I suspect there are serious cash flow issues there. Chris is rude and treats her staff terribly – we witnessed this first hand. All in all AWFUL experience… STAY AWAY!

  1. Neil C says:

February 28, 2014 at 09:53

Thank you for your comment. It is really sad to notice that some do everything to destroy our industry when others devote their lives to of be of service to our clients & guests that pays our salaries!

  1. suzanne says:

March 16, 2014 at 05:59

the more confrontation she receives the happier she become. what a sad individual

  1. D Norman says:

August 21, 2014 at 08:28

I would not advise anybody to book at the Whale Cottage, Camps Bay. The owner, a lady, is extremely unfriendly, my room was dirty, the toilet was despicable and no towels on the rails. My bedding had holes in it and hairs from the previous occupant was in the bed. I cannot recommend this establishment to anybody.

  1. USA Visitors says:

August 28, 2014 at 11:27

Booked two rooms from the USA for 10 days in March 2014. I arrived with my 82 year old mother and my stepfather. We were told to carry our own heavy suitcases up a narrow, steep and dark staircase to our rooms as there was no one besides Chris (the owner) at the guest house and she certainly wasn’t going to help. This should have been a warning sign. Our breakfast order was for bacon, eggs (soft fried) and tomato with toast. We were served one rasher of bacon, hard eggs and one raw baby tomato cut in 1/2. My step father had the fruit salad which gave him an upset stomach, so who knows how fresh or hygienically it was prepared bearing in mind the cleanliness of the entire establishment. The following afternoon, I spoke to the only staff member and requested breakfast at 8.30am as we had a long day ahead of us site seeing. Chris had left the guest house in the afternoon and was not there when we returned round 5.00pm. The next morning I had received a blasting from Chris and was told NOT to speak to the staff and that it was a public holiday and breakfast would be at 9.00am. Needless to say we made alternative breakfast plans to eat elsewhere. I was also instructed to tell my deaf elderly parents to be considerate of the other guests and not to talk so loudly. I have had to ask for clean towels which still smell dirty. The one poor staff member is responsible for the cooking, cleaning and just about everything else for 10 rooms. The rooms are filthy with only the bed being made. The shower which is a hose attachment in the bath is a hazard and water the water sprays all over the floor. There was old half used bottles of shampoo and shower gel and 4 hangers in the closet. In my parents bathroom, the light bulbs were out and my stepfather cut himself trying to shave in the dark. When he requested them to be replaced, he was handed two bulbs to change them himself. He managed to change one, but the other is a different older fitting for which she has no bulbs. Unfortunately we are booked in for ten days and have paid in full which is non refundable or I would certainly be moving despite the inconvenience of trying to get around with two elderly parents. Very disappointing considering we have travelled so far at such great expense. Stay away from this dirty, run down and poorly maintained establishment run by someone who is clearly sick of the business she is in.

I should have researched this establishment a lot more carefully. I will not make the same mistake twice!

  1. John says:

October 2, 2014 at 22:00

It remains a mystery how this dump remains open

  1. GR says:

May 11, 2015 at 13:38

  1. Mlukan says:

May 14, 2015 at 13:58

I paid for a month’s accommodation including a deposit based on a month’s rental. At the start of the process Chris was pleasant and I proceeded with the booking and the moment I had paid she turned into the rudest person I have dealt with. She kept changing the terms, I was not allowed to contact her but only by email, screaming at me on the phone. On arrival she demanded I sign an additional “booking form” giving her my credit card details and permission to deduct costs from my credit card, plus I would now have to pay for my commuting husband and student children staying on weekends ( we are a family of four hence I had booked the two bedroom suite). On refusing she kicked me off her property and locked my hire car keys in the reception. She refused to return these and then tried to reverse her car in to me forcing me off the property. I had to wait outside for over an hour while the hire company delivered spare keys. Her guest house has been closed since then so we cannot collect the keys. She has advised she will not return the deposit (R15 000) although she has not right to withhold this, or the rental to me. So this is a complete scam and I would recommend anyone against staying here. I wish I had read about the bad service and state of her guest houses before booking but was taken in by her fake website!

  1. Rebecca says:

August 30, 2015 at 12:31

This was the first stay of a trip life time, to say it was terrible is an understatement, we were advised by the owner Chris that due to the load shedding (electricity problems in SA) that there was no use of pool so we would be up graded, I hate to see what from! We had a mouldy fridge, dirt all over the surfaces in every room, a bath with a greasy tide mark around it and a shower curtain that was ripped and tied up, the floors were filthy and covered with dead insects, bed linen that was stained. We found uncovered sugar in a cupboard that was hard, crumbs all over others, there were wall panels falling off and water damage to ceilings and walls, this place should not be allowed to accept guests and definitely not advertise as four star! My son aptly called it ‘fail’ cottage.

  1. Christine F says:

November 7, 2015 at 08:11

We stayed there a couple of years ago and it hasn’t improved! We weren’t allowed to look at the rooms before having my credit card imprinted and the room my elder son and daughter-in-law were in turned out to be a disgrace. Continued promises to fix the air-conditioning etc, but nothing done. The owner hung up on us twice when we tried phoning her and was thoroughly offensive. The young manageress tried to put things right but her attempts were thwarted every time. My husband tried reporting the situation to the Cape Town Tourist authorities, but didn’t even receive a reply. This place is an insult to an otherwise lovely city.

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