I don't know what got to me the most... The exclusive beachfront location, sparkling blue rock pool or sounds of nearby waters. Being from Pretoria is awesome, yet I often miss the sea. As I flew into East London in March 2018 and saw the ocean shortly before landing; tears filled my eyes. It was so beautiful. 

The exciting thought of staying at the 4-star graded Blue Lagoon Hotel and Conference Centre in East London, Eastern Cape was one that was further ignited when the wonderful woman sitting next to me (in the plane) notified me that one of her daughters went there for her matric dance.

We spoke about a lot of things. She shared her experiences as an Indian Muslim woman who opted to support her now prominent medical doctor husband, her recent visit to her two daughters in Gauteng and simply on the challenges and beauty of being a married woman. It was insightful and most pleasant. "You'll love it; the Blue Lagoon is really beautiful," she said in closing, as we got ready to disembark the plane. 

First impressions...

From having heard so much about the Blue Lagoon, I anticipated something spectacular. It looked pretty standard. It did not have that majestic appeal from a venue that took your breath away. There were no memorable art pieces, awe-inspiring structural elements, unique decor or something that set it apart from a slightly above average apartment block. 

What did however move me was its location to the beach. That tilted the weights in its favor. As you exited the compound, you stepped onto beach sand and the lagoon. It was so much closer than I anticipated. I was also relieved to note that there was a security guard stationed at the gate most of the time. As soon as you left the premises, you could see the raging sea within walking distance. 

The pros 

There was a refreshing rock pool, which was unfortunately locked up on several occasions, even when it was supposed to be open according to the signage at the gate. I must say that the people there are absolutely friendly and helpful. There is a warmth that makes you feel proudly South African. It is such a warm place in terms of the people. The vegetation is also rich and green. There are cute dassies everywhere.

The grounds were well kept. I absolutely loved the housekeeper, security, reception staff and pretty much all the staff members; they are more awesome than I could describe. It was also so beautiful to see staff members carrying bucket loads of linen on their heads. It's something African, a pride and joy in seeing such effective ways of life still upheld. 

The cons

What I did not like was the noise. I am personally up for noise and it does not bother me, but on several occasions, there were small groups of guests who stood in the corridors and/or pool area and were very loud. The room was smelling as though someone had continuously smoked in it. It had a foul cigarette stench entrenched into it. One could also hear the neighbors next door. 

I saw the moldiest shower I have ever seen in a 4-star hotel; let alone a 3-star and unrated hotel (see photos below). It was unpleasant and shocking. The unit was very clean and the housekeeper was fantastic, very kind and helpful (she even took the initiative to notify reception about a broken appliance). It was quickly replaced by the most professional and kind maintenance staff member. 

All things said and done...

I enjoyed the good company and most special memories from the Blue Lagoon. Breakfast was as expected. I was neither extremely impressed nor disappointed at my overall experience. 

What I can however say with great conviction is that the Eastern Cape province is such a beautiful place and so are the people and predominant Xhosa language. While I am not madly raving about the Blue Lagoon, I can say without a doubt I have fallen in love with the Eastern Cape and can't wait to return. 

If you have been to the Blue Lagoon Hotel and Conference Centre in East London, Eastern Cape and/or would like to notify me of your travel experience in East London (and elsewhere), please leave me a comment below. Don't hesitate to get in touch should you wish to work with me on future projects.

The Blue Lagoon Hotel and Conference Centre in East London. Photo by Phindiwe NkosiThe Blue Lagoon Hotel and Conference Centre in East London. Photo by Phindiwe Nkosi

Phindiwe Nkosi outside the beachfront Blue Lagoon HotelPhindiwe Nkosi outside the beachfront Blue Lagoon Hotel

Shower at the Blue LagoonShower at the Blue Lagoon

Shower at the Blue Lagoon HotelShower at the Blue Lagoon Hotel

The sparkling rock pool at the Blue Lagoon Hotel and Conference Centre in East London. Photo by Phindiwe NkosiThe sparkling rock pool at the Blue Lagoon Hotel and Conference Centre in East London. Photo by Phindiwe Nkosi

Phindiwe Nkosi by the pool at the Blue Lagoon Hotel and Conference Centre in East LondonPhindiwe Nkosi by the pool at the Blue Lagoon Hotel and Conference Centre in East London

 

A bedroom unit at the Blue Lagoon Hotel and Conference Centre in East London. Photo by Phindiwe NkosiA bedroom unit at the Blue Lagoon Hotel and Conference Centre in East London. Photo by Phindiwe Nkosi

Phindiwe Nkosi at the Blue Lagoon HotelPhindiwe Nkosi at the Blue Lagoon Hotel

Staff member of the Blue Lagoon Hotel and Conference Centre in East London carrying dirty laundry on her head. Photo by Phindiwe NkosiStaff member of the Blue Lagoon Hotel and Conference Centre in East London carrying dirty laundry on her head. Photo by Phindiwe Nkosi

CheapAir.comCheapAir.com

SHOPPING TOUR MILAN ITALYSHOPPING TOUR MILAN ITALY

Most beautiful views just outside the Blue Lagoon Hotel and Conference Centre in East London. Photo by Phindiwe NkosiMost beautiful views just outside the Blue Lagoon Hotel and Conference Centre in East London. Photo by Phindiwe Nkosi

Beachfront views from the Blue Lagoon Hotel and Conference Centre in East London. Photo by Phindiwe NkosiBeachfront views from the Blue Lagoon Hotel and Conference Centre in East London. Photo by Phindiwe Nkosi

Last Updated (Friday, 16 March 2018 19:21)

 

Add comment


Security code
Refresh