I spent 3 nights at Hemingways and thoroughly enjoyed the stay. The food was really good and the service was excellent.
A colleague of mine stayed at a B&B for half the price I paid and when I asked him how he enjoyed his room the answer was "There's a fridge in the room that made a noise all night and the bed is too small so either my feet or head would hang over the edge"!
There is construction going on at Hemingways (they are adding 41 new rooms plus bar, restaurant and conference pavilion) but the contractors were gone each night by 18h00, except on my last night. They were still working after dinner and making a racket. I phoned reception and was told they would be done by 21h30 but at 21h45 they were still working as they had a crisis to attend to.
I was then phoned by the duty manager who said he wants to move me and he came up himself and moved my belongings to a new room. In the morning I was phoned by another staff member who said she was going to give me a discount on my last night's accommodation. After I had checked out I was phoned by the deputy GM who apologized and said she would like to make up for the inconvenience at our next stay.
This type of reaction is usually not the norm with most other hotels we have stayed at! If there are problems we are made to feel as though we are at fault and remediation eventually comes but very slowly.
The staff at Hemingways also did other things differently - each day I returned from work there was a jug of ice-cold apple juice or sherry waiting for me in the reception with small pieces of pudding, when I ordered room service I got peppermints and tooth-picks and each Wednesday all guests are invited to drinks and snacks in the foyer. It's the small things that make a hotel stay memorable.
Problems do happen no matter the industry - it's how the problems are resolved that ensures client satisfaction and the staff at Hemingways were proactive, sincere and took action very quickly. We will be back!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- East London is one of South Africa’s best kept secrets with a multitude of attractions but still maintaining that small town feel. The Hemingways Hotel is situated adjacent to the Hemingways Casino and Hemingways mall. It affords easy access to all the major highways, national roads and the airport. Inspired by Ernest Hemingway, this sub-tropical styled hotel offers a unique island lifestyle break, right in the heart of South Africa. ... more less
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