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“The staff are very friendly, but....”

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Rainbow Towers Hotel
Ranked #8 of 13 Hotels in Harare
Geneva, Switzerland
Level Contributor
5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“The staff are very friendly, but....”
Reviewed 2 February 2014

Don’t expect the quality for the price you are paying. I am staying here as I write, February 2014. I have been here for almost a week in Harare for work, and have another to go. People are exceedingly pleasant, but there are a lot of frustrating aspects to staying here that I would not expect from a hotel trying to position itself as a fine hotel. Most frustrating is the wait for elevators, which can seem trivial, but after 2 minutes go by and there is no option for stairs (15 floors in the hotel), it is a patience test. I have been told a major part of the reason is that the staff elevator is out of order, and indeed, the staff seem to be using the elevator more than the clients. Other quirks include the internet, for which you have to get little pieces of paper for to enter to access, and then your time runs out and you need to get another one. Need paper, pen, or change for a $10 – well, it turns into a walk around the lobby to get such basic service that most hotels of this quality is sure to have ready and willing. The food is outrageously prices for Harare – for instance a $30 breakfast buffet. Because of its location, there is not many options so one must take a taxi for alternatives, which is at least $10 round trip, not to mention very convenient. I list this last because people staying here may be okay paying the more expensive prices for food, etc. But related, they may also expect service that is a notch up per my earlier comments. Of course one is in “Africa” and should not expect the same service as in more developed contexts, but then isn’t that why one pays more for their accommodation? But as I initially wrote, the people are exceedingly friendly, which helps to offset the other concerns.

  • Stayed February 2014, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank sgchaplowe
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
RTGuestRelations2013, Guest Relations Manager at Rainbow Towers Hotel, responded to this review, 10 February 2014
The Rainbow Towers Management would like to thank you for taking your time to share your experience on your recent stay at the hotel. We would like to sincerely apologise for the inconvinience caused to you throughout your stay at the hotel.

I would like to assure you that as a hotel we are taking necessary corrective measures on the major areas of concern which are as highlighted above: elevator efficiency, food & beverage pricing and general responsiveness.

As hotel, we strive to ensure our guests’ experience is flawless throughout their stay.We are committed to providing you with the highest level of service simply because our customers deserve the very best. We do hope the rest of your stay will be enjoyable and we look forward to hosting you again soon.

Best Regards
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203 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (61)
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English first
Gaborone, Botswana
Level Contributor
88 reviews
35 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 62 helpful votes
Reviewed 11 December 2013 via mobile

I stayed at the rainbow towers hotel, formerly Sheraton hotel harare from the 02 to 09/12/2013 on business .

The gardens are beautiful and well manicured. There were lush green. The foyer/ reception area is beautifully designed.

Checking in was cumbersome. I arrived at the hotel at 1300hrs and the rooms were not yet ready. I was told to come back after 30 min. Knowing the level of service I came back after 2 hours and still the room were not yet ready. I had to sit in the foyer for at least 30 more minutes before I got a room.

For such a big hotel with many floors about 14 I think to have only 3 functional elevators is a shame . I waited for a good 5 minutes before the elevator finally made it to ground floor . Coming down from the third floor was a nightmare. The lifts coming down were almost always full. Please Rainbow towers management do something about the elevators.

The room I was given was ok. It was obviously dated, in need of some sprucing up.the toilet shower glass was broken and always let water spill on the floor. The carpet was dirty. The air con/fan was not working , only blowing cols air even when temperature set to 35*C.

WiFi was readily available and free which was really nice. They allowed you 500MB of data per coupon given with the option of getting more coupons as needed.

The hotel staff were very friendly. They always start the greeting with "refreshing morning, refreshing afternoon or refreshing evening.

I went for dinner in their buffet restaurant called Kombahari which means sitting around a cooking pot in Shona. I had stir fry sweet sour chicken which was very tasty.

Overall not a bad hotel but can be much better.

Stayed December 2013, travelled on business
Helpful?
2 Thank impudzi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
RTGuestRelations2013, Guest Relations Manager at Rainbow Towers Hotel, responded to this review, 13 December 2013
A refreshing evening to you,

Thank you very much for taking your time to give us feedback about your recent stay at The Rainbow Towers. We genuinely value your input as it helps us in correcting ourselves where we fall short. On behalf of the relevant departments which you noted, i would like to assure you that we have already started taking corrective measures to eradicate our short-comings which caused discomfort during your visit i.e. check-in process, room set up and elevator efficiency.

I sincerly do hope that during your next visit to our hotel, your stay will be much more REFRESHING and flawless than your first visit.

Best regards,
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bethesda, MD
Level Contributor
90 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 42 helpful votes
Reviewed 9 December 2013

This is currently a two-star hotel living in the shell of an abandoned five-star

The management changed around June 2013. The General Manager and Front Office Manager are competent and sincere in their desire to reclaim a higher quality for the Rainbow Towers. However, they suffer from a legacy of neglected front line staff, ignored building maintenance, and shoddy renovations. This is a hotel in transition, and the traveler can expect a mixed experience.

Where the new management has concentrated its efforts, you will enjoy a wonderful experience (conference rooms, top floors, lobby). Where they haven't, you will suffer (A/C, wake-up calls, housekeeping, maintenance).

This may result in a trying time for the business traveler who is unwilling to complain to middle management or above when they run into a problem. For example, in my first two days, I was moved four times before I was given a room in which the A/C worked. I followed the standard chain of command - front desk, front desk manager, front office manager, general manager - to try to resolve the problem. Resolution came at the General Manager level - I as given an Executive Suite on the top floor at standard room rate as compensation for my inconvenience. But the time and effort I had to invest in getting a room with A/C was frustrating.

The front line staff is friendly, but incompetent. They clearly have not received any training or monitoring for years. Therefore, you may not get your wake-up call, and may miss your meeting. Or you may have to spend two to three hours to get help with your internet connection or borrow the proper size adapter or an extension cord. (During renovations, the contractor installed different sized round pin sockets, so your adapter may not fit all sockets, and you may need to ask for an extension cord so you can plug in your laptop.)

Rely on middle management and up to competently respond to your requirements. Front line staff will smile and say yes, but won't be able to respond. Call to a middle manager,and get them to direct their staff.

Buffet food is fine at breakfast, but a bit stale at lunch. I did not have dinner at the buffet. There is an oriental restaurant with excellent chefs who sautee food at a grill station while you sit around him and watch. His cleanliness and style are excellent. Unfortunately, he is working at a station which has mice, which I watched run around the floor behind him. I attribute this to the legacy of a poor infrastructure.

All in all, my impression is that the new upper management is sincere in its desire to upgrade the hotel, and they are doing it as quickly and properly as possible. But the hotel staff and infrastructure were clearly neglected for years, and the traveler who stays here will need to make an effort at the outset establish a direct line to a middle manager to ensure that their stay is good.

Room Tip: Higher floors have newer A/C. Check the climate control immediately. If you cannot feel cold air, d...
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  • Stayed November 2013, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank winxalot
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Cincinnati
Level Contributor
44 reviews
32 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
Reviewed 8 December 2013

Spent five nights for conferences. Was quite pleased with room; well cared for if furniture somewhat scratched up. The staff are truly great. Always a hello and a smile. And great service. The large lobby is close to elegant, and contains the lobby coffee bar and more formal alcohol bar (x2). The buffet restaurant is pleasant, food good. The Benihana style restaurant is truly superb.
The bath needs some work. Clearly very old, with corrosion in the telephone booth-like shower, and staining of other fixtures. Very well kept by housekeeping. Happily stay here again, and very good wifi.

  • Stayed December 2013, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank JSSinCincinnati
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
RTGuestRelations2013, Guest Relations Manager at Rainbow Towers Hotel, responded to this review, 12 December 2013
A refreshing morning to you,

Thank you very much for the feedback! We deeply value your sentiments and assure you that we are working towards eradicating our shortcomings to ensure that your next visit is much more refreshing and even more comfortable.

Best Regards,
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Nairobi, Kenya
Level Contributor
6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviewed 28 November 2013

Spent a few days and was humbled to see His Excellency the President and loved your tepanyaki. Nothing really bad about your dining area,staff is wonderful,loved your bar as i was always the last man standing. Upgrade your hotel,those old tv's should be thrown away.

Room Tip: Change your TV,wifi needs to be strong.
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  • Stayed February 2013, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Review collected in partnership with this hotel

Helpful?
Thank Abubakar M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
RTGuestRelations2013, Guest Relations Manager at Rainbow Towers Hotel, responded to this review, 2 December 2013
A refreshing morning to you,

Thank you very much for the much welcomed feedback. We appreciate your business support and would like to inform you that since your visit in February, we have since replaced all our Television sets and refurbished most of our rooms and are still in the process of doing so.
Hopefully when you come again to visit, you will be able to enjoy te new look of the Rainbow Towers Hotel.

Regards,
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Johannesburg, South Africa
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 26 September 2013

This terribly dated former Sheraton, has the service levels of a hotel well below 5 Stars. Amateurishly run, and in dire need of a facelift from the jaded 80s glitzy decor, the hotel has seen better days. The food is the most startling indicator of the place, simple stuff, poorly prepared and presented. A real let down and embarrassment for this once great city

  • Stayed September 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Philip M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Liz M, Manager at Rainbow Towers Hotel, responded to this review, 24 October 2013
Thank you very much for the review , it will help us improve on service and eating experiences in the areas highlighted and I would also like to take this opportunity to advise you that Rainbow Towers is currently undergoing a major refurbishment in the rooms which will also see an uplift in the eating areas.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC

Travellers are raving about these Harare hotels

London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 15 August 2013

Spent 10 days at this hotel given the star rating I was expecting an outstanding hotel. It was in need of a major face lift. The rooms at one time must have been elegant but they are now dated. You however have to view the place in the context of the economics of the country. There was some refurbishments going on on some floors. The service In the hotel was excellent. The staff was helpful and pleasant. Despite the dated feel of the hotel I would stay hear again.

  • Stayed August 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Christine C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
RTGuestRelations2013, Guest Relations Manager at Rainbow Towers Hotel, responded to this review, 13 November 2013
A refreshing day to you. Thank you so much for visiting the Rainbow Towers Hotel and most importantly, thank you very much for the feedback. I am glad that you enjoyed your stay with us. We are currently in the process of refurbishing our hotel and i trust and hope that during your next visit, you will be able to experience a newer and more urban feel of the Rainbow Towers.
We look forward to having you back at the hotel soon.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Rainbow Towers Hotel

Property: Rainbow Towers Hotel
Address: 1 Pennefather Avenue | Samora Machel Avenue West, Harare, Zimbabwe (Formerly Sheraton Harare)
Region: Zimbabwe > Harare Province > Harare
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Casino and Gambling Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #8 of 13 Hotels in Harare
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Rainbow Towers Hotel 4.5*
Number of rooms: 304
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The 5-Star Rainbow Towers Hotel and Conference Centre is the premier choice in Harare, Zimbabwe's sunshine capital city, for major business and social events. It is located on the fringe of the vibrant city centre and regally set in spacious landscaped gardens.The 304-room Hotel, formerly Sheraton Harare, opened in 1985 and regularly hosts Heads-of-State and many other VIPs of distinction. The main auditorium holds 4,500 people for a state-of-the-art conference or live show and the whole complex has a plethora of ancillary conference, exhibition and other multi-purpose function rooms. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Rainbow Towers Hotel Harare
Rainbow Hotel Harare

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