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“absolutely splendid”

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Peermont Walmont at The Grand Palm
Ranked #2 of 16 Hotels in Gaborone
doncaster
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“absolutely splendid”
Reviewed 25 November 2007

Loved this establishment.Brand new and clean.slow service in the restaurant but apart frm that Splendid

  • Liked — clenliness
  • Disliked — nothing
  • Stayed October 2007, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
2 Thank crazytrucker
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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321 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
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English first
Washington DC, District of Columbia
Level Contributor
144 reviews
65 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 149 helpful votes
Reviewed 27 August 2007

I stayed at the Walmont/Grand Palm for one week in August 2007, as I was attending a conference at the adjacent (and elegant) Conference Center. (Elegant, that is, for a work conference, although I understand that they do weddings, etc. as well and it would be suited to this.) It's one of the nicer African hotels I have stayed in - this would be a 5 if I was just talking about African hotels and not in general. Inside the floors are shiny and all is clean, I saw them sweeping and polishing and doing windows multiple times per day.

Rooms: Pretty good. Windows open which was super, it was great at night to have the nice cool air and fresh air in the room. August is a wonderful time here! I had a king bed and it had the comforter (rather than blanket and bedspread) on it, I slept so well, better even than at home. Bed was new too, nice and firm. There was a good number of TV channels, I think 8-10, but included a few SABC, CNN, BBC, a couple of movie channels. Lots of American and South African shows on the TV. The room was better than average clean, although they never did check the minibar fridge - I think the people before me had room service (their dirty dishes were in the hallway outside the room when I arrived) and put their dessert (uncovered pie) in the fridge, a slice and a half, this remained in the fridge when I arrived and throughout the week. I discovered this because I filled plastic bottles of water and put them in the fridge. The hotel never lost power or piped water when I was there, not even once. The water pressure in the shower and bathroom, by the way, was FANTASTIC. Better than some houses I have lived in. I got wake-up calls every day and they never ever missed one - three times I even got a call 10 mins. later making sure I got the call, which I appreciated because once I hung up and went back to sleep! One of my colleagues was not as appreciative though because he was in the shower and had to get out and run for the phone when he heard it ring the second time. There's no alarm clock in the room so you have to rely on the wake up call. There is a modern, digitally programmable safe in the closet, which is great. I used it and it was secure.

Grounds: The grounds are really beautiful. There are also peacocks and some kind of gazelles wandering around and nice flowers, grass, etc. The patio dining area (see below) and pool are very nice as well, although the pool is not heated - it was too cold to swim when I was there, but it was nice to let my feet dangle in the pool. There is also the Metcourt Inn, which is a less expensive alternative and related to the Grand Palm, on the grounds as well, and the conference center. It's all set back from the road so it takes some walking (5 mins.) to get to the front gates. There is an ATM that takes visa cards but not Mastercard. I went to it 4 times and there was money in the machine and it was working fine each time. There is a workout facility that's good too, with lots of machines and weights.

Food: There are a couple of restaurants I ate at, I didn't eat room service. There is a breakfast and lunch buffet, and there is really good variety, including bombo (sp? the local version of South African pop, the carb staple locals eat) and curry and salad, meats, desserts, olives, omlette station, etc. However it can get old over a week, and once I ate at the poolside patio "Fig Tree", and once in the bar in the evening. I had the variety at the bar - all kinds of fried foods, including egg rolls,samosas, french fries, etc., and it was fine. Pretty good, albeit a LOT of food - make sure you have someone to share! The Fig Tree - well, I had a burger and I would NOT recommend it. It was disgusting. I have had steaks throughout and Botswana beef - all they say about it is true, I loved every one of the steaks I had in the many places I ate, but STAY AWAY from this mystery meat burger - it's gristly, chunks of bone, all kinds of disgusting things in it. I later compared notes with colleagues and they had the same experience. The hotel's premium restaurant, a steak place, was EXCELLENT, but be aware that you will spend some serious time there - it's not the place to go if you have plans afterward. But it had some of the best beef I ever had in my life! I had the fillet, med. rare, it was so good - like nothing I have had before... and I am used to eating prime steaks. Came with baked potatoes and I had wine with the dinner... my colleagues who had the rump steak also raved, as did the one person who had fish (in a landlocked country and she chose fish, but she said it was very good). By the way, I and some others drank the hotel water from the tap throughout the week and did just fine with it. The other restaurants I would recommend off-site are Dros, a South African chain pub that you can walk to from the hotel (be aware of the traffic though) that also had excellent steaks (and burgers this time, too) and lots of good free-flowing beer and it looked like locals came to dine and drink there too, and Bull and Bush, a mzungu place if I ever saw one and a taxi ride away but still, an experience and good yummy food. Also if you get the chance to experience the evening bush 'safari' followed by the bonfire at the picnic area at Mokolodi reserve, I would recommend that too (and do the rhino trekking if you get the chance, that's the bomb!).

Casino: Small but okay. Lots of one-pula slots and also poker and blackjack tables. Smoky. I had colleagues both win and lose on the machines.

Gift Shop: Wow, one of the most overpriced places I have EVER seen. And really insultingly-overpriced, too: I looked at this 4" animal woodcarving that they wanted 200 pula for, when the same thing at the airport gift shop (when you know it's also going to be overpriced) was 55 pula. A duffel bag 240 pula! A stuffed animal, 300 pula! small soapstone carvings 500 pula! Note that both the hotel shop and the airport one will negotiate for prices. Also, the hotel shop does NOT sell sundries, so you can't get batteries, stamps etc. there. There is, however, a convenience store attached to the gas station directly to the right from the hotel entrance gate, and you can get things there.

Internet: At the business center is okay, albeit slow, and it's 1.6 pula per minute, so it's not a bargain. I was able to get 2 hours free Wifi in my room on Wednesday thanks to a promotion (check out the advertisement page in the stationery portfolio in your room), and that was much faster and very good.

Staff: Frankly, I found them a little cold and got a vibe from them like they were holding their noses each time they had to deal with a guest... normally in Africa I am used to friendlier and when I have a question for anyone - especially one about the city, the local language, culture, food, etc., I am used to getting answers that are informative and helpful, as well as being told "My brother/father/cousin... knows/is.... about the town/food... and can show/take/tell you, let me call him." Here - nothing. I asked about the main market, a fixture almost everywhere, and I was told to go to the mall. Even when I explained that I wanted to experience culture and life at the market, not purchase South African chain-store goods, they shook their heads. When I asked about the local food, they wouldn't help me. When I asked about local drinks, it was like pulling teeth to get the bartender to tell me anything other than St. Louis beer (not bad either) as something that people like to drink. When i arrived at about 8:30 at night, and I was the only arrival, the bellman made no move to help me out with my bags etc. - not that I needed it, I had just a carry on backpack and my rolling trolley, but normally they try to get your things because they are supposed to and also because it means a tip. But nothing....

Atmosphere: It is a nice hotel, and almost funny to see people (westerners) walking around in shorts. It was a little disconcerting how many westerners there were, and how they acted. Lots of Hemingway-type wannabes, lots of people not interested in anything other than drinking, talking about game, etc. Most were English, South African, European in general. Couple of North Americans there, but not the majority. It was a very ugly-American kind of scene, to me. It was like there were all these people stopping over before going to/returning from upcountry and they all acted with bravado, braggadocio, and like they were untouchable, made me feel very self-conscious about being a westerner staying there (maybe that's why the staff acts as reserved as they do). General crowd isn't overly friendly, although the Africans staying there were nicer.

  • Liked — The quality of the actual accommodation, the beds, materials used, etc.
  • Disliked — The reticence and non-helpfulness of hotel staff.
  • Stayed August 2007, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
5 Thank philsdottir
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Washington DC
Level Contributor
50 reviews
22 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 117 helpful votes
Reviewed 21 November 2006

The Grand Palm - now called the Walmont Ambassador - is certainly the best hotel within hundreds of miles. The rooms are comfortable, if a bit used. The grounds are beautifuly landscpaed and fit well with the surrounding bush. The Beef Baron (the hotel's ala carte restaurant) is probably the best restaurant in Gaborone, but there are other good options in the hotel, including the attractive outside restaunrant by the pool. Service is friendly and slow - bring time.

  • Stayed November 2006, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
3 Thank plagist
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
A TripAdvisor Member
Reviewed 16 February 2006

The Grand Palm is a great hotel and certainly the best in Gaborone. The reception staff are very friendly and helpful, although they can be a bit slow at time. Check out took half an hour (we were the only ones checking out at that time) and they had lost the credit card number we gave them previously.

The livingstone restaurant at the hotel has delicious food. They have a huge buffett spread of breakfast, lunch and dinner. The Beef Baron grill has superb beef. Hotel bar is well stocked with a nice relaxing atmosphere.

Rooms are very clean, although the bathroom could use some upgrading/touch up. Free airport shuttle is a plus.

If you are visiting Gaborone, this is defenitely the place to stay.

Helpful?
6 Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Peermont Walmont at The Grand Palm

Property: Peermont Walmont at The Grand Palm
Address: Molepolole Road, Gaborone, Botswana
Region: Botswana > South-East District > Gaborone
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 Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 16 Hotels in Gaborone
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:4 star — Peermont Walmont at The Grand Palm 4*
Number of rooms: 187
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Discover the ultimate business and leisure experience...The luxury Walmont hotel at The Grand Palm offers 187 rooms and suites. The distinctive character and charm of this elegant hotel blends efficiency, comfort, luxury and privacy into absolute harmony - perfect for both business and leisure travellers. It is equipped with all the facilities and modern conveniences that discerning travellers have come to expect. Breakfast can be enjoyed at Mokolwane Bistro offering a sumptuous international buffet. The Executive 5th floor, with the exclusive Executive Club Lounge, offers the travelling executive unsurpassed business services. Guests also have access to the casino, dining, and variety of recreation facilities, as well as the magnificent banquet and convention facilities of the Gaborone International Convention Centre (GICC). Hotel features (188 rooms) 49 Deluxe twin rooms, 90 Deluxe queen rooms, 34 Executive rooms, 5 Premier suites, 8 Executive suites, 1 Presidential suite and 1 Special assistance room. Smoking and non-smoking rooms available. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Peermont Walmont At The Grand Palm Hotel Gaborone

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