I was booked in one of the three suites for the soft opening period of the hotel. Having stayed in the Fire and Ice! hotel in Cape Town - which is wonderful I might add - I was so excited to come to this hotel and accepted during the soft opening all would be fine. Knowing only too well that sometimes soft opening can be problematic I called the hotel several times prior to leaving he UK to ensure the room was ready and that all was in order and was told each time I rang that everything was up and running and sorted out. I even called ahead to arrange an early check in as I had a business meeting on the morning I landed and I wanted to freshen up prior to arrival and the reservations agent I spoke with advised that she would be able give me an early cheque in free of charge given I was staying in their 3 suites. I was so thrilled and was so looking forward to a stress free calm experience with the hotel. Especially given the wonderful service I got in Cape Town.
I flew in from London for business 2 weeks after making this booking and a week after the arrangements for early check in, and after a 12 hour HIDEOUS flight I arrive at the hotel only to be informed by the front desk that the suites - in which I was booked - had not even been built yet. They would not be ready for some time...
I was then helped by the operations manager and eventually a few hours later by the general manager, after much debate and hours of sorting things out - hours I could ill afford on a hectic business trip - in a sister hotel within the development. The sister hotel within the development but not in a suite - which I needed - but a room which always I feel looks bad if you are bringing people for business as the bed in the room always makes me thing it is for something other than business. I had to pay for further meeting areas as the first time the hotel got it wrong and then when the "fixed it" they got it wrong again...
Sadly did not find the managers particularly helpful in trying to resolve the issue and found them asking me how to fix the situation and as I explained on numerous occassions it was not my error nor my fault and they agreed the hotel was entirely to blame but now I am in a room - not a suite... During our initial conversation to attempt to resolve this I had the general manager say to me at one point in the conversation if I would like him to go and finish the room himself... I hoped he was being helpful but cant help in reflection to think that he might have in fact being rude and slightly offensive in his manner and sadly it has left such a poor taste in my mouth.
I then was woken VERY early the following morning with calls from another of their hotels waking me up enquiring as to why I had not checked into the hotel the night before... It also seems I have now been billed for that room which was booked and I did not use... So another hour or two will be wasted trying to get my money back for the terribly shocking service I have had... Having to also ring the UK to confirm charges were not taken for 45 minutes was a costs I did not need.
All in all a VERY disappointing situation and I know that all of the issues have been brought to the managements attention and despite being in a MUCH smaller room - not to what I needed - and having hours taken from my day without so much of a complimentary anything - bar a handful of dried fruit - apples - which had a peach pip within the dried fruit which I think summed the whole experience up entirely!
I am deeply disappointed and sadly I will now never be able to use this hotel - or their brand again.
Protea hotel as a brand sadly has in my opinion slipped terribly over the last ten years and such an exclusive brand at such a high rate I would have expected to have had MUCH better service and at least have the same room in another hotel with such huge FUNDAMENTAL internal faults causing a busy guest to have lost so much time and energy trying to fix an error that my opinion is a school boy rookie error that was totally avoidable if someone within the hotel had actually been doing a decent job - which is what surely they are paid to do.
So my advice... Don't trust what is said on the phone or that your booking is confirmed and if they say it is try budget an hour or two in case it is not. If you do make sure you get a single individual to email you personally to confirm so that way it seems it is the only way they can deal with anything given that I kept getting asked to whom I spoke and I kept pointing out I should not need to take names as your staff should all be trained to do things correctly the first time.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The urban, experiential and edgy Protea Hotel Fire & Ice! by Marriott Johannesburg Melrose Arch is the hot-spot in the trendy Melrose Arch Precinct, a unique city within a city, which boasts a variety of trendy retail, gourmet restaurants & leisure amenities. This experiential hotel guarantees to spice-up any visit to Jozi and is aimed at the traveller who enjoys being amidst the energetic urban vibe of the cool city life. The hotel offers the ultimate convenience and accessibility to the M1 highway, Sandton business centre and OR Tambo International Airport. Shuttle transfers to and from the Sandton Gautrain Station are also available. Take full advantage of the innovative 24-hour internet station, to catch up on emails, social networking or perhaps a bit of work. Try our conference facilities and create an energetic 'out-of-office' experience that will definitely heighten the creative senses required in any boardroom or meeting situation. Old Hollywood glamour flows through to your dining experience, at the trendy in-house restaurant, which serves breakfast, lunch & dinner daily, with sumptuous cuisine in an intimate and relaxed dining environment. Return to your room, which offers an LCD television, open plan bathroom and an urban style that will take you back to a bygone era of old Hollywood glamour. And if it's too early for bed - the Bar, which is open from 10h00 until 04h00 serves specialty cocktails and gourmet milkshakes, in an energetic and lively setting. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Protea Hotel Fire And Ice! Melrose Arch