So the positives: they have a shuttle to the airport; the rooms are clean and comfortable, though the shower is really small.
The negatives: There is no mini bar or fridge as described on hotels.com; the internet is bad and cuts off pretty much continuously. The computers in the lobby are rickety at best. The walls are thin so you can hear everything in your neighbors loo...coughing, showering, toilet flushing...Also breakfast should definitely be included. The Gold Mine is overpriced for what you get. You're better off walking to Nino's a block away or the African Heritage Kitchen over by the Carlton Building which has great brekkie and lunch.
The worst: The staff is woefully uninformed and unhelpful. Some for instances: they didn't know what kind of voltage their electricity is and rather that say "i'll find out" they just left it with "i don't know." Also, when we asked for a 30 minute laid check out, it was denied because we didn't arrange it the day before...and we were told that housekeeping was literally waiting to clean the room. Of course, when we left, the cart wasn't even on our floor.
The area: Super dangerous. We were mugged in broad daylight 4 blocks from the hotel in a highly populated area and no one helped us. When we reported this to the staff, they basically said "yes, you can't go out on weekends or in the evenings or else this will happen." They told us not to call the police because it wouldn't do any good and they didn't offer a medical kit despite the fact that we were both roughed up. Note to hotel: staff should ask if guests are ok after they are attacked. If, as they said, it happens all the time, then they should have a protocol to follow!
Further, when we asked about safe areas to go like Rosebank, we were told not to take the bus or the train because, again, it's too confusing and dangerous and so we should take a taxi. Of course in Joburg you can't hail cabs on the street and we didn't have a phone since we were only there 4 days. When we asked how we would get back from Rosebank, the staff basically said "ya, that's a real challenge because you have to call them when you're ready, and cabs won't wait for you"... so for 4 days, we felt really stuck in the hotel with a 4 block radius to explore and unwilling to go any further into the city...it's a shame, but clearly the hotel has chosen style over substance. Any way you look at it, the staff needs immediate training on customer service...they need to learn how to point out solutions and not just problems. They come across as lazy at best, but otherwise it looks like they are either ignorant or surly.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The 4-star Reef Hotel is a 5-minute drive from Johannesburg's City Hall. It has an on-site restaurant and modern guest rooms with satellite TV and individual decor. Rooms at Reef Hotel feature floor-to-ceiling black and white photos. Each has a sitting area with a large satellite TV. The private bathroom offers a separate bathtub and shower in a deluxe room and a shower only in a standard room. Reef Hotel's restaurant uses fresh, seasonal ingredients to prepare both South African and international cuisine. The hotel's in-house bar offers South African wine, international champagne and has panoramic views of Johannesburg. The Apartheid Museum is a 5 minute drive from Reef Hotel. Many of Johannesburg's art galleries are also nearby. Complimentary shuttle is available within a 5KM radius subject to availability. ... more less
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