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“10th Wedding Anniversary”
Review of Illyria House

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Illyria House
Ranked #9 of 73 Hotels in Pretoria
Certificate of Excellence
Pretoria, South Africa
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“10th Wedding Anniversary”
Reviewed 22 March 2014

We had an absolutely wonderful stay at Illyria. Staff is very professional and friendly. The food was amazing. They really went out of their way to treat us. This boutique hotel has a very romantic feel, in a beautiful setting. Will definitely recommend Illyria for a special occasion or an overnight stay treat. We will definitely be back. Thank you Marietjie and team, there are very few such special places in Pretoria!

  • Stayed March 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank MagsvdM
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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304 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 (70)
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English first
Pretoria, South Africa
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed 18 March 2014

We went there for my birthday which was suppose to be a special occasion but we were utterly disappointed with our experience there. Our room was in the back yard, with two separate beds in separate rooms. The only nice part of the room was the bathroom, which had a door leading to a broken down jacuzzi and looked like rats could've lived there. We definitely kept those doors firmly closed. The beds were old and squeaky with mattress protectors that sounded like plastic bags had been placed over the bed and so uncomfortable. Dinner took ages to come, drinks at dinner came after we were served the main meals which were warmer than our dinner. The overpriced meals were a sad disappointment.

Even after all this and without ranting on about the awful experience we had as the other low reviews seem to agree with our experience, a week after we had stayed there we noted that they had charged us R40 000 ($4000) for a R2 500 ($250) room. The worse part is that they didn't even notice this and we had to go to them and argue that they refund our money. This took ages for them to do and no apology came from their management about the inconvenience they caused. It took a week for them to this and when they finally did "refund" the amount, they deducted money again for the room which was already paid for. After a week of trying to resolve this again with them and giving them our numbers to give to the Manager to discuss this, to this day we still haven't received any calls from the Owner or the Manager.

Do you really want to stay in a place, where the owner/manager isn't bothered about their clients and doesn't really care how your stay was with them?

Room Tip: Don't let them take you to the back room near the ducks
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  • Stayed February 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
7 Thank Suschung
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Pretoria, South Africa
Level 3 Contributor
22 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
Reviewed 23 February 2014

Where to begin..

I booked a night at Pretoria's best rated hotel on this website, something special for my partner's birthday. Or so I thought. I got a "cheap" deal on expedia (ZAR3000, about USD300).

I asked on email to book a spa. I was told the spa had closed indefinitely. I asked for recommendations for spas in the area. No reply.

Will bullet point the complaints as there's so many:

- On arrival it took ages for the staff to check us in despite there being hardly any guests. We're not sure why it took so long, but it was poor service. The owner came and stood next to us, awkwardly, saying nothing to me while my partner was on the phone. Never introduced herself as the owner. Then asked if she was Chinese (my partner is South African Korean).

- We were shown to our room. It was drab and unimpressive. There was a big water stain on the roof. The beds were small (king singles or doubles only). They were probably from the 20s, and creaked and made all sorts of noise. They had plastic mattress protectors that made noise every time you moved. The sheets had multiple stains. See photos. Rotten fruit had been lovingly laid out for us (see photos). There was a room with a non-working spa in it. We heard bugs moving on the floor and it was covered in dirt and leaves (see photos). We didn't go in there again. The TV was old, hardly any channels. There were close to no electricity outlets in the whole room. The key to the room broke when we tried to use it.

- Dinner: we ordered cocktails and they took 30 mins to arrive, after our mains. My partner's pina colada was warm. My margarita was ZAR105! The entrees were terrible, my tiny offering of over priced leak soup was cold, tasteless and covered in skin. My hugely over-priced duck (ZAR285) was ok, but arrived cold. My partner's lamb shank wasn't too bad. Again way over priced. The "sorbet" was frozen ice. The staff ran around like they had never made dinner before, despite the restaurant only having 3 of its tables with guests.

- Breakfast: was actually ok, no major complaints.

- There was a duck and duckling in the space between the rooms which made constant noise. We asked specifically that it be moved to the back yard with all the other ducks as we didn't want to be woken up early. We were assured this wouldn't happen. They put it in a cramped and unhygienic box at night, and then let it out at 7.30am when it again started making noise and woke us up. On our way back from breakfast we noticed one of its ducklings had died and was lying near the path a few metres from our room (see photo). It looked like it had been there for some time. We told the staff. No one seemed bothered.

Parking: despite there being few guests they couldn't accommodate us in the main parking area. The porter jumped in my front seat, and directed me off the premises, onto the road, down a side street, and parked us at the back near the garage and tool shed.

Check-out: On check-out we let our feelings be known to one of the staff who had worked there for 13 years apparently. He didn't care. I passed my business card over to him and said I would write a negative review but the manager was welcome to call me to discuss our concerns. There has been no call. To give you an idea of the level of organization I was handed an invoice for the dinner. I had to advise the staff member that I had yet to pay for the room before he realized this and issued me a correct invoice.

We also asked to be shown the other rooms. The ones in the house were much nicer than the ones we stayed in. Clearly the "cheap" guests paying USD300 were put into room that looked like staff quarters. I understand there were two other big and nice rooms. I was told that "an Ambassador" was there and he was getting special treatment. I am also a diplomat but, regardless, all guests should receive a good standard of service regardless of their status/ rank.

My partner and I are well traveled and have stayed in hotels the world over ranging from 5 star to backpackers. We are not high maintenance. But this was an awful experience in the most overpriced hotel I have stayed in when the terrible service is considered. The owner's failure to call to discuss sums up the approach - if you pay the USD600 then I imagine your experience will be better. Still, there are MUCH better options in South Africa for this money.

  • Stayed February 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
11 Thank Ed M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Pretoria, South Africa
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed 11 February 2014

I was panicking trying to find a night away in Pretoria for our Wedding Anniversary. We were so blessed to arrive here! Our overnight was more delightful than our own wedding. Every aspect of a dream night away! We were met by the staff and our very owner butler who saw to our every need. The Gardens are private and splendid. The pool and spa should not be missed. The Champagne was chilled & waiting for us. Dinner was a grand experience. We were even surprised with our own anniversary cake. We felt like we were royalty for an entire 18hrs. I have never experienced such attention hospitality and attention to detail. We left there feeling as if we had been away a week. I have travelled 33 countries & found a diamond in Pretoria. Illyria House you took my breath away. Thankyou!

  • Stayed February 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
8 Thank Helen E
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 13 January 2014

My grandmother turned 91 in December and I was looking for an intimate, beautiful experience for close family. From the moment I made first contact the service levels at Illyria House never seized to amaze me. Every staff member, from the manager who handled our reservation, to the warm, friendly and efficient butlers and waiters, treated us as if we were the only guests on the premises. The chef even made a special effort to meet and greet my 6-year old to try and serve her with something that she would enjoy! Over and above the silver-platter service, the glorious interior, antique furniture and beautiful garden setting made us feel like we were miles away from Pretoria and left us feeling like royalty... The bedrooms were tastefully decorated with antique furniture and as comfortable as they seem on the website pictures. I will highly recommend this venue for special occasions and romantic get-aways. The venue has gorgeous areas to set up as private rooms for special occasions.

Room Tip: Rooms in the main house and adjoining the main house are an excellent choice if you enjoy the antiqu...
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  • Stayed December 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
5 Thank MarJhb
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Pretoria, South Africa
Level 3 Contributor
14 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed 13 January 2014

Stayed over for one night this past weekend and everything about Illyria is magical. From the moment you walk through the gates it feels like you've been transported to a different world where you are the ruler and where Illyria is your palatial residence.

The full body massage managed to transport us right back to our Thai honeymoon last year. Johannes looked after and shared stories with us like we've known each other for many years.

Dinner and breakfast was served on time and presented very tastefully. The food itself was five star quality and came in sufficient portions which is not always the case with fine dining.

Our room, or rather suite, left my wife speechless and no foto's can do them justice.

The antique furniture, art pieces and general maintenance of the residence is also worth mentioning. We could really pick up that a lot of personal care and attention has gone into keeping Illyria magical.

As a Pretoria resident I'm really proud to have Illyria house as the best accommodation option for travelers to our lovely city.

Room Tip: Ask for a suite in the main house, preferebly the Catherine suite where Nelson Mandela has also stay...
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  • Stayed January 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank PRdT
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Johannesburg, South Africa
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 9 January 2014

We decided to spend our family Christmas at Illyria House and could not have chosen a better venue!! From the beautiful antiques and furniture to the gourmet meals to the stunning gardens and the warm and caring staff (who are always willing to go the extra mile), this has been one of the most enjoyable stays!

I will gladly recommend Illyria house to any traveller and wil definately be back!

  • Stayed December 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Werjhb40
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Illyria House

Property: Illyria House
Address: 327 Bourke Street | Muckleneuk, Pretoria 0002, South Africa
Phone Number:
Region: South Africa > Gauteng > Pretoria
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#4 Romantic Hotel in Pretoria
#4 Spa Hotel in Pretoria
#6 Luxury Hotel in Pretoria
#10 Business Hotel in Pretoria
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:5 star — Illyria House 5*
Number of rooms: 12
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Ultimate Romantic Getaway. 25 Minutes from the OR Tambo International Airport (Johannesburg) and 5 minutes from the Gautrain Station.The serene beauty of Illyria House has always been an irresistible attraction to all lovers of fine things. Against the backdrop of classical music, fine antiques, 17th century tapestries, and a resident duck family an enchanting colonial lifestyle unfolds. Illyria House is highly appreciated by the discerning traveler for its charm, exquisite cuisine, exclusivity, luxury and unrivalled personalised butler service. We offer intimate soirées by world class musicians. Our Oriental Spa specialises in relaxing massages. Our facilities include a jacuzzi, sauna, heated pool and a cold pool. A wide selection of tours to historical, cultural and wildlife attractions come highly recommended. Personalised shopping is ideal for a last night stay. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Illyria House Hotel Pretoria

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