The good: staff at reception were friendly and helpful at all times, but clearly the problems they faced were neither of their own making nor always within their power to solve, at least not immediately. They did, however, try their level best to solve issues, even if it did not work out, and for that they deserve a big compliment (no passing of the buck as is often seen at many hotels).
The rooms are functional (although a broken light at the desk that was not fixed during two days, despite repeated requests, which made hours of working on a notebook at night a pain).
The not so good: parking is an issue, especially late at night. Even though the hotel is located within a secure business park with loads and loads of empty spaces at night, I was forced to park on hotel grounds by the business park security, but alas there was nothing available.
Also, the hotel is close to absolutely nothing, not a thing.
The bad moving on to the quite bad: meals can be ordered from another location that arrives at the hotel lukewarm at best, but what to do if the order is entirely, fully, completely wrong and it has just gone past 9.30pm when the last orders could be placed? Go hungry? Drive somewhere? That is not an option as it is a minimum 20-minute drive to anywhere.
Breakfast was not exactly a welcoming affair. A sign instructs you to wait to be seated, but after 10 minutes waiting a cleaner took pity on me and told me nobody will seat me, just pick a table. The warm food was dried out (bright green, fully desiccated scrambled eggs) and again lukewarm. Repeated requests for a coffee mug went unanswered till about 3 minutes before my meal ended. And to top it all, on both mornings all guests were entertained to very vocal fights coming from the kitchen. On the second morning a breakfast staff member decided to join in at the top of her voice from the middle of the breakfast room. This was funny for about 10 seconds max, thereafter it was just annoying and ultimately embarrassing that she did not have the awareness that she was shutting down conversation for about 15 people.
The bar closes very early and sells wine at about 6-7 times the retail price. But compliments to the extremely pleasant bartender on both nights who - just like his reception colleagues next door - was fully focused on delivering excellent service.
The infuriating: I had booked a non-smoking room with a double bed - which was confirmed - and very nicely received a smoking room with twin beds. The twin beds were no problem as I was traveling on my own, but smoking in this day and age? Seriously? Got moved to a non-smoking room the next day and it had three ashtrays in it! What? And the room reeked of smoke! Hardly surprising, you expect a smoker not to see that as an invitation to smoke?
The lack of meal options, the very poor breakfast and the quite bad price-quality ratio overall means this hotel should best be avoided. It need not be so. Improve the food issues and you will be halfway there.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Welcome to Holiday Inn Express Woodmead, Sandton. The hotel is located in the heart of a major business district in Sandton. The hotel offers convenience for business and leisure travellers with easy access to highways and being in close proximity to the newly built shopping mall. Holiday Inn Express Woodmead features 155 contemporary style bedrooms individually air conditioned, offering guests a comfortable, warm and friendly stay. All rooms have en-suite facilities, power shower, direct dial telephones, work stations, safety deposit box and televisions. Holiday Inn Express Woodmead is committed to offering guests the best product combining convenience of location with the quality and value for which Holiday Inn Express is famous for around the world. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Holiday Inn Express Sandton-Woodmead Hotel Sandton
- Sandton Holiday Inn
- Holiday Inn Express Sandton-Woodmead Greater Johannesburg, South Africa