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“The age shows - don't pay more”

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Protea Hotel by Marriott Johannesburg Balalaika Sandton
Ranked #16 of 46 Hotels in Sandton
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 6 May 2012

The positives: the price was OK considering this is located on the richest square mile in Africa. The shower was beautifully renovated. LCD TV. Bed and linen was nice. I ordered cappucino and it was OK. Location: right across Deutche Back, Johannesburg Stock Exchange and HSBC. The superb Sandton City and Nelson Mandela Square shopping malls are on the next block. By the way, I ate at Pappas in Nelson Mandela Square and was very impressed with the deco, and the prices were very, very reasonable. The hotel Generally well renovated overall but....

The negatives: The fact that the hotel is old shows in many ways, despite the renovations. The cupboards, the safe and the carpet still need renovation. The bathroom had a slight stink even when it had not been used at all. Most of the staff were not very friendly - quite an absentminded bunch. You have to PAY FOR PARKING - I have never experienced this in a Protea Hotel! Budget around R25 ($3.00) per day for overnight parking plus one extra exit. THE WORST BIT: their inhouse BULL RUN RESTAURANT!!! The chicken I ordered was exactly that: BULL. This is final proof that I will never buy from a Protea Hotel restaurant again. Yuck!

Room Tip: All I know is that I was on the western side and the view outside was not nice, simply because the e...
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  • Stayed: May 2012, travelled solo
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2  Thank osigenu
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Balalaika_Management, General Manager at Protea Hotel by Marriott Johannesburg Balalaika Sandton, responded to this reviewResponded 7 May 2012

Dear ‘osigenu’.
Thank you for taking the time to write on ‘tripadvisor’ and also for speaking to us over the phone. We appreciate you bringing your concerns to our attention after your recent stay with us. Your feedback is highly valued and will be used constructively to maintain and improve, where necessary, our standards and facilities. Unfortunately we do not have our own hotel parking, but have a special arrangement with the Village Walk Mall at R25.- per day. {There are many other Protea Hotels that also charge for parking.} As discussed, we were saddened by the fact that no Manager was called regarding the Bull Run Meal which you had ordered via Room Service. We pride ourselves in our high standard of service & meals. As you can understand we would have appreciated that chance to rectify the shortcoming immediately. It would be wonderful to meet with you next time. Please feel free to contact either Antoinette, our Food & Beverage Manager (antoinette@balalaika.co.za) or Christine, our Guest Relations Manager (christine@balalaika.co.za).
Kind regards,
Jörg Zwinscher
General Manager & Team

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706 - 712 of 1,013 reviews

Reviewed 27 April 2012

I have stayed at Balalaika a couple of times during business trips to Joburg and have had a great stay both times. Staff are very friendly, Bar serves good beer, and breakfast is great.

Mandela Square and Gauteng train are a short distance away.

Its great value for money and i will stay here next time for sure

  • Stayed: April 2012, travelled on business
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1  Thank Love_to_travel78-8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Balalaika_Management, General Manager at Protea Hotel by Marriott Johannesburg Balalaika Sandton, responded to this reviewResponded 28 April 2012

Dear 'Love_to_travel78-8'. We were delighted to receive your postive feedback on 'tripadvisor'. Thank you for taking the time to do so and for being such a loyal GUEST. Your kind words are much appreciated and we hope to welcome you back again soon.
Kind regards,
Jörg Zwinscher
General Manager & Team

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Reviewed 23 April 2012

We checked out Trip Advisor before selecting a hotel to stay at in Johannesburg. As we were just traveling there for the weekend, we didn't want to spend a lot of money but still wanted a good experience, which this hotel offered. It was an easy five-minute walk to Mandela Square (a must when visiting), the breakfast buffet was one of the best that I have had outside the Middle East, and the room was spotless.

Room Tip: Avoid a room on the first floor, toward the back of the hotel (the hallway smelled damp.
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  • Stayed: April 2012, travelled with family
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1  Thank Shana H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Balalaika_Management, General Manager at Protea Hotel by Marriott Johannesburg Balalaika Sandton, responded to this reviewResponded 25 April 2012

Dear ‘KeithShanaAlex’.
Thank you very much for taking the time to write on ‘tripadvisor. We were thrilled to read about your positive experiences. Your praise about our breakfast buffet and the spotless rooms in particular are most appreciated.
We look forward in welcoming you back again soon.
Kind regards,
Jörg Zwinscher
General Manager & Team

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Reviewed 10 April 2012

Protea Hotel O.R. Tambo airport, Johannesburg = This is a brand new property, and basically it is just a hotel with a free airport shuttle which does not always run on time, free internet, showers but no bath tubs and the usual sumptuous Protea breakfast, which was not included, but which they let us have two for the price of one because I have a Protea membership. At 1180ZAR a night, I found it a bit overpriced.
Protea Hotel Balalaika, Sandton (Johannesburg) – This is one of my favourite hotels anywhere. It is just beautiful and feels luxurious, without the luxurious price. The rooms are a good size, and the bathrooms have bathtubs and separate showers. The rooms are also equipped with power bars that make it possible to plug in nearly plug, whatever the shape. But it is not the rooms, or even the wonderful service on the part of the front desk, housekeeping and the concierge desk, that makes this hotel so special. It is the ambiance. Most of the rooms are located in two wings which extend out from the lobby and restaurant bloc in a V-shape. Inside the V, there is the pool, and on either side there are green trees and flowering shrubs. To walk from the rooms to the lobby, you walk through this beautiful garden. Breakfast is served in a restaurant which adjoins the pool, and there is a choice of indoor and outdoor tables. The lobby is spacious and equipped with the Victorian-style furniture that makes hotel lobbies feel so special.
Two recent innovations have improved the hotel even more: there is now a free shuttle service to the Gautrain, that runs to the airport, and also to the nearby malls. The hotel has also stopped the ridiculous policy of charging 50R andhour for the internet. Now there are 100 MGB supplied free with every room.
But here comes the sad part: someone has decided to tear down the Balalaika and replace it with another structure nearby, one which cannot possibly match the present location and which may well consist of some boring modern structure. I do so hope that this does not happen!

Room Tip: I like the ground floor, enar the garden and the pool.
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  • Stayed: April 2012, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank EEM88
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Balalaika_Management, General Manager at Protea Hotel by Marriott Johannesburg Balalaika Sandton, responded to this reviewResponded 13 April 2012

Dear ‘EEM88’.
Thank you so much for your very in depth feedback about the PH Balalaika on ‘tripadvisor’ and for taking the time to do so. Your kind words are very much appreciated .
There is the possibility that in the next few years the hotel could relocate to another building within the new development in Maude Street, which might have been misinterpreted in some quarters to mean the Protea Hotel Balalaika is shutting down. “If we do relocate to another site in Maude Street in future, the current hotel would remain open to GUESTS until after the new premises are fully operational. “The Protea Hotel Balalaika will therefore not be closing down – even for a single day”
We look forward in welcoming you back soon.
Kind regards,
Jörg Zwinscher
General Manager & Team

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Reviewed 10 April 2012

Clean, well appointed rooms. Efficient and friendly staff and excellent breakfast. Lovely grounds. On the negative side: Hotel set up is a bit confusing and some rooms are very far from reception and restaurants. Originally we were assigned one of these rooms, but after requesting to be moved, we were given a lovely one with a balcony overlooking the swimming pool.

Room Tip: Get a room with a balcony on the fourth level, above the reception (second level),if you can.
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  • Stayed: April 2012, travelled with family
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1  Thank Ana16
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Balalaika_Management, General Manager at Protea Hotel by Marriott Johannesburg Balalaika Sandton, responded to this reviewResponded 14 April 2012

Dear 'Ana16'. Thank you for taking the time to write on 'tripadvisor'. It is wonderful to read that your all round experience was such a positive one, plus that you praised our friendly Staff, clean rooms and our lovely grounds. These kind words are very much appreciated and they will be passed on to the Team, who will be encouraged by them. We hope to welcome you back again soon.
Kind regards,
Jörg Zwinscher
General Manager & Team

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Reviewed 10 April 2012

We stayed at the Balalaika with family and friends and had the most amazing time. The rooms were fantastic, the hotel is in an excellent location close to shopping, restaurants etc. Breakfast was the best, absolutely everything and anything you wanted to eat was there!
The staff are so efficient and friendly, this hotel is a must. I will certainly be back.

  • Stayed: July 2011, travelled with family
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Thank KassyQ
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Balalaika_Management, General Manager at Protea Hotel by Marriott Johannesburg Balalaika Sandton, responded to this reviewResponded 13 April 2012

Dear 'KassyQ'.
Thank you for sharing your experience. We appreciate your comments about your recent stay with us. It is always a pleasure to receive positive feedback; especially your praise about our Staff is most satisfying. Your praise will be relayed to the Balalaika Team, who will be most encouraged by it.
We look forward in welcoming you back again soon.
Kind regards,
Jörg Zwinscher
General Manager & Team

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Reviewed 9 April 2012

We stayed in Balalaika for 10 days in Aug last year. Located right next to the village walk and at a walk-able distance from the Mandela Square, this heritage hotel will always remain close to my heart due to their courteous, smiling staff and great service. On our 3rd day the customer service mgr personally gave us a note of thanks with a smaller bottle of a drink we ordered through room service on one of the earlier days.How thoughtful.

The little pool is perfect to sit out for a business meeting or just relax watching the birds playing around. Garden landscaping with multiple bird-bath & feeders were always full of birds. One of the restaurant/hotel staff has a huge fan following among the pigeons as I witnessed them going behind him like he was some pied piper of hammelin.
Our room on the 3rd floor was perfect with a big comfortable bed, huge office desk, enough storage, and a lovely bath. The tap water is drinkable. Housekeeping, great. Kholiwe, the housekeeping lady won me over with her efficiency and zeal in life.. I also remember the good night chocolate guests get every single night of their stay :-).. these small simple gestures made me smile. The temperature dived down to -1 or something from being nice and sunny on the day of our arrival but the rooms kept us warm all the time.

There are many restaurants to choose from and the best is the breakfast buffet spread. They organize various tours on daily basis so its great for any tourist. Only thing is car park, we had to pay and park in the basement parking of the village walk which is not much of an inconvenience anyway but I hope that changes sometime soon. I found a very home-like comfort there overall and there is a longing to go back there whenever opportunity presents itself hoping its during the jacaranda blooming season.

I loved every bit of my stay there and gave a few suggestions to the customer service team about parking, wi-fi(we had to buy pre-paid cards) etc.. & they were very well received. Reading the latest reviews, I think they have worked on the wi-fi suggestion :) feels great!

I would like to thank Protea Hotels for making our stay memorable.

Room Tip: Higher floors have good window view and lovely breeze coming in.
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  • Stayed: August 2011, travelled on business
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Thank AmiTara
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Balalaika_Management, General Manager at Protea Hotel by Marriott Johannesburg Balalaika Sandton, responded to this reviewResponded 13 April 2012

Dear ‘AmiTara’.
Thank you for taking the time to write your positive feedback on ‘tripadvisor’ .Your praise about Kholiwe in particular is greatly appreciated and we will be sure to congratulate her on a job well done. It is wonderful to read that your all round experience was so positive. I will share your comments with our Team, who I am sure will be encouraged by your kind words. Thank you again for sharing your observations and experiences.
We hope to welcome you back again soon.
Kind regards,
Jörg Zwinscher
General Manager & Team

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Protea Hotel by Marriott Johannesburg Balalaika Sandton

Address: 20 Maude Street | Sandown, Sandton 2196, South Africa
Region: South Africa > Gauteng > Greater Johannesburg > Sandton
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#7 Romantic Hotel in Sandton
#10 Business Hotel in Sandton
#14 Luxury Hotel in Sandton
Price Range: £54 - £140 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Protea Hotel by Marriott Johannesburg Balalaika Sandton 4*
Number of rooms: 330
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Protea Hotel by Marriott Johannesburg Balalaika Sandton on Maude Street, in Sandton, is located in Johannesburg's economic heartland. The hotel's charming colonial theme is accentuated with wooden elements and delicate floral accents. Each of the 330 classically-styled rooms make guests feel as though they never left home - with a king-size bed, LCD television, electronic safe and a full en-suite bathroom with a walk-in shower. Business executives are catered to with a desk, office chair and international plug points. Complimentary high-speed Wi-Fi is accessible throughout the hotel and the Wi-Fi station situated in the lobby provides convenience for guests requiring instant access to the internet. The English countryside atmosphere defines this four-star hotel as a little bit of country in the heart of Sandton. Birdsong makes guests forget that they are in a bustling metropolis. The Johannesburg Stock Exchange, Sandton Convention Centre and the city's most exclusive shopping mall are a short stroll away. A complimentary shuttle to and from the Gautrain station makes the Balalaika easily accessible. Whether it is for business or leisure, the central location and warm hospitality of the Protea Hotel Balalaika are unrivalled, making it your first and only choice when staying in Johannesburg. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Protea Hotel Johannesburg
Balalaika Hotel
Protea Hotel Balalaika
Sandton Hotel Balalaika
Protea Hotel By Marriott Johannesburg Balalaika Sandton Greater Johannesburg, South Africa

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