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“Badly handled complaint”

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African Pride Audacia Manor Boutique Hotel
Ranked #9 of 43 Hotels in Durban
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 29 March 2013

To me, one of the ways to assess service is how the provider, is how things are handled when things go wrong. From that point of view, the restaurant and the management at the hotel didn’t match up.

But ok, first the good parts. As another reviewer mentioned, it is great to sit on the veranda and look out to the stadium and the across the city. Must be one of the best sites (for sights) in Durban. And, barring the experience described below, the food is ok, if not “wow-worthy”, although be aware that by local standards it is expensive.

So let’s first say that this is a boutique hotel. That should mean personalized service and attention to detail—all of which you are paying for, of course. For a hotel of this standard one would expect properly trained staff.

My experience: we went there a few months back now, for a work function, with a foreign guest. Basically what happened is that the waiter didn’t get the order right. There certainly were some problems in communication. (The details were that that she informed us that the fish of the day was “sole” or “sword”. I like the former, but would never order the latter. So we asked, not once, but a couple of times to confirm that it was indeed “sole”. When the food came, it was quite clear to everyone just by looking that it was not sole. I queried it again, but was told it was “definitely sole”. I didn’t want to make a fuss and spoil the evening for the others, so I let it go.)

So ok, these things happen. But after a day or so I decided to take up the issue with the management of the hotel. They confirmed that the fish that day would have been sword, not sole. They issued an apology, and invited me to dine there again on them. A friend and I duly went the next weekend. Clearly there’d been some misunderstanding, because it was only ONE main course that was free. The rest we had to pay for. (Just to be clear, I wasn’t expecting an entire meal for two on the house, but a single free course wasn’t good enough.) In fact, the “free” meal ended up costing us quite a lot (by Durban standards it is an expensive place to eat). So, for the second time I left with a bad taste in my mouth (pun intended), vowing never to return.

For the prices that Audacia charges (probably not that expensive if you are spending Euros or Pounds, but a lot for locals), you expect a good overall experience. And if something goes wrong, management should make sure that customers’ complaints are resolved to their satisfaction. We never heard from management again—but then again, they’ll never hear from me again! :-) (About a week later we ate at a similarly priced restaurant quite close by. What a difference, particularly in the attitude of the staff. All helpful, and knowledgeable about the food. In fact, afterwards I phoned to compliment them. It was such a pleasant experience: maybe I should write a review for them!)

A postscript: my little “revenge” (if it even merits that word). Shortly afterward, an overseas friend was looking to book in at the hotel, but on my advice decided to go elsewhere. Petty? Perhaps, but that’s what happens when you leave customers unsatisfied.

Stayed: December 2012, travelled on business
11  Thank NautieZA
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Pierre G, Guest Relations Manager at African Pride Audacia Manor Boutique Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 20 May 2014

Dear NautieZA.

Thank you for your feedback.

Since your visit to the property we have changed ownership and management. We have focused on training of an effective team which holds the values of our management group close to heart.

I hope that we will be able to welcome you back to the property to correct the mistakes of the past.

Kind Regards
Pierre Gertenbach

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviews (152)
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133 - 139 of 152 reviews

Reviewed 13 March 2013

A Durban Secret.

This very nice hotel is situated in a quiet residential part of Durban just down the hill from the Presidents Durban Palace. We tried the restaurant for lunch after hearing a few quiet whispers about it. The food was indeed extremely good and is definitely well worth a visit. Whilst we did not view the rooms, the ambiance of the premises makes me believe this is a serious contender on my next visit to Durban.

  • Stayed: March 2013, travelled with friends
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Thank Rotate100
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 December 2012

This Boutique Hotel does not advertise its restaurant.
It is a charming experience sitting on the verandah overlooking the city of Durban and enjoying drinks and a good menu.
Surprised that sofew Durbanites know of its existance--it's a little Gem

  • Stayed: December 2012, travelled with friends
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3  Thank John B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 October 2012

Whilst the exceptionally high standards displayed by this Hotel on our first visit some four years ago have not been maintained, it is still nevertheless a very good Hotel to stay in. The rooms are large and comfortable, the food excellent, and the staff polite, helpful and courteous. Any queries or problems are attended to immediately.

  • Stayed: October 2012, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Traveltwo42
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 October 2012

What a fantastic place this was.

Just returned from a trip to South Africa and this was by far the best accomodation l stayed in.

Staff were exceptional, the rooms immaculate, the dining experience was superb, the grounds and garden beautiful, the communal areas are lovely with antique furniture.

I truly didnt want to leave and would stop there over and over again.

You will definately be treated like royalty.

Amazing amazing amazing.

Tony Warland

Room Tip: ask for the room with a view over the city... the lights at night were beautiful
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  • Stayed: August 2012, travelled solo
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1  Thank Tony W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 September 2012

This small boutique hotel is hidden gem in Durban. The rooms are tastefully decorated with beautiful antique furniture. The staff are very friendly and polite. If you don’t like busy crowds then this best hotel for peace and quite.

Room Tip: The best room choice is facing the city of durban
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  • Stayed: February 2012, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank deancraigwolman
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 June 2012

I have stayed here since it was a 6 room hotel in 2006 and was privately owned and stay at least once a year at Audacia. I have yet to dicover a better hotel ANYWHERE in the world and I do travel all over the world frequently. In one sentence, it feels more like home than any hotel I have ever stayed in! The staff are fabulous, the rooms are sensational and the small, personal feel is what the "chain hotels" would love to (and wouldn't ever be able to replicate) have. Very reasonalbe and I cannot recommend it enough. If you're looking for a faceless, impersonal and badly designed 5 star hotel, don't stay here. If you want to feel comfortable and "at home" then do. You will will want to bring your wife/partner here, trust me! Thank you to Meleney, Karen and Vaughan.

Room Tip: For the best view stay in a balcony room, for the huge and romantic rooms, stay in the new section a...
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  • Stayed: June 2012, travelled on business
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2  Thank jemstu
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about African Pride Audacia Manor Boutique Hotel

Address: 11 Sir Arthur Road | Morningside, Durban 4001, South Africa (Formerly African Pride Audacia Manor)
Region: South Africa > KwaZulu-Natal > Durban
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #9 of 43 Hotels in Durban
Price Range: £105 - £165 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — African Pride Audacia Manor Boutique Hotel 5*
Number of rooms: 10
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Built in 1928, African Pride Audacia Manor is a lavish hotel centrally-located minutes from the ICC, the Golden Mile beachfront and Moses Mabhida Stadium, Kingsmead and Kings Park. All our rooms have balconies that provide 180 degree views of the city and the ocean, while our Coach House offers private courtyards with outside spa baths and outdoor showers. We offer a personalised service to all our esteemed GUESTS, so whether you are in town for business or leisure, our team will ensure a fantastic stay and great memories. ... more   less 
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