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Southern Sun Elangeni & Maharani
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Reviews (2,320)
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All reviewsocean breezetsogo sunpool deckindian oceangolden mileroom servicedurban beachfrontsea facingexcellent servicefamily roomrooms are spaciousenjoyed my staypleasant stayvigourvervedarumasamantha
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Reviewed 30 June 2013

Recently stayed at maharani hotel (14-17/06/2013). We were really impressed having stayed here many years ago.reception is beautiful and staff very competent.check in was speedy and friendly.the hotel has been refurbished .rooms are spacious.all furniture and fittings seemed new.we liked the color scheme and the slight african touch.hotel has many lifts so no need to wait ages for even though it was a very busy weekend.bathrooms are good accept for the shower that's a bit cramped especially for big and tall people.i kept bumping my head on the glass shelf in the shower.parking was a problem for us even though we paid extra for parking .i think the hotel should sell enough parking tickets equal to the amount of bays in the parking lot.and also they need to inform guests about the parking arrangements before selling the parking vouchers as they send you to another open lot a couple of blocks away when the hotel one is full.other than that the hotel is great.location is tops right opposite arguably one of the best swimming beaches in the world.the view from the hotel rooms are awesome especially sunrises.our morning runs on the beach were memorable.all in all a good hotel,good location.oh and breakfast is halaal .

Room Tip: All seem good
  • Stayed: June 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank Gora786
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Samantha_Croft, General Manager at Southern Sun Elangeni & Maharani, responded to this reviewResponded 7 July 2013

Thank you for taking the time to post your review.

I am delighted that you had a memorable stay and enjoy the new look for the Maharani tower - despite the resticted parking availability.

We look forward to welcoming oyu back in the near future.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 June 2013

Location is great. Relatively central wrt Ushaka Marine World as well as Suncoast Casino.

We were greated by friendly staff upon arrival, and checked in with ease. There was complimentary, refreshing, cold juice available in the foyer.

Rooms are well kept. The minor problems we experienced was that:
1-There were strong winds in the late afternoon & one/two evenings, so we closed the window, but the rubber seal was either no put in properly, or is not checked on, regularly (during maintenance). As a result, it flapped around vigorously, making a very irritating noise. The second family whom we booked in with, also mentioned that they had the same problem in their room (on The 4th floor - we were on he 17th floor).
2-We could hear everything that was going on in the passage. Our room was right by the elevators, so we were very aware of all the traffic. The hotel could possibly look into sound proofing the rooms.
I was also surprised to find that the wall separating the rooms are asbestos/drywalls, which also makes it easier to hear your neighbours.

Breakfast in the dinning hall on the ground floor was fantastic. We had combined our two families, and therefore required a 9-seater table, which the staff very quickly put together for us. We recieved amazing service from Dayalan and Anele all throughout our meal.
On the second morning though, we tried to have breakfast on the 2nd floor, but for an unknown reason, we were told that they could not accommodate the nine of us at one table, they would have to split us. We ended up going back to the ground floor, as we had five kids amongst us, & prefered that we all stayed togeher.
All the food was tasteful and aromatic, & fruit was fresh, sweet and juicy. There was nice variety for vegetarians as well - something that is not always easy to come by.

There are bicycles to rent from the hotel for your use along the beach. All our kids had a great time cycling to Moses Mabhida Stadium, and to Ushaka.
Beach towels are also available from the front desk.

Between the hotel and beach promanade there are enough restaurants to choose from, all within walking distance.

Our overall stay was lovely, we enjoyed our 4-day weekend at Southern Sun Elangeni.

The not-so-good points are not criticisms, but things that can be worked on.

Room Tip: Definately ask for: - A sea-facing room. The view is magnificent. - A room that is far away from the elevators. - A higher floor to avoid hearing screaming people and traffic, especially during the evenings.
  • Stayed: June 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank Aurora M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Samantha_Croft, General Manager at Southern Sun Elangeni & Maharani, responded to this reviewResponded 7 July 2013

Thank you for taking the time to post your review.

I am delighted that you had an enjoyable stay despite the maintenance and breakfast seating issues. The maintenance issues have been escalated to the maintenance team to address. We have also increased the seating capacity at the Ocean Breeze restaurant, in order to accommodate larger tables.

We look forward to welcoming you back in the near future.

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Reviewed 25 June 2013

This is one hotel that I keep on coming back to. It is comfortable, gives you a wide variety in terms of dinning. The one place where you will enjoy the true Durban curries. The parking is safe, hotel staff is helpful, always greet you with a smile. I think there should be a dress code during school holidays, where the hotel gets flooded with school kids on tour, who tend not to have prope swimwear and can be noisy. Otherwise this is a great hotel if you have family or friends and you are looking for a decent and central place to stay.

Room Tip: Sea facing is always the best, the higher the floor, the better the ocean view.
  • Stayed: October 2012, travelled solo
    • Value
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Thank SwaziQueen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Samantha_Croft, General Manager at Southern Sun Elangeni & Maharani, responded to this reviewResponded 7 July 2013

Thank you for taking the time to post your review.

I am delighted that we are your hotel of choice when staying in Durban and look forward to welcoming you back soon.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 June 2013

The staff was very welcoming, the view was amazing and location was also perfect. Everything was going well until we went to the restaurant were the manager brought a broken baby high chair. A minute after putting my baby in the chair it collapsed but luckily he didn't get hurt. What really made me angry was that one of the waiters was actually surprised that someone had brought that chair to us as everybody knew that it was broken. Now how is it possible that the manger had no idea that the high chair was broken yet all the waiters knew about it. I really think that was reckless and my baby could have been hurt. We wrote a complaint directly to the hotel about a month ago but never got a reply or even an apology. A 4 star hotel is supposed to have good customer care and i do not feel like we got that.

Stayed: May 2013, travelled with family
Thank Raid_11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Samantha_Croft, General Manager at Southern Sun Elangeni & Maharani, responded to this reviewResponded 7 July 2013

Thank you for taking the time to post your review.

Please accept my sincere apologies for the unfortunate incident where you were offered a broken baby chair, as well as the lack of response. Unfortunately, I was unaware of this incident and did not receive your written communication.

I will most defintiely follow this up with the restaurant manager.

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Reviewed 15 June 2013

1. On check in guests are asked if they would prefer a room in the Maharani or Elangeni Tower. This makes no sense for first time guests as they are told that all the rooms have a similar look and feel. Not true. The room I stayed in at the Elangeni is standard Southern Sun room, I did feel ripped off though when the room size I paid for was not received. I paid for a King Executive and got that class of room but the extra room space was taken up by a corner "passage" that served no purpose or added any value to the room category. (see picture). There was also a service unit cupboard in my room and the entrance to my room was in a dark, maintenance looking mini corridor.When I checked out I asked to view a room in the Maharani Tower which did have a brighter, fresher and more "cared for" feel.

2. Shaver power points are non existent, they have kept their slim fit bath tubs.

3. The view is unquestionably the biggest selling point and my 17th floor view did not disappoint.

4. Listening is a skill, staff need to know this. The coffee shop in the lobby has to be the most glaring downfall of this newly combined mega hotel. Some pointers :

5. I asked for my take away cappuccino to be sugared, it wasn't

6. I was shouted at from the coffee bar - I was sitting in the lobby area - and told my coffee was ready. Is it too much to serve the coffee at the table without asking the guest to get up and fetch it? Despite ordering a take away from the bakery I had to ask where it was and then I was pointed to a package on the counter and told "there it is" again placing the responsibility of customer care on the customer and not the client services agent. This attitude continued throughout the week I was there so it is not an isolated incident. UNACCEPTABLE.

7. Despite requesting room service for specific extras they forgot the most basic items. Extra chilli on one occasion, extra bread rolls on the other and had to go back to the kitchen and fetch the items, very shoddy,

8. Service should be of a FIXED standard. Unacceptable to get a newspaper on my door for the first two days and nothing for the remaining four days of my stay.

9.Turn down service is erratic with only some rooms receiving the service and others not. I know this as I had booked three rooms for the duration of my stay. Only on my last day of six days did I get the turn down service.

10. The escalator that leads from the Business Centre into the lobby/coffee/reception area clearly - to all those who have ears - has a fault that results in a constant scratching sound coming from the escalator every few seconds. Ironic that the bellboys stand right by the escalator waiting to welcome guests yet no one has attended to it. Small things matter people, small things matter and reflect the pride that the team has in its work.

11. Its not all doom and gloom - Wiseman, Amy (reception) and the ladies in the gift shop are assets and should be recognized, they went out of their way to make my stay enjoyable - something the team manning the lobby coffee bar could do well to learn from.

12. Daruma Japanese restaurant is amazing, even offering take aways and room service to Elangeni guests and the courtesy and respect typical of Japanese service is another plus for the hotel.

13. Jichana Grill does not offer take aways or room service which I think is sad - why have a great restaurant in a hotel and limit the service?

14. Used fast food wrappers were left on my floor for two days running by housekeeping. Perhaps the location (between two chairs) was too out of the way for housekeeping?

All in all, there are more positives then negatives at the Elangeni. Attention to the lobby coffee shop staff, basic maintenance issues and clarity on exactly what the Maharani/Elangeni room options are would go a long way to making the customer experience seamless. Im off now to spend a week in the Durban Hilton down the road which should make for an interesting comparison. :)

  • Stayed: June 2013, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank JohannesburgTian
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Samantha_Croft, General Manager at Southern Sun Elangeni & Maharani, responded to this reviewResponded 7 July 2013

Thank you for taking the time to post your review.

Please accept my sincere apologies for the lapses in standards experienced during your stay - your comments have been passed onto the relevant managers to ensure that corrective steps are taken to ensure that they are addressed.

The Maharani tower has been completely refurbished, hence the enhanced look and feel - the Elangeni room refurbishment is due to commence in 2014, which should address the majority of your concerns and ensure a similar product offering.

The Grill Jichana is a new concept restaurant, which offers a more intimate dining experience and operates from a different kitchen to room service.

I am delighted that the positives outweighed the negatives and look forward to welcoming you back in the near future.

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