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Southern Sun Elangeni & Maharani
Ranked #3 of 43 Hotels in Durban
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 5 August 2013

I was pleasantly surprised during my first return visit to this popular hotel complex after the completion of extensive renovations. Stunning sea views! Close proximity to all major venues. Now providing 500 MB of free WiFi per day. Breakfast service was a bit slow at peak times, but quality and variety of food is still great. New restaurant "The Grill Jichana" is a good addition to the facility with reasonable prices and excellent meat dishes. The option to order a Master Chef "Mystery Box" dish created an interesting experience. Cycles can be rented on an hourly to explore the beachfront paveway.

  • Stayed: August 2013, travelled on business
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Thank Michael J
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 10 August 2013

Thank you for taking the time to post your review.

I am delighted that you enjoyed the additional facilities of the complex and look forward to welcoming you back soon.

Regards

Samantha

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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1,741 - 1,747 of 2,073 reviews

Reviewed 29 July 2013

I had the occasion to stay at the Southern Sun Elangeni & Maharani resort in North Beach, Durban, South Africa, for a business conference during July 2013. This is a two-hotel complex with separate check in counters in each. The hotel is on the beach, and my room had a beautiful view of the beach (check the picture).

The room was clean and reasonably sized. The toilet was very clean and the high pressure water was an invigourating experience. The food was quite good and not too expensive.

The beach seemed to have a lot of attractions, but was pleasantly not crowded at all. Downtown Durban was a 5-minute drive, and the uShaka Marine World just 15 minutes away.

I had a bit of difficulty locating my pre-orderd cab, which perhaps when to the adjoining hotel (since the name is common to both), but there was a taxi handy. The taxi fare was a ripoff (as is usual in these places)...caveat emptor!

The breakfast, in particular, was very good. The waiters & waitress at the restaurant were extremely helpful.

Overall, I had a very pleasant experience here.

  • Stayed: July 2013, travelled on business
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Thank SierraBravo
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 5 August 2013

Thank you for taking the time to post your review.

I am delighted that you had a memorable stay and managed to enjoy the other attractions that Durban has to offer.

We are currently working with the cab drivers who rank at the rank near the hotel, in order to standardise rates in order to prevent tourists from having a similar experience.

We look ofrward to welcoming oyu back to Durban and to the Southern Sun Elangeni & Maharani in the near future.

Regards

Samantha

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Reviewed 27 July 2013

I was there with my wife & colleagues for a convention.. Rooms given in different wings so that we had to go to the lobby everytime. The brekfast was okay, but for that maybe the organizers of the conference have to be blamed. Maybe the regular breakfast was okay. The coffee shop had an inordinate delay in delivering food. And so also was the case in case you oredered any food in the bar. All prepared in a central room service kitchen. As there was work going on on the frontage of the hotel many of my colleagues got rooms with windows blocked in. Pity! But on the plus side, the ones who got views had amazing ones of the beach and the sea. Just 2 rows of street away from the "do not visit area".

Room Tip: Rooms on the top half of the hotel have extensive views
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  • Stayed: February 2013, travelled on business
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Thank rayochoksi
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 5 August 2013

Thank you for taking the time to post your review.

Please accept my sincere apologies for the inconvenience caused to you and fellow delegates, due to the refurbishment which was taking place earlier this year. It really is necessary to undergo projects such as these for time to time, in order for our product to remain relevant.

The good news is phase 1 was completed in May. Phase 2 has commenced, however, is less intrusive than phase 1, as the work is taking place in areas that do not affect exisiting facilities. In October, we will have a beautiful Spa facility as well as an additional multi-purpose conference venue.

We look forward to welcoming you back to Durban and to Southern Sun Elangeni & Maharani.

Regards

Samantha

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Reviewed 25 July 2013

This hotel was a real treat in a lovely city. The staff is attentive and very helpful, it is spotlessly clean and a great value for money. Sure, the wifi - provided via a regular service provider - is a little temperamental. But given the quality of everything else provided, I could overlook this.

Room Tip: The ocean view at sunrise is spectacular.
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  • Stayed: July 2013, travelled on business
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Thank CAS4488
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 27 July 2013

Thank you for taking the time to post your review.

Please accept my sincere apologies for the inconsistent wi-fi delivery, we have escalated this to our service provider, in order to rectify this.

I am delighted that this did not mar your overall impression of the hotel and that you enjoyed your trip to Durban.

We look forward to welcoming you back soon.

Regards

Samantha

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Reviewed 23 July 2013

We stayed here over the Comrades weekend.
We were a group and took up 3 of the hotel rooms.

It would be safe to assume that hotels in Durban / Pietermaritzburg prepare themselves for this annual (rather large) event - wouldn't it?
But on the contrary, this hotel was absolutely terrible in terms of customer satisfaction / service, here are just a few examples of our stay being one of the worst we have ever had:

Firstly one of the rooms air cons were not working. Upon complaining our friends were informed that the entire hotels heating/cooling system was not working - this was not true as our room's aircon was working perfectly well.
After the fourth complaint only did they decide to do something about it in bringing up a fan to the room.
The kettle in the room was also not working and was never replaced even after complaining.

Secondly - the staff was so unhelpful and preferred to "pass the buck" instead of try to help - we asked at reception at least a dozen times regarding the breakfast on race morning. We were told repeatedly that an early breakfast would definitely be served and that we would have the option (as supporters) to get an "On The Go Breakfast Pack" on race day.
Runners were requested to have breakfast next door, which was also not communicated to us!
Needless to say that race day came, I called to reception to double check what time breakfast would be ready - Reception transferred me to Food & Bev, the line kept cutting out on me, the person on the other side was utterly rude and could not speak English very well and so this carried on for about 20 minutes (this call was made at about 4:15am) only to be told that "No sorry, there is no breakfast until 6am".
When I mentioned that we would then just take an "On The Go Breakfast Pack" no-one seemed to know what I was talking about!
30 minutes later and I finally managed to get the person to understand what I wanted and agreed on a time for when we would meet at reception to collect the packs from her.
She was late.
Upon check out, we received an astronomical bill of R230 PER breakfast pack! (This by the way was supposed to be free as we were on a B&B basis).
Let me elaborate on what was in this R230 breakfast pack : a sandwich, a yoghurt and a banana.

Thirdly the restaurant at the hotel was completely ridiculous. The night before the race, they were understandably busy. Fully booked actually that they turned at least 40 people away in a matter of 20 minutes.
My problem here is that we got to the restaurant at 17:45. There were maybe 8 occupied tables, the rest were standing empty with "reserved" signs. We asked the manager if there was nothing he could do to accommodate us - he was completely overwhelmed and had no idea how to deal with the dozens of people standing at the entrance to his restaurant.
We later found out that most of the bookings were made for 19:00 and asked if they could not seat us and we would be sure to be done by 18:30 as it was a pasta buffet - so not many choices (which would be a reasonable amount of time to get the table ready for the next reservation). But no luck the manager outright refused to seat anyone.
Personally I feel that this was such a bad move for the business, if they were smart they would a) not take any bookings b) Try to seat as many people as possible because they will probably not see a rush like this for another 2 years!

We were then forced to order room service - 4 of the 6 meals arrived within a reasonable time frame, but 2 of the meals took over 2 hours after which our friends cancelled the order entirely.
These were runners who needed to have that meal who were then forced to have tablespoons of peanut butter (which we luckily had in our room).


The staff were utterly unapproachable and were just not prepared to help at all.
I will never go back to this hotel again and have also told this story to everyone I know.

Save yourself the trouble and find somewhere else to stay!

Room Tip: Don't book any room here - you are better off at another hotel.
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  • Stayed: June 2013, travelled with friends
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Thank Chantelle J
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 27 July 2013

Thank you for taking the time to post your review.

Please accept my sincere apologies for the lapses in standards that you experienced over the Comrades weekend in May.

This is most certainly not the standard that we pride ourselves on delivering and your comments have been passed onto the various managers for them to look into and take the necessary corrective action.

Regards

Samantha

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Reviewed 19 July 2013

I was here on a business trip with my wife and children being there a week before my arrival. The first negative experience was when my wife's credit seemed not to have the right balance. Instead of asking for explanations my daughter got a nasty call to report to the lobby. Only I called from the US and gave the manager my credot card details, they calmed down (and then considering that I had a client event for 50 people there).
The whole 2 weeks there construction works going on, I understand they are necesary but when asking friday evening when they would start on saturday, the manager on duty, even ignored thre had been construction works. We could get another room but then had to vacant our current one. We indidated that would take quite an effort having 8 bags there (the children were already sleeping with family since 3 days as they couldn't sleep there), she showed no flexibility. moving out now (at 1 at night) or staying in the same room. When this lead to a disussion, she just disppeared, not to show again. Her employees kept on apoloising for her behaviour, calling her, but she was not willing to show up, nor take responsibility. Such a pitty for a great hotel with lower staff that does really does its best to pleasure its guests.

  • Stayed: July 2013, travelled on business
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3  Thank Jan_Corstens
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 21 July 2013

Thank you for taking the time to post your review.

Please accept my sincere apologies for the inconvenience caused by the noise from the construction which is taking place as well as the lack of empathy shown by the Duty Manager, when you brought this to her attention.

I would like to assure you that I will look into this incident and take the necessary corrective action to ensure that this is not repeated.

Once again, please accept my sincere apologies for the inconvenience that was caused.

Regards

Samantha

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Reviewed 19 July 2013

Good food and beautiful hotel but waaaaaay too much noise from outside constructions that start at 8am including weekends and managers that refuse to listen to you and ignore your complaint n bang doors behind them. Happy early morning sleeping;-)

  • Stayed: July 2013
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Thank barbarapumpkins
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 21 July 2013

Thank you for taking the time to post your review.

Please accept my sincere apologies for the inconvenience caused by the renovations taking place as well as the manner in which your complaint was dealt with by the Duty Manager.

I will most certainly address this with the team

Regards

Samantha

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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 Southern Sun Elangeni & Maharani

Address: 63 OR O R Tambo Parade | North Beach, Durban 4001, South Africa
Phone Number:
Region: South Africa > KwaZulu-Natal > Durban
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 On the Beach Hotel in Durban
#2 Luxury Hotel in Durban
#2 Business Hotel in Durban
Price Range: £79 - £204 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Southern Sun Elangeni & Maharani 4*
Number of rooms: 449
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Radiating energy and elegance across the Golden Mile, Southern Sun Elangeni & Maharani invites you to take your place in the sun. From the stylish bedrooms with breath-taking sea-views to the variety of restaurants and recreation facilities, visitors can look forward to the vibrancy, colour and culture of Durban's premier hotel destination offering more choice than ever before, from service and hospitality through to accommodation and dining. Absolutely everything under one sun! ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Southern Sun Elangeni Durban
Elangeni Hotel Durban

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