Great Location and breakfast, let down by incredibly poor service.
Breakfast – food and options were great
Terrible service and attitude
Room was awkward and haphazard
Parking is an additional cost and they didn’t cater sufficiently
Duration of my stay
My family (Wife and 18 month old daughter) checked in on for 2 nights (check-in Friday, check-out Sunday).
Detail (Apologies for the lengthy review)
The 1st issue we experienced was driving into the reception area, hotels generally have an area off the main road where you can drive up and drop off your bags, plus your family before going to park the car. This area was blocked by some driver, who clearly had no interest in anyone else (there was plenty of space to the side, but he chose to block the driveway), though this it not the fault of the hotel. The point is that there were no hotel staff around to address this, the 1 security guard that was there had no interest in the situation, which made it difficult for myself and several others to get into the hotel, which resulted in us blocking traffic on the main road for a short while. We did alert reception of this, once we got in, but there was minimal interest or concern.
The checking was okay no major issues, but it was not very welcoming or inviting. The bell boy/baggage boy did come through to pick up our bags and left them on a trolley whilst we were undertaking the check in process. However when we completed our check in process he had disappeared and we could not find him, the reception staff were not interested and after about 5 minutes we decided to grab our bags ourselves and take them upto the room. At every hotel I have ever been in, this is a bog no-no, and if there are issues, someone in the hotel staff will either step in or make sure it is addressed, this was not the case here. At check-out we didn’t bother call for the bell boy and just took our bags out to the car.
Another concern was that parking at the hotel was at an additional cost of R50, which we were informed was full and we had to pay R10 to park in a dusty field about 100meter from the hotel. I don’t know what the standard policy for parking is at Durban hotels, but this is the 1st time I ever heard this at any hotel. If a hotel asks you for parking they state this upfront, this was not the case with Elangeni.
Location is great, located at the heart of North beach on Durban’s “magnificent mile”. This was the primary reason we chose this hotel for a weekend getaway.
Rooms, Space and Facilities
We stayed at the Elangeni hotel, which is still to undergo revamping and it really shows, the rooms was old and looked like it needed quite a bit of maintenance, but I guess they probably let the room slide due to the upgrade that has just started. The Maharani had just completed renovations and was really nice. A few notes on the room, given the architecture of the building, the room was very awkward, lots of angles and curves made the room look hap hazard and poorly designed. Based on the rooms, I will not stay at the Elangeni again, I would opt for the standard room layout of the Maharani.
1 quirk was the shower in the tub, I am not a fan of this, in addition there was no fridge in the room, as we had a baby with us, we needed to keep my daughters milk cold and we were only able to get an ice bucket for this. I honestly wish the clerk at reception would have told us this when we checked in.
The pool area and gym was ok, I think they extended the bar dining area which encroached on the pool deck, which I thought was small, the 2nd pool deck was closed for renovations.
Service, Housekeeping and Maintenance
Service was generally atrocious. Staff didn’t seem to care much and when you complained, it always appeared to either be someone else’s fault or we were told the hotel is busy and they have limited staff (clearly poor planning from hotel management).
Breakfast at Elangeni was always full and chaotic, we opted to go to the Maharani for breakfast on both nights, as it was quieter. We only did this as we knew we could do this, the staff at the Elangeni should have advised the other guests this was an option as queues for breakfast were long and service was poor. At the maharani the food and the options provided was great, however service was poor, there was minimal staff and the staff tended to huddle around and talk rather than focus on service. I will note that I made a special request and the lady that assisted me was a star, it is unfortunate that I cannot remember her name.
Housekeeping was bad, housekeeping knocked on our door at 8:30 one morning and we advised they come in an hour when we are gone. We came back 3 hours later our room was not done and just as we walked in the housekeeping staff knocked to do our room, we advised that we came to freshen up and would be leaving within an hour and that they could come then. The lady was not very happy and went on for a while, about how she needs to finish the floor and this would then inconvenience her. I have never had this experience at any other hotel (South African or internationally) before.
On 1 night we needed an extra pillow for our daughter, after trying to call housekeeping and reception for about 15 minutes, with no answer, I went down to reception. The clerk at reception rather arrogantly advised I should have called housekeeping and after complaining he was not too keen to assist, he did get someone to go up to housekeeping and get us some pillow. After 15 minutes the guy came to our room with pillow cases, after I explained the difference between a pillow case and a pillow, it then took another 15 minutes to get 2 pillows.
Great location, worst service I have ever seen. No value for money.
- 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