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“GREAT LOCATION, NOT SO GREAT SERVICE”

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Southern Sun Elangeni & Maharani
Ranked #2 of 42 Hotels in Durban
Certificate of Excellence
Johannesburg, South Africa
Level Contributor
101 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
“GREAT LOCATION, NOT SO GREAT SERVICE”
Reviewed 21 August 2013 via mobile

I'm in Durban on business every second month and always stay here. The service is deteriorating, despite the facilities improving. Seems as though they are not coping with the changes. Some of the staff members are doing their best to make one feel welcome, while others need some serious training.

  • Stayed August 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Des1963
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 review, 25 August 2013
Thank you for taking the time to post your review.

Please accept my sincere apologies for the lapse in service standards that you experienced during your stay. Our management team is currently addressing the service skills with the various teams,

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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1,722 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (300)
Date | Rating
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English first
Kendal, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
12 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 20 August 2013

I stayed at the Maharani for 8 nights as part of the GB Transplant Games Team and from the first entrance to the hotel at a very busy time everyone was so friendly and helpful and the facilities were excellent. The rooms were spacious and comfortable and the bed and pillows were possibly the most comfortable I have experienced which was wonderful! The views were outstanding, the complimentary drinks offered a good selection and the rooms were very clean.
The breakfast was outstanding and the freshly made omelettes were an absolute delight.
The only complaint was that the advertised free wifi was not actually available with any reliability in the actual rooms and so all internet activities had to be done in the lobby or next to the lifts as the signal was not strong enough in any of the rooms that were away from the centre.
The staff could not have been more helpful and I would definitely go back to the hotel if I ever revisited Durban!

Room Tip: The Maharani upper floors are excellent and for good wifi reception be sure to get a room near the l...
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  • Stayed July 2013, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Alison B
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 review, 25 August 2013
Thank you for taking the time to post your review.

I am delighted that you had a great stay, despite the difficulties experienced with the wi-fi facility. We have escalated this to our service provider.

We look forward to welcoming you back to Durban and to Southern Sun Elangeni & Maharani when you next visit South Africa.

Regards

Samantha
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Johannesburg
Level Contributor
18 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
Reviewed 16 August 2013

Great Location and breakfast, let down by incredibly poor service.


Summary
Great Location
Breakfast – food and options were great
Terrible service and attitude
Poor Housekeeping
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)
Check-in/Check-out

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
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.

Conclusion
Great location, worst service I have ever seen. No value for money.

Room Tip: rather stay in the maharani if you have to stay here
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  • Stayed August 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Bilal V
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Johannesburg, South Africa
Level Contributor
28 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed 13 August 2013

We arrived at this hotel on Wednesday evening to avoid the long weekend rush.The reception staff were so unfriendly and unwelcoming! We stood around for a while not knowing which queue to joing and eventually checked in using the frequent guest desk. Breakfast the Friday was a nightmare as they only utilize one part of the 2nd floor and we had to stand in a long queue before we were seated. On the Saturday we left our room at about 09:00 and returned at 13:30pm only to find that our room was still not made up??!! I had to call to have someone come up and attend to it!
When we finally checked out the Sunday, again the reception staff was so cold. There was a lady, not sure if she was the manager giving some of the staff an ear full which i felt was very unprofessional to be doing in front of the guests.
Overall, this hotel was an epic fail! And even though well situated across from the beach and even though it carries the Tsogo Sun name - it is very, very bad! What a waste of our money!!!

  • Stayed August 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Tash_Momto2
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 review, 14 August 2013
Thank you for taking the time to post your review.

Please accept my sincere apologies for the lapse in standards you experienced during your recent stay. This is most defintiely not the standard that we strive to deliver.

Regards

Samantha
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hong Kong, null, Hong Kong
Level Contributor
13 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 13 August 2013

Recently stayed in Durban for 1 week to join 19th World Transplant Game. Location is excellent as it stands next to the North Beach. This is one of the official hotels and it takes only 10 minutes ride to Durban International Conference Centre by shuttle. Buffet breakfast is good. Unfortunately I did not have time to try the outdoor swimming pool. The downsides are room size is smaller than what you expected from pictures.Staff are friendly but room cleaning had not finished by 3:00 pm in one of the days during my stay.

Room Tip: chose a room can see the beach
See more room tips
  • Stayed July 2013, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank ChakWilly
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 review, 14 August 2013
Thank you for taking the time to post your review.

Please accept my sincere apologies for the late servicing of your room. I am delighted that this did not mar your overall experience of the hotel or Durban and look forward to welcoming you back to Durban when you next travel to South Africa.

Regards

Samantha
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Nottingham, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
37 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
Reviewed 12 August 2013

I spent two nights here as part of my tour of South Africa. The hotel has a stunning location overlooking Durban's beautiful beach and seeing the sun rise above it from my room was a lovely sight. The rooms were excellent and well furnished and the bathrooms of a similar high quality.

The grill restaurant was fantastic and one of numerous between the two sister hotels and the breakfast buffet was excellent as well. I did not venture out of the hotel apart from going on an organised day trip to Skakaland, however the tour manager warned those who were going onto the beach to be careful.

The hotel staff were very friendly and service was excellent.

Room Tip: Ask for a sea view room.
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  • Stayed August 2013, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Martia_C
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 review, 14 August 2013
Thank you for taking the time to post your review.

I am delighted that you had a great stay and enjoyed the newly refurbished facilities.

We look forward to welcoming you back to Durban when you next visit South Africa.

Regards

Samantha
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
South Africa
Level Contributor
37 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed 6 August 2013

We recently attended the Top Gear festival and stayed at the Elangeni Hotel. It was a great surprise to find the hotel had been renovated. The room was lovely, clean and had a stunning sea view. The breakfast was wonderful and view and feel from the pool deck absolutely stunning. The beach front area has also been cleaned up, but the evening road noise is a bit off putting. This hotel is worth the stay if in Durban.

  • Stayed June 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Carla L
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 review, 10 August 2013
Thank you for taking the time to post your review.

I am delighted that you had a memorable stay, enjoying the spectacular view from the pool deck and the bedrooms.

We look forward to welcoming you back soon.

Regards

Samantha
Report response as inappropriate
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

Property: 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
#1 Luxury Hotel in Durban
#2 Business Hotel in Durban
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
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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