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“'Not so Royal" Hotel Durban”
Review of Royal Hotel

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Royal Hotel
Ranked #23 of 43 Hotels in Durban
Pretoria
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“'Not so Royal" Hotel Durban”
Reviewed 17 March 2013

A friend and I booked a night in what I remembered as being a classic, gracious old lady of a hotel in central Durban - the perfect place to spend a night before the cruise and eat a good curry!!

What a disappointment at R900 for the room ONLY, complete with stained lamp shades, no working telephone, dirty windows and not the configuration I had asked for (twin beds for two ladies) - this was a real disappointment!! The telephone did not work and although management tried to make up for the poor room and facilities the hotel should not be allowed to carry a 4 star rating - it is simply sub standard and not to be recommended!!! We were told not to leave the Hotel as it was not safe to walk around - the buffet on a Sunday evening costs R150 per person and the breakfast R140 per person!!

Room Tip: We did get a sea facing room as requested, but had to open the window to see out - don't think t...
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  • Stayed March 2013, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Migglett
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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178 reviews from our community

Traveller rating
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    48
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    29
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
  • Location
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (29)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Durban
Level Contributor
27 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed 15 March 2013

I was so impressed by the new direction the Royal was taking when I stopped by for a bite to eat prior to an KZNPO performance two weeks ago. They have taken back operations of the Grill Room from the horrible Piato group. I kid you not, the old menu had words to the effect of "edible marine fish!" The room is looking good with an a la carte menu and a buffet on busier nights. The coffee shop was busy, the staff were great, very friendly and efficient. The food was good. Management was prepared for the orchestra audience with a quick, affordable meal if you wished.

Last Sunday was the complete opposite. After such a great previous experience I got some friends together for a pre-orchestra meal and the whole process was a nightmare. Management appeared to be caught unaware and most of the outlets were closed with the back coffee shop only having 3 servers who were rarely on the floor. Guests were pulling chairs from all corners and there was no service. After a while I went in search of the manager, who I think I found with another guy in leather jacket and walkie talkie. Instead of coming to help they disappeared into the kitchen and I didn't see them again. We waited a while longer and eventually left frustrated and confirming my friends concerns about the deterioration of the Royal.

Come on Royal, you're an institution in Durban and we want you to be the landmark you were. We see the new changes and direction and its encouraging but don't drop the ball.

  • Stayed March 2013, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Craig R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Oudtshoorn, South Africa
Level Contributor
95 reviews
28 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 75 helpful votes
Reviewed 19 February 2013

The Royal is as much a part of Durban's history as anything else !it has remarkable inner architecture, magnificent furnishings and has a record unlike anything else. The problem is
that it is in the CBD - and in fact, for those touring Africa, the CBD, with it's mixed culture,
unique people and setting offers a much nicer overall experience than the sanitized and squeaky clean Umhlanga - in Durban, you ARE in Africa, everywhere else has been modelled
on the US or europe !
Unfortunately though the Royal has fallen on hard times !
...and it deserves better !
Unfortunately, it shoots itself in the foot as well !
The directors park right near the lifts, the guests have to park further away and lug their luggage. The hot water is dodgy, the empty bar fridges are a pity - the parking garage is a nightmare with the little cards failing to open the boom 90% of the time - the tea and coffee station makes no sense - one sachet of tea, twenty of powered milk.The air con does not work.
The breakfast buffet is very good - but these days, the staff wear black jeans and not the illustrious uniforms of yesteryear.
The hotel reception also likes to argue over pennies - R30 for three days parking and a long story about who owns the parking garage. Empty display cases, plastic flowers, all indicators
that things are not going in the right direction - hopefully durban wakes up before it is too late !

  • Stayed February 2013, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank jannharoldbader
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

Travellers are raving about these Durban hotels

Gauteng
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 11 January 2013

i stayed at the royal during the festive in december 2012 shortend my stay and stayed in ballito at the hampshire its 3 star but you stay in comfort its clean and newly developed highly recommended breakfast was awesome
the royal is supposed to be a 4 star it is now a 1 star dont let the pictures fool you as i have been fooled
the toilets smelt bad
the beds are finished
the bedding was dirty
the aircon was not working
the furniture in the room is old and torn outdated
the swimming pool was green imagine during the festive period
clients were leaving
I would not recommend the royal hotel its 50 yaers old its really starting to look like it
the price you pay i would rather stay at the hilton
ROYAL HOTEL BAD NEWS DONT STAY THERE THER IS MUCH CLASSY AND OFFORDABLE PLACES

  • Stayed December 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Grant S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Durban, South Africa
1 review
Reviewed 30 November 2012

Be carefull if you leave before your stay is up and you have paid in advance...........

I was told when I left that they could not refund me my credit immediately because their computers were down.
I have been waiting 5 months now and after numerous emails, phone calls, promises, etc, I am still waiting. They have now refused to respond to my mails. What bad service or maybe they are battling and cannot afford to credit me. If so, let me know, no problem........
Maybe I should go there for a night or 2 and refuse to pay and make a big noise in the foyer so all the guests will know what has happened 1st hand....Very sad.....

  • Stayed July 2012, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank banki c
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Cape Town Central, South Africa
Level Contributor
333 reviews
99 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 118 helpful votes
Reviewed 6 July 2012

When planning our trip to Durban, we decided to stay at the Royal because of the attractive rates. That was all that was attractive. On entering the room and visiting the bathroom, I noticed that the toilet seat was very loose. I would assume that if the bathroom was properly cleaned after the previous guest, then this would have been noted and repaired. We then booked a taxi for 4 and when wanting to embark we were cajolled into accepting another 2 passenger, which we declined. We then went out in our own vehicle for an alcohol free evening. On returning to the room at shortly before 21h30 we wanted to order room service, but wait for it, the phone was not working and in addition there were no hotel guides/room information in the room that would "normally" be standard in any accommodation establishment. I then phoned reception and on the second attempt, reported all the problems. The answer....eh! I was informed that maintenance would come up and solve the problems and if I want hotel info I must just dial 9. Ha ha ha, the phone is not working, HELLO??? I then phoned the hotel again from my cell to get put through to the Ropyal Grill. I asked if they could send up a menu so that we could order. "Sorry Sir, channel 4 on your TV has all the info". Strange that this helpful gentlemen knew so much about my room, BECAUSE IT DID NOT APPEAR ON CHANNEL 4. After finding a channel with only 5 items on, with the remote that is not working properly, I resorted to my natural instict. I phoned Debonairs, was helped by a willing seller who said that they will deliver in about 20 minutes. This is a run down and useless $41thole. I should have noticed on check-in that there was some major problems, when they did not scan my credit card for extra's and was told if I need room sevice then I must pay on delivery. NEVER STAY HERE, TRUST ME

Room Tip: If you want room service, phone Debonaires Brickhill Road
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  • Stayed July 2012, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
5 Thank RicotheGreat
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hermanus
Level Contributor
14 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 June 2012

Durban represents the ever changing face of South Africa and the city buzzes with a pulse all of its own. But there is one thing that remains consistent and dependable and that is you will always feel like royalty when you stay at The Royal Hotel. From reception to room it’s understated and elegant. The Breakfast is still fantastic and plentiful and the staff are always welcoming and friendly. I always look forward to returning to the The Royal.

  • Stayed May 2012, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Blake A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Royal Hotel

Property: Royal Hotel
Address: 267 Anton Lembede Street, Durban 4001, South Africa
Region: South Africa > KwaZulu-Natal > Durban
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#7 Spa Hotel in Durban
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Hotel Class:3 star — Royal Hotel 3*
Number of rooms: 113
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Royal Hotel Durban

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