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“Regal? Not quite.”
Review of Royal Hotel

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Royal Hotel
Ranked #23 of 43 Hotels in Durban
Stellenbosch, South Africa
Level 6 Contributor
317 reviews
70 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 101 helpful votes
“Regal? Not quite.”
Reviewed 17 July 2013 via mobile

This must have been a jewel in its hey day, but time and low maintenance has got the better of this stately old lady. The food however was very nice and I eould recommend the lamb and pap. A nice traditional meal.

  • Stayed July 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Niel G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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184 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
  • Location
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (30)
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English first
Cape Town Central, South Africa
Level 4 Contributor
27 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
Reviewed 8 June 2013

I recently sent a week at he Royal while on business in Durban and have left with mixed feelings.
The hotel, once the pride of Durban establishments now appears to be struggling to compete with some of the other hotels belonging to large hotel chains.
The room was large, very clean and appears to have been given a recent make over. The bed was very comfortable but two of the lights did not work. The mini bar is not stocked and the TV needs to be re tuned as some of the channels appear very fuzzy.
There is no service directory in the room ( they say services services are listed on one of the TV channels but this channel was blank).
The plugs on both basins in my bathroom didn't work and there appeared to be some sorth of electrical fitting without a cover plate on one of the bathroom walls. The toilet paper was so thin one could almost see through it.
Although the room has been been given a make over, the bathroom has simply received some new wallpaper and the shower could do with a re-vamp.
In general, housekeeping needs a bit of a wake up. I noticed brasswork in the elevator that had brass polish applied but not rubbed off. Six hours later it was still the same! I handed in some laundry for same day service and by 21h00 it still had not been returned. I inquired and 40 minutes later it was delivered to my room stuffed into a small cardboard box together with someone else's shirt. For the price they charged I would have expected the items to have been pressed as well.
It appears that a large portion of the hotel is not being used. (I was told that almost half of the rooms are not available) A number of the restaurants are also no longer in use.
Breakfast was served in a beautiful dining hall, giving one a glimpse of the grace and beauty the hotel offered in it's heyday. This is one area I could not fault. The selection on offer is huge and caters for all tastes.
AS far as the staff is concerned , there were one or two genuinely friendly individuals, especially in the dining hall and on the front office desk but in general I missed the warm hospitality usually found in South African Hotels.

  • Stayed June 2013, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank glennkasner
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bolton, Lancs, UK
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 5 May 2013

The Royal Hotel has undoubted quality, style and charm and is still a very good hotel. The prices, food, staff and service are all excellent as are the rooms and the standards they are kept at.
Times have changed in Durban and of course the rest of South Africa. This has changed the whole dynamics of the city and of course the Hotel has had to change.
If you book expecting a place fit for The Queen (as in 1999 ) then think again. It's still a grand place to stay but it's likely the Queen wouldn't go there now. Sadly, this is "progress"

  • Stayed April 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank irenejohnstone
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Benoni, South Africa
Level 6 Contributor
271 reviews
43 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 75 helpful votes
Reviewed 29 March 2013

Late last year I stayed over for one night at the Royal Hotel. I experienced a clean place but I missed the fines of the past. The staff were friendly, but I did not get the feeling that the staff are passionate about their work. The room was clean but it needed some maintenance.
I thought that the Hotel was past it sell by date, That the lights are dimmed and people are just there. No special feeling. Maybe it is past it's sell by date.
The Bar was noisy and stinking of smoke, what was the souvenir shop was stacked with old furniture.
I will not stay there again and I cannot recommend it to any-one.

  • Stayed August 2012, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank HermanK449
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Pretoria
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
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

Travellers are raving about these Durban hotels

Durban
Level 4 Contributor
27 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 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 5 Contributor
95 reviews
28 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 77 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
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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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