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“An excellent 3 star hotel... but 4 star? I don't think so.” 3 of 5 bubbles
Review of Royal Hotel

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Royal Hotel
Ranked #23 of 41 Hotels in Durban
Cape Town Central, South Africa
Level Contributor
22 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
“An excellent 3 star hotel... but 4 star? I don't think so.”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 12 March 2009

Some of reviews here are a little harsh but there are some valid comments.
We stayed one night. Rooms pleasant (our overlooked the harbour), linen clean and crisp; Ulundi Restaurant serves most excellent Indian cuisine (despite the bizarrely refurbished dining room into a sort of fast-food venue - it used to be "Colonial"in feel); and breakfast good. Staff really friendly and eager.

But no one offered to take our luggage up to our room (nor show us the way); internal phone was disconnected from the wall (plugged it in myself); Tap on one of the handbasins not working; very old TV remote not working (with all the button displays worn off); limited satellite channels; room safe locked open due to the bolt being extended; hair dryer not working (well it tried to); and an empty minibar save for two free bottles of water and UHT milk (obviously a cost cutting exercise here). Waited over half an hour for drinks from room service and one has to pay for parking.

Lastly, a small point: single-ply toilet paper in a 4 star hotel? I don't think so. For the money, The Royal is not worth it (despite its heritage which alas has been so made over that none of the original remains).

  • Stayed March 2009, travelled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Atlanticza
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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171 reviews from our community

Traveller rating
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    43
    22
    30
See reviews for
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Location
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (28)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Level Contributor
106 reviews
57 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 61 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 21 September 2008

way past it's 'sell by' date

a worn out hotel with sketchy service, ugly rooms and few qualities

  • Stayed September 2008, travelled on business
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Check-in / front desk
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
1 Thank saint77777
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

Travellers are raving about these Durban hotels

Cape Town
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 9 June 2008

I'm rating it "terrible" because it claims five stars.

The worst part is the service. It makes a mockery of their claim of "uncompromising service and unfailing hospitality". The staff are poorly trained and rude. A waitress rolled her eyes at me for requesting honey at the breakfast table - this is a supposed 5-star hotel! The hotel was downright dirty in places. I have stayed there in the past and I'm shocked at the decline.

  • Liked — The food was okay.
  • Disliked — The staff were rude and poorly trained.
  • Stayed June 2008, travelled on business
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Check-in / front desk
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
1 Thank Zorro1000
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sussex England
Level Contributor
93 reviews
91 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 135 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 14 November 2006

If you like 1970 furnishings...dismal decor...staff who haven't a clue what they are doing...filthy bedroom windows...useless air conditioning...badly lit bathrooms...and dreadful food served in a massive dining room with no other customers in it, then this is the hotel for you. I didn't think you could eat badly in South Africa.
The Royal changed that. The hotel boasts 'a number of heads of state have visited the hotel' I just hope they didn't have to spend a night there. The kindest thing would be to put it out of it's misery and turn the building into an apartment block.
Don't stay there!

  • Liked — nothing
  • Disliked — poor decor, bad lighting
  • Tips/Secrets — don't stay here
  • Stayed October 2006, travelled with friends
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Check-in / front desk
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
5 Thank Ian Phillips
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Vancouver, Canada
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 21 September 2006

Stayed at the Royal in early September. While it is obvious the hotel (as is true of much of South Africa) is past it's prime, I found the place clean and well kept, and the staff helpful and courteous. There is an ongoing effort to upgrade the location, including the downstairs grill. I would gladly stay at the hotel again, and plan on doing so when next my business takes me to Durban.

  • Stayed September 2006, travelled on business
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Check-in / front desk
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
2 Thank NVTraveller2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London
Level Contributor
8 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 8 August 2006

Advertised as recently refurbished, but in reality more like 20 years ago, they were dirty - the bathroom had not been cleaned before we checked in , dust everywhere. Staff not helpful or friendly and management seemed disinterested . Phone in room did not work and took ages for it to be replaced /repaired.
Avoid at all costs!

  • Liked — VIEWS
  • Disliked — STANDARD AND CLEANLINESS
  • Tips/Secrets — IN NEED OF COMPLETE REFURB /STAFF TRAINING
  • Stayed July 2006, travelled on business
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Check-in / front desk
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
6 Thank KYLE64
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hillsborough, NJ
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 41 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 27 February 2006

We stayed at the Royal for 2 nights during a 2 week stay in South Africa, and the service here was the worst of all the hotels we stayed at. Not to mention that their AC vent pumps air from the first floor all the way to the top, so those of us on the 12th floor were very uncomfortable in the humid Durban weather. They had no still water as there was a problem with their suppliers, and their internet access did not work. The staff was not very knowledgeable on sights around Durban and could not offer much advice on what to do around the city. Comparatively speaking, we were dissatisfied and disappointed with The Royal, as Frommer's had touted this as the only 5-star hotel in Durban.

  • Stayed February 2006
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
5 Thank NJLove2Travel
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:
#5 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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