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“Nice location - hotel needs work”

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Protea Hotel Hluhluwe & Safaris
Ranked #3 of 7 Hotels in Hluhluwe
South Africa
Level Contributor
105 reviews
42 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 107 helpful votes
“Nice location - hotel needs work”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 15 August 2012

We stayed with friends and our children for 1 night at this hotel to explore Hluhluwe / Umfolozi parks. We stayed on the ground floor in a room with 2 double beds and our friends on the 2nd floor. The ground floor rooms are old and in desperate need of renovations, the closet had no door, we had an old key safe in the closet, the bathroom is outdated and small, rooms are not carpeted, tv is small, kettle and hairdyrer did not work properly.

Our friends stayed on the 2nd floor and their rooms were obviously the renovated versions and alot better. Their tv was the same as ours but the bathroom was much better and there were carpets in the room.

Facilities at the hotel is really good for children with an outdoor pool, trampoline, jungle gym, kids room, jumping castle and paint ball activities. The food at the restaurant was buffet breakfast and dinners and quite expensive esp if you are travelling with small children who will not eat enough for those prices. We were disappointed that there was no room service menu and ended up dining at the Wimpy @ the Engen service station.

Location to the entrance of the park is around 13km - which is ideal when exploring the game reserve. We checked out on the Sunday and we were suprised to see that the hotel charged us for breakfast when we did not eat at the restaurant - so please check your bills carefully.

I will not return to the hotel until it has had a major revamp - the current prices are way to high for the quality of rooms at the hotel. The town has a KFC, Steers and Wimpy fast foods. Around 10 km from the hotel on the N2, there is a Total service station with a Mugg & Bean as well. We ate breakfast there. Much better value for money.

Room Tip: Ask for the renovated rooms on the 2nd floor
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  • Stayed August 2012, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Durban21
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hotel_Management2010, General Manager at Protea Hotel Hluhluwe & Safaris, responded to this review, 16 August 2012
Dear Durban21,

Thank you so much for your constructive and honest comments on your recent stay. We appreciate you taking the time to share your thoughts with us as well as the TripAdvisor community.

Some of our rooms are indeed still due for a refurbishment and slightly different than the rooms on offer in our garden area or first floor. We are glad to hear you enjoyed the location of the hotel, being close to the gates of the amazing Hluhluwe Umfolozi Game Reserve as well as our extensive facilities on offer at the hotel.

All comments provided will be discussed with the entire TEAM to further improve our services and allowing them to match your expectations.

Warm regards,

Tom Vorster - General Manager
Protea Hotel Hluhluwe
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222 reviews from our community

Traveller rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 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 (44)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Spanish first
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English first
Lucerne, Switzerland
Level Contributor
182 reviews
55 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 170 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 13 August 2012

Compared to other Protea hotels, this is not up to their standard. The rooms are very very tired, and they are moldy. You cannot really open the windows as there is no mosquito net, and indeed many insects. The service was also not really good at the reception: I needed a plug adaptor, and they told me they didn't have any, and then sent me to the shop. The lady at the shop went to get it somewhere very nicely, and I borrowed it from her personally.

The showers were awful: you heard this noise and then cold water would come out. This happened intermittently.

However, the food was very good. On the second night, they organized a BBQ outside, and it was very good.

Room Tip: There were bigger rooms, and smaller ones. Don't know if there is a price difference, but the di...
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  • Stayed July 2012, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Swissmex
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hotel_Management2010, General Manager at Protea Hotel Hluhluwe & Safaris, responded to this review, 14 August 2012
Dear Swissmex,

Thank you for your frank comments on your recent stay with us. Without your comments, we would never know whether you leave our establishment completely satisfied, but more importantly, leave disappointed and dissatisfied!

It’s disappointing to hear we have been unable to fully meet your expectations during your stay with us. All service related problems mentioned in your mail - e.g. around the availability of international adaptors – have been investigated and it seems we ran out of stock on the night. Glad to hear you did enjoy the sumptuous food offering in traditional KZN North Coast style.

Your concerns raised around the quality of the room product will be extensively discussed with senior management and used in our upgrading planning for the hotel.

I can assure you, should you find an opportunity to visit us again when back in South Africa that every effort will be made to ensure you enjoy our very best care and attention.

Your interest and concern are much appreciated. I do hope you will allow us the opportunity to be of service to you again and welcoming you to the Protea Hotel Hluhluwe again soon.

Yours faithfully,


Tom Vorster – General Manager
Protea Hotel Hluhluwe
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Oceanside, California
Level Contributor
159 reviews
35 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 96 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 31 March 2012

I have read other reviews about this hotel - most of which I agree with. First, the room safe uses and old type key but it did keep our valuables safe - a skeleton key could open it if a thief decided to raid room safes. We were in a room clear in the back on the first floor (Room 130). Room had a very musty smell which played havoc with my wife's allergies. Walked on the floor in my white socks - after a very short time the socks were very, very dirty on the bottom. Not a good sign. WiFi in the room is non-existent. Access in the lobby area is good and free. Meals were adequate - service in the dining area, although they were trying, left something to be desired. Room needs some additional electrical outlets. Bathroom was okay but like the room definitely needs some renovating. Having a choice, I would look elsewhere for a room until renovations take place at this hotel.

Room Tip: Choose a room closer to the lobby, better yet, you may want to look for another hotel in the area.
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  • Stayed March 2012, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Rocky R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hotel_Management2010, General Manager at Protea Hotel Hluhluwe & Safaris, responded to this review, 2 April 2012
Dear Rocky R,

Greetings from Hluhluwe, South Africa! Please accept my sincere apologies for not living up to your expectations when recently staying with us. Please know that I take your feedback very seriously and I will definitely look into each individual element raised together with my management team.

We sincerely hope that we can be of service to you in the future and trust that the problems encountered, will not blemish your perception of our hotel.

Yours sincerely,

Ben Jonas - General Manager
Protea Hotel Hluhluwe
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Travellers are raving about these Hluhluwe hotels

Maryland, USA
Level Contributor
71 reviews
46 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 40 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 20 February 2012

We stayed here as part of a group. The beds were hard, but otherwise the rooms were ok. Not deluxe or really updated, but clean and with good shower and nice food. Pool a little murky, but common areas nice and restuarant very good for breakfast. Free WIFI worked well in the common area. We had great game drives through the Hluhluwe Park, several miles away, and visited Zulu sites. The area around the hotel is not very nice, but there is a Kentucky Fried Chicken and a large modern supermarket nearby among lesser stores. The park was excellent and we saw a good number of rhinocerus up close, especially on the evening game ride.

Room Tip: Upstairs room in the back--very quiet. There is a new section in a central courtyard, but did not s...
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  • Stayed February 2012, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank maggieMD
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hotel_Management2010, General Manager at Protea Hotel Hluhluwe & Safaris, responded to this review, 22 February 2012
Dear Maggie,

Thank you for taking the time to post a review on TripAdvisor on your experiences with us. I am glad to hear you enjoyed your stay, the wildlife and game drives, while staying at the Protea Hotel Hluhluwe.

If you haven't seen all of the Big 5 yet, it provides you with a very good reason to come back to the Hluhluwe area and pay us another visit soon.

Greetings from all of the team members at the hotel!

Warm regards,

Ben Jonas - General Manager
Protea Hotel Hluhluwe
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Old Bridge, New Jersey
Level Contributor
80 reviews
71 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 56 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 13 February 2012

++ Nice looking room
++ Heavy and large bath towels
++ Safe in room
++ Four pillows on bed
++ Wifi in lounge (not room though)
++ Quick repairs when wifi problem reported
00 bathroom showing its age
00 much of food in restaurant is not very well made. Some desserts are good.
-- No clock
-- A skeleton key in for the room safe? This is security?
-- Television selection bad by US standards
-- Thermostat is hard to use
-- Shower only, no bathtub
-- Not enough electrical outlets, had to unplug television to run a CPAP
-- No washcloths
-- Bellboy promised to loan a multi-plug but never followed through
-- Given room key that did not work, got it fixed; room had someone else's luggage.
-- No newspaper, microwave, refrigerator

  • Stayed January 2012, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Mark_Leeper
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hotel_Management2010, General Manager at Protea Hotel Hluhluwe & Safaris, responded to this review, 19 February 2012
Dear Mark..

Your detailed feedback on your stay is much appreciated. All areas of improvement noted by your kind self have been used in a recent management meeting. Valid comments, hence valuable input to our hotel operation.

Just to keep you in the loop, we have scheduled further improvements of our bathroom facilities in nearby future and are currently reviewing / redesigning our menu offering in the restaurant.

Greetings to everyone in New Yersey from all of us at the Protea Hotel Hluhluwe. We look forward to welcoming you back soon upon your next trip to South Africa.

Yours sincerely,

Ben Jonas - General Manager
Protea Hotel Hluhluwe
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Johannesburg, South Africa
Level Contributor
123 reviews
32 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 40 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 20 December 2011

My wife and I booked a holiday package with Kulula.com for a two night stay at this hotel. We checked in on Friday 16 December and checked out on Sunday 18 December. Hluhluwe is a small rural shopping centre for an area known for its game reserves as well as pineapple farming. The major tourist attraction tends to be the Hluhluwe-Imfolozi Game Reserve.

On arrival we were allocated a room on the first floor at the back of the hotel. The room had an unbearable stench which I assume the hotel staff was aware of and tried to musk by keeping the air conditioner on. The bathroom was old and needed a great deal of refurbishment. It also had a strong stench of urine. Even the linen had some unpleasant smell.

We lodged a complaint with a jovial and very helpful gentleman at reception. He managed to arrange an alternative room for us on the ground floor, which though still not up to our expectations, was more bearable than the first one.

After the rooms debacle, we expected the meals to be a “nightmare made in hell”. However to our surprise, the meals were not bad at all. We had breakfast and dinner for the two days and nights that we spent at the hotel. This was partly because we did not trust the quality of the meals at the local restaurants and take-away food shops located within the Hluhluwe shopping centre.

On checking out, we were asked to pay for our accommodation, despite the fact that this had been done in advance way back in November through Kulula. We had to go through the hassles of looking for proof that we had actually paid in advance. We have previously utilised Kulula holiday schemes on numerous occasions and stayed at other Protea Hotels without any hassles at all. Between Kulula and Protea someone needs to "wake up" and "shape up". We should however commend the enthusiastic reception and dining room staff who tried their level best to make our stay a bit bearable.

The Protea Hotels Group needs to "up their game big time". A number of their hotels in general, and the Hluhluwe Hotel in particular need major facelifts and refurbishments in order to keep up with expected standards, as well as stay at par with other leading hotel groups.

Hluhluwe Hotel does not deserve a three star rating. The best rating that I can give it is a one star, otherwise I am even tempted not to rate it at all. The relevant rating agencies are doing a great disservice to travellers and tourists. Partners to Protea Hotels such as Kulula also need to do their homework, in order for them not to taint their reputations.

Unfortunately it is not our intention to stay at this particular hotel anytime soon.

Room Tip: If you can, view the room before moving in.
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  • Stayed December 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank HRH2011
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
GeneralManager3960, Manager at Protea Hotel Hluhluwe & Safaris, responded to this review, 22 December 2011
Dear Guest,

Thank you for taking the time and effort to provide us with your feedback on your recent stay with us. I am most disappointed to hear we did not meet your expectations to the fullest.
But without your comments, we would never know whether you leave our establishment completely satisfied, but more importantly, leave disappointed and dissatisfied.

I can assure you your comments will be most carefully investigated and action will be taken accordingly. I do hope you will allow us the opportunity to be of service to you again and welcoming you to the Protea Hotel Hluhluwe again soon.
Hope you have a wonderful Christmas and a Happy New Year

Yours sincerely,

Ben Jonas - General Manager
Protea Hotel Hluhluwe
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
nashville
Level Contributor
105 reviews
65 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 10 December 2011

I agree with most reviews. Rooms are dated, service average, town was not very inviting - but did enjoy safaris, wifi in lounge, pool, evening dancing show.

Stayed November 2011, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
1 Thank NashvilleExplorenow
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
GeneralManager3960, General Manager at Protea Hotel Hluhluwe & Safaris, responded to this review, 20 December 2011
Dear Guest,

Thank you for taking the time and effort to provide us with your feedback on your recent stay with us. I am most disappointed to hear we did not meet your expectations to the fullest.
But without your comments, we would never know whether you leave our establishment completely satisfied, but more importantly, leave disappointed and dissatisfied.

I can assure you your comments will be most carefully investigated and action will be taken accordingly. I do hope you will allow us the opportunity to be of service to you again and welcoming you to the Protea Hotel Hluhluwe again soon.

Yours sincerely,

Ben Jonas - General Manager
Protea Hotel Hluhluwe
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 Protea Hotel Hluhluwe & Safaris

Property: Protea Hotel Hluhluwe & Safaris
Address: 104 Main Road, Hluhluwe 3960, South Africa
Region: South Africa > KwaZulu-Natal > Zululand > Hluhluwe
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 7 Hotels in Hluhluwe
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Hotel Class:5 star — Protea Hotel Hluhluwe & Safaris 5*
Number of rooms: 76
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Protea Hotel Hluhluwe & Safaris - Luxury Set in the Heart of The Zulu Kingdom. Rich in natural ambience and with a distinctively African rhythm, Protea Hotel Hluhluwe & Safaris treats guests to luxurious accommodation, tantalising cuisine, and a world-class service with friendly staff who live the motto "hospitality is our game". The Protea Hotel Hluhluwe & Safaris encourages visitors to leave the modern world behind and to embark on a discovery ... The untamed beauty of Kwazulu Natal's Elephant coast and the neighbouring wildlife and marine reserves have created a vibrant eco-system of unrivalled diversity. Soak up the sun at the swimming pool terrace and feel the cultural richness in the evenings whilst sipping on a refreshing sundowner and watching the Zulu dance shows are held beneath the magnificent Umkanyakude (Fever) Tree. At Protea Hotel Hluhluwe & Safaris, you'll discover the wild nature of Africa, rejoice in the luxury and revel in the friendly warmth of one of Africa's most welcoming hotels!Let one of our Guides take you on Game drive adventure to Hluhluwe/Umfolozi park or one of the many interactions and activities The Elephant Coast has to offer . ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Protea Hotel Hluhluwe And Safaris
Protea Hotel Hluhluwe & Safaris South Africa - Zululand

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