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“I Wish I Could've Stayed Longer..”
Review of Imperial Hotel

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Imperial Hotel
Reviewed 9 February 2014

After a terrible stay in the Transkei, my boyfriend and I stumbled upon the Protea Hotel Imperial while searching for a place to stay for the evening as we returned back home to Joburg.. As soon as we arrived we knew we had done well finding this hotel. The staff were super friendly and helpful, our room was huge & clean (something we had been missing after a really bad experience in the transkei) and the bed was incredibly comfy. We also had some of the breakfast buffet before we left and that was really good. We wish we had the time to stay longer, because our experience at the Protea Hotel was fantastic.

  • Stayed: December 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank gdemeillon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hotel_Management2010, General Manager at Imperial Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 11 February 2014

Dear "gdemeillon",

Thank you for choosing to stay with us and for sharing your positive experiences with your fellow TripAdvisor users. Its much appreciated.

We are looking forward to welcoming you back again soon when returning to our beautiful province...

Warm regards,

Vanessa Hoover - General Manager

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Reviews (69)
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42 - 48 of 69 reviews

Reviewed 1 December 2013

We had booked to take clients there for a function , on the 1 December. My clients went twice to,organize the function and were told not to,worry that everything was organized, well,it all depends on what you call organized. When we got there, there were no tables prepared at all, eventually after forty five minutes we managed to get the hotel,to lay some tables for,us, well only certain people,had cutlery and others not.We then did not have waiters , so we had to go the bar ourselves and get drinks for our clients ourselves, as there were no waiters at all.
And then of course there were no barman as well as there was no corkscrew to open the wine.

I tried to suggest to my clients that we leave , but they were reluctant due to the storm.

I then found some sort of manager , and he informed me that he was only informed of the function at 2:00pm today and it was not his problem. I then insisted that he stand and ensure we get service but he was not interested, I also asked him to call the general manager but he was not prepared to.

My clients then ate some food from the buffet , I was the waiter, I eventually got,the bill, but of course their credit card machine was not working, I then told them to sort it out and call me should they want to get paid.

Repeat do not go there, this is the worst restaurant if you can call it that in the Southern hemisphere.

Very sad when one compares to the Protea Melrose Arch, I'f I was the M.D of the Protea group I would fire all the management their and close that hotel down , train staff and try again.

A very embarrassing Xmas function for clients, well done Protea hotel for a disgusting night, and thank you.

  • Stayed: December 2013, travelled on business
    • Service
1  Thank Alan312578
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hotel_Management2010, General Manager at Imperial Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 5 December 2013

Dear "Alan312578",

As already mentioned during our telephonic conversations in the recent days, let me once more express my and my team’s most sincere regret regarding any inconvenience experienced while visiting our hotel for your recent function. Clearly, your experience was not of the expected standard and is not acceptable.

During our conversation, we came to the conclusion that the root cause of the situation created stemmed from the fact that your function booking had never officially been confirmed, hence was perceived as an enquiry only. I have discussed this situation with my team in detail and reiterated the importance of double checking and following up with all enquiries to ensure these embarrassing misunderstandings are avoided at all times.

The TEAM at the hotel was simply caught off guard and were not properly prepared to successfully host your function, so there are certainly lessons to be learnt which I have addressed with all TEAM members involved.

I thank you for your kind understanding and patience show over the phone in recent days and for allowing me to hopefully restore your confidence in our levels of hospitality offered at the hotel.

Your interest and concern are much appreciated.

Yours sincerely,

Rodney Bull - General Manager
Protea Hotel Imperial

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Reviewed 30 August 2013

This is a gracious and historically unique hotel with very good service, friendly staff and elegant decor. The rooms are clean and a desk is provided but it is also pleasant to sit in the courtyard and work. The food at breakfast and dinner was varied, fresh and delicious. It is a particularly safe and comfortable venue in the centre of town for women travelling on their own. I would most certainly recommend it for a stay in Pietermaritzburg.

  • Stayed: August 2013, travelled on business
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2  Thank ML C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hotel_Management2010, General Manager at Imperial Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 3 September 2013

Dear "ML C",

Thank you for the kind and enthusiastic review of our beloved hotel. Your kind recommendations of our facilities and the service received by our TEAM members are much appreciated.

We look forward to welcoming you back again soon!

Yours sincerely,


Rodney Bull - General Manager

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Reviewed 15 August 2013

We chose this hotel for our New Year's day eve. Although it's in the city central but it's location is not good. When you see it from outside nothing will tell you that it's a genuine Protea Hotel. At first I thought am lost. But once you are inside and reading you will find that in fact the building is is over 50 years so the municipality decides on how it can be renovated while mantaining it's originality.

The reception staff was friendly and welcoming, the hotel is clean even the rooms are clean. Visitors must refrain the rooms on the street side because they are noisy due to cars passing by.

The thing that dissapointed me was the restaurant. When we went down for a breakfast there one attended to us. We went inside thinking that someone will come but no one pitched. We went around looking for food and saw that it was so lousy, not appetising at all. It was the first time seeing such a bad reception and bad restaurant in a hotel. We decided to leave, still there was no sign of employees.

This is a hotel I don't think that I will visit again unless am stranded in Pietermaritzburg.

Room Tip: Never allow to be booked on the street facing side. Eat your breakfast outside.
  • Stayed: December 2012, travelled as a couple
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Thank Boo-ngane
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hotel_Management2010, General Manager at Imperial Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 16 August 2013

Dear "Boo-ngane",

We appreciate your honest and constructive criticism. Our apologies for the disappointing restaurant experience, as clearly this did not make you feel welcome and appreciated as a valued guest. I will most certainly discuss this with our restaurant TEAM.

Glad to know that you appreciated our historical site, the hotel being an official monument in downtown Pietermaritzburg.

We do hope you will pay us another visit when back in Pietermaritzburg and allow us the opportunity to restore confidence in the service offered at our restaurant.

Your sincerely,


Rodney Bull - General Manager

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Reviewed 12 July 2013

The hotel is clean. The rooms are of good proportions, but make sure that you ask for a room facing the insider courtyard, else you will not sleep due to the noise of traffic and people shouting outside on the streets. The food is okay, but not great.

Room Tip: Ask for a inside courtyard facing room which is away from the street and the noise of traffic.
  • Stayed: May 2013, travelled on business
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1  Thank GusBehn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hotel_Management2010, General Manager at Imperial Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 15 July 2013

Dear "GusBehn",

Thank you for your taking the time to provide your fellow tripadvisor users with your feedback. We are happy to hear that you had a comfortable stay and felt our service and product offering was good value for money.

We sincerely regret to hear that you were not too impressed with the look and feel of the Pietermaritzburg CBD. We are in close contact with municipality representatives and will share your comments and concerns with them. Lastly, I will discuss your comments on our food offering with the kitchen team as clearly we would like to impress you next time when staying at our hotel.

Do make sure you pay us another visit soon when next in PMB!

Warm regards,

Rodney Bull - General Manager

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Reviewed 9 July 2013

i checked in at Imperial hotel in Pietermaritzburg, the hotel is well looked after by excellent management and staff. you guys are on top of your game, keep it up and well done Mr Bull and your wonderful team.

Stayed: July 2013, travelled on business
Thank zola m
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hotel_Management2010, General Manager at Imperial Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 11 July 2013

Dear "zola m",

Excellent feedback! Thank you for sharing this with the TripAdvisor community and we are looking forward to seeing you back again soon.

Yours sincerely,

Rodney Bull - General Manager

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Reviewed 22 June 2013 via mobile

Came here for a 2 day MTB race. They should never have bothered putting up walls on this hotel as the noise from the CBD carries through the room that you can hear every car and nightclub in town. I would not pay a $ for a room here if I were homeless and desperate. The bed is also crap, managed 2 hours sleep at best

  • Stayed: June 2013
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1  Thank JacRautenbach
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hotel_Management2010, General Manager at Imperial Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 1 July 2013

Dear "JacRautenbach",

Thank you for providing us with your feedback on TripAdvisor. I am very concerned to hear of your disappointing stay with us, clearly caused by external noise from the surrounding area. I can assure you that this is not a common complain at our hotel and will therefore have to investigate where the noises during your stay originate from. The Imperial Hotel is a historical monument and differs in that sense from newly build hotels. Sound acoustics therefore vary from that in modern buildings but the hotel's sound proofing generally is more than sufficient to keep out excessive external noise.

We regret to hear that during your stay this has not been the case which resulted in a lack of peaceful sleep and discomfort. Please be so kind to provide me with more details on your experiences via gm@imperialhotel.co.za, so I can restore your confidence in our hotel.

Yours sincerely,

Rodney Bull - General Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Imperial Hotel

Address: 224 Jabu Ndlovu Street, Pietermaritzburg 3201, South Africa (Formerly Protea Hotel Imperial)
Region: South Africa > KwaZulu-Natal > Pietermaritzburg
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beverage Selection Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #5 of 8 Hotels in Pietermaritzbu...
Price Range: £38 - £131 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Imperial Hotel 3*
Number of rooms: 70
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Located in the heart of Pietermaritzburg, Imperial Hotel is filled with charm and classic elegance. The Prince Imperial of France, Napoléon Eugène Louis Jean Joseph Bonaparte, only son of the Emperor Napoleon III and the Empress Eugénie, graced this hotel with his presence in April 1879 and it was duly renamed in his honour. Built in 1878, it is an absolutely gem in the 'City of Choice'- Pietermaritzburg, which is also the capital of KwaZulu Natal. Within walking distance to the Provincial Parliament, Government head offices and the Natal Railway Museum, the hotel is ideal for both corporate and leisure travellers. The hotel is 103 km away from the Durban International Airport and 8 km from Pietermaritzburg Airport. Imperial Hotel, with its historical ambience and tranquil flare, offers 70 air-conditioned and en-suite bathrooms with a choice of a single or double-bedded room and family suites. For the convenience of our guests each room has in-room facilities that include a satellite TV, telephone and tea/coffee facilities. Secure parking is available on the premises at no additional fee. 8 state-of-the-art conference venues are available, seating up to 300 delegates, fully equipped with all the necessary equipment including broadband wireless internet access in the Courtyard and foyer areas. The Garden Room restaurant is open from 06h30 to 22h30 serving mouth-watering buffet breakfast, lunch and dinner. Relax with friends or meet the locals at the Woodhouse Bar which is open from 11h00 to 23h00. Pietermaritzburg is not only a historic area but there are numerous exhilarating events that take place in this area. The city gives start to the Duzi canoeing event, the Comrades Marathon, Midmar Mile Swimming competition and the Amashovashova Cycling Race. In winter, guests can witness snow in the midland areas such as Bulwer, Underberg and Drakensberg. For some Kasi (South African townships) flavour, guests can visit Madlula's Place. ... more   less 
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