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“Great property, but horrible service”
Review of Conrad Pezula

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Conrad Pezula
Ranked #5 of 30 Hotels in Knysna
Certificate of Excellence
New Delhi, India
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“Great property, but horrible service”
Reviewed 5 March 2012

Our first reaction when we reached Pezula was WOW! Beautiful property! But from then on our experience went just downhill. They did practically every thing they could to ruin our holiday last December:
- Even though our party of 12 had booked months in advance, they made us wait hours before they allotted us rooms. All the rooms were miles away from each other.
- The cabins are far away from the main lobby and fold cart services are required to reach the main lobby. They took at least 20 minutes to send the carts to our rooms each time we had to go out.
- We booked spa services for the family but had to cancel about 8 hours before. At the time of cancellation, they did not tell us that cancellation charges would apply.
- At the time of checkout they charged us for cancellation- totaling twice the value of the most expensive service on the pamphlet.
- When we requested clarification for the cancellation charges, all including the manager treated us badly.

  • Stayed December 2011, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank Kanika86
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hotelier12, General Manager at Conrad Pezula, responded to this review, 21 March 2012
Dear Kanika86,

Thank you for taking the time to review our property. I assure you we had the best of intentions when we interacted with you and your family at the property.

I am sorry you feel that we treated you badly.

Kind Regards

Pezula Management
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
  • Location
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (115)
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English first
Level Contributor
78 reviews
67 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 42 helpful votes
Reviewed 8 February 2012

The location has great views but what truly defines Pezula is the outstanding customer service. Rooms are spacious and very well appointed. Highly recommended.

  • Stayed January 2012
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Sangeev
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hotelier12, General Manager at Conrad Pezula, responded to this review, 21 March 2012
Dear Sangeev,

Thank you for the excellent review. We are pleased that you enjoyed the stay, found the service of oustanding nature and the location superb.

We appreciate your time to tell other readers about our property.

Kind Regards

Pezula Management
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Kerala, India
Level Contributor
32 reviews
31 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
Reviewed 30 January 2012

Exotic property in an exotic place Knysna. Amazing massive rooms. Large bathroom and amenities are of very high quality. Very friendly and helpful staff. Professional spa therapies. I forgot some valuables in the spa locker and realised it late in the night and the spa was closed and locked. The staff made arrangements to open the spa without any fuss at late hours and I found my items were safe in the open locker. Highly appreciated!!

  • Stayed October 2011, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Prasad P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hotelier12, General Manager at Conrad Pezula, responded to this review, 21 March 2012
Dear Prasad222,

We are most appreciative or your review and very pleased that you had such a great stay. I am equally pleased that you found your belongings and that it is testament of the true service culture we work so hard at here at Pezula.

With Kind Regards

Gert Venter
General Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hermanus, South Africa
Level Contributor
26 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
Reviewed 27 January 2012

The location is superb, you have a great sense of arrival and a warm welcome in reception. The check in process is something different, with the receptionist offering you a drink and a seat on the couch.

The rooms have to be the best rooms i have experienced in South Africa. Large well appointed and furnished. There is a fire place in each room with plenty of fire wood available.
The bathrooms are to die for! The guest amenities are fantastic and suit the hotels style and location. My only issue in the rooms was the poor standard of the TV, along with poor signal and channel selection.

The spa is amazing and the treatments world class, with the bonus of the relaxation area at the end. My issue with the spa is the indoor pool, i feel it should be heated.

Food and Beverage service was good, with a great breakfast.

What prevented me from giving this property a 5 star rating was the service at the golf club house. Shocking to say the least with no attention to the guests. However saying that this still remains my favorite destination in SA

  • Stayed November 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Cycling_Food_Wine
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hotelier12, General Manager at Conrad Pezula, responded to this review, 21 March 2012
Dear Cycling_Food_Wine,

Thank you for giving us such an honest review. We are and have made work of your comments already. Please accept our apology for the service issues you experienced at the Golf Club. I assure you that has been addressed and the Golf Club have just recently received the Compleat Golfer 5 Star Golf Experience Award.

I look forward to welcoming you back to Pezula on your next stay.

Kind Regards

Gert Venter
General Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Johannesburg, South Africa
Level Contributor
114 reviews
66 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 97 helpful votes
Reviewed 16 January 2012

It’s easy to understand why this hotel boasts the awards it receives time and time again. It is an extraordinary property that extends far beyond ones imagination. You are wrapped in luxurious comforts whilst the surrounding immaculately kept gardens and natural surrounds are something that requires time, effort and forethought. On this very few properties can boast what Pezula has. The reservations agents are well trained and efficient. This is noted from the time of check in to the time you leave they had everything well prepared for our arrival and stay. To experience and appreciate Pezula you must take the hike and canoe along the pristine Noetzie River to the beach where you can picnic at the beach or the castle. Noetzie beach is remarkable. Our experience at Pezula was relaxing, amazing and one for the memory jar pensive. With this remarkable hotel come minor flaws that can easily be overlooked , I say this because one should savior the experience and not the nit grittiness that we all get caught up in, but should it be so that a hotel of the caliber lacks in class of services and other vital issues that are pertaining to the region.? Firstly Knysna went through a dreadful drought last year but nowhere were there signs in the room of water conservation odd I would think for a hotel that prides itself on eco friendliness. There the lack of personal attention and service was prevalent excepting a few employees like the restaurant manger and the castle waiters. Although the waiters were friendly they were ill trained. The hotel was quite but service both at breakfast and dinner was slow. The waiters did not know their dishes , they served the ensembles of one dish with the other, when we finished off one dish they laid the fork and knives in a haphazard manner and did not clean the table after every course. This type of service was prevalent even to the extent of management. When we parked our car in the parking lot , the only one available for residents and guest we noticed golf ball marks on our windscreen and a dent in the windscreen , our car was parked far from the golf range, the reception and manager was oblivious to our cause and said it’s the owners responsibility? Surely Pezula can afford to have covered parking or shaded awnings for their guest cars? The Spa was a welcome experience although the indoor pool got a bit unventilated and it felt claustrophobic. For a world renowned hotel the hair dressing salon was substandard and they made a mess of my wife’s hair so I would caution using the salon for hair. Overall Pezula is remarkable.

Room Tip: All rooms are excellent
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  • Stayed January 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Shube1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hotelier12, General Manager at Conrad Pezula, responded to this review, 21 March 2012
Dear Shube 1,

Thank you for the nice compliments of our property. I assure you we have made giant strides on the training front with our personnel and I am always grateful for critique like this because we can only improve our efforts.

We have a Green Policy that we implement and have subsequent to your comment included a message in our welcome letters. I am not a fan of tent cards standing all over the room.

We are unfamiliar with the incident of your car being damaged at Pezula and without taking responsibility for it would like you to advise us who dealt with your complaint on the day.

Kind Regards

Gert Venter
General Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
South Africa
Level Contributor
39 reviews
22 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
Reviewed 13 January 2012

We stayed at the resort for 2 nights at the end of our holiday in Dec 2011.

I stayed at the resort previously and wanted to return for some luxury after staying in a 4* family orientated hotel in Plettenberg Bay. I last visited when Pezula had just opened in 2004 or thereabouts and have visited the spa once since. At those times I was blown away and loved Pezula. Sadly, this time I’ve left feeling less than enamored.

Service: No consistency. In some cases the service was good, in other cases, poor.
When we arrived we asked when our room would be ready. If the room was only going to be ready at normal check in time we wanted to go to the beach. Because we were staying for a short while we really would have preferred to go to the beach that day instead of spending hours in reception, waiting, waiting and waiting! Also there is only an hourly shuttle to and from the beach and we have a 1,5 year old so we needed to plan this carefully. We were emphatically told that our room would definitely be ready in an hour. It took over 2 hours! And we had to keep checking as to what was happening because it appeared that the check in staff were avoiding us. When we were eventually taken to our room we met a surly army of cleaning ladies carrying rubbish etc out of our more than 10K a night room. Not a great start.

Room: We stayed in the Presidential Suite. The only difference between this room and the normal rooms is the size. It has a lounge and a kitchen. Other than that there is nothing unique about the room in terms of look and feel or positioning. No butler service. We chose it because we have a baby and needed space and a place to wash bottles etc. The room wasn’t clean. The coffee machine hadn’t been emptied for ages and my used coffee cups etc would still be dirty the next morning. Not exactly 5* service in the presidential suite.
Some of the furniture also looks tired. Having been there shortly after it opened we could see the difference.
Outside our room we looked onto a small pond that was empty with a large green broken pipe serving as the “water feature”. (Suite 24) Not acceptable when you’re paying big bucks. Rather don’t fill the room.


Food: The menu didn’t work for us. We didn’t like the food at all. The room service selection was small and the cost was high. Breakfast in your room is not an option given that your choices are continental, continental or continental + you get charged a whopping R 125 per tray. A bit crazy if you ask me and also absurd when you book the presidential suite with the view to dining in your room. On our second night we went for dinner in Knysna which is close enough.

Golf: excellent. A lovely scenic course.

Spa: I visited the spa last year and loved the treatments. It was one of the reasons I had decided to stay at Pezula instead of somewhere new. Firstly, the spa kept getting our booking times wrong and they didn’t know who was having what treatment. After our treatments started on day 1 our therapists were swapped because of timing issues and all the confusion. They seemed confused and disorganized both times we went. This messed things up a bit and soured the experience. When you’re paying over R 1000 for a treatment it’s not acceptable.
The locker rooms leave a lot to be desired. There just isn’t enough space for more than two people in the locker area at once and the lockers are tiny.
The gowns are sandpapery and threadbare. My belt was frayed and didn’t match the gown. Maybe not a huge thing, but is it okay when they charge like a wounded buffalo? I personally thought my treatments were amazing (as always) but the rest of the experience wasn’t professional or acceptable. It definitely wasn’t as good as previous visits. The girls at reception need better training or booking software and they need to update certain things e.g. the gowns.

Beach: Great service at the beach. The beach is beautiful and special. The castle was lovely. The castle is perhaps a more unique and romantic place to stay at Pezula if you aren’t into golf.

The New Years eve party was well done and the entertainment was great.

The hotel has great potential. It is also conveniently located. I really do hope that things can improve.

  • Stayed December 2011, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank GlobeSniffer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Victor C, General Manager at Conrad Pezula, responded to this review, 20 March 2015
Dear GlobeSniffer

Thank you for you review and for choosing to stay at Conrad Pezula.

We appreciate the time you have taken to provide us with feedback. It is only through feedback that we continuously improve and reach our best performance. Please rest assured that we have noted your comments and corrective action will take place.

We do hope we will have the opportunity to welcome you back and restore your confidence in us.

Kind regards

Victor Chalfoun
General Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, JHB
Level Contributor
34 reviews
30 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
Reviewed 4 January 2012

Facilities are good, spa is good. Unfortunately it is one of those spas where one here's doors banging when one is in the treatment room, you ask a question and almost always the staff need to ask the manager. Manager is decent but staff need better training. That is true for all staff At the hotel, general level of training is poor.


We used the fireplace in our room and 24 hours later the ashes had still not been removed from our room despite 2 calls to the management.


We ordered room service it took 3 separate people to get the order right. Our bathroom flooded, we called someone to fix it before we went to breakfast. Nothing had happened by late Afternoon. We called again and complained about the general level of service and 3 people came to fix it.


The food is good and so is the golf.


The service leaves a lot to be desired, pity because it spoils what would otherwise be a good experience.

  • Stayed January 2012
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Goodtaste73
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Victor C, General Manager at Conrad Pezula, responded to this review, 20 March 2015
Dear Goodtaste73

Thank you for your review and for choosing to stay at Conrad Pezula.

Please rest assured that we take every opportunity to learn from any mistakes we have made and will use your valuable feedback to improve service and further train our team.

We do hope we will have the opportunity to welcome you back and restore your confidence in us.

Kind regards

Victor Chalfoun
General Manager
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 Conrad Pezula

Property: Conrad Pezula
Address: Lagoon View Drive, Eastern Head | Pezula Estate, Knysna 6571, South Africa
Phone Number:
Region: South Africa > Western Cape > Knysna
Amenities:
Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Spa Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 Business Hotel in Knysna
#1 Spa Hotel in Knysna
#4 Family Hotel in Knysna
#5 Luxury Hotel in Knysna
#6 Romantic Hotel in Knysna
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:5 star — Conrad Pezula 5*
Number of rooms: 86
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Conrad Pezula delivers a whole new world of luxury and privacy in elegant African style. Situated in Knysna, just a 40-minute flight from Cape Town, it is known for its gourmet restaurant, award-winning spa, exquisite location and secluded beach. A wide choice of activities includes golf, tennis, horse riding, canoeing and hiking. Accommodation is in 78 stylish suites each with its own fireplace, balcony or patio and spacious bathroom, 5 two bedroom villas and the grand Pezula Castle. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Pezula Hotel Knysna

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