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“Elegant, restful garden setting. Unhotellike” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Bronte Hotel

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Bronte Hotel
4.0 of 5 Hotel   |   132 Baines Avenue, Harare, Zimbabwe   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #1 of 12 Hotels in Harare
Ann Arbor, Michigan
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
“Elegant, restful garden setting. Unhotellike”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 7, 2011

We have stayed here whenever we have passed through Harare, since 1997 [20ish times]. It has always been a restful haven from a busy world. Also probably the best overall value in the city. Unless you want the bustle of carbon copy world, you cannot do better. Helpful staff. Great place to relax in gardens with a drink or book. The Queensgate annex across the street is great for families and mixed gender groups, with a number of bedrooms, living space and bathroom in one unit.

  • Stayed November 2011, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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153 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (39)
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Uganda
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 16, 2011

The Bronte Hotel is a quiet and nice hotel. Looks old but still well kept and looked after. The conference facilities for small groups were great! The internet service though was very poor!

Room Tip: Rooms on the group floor are nice.
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  • Stayed August 2011, traveled on business
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 13, 2011

I spent three nights at the Bronte in early September on business. The rooms are basic and the food is typical hotel food. The design of the hotel reminded me of a smaller version of Raffles with very pleasant gardens. However the rooms are dated and need modernising. My room was clean and the female staff at the hotel were very helpful. The locals suggested I should have stayed at the Crowne Plaza but I was content with the Bronte and if I returned to Harare I would stay there again

  • Stayed September 2011, traveled on business
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Johannesburg, South Africa
1 review
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 3, 2011

Rooms and service , food etc are great . Gardens and trees make it feel you are not in town , and the hotel is well located for access to central Harare . Good wireless internet too . No sign of the " ladies of the night " of the past .

Room Tip: Rooms looking over the pool are best .
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  • Stayed March 2011, traveled on business
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Ottawa
Top Contributor
82 reviews 82 reviews
35 hotel reviews
Reviews in 38 cities Reviews in 38 cities
50 helpful votes 50 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed February 26, 2011

The Bronte with its lovely gardens and safe, central setting continues to have its attractions for budget-minded travellers. It would be nice to hear from others if they have found a better deal for the money, though, as its drawbacks can get tiresome over a longer stay.
Good stuff: the new associated restaurant, Emmanuel, has very tasty, inventive offerings and impeccable service. $23 for two courses plus an amuse-gueule and wine. A fitness centre exists with at least some functional equipment and lots of free weights. Included breakfast buffet has almost everything you could want, and the home-baked scones are a winning touch. The ladies of the night are not now present to annoy you in the bar or restaurant. Rooms are clean, seem pest-free, and have a TV and safe. My colleague drank the tap water, from the hotel's own borehole, and had no side effects. The sculptures in the garden are truly lovely. There's a little rack in the bathroom for drying undies.
Not-so-great stuff: wish there were screens on the windows. Wish I hadn't had a cold shower three nights in a row (too many guests for the water heater to cope?). Wish the business centre were open later than 7 pm and that Internet access were free. Wish my first room had had a functioning double safety lock. Wish there were a non-smoking area of the restaurant/breakfast room. Wish it didn't take so long to get a pot of tea some mornings.
On balance, decent value.

  • Stayed February 2011, traveled on business
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
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Washington DC, District of Columbia
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed February 8, 2011

The Bronte is well-located near downtown Harare on very quiet grounds. I spent three weeks there during a business trip in January 2011. Having requested an upstairs (non-ground-level) room, I was put my first night in a terrible room out the very back of the hotel, facing a noisy street and without the balcony that nearly all rooms in the other buildings have. I requested a room change and the front desk staff were very kind and put me in a quiet room, with balcony, facing the front garden. Despite the fact that this technically faced a street, it was a very quiet. However... I had no hot water! To their credit, someone came by immediately to see if the hot water heater was working, but then they made me wait until the next morning, after suffering through a freezing-cold shower, when they put me in a room down the hallway, where I remained for the rest of my stay. Much credit goes to the front desk staff for being most helpful in moving me around twice without any hassle or question.

The third room was all right in terms of quality, as were the previous two -- quite worn down (lumpy pillows, cheap mattress with a dent where people had slept and springs that poked through, carpet with some stains, not the cleanest curtains), but reasonably clean overall, cleaned every day and vacuumed occasionally (although I don't think my toilet was ever scrubbed clean the entire three weeks, as it started growing gunky water rings at the water level). Sat TV was all right (CNN, ZBC, and three movie channels), although CNN was gone for three days in the middle of my stay when the bill was apparently not paid for the subscription, according to the message on the TV. All in all, the room wasn't the best I've ever stayed in (far from it) but it wasn't the worst either -- it's all right but certainly not fancy or upscale by any stretch of the imagination.

Internet is a bit of a joke -- poor quality, you generally have to sit in the garden to get anything approaching max speeds of 56 Mpbs, and it costs $5 for two hours, which goes by incredibly quickly when you consider how long it takes to load a webpage. The internet went down altogether at least twice that I know of while I was there, but it was always up again by the next morning. I found that I used the internet only as much as necessary, and would log out to write emails and anything else when I wasn't actually downloading pages. Going to an internet cafe that has a Chilli-Spot or Zol-Spot connection will give you much faster connectivity, but this will do the trick for an email check at the end of the evening. It is true that internet in Zimbabwe is horrendous, and even the Chilli and Zol spots will lose their connectivity, particularly during rainstorms, but this was far slower quality than you can find elsewhere. If high-quality internet at the hotel is of paramount importance, I'm told the Meikles has outstanding internet connectivity, though they're also a significantly more expensive hotel.

Breakfasts are buffet-style, with yogurt, fruits, cereals, juices, and various pastries. You can order coffee, tea, and hot breakfast (eggs, sausage, etc.) from your table when you sit down. I had spotty service at breakfasts -- some days I was ignored for half an hour before being asked what I'd like to order (though the tables on either side of me had service), at which point I'd already eaten my yogurt, muesli, and juice and had to leave for the day, and at other times I had a waiter hovering before I even sat down. Evening service at the restaurant is quiet good, and the food isn't bad either. There is a new restaurant on the grounds (white tablecloth, quite fancy) that is supposed to be quite good, though I didn't ever eat there as I was usually out for dinner.

Fitness center is all right -- a number of weights, one elliptical, one ancient treadmill, two bikes that have some of the footstraps missing, a rowing machine, and bad air circulation so it always smells pretty sweaty, but everything works just fine. I used it 6 or 7 times without any issues and only had to wait once for the treadmill to free up as it doesn't get much traffic. There's a new flatscreen tv so you can watch CNN while working out, which is much appreciated.

There is a Spar supermarket just around the corner, which is convenient for picking up a few things you might need.

One final note: I had been concerned reading the reviews that mentioned a lot of prostitutes hanging out at the bar, and I'd heard similar things from someone who used to live in Harare, but I didn't ever notice a problem, so it seems to have improved for the time being.

All in all, the stay wasn't bad. There are nicer hotels, but you have to pay for them. At this price point, you're getting a pretty good deal, even if the rooms have seen better days; it's pretty clean, front desk staff are very helpful over all if you have any problems/needs (even if it's assisting in making dinner reservations around town), and the garden absolutely takes the cake; it is truly lovely.

  • Stayed January 2011, traveled on business
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Victoria, BC
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 10, 2010

Located in downtown Harare, this hotel has peaceful, beautiful gardens and clean, comfortable rooms. The service can be inconsistent- sometimes waitstaff are inattentive but can also be friendly and incredibly helpful. The wireless was slow but that was the case throughout the country - the service providers do not have the equipment etc to provide high speed wireless. Over all I felt secure and well taken care of and would not hesitate to recommend this hotel to anyone planning a visit to Harare.

  • Stayed March 2010, traveled on business
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Bronte Hotel

Address: 132 Baines Avenue, Harare, Zimbabwe
Location: Zimbabwe > Harare Province > Harare
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 12 Hotels in Harare
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — Bronte Hotel 4*
Number of rooms: 102
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Bronte Hotel is an oasis of tranquility, renowned for its beautiful gardens and collection of fine Shona Sculptures.Centrally located in the Avenues, within walking distance of downtown Harare, The Bronte offers well appointed rooms and executive suites in an idyllic garden setting.Designed for both the business and leisure traveler alike; our amenities include complimentary Wifi, two swimming pools, a fitness centre, a complimentary breakfast buffet, secure on-site parking, and fine dining at Emmanuel’s Restaurant. We are also the ideal Harare conference venue, with three function rooms and two boardrooms available.A leading Harare hotel for over 25 years, we're committed to making sure your stay is peaceful and pleasurable. ... more   less 
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