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“Inadequate and incompetent staff” 1 of 5 stars
Review of Protea Hotel Willow Lake

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Protea Hotel Willow Lake
4.0 of 5 Hotel   |   101 Henry St, Bloemfontein 9330, South Africa   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #4 of 23 Hotels in Bloemfontein
Paris, France
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“Inadequate and incompetent staff”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed October 11, 2013

Useless Reception staff took half an hour to allocate a room as at 14h30 they did not have rooms ready. Breakfast was the same. I am still waiting for an omellete. They cannot cope with people.

Food is sub-standard and looks like it has been on those counters for days.

Avoid. Rather go to Southern Sun across the road, where staff are efficient and food is fresh

Room Tip: Another hotel
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  • Stayed October 2013, traveled on business
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 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.
ProteaHotels, General Manager at Protea Hotel Willow Lake, responded to this review, October 14, 2013
Dear Jon T

Thank you very much for taking the time to post your comments on TripAdvisor.

GUEST feedback is imperative for us to ensure that we not only meet, but exceed all our GUESTS’ expectations.

I was disppointed when I read your comments, as this is not the service and standards we are always proud to offer. Please accept my sincere apologies for the inconvenience caused, and I will definitely follow up and correct these concerns with my Management and STAFF.

We need to know when we have done right, but more importantly, when we have done wrong as well. Your feedback has therefore been truly invaluable to us.

Once again please accept my sincere apologies, and please contact me direct on gm@phwillowlake.co.za for any further assistance.

Kind Regards
Blanché Walzl
General Manager
Protea Hotel Willow Lake
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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87 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
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (31)
Date | Rating
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English first
Pretoria
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed October 7, 2013

Over a period of time I've given this establishment a few chances to really show me that they understand service and I'm sorry to announce that they don't.

An example is whenever the super sport staff stay there, no other hotel guest is able to guest is able to get any sleep and when this is highlighted to reception, nothing is done. This is rediculous as clearly we are doing business travel and need to be productive.

If you raise a complaint about your room, they move you and your belongings without warning so you go to the room and your key doesn't work.

Empty promises and apologies get made by management but this is very reactive. Not enough training and focus on management is given.

Room Tip: Make sure to choose a room not facing teh main road, there is a blue spot light that actually will d...
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  • Stayed September 2013, traveled on business
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 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.
ProteaHotels, General Manager at Protea Hotel Willow Lake, responded to this review, October 14, 2013
Dear Ronda Monique P

Thank you very much for sharing your feedback with the TripAdvisor community.

I am extremely sorry for the noise levels and the way in which they affected your stay. I will definitely raise your concerns with the relevant parties and will monitor this very closely going forward. Unfortunately we do sometimes have noisy GUESTS at the Hotel, however the STAFF and Management will be provided with additional training on managing this correctly.

Once again please accept my sincere apologies, and I would be honored to have you back as a GUEST at Protea Hotel Willow Lake – Bloemfontein.

Kind Regards
Blanché Walzl
General Manager
Protea Hotel Willow Lake
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Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 4, 2013 via mobile

As good as any other Protea Hotel. Restaurant food was great but the staff at breakfast not up to standard. However this was mentioned to the Restaurant Manager and so I'm sure this will have been resolved by the time I go back there at the end of the month. Watch this space for an update.

  • Stayed October 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ProteaHotels, General Manager at Protea Hotel Willow Lake, responded to this review, October 14, 2013
Dear Dick B

Thank you very much for taking the time to share your feedback on TripAdvisor.

We strive to not only meet, but exceed all our GUESTS’s expectations and your feedback will certainly assist us in achieving this.

Please accept my sincere apologies for the inconvenience caused due to the below par service in the Restaurant. This is definitely not the level of service we strive to offer and ongoing STAFF training is in place. I have discussed this with the Food & Beverage Manager and trust that on your next visit to the Hotel, you will only experience the service excellence and hospitality we are usually proud to offer.

Once again, thank you so much for your feedback and I look forward to welcoming you back to Protea Hotel Willow Lake – Bloemfontein.

Kind Regards
Blanché Walzl
General Manager
Protea Hotel Willow Lake
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Centurion, South Africa
Top Contributor
110 reviews 110 reviews
44 hotel reviews
Reviews in 48 cities Reviews in 48 cities
51 helpful votes 51 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 17, 2013

The room was very comfortable, the bed comfy and (I had an upgrade) I like the layout. THe service was really good and and staff very friendly. The breakfast is totally over prized. There is Free Wifi availible. Very conveniently located.

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled on business
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ProteaHotels, General Manager at Protea Hotel Willow Lake, responded to this review, September 19, 2013
Dear Lynn0416

Thank you very much for taking the time to post your comments on TripAdvisor.

GUEST feedback is imperative for us to ensure that we not only meet, but exceed all our GUESTS expectations. It is great to know that you had an enjoyable stay and that my STAFF gave you the service expected. Our 500mb complimentary Wi-Fi per day is great for staying in touch with family and catching up on emails.

I apologise that you did not feel that our breakfast did offered much value. The breakfast price is standard throughout Protea Hotels; however we will certainly look into expanding our GUEST offering.

We communicate all our comments to our STAFF and Management at our morning meetings, and your comments left us motivated.

Once again thank you for your feedback, and we are looking forward to welcoming you back to Protea Hotel Willow Lake.

Kind Regards
Blanché Walzl
General Manager
Protea Hotel Willow Lake
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bloemfontein, South Africa
1 review
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed August 19, 2013

My evening at the hotel started by not getting through to room service. I had to walk downstairs and upon request why room service is not available I was told to either call a different number or provide my order to the restaurant. I was assisted by a truly wonderful person, Sylvia. She was extremely friendly and took my order. The food when it arrived was below standard. The chips was old, limp and not at all apetising. The meat was tuff and I was not provided with any condiments such as tomato sauce. However, I was tired and wanted to go to sleep after a long day therefore I did not complain about the standard of the food. I only booked in after 20:00 on 19 August 2013 and had an exausting day. At 23:00 in the evening, after having to phone the front desk and asking them to please request the guests in the front-lobby to keep the noise level down, (which noise was consistently loud for more than one hour) the noise did not stop. I really expected more. I would have returned to the hotel if the noise issue was treated differently. It should not be necessary for a guest to ask reception to keep the noise down, it should be a given, guests stay in hotels for a specific experience. Mine was terrible. The time is 23:20 and hopefully I will be able to attempt to sleep.

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled on business
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ProteaHotels, General Manager at Protea Hotel Willow Lake, responded to this review, September 4, 2013
Dear R v

Thank you for providing us with feedback on TripAdvisor regarding your recent stay.

It is upsetting to know that you had such an unpleasant stay. There is no excuse for your inability to get hold of room service and that you had to leave your room. I am, however, pleased that Sylvia took your order and was so friendly. I am extremely sorry that the food was not up to our usual standards and I have spoken with the chef to prevent this from happening in the future.

Whether it’s a long day of sightseeing or busy day at work, I fully understand the need for a good night’s sleep. We do our best to minimize noise from in-house GUESTS and I will continue to train the STAFF on managing this type of situation.

I am glad that I have been able to resolve these issues with you and look forward to your next trip.

Kind Regards
Blanché Walzl
General Manager
Protea Hotel Willow Lake
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London, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
65 reviews 65 reviews
64 hotel reviews
Reviews in 51 cities Reviews in 51 cities
109 helpful votes 109 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 6, 2013

Bloemfontein had been described to me as the dullest town in South Africa, this may be a little unfair but there is not a huger amount for the visitor to do. I was stopping en route to the fabulous mountain kingdom of lesotho and needed a night stops.

I am a prokard gold member and wasn't offered any recognition or gold upgrade on arrival, however the service was very friendly and I had a room on the top floor overlooking the back of the hotel towards the lake and zoo. The room is not big with the customary shower in the room but it had been refurbished so was modern.

I ate in the hotel restaurant and had a lovely meal and great friendly service, if I needed o stay in Bloemfontein again I would stay at the protea.

Room Tip: High floor lake/zoo view room
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  • Stayed May 2013, traveled solo
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 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
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ProteaHotels, General Manager at Protea Hotel Willow Lake, responded to this review, July 9, 2013
Dear p750777

Thank you for staying with us on when passing through Bloemfontein and posting a review on TripAdvisor.

Our TEAM of friendly and helpful STAFF is the heart of the hotel and their passion for offering the best GUEST service is evident in your review. I am, however, disappointed that you were not recognised as a Gold Prokard member and I am truly sorry for that. A complimentary upgrade, subject to availability, is just one of the benefits that Gold Prokard members receive.

I am happy that you enjoyed our modern and comfortable room, which had a view of our unique setting adjacent to the zoo. Congratulations will be passed on to the restaurant TEAM for ensuring you had a lovely experience and tasty food.

I hope you had an amazing trip to Lesotho.

Kind Regards
Blanché Walzl
General Manager
Protea Hotel Willow Lake
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Vereeniging, South Africa
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 4, 2013

Fantastic hotel, very near to amenities and greatest of all it is enclosed in the zoo in which makes this hotel one of its own. The staff is wonderful, always willing to lay an extra hand, the rooms are pretty decent, only gripe i had was the open shower in which i think it can do with a lace or cloth.

otherwise fabulous place to rest after a long hard day

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled on business
    • 4 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
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ProteaHotels, General Manager at Protea Hotel Willow Lake, responded to this review, July 5, 2013
Dear Jezza M

Thank you very much for taking the time to post your comment on TripAdvisor

GUEST feedback is imperative for us to ensure that we not only meet, but exceed all our GUESTS’ expectations.

It is wonderful to know that you enjoyed your stay with us, and that the STAFF went the extra mile. The TEAM is the heart of the hotel and their passion for customer service does not go unnoticed.

You are correct in saying that we are the only Hotel in South Africa that is situated in a Zoo, which definitely creates a unique experience. We do have privacy curtains in our twin bedded bedrooms, so when you next stay with us, be sure to request on and we will be glad to assist where available.

Once again, thank you so much for your feedback, and I am looking forward to welcoming you back at the Protea Hotel Willow Lake.

Kind Regards
Blanché Walzl
General Manager
Protea Hotel Willow Lake
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 Willow Lake

Address: 101 Henry St, Bloemfontein 9330, South Africa
Location: South Africa > Free State > Bloemfontein
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #4 of 23 Hotels in Bloemfontein
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:4 star — Protea Hotel Willow Lake 4*
Number of rooms: 94
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Protea Hotel Willow Lake provides a serene environment that blends in with nature and the surrounds. The hotel comprises of modern and luxurious rooms, including 2 Paraplegic bedrooms; all of which are equipped with air conditioners, selective satellite television channels, tea & coffee making facilities, executive desk with multi adapter plug points, electronic safes and touch dial telephones. Each room has an open plan shower (no baths), with privacy curtains in all twin rooms. Guests are spoilt for choice when it comes to winding down. Choose to relax by the pool or sip on cocktails in the bar and lounge area. Why not visit the exclusive patio, have a bite to eat and experience a breathtaking view of the Bloemfontein Zoo Elephant. ... more   less 
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