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“All that Pink !” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Four Seasons Hotel The Westcliff Johannesburg

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Four Seasons Hotel The Westcliff Johannesburg
5.0 of 5 Hotel   |   67 Jan Smuts Avenue | Westcliff, Johannesburg 2193, South Africa (Formerly The Westcliff)   |  
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Ranked #9 of 70 Hotels in Johannesburg
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
“All that Pink !”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 16, 2013

The hotel has closed for upgrades and this review is perhaps of no help but is my own attempt at thank you to the Westcliff team. This was my favourite hotel in Joburg on the back of 4+ years of visits to the city, at least once per month and my last visit was in May 2013.

There were so many positives (the tangibles for now): the room size, balconies (not something common in mordern hotels and one the smoker in me appreciates), the quality of the bathroom and bed, the peace and quiet after a long business day, the security, the logistics across the hotel area, and one of the best breakfast views in the city ! I have seen few properties live up to their obligations of providing hospitality - the Westcliff was one of them.

I have seen the ocassional lapses and there are limitations e.g. service response times (I understand primarily due to the hotel layout !), a small spa, a room service menu that required upgrades, the hotel location from shopping and other entertainment areas (compensated for by the good shuttle connectivity), some ageing furniture.

Thank you to the team for the years of genuine warmth, excceptional can-do attitude, the service and so many other intangible but visible positive qualities. The Four Seasons will need to come up with an exceptional product to top the iconic Westcliff reputation. But for now I am (temporarily I think) testing several options to find other properties I can connect with and so far the 4 alternative properties do not come close to the WestCliff hospitality.

Room Tip: block 9, ground floor near the pool was my favourite !
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  • Stayed May 2013, traveled on business
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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351 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (63)
Date | Rating
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English first
London, United Kingdom
Contributor
17 reviews 17 reviews
17 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 15, 2013

Not to go into great length, since I note from recent reviews that the hotel has closed for extensive renovations so I am sure will be very different when it re-opens!

I had a great stay at the Westcliff. For the standard the hotel was meant to be there were a few issues - broken sockets, room tray left outside for a long time etc, but overall I loved it here. The staff were brilliant and so friendly, the pool area beautiful - I had a peaceful afternoon here sitting in the shade with cold drinks trying to catch up on some work. The hotel itself - buildings and gardens/grounds - are just stunning.

I am looking forward to seeing pictures of the new version!

Stayed November 2012, traveled on business
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Mashhad, Iran
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 9, 2013

The hotel is located away from the town in a close distance from the central zoo which you can see some animals from the top restaurant balcony. this is a five star hotel with an excellent service but with some difficulties as the hotel is old just like a villa close to the beach you can smell the walls age. Cars are all new and take you to restaurant and bring you back. It is hard to walk in the street of hotel steepness. The business center is excellent ! The pool is excellent ! Tennis court is perfect! And you can find a good concierge at the hotel lobby.Restaurant serves you best fishes ever made.

Room Tip: Rooms which are closer to lobby have a private pool :)
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with family
    • 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 3, 2013

Stayed November 2012. Very accommodating staff. Personalized service. A group of three went for dinner off property, not only did we get dropped off, but driver picked us up precisely at the prearranged time.

Accommodated our group and others in the business lounge. Provided computer access to change airline reservations and check attractions with no additional charges.

Excellent service in a first class setting.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Vienna, Austria
Top Contributor
93 reviews 93 reviews
68 hotel reviews
Reviews in 54 cities Reviews in 54 cities
70 helpful votes 70 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 1, 2013

It used to be a magnificent hotel with superb location. No more as it closed just very recent. All staff were very sad and lost their jobs - with no prospects of being rehired. Building needed urgent renovation - but service remained very high by a highly committed staff- quite irresponsible - in a country where its so difficult to get employment .
Orient express needs to take responsible action towards employees - and not make hundreds of dedicated people redundant without proper notice.

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled on business
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 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.
WestcliffGM, General Manager at Four Seasons Hotel The Westcliff Johannesburg, responded to this review, August 5, 2013
Thank you very much for taking the time to share your comments on TripAdvisor.

Although your information is correct about the hotel closing, Orient-Express very much values all of our employees worldwide, and as such negotiated with the Johannesburg CCMA a very good deal for all employees; of course these details are confidential and I’m sure you understand the privacy of our employees is of utmost importance to all involved.

Thanks again for taking the time to share your views on TripAdvisor, and I do agree, the service levels at The Westcliff have been and will remain top level. The staff and management of this hotel are very proud of the service we offered over the past 15 years and we look forward to the next 15 years and beyond.

Ian Jones
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bochum, Germany
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 25, 2013

A perfect location in Johanneburg, with a fatastic view, close to the Joburg Zoo. It's a well protected and safe place, with spacious rooms and a wonderful restaurant that offers outstanding views over Joburg.
The staff is very friendly and helpful and the hotel offers all services at highest standards. Breakfast and dinner is delicious - nearly a place in heaven.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled on business
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
WestcliffGM, General Manager at Four Seasons Hotel The Westcliff Johannesburg, responded to this review, July 29, 2013
Thank you very much for taking the time to share your comments and experience at the Westcliff on TripAdvisor.

For your information, the hotel is now CLOSED for an extensive 9-12 renovation of the entire property. Please do visit our web site for ongoing updates on the renovation plans, as well watch for the announcement of our exciting re-opening.

Thank you to all who have supported The Westcliff over the past 15 years.

Ian Jones
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Francisco, California
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed July 11, 2013

Well, let me start by saying that we stayed at Westcliff at the very end of our 26 day tour in South Africa, Botswana, and Seychelles. And while Westcliff itself is a gorgeous property with delightful rooms and great views, during the 3 days we stayed there the problems with absolutely unprofessional and ineffective (while smiling and generally nice) staff made us want to catch our flight out of South Africa ASAP, without having to get any more irritated... Here is the short list of issues ( all reported to the front desk, NONE resolved after the first report, some resolved after the second report, some never resolved)...
1.On the day of our arrival a dirty wine glass stood by our room door on the floor. It was still there 3 days later when we were checking out.
2. On the second day of our stay, the housekeeping didn't leave ANY bathroom items in our bathroom, instead, the placed BACK on the vanity the empty samples of hand cream and body oil we used on the first day...wow. ( which made me wonder - do housekeepers take those items they are supposed to supply to the clients to their home, and expect visitors not to notice the samples have been opened and used already??? Because is we assume they just 'forgot', then how come they didn't forget to put the empty/used samples back in the bathroom?) After we came back to hotel on the second day, tired from the trip to Lion Park, and willing to take a quick shower to attend our dinner at Westcliff, we figured out if was impossible due to the absence of a soap, shampoo, etc. We called the front desk, and 20 mins later two (yes, two!) housekeeper girls showed up, one carrying a soap, and another carrying shampoo/body lotion. After I opened the door, the marched past me ( yes, they did it) and tried to enter the bathroom, where my husband was trying to change, as we were terrible late for dinner by then. Dear Westcliff General Manager, would it be possible to train your staff NOT to cross the doorway of the client without invitation, and NOT to come in groups in order to deliver a soap and a shampoo?
3. On the last day we were to leave pretty early for the airport, and I was planning to order in-room breakfast for us for the next morning, but if you think it was easy, think again. The breakfast form I had inside my room was...already used by previous guest! I called reception and asked to please bring me a form I could use. After a full day of sightseeing we came back in the evening, and found on our bed the same already used breakfast order form we asked to replace by the one we could use... But it didn't stop there. After calling the reception ( again), and asking (again) to replace the form, we finally got a new one, but seeing how things work with hotel staff we were worried if we even will get a breakfast in the room next morning by hanging it outside our door. So, I called the in-room service to advise to them that we left the breakfast order form outside our room. "I'll send someone up to pick it up, right now!" was the reply. "Wow"- we thought. "May be at least the in-room service is well trained and organized in this hotel! " Unfortunately, we were wrong. 40 mins later I opened our room door only to notice ( surprise, surprise), that no one came to pick it up "right now", but the form was still hanging at the door...
4. Well, other items include: a non-working US-type of plug behind the desk in the room, a burnt lamp in the bathroom, a tired ( actually, un-sewed) fabric of the bed head stand, no tea bags replenished, etc.

We reported it all to the front desk, but it seems that hotel hires absolutely unprofessional, badly trained people, who only smile, but don't do their job... Well, we like smiles. Only smiles don't make up for the most lousy service we experienced in our life at Westcliff... We won't be back, and won't recommend to anyone to stay there.
As I mentioned already, it's a great hotel in hands of absolutely inefective and untrained staff.

Room Tip: don't stay here, unless you want the housekeeping to drive you nuts
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  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 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.
WestcliffGM, General Manager at Four Seasons Hotel The Westcliff Johannesburg, responded to this review, July 15, 2013
Thank you very much for taking the time to share your comments and experience at the Westcliff on TripAdvisor. I am sorry you felt our staff were “absolutely unprofessional and ineffective”, as over the past 15 years we have received countless compliments on our staff and their very attentive service levels.

For your information, the hotel is now CLOSED for an extensive 9-12 renovation of the entire property. In 2014 we will begin the process to re-hire a full team at the hotel and embark on re-training the team for the planned higher level of guest service, to compliment our brand new hotel; watch our web site for the announcement of our exciting re-opening.

Thank you to all who have supported The Westcliff over the past 15 years.

Ian Jones
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 Four Seasons Hotel The Westcliff Johannesburg

Address: 67 Jan Smuts Avenue | Westcliff, Johannesburg 2193, South Africa (Formerly The Westcliff)
Phone Number:
Location: South Africa > Gauteng > Greater Johannesburg > Johannesburg
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#5 Spa Hotel in Johannesburg
#6 Romantic Hotel in Johannesburg
#8 Family Hotel in Johannesburg
#9 Luxury Hotel in Johannesburg
#12 Business Hotel in Johannesburg
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:5 star — Four Seasons Hotel The Westcliff Johannesburg 5*
Number of rooms: 117
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Much acclaimed and soon more impressive than ever, Four Seasons Hotel Westcliff Johannesburg welcomes you to a self-contained sanctuary in an affluent residential area. Perched on a cliffside, this resort-style retreat offers panoramic views over the neighbouring Johannesburg Zoo and the dense tree canopy of the city's prestigious northern suburbs. The ambience is like a sun-splashed Mediterranean village laced with courtyards, fountains and gardens. Fully transformed, the hotel's 117 guest rooms and suites offer cool, contemporary decor inspired by modern Africa. Four Seasons Hotel Westcliff Johannesburg is destined to become a lively social hub for the city's elite, and the first choice for business and holiday travellers - providing a pampering start or finish for a South African safari. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
The Westcliff By Orient-Express Hotel Johannesburg
Westcliff Hotel Johannesburg
Westcliff Johannesburg

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