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“If you're a visitor to Joburg - stay here!” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Gold Reef City Theme Park Hotel

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Gold Reef City Theme Park Hotel
4.0 of 5 Hotel   |   Shaft 14 Northern Parkway, 2159 | Ormond, Johannesburg 2159, South Africa (Formerly Southern Sun Gold Reef City Hotel)   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #15 of 72 hotels in Johannesburg
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
“If you're a visitor to Joburg - stay here!”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 20, 2013

As a Jozi resident, it isn't often you get to stay in any of the local hotels, apart from the those on the outskirts of town.

I attended a conference at the Gold Reef City Theme park a couple of days ago and i think in right by saying that if i was a Tourist in Johannesburg, it's exactly where i would want to stay.

i really liked the small village-style of the hotels layout. Its a number of buildings spread out in an old settler-type setting which is quite novel and a nice place to walk about.

This layout does have its drawbacks, though. The open street layout can create more noise than you would be used to from your standard hotel corridor, and the added wildlife in shape of a vocal peacock and a rooster with a sick sense of timekeeping, while initially charming, do have the ability by themselves to ruin a good night's sleep.

One of the bonuses, though, are the rooms. I was lucky enough to get a suite and it was one of the nicest I've stayed in. The interior belies the turn-of-the-century town outside - everything here is very contemporary, sharp and clean with tasteful modern furniture and plenty of space to walk around.

Breakfast and dinner are standard hotel-buffet fare - acceptable, but you would be better off finding somewhere off-site.

But the hotel's biggest drawcard actually has nothing to do with the bricks-and-mortar stuff.

While staying there it dawned on me how well positioned i was in relation to the major attractions in the greater joburg area - the location is fantastic.

Everything from the apartheid museum (okay, that's right next door) to Soweto and Newtown are all within ten minutes drive. And those attractions further afield like the Cradle of Humankind are also a relatively short trip thanks to the Hotel's proximity to the main higway systems.

I don't know why any propoer tourist (read not a business traveller) would stay in Sandton or Fourways - anything worthwhile seeing in Johannesburg is at least another 30-minutes away and the hotels are certainly not superior by any clear margin.

It's simple - if your holiday to SA includes a stop-over in Joburg, then you'd be an idiot not to stay here.

Stayed September 2013, traveled on business
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Wayne W, Manager at Gold Reef City Theme Park Hotel, responded to this review, September 23, 2013
Dear delboyZA

Thank you for taking the time to reveiw our Hotel - your feedback is much appreciated! We are delighted that you enjoyed your stay at the Hotel.

It was a pleasure to have you and your conference group as our guests and we hope to welcome you back again soon.

Warm Regards

Wayne Wilson
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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80 people have reviewed this hotel

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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 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (13)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Johannesburg
Senior Contributor
24 reviews 24 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
25 helpful votes 25 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed September 16, 2013

I surprised my husband for his birthday by booking into the Gold Reef City Theme Park Hotel for the night. The hotel is actually spread out between various buildings within the theme park. Our room was a block away from the reception area.

The room was well appointed and very comfortable, and we enjoyed the free access to the theme park. We took the mine tour, watched the soccer game on the big screen in the town square and enjoyed a drink at Barney's (the hotel restaurant). We've done most of the rides before and the queues are quite long, so we steered away from the majority of those.

We were enjoying our stay until Saturday evening, but unfortunately there was a large conference group staying for the weekend and the people making up this group were incredibly loud, rude and unpleasant. When they finished their session and came back to the rooms, they shouted continuously from room to room and down the corridors. Later, they pushed into the shuttle queue. They seemed incapable of speaking normally - everything was shouted, and when asked politely to "please keep it down" they got even louder and ruder, and some were quite aggressive.

Thankfully we escaped them for a few hours when we went to have dinner at the Gold Reef City Casino (there is a free shuttle that runs every half hour between 17:30 and 22:30 from the hotel to the casino). I had made a reservation at Back o' the Moon, a restaurant that plays beautiful live jazz music, which was lovely. Hotel guests can either eat at the casino, or at Barney's inside the theme park. Everything else shuts down at night.

When we got back to the hotel, we didn't have a good night's sleep, as the noisy group arrived back shouting and carried on well into the night. The next morning, their yelling started again at 6.30am. I have never come across louder, more obnoxious people.

Once they had finally left by the busload at about 9am, we had a very pleasant morning with a delicious buffet breakfast at Barney's. If it weren't for them, our stay would have been delightful. We actually complained to the hotel reception at one point, but nobody came to address the problem.

Overall, the hotel service was good (particularly the welcome staff and the porter) and the room was very nice. But, ultimately, at this establishment one's enjoyment of one's stay actually sadly depends on the other guests. Because the rooms are spread out and not in traditional hotel format, and because the hotel is inside the theme park, there appears not to be the same level of consideration one would normally expect from a four-star hotel. Even the cleaning staff yelled to each other as they worked.

It's not a bad place to stay and definitely worth it for the free theme park entry (especially for families). Bear in mind that the park is closed on Mondays and Tuesdays when planning your stay. And hope that you get nice fellow guests.

Room Tip: Ask whether there will be a conference group staying at the same time and if so, request a room as f...
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  • Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 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.
Wayne W, Manager at Gold Reef City Theme Park Hotel, responded to this review, September 17, 2013
Dear TamaraO

Firstly, please forgive the late response to your reveiw of our property - we have recently gained access to the respond function and are busy catching up correspondence with all our valued tripAdvisor guests.

Thank you for your feedback with regards to your recent stay with us. We are delighted that you enjoyed your stay but we regret that you were disturbed by the conference group on occasions - this is certainly something that we try to avoid and have placed more emphasis on communicating with the group leaders in this regard.

It was a pleasure to have you as our guest and we hope to welcome you back to the Gold Reef City Theme Park Hotel again soon.

Kind Regards

Wayne Wilson
General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Gaborone, Botswana
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 4, 2013

a lovely place to take family on vacation,its got good quality rooms for family ,nice theme park were all the family can spend the whole day enjoying them self ,and most of its close to town and the security its so good

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 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
    • 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.
Wayne W, Manager at Gold Reef City Theme Park Hotel, responded to this review, September 16, 2013
Dear rragweJR

Thank you so much for taking the time to give us this feedback. We are delighted that you enjoyed your stay with us and we hope to one day welcome you back to the Gold Reef City Theme Park Hotel.

Yours In Hospitality

Wayne Wilson
General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Athens, Greece
Top Contributor
98 reviews 98 reviews
37 hotel reviews
Reviews in 51 cities Reviews in 51 cities
61 helpful votes 61 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed September 1, 2013

The hotel situated within the theme park, the outside building has a theme, but internally it's a renovated faceless 'modern room' without any kind of personality - not what I would expect in a theme park hotel. Also, there is minimal sound insulation so during the theme-park opening hours you get a lot of noise (not an issue if you are attending the theme park of course).

Room service choice is relatively limited and the restaurant that is operating at night is mediorce (during the day you have more choices). At least the casino complex is nearby where you have more dining choices.

Service is exceptional - check in and out is fast.

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled on business
    • 4 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
    • 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.
Wayne W, Manager at Gold Reef City Theme Park Hotel, responded to this review, September 16, 2013
Dear Auteur

Thank You for taking the time to give us feedback on your recent stay at the Gold Reef. We are glad that you enjoyed your stay with us - you will also be pleased to know that we have reveiwed the "in room dining" menu and have a greater variety to offer for your next stay with us.

It was a pleasure to have you as our guest and we hope to welcome you back again soon.

Yours in Hospitality

Wayne Wilson
General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cape Town
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 9, 2013 via mobile

The rooms are elegantly decorated, and the staff offer great service. I would only have one suggestion, the blue lights for the plugs that shine permanently made it difficult to sleep as the room had a permanent glow. Overall it was a unique experience and an enjoyable stay.

  • Stayed August 2013
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 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.
Wayne W, Manager at Gold Reef City Theme Park Hotel, responded to this review, September 16, 2013
Dear ClubMYK

Thanks you for taking the time to give us feedback on your recent stay with us. Please forgive the late response to your reveiw - I have only recently been granted access to respond to reveiws so we are in the process of catching up the correspondence with all our valued tripAdvisor guests.

We are delighted that you ejoyed your stay with us - we have noted your concern with regards to the blue security light in the bathrooms and have addressed this accordingly.

It was a pleasure to have you as our guest and we hope to welcome you back again soon.

Yours In Hospitality

Wayne Wilson
General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Johannesburg, South Africa
Top Contributor
51 reviews 51 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 29, 2013

This is a unique hotel in Johannesburg as it is situated in the Gold Reef City Theme park but has its own access point. The hotel is scattered around the quaint "Victoria" village that may have been a suburb of Johannesburg over a 100 years ago. The reception is situated in the old banking hall, the bar is in its own saloon building across the street and each hotel room is in its own little house off the street. The disabled room has an enormous bath room and is well equipped with rails etc. Great pool area if you just want to chill, and 3 different banqueting halls. There is a chapel in the village and the room rates are really reasonable should you want to host a wedding! All in one safe place. An interesting way to spend a night or two in Joburg, and perfect location for the Apartheid Museum, The Calabash (World Cup Soccer Stadium) and tours into Soweto.

Room Tip: Ask to be allocated a street room, adds to the experience. Facing North is always good in the south...
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  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with family
    • 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
    • 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.
Wayne W, Manager at Gold Reef City Theme Park Hotel, responded to this review, September 16, 2013
Dear Dubaidiva1

Please forgive the late response to your reveiw, we have recently been granted access to respond to the tripadVisor reveiws so we are in the process of catching up the correspondence with all our valued tripAdvisor members.

It was a pleasure to have you as our guest and we truly appreciate the time you took to send us this feedback - I have shared your comments with my team.

We hope to welcome you back to the Gold Reef City Theme Park Hotel again soon.

Kind Regards

Wayne Wilson
General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Senior Contributor
29 reviews 29 reviews
15 hotel reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed June 16, 2013

We stayed here for a visit to the park and the room we received was just opposite a service entrance. We woke up pretty early due to slamming doors and people talking to each other. The room itself was spacious and clean and the staff was very helpful.

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 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 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Wayne W, Manager at Gold Reef City Theme Park Hotel, responded to this review, September 23, 2013
Dear Martijn M

Please forgive the delay in response, I have only recently been allowed access to respond to guest reveiws - we are currently busy catching up correspondence with all our valued TripAdvisor guests.

Thank you for taking the time to give us feedback with regards to your stay at the Gold Reef City Theme Park Hotel. We have noted your concern over the noisy service room - you will be pleased to know that this has been addressed and the room has been re-located further away from the guest rooms.We apologise for the inconvenience caused.

It wasa pleasure to have you as our guest and we hope to welcome you back to the Gold Reef City Theme Park when you are next in the area again.

Yours In Hospitality

Wayne Wilson
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 Gold Reef City Theme Park Hotel

Address: Shaft 14 Northern Parkway, 2159 | Ormond, Johannesburg 2159, South Africa (Formerly Southern Sun Gold Reef City Hotel)
Location: South Africa > Gauteng > Greater Johannesburg > Johannesburg
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Casino and Gambling Free Parking Restaurant Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#8 Romantic Hotel in Johannesburg
#9 Family Hotel in Johannesburg
#13 Luxury Hotel in Johannesburg
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — Gold Reef City Theme Park Hotel 4*
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Escape to an age of elegance and grandeur at the Gold Reef City Theme Park Hotel. Located within Africa's biggest theme park hotel is reminiscent of an authentic turn-of-the-century mining town. Staying at the hotel also gives you free access to a multitude of fun filled attractions and entertainment in the Theme Park. Please note the Theme Park is closed on Mondays and Tuesdays.The adjacent Gold Reef City Casino complex offers a variety of dining and other entertainment options. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Protea Hotel Johannesburg

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