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“Historic hotel, some nice historic features, but a bit disappointing” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Sunnyside Park Hotel

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Sunnyside Park Hotel
4.0 of 5 Hotel   |   Corner of Carse o Gowrie and York | Princess of Wales Terrace, Johannesburg 2000, South Africa   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #38 of 70 Hotels in Johannesburg
High Wycombe
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
“Historic hotel, some nice historic features, but a bit disappointing”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed October 1, 2010

This hotel is in a historic building (just over 100 years old - historic for Johannesburg) near downtown Jo'burg.

It appears to be fairly secure (though the sliding window in my room had no lock to prevent it being slid open from the outside). It has a good size car park, a buffet restaurant that seems popular amongst locals and a British style pub (which does cheap but poor quality food).

There is a grand lounge with a nice open fire in winter, an outdoor pool and the grounds are well kept, but the part of the hotel I was in was starting to look tired.

There also isn't anything to do around there. I wouldn't walk around that part of town at night even if there was.

A customer booked this hotel for me because it was close to their office, saving an expensive taxi from Sandton; but once the Gautrain line from Sandton is complete I would be tempted to stay there and take the train (or even a taxi) since at least you have something to do in Sandton in the evenings.

  • Stayed July 2010, traveled on business
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
JohoannesburgGM, General Manager at Sunnyside Park Hotel, responded to this review, October 19, 2010
My Sincere Thanks to you for taking the time to complete the trip advisor Questionnaire form.

The Sunnyside Park Hotel prides itself on Service Excellence and Customer Care. With this in mind, I would like to thank you for your constructive criticism as this will help us improve on the High Standard we have set ourselves.

Sunnyside Park Hotel has a 24 Hour Security company onsight as we value the safety of our guests so the property is secured at all times.
We are currently ungoing a refurbishment within the hotel and we hope that you would return to see the results of this project.

Thank you for choosing to make the Sunnyside Park Hotel your “Home away from Home”

Ralph Klinkenberg
General Manager
Sunnyside Park Hotel
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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94 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    3.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (20)
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USA
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed February 13, 2010

if you are going to stay here make sure it is in the newer part of the hotel. it has air conditioning that actually works. the staff were very, very pleasant. however they would not admit that the air conditioning was non-functional. however, the general manager will admit this when you write a letter of complaint. teh grounds are lovely. there is free wifi which is a plus. the food is passable. the location is just ok. be aware that the grounds are gated and it is not really possible to walk anywhere from the hotel. this is probably not unusual for the city of johannesburg. overall this hotel is so-so. i would rate is as terrible if it were for the friendlly hotel staff

  • Stayed January 2010
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 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.
London
Senior Contributor
24 reviews 24 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 4, 2009

The Sunnyside Park Hotel certainly isn't lacking in character. What a pleasure to stay in a hotel that has an oak panelled cigar lounge with a picture of Churchill on the wall and doesn't lecture you in the bathroom about saving the planet.

Good:
The room was spacious with a nice balcony and the bed was superbly comfortable. The gardens are beautiful with a nice pool and there's a pub on site "The Pound and Penny" which seems to have an identity crisis with pictures of Ireland on the wall with Whiskey memorabilia. Food in the pub is average. Food in the restaurant is good. They have a pool and fitness room which is decent.

Bad:
The infrastructure of the place is lacking. Wifi access is a joke, slower than dial-up speeds. The one lift was old and creaky. The cards in the door worked when they wanted to. Be aware too that they will cancel your reservation if you don't pay up front within 3 days. Frankly though, the worst thing about this hotel was the service. Just getting coffee at breakfast was a major struggle! It wasn't just me either - other people were literally waving their arms trying to get some service.

All in all, not a bad place. Wouldn't recommend it for a romantic getaway and wouldn't recommend it for business either if internet access matters to you.

  • Stayed December 2009, traveled on business
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
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Connecticut
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 25, 2009

I spent a week at the Sunnyside while conducting meetings at U Wits Health Sciences center. The hotel was recommended by a U Wits faculty member and the location for business at the medical center was terrific. However if you are conducting business elsewhere, the location may not be suitable. Walking is not an option, especially at night. The closest safe ATM was in the medical center but one needs to get a guest pass to be admitted on campus since security is very tight. The staff was extremely attentive, efficient, and polite. There were a couple of staff members who were a bit cold but cordial but they were very few and far between. The food is good. Breakfast is very British with beans and sausages but there was a wonderful omelet station with lots of fruit pastries and other options. I only had dinner at the 'Pound and Penny', the onsite pub. The food was also good although I was a bit disappointed by the selection of beers on tap. Castle beer, a local South African brew is quite foamy on tap but otherwise the service was great and the food tasty. The rooms were immaculate, clean, and tastefully done. The grounds are quite nice and soothing and the exercise facility is adequate. WiFi is available free in the lobby and also reached my room. One only needs to ask for the daily password which is readily available at the front desk. When I checked out, I needed to have the two rooms that I reserved charged to separate credit cards. The front desk staff cheerfully and efficiently obliged my request and the charges went through as requested without a hitch. The only downside to the Sunnyside is the location and overall difficulty of finding a taxi. One needs to make several inquiries to locals to determine a suitable and safe taxi for a reasonable price however this seems to be a common issue throughout Jo'Burg and not particular to the Sunnyside. The onsite tourist/transportation desk was not very helpful and very expensive. My suggestion to the Sunnyside management is to reconsider their business relationship with them and perhaps expand tourism/transportation options for guests. The tourism company they have onsite is the sole blemish for an otherwise excellent hotel. Kudos to the Sunnyside staff and management. I would gladly stay there again.

  • Stayed August 2009, traveled on business
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 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.
London
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed July 12, 2009

I too stayed here for the final Lions Test and had the power cut experience. What was really alarming was that rooms and corridors were pitch dark - i.e. no emergency lighting. Had there been a fire on that Thursday night, it could have been a death trap and I am sending a very serious complaint to our tour operator (England Rugby Travel) that they were prepared to gamble with our safety, despite requests to be moved.

The hotel is quite pretty, but set in a not great area. The pub is great, the rest of the service is really quite poor and certainly not up to 4 star. The waiting staff in particular were friendly, but not at all efficient. Eat off the menu (which they may not tell you about) in the restaurant - the buffet was quite poor. We experienced the only real blatent attempt to rip us off on this tour - a "special brai menu" after the Test, which turned out to be another mediocore buffet, but at 240 ZAR instead of the usual (and already overpriced) 180 ZAR. We all complained and SOME got a discount, but not all. Attempts to address this with the general manager were fruitless and this guy should be sent on some customer service training before the soccer World Cup....

As others have noted, the 'transport services' desk will arrange over-priced transport, usually - they managed to 'forget' some bookings for tours etc.

One bright spot on the staff - a female deputy manager (Lisa?), who was always friendly, always trying to do the best for her guests, attempting to get the staff to perform and generally trying to hold the chaos together. Promote her imediately!

  • Stayed July 2009
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
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Bristol
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed July 11, 2009

Arrived to a 24 hour hour power cut to be guided along pitch black corridors by staff sharing torches. No hot water for over a day, and no hot food even when the power was back on for the remaining 4 days we stayed here.
Bar staff brilliant, but the front desk and transport people rip you off. You need to use taxi's to visit any reasonable area away from Parktown - Melrose arch is 20 mins away and Sandton 30 mins or so. Hotel was charging 60 Rand per person in a taxi for a trip to Melrose Arch - 240 Rand for 4 of us. The local taxi company booked independently charged 100 Rand for all of us.

  • Stayed July 2009
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 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.
Bristol, England
Senior Contributor
41 reviews 41 reviews
28 hotel reviews
Reviews in 31 cities Reviews in 31 cities
42 helpful votes 42 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed July 9, 2009

We stayed at the Sunnyside Park Hotel as part of the England Rugby Travel group on the recent British & Irish Lions Tour of South Africa. We arrived during a power cut, which was to last for nearly 24 hours. The contingency plan was non-existent with vast areas of the hotel, including stairwells and corridors without any lighting. When the power was restored at around lunchtime on the 2nd day, it was to be another 8 or 9 hours before there was any hot water. It's just as well the bar was well stocked! Breakfast was a lottery each morning as to what was available. The buffet style meant that most of it was cold, only the cooked to order eggs were guaranteed to be hot. The staff in the restaurant seemed unorganised and not prepared for the influx of customers they received. This service was in complete contrast to that offered in the Pound and Penny Pub (also part of the hotel) where the staff could not have been nicer or more professional. Nothing was too much trouble for these guys and they even joined in with the singing that took place on our final night.
The hotel is in a lovely old building, but much of it now is looking tired and need of modernisation. Our room on the second floor was comfortable, but with a bit of TLC could have been so much nicer. The windows did not fit properly and some of the glass was cracked. The bathroom, whilst clean was looking very tired. The bedroom safe which boasted enough capacity to secure a laptop had been installed sideways, meaning that the opening was only at about 45 degrees, making it difficult to get an SLR digital camera in.
The grounds are lovely, and although too cold to use the outdoor pool, it was maintained well and with plenty of chairs and sun loungers to enjoy some winter sunshine, it was a haven from the hustle and bustle of the hotel.
The area immediately outside the hotel is not one for tourists and you are not recommended to leave the grounds in anything other than a taxi. Be warned however that the travel company operating from Reception charge a premium for ordering taxi's. If you can, book one direct and you will find it is a lot cheaper.
In summary this hotel needs to improve the quality of the food and the organisation if it is to live up to its 4* rating.

  • Stayed July 2009
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 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 Sunnyside Park Hotel

Address: Corner of Carse o Gowrie and York | Princess of Wales Terrace, Johannesburg 2000, South Africa
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 Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#27 Luxury Hotel in Johannesburg
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:4 star — Sunnyside Park Hotel 4*
Number of rooms: 154
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The historically restored Johannesburg hotel, the Sunnyside Park Hotel has been completely refurbished to capture the elegance and charm of a by-gone era. Built in 1895 in a Victorian-style, the hotel is centrally located providing the business executive and the leisure traveller with easy access to the Johannesburg CBD, Rosebank, Sandton and the Johannesburg International Airport ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Sunnyside Park Johannesburg
Hotel Sunnyside Park

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