After my first night in the Arcadia, I would have told you that it was a reasonable place to stay. But after the second night, my opinion changed in a big way!
The location is probably not great, but it was okay for me, as I was doing tours that offered door to door service. There are some shops and restaurants nearby, and I didn’t have any issues walking around the immediate area by day or night.
I was greeted by friendly, efficient staff and was able to check in at 9am, without issue. My room was okay – not exactly 5-star, but decent. Included was a comfortable-enough bed, with very lumpy pillows, a narrow desk, a tv, AC, kettle and some coffee/tea supplies, a hairdryer and a good sized wardrobe with a safe inside. Of note, there was no fridge. Included in my booking was a buffet breakfast – good selection of nice food and attentive, friendly staff.
The real problem was that on my 2nd day, the hotel checked in 240 school students. Not only did these students run riot through the reception and public areas (playing games on the elevators which turned a 30 second trip to a 5 minute nightmare), they also checked in these children on the same floor as the other guests – eg. me! Obviously total unsupervised by their teachers, these children made all hell of a noise for the whole night. Three times I had kids banging on my door – when I yelled out they kept banging and I had to open the door and tell them to go away. My complaints to the hotel to do something about them fell on deaf ears – this is where the hotel really failed. So two nights with very little sleep – thanks a lot, Arcadia. If I wanted to sleep in a school dormitory, I would have booked with one! And thanks to whatever school it was that has failed so badly to teach their children respect.
Other little issue – they have signs up saying that WIFI is available for a ‘nominal’ fee. I think they need to check the dictionary, because the charges are ridiculous ($10 for 20MB, $36 for 20MB and $50 for 80MB – prices in Rand) and even then, when I tried to get an internet pass on my second day I was told their computer had crashed!
You certainly get what you pay for! I would not recommend the Arcadia – while the hotel is decent (although quite run-down) the service is seriously lacking. Arcadia cannot be trusted to do the right thing by its guests - you just might find yourself in some sort of high-school excursion from hell. Sounds like a desperate grab for cash from a business that is going downhill fast.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Located at the foothills of the historic Union Buildings in Pretoria, the hotel is easily located just 40 minutes from OR Thambo Airport. Arcadia Hotel offers comfortable accommodation in bedrooms which are en-suite, recently renovated, air-conditioned and equipped with colour satellite TV and Electronic Safes. Wi-Fi in public areas. There are 8 conference venues accommodating from 10 to 250 delegates. ... more less
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