This large (300 room) hotel in the upscale area of Sandton has much to offer. We stayed two nights as part of a tour. The rooms are comfortable--ours overlooked the garden, had comfortable beds, a desk, comfortable chair, coffee maker and safe (the safe was difficult to use because being in a closet, it had no lights on the numbers, so I had to use a flash light to set it).. Because of the configuration of the hotel, you need to find out which hallway and elevator you need to take to get to your room. There is free wifi that worked well for me on my tablet, but it stopped three times on my wife's tablet and she had to get new user names and password each time--somewhat of a nuisance. They also have a bank of computers to use in the lobby and this came in handy to print boarding passes.
The hotel has a large dining area and serves a very good breakfast buffet with made to order omelettes. One night we used room service for dinner and had very good spinach and mushroom lasagna for 59 rand each (about $6.50).
The next door shopping center is closing down, but the hotel is near other centers. They offer a regular shuttle service to different places in Sandton, especially the Nelson Mandela Center, a nice shopping center with restaurants, which is only a long block away. If taking the shuttle, you have to call the hotel to have the shuttle pick you up to return to the hotel. It is also an easy walk--just exit the hotel and turn left and walk the long block, cross the street and the Mandela Center is right there. Sandton City is another center, another block or two away.
The staff are pleasant enough, but there were issues that indicate some lapses in training and taking responsibility. The front walkway and street slopes down toward the hotel--on a rainy day it is very slippery, especially a 2 foot wide grate near the sidewalk--I slide on it and went down--even though there were staff members in front of the hotel, none came to help me (this was reported to the front desk and our tour director). On another occasion, late one night a drunk was in the hall, trying to get into different rooms--a number of calls were made to the front desk by the people in the rooms, but no one from security came to check it out or help. Too bad--this is a lovely place, which could be a top notch hotel--they have a ways to go.
- Also Known As:
- Protea Hotel Johannesburg
- Balalaika Hotel
- Protea Hotel Balalaika
- Sandton Hotel Balalaika
- Protea Hotel Balalaika Sandton Greater Johannesburg
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The Protea Hotel Balalaika Sandton is a tranquil oasis of country estate in the heart of the business and entertainment hub of Sandton, just outside Johannesburg, South Africa and approximately 30 minutes from O.R. Tambo International Airport. The Protea Hotel Balalaika is the perfect stopover for those doing business in the surrounding area, or as a central hub for the discerning tourist. The hotel comprises of two sections – the Balalaika and the Crown Court – and all rooms are air-conditioned and tastefully furnished in a classic, comfortable style with their own en-suite bathroom, with many of the Crown Court suites offering the additional luxury of a private spa bath. Both buildings of Protea Hotel Balalaika are set in their own lush, landscaped garden, each boasting a sparkling swimming pool, where GUESTs can relax, unwind and momentarily experience the timelessness and calm of a bygone era. At the Protea Hotel Balalaika, efficient, discreet and attentive service is a priority and our well-trained STAFF is always on hand to ensure that all of your needs are amply met. Guests are able to safely and easily use the link from the hotel lobby to the festive Village Walk Shopping Centre, which houses 15 restaurants, 70 shops selling a variety of wares, a main grocery store (Pick ‘n Pay), hair and beauty salons and the well-known African Craft market, where one will find African artifacts, curios and artworks from all over the continent. ... more less
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