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.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The Protea Hotel Balalaika on Maude Street, in Sandton, is located in Johannesburg's economic heartland. The hotel's charming colonial theme is accentuated with wooden elements and delicate floral accents. Each of the 330 classically-styled rooms make guests feel as though they never left home - with a king-size bed, LCD television, electronic safe and a full en-suite bathroom with a walk-in shower. Business executives are catered to with a desk, office chair and international plug points. Complimentary high-speed Wi-Fi is accessible throughout the hotel and the Wi-Fi station situated in the lobby provides convenience for guests requiring instant access to the internet. The English countryside atmosphere defines this four-star hotel as a little bit of country in the heart of Sandton. Birdsong makes guests forget that they are in a bustling metropolis. The Johannesburg Stock Exchange, Sandton Convention Centre and the city's most exclusive shopping mall are a short stroll away. A complimentary shuttle to and from the Gautrain station makes the Balalaika easily accessible. Whether it is for business or leisure, the central location and warm hospitality of the Protea Hotel Balalaika are unrivalled, making it your first and only choice when staying in Johannesburg. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Protea Hotel Johannesburg
- Balalaika Hotel
- Protea Hotel Balalaika Sandton Greater Johannesburg
- Sandton Hotel Balalaika