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“Bala-like-it. Mostly.” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Protea Hotel Balalaika Sandton

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Protea Hotel Balalaika Sandton
4.0 of 5 Hotel   |   20 Maude Street | Sandown, Sandton 2196, South Africa   |  
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Ranked #19 of 47 Hotels in Sandton
London, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
44 reviews 44 reviews
44 hotel reviews
Reviews in 37 cities Reviews in 37 cities
44 helpful votes 44 helpful votes
“Bala-like-it. Mostly.”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 8, 2010

Good points:
- secure
- friendly welcome
- convenient location for Sandton (just down the road from the absurdly overpriced Michaelangelo, where my colleagues stayed and failed to even get hot water... Ha...)
- good restaurant attached for dinner
- decent breakfast buffet
- fast internet access (not free though)

Bad points:
- was not impressed with my ground floor room, with patio doors opening out onto a secluded, sunken patio area that would have been ideal for an intruder to hide, had there been any
- slightly dated decor
- chaos out front with people parking cars in the limited turning area in front of the hotel.

Overall not a bad choice in an area that's full of overpriced tosh for hotels.

  • Stayed October 2009, traveled on business
    • 3 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
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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537 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (107)
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Alexandria, VA
Contributor
18 reviews 18 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 6, 2010

We stayed at the Balalaika for one night after flying in from the US. The hotel is pretty far from the airport (45 minutes). Sandton is more of a business district and while the hotel seems safe it is not really located in a pedestrian area. That being said it is attached a mall and close to other hotels.

The rooms were OK, but a bit musty and had a stale smell. Still the beds were comfortable, the bathroom was large and very clean. The lobby area and hotel bar are both very nice and convenient. The Italian restaurant semi-attached to the hotel is also very good. The grounds and the pool looked very nice as well and the hotel has a tropical feel.

Overall, we got our money’s worth and the accommodates were fine, but not exceptional.

  • Stayed March 2010, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Minty001
Senior Contributor
48 reviews 48 reviews
27 hotel reviews
Reviews in 32 cities Reviews in 32 cities
36 helpful votes 36 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed April 3, 2010

We stayed as it is a safe-ish area of Jo'burg, but really is a business hotel. Rooms were awful - very dark, basic and haven't been updated for 15-20 years. We had to walk up 3 flights of back stairs to get to our room, the fire door had been broken into and there was glass everywhere - didn't feel very safe. Waited ages at reception to check in.

  • Stayed March 2010, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
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Gainesville, Florida
Top Contributor
61 reviews 61 reviews
19 hotel reviews
Reviews in 27 cities Reviews in 27 cities
40 helpful votes 40 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 30, 2010

We always stay here a few days on our way home from points in southern Africa. Lovely gardens, reading rooms, restaurant, and a shopping mall downstairs for souenirs, a haircut, an ostrich wallet, shoes, safari outfits, a bank, and a post office to send items home, a multiplex movie section, bars, and lunchrooms. Native carved masks and carvings from all over Africa are for sale outside for your collection.

Stayed August 2007, traveled on business
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London
Senior Contributor
25 reviews 25 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 13, 2010

We stayed at the Balalaika in February whilst touring SA. Decided to stay there after pleasant stay 4 years ago.
Although still a good hotel it is starting to look and feel a bit dated. The room we stayed in was adequate but not 4 Star. The air con unit was actually partly out of the wall and held there with folded up paper, it did however work OK. Previous comments about towels are correct, they are in short supply and not overly big, but I suppose it is a small contribution to the environment.
Breakfasts were good, but the management seriously need to think of a way of getting rid of the pigeons out of the terrace area.
My main disappointment was over parking. There is a convenient car park next door with access to the hotel via a small shopping mall. We were told overnight parking was ZAR20, but wasn't told that didn't start until after 7pm and after I think 9am. Park outside those times or at the weekend and normal prices apply. Still not fantastically expensive compared to UK hotels but guests should know. In addition if you are staying there you can get a card that allows as much parking as you like for a set amount per day. We were only told that on the last day having paid each time we came and went.
Bar area is nice with good selection but is a smokers area, although you can sit outside, but no television there, if you want to keep in touch with the world.
TV in room was poor with very limited channels and poor picture.
Staff were all friendly and hotel was safe and secure. Concierge particularly helpful with maps and guidance on how to get to places.
Restaurant next door is good value for the centre of Jo'Burg but does get very busy so go early if you don't want to wait.
All in all a good hotel but in need of a little tender care,

  • Stayed February 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Brisbane, Australia
Senior Contributor
28 reviews 28 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 8, 2010

We stayed in a 2 bedroom suite which was comfortable but slightly dated. Loved the location, being an easy walk from the shopping centre, with a lovely treed courtyard. Hated the fact that we were never given more than 2 towels every day, even though we were in a 2 bedroom suite with 4 people. The kids and I got very good at distracting the maids and taking extra from the carts as they would never bring more when requested to do so. Quirky South African hospitality perhaps.

Overall, a reasonable place to stay but bring your own towels or learn to hunt in packs.

  • Stayed April 2008, traveled with family
    • 3 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
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
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Campinas, SP
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 16, 2010

Protea Balalaika is the oldest still running business on Sandton. It's location is superb, just 2 blocks away from Nelson Mandela Square, and right on the side of 2 malls.
The hotel staff is quite friendly and the rooms offer very good confort. A special kudos to the bed linen.
The internet connection, as expected on South Africa, is a bit expensive, and my suggestion would be to buy the per MB packages, instead of the timed ones.
Breakfast is excellent, among the best I've encountered in hotels worldwide. The selection of fruits in comparable to the best hotels in Brazil (famous for their lavish fruit choices) and of great quality. But the buffet offers even more, certainly satisfying the tastes from Americans and Europeans.
With 2 swimming pools, where you can enjoy a good drink and service, you can certainly spend some good resting hours.
The drawbacks are the TV, with only few choices of channels and the rooms which are a tad small.
Overall, I'd highly recommend it to everyone, and I'll certainly choose it again at my next visit to Jo'burg.

Stayed January 2010
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Additional Information about Protea Hotel Balalaika Sandton

Address: 20 Maude Street | Sandown, Sandton 2196, South Africa
Location: South Africa > Gauteng > Greater Johannesburg > Sandton
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#4 Best Value Hotel in Sandton
#7 Romantic Hotel in Sandton
#10 Business Hotel in Sandton
#17 Luxury Hotel in Sandton
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:4 star — Protea Hotel Balalaika Sandton 4*
Number of rooms: 330
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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Also Known As:
Protea Hotel Johannesburg
Balalaika Hotel
Protea Hotel Balalaika Sandton Greater Johannesburg
Sandton Hotel Balalaika

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