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“Second time around” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Protea Hotel The Winkler

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Protea Hotel The Winkler
4.0 of 5 Hotel   |   R538 Numbi Gate Road, White River 1249, South Africa   |  
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Ranked #6 of 10 Hotels in White River
Johannesburg
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“Second time around”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 8, 2012

My cousin and I were invited back to visit Protea Hotel The Winkler following our first disastrous experience in March. What a difference! The staff were extremely helpful and friendly and went out of their way to make our stay a memorable one - the food was good, the service was great and it was a real treat to arrive at our rooms to find flowers sprinkled on the covers and a platter of dried fruit, biltong, wine and cooldrink.

Special thanks to the Acting General Manager, Jason Hobbs, who was absolutely amazing and kept in constant contact with me, even following up after our trip. Without his intervention I doubt we would have bothered to return. I sincerely hope our second experience is an example of the new attitude of the hotel and that this was not just for our benefit.

Two small issues: a) the housekeeping staff really need to be trained on how to make a bed. This time around I could see the bed had been made up, but verrrry haphazardly; and b) the dining room had not been swept since dinner the night before and during breakfast a dustpan was left lying in the middle of the dining room.

Also very evident this time around was the presence of security patrolling the premises at regular intervals, which was great for two women travelling alone.

All in all a great trip. Thanks to all concerned and I look forward to my next visit!

Room Tip: Rooms 142 and 143 are great (interleading but with own bathrooms) but this side of the hotel is extr...
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  • Stayed September 2012, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 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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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hotel_Management2010, General Manager at Protea Hotel The Winkler, responded to this review, October 9, 2012
Dear Janineducie,

On behalf of the entire TEAM at Protea Hotel The Winkler, we would like to thank you for your kind and generous review. We are extremely excited to hear we have been able to meet and exceed your expectations the second time around. Again, our apologies for the initial disappointing experience but glad we have been able to turn around your perceptions of our lovely hotel.

Your detailed and constructive comments will be used to further improve our product and service delivery and will be discussed during our departmental meetings.

We are looking forward to welcoming you back again soon when visiting the Kruger Park area.

Warm regards,


Charmaine Kotze - General Manager
Protea Hotel The Winkler
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110 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (21)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Frankfut, Germany
Senior Contributor
31 reviews 31 reviews
25 hotel reviews
Reviews in 26 cities Reviews in 26 cities
56 helpful votes 56 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 4, 2012

This place was not on our navigation system that we got from Avis, but Google navigation was able to find it. It is far out of town...just follow the R538.

We got there late at night and had a prepaid reservation with Expedia (about 1.900 for two nights in a suite incl. breakfast). The night operator however charged us 1.400 Rand again (that was the rate that Expedia pays to the hotel...now I know why they can give rebates so often!!!). The next morning I clarified the problem and got a refund without any problems. And of course they excused themselves for the misunderstanding.

The place just got recently renovated...you can still smell the fresh paint in some areas. The suite (132) had a living room (with windows all around) and a bedroom with a king-size bed (not as soft as a Marriott bed but still soft enough). Both rooms had AC (the one in the bedroom was a newer model with a "night mode" so that I did not hear to much noise from it at night).

The "Numbi Gate" to Krueger was just 20 min driving away. Be carefull as the road is full of potholes (we lost one wheelcover).

Breakfast was excellent and had nearly Hilton/Marriott Standard. The staff was very friendly. It is served till 10.30 AM.

WIFI is only available in the Lobby area, the bar, the Restaurant and still at the pool. There is no WIFI in the rooms (maybe only in the room next to reception). We tried to establish WIFI over our phone via CellC, but with just two bars and Edge it took forever to open any page. But the bar area consists of two big room with a fireplace and lots of sofas and chairs to find a private spot for online business.

The bar itself closes at 10pm. Drinks are realy inexpensive. A beer (local Castle) was just 18 Rand and the Gin Tonic about 22 or so.

The Restaurant usually has a buffet for dinner which did cost around 240 p.p.. We opted for the a-la-carte menue as we were looking for a vegetarian meal. They had a view things on the menu and the portions were big. Ordering some pasta (68) and a Greek Salad (45) was way too much for one person! The quality of our dinner was good.

What I liked most about this hotel is the huge garden with the pool. You dont have any other hotel around you. In the Garden you will find a good sized pool with enough loungers and umbrellas. We never so any other guests hanging out there (maybe in the afternoon when we were on photo safari in Krueger). There is even a playground for children.

Overall please keep in mind that this place is not a new hotel any more and that is not Capetown. So not everything is perfect like in a brand new property. But because there is lots of open space and it has some interesting architecture, I will return for sure when going back to Krueger next year.

Room Tip: Room 132 is a nice sized two room suite that gives you some extra space. The living room had windows...
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hotel_Management2010, General Manager at Protea Hotel The Winkler, responded to this review, October 5, 2012
Dear Joerg04,

We can't thank you enough for your extensive and detailed feedback on your recent stay at the Protea Hotel The Winkler. The TEAM and I are extremely excited to hear you enjoyed our hospitality when visiting the Kruger Park area.

We are very content with the fact you enjoyed our breakfast offering as well as our newly introduced a la carte menu. And I agree with your comments that although the Protea Hotel The Winkler is perhaps not the newest hotel in the area, it does have great well looked after facilities and is surrounded by beautiful luscious gardens.

We look forward to welcoming you back next year!

Warm regards,


Charmaine Kotze - General Manager
Protea Hotel The Winkler
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Johannesburg, South Africa
Contributor
20 reviews 20 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 25, 2012

We have just spent 2 nights at this hotel, WOW, outstanding service, location, food and staff. To put it simply, they will see us again. Well done to the team because for something to be this enjoyable it HAS to be a team effort. 10/10

Room Tip: The room we were in was perfect in every way, Room 238.
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  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hotel_Management2010, General Manager at Protea Hotel The Winkler, responded to this review, September 26, 2012
Dear Kevin S,

Thank you for the OUTSTANDING review! We are so pleased to hear that we have been able to meet and exceed your expectations. And I fully agree with you, service excellence is all about TEAM work. Thank you for your kind acknowledgment.

We look forward hosting you again soon.

Warm regards,

Charmaine Kotze - General Manager
Protea Hotel The Winkler
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Klerksdorp, South Africa
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 23, 2012

Whenever we travel to our holiday home in Mozambique we always make an excuse to stay over at the Winkler on the way there or back, and often in between when ever we are in the vicinity. It is always a pleasurable experience, with friendly staff, great accommodation and excellent food. We always recommend the Winkler to friends and acquaintences with a clear conscience that they will find their stay as good as we do.

Room Tip: Try one of the executive suites. very comfortable and spacious.
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  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hotel_Management2010, General Manager at Protea Hotel The Winkler, responded to this review, August 24, 2012
Hi Cellodp,

Great to be of service yet another time around! We are thrilled to hear you enjoyed your stay with us, which means a lot coming from such a loyal guest such as yourself.

Greetings form the entire TEAM at the hotel and hope to welcoming you back again soon!

At your service,

Jason Hobbs - General Manager
Protea Hotel The Winkler
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Engelhartszell, Austria
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 23, 2012

We had booked rooms for the family in February--my credit card was charged twice, and when we arrived our reservation had been cancelled. Staff was at least helping to find alterantive accommodation. Now we stayed again at the hotel for two nights (no cancellation this time!), but found the overall experience average, at best. Our room on the ground floor was humid and smelly, the ventilation in the bathroom did not work (and no way to open the window), the breakfast buffet was truly uninspiring. We tried a few times to have a drink on the nice terrace, but had to chase down somebody form the staff to get what we wanted. Sad to see that such a potentially nice hotel is so poorly run!

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hotel_Management2010, General Manager at Protea Hotel The Winkler, responded to this review, August 24, 2012
Dear Krugerfriend,

Thank you for taking the time and effort to provide us with your honest feedback on your recent stay with us. Its highly valued and will be used constructively to consistently improve our product and service standards.

Please accept my sincere apologies for the inconvenience caused during your stay. Your feedback on the various issues experienced such as the below par standard of your room on arrival and the slow bar service experienced on the patio is certainly not reflective of the levels of service and product standards we strive to offer to every single GUEST of our hotel.

I would therefore like to confirm with you that corrective action has been taken to ensure that this is not a repeating occurrence. I am also happy to inform you that we have recently introduced a new a la carte menu in our restaurant and revamped our breakfast offering, both in content as well as presentation and has been very well perceived by our guests already.

Again, your interest and concern are much appreciated. I do hope you will allow us the opportunity to be of service to you again and the TEAM is looking forward to welcoming you to the Protea Hotel The Winkler again soon.

Yours sincerely,

Jason Hobbs - General Manager
Protea Hotel The Winkler
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Grand Rapids, MI
Top Contributor
103 reviews 103 reviews
78 hotel reviews
Reviews in 79 cities Reviews in 79 cities
144 helpful votes 144 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 17, 2012

We booked this hotel at the last minute since we missed the Kruger gate closing time and had to get a hotel outside the park. The location is convenient to the Numbi gate and MQP airport, and the rate was fair given the location. We ended up booking a "suite" with a king and single bed, which was comfortable for three adults and cheaper than two individual rooms. The check-in staff were fine, and offered us welcome drinks.

The room was fairly dated and spartan, with some bright orange curtains in the windows. Everything seemed clean enough.

The restaurant was nearly empty the night we arrived, and we saw one of the buffet attendants scooping food off the tray holder with a dirty rag and putting it back in the buffet dish - ewww. When he saw us looking at him, he stared back in surprise. The problem is, there wasn't anywhere else to eat, so we ate the buffet anyway (avoiding the rice tray). They had canned soda at the buffet with a "limit 2" sign, so I took one. As soon as I opened it, someone came over to our table and said that the canned soda was only for conference attendees, and I would be charged. What the...? It took a lot of back-and-forth before he (reluctantly) removed it from our bill.

For a single night stay, this hotel was fine. Don't go there expecting stellar service or luxury.

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hotel_Management2010, General Manager at Protea Hotel The Winkler, responded to this review, August 24, 2012
Dear TheInternationalLine,

Thank you for your honest comments and feedback! And please accept our apologies for not consistently meeting your expectations throughout your stay.

I am embarrassed to hear around your experience at our restaurant and I can assure you we will deal with the TEAM member involved in a serious matter as this behavior is inexcusable. Furthermore, we will make sure not to confuse our individual guests with additional beverage services provided to our conferencing guests. Thank you for pointing this out to us.

We do hope we can welcome you back to the Protea Hotel The Winkler in nearby future when visiting the White River area..

Warm regards,

Jason Hobbs - Acting General Manager
Protea Hotel The Winkler
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Southampton, United Kingdom
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 19, 2012

I went to this hotel for my honeymoon. It really is a wonderful property with welcoming staff and fun entertainment.

Stayed April 2012, traveled as a couple
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hotel_Management2010, General Manager at Protea Hotel The Winkler, responded to this review, July 20, 2012
Dear Sharon O,

Thank you for sharing your wonderful comments with your fellow TripAdvisor reviewers. And great to hear we have been able to assist in creating memories that last a life time..

Glad to hear you have enjoyed your stay with us and the TEAM is looking forward to welcoming you back soon when visiting the Mpumalanga region.

Warm regards,

Jason Hobbs - Acting General Manager
Protea Hotel The Winkler
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Protea Hotel The Winkler

Address: R538 Numbi Gate Road, White River 1249, South Africa
Location: South Africa > Mpumalanga > White River
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #6 of 10 Hotels in White River
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:4 star — Protea Hotel The Winkler 4*
Number of rooms: 87
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Protea Hotel The Winkler – Your vibey landmark in the Lowveld – Work or Play, the place to stay. Open spaces, African nature at your doorstep and effortless comfort – Protea Hotel The Winkler epitomises the beauty, warmth and tranquility of the unique Mpumalanga province. Facilities available at the hotel include a state of the art conference centre accommodating up to 300 delegates, an on-site paintball course, that can be used for pure fun or team building challenges and for the younger GUESTs a fully equipped Kidz zone. With its ideal location, Protea Hotel The Winkler is a perfect spot from which to explore the beautiful surrounding area which offers attractions like Blyde River Canyon, Sabie Waterfalls and Pilgrim’s Rest. Only 20min drive from the renowned Kruger National Park, 6 kilometres from the White River Golf Course, 8 min drive from the Kruger Mpumalanga Airport and 20 kilometres from Nelspruit, this hotel has a world at its doorstep! ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Protea Hotel The Winkler White River, South Africa - Mpumalanga

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