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“Disappointing experience at Protes Hotel, Clarens” 2 of 5 stars
Review of Protea Hotel Clarens

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Protea Hotel Clarens
4.0 of 5 Hotel   |   Cnr Main & Van der Merwe Streets, Clarens 9707, South Africa   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #2 of 4 Hotels in Clarens
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“Disappointing experience at Protes Hotel, Clarens”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed March 30, 2013 via mobile

Booked online through our Prokard membership. Asked for 12 noon check in as we had a wedding to attend at 2pm in Bethlehem. Room was not ready so we were given another...right above the metal sliding entrance gate! Only realised the problem with this later that night with the racket of the gate itself coupled with hooting and loud inconsiderate guests coming and going! Room was tiny. Only 1 chair so one of us had to eat room service lunch on the bed. Nowhere to hang toiletry bags and towels...one or the other! Took 20 minutes for room service guy to get the cutlery he forgot in the first place. The one and only chair so bad that your bum is lower than your legs! Impossible to dry hair like that! Room reminds me of a cheap Town Lodge. Really not a pleasant experience given the cost. Will not go back.

  • Stayed December 2012
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ProteaHotels, General Manager at Protea Hotel Clarens, responded to this review, April 5, 2013
Dear Jenny Laufs

Thank you for taking the time to comment on your recent stay at Protea Hotel Clarens.

I am saddened to hear that we did not exceed or even meet your expectations. First of all, your inconvenient room move and allocation which resulted in noise disturbance is inexcusable. Whilst we try our best to offer early check in on request, it is not always possible and I apologise for how this turned out.

Our room configuration is unique with the open plan bathroom; this was done with the vision to ensure more space in the room. I can only apologize for the feeling of inadequate space and design with regards to your toiletry bag, drying hair and eating room service.

Finally, I have discussed the concerns regarding the Room Service and we have taken remedial action to ensure that this does not happen again in the future.

Your feedback is very valuable and will assist us in our search for excellence. We strive to provide the best GUEST service and I assure you that this is not the usual standard that we pride ourselves in.

I welcome the opportunity to discuss this directly and ask you to contact me at gm@phclarens.co.za.

Kind Regards
Lee-Ann Benney
General Manager
Protea Hotel Clarens
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94 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (38)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
  • Any
English first
Johannesburg, South Africa
Top Contributor
70 reviews 70 reviews
58 hotel reviews
Reviews in 56 cities Reviews in 56 cities
88 helpful votes 88 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 4, 2013

My wife decided to spoil me for my birthday, and bought a weekend away for us in the little village of Clarens. We arrived on Friday afternoon, at around 3:30pm, and check in was quick and easy.
The public areas have a modern airy feel. We had booked into a standard room, and while the room is not huge, it did not seem small. The basin and shower are in the room itself, with the toilet seperate from the rest of the room. This opened up a lot of space, because if the room had a seperate bathroom as is standard, the room would have been a bit small. We had a very comfortable kin size bed. There were also tea and coffee making facilities in the room, and a hairdryer included. The TV is a bit small, but adequate for the room.

We had dinner at the hotel, and were pleasantly surprised at the pricing, as the prices were really inexpensive, but the food was really, really good. Also service very good. We had asked for a seat near the TV, as there was a cricket match on at around the time we had booked for dinner. Another guest also wanted to watch a soccer match, but the barman remembered we wanted watch the cricket (which was rained out) and mentioned it the other guest, who asked us if we objected to her watching the soccer.

Clarens is a delightful little town, with so many eateries around, that we did not book breakfast, and the restaurants offered great breakfasts at a much cheaper rate than the hotel.

The Protea Hotel Clarens is situated within walking distance of everything in town, so one can park your car and not drive it around town unless you need to go out of town for any of the adventure activities that are offered around the town.

It was a great weekend, made even better by the hotel, and should we ever go back to Clarens, we will definitely stay at this hotel again.

  • Stayed March 2013, 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ProteaHotels, General Manager at Protea Hotel Clarens, responded to this review, March 6, 2013
Dear Brutus_8

What a wonderful opportunity to celebrate your birthday in the picturesque village of Clarens. I could not agree more about the close proximity to nearby activities and the ability to walk to most of them.

Thank you for your comments regarding my TEAM and the service that you received from them. We pride ourselves on offering an exceptional experience and hearing that you enjoyed your stay with us is fantastic.

I am so glad that you enjoyed the space in your room as a result of the open plan design. It is also pleasing to hear that you were happy with the value offered in the restaurant. As is the same with our service standards, we aim high and strive to offer the best, tasty meals for great value.

Again, congratulations on your Birthday. I hope that this year will bring you much joy and many memories that you can think back on fondly.

We hope to welcome you back very soon as our special return GUEST!

Kind Regards
Lee-Ann Benney
General Manager
Protea Hotel Clarens
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Johannesburg, South Africa
Senior Contributor
25 reviews 25 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 18, 2013

We only stayed overnight on route to Lesotho. I travelled with my parents who are getting on now, so easy access to all amenities are essential which they are. The service for checking in was a bit slow and we did not get the originally allocated rooms. Instead rooms 101 and 102 were given to us. They must be meant for emergency accommodation only! Nothing wrong with the standards of the rooms themselves, but their entrances are above the reception and lounge area. Also if you like to have your window open, those 2 rooms are sealed. Do not expect to go to sleep until the last of the hotel guests have departed and the staff finished clearing. Being in this location does mean that you will get woken very early when the staff starts their activities with setting the restaurant area for breakfast at around 5 30am. Don't expect a peaceful night! Checking out was quick and hassle free. I'm sure the hotel though pricy is worthwile to select for a stay as long as you avoid rooms 101 and 102.

Room Tip: avoid rooms 101 and 102, preferably level 2
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ProteaHotels, General Manager at Protea Hotel Clarens, responded to this review, February 19, 2013
Dear WILLY I

Thank you for your feedback regarding your recent stay. My sincere apologies for your restless night due to noise near your room.

There is no excuse for your disappointment and the incorrect allocation of your room should not have occurred. Due to the fact that we were fully booked, these rooms were made available.

Protea Hotels prides itself on providing the best GUEST service and a feel at home experience. I hope that we will get the opportunity to welcome you and your parents back to show you true Protea hospitality.

Please contact me at gm@phclarens.co.za should you wish to speak directly.

Kind Regards
Lee-Ann Benney
General Manager
Protea Hotel Clarens
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 20, 2013

Protea Hotel, is nicely positioned in clarens. In the heart of the little town, easy walking distance. So no need for drinking and driving if you go out for dinner.
Nice over night stop from JHB to DBN.

Breakfast was yummy, staff very friendly and has a lovely view.(just ask for room with a view)

However , i found rooms small, and expected more compared to other prorea hotel experinces. It reminded me of TownLodge or CityLodge and therefore found that our R1500 didnt offer value for money.

On our next trip to Clarens we would consider B&B as it might provide more value for money, might also be little bit more Clarency.

  • Stayed January 2013
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 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.
ProteaHotels, General Manager at Protea Hotel Clarens, responded to this review, January 23, 2013
Dear actravellerbug

Thank you for visiting the Protea Hotel Clarens.

I am thrilled to hear that you enjoyed the Breakfast and that my TEAM looked after you.

We are very proud of our unique location in this lovely town. With the knowledge of the great natural beauty that Clarens has to offer, the architects took into consideration the environment and incorporated it into the design to allow for the natural surroundings to filter into the hotel. All this was done to ensure a true Clarens experience from service to food and the hotel itself.

Our Prokard loyalty program automatically adds value to you as you are instantly upgraded to a VIP in all Protea Hotels. As part of Prokard benefits, you receive discounts on rates as well as earning Rand valued points when you stay on a rate at any Protea Hotel.

Please let me know if you would like more information and I will contact you personally to explain the program.

Hopefully you will visit us again if you are passing through to KZN.

Kindest Regards
Lee-Ann Benney
General Manager
Protea Hotel Clarens
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Pretoria, Gauteng, South Africa
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 1, 2013 via mobile

We stopped over for one night only en route to the coast. This being our first time in Clarens, we weren't sure what to expect from the other hotels and B&B's and hence decided to take a gamble on the Protea Hotel. The staff were very friendly and attentive since the moment we arrived. We had dinner at the restaurant and was pleased with the quality of the food and impressed with the service. Breakfast was included in the price - what a wonderful breakfast! My 10 year old son loves a good omelet and ever since he has kept referring to the 'omelet he had in Clarens'. The waiters also remembered us from the previous evening and were very attentive. The rooms are what you would typically expect from this type of establishment. We stayed in 2 rooms, fitted with 2 double beds each. The rooms were clean, neat, very new. The showers take some getting used to though. The shower and basin is in the room, while the toilet is separate. This means that when you get our of the shower, you're in full view of everyone in the room. If you're sharing with a spouse, that would be okay, but it will cause problems with scenarios where the room mates aren't quite that intimate. Not sure if all the rooms are like that, but the 2 we had were identical.

I would definitely stay there again when we visit this quaint little town.

Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
AnchenHaupt, General Manager at Protea Hotel Clarens, responded to this review, January 3, 2013
Dear Desiree H

I hope you had a wonderful festive season and that 2013 will hold many moments of magic for you and your family!

I am so glad that you decided to stop in Clarens on route to the coast, and more importantly that you stayed at our hotel.

Clarens is a wonderful little village and I hope that when you return, you will have a bit more time to take in the scenery and enjoy all the mysteries that makes Clarens so spectacular.
The hotel offers a variety of room types ranging from rooms with a small balcony to rooms with en-suite bathrooms (with a separate bath and shower) for GUESTS that require a little more privacy.

Thank you for the kind words about my TEAM and for expressing how much you enjoyed your stay. I am so glad that your son is still talking about the omelet; I know that this will fill my chefs with pride.

I look forward to welcoming you back to the “Jewel of the Eastern Free State” very soon.

Kindest Regards
Lee-Ann Benney
General Manager
Protea Hotel Clarens
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sleaford, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 16, 2012 via mobile

Great hotel! Fab location! Friendly staff! Excellent food! You can't fault it!!
Clarens is a beautiful little town with quirky shops/things to do. Book spa treatments/activities in advance. Same applies to the few gorgeous restaurants in town otherwise you will be disappointed!
Oh, and the scenery is out of this world! :-)

Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
AnchenHaupt, General Manager at Protea Hotel Clarens, responded to this review, December 18, 2012
Dear Werner N

Wonderful experiences are what my TEAM strives for every day.

I am delighted to hear that you enjoyed the splendor of our little village of Clarens and all its offerings, and that Protea Hotel Clarens provided a friendly environment as your home away from home.

My TEAM are most appreciative of your enthusiastic comments and that they were able to meet and exceed your expectations.

We look forward to welcoming you back in the very near future!

Have a wonderful festive season.

Kind Regards
Lee-Ann Benney
General Manager
Protea Hotel Clarens
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hillsborough, North Carolina
Senior Contributor
23 reviews 23 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 8, 2012

We were immediately put on edge when the staff checking us in asked "have they explained about the room" No "they" hadn't . We booked online. The booking Confirmation form had the words "universal access" . What does that mean? Well the shower is in the middle of the room with no surround. Obviously it was a handicapped room. Not to worry "does it have a good view? No" . OK we would like a different room please. Sorry fully booked. OK can we see the manager. A different room was provided. OK so we got off to a poor start but everything was great from there on. Staff were friendly, food was great, beds were amazing and the location and views were fantastic.

Room Tip: Make sure to ask for a room with a mountain view. I am not sure if all universal access rooms have n...
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 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.
HeatherPoulsen, Guest Relations Manager at Protea Hotel Clarens, responded to this review, November 5, 2012
Dear Eddie C

Thank you for posting your review about your recent stay.

My sincerest apologies for any inconvenience experienced with the “Universal Access” rooms. We take for granted that our GUESTS understand hotel terminology and unfortunately with an online booking, there is no voice on the other end to explain the room configuration if there is any uncertainty.

I am glad that my TEAM was able to assist and offer an alternative room for your stay and more importantly that you enjoyed your stay with us.

We look forward to welcoming you back in the very near future and hope that you had a great trip to Mumbai.

Kind Regards
Lee-Ann Benney
General Manager
Protea Hotel Clarens
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Protea Hotel Clarens

Address: Cnr Main & Van der Merwe Streets, Clarens 9707, South Africa
Location: South Africa > Free State > Clarens
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 4 Hotels in Clarens
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — Protea Hotel Clarens 4*
Number of rooms: 70
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Protea Hotel Clarens - Home is where the Art is. The Protea Hotel Clarens is located in the best kept secret in art and culture circles of the Free State. The picturesque village of Clarens is framed by the majestic Maluti Mountains, sandstone cliffs and is in close proximity to the Golden Gate National Park and the mountain kingdom of Lesotho. This artists’ haven is a tapestry steeped in history and rich in legend. Experience a living masterpiece that exudes sheer style, luxury and design. Protea Hotel Clarens blends in with the natural splendour that has inspired artists, eco lovers and tourists who simply enjoy the art of living to explore this tranquil, magical landscape and relax, in style. Take in the breathtaking scenery with sundowners on Protea Hotel Clarens’ terrace, enjoy fine dining or laze away the hours in luxury and comfort. This sanctuary embodies state-of-the-art excellence and service. From adrenalin rushes to cultural expeditions, Clarens offers it all. With an abundance of activities nearby, from San paintings and dinosaur trails to white river rafting and rock climbing; Protea Hotel Clarens’ warm hospitality completes the picture. So whether you plan a romantic getaway, team-building exercise, business conference or African adventure, Protea Hotel Clarens has it all. ... more   less 
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