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“Poor service, poor location and tiny rooms”

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The Palazzo Montecasino
Ranked #1 of 7 Hotels in Fourways
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed November 11, 2010

As a regular traveller to Johannesburg I know most hotels in the area. After a week for business I decided to take my family to Montecasino to unwind for the weekend.
But as my kids quickly pointed out we would have been better off staying in Sandton where even standard rooms are bigger than the family rooms (sleeping 4) at Montecasino.
Maintenance of the rooms is definitely an issue as we were allocated a room with a defective lock. Maintenance was aware of it but not reception - not until my third trip back to the check-in desk to try and get working key cards! And after that we were left on our own to transfer all luggage from one room to the other. Certainly not a 5 star service !
The next bad surprise was the noise. It might not be felt in all rooms but the housings located right next to a motorway and we got awaken by traffic noise as early as 05h30 in the morning. Hotels in the airport or in downtown Sandton were so peaceful in comparison. Noise from neighboring rooms (upstairs or next door) was also above normal.
Last but not least, and as pointed out by some other travellers, management and staff even when notified about issues are either too busy/unavailable to take care of them or acknowledging but doing nothing about it!!!

  • Stayed: November 2010
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1  Thank Olivier B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,048 - 1,054 of 1,146 reviews

Reviewed October 12, 2010

I came back to this hotel after having been very dissappointed by their service standards last time, but thought, let's give them another chance. Well, that was stupid.

The service has gone down to rock bottom. Here I must be careful. I remember Pamela from the restaurant who was really friendly, serviceable, and efficient, and who made me wonder why she was still here. The service staff at reception is a nightmare. One half is falling asleep on their feet, the others have a "get-lost" attitude. This in a five star hotel. Yeah right!

We have had one guest over, his stay was paid for in full, yet when he arrived he was made to wait for several hours, simply because he did not show a credit card on arrival. No drink was offered while waiting, not even an apology. Go walk around, they were told! The reservation of another guest travelling with us, was lost and we had to fight for over half an hour until finally they managed to find it.

Yet you can feel the frustration by the service staff of not being told how to act in the first place. They don't know how to deal with customers in a polite manner, how to answer their queries efficiently and promptly. And they feel something is wrong, which shows. This is in no way the character of a place claiming to be a five star hotel, far from it.

Yet, it is a beautiful place. The building remains to be well maintained. The rooms were spotless throughout, there is the Montecasino nearby, which offers entertainment and food for a fifth of the price at the hotel. It is a nice place to be. It is peaceful and, give and take traffic, can be a nice place to unwind. Unfortunately this hotel is being run down, like a lot of other places in South Africa...

The food was generally very good, but there were certain things missing on the breakfast table: bread. Oh yes, there was plenty of danish pastries, but I did not find any bread there. And even after asking the staff, they could not show me where the damn bread was. I mean, how hard can it be? When ordering coffee, it was forgotten half of the time, as were other items in our food orders. They just don't care. We told them that we were unhappy about, but they just didn't care...

And here is the best of all. The guest relations manager and concierge each called me on two separate occasions in the room, to find out whether my stay was satisfactory. I replied that no, I was unhappy with my stay, as the service was poor. They then asked me, "but the food is good"? So I replied that yes. Then they replied, "ok then, thank".

Nobody cares about anything. Guests are invited to pay what they would pay in five star hotels in Sandton, but get no service in return. In case you have a problem with that, so what? Nobody cares anyway!

I hope that fellow travellers will be advised that this place is running down more and more and that there are many more places opening up elsewhere in Johannsburg, which offer a very high service and at the same price. I certainly was extremely dissappointed by this hotel.

  • Stayed: October 2010, traveled on business
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1  Thank 062211d
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
DGMPalazzo, Manager at The Palazzo Montecasino, responded to this reviewResponded November 24, 2010

Dear Sir,
I refer to your review of the Palazzo Montcasino, 12 October 2010.
It does appear that on both occasions our reception staff who checked you in did not meet your expectation, nor did they live up to the service standards we offer our guest and I would personally like to apologize to you. It is always a challenge to try and resolve any issues in this form of communication, but feel that your comments ought to be addressed.
When a guest arrives early, we always do try and accommodate the guest with a room if we have availability. I am not sure of your check in date and Surname so it is hard to work out what the circumstances where on that day.
Not being offered refreshments on check-in and during your wait is not the norm as we do refer our guest to our coffee lounge to enjoy complimentary beverages. I cannot even begin to imagine why this was not offered and I can understand that this experience has reflected on the remainder on your stay. The manner in which you and your guests where treated is totally unacceptable, and I do share your disappointment.
We appreciate all our guest feedback and take it seriously, and your posting has provided us with sufficient information to focus on the relevant departments who need to take serious corrective measures to improve their service to our guests.
As we keep logs of all our guest calls, check-in etc. I would sincerely appreciate your Name and Surname in order for me to trace the specific staff members who interacted with you in order that we can ensure that they focus on our guest as we expect them too.

I do understand that you live far away, but contact me directly when you next travel to or visit South Africa.
Please contact me directly on madeleiner@palazzomontecasino.com Kind regards

Madeleine Roux
Deputy General Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 8, 2010

We really enjoyed our stay here, they have a beautiful Tuscan theme which is superbly mimicked. Very friendly but badly trained personnel. The room was quite small and seemed nothing more than a checklist for a 5* rating.

  • Stayed: October 2010, traveled as a couple
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Thank QuintonCaoeTown
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
DGMPalazzo, Manager at The Palazzo Montecasino, responded to this reviewResponded November 24, 2010

Dear Sir,

Thank you so much for your feedback and review on our hotel.
In order for us to improve on our service delivery, may I ask if you wish to elaborate about the staff that you encountered during your stay that require more training.
We value all feedback, be it positive or negative and strive to improve at all times.

Please contact me directly on madeleiner@palazzomontecasino.com

Kind regards

Madeleine Roux
Deputy General Manager

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 29, 2010

Enjoyed staying here. Best part was the Montecasino with casino, shopping centre and even a cinema attached to the hotel. Bird garden is super and so is the little ride on the hot ballon. Good one.

One recommendation is to include more asian meals-especially Indian in the menu!

  • Stayed: September 2010, traveled on business
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Thank Travelsfun4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 19, 2010

Stayed for 4 nights during the world cup. The hotel was OK...rooms a bit tired and in need of refurbishment to spruce things up a bit. The grounds were immaculately maintained, the breakfast superb and sitting outside in the mornings overlooking the grounds with a 2nd cappuccino - well it was the business. The service was good and the evening turndown of a high standard. All in all a good but not great hotel which made up for any shortfalls by the service staff, grounds and breakfast. Tip: try the hotel restaurant for dinner - don't be put off by the lack of guests eating there and go for it. The marinated springbok entree was to die for!

  • Stayed: June 2010, traveled as a couple
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Thank MataiDubai
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 17, 2010

My husband an I enjoyed a Thriller Live! show and stay package at the hotel on the 14th August, as a weekend treat for ourselves. The hotel is visually stunning, with decor pieces giving you that inviting and cosy feel. Our room had a good view of the side garden and montecasino complex. The room was not big but was sufficient for our needs. Tastefully decorated and neat, with all the necessary amenities. We had no issues with the service. The pre-theatre dinner menu was satisfying, the show spectacular and the breakfast next morning what one would expect of a 5 star hotel.

We had a good stay at the hotel and would consider coming back for another treat in the near future.

  • Stayed: August 2010, traveled as a couple
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Thank Burgeoning_traveller
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 24, 2010

We stayed at the Palazzo for 3 nights for my birthday, and it being the 2nd time we stayed at this hotel, knew what to expect, and they sure delivered. From the checking in, to breakfast etc etc it was all faultless, and they serve the best cocktails ever! The rooms were very tastefully done and the bathrooms are just stunning with fresh flowers etc. We always choose this hotel when we are in the Johannesburg area.

  • Stayed: October 2009, traveled as a couple
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Thank Atreides77
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about The Palazzo Montecasino

Address: No. 1 Montecasino Boulevard | Fourways, Fourways 2021, South Africa
Phone Number:
Location: South Africa > Gauteng > Greater Johannesburg > Fourways
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beverage Selection Business Center with Internet Access Casino and Gambling Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 7 Hotels in Fourways
Price Range: $210 - $437 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — The Palazzo Montecasino 5*
Number of rooms: 246
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Recreating the look and feel of old-style Mediterranean glamour, without compromising on modern luxury, the Palazzo hotel is a treat for all of the senses. The 246 beautifully-appointed rooms include Standard, Deluxe, Executive and Superior Rooms as well as King Suites, a lavish, opulent Penthouse and bespoke Presidential Suite. Every room is equipped with all of those small touches that add to your comfort - direct-dial phones, tea and coffee stations, mini bars, 24-room service, free WiFi and electronic safes to list but a few. Highlights to add to your stay include the Mangwanani Spa Boutique, a fully-equipped fitness centre, business centre, Montecasino Entertainment Complex, delicious Mediterranean dining at Medeo Restaurant, relaxing cocktails at Cafe Rialto, conference rooms and many more. Outdoors, a large swimming pool invites you to dip into its cool waters to escape the heat of a long day, while the poolside area beckons hours of relaxation as you let your mind finally unwind from the daily pressures of life. This is the start of your experience at the Palazzo in Montecasino... Book now to discover what else lies ahead. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
The Palazzo Montecasino Hotel Fourways
Palazzo Montecasino Johannesburg
Palazzo Montecasino Hotel Johannesburg
Montecasino Hotel

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