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“A true oasis in the city...”
Review of Bronte Hotel

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Bronte Hotel
Ranked #1 of 13 Hotels in Harare
Certificate of Excellence
Johannesburg, South Africa
Level Contributor
32 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“A true oasis in the city...”
Reviewed February 12, 2013

The hotel is refreshing with its treed gardens and shrubs of greenery... The staff are well trained and friendly. The Conference facilities were in good condition and with up to date technology, it had internet access too. Internet access in the rooms were also top class. Loved the garden setting the most. Having tea in the late afternoons in the garden was priceless. The location is central but yet not in the hustle and bustle of the city life.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Katrina A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Famina O, General Manager at Bronte Hotel, responded to this review, February 13, 2013
Dear Katrina

Thank you for your positive review on our Hotel. We look forward to welcoming you back to the Bronte.

Bronte Hotel Team
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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355 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (80)
Date | Rating
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English first
Johannesburg, South Africa
Level Contributor
111 reviews
88 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 71 helpful votes
Reviewed January 11, 2013

Average, average, average with a good location. It was great for an overnight stay. The billing system is weird and had a couple of rude waiters in the restuarant confused. Nuff said.

I think is would be very worthwhile up grading to a Superior room as the standard rooms are barely that (no aircon).

Room Tip: Average anything
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Afriod
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
Reviewed December 11, 2012

The garden hotel, set among the chaos and degeneration of Harare, offers charming scenery and soothing serenity for those fortunate enough to cough up a fifth of the country’s annual per capita GDP for the pleasure of a one night stay. You stay is not without reward: the car park, despite the hotel’s central location, offers plentiful space that’s peppered with that familiar presence in elite circles of German engineering: this is the terrain of BMWs, Mercedes and Volkswagen. The bar offers Scotch whisky comparable to a European hotel in quality and price, which might help offset the inevitable feeling of guilt at experiencing luxury amidst such poverty. The Bronte backs up its claims reasonably well, most of what you’ve read from their promotional materials comes alive from as soon as you enter the door: the luscious greenery; the quaint, at times confused, pebbled path leading to your room; a couple of swimming pools, easy on the eye but unusable for all but a colony of midgets. The hotel is difficult to judge by western standards, though that isn’t going to stop me from giving it a shot: the room, being clean but basic, is a solid 3 star by UK standards; the rest of the hotel’s charm and the luscious scenic landscape of its gardens propels the hotel to something more; bearing this and the local context in mind, it is, undoubtedly, a luxury hotel.

So what’s there not to like? The food. It’s not that the food is invariably bad either, it’s sometimes exceptionally good, but at other times, inexplicably, that what they put onto your plate is no more than edible-at-you-own-risk. I stayed there for over a week and often wondered how they ensured such inconsistency so consistently. I can only assume there’s more than one chef. The order of a medium-rare steak can go from being just on the right side of pink to a badly burned piece of charcoal the following evening. Granted it’s something of an extreme measure, but if you’re staying there for a while you might want to answer this question for yourself and then, if there’s an incompetent chef on duty, go elsewhere that evening. There are a few eateries, including a Spar supermarket that does take-out, less than a couple hundred yards away – though what they serve is more fuel than food, unimaginative and uninspired, but functional.

The other minor point is that this hotel is run by people who either lack training in the hospitability sector or have disregarded it at the sight of you. You’re served by waiters whose body language suggests they’d much rather be doing something else, which I suppose is fine, I in their circumstances would rather be doing something else too. But in the American tradition we have become accustomed to the shallow facade of the waiter whose life supposedly revolves around your custom. In other words, if eating out for you is an ‘experience’ rather than a function, then you’ll at least be somewhat disappointed with the approach here. It could, of course just be an elaborate ploy, so that on the rare occasion you get someone who’s informed, pleasant to talk to and has the audacity to smile, you’re positively astounded, such is the break from your pummeled down expectations – I had that cherishing experience a few times at the Bronte.

A few other sundry points:

-take a travel iron if you can, because all you get here is a supposed ironing room, so obscurely placed that it's hard to find, with some chunky piece of metal that chooses on its own accord how hot and dirty it’s going to get for your luxury shirt;

-when you’re getting USD for your trip, ask for small notes: as many 10s as you can. Oh the number of times I’ve paid for something using a large crisp bill, often in this hotel, and gotten back change in tissue paper with indiscernible blots of ink. These you’ll be given in change are unusable outside Zim.

-the hotel has an excellent gym, comprehensively equipped. But nobody seems to use it; so your lonely time there will not be spent queuing.

-their WIFI is included in the room’s rate, and it’s fine for browsing and for email. But you should know, here as in most hotel’s in Harare, the internet is inadequate for video streaming: the allowance is too little and the speed too slow.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
11 Thank Jag S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Arusha, Tanzania
Level Contributor
58 reviews
25 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
Reviewed December 2, 2012

Lovely garden, with many tables (and good internet access) from which to work, which is what most guests seem to do. Small meeting rooms are available (and sheltered corridors) for the rainy season. Conveniently located (Fife Avenue shops within walking distance), but not advisable to go out on foot after dark (not advertised, but there have been more than one muggings of guests). Rooms OK - would be nice if they could at least install refrigerators and window screens. Having said that, Harare's mosquitos are just annoying, not carriers of P. falciparum. Service at the Palm Oasis restaurant can be slow...very slow. But the staff at the reception are quick to respond to each and every request. Emmanuel's Restaurant (located on the same premises) is not at all bad, both quality and price wise (and the service excellent).

Room Tip: Ask for one on the first floor, and not facing one of the busy avenues.
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank ADTLilongwe
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Atlanta, Georgia
Level Contributor
44 reviews
26 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 72 helpful votes
Reviewed November 25, 2012

I've spent nearly a week here and talked to other travelers(one who returns annually and has for over a decade), yes the rooms are basic and with the windows open there will be exposure to bugs but the gardens are amazing. I've spent hours reading and relaxing or visiting with others while enjoying the lovely setting. The restaurant food is nothing special except that it has Haloumi cheese on the menu. I also learned that food comes quickly if you order the special. The hotel staff has been extremely helpful. I had connectivity troubles and at one point their help desk contact offered to come over and address the problem when she got off work (the tech support office is 5k away). I've loved having a key to the door that leads from my room into the garden and spent a couple of afternoons on my private porch. Yes, the rooms are dated, but the are clean and the hotel is convenient to many things in Harare.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank holtie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Geneva, Switzerland
Level Contributor
28 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
Reviewed November 22, 2012

So conveniently located and the garden is just a blessing for your eyes and for your business meetings as well.

Rooms would need to jump into this millennium but remain clean. Lint screen on windows wouldn't hurt neither, many flying insects gather in the bathroom when you turn the lights on and have not carefully closed the vent panes.
Try to get a superior category than the basic one.

Food really decent
Sleep quality : exceptional.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank P H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
South Africa
Level Contributor
30 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
Reviewed November 15, 2012

I did not have a very good experience with this hotel. We arrived late at night and they hotel was full so they offered us a room in their other hotel across the road. This other hotel was still under construction, very dirty and smelly, unsafe and with lots of building materials lying around and not enough lighting. This would never be allowed in other countries.
The next day the moved us to the main hotel but still not good enough, the pictures they show in the website is not how the rooms look like.
Service not very good.
Internet of poor quality but free
IBreakfast was not so good
Luckily found another place to stay.

  • Stayed May 2012, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Keli_SA
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Bronte Hotel

Property: Bronte Hotel
Address: 132 Baines Avenue | Corner 4th & Baines Avenue, Harare, Zimbabwe
Location: Zimbabwe > Harare Province > Harare
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 13 Hotels in Harare
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — Bronte Hotel 4*
Number of rooms: 102
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Bronte Hotel is an oasis of tranquility, renowned for its beautiful gardens and collection of fine Shona Sculptures.Centrally located in the Avenues, within walking distance of downtown Harare, The Bronte offers well appointed rooms and executive suites in an idyllic garden setting.Designed for both the business and leisure traveler alike; our amenities include complimentary Wifi, two swimming pools, a fitness centre, a complimentary breakfast buffet, secure on-site parking, and fine dining at Emmanuel’s Restaurant. We are also the ideal Harare conference venue, with three function rooms and two boardrooms available.A leading Harare hotel for over 25 years, we're committed to making sure your stay is peaceful and pleasurable. ... more   less 
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