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“Do not bring a cat!”

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Southern Sun Hemingways
Ranked #2 of 14 Hotels in East London
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed December 8, 2013

We stayed at Hemmingways for a weekend at the time of the National Water Polo tournament. The hotel was very full and space was at a premium. We stayed there as we were told it was the best hotel in the area. We were a little disappointed, but it was at ;east clean and serviceable.

The rooms were very small. Tried to take my medium sized suitcase out this morning and it did not fit between the end of the bed and the wall! Very cramped indeed. The hotel has not fittings, but not well installed. Just misses and several small niggles throughout.

Breakfast was good, but make sure you get there early as not many tables. Small bar in the breakfast area that has no atmosphere. Lack of a pub is strange at a hotel like this. Even going into the adjoining mall did not reveal any great pubs.

Overall an OK hotel. Staff were quite friendly, without neing over the top

Room Tip: avoid the rooms on the 2nd floor that come from the parking garage. Can be noisy at night. We did no...
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  • Stayed: December 2013, traveled with family
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Thank Richard N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Liz R, Manager at Southern Sun Hemingways, responded to this reviewResponded April 7, 2014

Dear Richard
Thank you for posting your very detailed report on TripAdvisor. As most hoteliers would probably confirm, we are always left to work with a product that an architect has designed be it small rooms, insufficient storage etc. We do aim to make the most of the product that we do have.
You will be delighted to know that we are converting an existing restaurant into an action bar next to the Casino floor and I am sure that this will be right up your ally.
We are also pleased that you did not bring that cat as the General Manager is allergic to cats and she has suggested that we upgrade you to a larger room in the future.
We just need to know when you and your suitcase will be back.
Kind regards
Liz
Deputy General Manager

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292 - 298 of 326 reviews

Reviewed November 20, 2013

Recently refurbished hotel in planter style, perfectly adequate for a night or two on a business visit. Nice staff, efficient service, good little restaurant with a proud chef, everybody well trained and smiling. Comfortable rooms, clean, slept well, no complaints.

BUT..... to my astonishment the hotel corridors link straight to the open lobby and restaurant area, which extends right up to the top floors. This means that if a fire started in the public areas, smoke would rise and spread and the corridors would rapidly become smoke-logged. It was smoke that killed 16 guests in the Sheraton hotel fire in Cairo in 1990 yet hotel designers are still making this fundamental error. There are of course fire exits at the ends of the corridors but no self-closing fire doors with intumescent seals to block off the lobby so guests would need to be roused and moving fast in the right direction in order to avoid the smoke. I have seen the same dangerous design fault in the Protea hotel in Ikeja, Nigeria, another South African-designed hotel. What is going on?

Room Tip: Check your escape route before retiring.
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  • Stayed: October 2013, traveled on business
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Thank UkGlobalrider
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Liz R, Manager at Southern Sun Hemingways, responded to this reviewResponded April 6, 2014

Dear Concerned Guest
Thank you for posting your concerns with regards to the fire safety in the hotel.
Subsequent to your posting we have consulted with our safety specialist and risk management department. They have assured us that should a fire start in the public areas it would not spread to the corridors as these are fitted with B class fire doors which close automatically as soon as a signal via the smoke detection system has been received.
The hotel is also protected with a sprinkler system in all areas which is also linked to an early warning smoke detection system and in accordance with SANS regulations.
We appreciate your concern and trust that our response will put you at ease.
We hope that this will not deter you from returning to Hemingways.
Kind regards
Liz
Deputy General Manager

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Reviewed November 8, 2013

I stayed at Hemingways last year during the renovations and found the hotel good - this time around it was very good! The welcome is genuinely friendly, the room service is quick and the staff are proactive. I ordered a bottle of wine via room service on the first night but drank only half of it and when I ordered room service on the second night i mentioned that i still had half a bootle of wine and then realised I had not asked for a glass - not to worry, when the food arrived there was the wine glass!

My room was a corner room with plenty of space and a small lounge - very comfortable so I couldn't ask for anything more. I hope to back soon!

Room Tip: The corner rooms are great - bedroom with TV plus a small lounge with another TV and bar fridge.
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  • Stayed: November 2013, traveled on business
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Thank KrugerToKalahari
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Liz R, Manager at Southern Sun Hemingways, responded to this reviewResponded April 7, 2014

Dear Johannesburg Traveller
It was great to read your review as it indicates that you are a regular guest to our hotel. We appreciate your positive comments with regards to the room service standards and are please to inform you that they are still rated high in service on our customer satisfaction survey, we are very proud of them and honoured to have such staff working with us.
We look forward to welcoming you back on your next visit to East London.
Kind regards
Liz
Deputy General Manager

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Reviewed November 3, 2013

The hotel is definitely of a better standard than other Southern Sun hotels I've stayed in. The rooms are somewhat cramped for space. I am beginning to wonder whether being a subscriber is of benefit at all and this must be the worst loyalty program around with no recognition on arrival, no special adavantage whatsoever. A room upgrade is offered at the highest tier and there are FOUR levels. The staff here are very pleasant and courteous. I would return to the hotel.

Room Tip: A 2 night maximum would be best
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  • Stayed: October 2013, traveled on business
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Thank Yusuf O
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Liz R, Manager at Southern Sun Hemingways, responded to this reviewResponded April 7, 2014

Dear Yusuf
I was concerned to read that you feel that the rewards programme is not rewarding frequent guest like yourself. I am not sure if you are aware that the rewards have been realigned based on a survey which was done with members of the programme. In order to unleash the value of your rewards please visit our website on tsogosun.com .
May we suggest that when you make your future reservation that you request a corner room as these are larger in size and I am sure will meet your expectation.
To us you are a very special guest and we will do everything in our power to ensure that you are looked after during your stay.
Thank you for your patronage and I look forward to meeting you on your next visit to East London.
Kind regards
Liz
Deputy General Manager

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Reviewed October 5, 2013

I have stayed at Hemingways many times. In fact, from the time it first opened its doors, almost 10 years ago. It has mainly been for business.

Everything about this hotel is great!

With it being recently extended and renovated, as a Frequent Guest President member I simply love your new look and feel!

The staff is very friendly, courteous and forever helpful. Well done to Tsogo Sun, who has invested in ensuring that staff is well trained!

The conference facilities are also very good and cater for all group sizes.

I will return to Hemingways again and again.

  • Stayed: October 2013, traveled on business
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Thank Mzansi4Life
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hemingways006, Manager at Southern Sun Hemingways, responded to this reviewResponded October 10, 2013

Thank you so much for your excellent rating of Hemingways Hotel. We value your feedback and look forward to welcoming you back to Hemingways.
Kind regards
Liz Rowland
Assistant General Manager

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Reviewed September 20, 2013 via mobile

I stayed for 2 nights while on business and was pleasantly surprised by the tastefully done renovations. The service was good and the meals were excellent. The bedrooms are a bit small, but it was fine for me alone. The bathrooms are ok, although rather plain. Overall a good experience.

  • Stayed: September 2013
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Thank Des1963
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hemingways006, Manager at Southern Sun Hemingways, responded to this reviewResponded October 10, 2013

We are delighted that you are impressed with our new renovations and additions.
We pride ourselves in service delivery and really appreciate your feedback.
We are looking forward to welcoming you back to Hemingways.

Kind regards
Liz Rowland
Assistant General Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 3, 2013

This hotel really gives value for money, luxury, clean rooms, staff is efficient nd friendly, food is fantastic. I would give this hotel a 10 and would reccommend it to anyone regardless of the nature of their stay.

  • Stayed: August 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank allisonh92
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hemingways006, Manager at Southern Sun Hemingways, responded to this reviewResponded October 10, 2013

Thank you so much for your excellent review and for recommending Hemingways.
We pride ourselves in service delivery and appreciate your feedback.
We are looking forward to welcoming you back to Hemingways.

Kind regards
Liz Rowland
Assistant General Manager

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 Southern Sun Hemingways

Address: Cnr Western Avenue and Two Rivers Drive | Vincent, East London 5200, South Africa (Formerly Hemingways Hotel - East London)
Location: South Africa > Eastern Cape > East London
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge 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 Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 14 Hotels in East London
Price Range: $160 - $337 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Southern Sun Hemingways 4*
Number of rooms: 108
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
East London is one of South Africa’s best kept secrets with a multitude of attractions but still maintaining that small town feel. The Hemingways Hotel is situated adjacent to the Hemingways Casino and Hemingways mall. It affords easy access to all the major highways, national roads and the airport. Inspired by Ernest Hemingway, this sub-tropical styled hotel offers a unique island lifestyle break, right in the heart of South Africa. ... more   less 
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