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“First class service”

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Protea Hotel Bloemfontein Willow Lake
Ranked #3 of 25 Hotels in Bloemfontein
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed January 20, 2013

We stayed at the Protea Hotel Willow Lake for 4 nights recently. It is a beautiful hotel; whereas most "brand" hotels are generic and all look the same, this hotel has its own style and it is beautiful. The location is also fantastic; there is nothing better than waking up in the morning and going to sit by the swimming pool with your cup of coffee and watch the elephant play with , her tyre! Besides this the hotel is also close to the Mimosa Mall and the Waterfront, which have a wide variety of shops and restaurants (try Brazza at the Waterfront, really good food).

My greatest compliment, however, goes to the staff, who were all exceptional. They were friendly and polite and helpful to the nth degree. I have not experienced such good service in a long time and management shoould be really overjoyed with them. Well done to you all and keep it up; you made our stay amazing.

Room Tip: I believe superior rooms have a view of the zoo. We had a standard room, but it was lovely nonethele...
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  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank ThePugHusky
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ProteaHotels, General Manager at Protea Hotel Bloemfontein Willow Lake, responded to this reviewResponded January 23, 2013

Dear LondonDes

Your review title is a great compliment, as is the 5 star rating you gave us on TripAdvisor – thank you!

I am thrilled to read all of your comments, as we are so proud of what we offer. You have hit the nail on the head with the unique beauty of the hotel itself, as well as our close proximity to nearby attractions. Our unique location next to the zoo, where you can see Thandora the elephant is very special. I would like to inform you that Thandora will soon be relocated to a nearby game reserve so she can play with other elephants, not just a tyre.

The STAFF are the heart and soul of the hotel and it is so pleasing to hear that their positive attitudes and hard work are noticed by the GUESTS. I will be sure to pass on your amazing comments about them.

Have a safe trip back to London and make sure to pop by when next in the area.

Kind Regards
Blanché Walzl
General Manager
Protea Hotel Willow Lake

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198 - 204 of 232 reviews

Reviewed January 15, 2013

Nice enough new hotel on a stop over from driving from the Cape to Johannesburg. Staff are fantastic and the rooms are nice and new with a lovely comfy bed. I do not like the modern space saving trend of putting the shower in the same room as the bed. We were traveling as a couple but if you are a couple of businessmen sharing a twin room it could be a bit embarrassing. We booked here primarily so that we could walk to the Waterfront for dinner but we were told it is unsafe to do so after dark, in fact 'dangerous' was the word used so we ate in the hotel restaurant - awful awful food. The lamb shank had been cooked days before and microwaved, the veggies were stone cold and the calamari rubbery. Nice gimmick being next to the zoo but I found the animals a bit pitiful, but then I am not a fan of zoos. Would find somewhere else next time, or probably would overnight somewhere other than Bloemfontein if doing a long trip again.

  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled on business
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2  Thank Sable37
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ProteaHotels, General Manager at Protea Hotel Bloemfontein Willow Lake, responded to this reviewResponded January 16, 2013

Dear Sable37

Thank you for your review and bringing your concerns to my attention.

I am disappointed that you did not have an enjoyable experience in the restaurant and for that I am truly sorry. I would like to assure you that I have already engaged with the chef and I believe that we are on track to rectifying the issues.

The wording used by the receptionist regarding your walk to the waterfront was inappropriate and inaccurate. I have spoken with the front office STAFF to ensure that this does not occur in the future. I need to assure you that one is able to walk to the waterfront, but as with any country, one must just be vigilant whilst walking at night.

It brings me great joy to hear that you found the STAFF so wonderful and that the room was to your liking, especially the comfy bed. I will congratulate the STAFF on their positive attitudes.

Your feedback is valuable to the TEAM and aids in our on-going search for excellence. Thank you once again and I hope that, should you overnight in Bloemfontein again, we will have the opportunity to show you true Protea Hospitality.

Kind Regards
Blanché Walzl
General Manager
Protea Hotel Willow Lake

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Reviewed December 23, 2012

Clean new rooms . Decor modern with an african flavour. The staff are friendly. cheaper rates for prokard holders. Breakfast R105 per adult. Kids eat for free. Please note there is more than 1 protea hotel in bloem
this review is for the willow lake protea. The rooms have an open plan shower - basin, that may raise privacy issues in families with older children. The shower curtain only partly screens the shower

  • Stayed: December 2012
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1  Thank husainta
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
AnchenHaupt, General Manager at Protea Hotel Bloemfontein Willow Lake, responded to this reviewResponded December 27, 2012

Dear husainta

Thank you for such an informative and feedback filled review. GUEST feedback is an important part of our search for excellence.

I am so happy that your family holiday with the kids was enhanced by the added benefits that we offer at Protea Hotel Willow Lake; topped off by the extra bonuses you received as a Prokard member.

All in all we are delighted that you enjoyed your stay and the sneak preview of the zoo whilst eating your breakfast.

Have a wonderful festive season.

Kind Regards
Blanché Walzl
General Manager
Protea Hotel Willow Lake

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Reviewed December 19, 2012

Room was fine, tasteful, with a big bed. Service was good and friendly.
Exceptional is the location: Right in the center of town, but built into the zoo. So if you have your breakfast outside, you can greet Thandora, the elephant.
Cons: Cleaning staff noisy, promised goodies not offered

  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank soundhunter
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
AnchenHaupt, General Manager at Protea Hotel Bloemfontein Willow Lake, responded to this reviewResponded December 20, 2012

Dear soundhunter

Thank you for your comments on TripAdvisor and your humorous title.

We are very proud of our location, which provides easy access to the main highway and is also near the CBD. Not to forget that we are located within a zoo, so one is able to experience wildlife in the heart of Bloemfontein, just as you did with Thandora – our pride and joy, and we can only agree with you that she makes ones day.

Please accept my sincere apologies for the inconvenience caused with the noise levels of the cleaning STAFF; I will address this immediately. I would appreciate it if you would be able to provide me with more information about the “goodies not received”, as I really want to follow up on this. You can email me: gm@phwillowlake.co.za

I wish you safe travels home and a wonderful festive season.

Kind Regards
Blanché Walzl
General Manager
Protea Hotel Willow Lake

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Reviewed November 23, 2012

I have stayed at this hotel a few times and each time I say I will not return, but this time I defintely will not.

I found the reception staff to be helpful and friendly. That is where the positives end.

The food in the resturant is overpriced and disgusting, room service is horrible. I waited over an hour on evening and when I called to ask how long it was going to take the response I got was I don't know....go and find out then is what a normal hotel would do.

Also I ordered a bottle of wine to take to my room and had an ice bucket, only to be called 1 hour later to be told that they need the ice bucket back, I had not finished my wine and with no fridge in the room I found this stupid and rude.

I had some laundry done while staying there and had to ask to get it back, again never have I had this happen at any other hotel.

There is no gym and the pool is a pond at the most. Rooms are small and the shower is in the room. This could have been very uncomfortabke had I been having a shower the day house keeping came into the room, on check out day. Really, you can see that I have not checked out so why come into my room at 8am!

Overall I would not recommend this hotel, it has gotten worse in the past 12 months, I would hate to think what it will become in another. I stay in a top hotel when in Cape Town and it amazes me that the food and drink here is more expensive yet it is disgusting.

  • Stayed: November 2012, traveled on business
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2  Thank WanderingKiwi78
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
AnchenHaupt, General Manager at Protea Hotel Bloemfontein Willow Lake, responded to this reviewResponded November 26, 2012

Dear WanderingKiwi78

Thank you for taking the time to post your comments on TripAdvisor about your most recent stay at Protea Hotel Willow Lake.

Please accept my sincere apologies for the inconvenience during your stay; your experience is most certainly not the reflection of the high standard that Protea Hotel Willow Lake is usually proud to offer.

It is unacceptable that my STAFF was not able to advise you on the time it would take for you room service to be delivered, as well as the housekeeping STAFF wanting to enter your room before you have vacated. Additional STAFF training has been put in place, and I will ensure that this does not re-occur in the future.

Your feedback is important to us so that we are able to determine if we are meeting and exceeding our GUESTS expectations.

On behalf of the TEAM, we apologise once again and hope that we have the opportunity to offer you true Protea Hospitality in the future should you visit from the United Kingdom again.

Kind Regards
Blanché Walzl
General Manager
Protea Hotel Willow Lake

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Reviewed November 16, 2012

i recently stayed one night at this hotel. Granted nobody is going to Bloemfontein for a vacation and if you going for business you are prob not looking for a luxury resort, but this hotel doesnt quite cut it. I think the cost is too high for what they are offering. R1500 per night. I can stay in a top New york or Cape Town hotel for that price. The staff were friendly but couldnt help me when i needed a work shirt ironed , they eventually found an iron for me but no ironing board. I would imagine if most of the travellers are business travellers that they would get this right.

The room was clean but the same 10 channels of nothing to watch on a Tv the size of a laptop. In this 21st century give the business traveller something different. A nice gym, video games a relaxation room. something please.

  • Stayed: November 2012, traveled on business
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1  Thank larryKrug
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
HeatherPoulsen, Guest Relations Manager at Protea Hotel Bloemfontein Willow Lake, responded to this reviewResponded November 19, 2012

Dear larryKrug

Thank you for bringing your concerns to my attention as, without this, I am unable to improve and deliver the best GUEST service possible.

I would like to apologise for the inconvenience you experienced regarding the ironing of your shirt; as we do offer ironing facilities for our GUESTS. It seems as though one of our very new in-house trainees served you and was unaware of this. I have attended to this to ensure that this does not occur again.

We are aware of the television sets in the rooms and are in the process of replacing them with bigger ones in different phases.

I really appreciate your comments and will discuss them with the TEAM. Please be sure to visit Protea Hotel Willow Lake again, so that we are able to provide you with the experience you deserve.

Kind Regards
Blanché Walzl
General Manager
Protea Hotel Willow Lake

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Reviewed November 10, 2012

We spend one night here. It is a bit of a walk (they say 5 minutes, it is 15 minutes) to the Waterfront Mall. There is no lift so you have to carry your bags upstairs. The rooms were clean, okay for size, nothing special. We got stuck next to the stairs and front desk, very noisy. No other rooms were available. Friends enjoyed view of zoo, but not the smell, we had roadside view. They refused to serve us lunch as our group was too large, so we had to go to the mall to eat. Not sure I would ever stay here again.

Room Tip: Zoo side is good if you can handle smell.
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  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled with friends
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1  Thank scvrose
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
HeatherPoulsen, Guest Relations Manager at Protea Hotel Bloemfontein Willow Lake, responded to this reviewResponded November 12, 2012

Dear Scvrose

Thank you for posting a review on TripAdvisor. Your constructive feedback will aid us in our continuous search for excellence.

It was a pleasure hosting you and your group. The Protea Hotel Willow Lake caters for conference groups of up to 100 people including food and beverage facilities. Should the organisers wish to offer their delegates a change of scenery, there are restaurants close by to choose from.

We are proud to offer our GUESTS a taste of the wild with our on-site zoo. I apologise if you were bothered by the smell, however I can assure you that the hotel grounds and zoo are regularly maintained.

Thank you once again for all of your comments and I hope you have a safe trip back to Valencia.

Kind Regards
Blanché Walzl
General Manager
Protea Hotel Willow Lake

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Additional Information about Protea Hotel Bloemfontein Willow Lake

Address: 101 Henry Street, Bloemfontein 9301, South Africa
Phone Number:
Location: South Africa > Free State > Bloemfontein
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 25 Hotels in Bloemfontein
Price Range: $91 - $146 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Protea Hotel Bloemfontein Willow Lake 4*
Number of rooms: 94
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Protea Hotel Willow Lake provides a serene environment that blends in with nature and the surrounds. The hotel comprises of modern and luxurious rooms, including 2 paraplegic bedrooms; all of which are equipped with air conditioners, selective satellite television channels, tea & coffee making facilities, executive desk with multi adapter plug points, electronic safes and touch dial telephones. Each room has an open plan shower (no baths), with privacy curtains in all twin rooms. Guests are spoilt for choice when it comes to winding down. Choose to relax by the pool or sip on cocktails in the bar and lounge area. Why not visit the exclusive patio, have a bite to eat and experience a breathtaking view of the Bloemfontein Zoo elephant. ... more   less 
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