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“Friendly staff the best”

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Protea Hotel Bloemfontein Willow Lake
Ranked #3 of 24 Hotels in Bloemfontein
Certificate of Excellence
Johannesburg, South Africa
Level 5 Contributor
72 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
“Friendly staff the best”
Reviewed January 22, 2013

On business in Bloemfontein, staying at the Protea Hotel Willow Lake. Room is comfy, staff extra friendly and accommodating. Check in fast and efficient. Important however to note that the room is good for single or couple as the shower is not conducive to privacy. It is a glass enclosure in the room. Benefit though is that you can still watch the news while taking a shower, how's that for multi-tasking!

  • Stayed January 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank RonelleJ1955
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 review, January 23, 2013
Dear RonelleJ1955

Thank you for your review and great descriptions of what that the hotel has to offer.

I am glad that our speedy check in and comfy rooms were up to standard during your business trip to Bloemfontein. The STAFF do their best always and this is evident in your wonderful comments. They will be delighted that you had a good time.

Multi-tasking is definitely important in this fast paced environment and your take on the benefits of the in-room shower put a smile on my face.

We look forward to your next business trip to Bloemfontein.

Kind Regards
Blanché Walzl
General Manager
Protea Hotel Willow Lake
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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214 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 (59)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Cape Town Central, South Africa
Level 4 Contributor
47 reviews
27 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
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...
See more room tips
  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
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 review, 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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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Johannesburg
Level 4 Contributor
35 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
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
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
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 review, 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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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 3 Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
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
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
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 review, 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
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
hamburg
Level 2 Contributor
9 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
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
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
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 review, 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
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level 3 Contributor
11 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
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
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
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 review, 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
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Johannesburg, South Africa
Level 5 Contributor
58 reviews
34 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
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
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
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 review, 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
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 Bloemfontein Willow Lake

Property: 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 24 Hotels in Bloemfontein
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
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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