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“Great hotel in Bloemfontien”

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Protea Hotel Bloemfontein Willow Lake
Ranked #3 of 24 Hotels in Bloemfontein
Certificate of Excellence
Johannesburg, South Africa
Level 6 Contributor
289 reviews
44 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 103 helpful votes
“Great hotel in Bloemfontien”
Reviewed December 26, 2013

The Protea Willow Lake is a great 4 star hotel.
It is located right next to a small zoo and not far from a major shopping centre.
The staff at reception were wonderful and went out of their way to help.
The rooms are more than adequate with all amenities and a great shower.
In particular a lady named Sinethemba was outstanding.
She seemed to be everywhere, reception, the restaurant, checking on the rooms, etc, etc.
The only disappointment was the breakfast. Honestly guys, why spoil your fanatic hotel with a really less than average breakfast.

Room Tip: Ask for a room overlooking the elephant enclosure
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  • Stayed December 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Clive V
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GMWillowLake, Manager at Protea Hotel Bloemfontein Willow Lake, responded to this review, December 29, 2013
Dear CliveV
Thank you for your feedback on TripAdvisor.
I would like to apologise for your experience with the less than average breakfast you mentioned, your experience is most certainly not the reflection of high standard the Protea Hotel Willow Lake strives to achieve. May I please kindly request that you e-mail us a few specifics regarding your concerns with breakfast, so that we can rectify this, your feedback is much appreciated, thank you again.
I am glad however that you mentioned that you enjoyed the hotel and Sinethemba will be very glad to hear that you noticed her good service efforts. Thank you again for your most valuable comments, we hope to welcome you back in future.
E-mail: rooms@phwillowlake.co.za
Thank you once again.

Seasons Greetings
Lindy Meiring
Deputy General Manager
Protea Hotel Willow Lake
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214 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    72
    78
    44
    14
    6
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34
35
12
110
Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (59)
Date | Rating
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  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Port Elizabeth, South Africa
Level 6 Contributor
175 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 109 helpful votes
Reviewed December 20, 2013

My colleagues and I had a memorable stay at this hotel. Our check in proved to be very problematic for the evening staff. There were four of us checking in to separate rooms. We spent a sum total of more than half an hour whilst three very confused staff members checked, then double checked the keys allocated to each of us...only to find that when we eventually made it to the rooms, none of us had the room which was supposed to be allocated to us, the welcome note pleasantly welcoming another person to the room. The room is tastefully decorated with the glass shower smack bang near the double bed with no frosted glass. This ordinarily would not pose a problem, but with the room curtains not being able to close properly, it was very daunting to have a shower with the room window overlooking the hotel bar! At breakfast the next morning, the other colleague had had the similar experience of her curtains not closing and we wondered how many unsuspecting guests had been witness to our showers. The breakfast buffet was magnificent with a wide variety of very delicious breakfast dishes. The attending staff at the breakfast were very friendly and helpful in contrast to the harrowing check in experience the previous evening. I would be apprehensive to have a return visit unless I am guaranteed a room with curtains which can close

  • Stayed October 2013, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Mands007
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GMWillowLake, Manager at Protea Hotel Bloemfontein Willow Lake, responded to this review, December 23, 2013
Dear Mands007
Thank you for your feedback on TripAdvisor and for the concerns you raised. GUEST feedback is very valuable to us, as without it we would not know what we are doing right, but more importantly what we are doing wrong.
I would like to apologise for your experience upon check in and regarding the discomfort with the curtains. We have addressed these concerns with the various departments and our TEAM and see them in a very serious light.
I am glad however that you had a memorable stay, we hope to welcome you back in future.
Kind Regards
Lindy Meiring
Deputy 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.
Umea, Sweden
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed December 8, 2013

The hotel is pleasantly located right next to the zoo with a chance to see exotic animals such as water buffalos and zebras directly from the garden and terrace. The rooms are of reasonable size and fairly good standard. The hotel staff are also generally quite friendly.

Having said the above, the hotel also has a few serious drawbacks:

First, the free Internet access is limited to a maximum of 500 MB per day and requires both that guests log in and answers rather personal questions about whether one reads e-mail on the mobile phone etc. I was kicked out from the network on the second day and it took me some time before I figured out that I had to re-register to receive another block of 500 MB.

Second, the restaurant is not all that good, especially for vegetarians. Most weekdays, the restaurants serves as its only option a rather expensive buffet in which the only vegetarian option was a pasta dish and some steamed or cooked vegetables. The room-service menu is equally limited in vegetarian options.

Third, the hotel does not have an exercise room and the swimming pool is good only for an occasional plunge. I did some running on the streets outside, but needles to say, this is a poor substitute for proper exercise facilities.

I commented on the above in writing while staying at the hotel, using the suggestions box at the front desk, but I did not receive any response from the hotel management.

If Internet access was more convenient and/or unlimited and the hotel had an exercise room, it would easily be worth a rating of 4, but as it is now, I cannot give it more than 3.

Stayed December 2013, traveled on business
Helpful?
1 Thank Wiggins834
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GMWillowLake, Manager at Protea Hotel Bloemfontein Willow Lake, responded to this review, December 9, 2013
Dear Wiggins834

Thank you for taking time to express your views regarding your recent experiences at the Protea Hotel Willow Lake.
Our sincerest apologies for the inconvenience that you experienced with the WIFI facilities, limited menu options and the GUEST comment card feedback.

If you would be so kind as to send me your name, surname and dates of stay to rooms@phwillowlake.co.za, I can further investigate regarding the Hot or Not GUEST feedback card that you mentioned was not responded to. Protea Hotels have recently increased our GUEST complimentary WIFI from 250 MB to the current 500 MB nationally, again our apologies for the difficulty you experienced with this. Your comments regarding the limited vegetarian options are most welcome, we will definitely consider this when revising our menus in future.

Your feedback is truly invaluable to us, without them, we would never know when we are doing right, but more importantly, what we need to rectify to meet and exceed expectations.

Thank you once again, we hope to welcome you back in future.



Kindest regards


Lindy Meiring
Rooms Division/Deputy General Manager
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Linkoping, Sweden
Level 5 Contributor
48 reviews
35 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
Reviewed November 22, 2013

The location is very good, next to the zoo. That means you can see zebras, ostrich, wildebeasts etc from the hotel garden. The interior design is very good, nice colours and some unusual pieces of art. Nice and very helpful staff. But the swimming-pool is really crap. It's very small and on our visit it was a bit dirty. We had the dinner buffé and were not impressed. It is a lot better to go to the nearby mall and eat at one of the restaurants there. In short a nice hotel but a bit expensive and eat somewhere else.

  • Stayed November 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank MargarethaN
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GMWillowLake, Manager at Protea Hotel Bloemfontein Willow Lake, responded to this review, November 25, 2013
Dear MargarethaN

Thank you for taking the time to give feedback regarding your stay at Protea Hotel Willow Lake.

GUEST feedback is imperative for us to ensure whether or not we are meeting and exceeding our GUESTS expectations, and without comments, we would never know when we are doing right, but more importantly, when we are doing wrong.

I must agree with your – Protea Hotel Willow Lake has an ideal setting being part of the Bloemfontein zoo, also a lovely designed Hotel, and we are extremely proud of our product.

I do apologize that you did not have a good dining experience. We do offer buffet most of the evenings, however over weekends we do offer an A la Carte menu, which would have most probably be more to your liking.

Thank you once again for your feedback, and I hope to welcome you back in the future.

Kind Regards

Blanché Walzl
GENERAL MANAGER

Tel : 0514125400
Fax : 0514125404
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Midrand
Level 3 Contributor
14 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed November 16, 2013

....the room service menu...like three dishes 4 dinner ? like seriously ? cocktail menu @ the bar...four cocktails options ?

I give up...but b4 I give up...my advice is please add some variety on those menus...its not prison...otherwise make an option like giving vouchers so that we can "eat-out", if you guys cant keep up with the demands...

Room Tip: its called "Willow Lake" but I didn't actually see any lake....
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  • Stayed November 2013, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Kele2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GMWillowLake, Manager at Protea Hotel Bloemfontein Willow Lake, responded to this review, November 18, 2013
Dear Kele2013

Thank you for taking the time to give feedback regarding your stay at Protea Hotel Willow Lake.

GUEST feedback is imperative for us to ensure whether or not we are meeting or exceeding our GUESTS expectations, and without comments, we would never know when we are doing right, but more importantly, when we are doing wrong.

We do review our menu’s on a quarterly basis, and I want to thank you for your constructive comments regarding adding more variety on our menu’s. Will definitely take this into consideration when re-doing our menu’s again.

Once again, thank you for your feedback, and I hope to welcome you back in the near future.

Have a lovely day further.

Kind Regards

Blanché Walzl
GENERAL MANAGER

Tel : 0514125400
Fax : 0514125404
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Johannesburg
Level 5 Contributor
83 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
Reviewed November 14, 2013

Only having a 1 night stay in Bloem meant that all I really needed was a decent place to sleep. This hotel is simple and modern and is very basic. The room was extremely small and the bathroom is part of the room (rather than being separated). If I had to have stayed for longer it may have been a little confining, but all the amenities were fine and the place was clean. The staff were incredibly friendly but a little inefficient. I was most impressed when after dashing back to the hotel after a very early meeting, the breakfast had been closed but the chef was quite prepared to whip up a plate of hot food. This is not a place of luxury or fine dining, but it is well-situated, clean and suitable for short-term business stays.

Room Tip: Some of the rooms face the zoo. If you want a glimpse of the wildlife, request one of these.
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  • Stayed November 2013, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank FussyOz
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, November 15, 2013
Dear FussyOz

Thank you for taking the time to give feedback regarding your stay at Protea Hotel Willow Lake.

GUEST feedback is imperative for us to ensure whether or not we are meeting and exceeding our GUESTS expectations, and without comments, we would never know when we are doing right, but more importantly, when we are doing wrong.

The design of the room is meant to give the GUEST more space to relax and I am sorry that you did not enjoy the layout.

I am pleased to hear that my STAFF were friendly and assisted your where possible – nothing less is expected from them. I will congratulate them on their efforts.

We hope to welcome you back in the near future.

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.
Tramore, Ireland
Level 3 Contributor
14 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed October 31, 2013

Having read some reviews I detect a pattern about this place.well situated ,classy on the outside
But incredibly substandard at point of delivery in service areas.
The restaurant is the worst I have experienced in quite a while.
Totally disorganised and disinterested.rubbish food.

  • Stayed November 2013, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Hugh H
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, November 13, 2013
Dear Hugh H

Thank you very much for taking the time to post your comments on TripAdvisor.

GUEST feedback is imperative for us to ensure that we not only meet, but exceed all our GUEST’s expectations.

Please accept my sincere apologies for the lack of service you received in the Restaurant, as this is not the service and standard we are usually proud to offer our GUESTS’s.

I would welcome the opportunity to discuss this with you further so i can rectify the concerns raised. My e-mail address is gm@phwillowlake.co.za.

Once again, please accept my sincere apologies, and I am looking forward to your additional feedback.

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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