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“Sad state”
Review of Birchwood Hotel

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Birchwood Hotel
Ranked #3 of 6 Hotels in Boksburg
Reviewed June 14, 2012

I am actually at the hotel right now. First off no wireless internet so if you have a wifi phone or iPad you're SOL. Heater takes 10-15 minutes to start and with the draft coming from under the door and windows, heater can't keep up. Room is COLD!!! Then when I get back to the room in the evening, the ceiling is caving in and there is a massive leak from the pipes in the ceiling drenching the carpet. Had to pack and change rooms. Second room is colder than the first! Also, don't think about using their toiletries. Overall the rooms are in bad shape. Will not stay here ever again.

Stayed: June 2012, traveled on business
1  Thank Shayman1234
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed June 11, 2012

We stayed at the Birchwood for a couple of nights after spending two weeks in the Kruger.

The place is massive! It's a huge conference center and seems to go on forever!

Finding the room was challenging enough - the map didn't really help.

The room was what I'd expect from a conference center - big beds, TV, fridge, bath etc... the bonus with the Birchwood is that you get a lockable walk-in cupboard (for added security).

The main problem was the 'event' going on over the weekend we stayed - loud music, very loud music, people shouting... all though the night. I wouldn't have minded so much, but we were told there were no rooms available further from where the event was being held (which it would appear was the main car park) and when we checked-in, nothing was mentioned! The first indication we had that something was going on was a note under the door requesting we move the cars from the main car park and several vans turning up... doors being opened... and music being turned on!

We complained... got a discount!

Breakfast was great! So much choice!

Very convenient location - not far from the airport... just ignore that flightpath overhead!

  • Stayed: May 2012, traveled with family
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Thank Littleferrett
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 16, 2012

This is a large hotel with rooms spread around a large lot. Great location for conventions and meetings, however a bit impersonal due to the size. The rooms are confortable and modern, although I heard from other customers that not all of them have been refurbished. Breakfast was excellent in quality and variety.

Room Tip: Try to get a room as close as possible to the front desk. The place is really big and you will need...
  • Stayed: May 2012, traveled on business
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Thank syllia
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 5, 2012

I stayed here for 3 nights- on a recent buisness trip and that was enough As a single female traveller I do not want to be situated on the ground floor of any hotel, due to security issues.However when you see the layout of this vast complex the odds are that you could end up anywhere on your own! I was given a first floor room, a short walk away from the grand reception. Talking of grand reception they have obviously renovated the reception, shame they do not spend some of the money on these tired and shabby rooms. Beds comfy, though, bathroom adequate, in room facilities: iron, hair drier, kettle, powdered milk,tea/coffee etc. I manged to get fresh milk from the breakfast buffet to sit in the huge fridge.
Internet access payable,on arrival . surely the money they charge and rating as a 4* hotel could be included. I paid for mine only to find that the cable downstairs got cut by someone messing around. Theres plenty of that, as this is a conference centre there are hoards of people around all times of day & NIGHT. Rubbish left on staircases in flower pots, anywhere. I compained aboutno internet at 7pm , around 20 minutes later someone came t check itm came back and said the cable ahd been cut and they would fix it. What they did not tell me is that it would be sometime tomorrow. I called reception 3 times over the next 3 hours and no-one could tell me what was going on. At 10.00pm I gave up asking. Returning from work the next day they had repaired it. Shocking service for a 4* hotel more like a 2*. Breakfast enourmous variety of food, some very bland and tastless. Apple juice incipid like water. Hot water -luke warm.
I ate out at the little bistro in the corner of the complex best food I have had for a long time, steak was fabulous, attention to detail great and waiters knowledgable. Getting around the complex is by golf buggy and this is Ok,but no mention of this on the website? I felt the hotel rating was too high, the price too high the service not so good. Bonus points for the free shuttle service to the airport, thank you.

Room Tip: ???? Did'nt see any good rooms, all dark even in the daylight, THey have dark brown or black car...
  • Stayed: April 2012, traveled on business
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1  Thank NitaDorsetUK
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 26, 2012

We stayed here at the beginning and end of our month trip to the Country. The Birchwood offers free pick ups, every hour or so to and from JNB International. Luckily we didn’t have to wait too long for the bus. After a quick check-in we were driven by one of the many golf buggies to our room.

The hotel is on a very large complex (hence the golf buggies),with lots of conference rooms, a little swimming pool and even a small church, very close to the airport, the planes do roar over the site – you can almost touch them! The room was a bit tired but very clean, spacious with two double beds, flat screen TV, fridge, good size room all round. Unfortunately, there is a nightclub (nothing to do with the hotel), boom, boom, boom till about 3:00am!

There are a couple of bars on site and an excellent restaurant.

There is a Spur just outside the Birchwood, we eat there on our first night, it was really good, excellent service and great value for money. There is also a couple of shopping complexes’ with various places to eat.

The breakfast next morning, was the highlight. Self service, freshly cooked. Plenty of room/seating area.

On our return stay we still had our hire car. This was no problem as you are able to park right outside your room. The room this time was newly refurbished. We did ask for a quiet room as we didn’t want a repeat with hearing the nightclub – but alas this didn’t happen and we could still hear the music.

I would definitely stay again, the staff are very friendly, the rooms are extremely clean, but ask for a quiet room.

Room Tip: Request a quiet room due to offsite nightclub
  • Stayed: March 2012, traveled with family
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Thank snowies
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 24, 2012

Visited this Hotel for a conference in March 12. Situated very close to the Airport, this is very huge property with around 600 individual rooms/chalets. The rooms are quite far from the reception area and you need a golf cart (courtesy service) to go back and forth. The rooms/restrooms were quite old and needs renovation. The swimming pool was very small compared to the size of the Hotel. The food/breakfast spread was just ok.
There isnt much to do either around the Hotel. It actually looks like a small town of army barracks.
Not suitable for business traveller,family or couples. Ok for one night stay/transit. Nothing much to write about.

Room Tip: somewhere close to reception area unless you want to walk a bit
  • Stayed: March 2012, traveled on business
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1  Thank TripmasterGogo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 1, 2012

Birchwood is a gigantic campus/compound of a conference centre, not a family holiday hotel or a romantic getaway destination. It's ten minutes away from the busiest airport in Africa and I'd recommend it for business meetings or a not-too-many-frills conference.

It covers about 45 000 square metres, and the buildings are mostly single or double-storey, so the 650+ rooms and multiple venues are spread very far apart.

My room was adequate for somewhere to work and sleep - spacious, clean, aircon (not brilliant aircon though), bath and shower, big comfy bed. It was dark though, very dark, even in the middle of the day with all lights on. It was a tad shabby but really not too bad. My biggest inconvenience was the hand-shower attachment in the bath which was broken on both ends; I always wonder if hotels don't know about maintenance issues like this or don't care.

I like that there was an iron and ironing board in the walk-in closet, and a hairdryer (though the hairdryer only had a cold setting).

I didn't like that even though there was a small fridge it was completely unstocked. Would have been nice to have at least some water or drinks, and MILK for coffee and tea! I don't use sachets of powder at home and I won't use sachets of powder when away from home. I had to go outside of the complex to the supermarket to buy milk. That's not cool.

Noise - because of its nature, there are vast parties of conference attendees staying, and I experienced loud groups chatting/shouting outside my room both early every morning and late every night. Nothing Birchwood can do about this, but just know that it's more annoying than the occasional aeroplane coming into land overhead!

Eating options for non-conference guests are limited - a cafe/bistro/wine bar and a steak restaurant, plus the Birchwood Spur just outside the furtherest entrance.

But for the conference I attended in La Grande the all-buffet catering was quite fine, in three different venues. Breakfast was lovely in a building behind, with very attentive waiters/managers ready with coffee refills, unasked, nice. Lunch was in the fairly vast lapa, peaceful setting and good variety. Supper was upstairs in La Grande, and adequate.

Staff I encountered over three days were friendly and did indeed happily go the extra mile when I needed it - and I had special requests for reservations, waiting and conference centre staff.

But staff aren't trained to explain how the complex works at ALL. I'm curious and figured it out, but within a few minutes when I was sitting outside my room I had to direct a fellow guest to his room and help another two guests use their electronic key cards.

La Grande has a small but crucial flaw as a conference venue - staff are not permitted to print documents from USB sticks because of IT policy re viruses. That's not right for a conference venue, and there should be a way around this.

There is no room service as such, but one orders from the bistro near reception. Quick friendly delivery, and my only criticism is that food is delivered in polystyrene boxes with plastic cutlery, wine with paper cups. Would be nice if there could be real crockery, cutlery and wine glasses.

Advice to guests. I recommend making use of the golf-cart service which operates constantly from the reception area to the entrance on the other side where the steak restaurant and Birchwood Spur are located, and the golf carts will detour if you request it. Don't feel embarrassed, especially if you have luggage or the distance is vast... unless you need the exercise.

Also, make use of the free shuttle to and from the airport and the mall.

All things considered, Birchwood is a decent and honest conference venue, but certainly not a 4-star hotel.

Room Tip: Ask for a new room and one close to reception.
  • Stayed: March 2012, traveled on business
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Thank ExploreFirst
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Birchwood Hotel

Address: Viewpoint Street | Bartlett, Boksburg 1459, South Africa
Location: South Africa > Gauteng > Greater Johannesburg > Boksburg
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Parking Kitchenette Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 6 Hotels in Boksburg
Price Range: $68 - $135 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Birchwood Hotel 3.5*
Number of rooms: 665
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Birchwood Hotel and OR Tambo Conference Centre is South Africa's leading business-to-business conferencing facility, catering to hundreds of business travellers from all over the world each year. Over 17 years of experience in hospitality, and in understanding the needs of our guests, coupled with a location that is hard to beat, are the secrets to our success at the Birchwood Hotel. Added to our "success formula" is our staff who are highly trained and dedicated to exceeding the expectations of our guests. The Birchwood Hotel offers 665 accommodation rooms, 60 on-site venues, three restaurants, including a fine-dining steak-house, a café and wine bar for quick meals and drinks and our aviation bar, for relaxing after a hard day's business. Other facilities include the Mangwanani African Day Spa, a gym, pool and squash courts. We at the Birchwood Hotel pride ourselves on the exceptional service of our staff and their dedication to ensuring all our guests' needs and preferences are catered for. With our large range of venues and facilities which enables us to host any sized event, whether it be for two delegates or 3000 delegates, we guarantee the all-important personal touch, by ensuring flexibility and affordability for all event types and budgets. Let us at the Birchwood Hotel assist you with your next conference, banquet, product launch, exhibition, wedding or accommodation needs, because as Gauteng's premier hospitality hub we endeavour to make your occasion our occasion! ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Birchwood Hotel Boksburg

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