We learned that our South African Airways flight from Johannesburg to JFK was cancelled due to techical faults, and we were informed that we would have to return to the terminal to collect our baggage, wait in a long line to get into a shuttle, an stay in a disgusting hotel in a barred-window section of Johannesburg called "Birchwood Hotel and Conference Center". First class passengers were put up in the Intercontinental Hotel connected to the airport, and we heard later that people who directly complained to SAA agents were provided with rooms there. That only angered us more! By the time we arrived to the hotel check-in, it was already 1:30 AM, and there was a line to check-in and then we needed to ride on a golf cart to get to our room in the freezing cold! When we arrived to the "motel" room, I noticed that the heat was not working. I wanted to call the front desk to notify them of this, but the phone did not work either! So no wake-up call either! We set our camera alarm to get up at 5:30 so we could get a ride to the airport so we could check in on time to get on our 9 AM rescheduled flight to JFK. We viewed this room as an opportunity to at least wash up and get 3 hours of sleep, but in my opinion it wasn't even worth it. The sheets and towels were stained and the sink handle was broken, in addition to the non-working heater on a freezing winter night in Johannesburg. We ended up calling our own taxi ($35) to get back to Johannesburg because of how long the line to use the hotel shuttle was and had to pay for our own breakfast ($15).
This place is a dump and its embarrassing that South African Airways would use them; I guess its the only place that would have room for 300 stranded passengers that would be open last minute! Avoid this place like the plague, or get a written guarantee that you will get the same exact room that they have on their website homepage photo! Oh by the way, the hotel sits right under the flight path of some of the largest and noisiest aircraft in the world. Good luck getting some sleep.
- 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
- Reservation Options:
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- Also Known As:
- Birchwood Hotel Boksburg