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All reviewsconference venuereception areaconference facilitieshourly shuttlethe grilleast rand mallclose to the airporttambo airportexcellent serviceevery hourenjoyed my stayshopping mallshuttle servicecartsgolfvenuesaccommodation
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Reviewed December 29, 2010

After arriving on a longhaul flight we usually stay one night in JNB before going on. We chose this hotel because it is close and has a shuttle to the airport and a shopping mall. The hotel served that purpose very well, it spreads over a large area an has a nice garden. Aircraft-fans will enjoy watching the planes approaching the nearby runway. The rooms were large and relatively nice although pretty simple, for those far away from the reception area, they have golf carts to take you. Breakfast in the restaurant was just okay, for dinner I strongly recommend the nearby Grill restaurant (on the compound) instead.

  • Stayed: November 2010, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank selinunte10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 11, 2010

I thought the hotel was fine, the care for the rooms excellent (issues addressed within one hour), the food was wonderful, lots of fresh choices on the breakfast buffet (hot and cold!). They also know how to throw a good banquet.
The conference facilites were out of control. One never knew in what room one would be meeting from day to day. Technical requirements were not met (a projector to show documents under discussion) - indeed, two afternoons we were left in the lurch completely by the technical staff, although they were requested numerous times both days. A room shift required that we retrieve all our conference material and we only found out about it at 10 pm - it took until almost midnight (and six calls for assistance) for a person with a ladder to help rescue the 99-year-old organisational brocade banner. Internet availability was below standard - the three slow computers in the internet cafe were inadequate for the demands of an international organisation and its leading members. No wonder I, as Conference Secretary, was sick by the end of the week.
Facit - fine if you are spending a layover from the airport. OK for a relaxing weekend, but forget holding business meetings there.

  • Stayed: November 2010, traveled on business
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Thank Konsulentin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 30, 2010

Convenient to the airport but it can be very loud at all hours of the day as the big jets landing at OR Tambo fly overhead.

The beds were adequate, nothing special but after a long flight we still were able to knock out and get a good night's sleep.

The bathroom was the best part of the room. It was large and the shower had great water pressure! A tub as well but we didn't use it.

  • Stayed: June 2010
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Thank flem16
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 22, 2010

Owing to ash cloud, Air France paid for the night, and the hotel complex has excellent security and quite pleasant grounds. But the noise from planes in the middle of the night was terrifying, especially when you see them low above you in the morning!! The staff are wonderful and friendly and genuinely seemed to care that we were stranded. Rooms are basic, and there is no double-glazing.

  • Stayed: April 2010, traveled as a couple
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Thank Elizabeth H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 7, 2010

Birchwood is a massive conference centre situated on a huge piece of land. The golf carts for transport are not an excessive luxury if you your room is far from the reception building and you have a bit of luggage.

The rooms differ significantly in quality. During my last stay, I had a refurbished room (nr. 2054) which was very spacious and comfortable. Earlier rooms I stayed in were not as attractive, though the basic facilities and amenities are there and the beds are comfortable. If you are a light sleeper, you may suffer from the air planes that fly over 24 hours a day on their approach to Johannesburg Airport.

The nicest things of this hotel for me are the extensive gardens, swimming pool and gym. Though the gym is not extensively equipped it provides the basics and is spacious. The gardens are beautiful and well kept and swimming pool is crisp and clean (at least when I was there ;-).

Disadvantages are the staff which are generally not always on the ball and appear to care more about 'the rules' than guest satisfaction. Reception service is dreadfully slow. The lack of free internet (you can get vouchers and a cable at the reception) was a disappointment (as with most hotels in South Africa). As the hotel caters to huge conference groups, everything is focussed at the masses, though I must admit, the food served is good; it’s just that the atmosphere is not there. They also do not mind charging a bit (SAR 420,-) for a late check-out even on a Friday when the amount of arriving guests, I would expect, would be low.

In overview, a good place to stay when you have a conference at Birchwood or for a stopover when you fly to Johannesburg airport. The shuttle service is quite reliable. Prices are OK. Just don't expect personalised service.

  • Stayed: March 2010, traveled on business
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1  Thank woudo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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