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“An appalling experience”

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Southern Sun O.R Tambo International Hotel
Ranked #10 of 26 Hotels in Kempton Park
Polokwane, South Africa
Level Contributor
7 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“An appalling experience”
Reviewed December 18, 2012

On arrivial at the hotel, we were unable to use the drop-off zone in front of the hotel, as the area was taken up by buses. We parked in the hotel parking. My husband and I carried as much of our luggage as we could from the hotel parking at the back of the hotel by ourselves, and were offered no assistance. When we asked for a porter for the remaining luggage, the receptionist shouted across the foyer to attract a porter's attention. She was twice ignored. My husband fetched our luggage himself. We were not shown to our room, so we found a luggage trolley and took our own luggage ourselves. We did not realise that the floors were split, and ended up in the wrong area. We took the lift down, walked back in full view of many staff members to the correct area (while my husband was struggling with the luggage trolley), and were totally ignored. We complained and were asked what the staff could put in our room to 'help the whole hoo-ha go away'!! We requested a 50% reduction on our room rate, and were subsequently given this. We thent went out for dinner. On return we realised that the air-conditioner was not cooling. We went to reception and complained. On returning to our room, our card key would not work. The technician was unable to mend the aircon. We were moved to another room. The aircon did not work there either! The technician fiddled with it and said that he hoped it would now work - it didn't. My husband called the General Manager, who was not terribly helpful. Eventually we were moved to yet another room. It was close to 11:00pm by this stage.
We found this to be a most appalling experience, and would never consider using this hotel group again.
A further point - the signs to the hotel are virtually non-existent and it was diffucult finding the hotel.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Rosie H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Louis-AndreBotha, Manager at Southern Sun O.R Tambo International Hotel, responded to this review, January 23, 2013
Thank you for rating out Hotel & Facilities on Trip Advisor.

Apologies for the inconvenience caused during your stay with us and I can assure you that this is not our usual standard of service. We did share your concerns with the Team members involved and the corrective action has been put in place.

Please note that we’re currently busy with a renovations project to upgrade our facilities to you our valued guest.

Should you wish to return for another stay please get in to contact with our Guest Relations Manager Tenza Mbombo on tenza.mbombo@tsogosun.com who will insure you’ll have a pleasant experience with us.

Kind regards
Louis-Andre
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,228 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 bubbles
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Dallas, Te4xas
Level Contributor
87 reviews
34 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
Reviewed December 14, 2012

We recently stayed at this hotel twice - at different times as we were traveling to/from other destinations in southern Africa. The first time was uneventful and our check-in experience was good. Breakfast buffet was excellent. The second time, we checked in and the air conditioning was not working in our room. The room was located in the tower that had not been renovated. We asked for someone to come up while we went to dinner but when we got back it was still not fixed. We asked to change rooms. The only thing available was in a smoking room but we took it as the smell was not too bad and we were exhausted from traveling. This room did not have water - not shower - no water from the sink and no water to flush the toilet. We were so tired we went to bed rather tha move again and reported it the next morning. The manager didn't believe us and finally went up to check and discovered it was true - we, indeed, did not have water. We asked for a refund or partial refund and he and he steadfastly refused - in a very unfriendly way. He finally agreed to comp the buffet dinner we had had the night before that was valued at about $18 per person. We were unhappy but had to leave to get to the airport for our flight. Would not recommend this hotel again.

Room Tip: Ask for the renovated tower but check to make sure you have air conditioning and water.
See more room tips
  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Gwenna
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Louis-AndreBotha, Manager at Southern Sun O.R Tambo International Hotel, responded to this review, January 23, 2013
Thank you for rating out Hotel & Facilities on Trip Advisor.

Apologies for the inconvenience caused during your stay with us and I can assure you that this is not our usual standard of service.

You'll be glad to hear that we’re currently busy with a renovations project to upgrade our facilities to you our valued guest.

Should you wish to return for another stay please get in to contact with our Guest Relations Manager Tenza Mbombo on tenza.mbombo@tsogosun.com who will insure you’ll have a pleasant experience with us.

Kind regards
Louis-Andre
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
187 reviews
108 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 81 helpful votes
Reviewed December 13, 2012

Overnighted in this hotel on the way to Cape Town. Staff helpful and friendly. Service good. The hotel room was clean but tired. Shower flooded when shower was used. No hotel Wi Fi. Restaurant more like a mess hall than a restaurant. Food OK, but buffet only and while selection was good many of the dishes had obviously been out fo quite a while and food was either dry or cold. Wine selection basic, but reasonably priced. Floor in corridor outside room uneven and lumpy as if partly dislocated by an earthquake - quite disconcerting. Hotel has a false facade. All in all probably not worth another stay

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank AubreyP695
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Louis-AndreBotha, Manager at Southern Sun O.R Tambo International Hotel, responded to this review, January 23, 2013
Thank you for rating out Hotel & Facilities on Trip Advisor.

Please note that we’re currently busy with a renovations project to upgrade our facilities to you our valued guest.

Should you wish to return for another stay please get in to contact with our Guest Relations Manager Tenza Mbombo on tenza.mbombo@tsogosun.com who will insure you’ll have a pleasant experience with us.

Kind regards
Louis-Andre
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mossel Bay, Western Cape, South Africa
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed December 11, 2012

I stayed over on the evening of 8/8 December 2012. Checked in and went to my allocated room. The following was not working:
- aircon: called reception and was sent a very very slow and unfriendly maintenance man. He fiddled with the aircon until it was working and left without saying anything.
- TV aerial cable was not properly wired in and I repaired both ends myself as I did not want to be bothered by the maintenance man again
- no hot water to shower with. Got up the morning and wanted to have a shower before my long international flight and no hot water. Had a cold water shower and shave, which was not to comfortable at all.
- a tin of Coke Zero costs R23. How do you justify that?
- on all room service bills has a very prominent place on it for a gratuity. I give a tip when the service is good, not just because its written on the bill.
When I checked out I told the check-out lady about it. She just looked at me and handed me the bill for my stay. Next to me was a foreign visitor that was also complaining about the service and the condition of her room.
Then to make matter worse, the bus shuttle service to OR Tambo airport waited for about 25 minutes before it departed for the airport. There were 4 passengers in the shuttle, all very irritated.
When we buy and pay for a service or article, we expect to receive what we pay for. At SS OR Tambo this is not the case.
I was emailed the customer questionnaire and completed it, but never received an answer. Just goes to show how much you care about your service and your customers.
I travel a lot all over the world with my employees and friends, but never again will we stay at SS OR Tambo. I shall also inform everybody I know about this experience. Word-of-mouth is a very powerful tool indeed.
Cheers
Andre

Room Tip: Rooms need to be checked before guests arrive and not after the have taken occupancy of the room.
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Andre B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Louis-AndreBotha, Manager at Southern Sun O.R Tambo International Hotel, responded to this review, December 13, 2012
Dear Mr. Burger

Thank you for raising your concerns with the Hotel.

I believe Tenza our Guest Relations Manager have made contact with you to discuss the lapse in service in detail.

Apologies for the inconvenience caused.

We hope to welcome you back to the Hotel in the not too distant future.

Kind regards,

Louis-Andre
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
91 reviews
80 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 72 helpful votes
Reviewed December 9, 2012

I stayed in the hotel on account of airfrance loosing my baggage, hence the room was paid for by the airline. This is mentioned as I feel it is relevant to the review as a hotel of this standard is usually out of my travelling budget so I am perhaps reviewing my stay with inexperienced eyes!

The hotel was very close to the airport- literally a 2 minute ride in the hotels shuttle bus. Even so, the hotel is extremely quiet and but for the flight departure/arrival screens in the reception area you would have no hint of being so close.

The staff are friendly, but incredibly formal. Check in was swift but did not necessarily make you feel especially welcome, which I found ironic as an array of 'welcome' drinks and snacks were on offer when entering the foyer, albiet served by a member of staff in a somewhat rigid manner!

The restaurant food was sensational- a huge quantity of great quality and something I would imagine for everyone from a variety of cultures. For the evening meal this included salads, soups, a choice of maybe 6 hot meals, meat to choose to bbq, veg, rice, pasta, pap and mountains of ice cream/desserts/fruit! Eggs, sausages, bacon (2 types), baked beans, fried rice, mushrooms, oats, waffles, pancakes, fruit, toast, cereals, meats, cheese, bread were on offer for breakfast as well as a stand for DIY smoothies. Some have commented that it was expensive- however as I wasn't paying and didn't have to consider the cost I felt this was an amazing array of food!

The room was nothing special, pretty characterless in fact. The a/c wasn't very efficient (potentially non existant), and the bathroom looked like it had stepped out of the 70s. It did however have an extremely comfortable bed and the fastest filling bath I have ever experienced.

I would probably not stay here again as I don't have this kind of money, and if I did I would probably prefer to spend it elsewhere. However, there was nothing worthy of a complaint, the stay just wasn't in my view something to get enthusiastic about.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank deluxetrolley
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Louis-AndreBotha, Manager at Southern Sun O.R Tambo International Hotel, responded to this review, December 9, 2012
Thank you very much for the feedback on Trip Advisor.

We hope to welcome you back to our Hotel in the not too distant future.

Kind regards,

Louis-Andre
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cape Town
Level Contributor
26 reviews
25 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
Reviewed December 5, 2012

We travelled on holiday earlier in the year and as a result of the flight schedule, we had to overnight in Johannesburg. The stay was disappointing. Nonetheless, we travelled again and owing to the flight schedule- again had to overnight in Johannesburg and opted to try the hotel again believing that the busy time of year we travelled previously may have played a role. (Just after Christmas.)

On arrival at OR Tambo- there are still no clearly marked boards to the hotel shuttle. Luckily we had a fairly good idea how to get there from the last stay, although we had to check with airport staff again.

At reception we had our credit card charged with an amount of ZAR2000.00- ZAR1600.00 for the room with a ‘surcharge fee for additional expenses’. This ZAR400.00 surcharge would be subtracted from the services used and the transaction cancelled and the correct amount re-entered for charge on departure. Why not just pay for the whole stay on check-out? (Seems a bit suspicious in my opinion, especially if you forget or are in a hurry…)

Dinner was expensive, (ZAR400.00 for the buffet), as we had not included this in our booking. Overall- we thought that the best part was the starter- and only the starter. Main course was bland, boring and very uninspiring.

Our room could not have been any further from the elevator even if the reception had tried. In addition to this- we were unable to lock the door from the inside of the room as the door lock did not line with the door frame properly. The best I could do was place the bolt over the pin.

The carpet was very dirty and stains were clearly evident in the maroon carpeting- even with the poor lighting in the room.

The door to the bathroom wouldn’t open all the way as the shower curtain railing had a silly outward curve that blocked the door- and the bathroom was not big either.

The drainage in the shower was pitiful. The shower curtain and the shower head were so badly mounted that the water just puddled up at the base of the wall where it met the bath and literally streamed onto the bathroom floor- flooding it. (We had to use 2 towels to prevent slipping.)

We tried to cover and prevent the water from running out- to no avail. This had clearly been a problem before, as evidenced by some rather shoddy work that had been performed on the bath. (A large wooden panel covered the bath, but was damaged by water and we also found substantial mildew on it.)

The shower curtain was the final straw. I abhor standing in a bathroom and clearly seeing the contents of the nasal mucosa from a guest before me stuck to the curtain. (And there was no mistaking it!!!) Should the management of the hotel read this- as they did my last review- feel free to contact me- I have a photograph.

After a second stay at this facility, I can’t justify overnighting here for ZAR2000.00 again. For a South African chain of hotels that markets itself as a premier brand- this was an epic fail.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Anon3690
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Louis-AndreBotha, Manager at Southern Sun O.R Tambo International Hotel, responded to this review, December 9, 2012
Thank you very much for raising your concerns on Trip Advisor.

Please contact me on louis.botha@tsogosun.com in order for us to rectify some of the maintenance related issues in the room.

Kind regards

Louis-Andre
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Albuquerque, New Mexico
Level Contributor
89 reviews
35 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 40 helpful votes
Reviewed November 28, 2012

I stayed here for 7 nights, all I can say it WOW what a nice place. Almost walking distance from O.R. Tambo International Airport. Clean and exceptionally professional. I now understand why my client uses this hotel for the out of country guests. If you walk away with a want it is not that they did not come through is would be because you did not ask. The only down sides I could see would be you have to stay for a week to get 2 hours of WiFi per day, the vouchers expire at midnight and if you do most of your work early in the morning you have to down to the desk and sign for a new voucher for the day. The Cafe' and the restaurant were both spectacular, the complimentary breakfast buffet rivals most 5 stars in the states. The hotel is very clean but dated, they are remodeling it currently. It is very close to the airport and you would be hard pressed to know. Everything from the staff to the food was fantastic.

Room Tip: Quiet rooms, very clean, superb value, the pampering you get from the staff is fantastic.
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank bsgrilling
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Louis-AndreBotha, Manager at Southern Sun O.R Tambo International Hotel, responded to this review, November 29, 2012
Thank you very much for the positive feedback on your long stay with us.

We hope to welcome you back to our Hotel in the not too distant future.

Kind regards,

Louis-Andre
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 Southern Sun O.R Tambo International Hotel

Property: Southern Sun O.R Tambo International Hotel
Address: Jones Road, Kempton Park 1627, South Africa
Phone Number:
Location: South Africa > Gauteng > Greater Johannesburg > Kempton Park
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #10 of 26 Hotels in Kempton Park
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — Southern Sun O.R Tambo International Hotel 4*
Number of rooms: 366
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
A world class International Airport Hotel 500m away from the Airport serviced by a complimentary 24 hour shuttle every 15 min and with complimentary capped Wifi. Exceptional dining both buffet and a la carte with 24 hour room service. 24 Hour bar for the thirsty traveller. ... more   less 
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