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“Illusions of grandeur”

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Southern Sun Pretoria
Ranked #8 of 73 Hotels in Pretoria
Certificate of Excellence
Melbourne, Australia
Level 4 Contributor
30 reviews
25 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
“Illusions of grandeur”
Reviewed April 19, 2009

We stayed at the Southern Sun Hotel in Pretoria on the last night of our South African holiday (17/4). Unfortunately, we think our trip could have ended on a much higher note than it did.

Our first impressions of the hotel were good; the foyer was modern but elegant and the porter was very helpful with our bulky luggage.

We had booked a "superior" room, but apart from the (very) comfortable bed, there was nothing superior about it:
* there was no bar fridge (just an empty space in the cabinet where it should have been),
* the tea and coffee facilities weren't great (the hot water jug was plugged into a space in the cabinet under the tv which made it very difficult to use),
* the doors kept jamming and were difficult to open,
* the shower is in the bath and the curtain wasn't installed very well so you would almost slip on it every time you had a shower, and
* you could sometimes hear people's conversations through the walls (and, therefore, they can probably hear you too).

There is wireless internet available as well, but it is quite slow and you have to pay for it by credit card over the internet (guest services can sell you a pre-paid card but they warned us against it because they said that they don't always work!)

The main issue we had with the hotel was the staff. The reception employees seemed amateurish at best and gave us the impression that they were making things up as they went along. They had trouble operating the computers and card payment machine, and tried to check us in for eight nights when we had only booked for one!

Having asked at check-in whether breakfast was included in our rate, and after being told that it was, we were surprised to find upon checking out that we had been charged for it. Rather than apologise for their mistake, they insisted we pay for it by saying that the employee we had spoken to was a "trainee" and shouldn't have told us that. They also said that online bookings never include breakfast - which is not what the website says at all. (In the end, after we stood firm, they removed the charge from our bill.)

On a brighter note, our dinner was very nice and the waitresses were very friendly and helpful. The breakfast buffet was comprehensive, though the hot breakfast food items were not always "hot".

All in all, it is a clean hotel in a central location. It is quite expensive for what it is (especially if, as they insisted, breakfast is not included) and you might be better off staying at the Sheraton if you're happy with that price range.

Finally, be aware that this hotel will charge you more per person for a shuttle to and from the airport than the cost of taking a taxi.

  • Stayed April 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank sonieee
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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English first
Level 6 Contributor
90 reviews
44 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 53 helpful votes
Reviewed November 1, 2008

Pleasantly surprised by this Hotel (former Holiday Inn).

Booked the Superior room. Clean and functional but a bit sparse. Difference with standard room was bedding. Quality of bedding, pillows etc, was really good.

The room lacked a fridge but I asked for one. Was brought in within minutes. Staff is pleasent and cordial.
Common areas nice especially the bar. The bar staff is good and the prices and service excellent. The restaurant is adequate.

Location in downtown Pretoria close to government buildings. When compared to Sheraton I like that this hotel is in the middle of a commercial area -- albeit not an attractive one. Just around the corner there is a shopping arcade with a Shoprite supermarket. So you can get some fruits, drinks and the like to have in the room. Walking in the day is oK.

All together, Pretoria choices are limited and not very good. I don't like the Sheraton and often stay in guesthouses. This is really a good place to consider, especially if you don't want to be at a place that is too isolated.

  • Stayed October 2008
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
1 Thank iqq
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Southern Sun Pretoria

Property: Southern Sun Pretoria
Address: cnr Steve Biko and Pretorius Streets, Arcadia, Pretoria 0083, South Africa
Phone Number:
Location: South Africa > Gauteng > Pretoria
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#5 Luxury Hotel in Pretoria
#5 Business Hotel in Pretoria
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — Southern Sun Pretoria 4*
Number of rooms: 240
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Located within walking distance of the city centre, the business hub and several top-notch attractions, the Southern Sun Pretoria Hotel is a favorite amongst visitors to South Africa's capital city. While you’re there be sure to visit the Zoo, the State Theatre and the Union Buildings. A stay at this luxury hotel will have you falling in love with this charming city in the blink of an eye. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Southern Sun Pretoria Hotel Pretoria

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