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“This hotel is a nightmare!”
Review of Illyria House

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Illyria House
Ranked #4 of 72 Hotels in Pretoria
Certificate of Excellence
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“This hotel is a nightmare!”
Reviewed September 19, 2008

From what I can tell, the only reason this hotel stays in business is because Pretoria is a convenient lay-over town for people travelling on safari and it's really the only game in town so tour companies book their clients there. We arrived very late (9pm) because our train was delayed, we're asked if we wanted lobster, beef or pork. We should have asked to see a menu but were very tired and figured how bad could it be. $171.00 US currency that's how bad! We accidently broke one of the glass shelves in the bathroom (it was located very close to the sink). They wanted to charge us over $85 for a stupid piece of glass! Finally we needed a ride to the bank the morning we were departing so one of the butlers drove us several miles to nearby shopping center and they charged for that too! The owner knows she has a captive audience and charges accordingly. I don't know why some people gave this place a high marks unless they enjoy being ripped off and don't travel often. This hotel is a trap, don't go!!!

  • Liked — the staff
  • Disliked — manipulation of prices by the owner
  • Stayed September 2008, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
5 Thank xena1962
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
IllyriaHouse327, Manager at Illyria House, responded to this review, November 24, 2008
The guests arrived well past 9pm on 2 September 2008. As they entered the door, they immediately informed the staff that they were very hungry, tired and upset because their train had been delayed for four hours. They were warmly received and offered dinner regardless of their late arrival, as is our custom. Our personalized service includes the butlers discussing the details of the menu with our guests, should they wish a dish to be prepared to their specific requirements. Menus reflecting prices are available in the dining area as well as all of the Suites. Our menus are available on our website www.illyria.co.za. Contrary to the guests comments we have never had a pork dish on our menu.
The guests chose to enjoy a 5 course meal consisting of Snacks, Tomato Soup, Artichoke Salad, sorbet, with main courses of Lobster and Beef, all exquisitely prepared by our chef and served with a Vergelegen wine chosen from our cellar.
This would be unheard of in any other establishments as their restaurants would have closed by this time, and the guests would have had to make their selection from a much reduced room service menu. This is an example of how Illyria takes the needs of the guest to be of paramount importance. The meal was served on veranda overlooking the lantern-lit garden by their personal butler. The whole staff were in attendance to take care of their every whim. As they retired to their room the guests complimented the staff on the meal.

They stayed in the Catherina Suite, which was used by former president Nelson Mandela and Princess Benedicte, the Danish Queens sister, to name but a few of the dignitaries who have been guests at Illyria House. This room suite is featured on the website. The Catherina Suite was featured on a television program featuring the top 10 honeymoon suites in our country and was selected the number 1 honeymoon suite in South Africa.

During breakfast the next morning the guests advised that they had accidentally broken a glass shelf in the bathroom and wanted to know what the replacement cost would be. Allow us to mention that this glass shelf is made of special strengthened glass of a substantial thickness of which the edges have to be polished and rounded off. The company responsible for fitting our glass has to be called out to take measurements and then on another occasion, return to fit the glass. We informed the guests of the amount that the fitting of the glass cost on a previous occasion. On being informed of the amount the guests became exceptionally upset and aggressive and the matter was dropped. We have never charged a guest for any breakages despite the fact that on occasion repairs to our original antiques has amounted to large sums.

The trip to the local mall was arranged very early in the morning by their butler. The minimum charge for a transfer in Pretoria is R350.00. The request was received at a very short notice and our regular transfer company could not assist us. We were placed in the difficult position of taking one of our best butlers, Johannes, who has been in our service for 17 years away from his normal duties to ensure that they have the transfer that they requested. As a special gesture only an amount of R175.00 for a return trip was charged to these guests and not the normal R350.00. This trip took place in a luxury car, while our butler accompanied them as they went about their business. This amount comes to less than $20.00.

We were understandably shocked to read this review, as on presentation and payment of the bill no dissatisfaction at the amount charged, was brought to the attention of management. Upon departure at 10:00am that morning, after staying here for only about 12 hours, they complimented the staff on their excellent service and left a gratuity of R150.00 as a testament to they satisfaction We are pleased that our services and our facilities were appreciated and there was nothing that could be faulted in these regards.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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English first
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed July 2, 2008

We had a fantastic time at this boutique hotel in Pretoria. The staff was extremely helpful and we experienced five star service, accomodation and food. Don't miss the dinner. The beef and crayfish was superb.

I had the best massage I ever had in the spa. The swimming pool is magical!

The rooms are beautifully decorated with antique furniture and embroidered linen. Our butler, Johannes did everything in his power to attend to all our needs. They arranged a City Tour of Pretoria for us and this was a wonderfully interesting tour.

If you visit South Africa, don't miss this amazing hotel!

Stayed June 2008
5 Thank ohiotravelbug1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Miami, FL
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
Reviewed July 4, 2006

There are almost no words to describe what an absolute jewel this hotel is. Owned by a lovely artistic woman, this large house has been transformed into a stunning Victorian-style boutique hotel complete with all of the luxurious touches you could think of...plus so many others you are truly surprised by! There are butlers that attend to each of the 6 rooms, gorgeous decorations around every twist and turn, the cuisine is incredible- cooked to order and presented with white glove service. The rooms are just amazing- they are suites with many little rooms inside them such as a separate dressing area with 2 vanity tables, large French doors overlooking their grand backyard, huge bathrooms with double sinks and a free-standing tub with separate shower, little baubles and bath beads, potions, lotions and more.... just out of this world.

What makes it so special is the service- this staff is the finest I've ever seen (and we've been around the world) and they make all the difference.

Don't miss this hotel, your trip to SA wouldn't be complete without a stay here.

Stayed June 2006
8 Thank TravelerGlobal
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Illyria House

Property: Illyria House
Address: 327 Bourke Street | Muckleneuk, Pretoria 0002, South Africa
Phone Number:
Location: South Africa > Gauteng > Pretoria
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#2 Luxury Hotel in Pretoria
#3 Spa Hotel in Pretoria
#4 Romantic Hotel in Pretoria
#10 Business Hotel in Pretoria
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:5 star — Illyria House 5*
Number of rooms: 12
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Ultimate Romantic Getaway. 25 Minutes from the OR Tambo International Airport (Johannesburg) and 5 minutes from the Gautrain Station.The serene beauty of Illyria House has always been an irresistible attraction to all lovers of fine things. Against the backdrop of classical music, fine antiques, 17th century tapestries, and a resident duck family an enchanting colonial lifestyle unfolds. Illyria House is highly appreciated by the discerning traveler for its charm, exquisite cuisine, exclusivity, luxury and unrivalled personalised butler service. We offer intimate soirées by world class musicians. Our Oriental Spa specialises in relaxing massages. Our facilities include a jacuzzi, sauna, heated pool and a cold pool. A wide selection of tours to historical, cultural and wildlife attractions come highly recommended. Personalised shopping is ideal for a last night stay. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Illyria House Hotel Pretoria

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