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“Everything you could want from a modern, upmarket hotel”

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Radisson Blu Gautrain Hotel
Ranked #11 of 48 Hotels in Sandton
Certificate of Excellence
Sydney, Australia
Level 6 Contributor
76 reviews
36 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 169 helpful votes
“Everything you could want from a modern, upmarket hotel”
Reviewed July 24, 2013

SERVICE

All staff, from the check-in clerks to the concierge, to the shuttle bus driver and the waiters and waitresses at the bar and restaurant, were helpful, efficient and polite. They deserve a big tick because service is the strong point at the Rad Blu and you’ll notice that the minute the walk through the front door. These guys are happy to serve you; they’ll go out of their way to make sure that you’re well looked after and have everything you need. Nothing is too much trouble, you only need to ask. I would say that this is one of the SA hospitality industry’s strong points and something which gives them a competitive edge over many other places.

ROOM

I had room no 510, which faced onto busy Rivonia Rd, but being high up, I wasn’t troubled by the traffic noise. The air con though made more noise than the traffic when placed on a medium or high fan setting.

The room was neat, clean and modern, with a bright and cheerful colour scheme of red and white. But it did suffer from some design flaws which seemed to indicate style over practicality:

Eg

Poor lighting: I counted nine room lights scattered all over the place, but none were powerful enough or properly positioned to make reading comfortable. The ones right over the bed were like torchlights. A few strong down lights strategically positioned would have made all the difference.

Glass bathroom door and see through bathroom wall. Since I was travelling solo this time, it didn’t matter but the problem here is that if two are travelling and one gets up in the middle of the night to use the bathroom and puts on the light (which they would have to do) it shines right into the bedroom and is sure to wake the other person. The glass panelling on the one side (see pic) exposes the top half of the person in the shower. Now again I guess if a husband and wife are sharing the bedroom, then that wouldn’t be a problem but with other configurations I’m not too sure about how this attempt at forced intimacy would go down, because it sure is intimate watching someone else shower!

The tea and coffee-making facilities are situated in an awkward and cramped space. This made it tricky to pour yourself a cuppa and the problem is compounded by the lack of any lighting in that dark little corner. You need to move some of the surplus paraphernalia like the ice bucket out of the way completely and that may help.

But there were plenty of good points to compensate:

Comfortable, firm, new king sized bed.

Large, secure safe, conveniently placed at eye level, and easy to use.

Adequate storage space in the cupboard.

A large TV with all my fav news and entertainment channels, Easy to use remote and optimum siting of the screen on the wall facing the bed made for many hours of enjoyable TV watching.

A handy little desk for working on your computer and an easy chair and small glass table near the window made the atmosphere in the room homely and warm.

BATHROOM

I liked the stylish and modern bathroom design. There’s no shower cubicle as such, just a large space next to the bath with a shower head on the wall. A slightly raised floor prevents water from spilling out onto the rest of the bathroom. I found the water pressure from the shower head too weak for my liking. But there’s a nice, big tub for those who prefer bathing to showering. Another problem I encountered was the lack of dry storage. Whilst there is place for your toiletries, they’re likely to get wet unless you move them as far as possible away from the basin because the water pressure in those taps was stronger than in the shower, making splashing easy. What I also didn’t like were the tiny, barely visible hot and cold markings on the taps. Perhaps this is also a new fangled idea, where it’s assumed that you don’t really need to see the markers because you’ll just figure that out for yourself. And you soon will. Turn the basin tap to the left and you’ll have lashings of hot water. Personally I prefer the old fashioned large hot and cold markers to warn me when I’m turning on the hot tap.

AMENITIES

The hotel has a pool deck with city views. I’m sure it would be ever so pleasant to spend a few hrs out there in summer. Unfortunately I was there in winter so the closest I got was a look around. Downstairs, on the same level as the pool deck, you’ll find the bar and a restaurant. I sampled them both and was more than satisfied. The bar staff especially were always friendly and polite and ready with a bowl of my favourite salted nuts to enjoy with a drink. The hotel provides free internet which I found to be a big plus and for that they get another tick. So many hotels these days just go to town with their internet charging so it was a real breath of fresh air to be able to enjoy a fast and efficient connection 24/7 at no extra charge. There is a fitness centre but being the sedentary type I didn’t bother with it and can’t really comment.

BREAKFAST

Nutritious and filling with a varied selection of hot and cold foods. Everything tasty and freshly made. Service as always in this hotel, is absolutely the best. Whatever you want just ask for. I also loved the bright, contemporary dining room where breakfast was served with its expansive view and outlook onto Sandton and beyond. It was just a pleasure to sit there in the morning, sipping coffee whilst watching the passing parade and enjoying the view.

LOCATION

The Rad Blu is in the northern suburb of Sandton, about 15km from the Johannesburg CBD. It’s no coincidence that’s it’s also called the “Gautrain Hotel” because it’s directly across the road from the Sandton Gautrain station, which makes getting here from the airport a breeze. It takes about 15 mins on the safe, comfortable Gautrain. But just be aware that train prices are steep by world standards. A journey from the airport to Sandton (that’s three stops) will cost you R125 (as at June 2013) which is equivalent $US13 or about three times the cost of an equivalent journey on the Sydney or London undergrounds. And of course, you have no option but to “buy” a card, even if you’re only going to use it for one or two journeys and that’s another R12. So all up, two 15 minute train journeys (airport-Sandton-airport) will cost a whopping R262 or about $US26. But you really have no choice if you’re staying in this area because a taxi I believe costs about three times that and will probably take considerably longer.

OK, having got that off my chest, what is in the immediate vicinity of the hotel? Closest thing – about 12-15 gently sloping walk from the hotel - is Mandela Square with its oversized statue of Nelson Mandela and a collection of restaurants and cafes. Nothing really to write home about. Right next door, and connected by steps is the glitzier Sandton City complex. It’s the premier shopping centre in SA and worth a look around. You’ll find shopping a pleasure in SA, with its favourable exchange rate to just about any world currency. But apart from those two attractions, I couldn’t find much else in the near vicinity. This isn’t the kind of place that you can just saunter out in the evening have a stroll and find a bar or a place to eat, so if you don’t have a car (and I didn’t) you’re going to be hotel bound after dark. I had a meal in the restaurant one night which I enjoyed. One night I bought my own meal from the Woolworths at Sandton City. I phoned down to room service and asked them to send up some cutlery and a plate and that’s when I ended up paying a “tray chg” of R45. I could have bought my own cutlery and crockery for that!

And just a word on pedestrian safety in the area. There are numerous construction sites around the place but no proper provision has been made for pedestrian safety around them. So crossing roads to get to and from the hotel - and that’s mainly Rivonia Rd and West Street - is nightmarish. To make matters worse, the pedestrian signals stay green for about one second. Blink and it’s turned to red. But that hardly matters as most motorists seem to ignore the little green man anyway. So never mind the crime and the muggings, the biggest danger here is the traffic. No provision either has been made for “stop and drop” outside the train station which adds another dimension of danger to the hapless pedestrian trying to wend his way to Sandton City. Cars are continually pulling up and stopping illegally, creating a hazard around the station entrance where you need to traverse on your way up the road.

To be fair to the hotel, I did mention this to them on their internal feedback form and got the following prompt and encouraging response from Jaen Van Niekerk, the Front Office Manager, on 27 June ’13:

“Dear Arthur

We appreciate you taking the time to complete a survey regarding your recent stay with us.

On behalf of our entire staff here at the Radisson Blu we apologize for the concerns you have with regards to accessing the hotel. The safety of our guests is a concern and we are working on finding a solution although we do not know if it will be approved by the City Council.

We appreciate the feedback and will use it to fine tune our operations in the hope that upon your next visit, we can meet or exceed your expectations.”

SECURITY

Another big tick here because these guys clearly take security seriously. There are guards downstairs at the concierge desk and when you get upstairs to reception, there is a smartly-attired guard in a black suit standing outside the lift lobby. I found that quite reassuring. And they’re always pleasant and friendly to boot. When I couldn’t get my card to swipe properly in the lift, a guard was promptly on hand to assist me to get a replacement and then came into the lift with me to ensure that I got to my floor safely. There are also security guards outside on the corner of West St and Rivonia Rd although I couldn’t say whether they are employed by the hotel or not. I felt quite comfortable walking up to Mandela Square and the Sandton City Shopping Centre during the day, but wouldn’t do this after dark. And as always in South Africa, be cautious and aware about personal safety. I never carried my passport, credit cards or other valuables with me unless absolutely necessary, restricting myself to a cheap, barely visible digicam, my basic, no frills mobile phone with limited credit and enough cash to get me through the day. Everything else stays locked up in the safe in my room.

SUMMARY

On the whole and despite the drawbacks, I enjoyed my six-day stay at this hotel. It’s spotlessly clean, well maintained, efficiently managed and conveniently situated for airport access via the Gautrain. And the staff are just fantastic. I know that I’ve said this before but I can’t praise these guys enough and if service is your thing, you’re in for a treat. And hopefully, once the nearby construction ends (by the way, I didn’t hear any construction noise from my side of the hotel) and the area is properly pedestrianized then it will present as a more welcoming place too.

Room Tip: Higher up always helps if you're facing Rivonia Road.
See more room tips
  • Stayed June 2013, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Artfornodriving
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Radisson Blu Ga... M, Marketing Manager at Radisson Blu Gautrain Hotel, responded to this review, July 28, 2013
Good Day,

Firstly we would like to thank you for choosing the Radisson Blu Gautrain Hotel as your hotel of choice on your recent visit to Johannesburg.

Thank you very much for your very detailed Trip Advisor review and thank you for all the kind words about our staff and service quality, we strive to maintain the highest levels of service and we are very pleased that you noticed exactly that during your stay with us.

We have noted all your recommendations and will work on improving each element so that next time you visit our hotel everything will be absolutely perfect for you.

Thank you once again for telling us about your experience on Trip Advisor and we really look forward to welcoming you back in the very near future.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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London, United Kingdom
Level 2 Contributor
8 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed July 24, 2013

I stayed here for a week for work, and cannot fault it. Nice clean large rooms, great customer service, good location for my needs. Hotel doesn't have a spa and the pool area is quite small so the larger raddison down the road maybe more appropriate for those traveling for leisure. The only criticism that I can make is the fact that they don't appear to have enough irons as requesting one in the mornings was often left with a delay and when it arrived it was still hot! Very minor issue - but its the only one I can think of!

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank BeeH1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Radisson Blu Ga... M, Marketing Manager at Radisson Blu Gautrain Hotel, responded to this review, July 28, 2013
Good Day,

Thank you very much for selecting the Radisson Blu Gautrain Hotel has your hotel of choice on your recent visit to Johannesburg as well as for taking the time to tell us about your experience here on Trip Advisor.

We are very pleased that you enjoyed your time with us, we have made note of your issue with regards to the iron and ironing board and this issue has been addressed and resolved.

We are really looking forward to welcoming you back to our hotel on your next visit to Johannesburg.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 3 Contributor
24 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed July 23, 2013 via mobile

I stay here quite a lot that it is nice to walk in and be greeted by "welcome home". They do the "yes we can" company slogan proud and go the extra mile for all its guests. Well done everyone and keep up the good work!!!

Stayed June 2013, traveled on business
Helpful?
Thank Andrew W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Radisson Blu Ga... M, Marketing Manager at Radisson Blu Gautrain Hotel, responded to this review, July 28, 2013
Good Day,

Firstly we would like to thank you for choosing the Radisson Blu Gautrain Hotel as your hotel of choice on your recent visit to Johannesburg and also for taking time to tell us about your experience here on Trip Advisor.

We truly do live my the "Yes I Can" way of life and we are exceptionally happy that you notice our efforts, we will make sure that we pass your message on to all our staff.

We are looking forward to welcoming you back to our hotel in the very near future.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bergen, Norway
Level 4 Contributor
34 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
Reviewed July 16, 2013

I stayed in this hotel in May 2013. Highly recommend it. Friendly staff, situated right across from Gautrain Sandon station (perfect to take train from the airport to hotel, no need for a cab) and 2-3 min walk to Mandela squear and wonderful mall. Probably the safest part of Johannesburg.
Beautiful and clean rooms, very good insulation. EXCELLENT concierge service!

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Sheila500
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Radisson Blu Ga... M, Marketing Manager at Radisson Blu Gautrain Hotel, responded to this review, July 17, 2013
Good Day,

Firstly we would like to thank you for making the Radisson Blu Gautrain Hotel your hotel of choice on your recent visit to Johannesburg as well as for taking the time to tell us about your experience here on Trip Advisor.

We are very pleased to hear that you had a great time with us during your stay and we will pass your praises onto our Concierge desk.

We look forward to welcome you back to the Radisson Gautrain Hotel in the near future for another great stay.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 2 Contributor
8 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed July 7, 2013

My husband and I stayed in the Radisson Blu Gautrain Hotel on Friday 5 July.

We are frequent travelers and stayed in the likes of the Rio Othon Palace in Rio, Da Vinci and the Palace at Sun City before. We were pleasantly surprised by your Hotel and especially at the phenomenal treatment we received, during our stay.

The Staff members are professional, friendly and helpful. The Hotel Rooms are extremely clean and comfortable.

A special 'THANK YOU' to Tanja Berg and Raymond Njoko (Guest Relations Manager) for their constant concern for our comfort. Raymond ensure that we felt 'Welcome' in the Hotel with his personal attention to detail. We felt so spoilt! They are an asset to your Hotel.

The Hotel is very conveniently situated only a short walk from Sandton City and opposite the Gautrain rail station.

I will definitely recommend the Radisson Blu Gautrain Hotel to all my friends and business partners!

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Celia V
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Radisson Blu Ga... M, Marketing Manager at Radisson Blu Gautrain Hotel, responded to this review, July 10, 2013
Good Day,

Thank you very much for choosing the Radisson Blu Gautrain Hotel as your hotel of choice for your recent visit to Johannesburg as well as taking the time to tell us about your experience on Trip Advisor.

We will make sure to pass your words of appreciation to Tanya and Raymond as well the rest of the team here at the Radisson Blu Gautrain Hotel.

Thank you for the high recommendation and we certainly look forward to welcoming you back in the near future.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lagos, Nigeria
Level 4 Contributor
42 reviews
33 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed July 7, 2013 via mobile

I've got to say this has been one of my best hotels thus far, looks and feels classy and priced right, has an excellent breakfast and restaurant service, very friendly staff. A good shuttle service for business travelers.

I would love to stay here again and again. Just across from the train station, only drawback is the view which may be a construction site. All in all it was very good.

  • Stayed July 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank ladeeh09
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Radisson Blu Ga... M, Marketing Manager at Radisson Blu Gautrain Hotel, responded to this review, July 14, 2013
Good Day,

Firstly we would like to thank you for making the Radisson Blu Gautrain Hotel your choice hotel during your recent visit to Johannesburg and also for taking the time to tell us about your experience on Trip Advisor.

We are very pleased to hear that you had a great stay with us and that you would like to visit us again in the future, we are looking forward to welcoming you back very soon.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Napier, New Zealand
Level 5 Contributor
84 reviews
29 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
Reviewed July 4, 2013

Just returned from a week in the Radisson Blu Gautrain, the hotel is modern, clean and in a good location being opposite the Gautrain rail station. The staff at the hotel were all without exception very friendly and helpful. Alice one of the managers at the hotel was very welcoming, would recommend to anyone visiting Johannesberg to stay here.

Room Tip: Ask for a room facing Nelson Mandela Square
See more room tips
  • Stayed July 2013, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Napier1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Radisson Blu Ga... M, Marketing Manager at Radisson Blu Gautrain Hotel, responded to this review, July 10, 2013
Good Day,

Firstly we would like to thank you for making the Radisson Blu Gautrain Hotel your hotel of choice on your recent visit to Johannesburg and taking the time to tell us about your experience on Trip Advisor.

We will make sure to pass your message of compliments to Alice as well as the rest of the Radisson Blu Gautrain Hotel team.

Thanks once again for the kind words and we look forward to welcoming you back again in the very near future.
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 Radisson Blu Gautrain Hotel

Property: Radisson Blu Gautrain Hotel
Address: Rivonia Road, Sandton 2196, South Africa
Phone Number:
Location: South Africa > Gauteng > Greater Johannesburg > Sandton
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#5 Romantic Hotel in Sandton
#9 Business Hotel in Sandton
#9 Luxury Hotel in Sandton
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:4 star — Radisson Blu Gautrain Hotel 4*
Number of rooms: 220
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The rooms at the Radisson Blu Gautrain Hotel overlook the beautiful Sandton Skyline, the epitome of South African opulence. This stylish hotel which is located a mere 55 steps from the Sandton Gautrain Station boasts 220 rooms and suites designed in varied moods and tones, ranging from warmth, earthy African tones to bold, contemporary splashes of colour. The rooms are spacious and modern with breath taking views of the city skyline. Each of our guest rooms offer satellite television with a large selection of channels to be enjoyed on a wall mounted flat screen television. Complimentary high speed wireless internet access helps guests stay connected whilst in Johannesburg for business or leisure. The Radisson Blu Gautrain Hotel enjoys a premier location only 55 steps from the high speed Gautrain rapid rail station and has easy access to the Sandton Convention Centre, Sandton City and all the major banking offices in Johannesburg. The Hotels conference facilities offer unique meeting spaces which include elegant meeting rooms as well as executive boardrooms catering for any size event from large banquets to intimate board meetings. The latest audiovisual equipment, climate control, complimentary high speed internet access and natural lighting make these some of the most enviable conference facilities in Johannesburg. The Award Winning Central One Restaurant and Bar offers a unique dining experience with a wide variety of award winning dishes as well as weekly specials to make every stay a memorable one. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Radisson Blu Gautrain Hotel Sandton, Greater Johannesburg

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