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“Avoid at any cost”
Review of Balmoral Hotel

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Balmoral Hotel
Ranked #30 of 44 Hotels in Durban
Reviewed April 6, 2010

Avoid at all costs.
Do not book at this hotel.
If your idea of a holiday is staying at a resort with no beach access even though it supposedly has a beach front, but access is blocked one side due to construction, and in front is blocked by a derelict theme park that would probably scare the living daylights out of steven king.
Arriving early and going for a stroll next to the hotel, we had to bypass numerous vagrants pushing carts and stepping over human excrement while eying warily the people sleeping in the abandoned theme park, it just looked too unsafe and dodgy.
When questioning reception the answer was well if you must go to the beach drive elsewhere and they not responsible for what happens outside the hotel.
Extremely dangerous and disgusting area, avoid.

  • Stayed: April 2010, traveled with family
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1  Thank furnicza
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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87 - 93 of 165 reviews

Reviewed January 23, 2010

The hotel building itself has an old, a bit shabby but quite historic air about it and is well situated at Durban's beach parade, part of which is rather noisy with music til 10 p.m. Our room was ok except for a large puddle of water from the AC that soaked the carpeting (and our socks).
Unfortunately, the female personell at the front desk was incompetent, unprofessional and extremely unfriendly. We were asked to wait "5 mins" that actually stretched into an hour before we decided to take a tour of Durban instead of waiting in vain the whole afternoon. I could not see the source of the hold-up as the ladies spent their time chitchatting in lack of other customers and didn't care a moment to update us. Confronted with our voucher (back from the tour), they didn't know what to do (!) - we were even asked to give our credit card details for coverage, which we denied - until we explained that it meant a prepaid booking.
Paying the lavish parking fee (R40/d) with a R100 note, I got the impression the very same personell tried to make some extra money. Claiming they hadn't got any change in the cashier, they found it apt to simply keep the difference without a word. When I realized what was going on and complained, they answered it wasn't their fault nor responsibility (!) and blamed me for not giving the exact amount of money. I will not repeat their words as they were offensive and insulting and gave evidence of poor manners and a huge lack of professionalism. I finally managed to get the R100 note changed in the hotel's restaurant, the personell there was very friendly.
On a fabulous 3 week-tour through SA, the Balmoral was by far the most unpleasant experience. Stay away - there are far better options for accomodation in Durban!

  • Stayed: January 2010, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank marylou_vie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 14, 2010

As I am the latest person to write a review on my experience at the Balmoral Hotel in Durban, I would like to be 100% honest on all aspects of my stay (good and bad.)
First of all, when my family and I arrived at the hotel we were greeted by extremely unhelpful staff, and although our bags were carried to our rooms, we were not shown to them and had to wonder the corridors trying to find our rooms.
Once in the room, we walked in on the most disgusting smell of stale smoke and after a long flight, decided we would just open the windows and hope it would disappear.

The female managers had an appauling attitude, we were refused car parking passes which we were told initially 'guests were entitled to' and continued to recieve unwelcoming looks everytime we walked past the reception area. (This was extremely uncomfortable.) - I would just like to add that the male members of staff were very helpful and polite throughout the duration of our stay (especially a waiter named Ronnie, who went out of his way to make sure we had the best experience possible. He was an absolute gem.)

The main thing I would like to share with those of you thinking about staying at this hotel is this:

I had 3 dresses stolen from my wardrobe when I was out. I came back and my 3 favourite dresses had vanished into thin air. After approaching the reception desk and being told I was lying (not in those exact words) I kept pursuing the house keeping staff to no avail. Unfortunately, we had to leave the hotel a couple of days after my dresses were stolen and continued our journey onto Malawi. Whilst in Malawi, I kept calling the Balmoral and continued to speak to unhelpful staff (most of which couldn't speak English!)
It completely ruined my stay in Malawi having to chase up my dresses and after 2 weeks of chasing them, they still hadn't lifted a finger.
The last I heard when I called them on January 5th 2010, was that they had checked CCTV and were forcing the member of staff they believed had my dresses to take a lie detector test... I haven't heard anything since.

My advice to you is if you wish to enjoy the beautiful City of Durban and have the best experience possible, DO NOT stay at the Balmoral Hotel. It is the worst hotel I have experienced and I will never ever be going back.

  • Stayed: December 2009, traveled with family
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4  Thank _Kellie2010_
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 26, 2009

Dismal front desk staff. The two ladies were ignorant and really showed a lack of care about their hotel or their guests. We checked in to find that we were placed in a smelly smoking room and called down a minute later to ask if there were any non-smoking rooms. They said they would call back in 2 minutes. Five minutes went by and I called back and they said they would be call back again in 3 minutes. They called this time and said no they didn't have any non-smoking rooms available. But when we went down to ask about other things 20 minutes later, they said, oh there is a room available. Of course, no one bothered to phone us that information. When asked about a store they pointed us in a random direction and said go there. The security guard was the one saving grace of the hotel. He said he overheard our conversation and would accompany us to the store because the area was not safe and he walked with us to the store. Unfortunately, the place was already closed despite the front desk woman insisting it was still open. When asked for a map, the same woman barely looked up and said no we don't have a map of Durban. She couldn't care less and could not be bothered. The room itself was fine for a smoking room except the brown water as mentioned in previous posts. It usually started out brown and eventually cleared up. The shower curtains were full with mildew. We thought we were splurging for this 4 star hotel and instead previous South African hotels that were half the price were much better. To be honest, I could care less about the actual room, as long as it's clean. But I do expect a courteous front desk staff and a staff that is eager to please. We've stayed at many places that had problems far worse, that were never resolved, but if the staff showed concern, took initiative and had some problem solving skills (even just an attempt) we still give good remarks. I couldn't say much good about this hotel performance aside from the concerned security guard. As for Durban, I agree with other posts, not a great place to go for tourists. This was merely a stop over for us to get to the safari parks. It was Durban or Johannesburg. Not sure which is safer now.

  • Stayed: November 2009, traveled as a couple
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Thank FrancescaNYC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
An Agoda Traveler
Reviewed September 22, 2009

  • Stayed: September 2009
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Thank An Agoda Traveler
This review is the subjective opinion of an individual traveler and not of TripAdvisor LLC nor of its partners.
An Agoda Traveler
Reviewed September 9, 2009

  • Stayed: September 2009
    • Value
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Thank An Agoda Traveler
This review is the subjective opinion of an individual traveler and not of TripAdvisor LLC nor of its partners.
An Agoda Traveler
Reviewed August 10, 2009

  • Stayed: August 2009
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1  Thank An Agoda Traveler
This review is the subjective opinion of an individual traveler and not of TripAdvisor LLC nor of its partners.
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Additional Information about Balmoral Hotel

Address: 125 Marine Parade, Beach Road, Durban, 4001, Durban 4000, South Africa
Location: South Africa > KwaZulu-Natal > Durban
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#14 Luxury Hotel in Durban
Price Range: $71 - $109 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Balmoral Hotel 4*
Number of rooms: 95
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Balmoral Hotel Durban

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