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“All the ingredients for a perfect stay”
Review of Royal Hotel

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Royal Hotel
Ranked #23 of 43 Hotels in Durban
Bangkok
Level 4 Contributor
28 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 40 helpful votes
“All the ingredients for a perfect stay”
Reviewed December 16, 2011

Everything you can hope to have for a perfect stay can be found in this hotel. Extremely friendly staff, located in the City Centre with stunning harbour views, very close to the beach and main routes, 4restaurants, health centre, pool, gym, 4 star amenities.........but somehow they just miss the point.

The staff are very helpful, and once you bring a problem to the attention of management it is immediately fixed. This however leaves me with two problems, why does one have to complain before they get it right.

The screwed my accommodation up, I asked for two smoking, inter leading rooms and got two separate non-smoking rooms. The receptionist said she could not give me another room, but once I spoke to management, they did allocate two smoking rooms with an inter leading door.

The following was wrong with the second set of rooms:
1. The one phone did not work;
2. No hot water in one bathroom;
3. The TV remote had to be changed twice;
4. No lights in the foyer of the one room.

Once again, after bringing it to the attention of management, we were given other rooms. The only thing wrong with these rooms was that the one mixer in the bathroom had the hot water coded blue and the cold water coded red.

The service is generally extremely friendly, but fairly inefficient. It seems the staff that one deals with are too inexperienced or too scared to make any decision that can fix a problem. When a problem is raised with management, it is fixed immediately.

Problems that I experienced with service:
1. The service in the coffee shop is simply bad. They are very slow and the waitresses lounges against the walls while you wait for service.
2. The food is very nice, but overpriced for what you get. They serve a full buffet breakfast, but the scrambled eggs reminded me of something from my days in the army. What I did eat was extremely nice and well prepared. The curry is great, an old favourite in the Royal Hotel, but I could get the same quality sans the cutlery for half the price in Florida Road.
3. Room Service is a struggle. It took me about half an hour to get them on the phone. The child (OK maybe young girl) who answered the phone was simply rude. She was not willing to tell me what is on the menu, and told me I must check on the TV. There was no hard copy of the menu in the room, and it is not possible to scroll the TV up or down, you must simply wait until it scrolls through the menu at a pre-set pace. When I walked to receptions and complained to management, I was immediately given a very nice, printed room service menu. Why was it not in the room in the first place?

I stayed in three rooms on the first day, and the beds ranged from excellent and firm in the first two, to EXTREMELY soft in the last one. I assume some people like this, but I prefer the firmer beds.

Free internet is available for guests, but the quality is bad. One is often automatically logged out and if you work on the net, you are bound to lose some work. It is safer to work offline, save the work and then upload it.

Would I come back - DEFINITELY. Is the hotel a place of uncompromising service as advertised - ABSOLUTELY NOT. The hotel has everything required to make it one of the best places to stay. I have not met the General Manager, but I can simply ask - WHY IS NOTHING EVER RIGHT THE FIRST TIME ROUND.

Room Tip: Under cover parking is available at a minimal rate. It is however cheaper to pay the rate at the sam...
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  • Stayed December 2011, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank Danie_de_Waal
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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183 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
  • Location
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (30)
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English first
Darwin
Level 6 Contributor
224 reviews
200 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 165 helpful votes
Reviewed December 6, 2011

This hotel is located in the historic part of Durban, across from City Hall. It is a number of blocks walk to the main beaches.
The rooms are large & well presented including a safe with lovely views overlooking the harbour (which is only a block away).
This hotel is faded glory with a 4 star look & feel with the butlers & flash restaurants but only 3 star service eg; the free wifi did not work in the room & poorly elsewhere. The pool was empty which did not make the pool area very appealing.
We would stay there again at the cheap internet rate we paid but not for the full rack rate.

  • Stayed November 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank CricketGirlDarwin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cape Town Central, South Africa
Level 4 Contributor
41 reviews
41 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
Reviewed November 4, 2011

This hotel, once a luxury landmark in Durban, has been on the decline for the last 20 years. it has failed to keep pace with new developments and is now a rather out-dated very inner-city hotel which offers reasonably comfortable rooms but needs much better management in order to pull itself out from its distinctly second-rate feel. It's location is fine for business in downtown Durban but with many corporates ditching the rather seedy city centre for the newer (and lovely) Gateway area to the North, this leaves the hotel in a forlorn position. There is nothing inviting about walking outside this hotel at night. It's lobby feels as though its back in 1971 and its front-desk staff seem inexperienced and rather unwilling to go that extra mile...just to smile. My non-smoking room reeked of stale smoke and the toilet was broken forcing me to leave. The advertised free internet simply was a disaster and the lovely old-world restaurant needed much better food to ever draw me back. The buffet breakfast did not offer any breakfast rolls - rather strange! I certainly would not stay here voluntarily but, perhaps with good management it can still find a market - but it needs so much work.

  • Stayed September 2011, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank polanalyst
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers are raving about these Durban hotels

London, United Kingdom
Level 6 Contributor
353 reviews
75 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 124 helpful votes
Reviewed October 2, 2011

I had read the reviews and wasn't sure what to expect but this hotel isn't doing itself any favours.
The staff are keen to help/please but without training and guidance it is difficult. The dining room is lovely but I am not a fan of dinner buffets.
After staying there we found out that the management company that owns it has sold the top half of the hotel, so no chance of ever going to the roof top bar/restaurant. If they invested more in training they could achieve so much more.
Going down fast.

  • Stayed September 2011, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank AJMglobaltraveller
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Johannesburg, South Africa
1 review
Reviewed September 5, 2011

This was a surprise family trip in August and we are still talking about The Royal Hotel. Coming from the industry I must say I always look at the finer detail. The Royal came out on top. The rooms were spotless, the staff very friendly and the service from morning breakfast to late night "night caps" in the bar were excellent. Well done to ALL your staff and thank you for a wonderfull stay. Hope to see you again soon. The Jacobsz and McPhail party.

  • Stayed August 2011, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank ORTambo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Montagu, South Africa
Level 3 Contributor
12 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
Reviewed August 18, 2011

Over the past three decades I have seen this graceful "dame" being butchered to a pathetic entity not capable of looking after herself, LET ALONE GUESTS PAYING THREE TIMES the rate they pay at similar hotels etc. and still get value for money.
ROOMS: Clean, but room service check lists are non-existance as old safes, new TVs & Fridges are never 100% functioning.
RESTAURANTS: "Opened" and "closed" with no prior warning, so NO choices, but the Coffee Shop with its filthy pieces of garbage called a MENU - service non-existant, and no CLUE what a TRADITIONAL BOBOTI id all about, with GRILL ROOM Buffet closed for PRIVATE FUNCTIONS with no option but to go out for a meal in the most dangerous part of a once elegant city, but now an open invitation to mugged and raped!!!

Room Tip: 14th to 17th Floors
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  • Stayed August 2011, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Kosie H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Johannesburg South Africa
Level 6 Contributor
105 reviews
43 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 75 helpful votes
Reviewed August 18, 2011

This used to be a Durban landmark with amazing views, a great curry restaurant and a reputation for quality and style. No more. Its now a tired, outdated and run-down hotel managed begrudgingly by a demotivated group of people. Whereas one can understand that investing the capital needed to refurbish the place may be a bridge too far, just some basic cleaning and service focus would be great. Most definately not a 4 or 5 star experience (as the price indicates) closer to a 2 or (if i'm being generous) 3 star experience.

  • Stayed August 2011, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Jimboza
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Royal Hotel

Property: Royal Hotel
Address: 267 Anton Lembede Street, Durban 4001, South Africa
Location: South Africa > KwaZulu-Natal > Durban
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#7 Spa Hotel in Durban
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3 star — Royal Hotel 3*
Number of rooms: 113
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Royal Hotel Durban

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