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“Decent and Clean: Old style with a modern touch”
Review of Royal Hotel

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Royal Hotel
Ranked #23 of 43 Hotels in Durban
2 reviews
“Decent and Clean: Old style with a modern touch”
Reviewed May 12, 2010

I am not completely surprised to see so many negative reviews of this hotel. Yes it does seem like its old stylish but it would be unfair to not higlight the positive . It seems to be predominantly a matter of tast and for some, interior design and trend this is more important than the little comforts that comes with a five star hotel.

Although the furniture, doors, carpets etc reflect scenes from the mid 1900's its by now means out of touch with luxury and modern technology. Its obviously been upgraded over the years to keep up with the things you want in a 5 star hotel. What struck me is that everything looks relatively brand new (although old style) and one has to apreciate that. I wondered how they kept evreything in such tip-top shape. Bottom line is, it wouldnt have received 5 stars for no reason! The rating of hotels are strict.

Maybe its because, when people read and hear the word, "Royal Hotel", and see its rated a five star, the expect the grandour of luxury combined with the most modern ideas in architecture and interior design. Well, it might be "old styled" but not certianly not old period.

The location might be a bit of a disappointment to some but to business people etc it could be ideal. Its right in centre of Durban. Off course, if you compare it to the hotels on the beach (holiday goers) you would feel that you could have done better. The view of my window overlooked the harbour though and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Another minor dissapointment is, I would say, is the restaurant in the lobby that seemed a little too small. But again, Durban is full of dining choices and this shouldn't put one off too much. In general I had a very comfortable stay there. The staff were very helpful in giving me special parking due to the size of the vehicle I drove too.

Now for the final and difficult question, would I recommend it to a friend? The reason I say its difficult is due to the price. This I would say is the biggest draw back. Having stayed there for work I thoroughly enjoyed it, but to me the hotel is a little pricy. I am personally quite happy with a 4 star hotel that doenst have all the fine tuning of the 5 star hotels. But if you are a person who can afford these services, go for it.

  • Stayed September 2008, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank JohannesT
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
  • Location
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
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English first
South Australia
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed January 1, 2010

We stayed at the Royal for two night, while the hotel interior wasn't that bad the Hotel is in the wrong part of town. Years ago this was tourist central but not any longer. We where advised by a tour guide not to venture out of the hotel unless it is to get a taxi elsewhere because it is unsafe. The food within the hotel was great, but we felt trapped inside after returning from tours outside the city. Upon leaving Durban to go north we drove throught the newer part of Durban and it was beautiful. We recommend research into hotels before staying in Durban

  • Stayed November 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
1 Thank aussiehewys
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers are raving about these Durban hotels

Cheltenham
1 review
Reviewed August 29, 2009

Clean, comfortable, spacious rooms and the staff are very friendly. Food is good and very reasonably priced. Great central location, opposite City Hall, the art gallery and science museum and a minute's walk from the Playhouse. Only two quibbles: piped muzak and very slow coffee service at breakfast.

  • Stayed August 2009, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Lucy_Howe
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York, New York
Level Contributor
20 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
Reviewed August 3, 2009

We stayed here based upon the recommendation found in Fodor's guidebook, which rates it quite well. We stayed for one night, June 21. The rooms were decent, about the quality of a Holiday Inn (in the US). It definitely seemed like it was past it's prime. The next morning, at around 7am, we heard a loud explosion. We were in the 12th floor of the hotel. Our windows were soon engulfed in thick black smoke. I looked down to the parking garage below and saw people screaming and running. The fire alarms did not go off on our floor. We ran down the stairs in our pajamas, fearing literally for our lives. We had to rip off wood planks which were blocking the fire escape on the third floor, and when we got to the bottom floor it was covered in smoke, the fire department was there, and we had to run out of the hotel. All the guests got out safely, and several employees suffered from burns and/or smoke inhalation. We waited outside for two hours (I missed the first day of work at my job), most of us in our pajamas, and the management didn't explain anything to us (including whether we would get any of our things back). We were finally let back in to retrieve our luggage, which smelled of smoke, and they put us up in their sister hotel, The Riverside. They did not comp any rooms, and in fact double charged me. They reopened the hotel after about a week, even though there was serious smoke damage. The hotel claims it was the city at fault, who in turn blames the hotel. This was one of the most terrifying experiences of my life, and I would never, never recommend staying here.

http://www.iol.co.za/index.php?art_id=vn20090622124636728C712866

http://www.int.iol.co.za/index.php?art_id=vn20090114052343410C715399

  • Stayed July 2009, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
2 Thank cls2486
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ladysmith, South Africa
Level Contributor
58 reviews
31 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
Reviewed April 14, 2009

This once grand five star hotel certainly lost its splendour. We had to move rooms as the air conditioning was not functioning. The carpets was clean but stained. Piped music so loud it interfered with sleep. Too many trainees. It was pleasant though, but not worth the rates.

  • Stayed March 2009, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
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Helpful?
2 Thank camphere
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cape Town Central, South Africa
Level Contributor
22 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
Reviewed March 12, 2009

Some of reviews here are a little harsh but there are some valid comments.
We stayed one night. Rooms pleasant (our overlooked the harbour), linen clean and crisp; Ulundi Restaurant serves most excellent Indian cuisine (despite the bizarrely refurbished dining room into a sort of fast-food venue - it used to be "Colonial"in feel); and breakfast good. Staff really friendly and eager.

But no one offered to take our luggage up to our room (nor show us the way); internal phone was disconnected from the wall (plugged it in myself); Tap on one of the handbasins not working; very old TV remote not working (with all the button displays worn off); limited satellite channels; room safe locked open due to the bolt being extended; hair dryer not working (well it tried to); and an empty minibar save for two free bottles of water and UHT milk (obviously a cost cutting exercise here). Waited over half an hour for drinks from room service and one has to pay for parking.

Lastly, a small point: single-ply toilet paper in a 4 star hotel? I don't think so. For the money, The Royal is not worth it (despite its heritage which alas has been so made over that none of the original remains).

  • Stayed March 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
2 Thank Atlanticza
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Level Contributor
107 reviews
58 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 62 helpful votes
Reviewed September 21, 2008

way past it's 'sell by' date

a worn out hotel with sketchy service, ugly rooms and few qualities

  • Stayed September 2008, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
1 Thank saint77777
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
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Also Known As:
Royal Hotel Durban

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