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“Not worth the money.”

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Protea Hotel by Marriott Kruger Gate
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Skukuza
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed September 24, 2012

We chose the hotel on the basis of good reviews and nice photos. The reality was slightly more disappointing!

On arrival the staff were friendly, yet clearly trying to work out if you were going to be a big-tipper or not... after that they didn't seem to bother much. Courteous yes, but not particularly welcoming.

We were shown our room. It was dark, stank of mould, the bath was leaking all over the bathroom floor and the locks to the patio doors were broken...

I have never asked to change rooms in a hotel in my life, yet this was just grim so before finished the unpacking we asked to move and they dutifully obliged.

The next room we were given was on the ground floor, smelt just as musty, and the doors would still not lock properly - which felt even more unsafe being at ground level! So we asked if there were any other options.

Our third room was on back on the upper level, and was marginally better. Enough of an improvement to make it worth moving, but still nothing near what I would expect from a hotel of the Protea's reputation (and believe me, I have stayed in a LOT of hotels!).

The pool was not kept very clean. I even used one of the cleaning nets to scoop old leaves out so my children could play more easily. In the nets I also scooped up several very thin odd looking worms about 10 inches long... not terribly pleasant.

The outside terraces, bar and game viewing platform were nice enough. And the best thing about the place was the food, which was excellent - great variety and plenty of tasty options even for fussy eaters.

I hear that the rooms have started to be renovated since we were there - this work was very overdue. It saddens me that we stayed there before this work was undertaken - had we had a nicer room the whole experience would have been a whole lot more positive. As it was we just felt completely ripped off.

Room Tip: Apparently the rooms have since started undergoing renovations (not yet complete) - so make sure you...
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  • Stayed: February 2012, traveled with family
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1  Thank R0many
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
HeatherPoulsen, Guest Relations Manager at Protea Hotel by Marriott Kruger Gate, responded to this reviewResponded October 25, 2012

Dear R0many,

Thank you very much for your review regarding your stay at Protea Hotel Kruger Gate. We are extremely saddened by your feedback. As you are aware, Protea Hotels prides itself in delivering the best GUEST service and strives to get the basics right consistently. Your overall experience is therefore very concerning to us. I wish to confirm that I have personally followed up on your each of your comments and rectified the shortcomings in our service that you have brought to our attention. Please accept my sincere apologies for the inconvenience and disappointment which you experienced. Furthermore, please be advised that the renovations of the hotel will recommence in the new year! I hope we will have the pleasure of welcoming you back in the near future to experience some of the changes to the hotel.

Kind Regards,
Francois Meyer
General Manager
Protea Hotel Kruger Gate

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589 - 595 of 887 reviews

Reviewed September 22, 2012

I stayed for 3 nights and during that time took several safari drives into KNP.

I'm surprised reading some of the negative reviews about this hotel and having read some before my stay I was a little apprehensive. All fears were unfounded though and I was very happy with my stay here.

The grounds and common areas are very pleasant. My ground floor room had sliding doors which opened near the swimming pool. There are also some elevated viewing areas which allow you to sit back, relax and view game such as elephants that come very close to the hotel. My room was refurbished and was in excellent condition with all lights, appliances, safe etc in good working order. The room was well serviced each day and I was never disturbed by housekeeping staff in any way.

I found both the breakfast buffet and the evening meal buffet in LAPA to be of a high standard. I would particularly recommend the stir fry in LAPA as it is made to order and you select the ingriendients yourself. There was a good variety of food available at both breakfast and dinner.

  • Stayed: July 2012, traveled with friends
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Thank HappyTravels-7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
HeatherPoulsen, Guest Relations Manager at Protea Hotel by Marriott Kruger Gate, responded to this reviewResponded October 25, 2012

Dear HappyTravels-7,

I am so glad that the Protea Hotel Kruger Gate was able to contribute to one of your positive experiences during your travels in South Africa.

We would love to welcome you back to the Protea Hotel Kruger Gate or any Protea Hotel next time you are in South Africa.

Kind Regards,

Kind Regards,
Francois Meyer
General Manager
Protea Hotel Kruger Gate

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Reviewed September 20, 2012

I first visited this hotel in 2005 and I carried fond memories of its unique style and wonderful atmosphere for 7 year until my return in August 2012.

First, let's get the not-so-good items out of the way:

1) The hotel rooms are undergoing a major renovation (completion date unknown). Fortunately, I received one of the updated rooms and I was extremely pleased with it. However, some of my friends were in the older rooms and they were less satisfied. This is obviously a temporary issue.

2) The main building bar and restaurant are undergoing renovations (completion date unknown). These were big contributors to my wonderful experience on my first visit so I was a bit disappointed about that. This is also a temporary issue.

3) The hot water in my bathroom shower and sink was scaldingly hot! It was so hot that the pipes hissed from the steam and water combination blasting through them. Fortunately, it is so hot that I cannot imagine anyone accidentally exposing themselves to the stream. My response was to mix a tiny bit of hot and lots of cold for a "just-right" shower experience. I also thought I was better off with too much hot water instead of too little as is so common at many remote hotels. I do not know if this is a temporary issue.

Now for the positives:

1) Location, relative to one of the gates at Kruger Park, is wonderful. It allows guests to be at the front of the entry lines for the morning safaris

2) The grounds of the hotel are very nicely manicured, which makes walking through the property a real pleasure. There are also monkeys and other small animals on the property that enhance the nature experience. Some of the walkways at the hotel are elevated to tree level, creating another unique experience for guests.

3) The staff were some of the friendliest that I met during my 3 week trip through South Africa and Zimbabwe. In most cases, the staff seemed willing to do what they could to help guests, even when a request was out of their service area. One staffer in particular, a young man named Lovemore, did everything he could to make sure that my friends and I enjoyed our evenings at the hotel. He is a genuine asset to the hotel's team and should be commended.

4) The dinner experience is fun! Guests are called to a central outdoor dining area with a gong. That is followed by the lengthy process of creating your meal from the amazing variety of foods that are presented. Food quality is excellent!!

5) The gift shop has a very good selection of authentic South African items in all price ranges. It was the only hotel shop on my journey where I bought gifts for folks back home.

6) The tours and tour guides are AWESOME!!!!! I recommend participating in as many as possible.

7) Kruger Park is your next door neighbor!!! Animals actually walk up to the hotel's fence at all hours of the day and night.

I will look forward to a third visit to this very cool hotel in the not too distant future.

Room Tip: Ask for a newly renovated room.
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  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled with friends
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2  Thank Tbird209
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
HeatherPoulsen, Guest Relations Manager at Protea Hotel by Marriott Kruger Gate, responded to this reviewResponded October 25, 2012

Dear TBird209,

Thank you very much for your feedback regarding your recent stay at Protea Hotel Kruger Gate.

We rely on feedback such as yours to ensure that we improve where necessary, our facilities and standards of service. I am proud to inform you that we have completed the refurbishment of the hotel and all the areas which you mentioned are in full service again. Furthermore, we have checked the temperatures of the water to ensure that it is not too hot for our GUESTS. Thank you very much for bringing this to our attention.

I am very pleased to read all your positive comments regarding your stay, as well as the commendation of Lovemore. I will be sure to congratulate him on his exemplary service, as well as that of the entire TEAM.

I hope you will be coming back to the hotel soon, and get a chance to view the changes from our refurbishment, as well as enjoy the bar and restaurant as you have in your previous stay.

Kind Regards,

Francois Meyer
General Manager
Protea Hotel Kruger Gate

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Reviewed September 4, 2012

I was so pleasantly surprised by this hotel. The grounds were quite nice. The pool area and decks overlooking the river were great. They were renovating some of the common areas when we were there, and our room had clearly been renovated. It was quite modern looking, spacious, and LOTS of lighting (which seems to be rare in hotels). The bathroom was black granite with a rain showerhead (which personally I don't care for). We had a very nice sitting area and a sliding door opening to the grounds. We loved the wooden walkways that connected the parts of the hotel. Free wifi was available in the lobby/lounge area. I would love to come back and spend more time here.

  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled with family
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Thank MomAndAll
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
HeatherPoulsen, Guest Relations Manager at Protea Hotel by Marriott Kruger Gate, responded to this reviewResponded September 11, 2012

Dear MomandAll,

Thank you for your wonderful review regarding your stay at Protea Hotel Kruger Gate!

I am excited to hear that you enjoyed your stay, and to read all your positive comments regarding the refurbishment. I certainly hope we will have the pleasure of welcoming you back in the near future to see the final product, as we are now doing the finishing touches of the refurbishment.

Thank you once again for the positive feedback, it is truly invaluable.

Kind regards,
Francois Meyer
General Manager

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Reviewed September 1, 2012

This was our fourth stay in this hotel.This year we were really dissapointed about the rooms, the service and especially the food. Since we have been coming here for the last 5 years during our Kruger holiday we can really compare things.
The hotel's environnement is truly wonderful and I had a magnificent Spa treatment! It was heaven. Unfortunately the rest of our stay was not like it used to be during the previous years. Also small attentions have dissapeared: a welcome back note in your room,Nice Little bags of Amaula pop corn...
Such a pitty, Please see to it that food and general service become as the used to be in the past. Definately not a 5 star at the moment!

  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled with family
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3  Thank Drieske
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 31, 2012

we loved our stay here simply of the fact that this property s location. the watch tower proved to be quite helpful in observing wild elephants. . However being such a pricey hotel we did not expect a firty swimming pool, which seems had not been cleaned for over a month.

  • Stayed: May 2012
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1  Thank Saurabhmaheswari
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 10, 2012

We came for the game viewing in Kruger National Park. We stayed for 6 nights and made our game viewing arrangements through the hotel's Safari Desk. We couldn't be more pleased.

The hotel is right on the edge of Kruger Park, with viewing decks overlooking the Sabi River in the park. From those decks (which have a convenient bar that also serves the small pool area) we have viewed elephants browsing on bushes, heard and watched hippos in and near the river, watched monkeys in the trees overhead, watched a family of mongoose explore the grounds, and watched the "lawn mowers" (bushbuck and other small antelope) browse on the grounds. The Kruger Gate to the park is right next to the hotel.

The hotel is designed to give the guests an African feel, so the architecture and many of the furnishings reflect that theme. The buildings are older but seem to be well maintained. While we were there they were extensively updating the bar, one of the restaurants, and some conference rooms. The reception area, rooms, viewing decks, restaurants, and conference rooms are linked with elevated wooden walkways that are probably important during the rainy season but were just picturesque for us. The grounds are nicely landscaped.

We made arrangements through the Safari Desk (the e-mail address is on the hotel's Web site) to be picked up at the Nelspruit airport and the driver was waiting for us when we arrived. It's about an hour drive, much better than a 5-6 hour drive from Johannesburg in our opinion though you can arrange to be picked up there also. Once here we arranged for activities each day through the Safari Desk, the hotel's version of a concierge. While it's in the hotel, it's usually staffed by employees of Echo Africa, one of the larger local tour companies. We found them very helpful and they listened to what we were interested in and made great recommendations. We took two full-day tours through the park and were rewarded on each with seeing the "Big 5" (lion, elephant, leopard, rhino, cape buffalo) and much more: cheetahs, hippos, giraffes, lots of antelope types, many birds, etc.

Kruger Park is huge, so we could only cover a fraction of it in a day trip (it's about 220 x 40 miles). The roads are generally paved or well-maintained gravel and there is significant traffic. It's somewhat reminiscent of the Yellowstone Park game viewing but with very different animals.

Buffet breakfast and lunch were included with our room. The food included some African dishes and many other styles with a wide variety of ingredients. It was quite good as hotel buffets go, though one could probably not consider it "gourmet" dining. We enjoyed it. Since we were there for several days, a couple of the waiters befriended us and made sure we had good tables and even learned a bit of Shangaan, the local African language.

We found the staff to be helpful and courteous, particularly if we talked to them and showed interest in them, the Park, Africa, or the hotel. Everyone spoke English, though sometimes with pronounced accents.

Stayed: August 2012, traveled as a couple
7  Thank Diver_Denny
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
HeatherPoulsen, Guest Relations Manager at Protea Hotel by Marriott Kruger Gate, responded to this reviewResponded August 13, 2012

Thank you very much for your wonderful review! I am very pleased to hear that Protea hotel Kruger Gate met and exceeded your expectations! I will be sure to congratulate the TEAM for their outstanding service. We appreciate that you highlighted the hotel’s fantastic location on the edge of Kruger Park and the excellent excursion booked through the Safari desk.

I hope I will have the pleasure of welcoming you back to Protea Hotel Kruger Gate in the near future to experience some more of the sunny bushveld!

Thank you very much.

Kind Regards,
Francois Meyer

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Protea Hotel by Marriott Kruger Gate

Address: Portia Shabangu Rd | on Sabi River at the Paul Kruger Gate, Skukuza 1350, South Africa
Phone Number:
Location: South Africa > Mpumalanga > Skukuza
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Skukuza
Price Range: $239 - $354 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Protea Hotel by Marriott Kruger Gate 4*
Number of rooms: 96
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Protea Hotel by Marriott Kruger Gate - Where the bushveld is your playground, no matter your age! Protea Hotel by Marriott Kruger Gate, a superior lodge style hotel on the banks of the Sabie River in Mpumalanga offers an affordable luxury getaway. The ambiance of comfort is unforgettable in the context of the African bush. Enjoy the serenity of being in a tree house that overlooks the bushveld, whilst you watch the wildlife go by. Keep your head in the clouds as the veranda and walkway to your air-conditioned room is at a level normally the sole domain of the variety of birds found in the area. Situated only 100 meters from the Paul Kruger Gate of the Kruger National Park, the luxurious Protea Hotel by Marriott Kruger Gate provides guests with the ideal location from which to experience wildlife first-hand. This lodge offers bush drives in a Private Reserve and throughout the Kruger National Park, along with open vehicle safaris and organized game trails for you and your family. Don't forget your binoculars in this birdwatchers paradise. A days adventure is best ended off with a visit to the stunning open air Lapa Restaurant. With an extensive array of local foods to choose from, enjoy a dinner under the African stars. We can even make special arrangements for a Tree house sleep out. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Protea Kruger Gate Hotel Skukuza
Protea Kruger Gate Skukuza
Protea Hotel Kruger Gate
Kruger Gate Hotel
Protea Hotel By Marriott Kruger Gate South Africa/Skukuza

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