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“Lovely setting but...” 4 of 5 bubbles
Review of Protea Hotel by Marriott Kruger Gate

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Protea Hotel by Marriott Kruger Gate
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Skukuza
Certificate of Excellence
South Africa
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Lovely setting but...”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 25, 2012

We've visited this Hotel many times in the past but it was the first time we took our kids to experience it. The setting is awesome & the huge trees and gardens makes it special. The new rooms are also fantastic. Food was good with a huge selection but the food tends to be over cooked. Although the Reception staff members were all very friendly & helpfull, the Restaurant staff appeared to only focus on Guest that they've identified as " good tippers". The Restaurant Duty Manger might as well not have been there as she just leaned on the service counter through out service and never interacted with Guest or supported staff. We will definetly return but the Restaurant staff needs to be reminded what hospitality is all about. The children facalities like the putt-putt course needs to be upgraded & kept clean.

Room Tip: Ask for the refurbished rooms
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank orry_9
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 review, October 29, 2012
Dear orry_9

We are so glad that our newly renovated rooms were to your liking and that our unique bush setting enhanced your family getaway.

Protea Hotels strives for service excellence in all areas and I am disappointed that you did not receive the quality we aim for. I can assure you that I have addressed the situation and will most definitely be carrying out additional training with our food and beverage STAFF so that our GUESTS receive great service.

Thank you once again, your points have all been noted.

Kind regards
Francois Meyer
General Manager
Protea Hotel Kruger Gate
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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762 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (142)
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Cardiff, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
21 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 8, 2012

There were some things I loved about this hotel ... the open deck lounge area, the viewing area and the location, but oh so many things I hated! The communal areas are lovely, and the grounds well maintained, but when we were shown our room, it was really disappointing - we had booked a deluxe double room, and yet the room had two twin beds pushed togther, was small and had absolutely no view at all. We went back to reception and asked for the room we'd booked, and got another room allocated. Whilst this at least had the larger bed, it was obviously in need of refurbishment, with cracked floor tiles and shabby paintwork. As it was only for two nights we decided that we would put up with it,
We had breakfast and one lunch in the restaurant and the food was OK but were disappointed with the fact that we could only have the buffet in the Boma for the two evenings we were there - the food here was only lukewarm at best and charcoal options at worst, and on the second night, the choice was very limited. Overall very disappointing.
Service was fine although could do with some improvement, especially when it comes to making sure that tea and coffee are topped up, and not to take away plates when people are still eating!
In terms of location, this hotel could be really special, but they should consider keeping the viewing area bar open past sunset, as it was lovely just to sit there listening to the lions roaring just a few kilometres away.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Alli D
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 review, October 25, 2012
Dear Alli D,

Thank you for taking the time to post your review concerning your stay at Protea Hotel Kruger Gate. We rely on feedback such as yours to improve on our service and facilities.

Please accept my sincere apologies for the inconvenience and discomfort which you experienced during your stay. I would like to take this opportunity to let you know that we are currently going through a complete refurbishment, which will recommence after the festive season. Furthermore, I have discussed your comments regarding service standards and food quality with the TEAM to ensure that all are improved upon.

I hope you will be returning to stay with us in the near future, and grant us another opportunity to show you our true service quality.

Kind regards,

Francois Meyer
General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Aalst
Level Contributor
94 reviews
47 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 284 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 2, 2012

When consulting the internet, we were in great doubt whether or not we would book this hotel.
We finally decided to risk it because of its great location near the Paul Kruger gate.
Our doubts came from reading the very different appraisals of the lodge by its visitors. Some praised it very high (everybody agrees on the excellent location if you want to visit the Kruger park), but many also complained about food, rooms, etc...
I TOTALLY DISAGREE ! OUR EXPERIENCE WAS GREAT !
The place is very authentic. A lot of wood, etc... The view over the river is very nice and relaxing with space to sit and have a nice drink during spotting.
The evening diner in the lapa was very special with the drums announcing the opening of the lapa and a speaker inviting you in. Food was very good with a wide choice.
Breakfast was also very good and a chef is there all the time to prepare you a fresh omelet, waffles,... you name it, they have it.
I realize we stayed in a very recently renovated room, but these rooms were super. I cannot judge the other rooms, but plans seem to be there to renovate all rooms next year.
All by all I do not understand how some visitors can complain about anything in this lodge.
Our experience was super !!! We will certainly go back whenever we have the opportunity.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Frans_1Aalst
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 review, October 25, 2012
Dear Frans_1Aalst

Thank you very much for your amazing review of Protea Hotel Kruger Gate! I am pleased that you made the decision to come and stay with us, and that the hotel exceeded your expectations!

I will be sure to commend the TEAM on a job well done to ensure that you enjoyed your stay. I hope you enjoyed your time in beautiful Nelspruit.

Thanks again from the TEAM in the bushveld!

Kind Regards,
Francois Meyer
General Manager
Protea Hotel Kruger Gate
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Earth
Level Contributor
214 reviews
68 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 115 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 1, 2012

We have been coming here for a while, and the rooms never get any better. We have yet to see a renovated room despite the fact that we are regulars and request nice rooms. Like R0many, we have had our fair share of musical rooms on check in. Some of them, for one reason or another, are just awful. Others are okay. Deferred Maintenance seems to be the culprit and the time has come to bite the bullet -- paint the walls, new curtains and bedspreads and repair the broken locks and windows. And please, the bathrooms!!! The rooms on the lower level always seem to smell moldy. Modern technology has ways of dealing with this. Invest!

The condition of the rooms is quite sad because the property itself is quite lovely and the location at the Kruger Gate is terrific for day trips into the Park. The Boma dinners have terrific ambience and are fun even though the grilled food is always overcooked. The grounds and viewing platforms are lovely and common areas are pleasant to sit around and chat. Staff could use some retraining but they are no worse than staff at other similar properties in South Africa.

The bones are here for a first rate property. Time to spend some money and do a revamp so those of us who are regulars do not drive up and dread seeing which room we will be getting.

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank boudecca
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 review, October 25, 2012
Dear boudecca,

Thank you very much for taking the time to give feedback on your very recent stay at Protea Hotel Kruger Gate. Please accept my sincere apologies for the disappointment which you experienced with regards to the rooms. We are continuously trying to improve in all aspects and I will personally follow up on the concerns you had.

We again thank you for sharing your valued feedback with us!

Kind Regards,
Francois Meyer
General Manager
Protea Hotel Kruger Gate
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reading, UK
Level Contributor
43 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles 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...
See more room tips
  • Stayed February 2012, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
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 review, 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
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
147 reviews
39 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 68 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles 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
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
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 review, 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
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Boston, MA
Level Contributor
31 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles 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.
See more room tips
  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
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 review, 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
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 Protea Hotel by Marriott Kruger Gate

Property: 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 (Based on Average Rates): $$
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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