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“Nice facility, but unfriendly and ineffective staff”

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Protea Hotel by Marriott Kruger Gate
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Skukuza
Certificate of Excellence
Alicante, Spain
Level 5 Contributor
89 reviews
42 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 77 helpful votes
“Nice facility, but unfriendly and ineffective staff”
Reviewed November 8, 2012

The hotel has a very good location, next to Krugers Park and 1.5 h driving time from Nelspruit Airport. Encouraged by the hotel web site we requested airport transfer by e-mail, but our e-mails remained unanswered until our South African friend called the the hotel directly and insisted on a response. Pick up and transfer were then ok.
When being in the hotel we learned that one of the persons who takes care of booking the transfers and tours is Ellias, who is unfriendly and not helpful. Information about the transfers, safaris, and tours may be easier obtained from Johan, a representative of Echo Safaris, whose desk is in the same room.
Front desk staff is generally not helpful. At check-in, we received no information about the facility. It was even a problem to get two keys for a double room. Full payment for the whole stay was required at check-in ! The front desk only theoretically offers foreign currency exchange. We tried to exchange 50 US dollars throughout our stay but they never had enough local currency for the exchange. The front desk was not able to help us with printing boarding passes. We had also problems with other staff members, from receiving incorrect information at the bar to waiting for 45 minutes for a check at lunch. In general, most young staff members in the hotel are not operative and not friendly. The Lapa restaurant (dinner) is a positive exception.
The hotel is a big facility with a big garden (with monkeys and few impalas), tennis area, minigolf, a very small pool, a pool bar (open until 7pm) with a view on the Krugers Park, and a small souvenir shop, which also sells water (6.50 ZAR per 500 ml bottle) etc. Purchases in the shop cannot be charged to the room.
Our room was ok, with a flat screen tv, kettle, safe, reading light, two suitcase racks. The bed was comfortable.
The bathroom was nicely arranged with a big walk-in shower and features of the history of Krugers Park. All light switches were located in one place what was very convenient. The closet was very small.
The doors did not open with an electronic key when they were locked from the inside (red light flashes, as if the key is not working). There was no Internet connection in the room.
A computer with free internet access, but no printer, was available in lobby area. The free WiFi in the lobby was sometimes working, but most of the time it was not.
Cleaning was ok, except the "balcony" window was once left open by a staff member who entered the room while we were away.

Room Tip: Top floor seems better (the bottom floor is below front desk level)
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank szynka
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, November 11, 2012
Dear Szynka

Thank you for taking the time to post a review on TripAdvisor. GUEST feedback is important to us and plays a big role in the improvement of our hotel.

I am extremely sorry that the service you received was disappointing and I can assure you that I will be addressing this issue and implementing training where necessary.

Being located in the bushveld it is not uncommon for the internet to have intermittent signal. We are investigating a number of options to ensure that this does not occur again.

There is nothing better than sitting on the viewing deck with a cold beverage whilst some Impala and monkeys roam the gardens. I am glad that you had the opportunity to experience this. Furthermore, I would like to thank you for your comments regarding the comfortable beds and wide variety of in room facilities.

Thank you once again and I hope that you had a safe trip back to Warsaw.

Kind Regards
Francois Meyer
General Manager
Protea Hotel Kruger Gate
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
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Johannesburg, South Africa
Level 5 Contributor
58 reviews
31 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
Reviewed November 6, 2012

After a week at another venue near the Kruger, we decided to end it off with two nights at the Protea Kruger Gate. Before I tell you about the hotel, let me start off with the location. I don't believe that there is a better location when visiting the Kruger. Approximately 100 m from the Kruger gate, access was smooth and painless and we rolled out of bed into the Kruger. The area that you access is also one of the most fertile game viewing areas in the Kruger.

The hotel staff were exceptional and made you feel extremely welcome. The standard of training was evidenced in the ability of the staff to anticipate your needs. They were also able to deal with some very demanding and often rude tourists with ease.

We stayed in a newly refurbished room that was world class. Facilities were great and where we had an issue, this was addressed before we completed the trip from reception to the room.

Finally, I must say something about the most incredible lookout deck overlooking thenSabie river and the Kruger, it was simply spectacular watching the sunset, with a cocktail and seeing the animals merely meters away. This is truly what an African safari is all about.

The spa was great and the boma dinners were simply amazing with variety and quality being the hallmarks of a dinner under the African Sky at the Potea Kruger Gate hotel.

So in a nutshell, great hotel, wonderful staff, well managed, great foodand the bet location possible makes this one a must. I have already booked my return.

Room Tip: Ask for a recently refurbished room or one of the exceptional family chalet if you have more than tw...
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Fred P
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, November 8, 2012
Dear Fred P

As a Protea family member, I am glad that you visited the bushveld and chose to stay at Protea Hotel Kruger Gate.

Your recognition of all the unique aspects that make our hotel so special and a must visit is highly appreciated by the TEAM - from the close proximity to the Paul Kruger Gate to relaxing on the viewing deck with a cocktail whilst watching the game walk by.

Thank you very much for you kind words and I will be sure to pass them onto the STAFF.

I look forward to your return.

Kind Regards
Francois Meyer
General Manager
Protea Hotel Kruger Gate
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Immingham, England, United Kingdom
Level 2 Contributor
9 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed November 5, 2012 via mobile

Stayed here with partner and 2 kids aged 10 and 11 years old. Location, location, location! Located on the doorstep to the Kruger Park, the reception area, dining area are stunning, great little hides overlooking Kruger too. The rooms are very dated, but clean and functional. Who wants to spend time in their room anyway? Great staff, very friendly and helpful. Would recommend 100%

  • Stayed July 2012
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Jo F
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, November 8, 2012
Dear Jo F

Thank you for your posting such a wonderful review on TripAdvisor.

We do pride ourselves on our unique location and I am glad that your entire experience at the hotel got your stamp of approval.

We have recently completed the first phase of the room renovations, and plan on completing the rest of the rooms next year.

The STAFF will be thrilled to receive your thoughts and words of appreciation.

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.
Brentwood, England
Level 3 Contributor
19 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
Reviewed October 31, 2012

This hotel is really convienient for access to Kruger, minutes away from Paul Kruger gate. We used it as a one night stop after a week in Kruger. After a week in the Kruger restcamp bungalows this hotel was a welcome relief with a large bed and clean white sheets.
The facilities at this hotel are fantastic. The viewing platforms overlooking Kruger are superb

Rooms are good

Restaurent and food was disappointing. Very "canteen" like. I suppose that as this is a large hotel with lots of guests then they have to operate this way. Make no mistake this is a very busy hotel.

The one night we stayed it was pouring with rain in the afternoon, all night, and next morning so we could not enjoy the wonderful facilities

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank davepessex
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, November 4, 2012
Dear davepessex

Thank you for highlighting our fantastic location and close proximity to the Paul Kruger gate. We appreciate the time taken to write a review on TripAdvisor.

I am sure your camping experience was great and Protea Hotel Kruger Gate is only too happy to provide a comfy bed for some well-deserved relaxation after a day in the bush.

We usually serve dinner in the LAPA restaurant under the stars. However, when it rains we have to accommodate the GUESTS upstairs. I apologise for your disappointment and will be discussing these issues with the TEAM.

Thank you for staying with us during your bushveld expedition and I hope that you had safe travels back to the United Kingdom.

Kind regards
Francois Meyer
General Manager
Protea Hotel Kruger Gate
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
South Africa
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
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
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • 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
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cardiff, United Kingdom
Level 4 Contributor
27 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
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
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • 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
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Aalst
Level 6 Contributor
100 reviews
49 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 308 helpful votes
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
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • 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.
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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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