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“Nice, but”

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Protea Hotel Clarens
Ranked #2 of 4 Hotels in Clarens
Certificate of Excellence
Johannesburg, South Africa
Level Contributor
30 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
“Nice, but”
Reviewed February 17, 2013

We only stayed overnight on route to Lesotho. I travelled with my parents who are getting on now, so easy access to all amenities are essential which they are. The service for checking in was a bit slow and we did not get the originally allocated rooms. Instead rooms 101 and 102 were given to us. They must be meant for emergency accommodation only! Nothing wrong with the standards of the rooms themselves, but their entrances are above the reception and lounge area. Also if you like to have your window open, those 2 rooms are sealed. Do not expect to go to sleep until the last of the hotel guests have departed and the staff finished clearing. Being in this location does mean that you will get woken very early when the staff starts their activities with setting the restaurant area for breakfast at around 5 30am. Don't expect a peaceful night! Checking out was quick and hassle free. I'm sure the hotel though pricy is worthwile to select for a stay as long as you avoid rooms 101 and 102.

Room Tip: avoid rooms 101 and 102, preferably level 2
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank WILLY l
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ProteaHotels, General Manager at Protea Hotel Clarens, responded to this review, February 19, 2013
Dear WILLY I

Thank you for your feedback regarding your recent stay. My sincere apologies for your restless night due to noise near your room.

There is no excuse for your disappointment and the incorrect allocation of your room should not have occurred. Due to the fact that we were fully booked, these rooms were made available.

Protea Hotels prides itself on providing the best GUEST service and a feel at home experience. I hope that we will get the opportunity to welcome you and your parents back to show you true Protea hospitality.

Please contact me at gm@phclarens.co.za should you wish to speak directly.

Kind Regards
Lee-Ann Benney
General Manager
Protea Hotel Clarens
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272 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (96)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Any
English first
Level Contributor
8 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed January 19, 2013

Protea Hotel, is nicely positioned in clarens. In the heart of the little town, easy walking distance. So no need for drinking and driving if you go out for dinner.
Nice over night stop from JHB to DBN.

Breakfast was yummy, staff very friendly and has a lovely view.(just ask for room with a view)

However , i found rooms small, and expected more compared to other prorea hotel experinces. It reminded me of TownLodge or CityLodge and therefore found that our R1500 didnt offer value for money.

On our next trip to Clarens we would consider B&B as it might provide more value for money, might also be little bit more Clarency.

  • Stayed January 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank actravellerbug
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ProteaHotels, General Manager at Protea Hotel Clarens, responded to this review, January 22, 2013
Dear actravellerbug

Thank you for visiting the Protea Hotel Clarens.

I am thrilled to hear that you enjoyed the Breakfast and that my TEAM looked after you.

We are very proud of our unique location in this lovely town. With the knowledge of the great natural beauty that Clarens has to offer, the architects took into consideration the environment and incorporated it into the design to allow for the natural surroundings to filter into the hotel. All this was done to ensure a true Clarens experience from service to food and the hotel itself.

Our Prokard loyalty program automatically adds value to you as you are instantly upgraded to a VIP in all Protea Hotels. As part of Prokard benefits, you receive discounts on rates as well as earning Rand valued points when you stay on a rate at any Protea Hotel.

Please let me know if you would like more information and I will contact you personally to explain the program.

Hopefully you will visit us again if you are passing through to KZN.

Kindest Regards
Lee-Ann Benney
General Manager
Protea Hotel Clarens
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Pretoria, Gauteng, South Africa
Level Contributor
11 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed January 1, 2013 via mobile

We stopped over for one night only en route to the coast. This being our first time in Clarens, we weren't sure what to expect from the other hotels and B&B's and hence decided to take a gamble on the Protea Hotel. The staff were very friendly and attentive since the moment we arrived. We had dinner at the restaurant and was pleased with the quality of the food and impressed with the service. Breakfast was included in the price - what a wonderful breakfast! My 10 year old son loves a good omelet and ever since he has kept referring to the 'omelet he had in Clarens'. The waiters also remembered us from the previous evening and were very attentive. The rooms are what you would typically expect from this type of establishment. We stayed in 2 rooms, fitted with 2 double beds each. The rooms were clean, neat, very new. The showers take some getting used to though. The shower and basin is in the room, while the toilet is separate. This means that when you get our of the shower, you're in full view of everyone in the room. If you're sharing with a spouse, that would be okay, but it will cause problems with scenarios where the room mates aren't quite that intimate. Not sure if all the rooms are like that, but the 2 we had were identical.

I would definitely stay there again when we visit this quaint little town.

Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
Helpful?
Thank Desiree H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
AnchenHaupt, General Manager at Protea Hotel Clarens, responded to this review, January 3, 2013
Dear Desiree H

I hope you had a wonderful festive season and that 2013 will hold many moments of magic for you and your family!

I am so glad that you decided to stop in Clarens on route to the coast, and more importantly that you stayed at our hotel.

Clarens is a wonderful little village and I hope that when you return, you will have a bit more time to take in the scenery and enjoy all the mysteries that makes Clarens so spectacular.
The hotel offers a variety of room types ranging from rooms with a small balcony to rooms with en-suite bathrooms (with a separate bath and shower) for GUESTS that require a little more privacy.

Thank you for the kind words about my TEAM and for expressing how much you enjoyed your stay. I am so glad that your son is still talking about the omelet; I know that this will fill my chefs with pride.

I look forward to welcoming you back to the “Jewel of the Eastern Free State” very soon.

Kindest Regards
Lee-Ann Benney
General Manager
Protea Hotel Clarens
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sleaford, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
7 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed December 16, 2012 via mobile

Great hotel! Fab location! Friendly staff! Excellent food! You can't fault it!!
Clarens is a beautiful little town with quirky shops/things to do. Book spa treatments/activities in advance. Same applies to the few gorgeous restaurants in town otherwise you will be disappointed!
Oh, and the scenery is out of this world! :-)

Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
Helpful?
1 Thank Werner N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
AnchenHaupt, General Manager at Protea Hotel Clarens, responded to this review, December 18, 2012
Dear Werner N

Wonderful experiences are what my TEAM strives for every day.

I am delighted to hear that you enjoyed the splendor of our little village of Clarens and all its offerings, and that Protea Hotel Clarens provided a friendly environment as your home away from home.

My TEAM are most appreciative of your enthusiastic comments and that they were able to meet and exceed your expectations.

We look forward to welcoming you back in the very near future!

Have a wonderful festive season.

Kind Regards
Lee-Ann Benney
General Manager
Protea Hotel Clarens
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hillsborough, North Carolina
Level Contributor
22 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed October 8, 2012

We were immediately put on edge when the staff checking us in asked "have they explained about the room" No "they" hadn't . We booked online. The booking Confirmation form had the words "universal access" . What does that mean? Well the shower is in the middle of the room with no surround. Obviously it was a handicapped room. Not to worry "does it have a good view? No" . OK we would like a different room please. Sorry fully booked. OK can we see the manager. A different room was provided. OK so we got off to a poor start but everything was great from there on. Staff were friendly, food was great, beds were amazing and the location and views were fantastic.

Room Tip: Make sure to ask for a room with a mountain view. I am not sure if all universal access rooms have n...
See more room tips
  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Eddie C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
HeatherPoulsen, Guest Relations Manager at Protea Hotel Clarens, responded to this review, November 5, 2012
Dear Eddie C

Thank you for posting your review about your recent stay.

My sincerest apologies for any inconvenience experienced with the “Universal Access” rooms. We take for granted that our GUESTS understand hotel terminology and unfortunately with an online booking, there is no voice on the other end to explain the room configuration if there is any uncertainty.

I am glad that my TEAM was able to assist and offer an alternative room for your stay and more importantly that you enjoyed your stay with us.

We look forward to welcoming you back in the very near future and hope that you had a great trip to Mumbai.

Kind Regards
Lee-Ann Benney
General Manager
Protea Hotel Clarens
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Johannesburg, South Africa
Level Contributor
188 reviews
22 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 85 helpful votes
Reviewed October 6, 2012

The hotel is quite central. The rooms were clean. The food we ordered for dinner one night was excellent and the room service was prompt. On the downside the pool is tiny and the hotel doesn't offer any entertainment. The staff weren't very helpful.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank SashSA
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
HeatherPoulsen, Guest Relations Manager at Protea Hotel Clarens, responded to this review, November 5, 2012
Dear SashSA

Clarens is a wonderful little village that has many secrets and adventures to discover. Over the years, our GUESTS have preferred to venture into the town to experience the local bands that perform at various pubs and visit the Clarens Brewery for free beer tasting.

My sincerest apologies for the dissatisfaction you experienced from my STAFF, I assure you that we pride ourselves in the service that we offer, and it is most distressing to hear that you were not assisted.

I am glad to hear that you enjoyed your dinner with us and that room service was speedy.

Thank you once again and next time you visit us be sure to head into town to enjoy a Clarens experience.

Kind Regards
Lee-Ann Benney
General Manager
Protea Hotel Clarens
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Johannesburg, South Africa
1 review
Reviewed October 1, 2012

We went to Clarens to celebrate our 1st Wedding Anniversary and stayed at The Protea Hotel. The hotel is very nice and the staff are excellent. Juan the manager was very good and very accommodating. At dinner our first night there was a mix up with our order. I asked for the manager (Juan) and he immediately attended to the problem and returned to our table to inform us that our food would be 'on the house'. It was so refreshing to deal with a manager who actually did something about it and didn't just say sorry and that was it. I am in a wheelchair and I asked if it was possible to move to another room that would be a bit better for me and as soon as a room opened up they moved us with no problems and at no expense. I also spoke to juan on the phone the week before we went to the hotel and asked him if he could set up a private dinner for me and he said he would see what he could arrange. They ended up setting up a table upstairs on the balcony of one of the deluxe rooms with our own waiter, a gas heater because it was a bit chilly and they gave us a very nice desert courtesy of the hotel. Our waiter Lefa was absolutely brilliant. Top quality 5 star service and a great personality as well. I'm sure some of the best hotels in the world would snap him up in a second. Overall it was an excellent experience and the service andd staff was world class. Thanks to Juan, Lefa and the rest of the staff!!

Room Tip: The Deluxe room with A shower and Bath are the best option.
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  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Darren T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
HeatherPoulsen, Guest Relations Manager at Protea Hotel Clarens, responded to this review, November 5, 2012
Dear Darren T

Thank you for choosing the Protea Hotel Clarens to celebrate your 1st wedding anniversary.
We understand that special moments are rare and that quality time with a loved one is worth more than most can understand.

I am most pleased that you enjoyed your stay with us and that my TEAM ensured that you had a wonderful time. I will be sure to congratulate Juan, Lefa and the TEAM on their excellent service.

We trust that we will see you very soon in the “Jewel of the Eastern Free State”.

Kind Regards
Lee-Ann Benney
General Manager
Protea Hotel Clarens
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 Clarens

Property: Protea Hotel Clarens
Address: corner of Main & Van der Merwe Streets, Clarens 9707, South Africa
Phone Number:
Location: South Africa > Free State > Clarens
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 4 Hotels in Clarens
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — Protea Hotel Clarens 4*
Number of rooms: 70
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Protea Hotel Clarens - Home is where the Art is. The Protea Hotel Clarens is located in the best kept secret in art and culture circles of the Free State. The picturesque village of Clarens is framed by the majestic Maluti Mountains, sandstone cliffs and is in close proximity to the Golden Gate National Park and the mountain kingdom of Lesotho. This artists’ haven is a tapestry steeped in history and rich in legend. Experience a living masterpiece that exudes sheer style, luxury and design. Protea Hotel Clarens blends in with the natural splendour that has inspired artists, eco lovers and tourists who simply enjoy the art of living to explore this tranquil, magical landscape and relax, in style. Take in the breathtaking scenery with sundowners on Protea Hotel Clarens’ terrace, enjoy fine dining or laze away the hours in luxury and comfort. This sanctuary embodies state-of-the-art excellence and service. From adrenalin rushes to cultural expeditions, Clarens offers it all. With an abundance of activities nearby, from San paintings and dinosaur trails to white river rafting and rock climbing; Protea Hotel Clarens’ warm hospitality completes the picture. So whether you plan a romantic getaway, team-building exercise, business conference or African adventure, Protea Hotel Clarens has it all. ... more   less 
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