20 Maude Street, Sandown, Sandton 2196, Johannesburg, South Africa
Air Conditioning, Airport Transportation, Babysitting, Banquet Hall, Bar/Lounge, Business Center, Cable Television, Concierge, Conference Center, Conference Room, Dry Cleaning, Fitness Center, Free High-Speed Internet, Free Parking, In-room safe, Internet, Laundry Service, Meeting Rooms, Minibar, Multilingual Staff, Non-Smoking, Parking, Reduced mobility rooms, Refrigerator in room, Restaurant, Room Service, Safety Deposit Boxes, Satellite TV, Self-Serve Laundry, Service Animals Allowed, Shuttle Bus Service, Suites, Swimming Pool, Wheelchair Access, Wifi
Although it sits in the heart of Sandton, Johannesburg’s business district, the Protea Balalaika manages to keep somewhat of a...
Although it sits in the heart of Sandton, Johannesburg’s business district, the Protea Balalaika manages to keep somewhat of a country manor air. The communal areas – the lobby, bar and restaurant – have a classical “olde worlde” feel, with floral prints, hefty furniture and paintings in elaborate gold frames. Rooms, however, don’t continue the feel unfortunately. In fact they’re pretty ordinary, and could really be found in any chain hotel.
Standard rooms are small and simple, with just enough space for a bed, desk, TV and bathroom and some are rather dark, stuck at the back of the building. If possible, try to get a room overlooking one of the two outdoor pools for a much brighter feel. The pools and breakfast room are set in leafy gardens – a surprising find in this traffic-heavy area of corporate hotels, head offices and back-to-back business meetings.
The bar is definitely worth a look, just to feel like you’ve stepped back in time. There’s also a restaurant on the premises with the most bizarrely laid-out and baffling menu you’ve ever witnessed. Minimal space is given to the meals or any description of them, with the bulk of the pages being devoted to the prices in a range of different currencies. This speaks of Sandton’s international nature though, and while the Balalaika has a country feel that most hotels hereabouts do not, it still has the requisite business facilities – a sizeable conference venue and various meeting rooms.
Location-wise, the hotel has a good spot a short drive (or indeed a walk) from Nelson Mandela Square, home to a range of restaurants and a vast shopping mall.
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