390 Lilian Ngoyi Street, Pretoria 0002, South Africa
Air Conditioning, Babysitting, Banquet Hall, Bar/Lounge, Cable Television, Connecting Rooms, Free High-Speed Internet, Free Parking, In-room safe, Internet, Kids Activities, Laundry Service, Meeting Rooms, Microwave, Non-Smoking, Parking, Reduced mobility rooms, Restaurant, Room Service, Safety Deposit Boxes, Satellite TV, Self-Serve Laundry, Shuttle Bus Service, Suites, Swimming Pool, Wheelchair Access, Wifi
I’m a bit ambivalent about the Protea Hotel Capital – the experience I had here was not unsatisfying, but it...
I’m a bit ambivalent about the Protea Hotel Capital – the experience I had here was not unsatisfying, but it was inconsistent.
Upon entry I was greeted by Protea’s familiar purple-and-grey color scheme, with the addition in this case of abstract art, minimalist floral arrangements, and whimsical painted giraffes and lions on the walls of the corridors leading to the lifts and pool.
But once I left the main area and headed into the bowels of the hotel, it started to feel less like a cleverly decorated downtown hotel and more like prisoner cell block H. The stark white concrete walls are devoid of color or artwork, and the dim lighting and dark carpeting in the halls do not help matters. Lightboxes over each door lighten the atmosphere somewhat, but not much.
The pool-facing room I had was not much of an improvement over the hallway in terms of décor. The dark carpets were accompanied by dark furniture, and the lights were not particularly bright. Our two-room suite had a window in only the sitting room, so the bedroom area was particularly was dark both night and day — which is great if you are a vampire, but not so great if you like to awaken to natural sunlight. The massive bathroom boasted a tub, shower, sink and extra space to spare, yet no soap dish (this seems to be a recurring problem at Protea hotels). The aforementioned window was rather old and not noise-proof, so I could hear the sounds of other rooms’ a/c units humming all around me. Also, the door to the room did not have a tight seal, so unfortunately when the person in the room opposite decided to smoke with their door open, I could smell it in my room. YUCK!
Other amenities in the hotel include a small but well-maintained pool surrounded by palm trees in the central courtyard area, and Laird’s, the onsite restaurant. I had a buffet dinner here which was above average, but unfortunately the drinks didn’t come til halfway through the meal and the dining room feels a bit like a cafeteria. However, if you want to eat this is pretty much your only choice, since the hotel is located in Pretoria’s CBD, which is devoid of anything but fast-food restaurants.
Central Pretoria doesn’t hold a great deal for the tourist, so it’s no surprise that this hotel is geared towards...
Central Pretoria doesn’t hold a great deal for the tourist, so it’s no surprise that this hotel is geared towards the business traveller, with superb meeting and conference facilities. The service isn’t the warmest, nor is it entirely competent all of the time. Rooms are inviting though – warm, bright and airy and rates are reasonable enough that you could consider splurging on one of the suites, which come with a decent-sized separate lounge (or if you want to go for the full upgrade, a large Jacuzzi).
Rooms have all the usuals: cable TV package, kettle, air-conditioning, en suite bathrooms with both bath and shower, though they surprisingly offer neither a minibar nor a fridge, so you’ll have to head down to the ground-floor bar if you want something cool to drink.
This isn’t the loveliest part of Pretoria, but the hotel’s diminutive grounds are a pleasant place to relax. There’s a decent-sized swimming pool edged with fairy lights, faux grass, real plants and a smattering of sun loungers. There are chairs and tables out there too, where you can eat breakfast or enjoy a drink. The bar and restaurant are similarly inviting, with bright and stylish decor and even the lobby is a nice spot to linger.
If you do want to explore, or you have to get to meetings around the city, the hotel offers a complimentary shuttle during business hours. The Gautrain station is also close by if you don’t have your own wheels.
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