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All reviews pool deck luce restaurant shopping centre southern sun rooftop bar northern suburbs top floor direct access business hotel per day excellent hotel wonderful stay hotel room business trip sandton area home away from home johannesburg
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Reviewed 13 June 2012

I'm no expert on the exact division of Johannesburg into local districts, but I feel that the Sandton address could be quite misleading. It's in Hyde Park and adjoins the Hyde Park Corner shopping centre, and the popular locations in Sandton such as Mandela Square are not really within easy reach.

The hotel seems quite closely integrated with the Hyde Park Shopping Mall. This does introduce a certain ambiguity into its overall sense of purpose. In combining these two different aspects of 21st century life, which individually can be quite soleless experiences, the overall result seems to be somewhat less than the sum of these parts.

The rooms are clean and everything you would expect, if a little on the small side. The free TV content is probably a little better than hotels I have experienced whilst working over in Jo'burg. There is also a DVD player in the room and a DEC phone which is convenient. You may have to be economical with use of towels though as only one reasonably sized bath towel appeared each day. No iron / ironing board supplied either. The point about WiFi charges has been made by several other reviewers and I would echo them. The pricing is rather obscene for a service that has very little overhead, and can convey the impression that you are being fleeced for any possible extra. I would expect this kind of pricing model from a Budget Airline operator, but not a hotel chain like this. Having said that, they are certainly not the only hotel chain to do this and with the benefit of experience, I am submitting this review using a mobile 3G device.

When it comes to service this hotel could become legendary for the wrong reasons. To preface these comments I would add that I am British and though I share a common language with a good deal of the world, I know that our verbal mannerisms are not always readily understood, so I do make an effort to be clear and polite as possible.

I remember listening an radio interview with a comedian or writer, whose name I now forget. He and a friend would regularly revisit to the same restaurant in Soho London solely because the service was so invariantly poor. They were continually compelled to return to see exactly how poor it could actually get. On one occasion they were forced by their waiter to make way for another party of diners and to move tables in the middle of their meal, carrying their own plates and glasses to a vacant table situated on another floor of the restaurant.

That has not happened to me here, but, as my stay draws to a close, I am suffering the same sort of fascination with the precise level of the low tide mark of the quality of service here.

When I seek advice about the hotels services from the staff here I have frequently been given contradictory advice. Often this contradictory advice has been delivered by the same person. Sometimes this contradictory advice has been delivered by the same person, and uttered in adjacent sentences by that person. For example: I ask at the bar (which has seemed to close by 11pm in the weekday evenings) if any food is still available. This is at around 10:30pm. I am told that the restaurant meals and bar snacks are no longer available but that in room dining is available until midnight. Back in my room at around 11:35pm I attempt to contact In Room dining unsuccessfully, as no-one is answering. I ring through to the front desk at 11:40pm and ask:

Me: "Can I order a club sandwich" (I had one of these at the Bar on a previous night so I wasn't going to ket the lack of a in room menu become an obstacle)

Desk: "No sir".

Me: "Ah, I was told at the bar that In room meal service was available until midnight"

Desk: "Its is sir, but the kitchen is now closed" (a pause whilst I wait and see if any further clarification of this statement is forthcoming)

Me: "OK then goodnight"

Overall I get the impression that the Hotel is generally being run for the comfort and convenience of the staff here rather than the guests. Tonight the barman was visibly irrated by the apperance of guests in the bar after he had cashed up early. I never experienced any sense that I was at all welcome here, but instead that as a guest, I was viewed as an annoying distraction from the ongoing private lives of the staff, which seem to be play out rather audibly on occasions.

The corporate rate that I get here is around 30% cheaper than the Holiday Inn, Hilton or DaVinci Hotels in Sandton. The location is not as good as those hotels and I accept that. Being alienated and disregraded by my hosts is more rather more difficult to accept.

  • Stayed: June 2012, travelled on business
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3  Thank Stephen M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Noel M, General Manager at Southern Sun Hyde Park Sandton, responded to this reviewResponded 15 June 2012

Dear Stephen M,

Thank you very much for choosing the Southern Sun Hyde Park to stay at during your current travel to Johannesburg and especially for taking the time to write a review on TripAdvisor about your experiences at the hotel.

Your feedback is always welcomed, valued and much appreciated indeed. We regret to hear that the service level and encounters with our staff did not meet your expectations and create an unfavourable impression.

As you are still at the hotel. I will make contact with you in the morning to discuss this further, if you would afford me the opportunity to do so.

We thank you once again for your valuable comments and I look forward to meeting with you at the hotel in the morning.

Kind regards

Noël A. Macquet
General Manager

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Reviewed 7 June 2012

Stayed here a few weeks ago. Location is great, hotel is a good standard and it met all my needs as far as a business hotel goes.

Biggest downside is no free wifi..... All hotels should have this nowadays, just build it into the price!

  • Stayed: May 2012, travelled on business
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1  Thank Kim R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Noel M, General Manager at Southern Sun Hyde Park Sandton, responded to this reviewResponded 8 June 2012

Dear Kim R,

Thank you very much for choosing the Southern Sun Hyde Park to stay at when you last travelled to Johannesburg and especially for taking the time to write a review on TripAdvisor about your experiences at the hotel during your recent stay in May 2012.

Your feedback is always welcomed, valued and much appreciated indeed. We are delighted that all your business needs were met.

Please note that the WIFI Service is complimentary to all members of the Frequent Guest loyalty programme, for 2 hours per day, furthermore membership to the programme is free and there are no joining fees either. Please let us know if we can forward an application form to you. Currently only our 5 Star properties within the Tsogo Sun Hotels group provides free unlimited internet/WIFI services.

We thank you once again for your valuable comments and we look forward to welcoming you back at the hotel on your next visit to Johannesburg.

Kind regards

Noël A. Macquet
General Manager

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Reviewed 1 June 2012

My husband and I have a tradition. On our wedding anniversary and on Valentine's Day, we spend the night at a hotel in our city. It's just like being on holiday, but near to our home (and small baby). We usually stay at 10 Bompas Hotel in Dunkeld, Johannesburg (which I'll review separately), but this time we opted for a night's stay at Southern Sun's Hyde Park Hotel.

It was around the Valentine's Day weekend and I had booked our night as a sort of surprise for my husband, based on the never-tried-before venue and the fact that it's about 5 minutes from our house... Oy.

We arrived around 3pm. Presented ourselves at Reception. Were told that our room wasn't ready. What? At 3pm? (Check-in is at 2pm, supposedly). We went to wait in the bar where I ordered a cocktail and my husband had a water. By 4pm we were pretty annoyed and marched up to Reception. Huge apologies, said the on-duty manager. Room's ready. #Fail. I insisted that they comp our drinks.

Now, the décor of the rooms is nice. But I must be honest: While I knew I was booking an entry-level room (a standard room) this particular room is smaller – and darker – than my bathroom at home. It’s tiny. With a view of Hyde Park’s rooftop car park. (I think. I couldn’t look at it long.)

The guy I spoke to when I booked knew that this was a treat for my husband, so you’d think he’d mention a) that the room was poky and b) that there were rooms with nicer views, and suggest that I upgrade us…? Nope.

Then there was no hot water. For hours. Reception was very sorry. I was livid. Eventually, after a cold shower, we ate in the adjacent shopping centre. Nice dinner.

The hotel’s breakfast also wasn’t bad. But then it was time to check out. And the receptionist – despite having been handed my credit card, with my name on it, by me, and being told that the night was a treat for my husband (who didn’t know what it had cost) – handed the credit card slip to him to sign. That’s just poor etiquette. I asked him to get the car, insisted on a discount, paid 10% less and left. With a bad taste in my mouth.

My advice? This may be a good place for business tourists who have some sort of Southern Sun loyalty card. But if you’ve been wowed by the lovely deck and think the rooms/service are as good, they aren’t. Rather, for the same price, stay at the Protea Fire & Ice in Melrose Arch (review to follow) – it’s wonderful. Or, double your budget and stay at 10 Bompas.

Room Tip: Ask about the view and size of your room upfront, if these are important to you.
  • Stayed: February 2012, travelled as a couple
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4  Thank TiffanyMarkman
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Noel M, General Manager at Southern Sun Hyde Park Sandton, responded to this reviewResponded 5 June 2012

Dear Tiffany Markman-Janks,

Thank you very much for choosing the Southern Sun Hyde Park to stay at for your anniversary in February 2010 and although it has been over 2 years ago, thank you for taking the time to write a review on TripAdvisor on 01 June 2012 about your experiences of 13 February 2010.

Your feedback is always welcomed, valued and much appreciated indeed.

By no means of an excuse but rather as mean of an explanation, you may have been aware that the hotel opened in October 2009 and therefore in February 2010, it was barely 5 months old and regrettably, like with all new buildings, we unfortunately experienced certain teething problems which from time to time we are faced with of which some are sometimes beyond our control, such as the lack of hot water. Furthermore, our standard rooms, which is a mix of 28m2 and 32m2, all face inwards (The Hyde Park Mall) whereas the Superior Rooms face outwards (Craighall and Sandhurst). There are no physical differences whatsoever in the decor, facilities or amenities except for the view outside. Please rest assured that we would have gladly upgraded your reservation, especially shoudl we have known that it was a special occasion and if we had availability. I am pleased to say that we host many couples here for special occasions and have succesfully managed to create some great experiences for most of them, with special touches such as a rose petal turndown and others.

My apologies that you were kept waiting for your room on the day due to the unavailability of a ready room as a result of a group that checked out late.

We sincerely apologise that we did not meet your expectations during this stay and for any inconvenience caused as a result. Plesase do rest assured that we are fully committed to constantly improve the quality of our facilities, offering and service levels at the hotel as we strive for perfection where ever possible.

We have address the above comments with the relevant Management and staff and taken corrective action where appropriate.

We thank you once again for your valuable comments and we look forward to welcoming you back at the hotel in the future.

With renewed apologies and kind regards

Noël A. Macquet
General Manager

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Reviewed 1 June 2012

I stayed at this hotel for 6 nights and did not have any problems. My room (326) appeared to be recently renovated and was quiet within reason. There was some noise from the pool deck below, but this was ambient and did not disturb me. This was my first trip to South Africa, so it was nice that everything with the hotel worked

Room service was prompt and was as expected. I needed an iron and ironing board on a couple of occaisons (I was slack the first time and didn't do all my shirts) and this wasn't a problem. When there wasn't one available they took my shirt and ironed it for me.

I ate breakfast in the restaurant most mornings and always found it to be nice. I also ate in the restaurant one night and the meal I had was superb.

I did have some trouble with the WIFI - not sure if I ran out of time or download quota, it just gave an error. I didn't bother to fix it as this was close to the end of my stay.

I used the gym on one occasion, I don't know if it was the time of morning (5:30am) or if it is always like that, but the aircon in the room seemed to be set to freezing. I felt pretty ill afterwards, altough it may not help that I'm from a humid city at sea level.

  • Stayed: May 2012, travelled on business
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Thank Andrew C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Noel M, General Manager at Southern Sun Hyde Park Sandton, responded to this reviewResponded 4 June 2012

Dear Amdrew C,

Thank you very much for choosing the Southern Sun Hyde Park to stay at when travelling to Johannesburg, South Africa on your first visit and especially for taking the time to write a review on TripAdvisor about your experiences at the hotel during your recent stay in May 2012.

Your feedback is always welcomed, valued and much appreciated indeed.

Thank for the detailed feedback of your experiences of the various services that you used during your stay. We sincerely apologise that the ambient temperature in the gym was not at the desired level, I have already brought it to the Engineering Department's attention who will investigate and make the neccesary adjustments where needed. We are pleased to hear that your stay in general was pleasant and that the services and facilities met your expectations.

We thank you once again for your valuable comments and we look forward to welcoming you back at the hotel on your next visit to Johannesburg and South Africa.

With kind regards

Noël A. Macquet
General Manager

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Reviewed 28 May 2012

Southern Sun Hyde Park Sandton is generally a nice hotel. Nice and clean rooms, friendly staff members...but always be careful when you are paying. Always review your bill before payments because they really like to add some "extra" charges. My friends were asking if it is possible to order a taxi at the hotel and what would be rates (but never took it) and taxi service was charged on the bill. I had more breakfast billed additionally, than days I stayed there, in spite that breakfast supposed to be included in the room rate.

So take your time during check out and check all items on your invoce. Outhervise no problem with the hotel.

  • Stayed: May 2012, travelled on business
    • Value
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1  Thank Kollaragi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Noel M, General Manager at Southern Sun Hyde Park Sandton, responded to this reviewResponded 5 June 2012

Dear Kollaragi,

Thank you very much for choosing the Southern Sun Hyde Park to stay at during your last travels to Johannesburg and especially for taking the time to write a review on TripAdvisor about your experiences at the hotel during your recent stay in May 2012.

Your feedback is always welcomed, valued and much appreciated indeed.

We sincerely apologise for the incorrect charges on your hotel bill such as teh Taxi and Breakfasts that were mentioned. Please rest assured that these were most definitely unintentional and that we would never knowly post incorrect charges on any of our guests' bills. I have send a message to you via your tripadvisor account in order for me to further investigate this and will give feedback once we have investigated.

We are fully committed to constantly improve the quality of our facilities, offering and service levels at the hotel as we strive for perfection where ever possible however, regrettably from time to time we are faced with certain challenges of which some are sometimes beyond our control.

We thank you once again for your valuable comments and we will in contact with further feedback once we have completed our investigations in the incorrect charges mentioned above.

With renewed apologies and kind regards

Noël A. Macquet
General Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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