A Stay Report: Protea Hotel, Durban Edward
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Over 2 years ago, Marriott bought the African hotel chain Protea Hotels as a way to expand into the African market. As I was travelling to South Africa, I wanted to experience Protea and their partnership with Marriott. I had booked the Protea Hotel Edward in Durban as it was on the beach thoroughfare and was in walking distance to many attractions. The price for the hotel was relatively inexpensive, a bit higher than Fairfield but lower than Courtyard, and was the same price as the Hilton Durban – I am not sure if this meant the Protea was overvalued or the Hilton was undervalued.
I had arranged my own transport to the hotel – the hotel does offer shuttle service, but for a cost and through my research the costs were higher than other transportation methods so I had arranged my own. Other amenities the hotel offers include a business center (with one computer and a printer), a restaurant, a souvenir shop, and free wifi. The wifi was basic but was decent service and good enough for one night.
Overall, the hotel looked like it had been built a while ago. While it did not look bad, it did not look modern nor updated. As you entered, on the right side was a small check-in area while on the left was a small porter/concierge stand. There was a desk in the middle that served as a roundabout, as to the left was the restaurant, straight was the elevators and stairs, and then straight and on the right was the business center, the store, and access to the back entrance of the hotel. The design and décor of the interior of the hotel made the hotel look older and a bit dated. Check-in was quick and I received my keys and took the (small) elevator to the 5th floor to my room.
The rooms themselves were very large and spacious, but felt and look old and dated. As you entered, along the left side of the wall were the closets and tea set. The closets contained storage, as well as a safe and an ironing board. The iron had to be requested from the front desk. On the right side was the bathroom. The bathroom was very spacious and roomy, but was very bare. The bathroom contained a sick, a toilet and shower and the sink had the bathroom amenities, but they were off to the side – the whole look was very bare.
The room itself was very big but the decorations and the feel of the room felt old and dated. The room contained green carpet, which made the room look dated. As you entered into the room, on the left wall was the TV with a luggage stand underneath and next to that was a desk with a chair. Next to the desk, across the wall, were two large balcony’s which looked onto the beach and provided some nice views (the balcony doors were hidden behind large curtains that belonged to the 80’s). The bed was on the other side of the wall and it was a large queen size bed. On other side of the bed were nightstands and those, plus the bed frame were an older style and did not look modern. The bed itself was not very comfortable and did not feel new. The bedding on top of the bed were nice and new, and in line with Marriott’s new bedding (the bed itself was not part of Marriott’s new bedding).
Overall, the hotel was an interesting combination. The hotel did not feel like a Marriott at all, and the hotel felt dated and definitely needed an upgrade. While the rooms were spacious and the provided a average night’s sleep, I am not sure I would pick this hotel if I was staying here longer than one night.