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Reviews (225)
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All reviewscity halllounge areaenjoyed my staydouble bedrooms are cleanreception staffcomfortable staysecure parkingushaka marine world
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Reviewed 11 February 2018

After an absence of many years, I decided to spend a night at the Grand Old Place again. This was in honour of first staying there 30 years ago. The building is still impressive, the reception staff friendly and courteous, the lounge area still filled with so many individuals meeting one another. I found that the room is still spacious with a Queen sized bed, a good view and all the other attributes you would expect from this grand old place.

First opened in the 1850's, you will be a guest in a place that has seen so much history. Now no longer in the centre of the business district, if you have occasion to have to stay over in the city centre, this is still a very good option.

Room Tip: Get a room on the 19th floor and ask for a harbour-facing room.
  • Stayed: February 2018, travelled on business
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank PeterV1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 February 2018

The room was very nice and comfortable. The reception staff was efficient and friendly.
The Hotel is well located and easy to access. I came at night and left early in the morning, no interaction with the staff.

  • Stayed: January 2018, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Review collected in partnership with this hotel
1  Thank mtA8498PL
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Coastlands_Marketing, Public Relations Manager at Royal Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 6 February 2018

Dear The Royal Hotel guest,

Thank you for staying at The Royal Hotel , I am delighted to hear that you enjoyed your stay with us. We thoroughly enjoyed having you as our guest.

Thank you for your lovely review, we strive to create memorable experiences and your feedback helps us achieve this. I am pleased to hear that we could provide you a pleasant stay and that our centrality allowed you to enjoy Durban to it's fullest.

I would like to take the time to thank you for commending our staff's dedication to service excellence, I will pass your lovely compliment onto our team, they will be delighted to receive such positive feedback.

Here's wishing you a wonderful week ahead and safe travels. We look forward to your next visit.

-Janine

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 January 2018

Only stayed for a night the room had a leaking toilet and the phone was not working in the room to even call room service. The breakfast standard was not nice the food was not properly done. Ordered 2 milkshakes and the waiter comes with them with no cream but he had already accepted the order

  • Stayed: January 2018, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Review collected in partnership with this hotel
Thank rt304
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 January 2018

This hotel is well located in the city center. Though it isn't the best place to be in the evening as it can get a bit dangerous, in terms of connectivity its the best location in Durban. Average stay. Food was very average and hotel cleanliness was very basic.

  • Stayed: January 2018, travelled with family
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank galoretim
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 January 2018

First and foremost, there are two serious safety issues with the hotel:

- The phones effectively don't work. You need to know the exact extension to dial. The buttons on the side of the phone don't ring to the departments that are labeled (they actually don't ring to anywhere). Why is this an issue? The hotel is in an extremely unsafe area where crime is rife and you may need to call for help. Apart from that, there are all the other more conventional safety concerns (like a fire) you might need to call someone about.

- Despite having upgraded the door locks of every room, your room key doesn't get you into the lobby (which they lock at night). I arrived late at night after the lobby was locked. It took 10 minutes of ringing the doorbell and knocking on the glass to get someone's attention to let me in. Bear in mind the neighborhood is so unsafe that you can't even park a car overnight on the street--I was a sitting duck for the criminals who roam the neighborhood.

- Finally, the neighborhood itself. This isn't the fault of the hotel, except it is. Other areas of Durban, such as Florida Road, have formed community improvement districts to ensure it's safe to walk around. Despite being across the street from City Hall and many of the city's museums, the Royal Hotel hasn't done anything to improve the safety of the neighborhood. Instead, they just lock their doors at night and if the security guard is asleep, guests are effectively fed to the wolves.

OK, so how is the hotel terrible? The only thing the general manager of this hotel is good at is implementing ancillary fees. Parking? 75 rand per day. Laundry? About 5 times the going rate. Internet? Well, it's only free if you take your laptop to the lobby and work in an uncomfortable lounge chair rather than privately at your desk. Otherwise, my friend, you have to pay.

The air conditioning in my room didn't work well. The maintenance guy came by, fiddled with it, and suggested I keep the curtains closed so the unit could keep up. He was right--it did, barely. The front desk, despite the hotel not being full, wouldn't switch me to another room.

Fixtures and fittings - everything is old (from the 80s) and hasn't been updated since with the exception of the perplexingly nonfunctional phones and new TVs. Plumbing doesn't work well. The elevator buttons don't light up when you press them. There were two banks of elevators and pressing the right-hand elevator bank controls didn't work, but pressing the left-hand elevator bank controls summoned the right-hand elevators. The skybridge from the parking garage to the hotel is--I swear I am not making this up--literally patched with duct tape.

The one good thing? There was a nice view from the room. A pity nothing else about the room or the property was nice.

If you're thinking of staying here, RUN! There are much nicer hotels at a lower price in Durban. This property is so poorly run and in such a dangerous neighborhood that it just needs to close. Only firing the general manager (who was on a multi-week vacation) and replacing them with a professional one, combined with considerable investment in bringing the hotel and the neigborhood up to standards, could save this property. It should just close for 3 months while a top-to-bottom remodel is done.

Room Tip: The only good room here is the one you don't book.
  • Stayed: January 2018, travelled solo
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank dialtone69
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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