Southern Sun O.R. Tambo Airport Hotel

Airport Grounds, Jones Road, OR Tambo International Airport, Kempton Park, 1627, Johannesburg

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    GLAD I DIDN'T PAY

    by


    Only I could have ended up at this reasonable hotel in the way I did. I forgot what time I was supposed to fly and missed my flight with Emirates. I presented myself at the airport the next day to be told the 3 flights the day before had been cancelled anyway. SO I was offered a night flight and a hotel room. A room here.

    First impressions after 3 months of hard travel were - great! Nice lobby, clean, modern looking building and grounds. I was given a quiet room and dived into the big soft bed and went to sleep for a while. The bed was very good.

    The room was good sized, had a mini bar, air-conditioning, satellite TV and a good sized bathroom. The bathroom would not win any design awards, but had a bath and good shower with some reasonable toiletries.

    I made my way to the buffet lunch in the restaurant next to the small outdoor pool. That’s when trouble started. I kept looking at the ladies who worked there to tell me where to sit or at least greet me. They were to busy sitting together and eating. No - really - all of them. I finally interrupted them with an amazingly hostile response. Not only did they look totally offended that I had started talking to them, they told me the lunch was closing in 10 minutes so I could not eat.

    This was a massive buffet on many tables and there was a mountain of food left.

    I told them I was going to eat anyway.

    More nasty looks, but mostly aimed at my back as I began to pile food on multiple plates and sat down.

    Now the chance of getting anything to drink except water already out was zero percent. Never mind. I ate well and the food was ok. Nothing great, but reasonable. I had plenty f food and then other guests came in, but were ignored by the staff. After I finished I decided I would go to the pool just outside and have a beer out there. I stood up at my table and now the ladies noticed me and one of them shouted that I needed to pay my bill. I told them they could bring me the bill outside. They shouted no - they would not bring me the bill just outside the door. I told them that's where I would be and if they brought it out I would pay.

    So I went outside, spoke to the bar man who came running over and ordered a beer. I went into the changing room and when I came back to my chair - there was my beer. Ice cold. The bar man had no issue with 1) being polite, 2) serving me and 3) bringing me a bill when I left 2 hours later. By then the restaurant really was closed and my ladies had disappeared. So they got nothing and the bar man had a tip from me.

    I then went back up for a little sleep before getting the shuttle bus back to the hotel. I loved that bed.

    Anyway, when I checked out I expected to be asked if I had eaten any lunch. Nope, I have never seen that bill. My bar bill was there and paid swiftly.

    I guess the moral of the story is if you have ignorant staff they lose your hotel money.

    So would I recommend the hotel? At $200 a room or more? No. I got it for free and found the serviced both great and horrible. The pool was nice, but small and it was ok. $200 can get you some amazing hotels in South Africa. You could do better.

    Unique Quality:

    • Free Airport Shuttle
    • Big comfy beds
    • Quiet rooms (ask to make sure)
    • Great blackout curtains in the room
    • Desk, table, chairs in the rooms
    • Wi-Fi (charges apply)
    • In room safe, hair dryer,
    • Full business/conference facilities
    • Bernoulli’s Restaurant. Buffet and full menu. Mostly Mediterranean
    • Coffee/tea facility
    • Gym and spa
    • Small, but nice pool with a great bar service

    Directions: At Johannesburg Airport

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