Life in Hotels: Sandton City Garden Court (June 2012) updated

Now that I’m back spending time in hotels more weeks than not, I thought it might be useful to track and record my experiences.

If you travel to Johannesburg primarily for business, appreciate hassle-free check-in, painless-to-setup and cheap wifi, decent room-service and convenient locations without exorbitant prices, these records may prove useful to you. The prices are as I paid, possibly incorporating some corporate discounts, but I’m sure these are available to other groups.

Two days in the Sandton City Garden Court in June 2012

Price per night  R1044
Convenience / location Right in the middle of Sandton – very convenient
Overall comfort and condition of room Pretty basic with a slightly tired bathroom with a shower over the bath. No major complaints though.
Internet Supplied by WirelessG. Can probably pay online with a credit card, but via the hotel requires a paper voucher to be printed out at the front desk. Painful and a decade out of date. R80 for a day with a 200MB limit. I may have forgotten how expensive internet is in hotels, but this really is disgracefully expensive. This is at least R400 per GB, compared to the < R20 per GB available via home ADSL. The internet itself was pretty flaky, up and down all the time.
Parking arrangements Underground parking, with a charge added to the room of, I think, R40 per night using the room card, which is at least fairly straightforward.
Check-in No queue at the time I arrived, the usual painful forms to fill in, but friendly and courteous staff at the check-in desk.
Room service Haven’t tried it yet, but it only operates till 22:30, which is good for not eating late but really bad if one is hungry late after a late flight.I did eventually try the room service, which was acceptable.
Interviewed a potential team member over breakfast. Not the most impressive environment, but I was brought tea and the food was hot and the service pretty good.
Time to settle bill  Pretty quick, but still seemingly needless amounts of signing of paper and printing and so on. It did take the staff several long moments to stop chatting to each other and acknowledge I was actually there in front of them.
Other comments My room was still being prepped when I arrived (10:30 at night…)  -not ideal.Random calls in the evening to tell me about their Frequent Guest card were definitely not appreciated.  Leave a note, slip something under the door, but don’t call me.


Published by David Kirk

The opinions expressed on this site are those of the author and other commenters and are not necessarily those of his employer or any other organisation. David Kirk runs Milliman’s actuarial consulting practice in Africa. He is an actuary and is the creator of New Business Margin on Revenue. He specialises in risk and capital management, regulatory change and insurance strategy . He also has extensive experience in embedded value reporting, insurance-related IFRS and share option valuation.

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