The reservation of four nights in this category 2 hotel, the Protea Hotel Port Elizabeth Marine, was made at the last minute.
Indeed, we had planned a point-to-point house exchange in Port Alfred with the site HomeExchange and we were looking forward, among other things, to the upcoming pontoon tour offered by our guests on the Kuwait River at the mouth of the Indian Ocean.
A beautiful house with four bedrooms whose photos I had put in the milesopedia forum under the heading “alternative accommodation”. However, a few days before our arrival, Liz the owner of the house writes us an email that boils down to this:
The power-shedding situation has escalated so that there are power interruptions 2-3 X/day for two hours. No generators like in hotels to take over. In addition, the drought in the region is so severe that only 5% of the drinking water remains in the dam’s reserves and the municipality’s running water is only delivered to homes every three days for a few hours. Boiler water transport, mitt washing, salt water swimming pool… a South African experience.Liz
Uh… that was too much. Five adults without a shower for three days who would watch by candlelight?
So we canceled, Liz expecting this decision instead. We found our exchange points and found a place at the Protea Hotel Port Elizabeth Marine. The location of the hotel also allowed us to get closer to the places targeted for our safaris.
The hotel is located on the other side of the boulevard that leads to the sea. Right across the street. And if the water was not as hot as expected (23C), it was acceptable and many rooms took advantage of it. A walk for pedestrians, dog-walkers and runners runs along the sea.
Around the hotel
About a kilometre east of the hotel is the quay and its very popular beach, which is actually a little too glaring for our taste. A little further on, a craft market. Then further on, the port with the profile of its giraffes for the transport of goods. Question of staying within the theme 🙂
A few minutes walk to the west this time, a small shopping center with grocery store, pizzeria, a few shops. In short, very practical.
It was a nice surprise to discover this very large room facing the sea with a king bed, a kitchenette area with microwave, fridge and dishes, a small corner lounge and another one for work.
The room was also available for the same price, mezzanine version. My sister and cousin inherited it.
The hotel is not new but the bathrooms and kitchenettes have obviously been redone.
The hotel services
The hotel is unremarkable from the outside. The reception, the lobby and the lounges for the 6@7 are however very elegant and clean as is the outdoor terrace that brought us the sea breeze.
I insist on the 6@7 because every drink is sold with the promotion of two for the price of one during this short period. We are talking about soft drinks, cocktails, beer and wine, by the glass … or by the bottle.
Over here are the South African wine bottles. The snacks and meals we were able to order during this promotion are at regular price and some choices, such as quinoa and cheese balls were interesting.
Although the prices were acceptable for breakfast and buffet dinners, we only tested it once in the room and did not like it: cold sausages and toast, undercooked bacon, served with fries.
Finally, the swimming pool, really small (it looks like a big jacuzzi) is located on the roof of the hotel where there are also 4 deckchairs. Other than the view, nothing to linger on. Besides, we have to get there by climbing several steps. Access for people with reduced mobility is therefore almost impossible.
The same goes for the little cross gym on the way up.
Our general impression of the hotel
It is therefore a category 2 hotel Marriott Bonvoy that we recommend, for its rooms, its 6@7 in its pretty lounges and terraces, its proximity to the sea, shops and excursions to be made like safaris.
Like all Protea hotels visited during our stay in South Africa, the staff is friendly and eager to serve you well. However, we go for the food.