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South Africa – Royal Hotel, Pilgrim’s Rest

Our South African friends were taking us on a tour of their country, which gave us one night of “rest” at Pilgrim’s Rest on our trip, a museum gold mining town. Having lived in Victorian properties, the Victorian style was familiar to us so we were not so impressed by the hotel, whereas if you haven’t experienced that sort of period/property I can see that you could find it cute, quaint. But The Royal Hotel has gone for a pastiche of “victoriana” and has done so with a mad trip to Laura Ashley in the 1980’s from the look of the decor! I was hoping to find a hotel that has been carefully restored to how it used to be, but that was not to be the case.
There was reference to a refurb, but I don’t see it! If they DID do a refurb, it’s not been done at all well, with short cuts taken here (including no research into Victorian decor!) and there and rather bad workmanship!
Our room was comfortable enough (although our friends had to be moved as their room stank of stale smoke), staff were amiable, breakfast was fine, with a selection of fruit and healthy options as well as typical cooked stuff. Bad coffee.
All rather underwhelming though.

There is no real soul to the town that visitors get to see and inhabit, and at night there is not much to do as everything is closed (and we know this as we went “Downtown” to check what was going on to find that Downtown was really just a street at lower level from “Uptown”) – we ended up going to Sabie for dinner to ensure a decent choice of restaurants. If you like sharing a hotel with bus loads of tour groups then you have met your Waterloo! But, like most people, go for the day then get out of there!

Stayed – April 2008

Posted in Accommodation Review.

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