Protea Hotel by Marriott, Kruger Gate

Kruger and surrounds, South Africa

The hotel

The Protea Hotel by Marriott, Kruger Gate rests in one of the most enviable locations overlooking the Kruger National Park just outside Paul Kruger Gate. Wooden boardwalks and luscious gardens run throughout the hotel's grounds with the bar offering excellent views on a raised deck overlooking the Sabie River. The hotel is an affordable choice for those looking to self-drive in the Kruger National Park or who wish to relax in a hotel atmosphere and add professional game-drives as they please.

Amenities

  • Bar
  • Safari
  • Tennis
  • Restaurant

Where is it

An amazing location next to the Paul Kruger Gate and overlooking the Kruger Park. Transfer time from Skukuza Airport: 15 minutes.

Hotel information

96 rooms on 2 floors in 3 buildings. All with air-conditioning, TV, safe, tea/coffee maker and mini-bar*. Superior Rooms with twin or double beds, sleeping maximum 2 adults and 1 child.

Half Board includes: includes breakfast and dinner.

Superior Family Rooms are larger, offering ample space for families, sleeping maximum 4 adults or 2 adults and 2 children.

Open-air Lapa restaurant (International), Kudyela (breakfast and lunch). Pool/deck bar overlooking the Sabie River. Several hides for close-up viewing. Swimming pool. Dee's African Spa*. Mini-golf*, tennis court, volleyball, table tennis and children's playground. Game drives in the Kruger National park can be booked locally giving you the opportunity to search for the 'Big Five'*. Avis car hire available at Skukuza Airport and complimentary parking is available at the hotel.

* Denotes local charge.

Please note: Virgin Holidays guests also receive complimentary environmental patrol, bottle of water for self drive activities, free binocular rental (deposit required) and local area/sightings map. Park fee of R 204 per person must be paid locally.

Rating summary

  • Location Image of the Tripadvisor rating
  • Sleep Quality Image of the Tripadvisor rating
  • Rooms Image of the Tripadvisor rating
  • Service Image of the Tripadvisor rating
  • Value Image of the Tripadvisor rating
  • Cleanliness Image of the Tripadvisor rating

Traveller rating

  • Excellent (496)
  • Very good (407)
  • Average (137)
  • Poor (40)
  • Terrible (25)
Image of the Tripadvisor rating Fantastic stay

Mar 16, 2020 drufner

We had an exceptional three nights here. I researched many places in Kruger and was at first concerned about being "outside" the park. This hotel is the the park. Mornings spent drinking complimentary coffee watching the Sabie river alive with wildlife, elephants just under the walkway, monkeys in the trees... I spent months living on the… Read more
We had an exceptional three nights here. I researched many places in Kruger and was at first concerned about being "outside" the park. This hotel is the the park. Mornings spent drinking complimentary coffee watching the Sabie river alive with wildlife, elephants just under the walkway, monkeys in the trees... I spent months living on the Serengeti and this was as good as any. Having park service pick up at the hotel for night and sunset safaris was a bonus. Staff was nothing but helpful and friendly, the dinner and breakfast buffets was ample catered to all tastes. The rooms were quiet and well designed. Granted, we had new rooms which are much nicer than old, but we didn't spend time in rooms nor need scenic views from rooms with viewing platforms and scenic pools a few feet away. I am a regular travel member (Bonvoy titanium) and can say this ranks with the best of any from Hawaii to Alaska to ski resorts. No question we will be back. Read less
Image of the Tripadvisor rating Getting to know South Africa

Mar 12, 2020 VerdyOC

The Marriot Protea at Kruger Gate was our one of our stops (3 nights) on tour of S Africa. Good rooms where the game park comes to meet you. Elephants and antelopes parade in river bed beneath bar deck. Monkeys play in trees above with many varied birds. Baboons arrange for early morning call on room patio. Dining was of good quality with a varied… Read more
The Marriot Protea at Kruger Gate was our one of our stops (3 nights) on tour of S Africa. Good rooms where the game park comes to meet you. Elephants and antelopes parade in river bed beneath bar deck. Monkeys play in trees above with many varied birds. Baboons arrange for early morning call on room patio. Dining was of good quality with a varied menu catering for English, Italian, Asian and local tastes. The staff especially the reception clerk with the 6 hour hair do were friendly and obliging and the bar bill was surprisingly acceptable. Had a bit of trouble getting the right whiskey though it was on shelf but was sorted amicably. Had no time to try pools but both looked OK. I would recommend the Protea for anyone using the game park. It is within easy walking distance of park gates where we entered and saw the big 5 in one morning. Good job Protea. Read less
Image of the Tripadvisor rating Great Hotel, terrible staff

Mar 2, 2020 Andre F Sao Paulo, SP

The hotel facilities are amazing, we were delighted to find such a clean room in the middle of the bushes. The dinner was lovely and delicious. Unfortunately, there were some incidents regarding the staff. One of them is reported all over the internet on many websites, the hotel staff seems to never have change to give you after you pay for a… Read more
The hotel facilities are amazing, we were delighted to find such a clean room in the middle of the bushes. The dinner was lovely and delicious. Unfortunately, there were some incidents regarding the staff. One of them is reported all over the internet on many websites, the hotel staff seems to never have change to give you after you pay for a meal or for a game drive, they promisse they will give you the change later, but if you don´t insist they will never give you the money back. The worst incident was related to the game drive booking. We did a morning drive and paid the Kruger entry fee, in the afternoon we've decided to do a second drive, the hotel staff, the outsourced safari company and the driver said we would have to pay for a second entry fee, but the Kruger site is very clear stating that the 400 rands entry fee must be paid once a day. At the gate the driver did not allow us to go into the reception to discuss the matter and said we had to handle him the extra fee. This was clearly a corruption incident, and we sugest that the Marriott management audict the outsorced game drive company to solve this matter, maybe you should contract a new company and insure that the Protea Marriot at Kruger Gate manager make his best to avoid those incidents in the future. We were very upset to pay extra 800 rands for the second drive, but it was our last day and we knew the driver would make our experience miserable if we did not pay for this fee, wich pretty much ruined the afternoon for us. Read less
Image of the Tripadvisor rating Glad to Go, Not Sad to Go.

Feb 24, 2020 Cartle Stourbridge, United Kingdom

It is only after a lot of reflection and with great disappointment that I have compiled this low rated review sometime after our stay in October 2019 whilst a formal complaint process was concluded. Upon arrival at the Kruger Gate we were initially delighted with the rustic style of the hotel, the helpfulness of the staff, the general ambience… Read more
It is only after a lot of reflection and with great disappointment that I have compiled this low rated review sometime after our stay in October 2019 whilst a formal complaint process was concluded. Upon arrival at the Kruger Gate we were initially delighted with the rustic style of the hotel, the helpfulness of the staff, the general ambience and rustic charm. Its location was perfect for access to the Kruger National Park and we were very excited and looking forward to enjoying a truly memorable 3 night stay. However, on the first morning as we opened our patio door in room 283 we were met by a depressing view directly onto a screened off ‘building site’ where a new accommodation block was under construction - cement mixers, scaffolding, drills etc. all being actively used - not that we expected “herds of wildebeest sweeping majestically across the plain - aka Fawlty Towers,” but this view from our room wasn’t good and there was no way we could have used the outside space. (see photograph). Unfortunately as we headed for the swimming pool in the afternoon to chill out after an early morning game drive we found the extent of the building works to be far more than we anticipated - this really was a building site with power tools buzzing away in all directions, regular large clouds of noxious concrete dust blowing over from where a new toilet block was being built, teams of workmen continuously hammering / sawing and indeed a JCB was in operation at times, The dust really was unacceptable as it was quite toxic as you could smell it in the air and more so feel it in your eyes and hair! (see photograph). My wife had a short swim in the pool which was noticeably contaminated by a thin film of dust on the surface - not a nice place to be and when she walked back to her sunbed she trod on a 4 inch decking screw which had been left lying around on the newly laid decking - luckily it went through the gap next to her big toe and didn’t cause any injury though clearly this could have been much worse. This was however the final straw - I informed our representative of the incident with the screw and she undertook to speak to the hotel management armed with the offending screw. Apparently the hotel undertook to speak to us but failed to do so until we took the matter into our own hands and spoke to the Duty Manager, who again promised that someone senior would speak to us. Whilst we were speaking to the Duty Manager we witnessed workmen carrying long lengths of timber past reception, through public areas to access the building site - the polished wooden walkway was becoming increasing soiled with dusty footprints and to wind off the evening at 10.00pm we encountered a much used wheelbarrow at the top of the stairs to the main thoroughfare, abandoned for the night in the corridor - we brought this to the attention of the Senior Duty Manager, who in some dismay and embarrassment arranged for its quick removal. Later in the evening, after no contact from hotel management, we again approached reception and asked to speak to someone who had some authority - we were introduced to the Senior Duty Manager who though somewhat empathetic was powerless to do anything - he did however promise that the General Manager would see us ‘tomorrow’ which was the day of our departure at 6.00am. Unsurprisingly the General Manager failed to show despite assurance that the GM would turn up – apparently he was told of the matter too late to meet with us. The extent of the building work which also included the construction of a new outdoor dining area cannot be under-estimated and it was interesting when chatting to hotel staff that some of them had been hospitalised due to the dust and given masks to wear. We also spoke to the site foreman quite opportunistically as we went to walk carefully over some new decking by the restaurant - “it’s perfectly safe, don’t worry” he exclaimed whilst trying to be helpful - I then told him of the near miss with the screw and also that the decking by the pool was not in a good state as where screws had been extracted (for some reason) large splinters, holes and debris had been left behind due to poor workmanship - to his credit he immediately went to the area and instructed all of the damaged decking to be replaced.It was now around 4.30pm so we thought it would be nice to sit by the infinity pool and enjoy a ‘sun downer’ looking over the Kruger Park so we went there only to find that further works had begun (no warning signage erected) - there were workmen with power tools integrating with guests, one stairway rendered impassable, electrical cables draped across the walkway, long strips of steel being carried about to construct a roller shutter for the bar and here were we in shorts / T-shirts planning to enjoy a peaceful drink as wildlife wandered by - we reluctantly gave up on the idea and returned to our room with some disquiet, nay anger. A special moment had been denied. Apparently this work had been going on since January and the site foreman felt that it would have been better to have closed down the hotel, let the workmen get on with the job and of course not inconvenience the hotel guests. Someone thought otherwise and indeed we feel we should not have used the hotel as in our experience it was not a safe nor pleasant environment to endure. We were effectively put potentially into harm’s way and without any apparent consideration for our welfare or complete enjoyment of this key part of a special trip by hotel management at all levels. We were very disappointed that Protea Kruger Gate management failed to respond effectively at all whilst we were at the hotel (other than Heaven on reception who was clearly embarrassed and sincerely empathetic about our situation - keep up the good work!) and it was only after our return home and in response to their customer satisfaction survey that a token letter of apology was received. We were also amazed that such a prestigious hotel chain made the decision to undertake such large-scale construction work without closing the hotel for sufficient time for the works to be completed without jeopardising customers - that really says something about the hotel chain senior management in that it put ongoing income before the best interests and safety of customers. It also totally contradicts the hotel statement on their website “By taking pride in putting people first, we are not only executing the mission of our founders, but exceeding the expectations of our valued guests”. Quote NOZIPHO SHABANGU, Marketing Plan Coordinator, Protea Hotel by Marriott Kruger Gate. No doubt when the building project is finished the hotel will be fantastic but based on our experience as described above, we were glad to leave, not sad to leave this hotel and only have negative memories of such a poor experience which could have and should have been much, much better. Read less
Image of the Tripadvisor rating NO FOOD LEFT IN RESTAURANT FIASCO!

Feb 19, 2020 Hevinghan

We spent 3 nights in Chalet 4 and the accommodation was fine. We also had very good service from Ralph and both the restaurant, reception and chalet maintenance/cleaning staff. What really spoilt our stay was nothing to do with the local staff but everything to do with a lack of proper senior management control and guidance. Our last night was… Read more
We spent 3 nights in Chalet 4 and the accommodation was fine. We also had very good service from Ralph and both the restaurant, reception and chalet maintenance/cleaning staff. What really spoilt our stay was nothing to do with the local staff but everything to do with a lack of proper senior management control and guidance. Our last night was a Saturday, we had reserved a table in the Lapa and our name had been put on that table by Ralph. When we arrived at about 7.45pm we found that our table had been taken up by someone else. It took some 15 minutes for an alternative table to be found and when we went to the buffet we found that most of the food had finished. We asked to talk to the management and this turned out to be Ralph who was extremely embarrassed about the situation and admitted that the problem was with the influx of many non residents at the weekend who do not have to make reservations. I showed him the name sign he had put on our table earlier in the day which I had found on the floor by the Lapa reception desk. He agreed that this was disrespectful and unacceptable. Ralph was extremely helpful but was at a loss to know how to resolve the lack of food so we suggested that we choose from the Room Service Menu. This was agreed but we still then had to request someone to take our order having waited for another 10 or 15 minutes. When our food eventually arrived we were hardly in the right mood, added to which, one of the 5 orders was incorrect. This sad experience ruined our last evening in the Kruger area and leaves us with a very negative feeling about the Paul Kruger Park Lodge and by extension the Protea/Marriott organisation. May we stress that we hold senior management wholly responsible for this and were very concerned for the local staff who, whilst doing their best, had both hands tied. Read less