When we were planning our road trip to the Garden Route, we shortened our driving time per day. Driving all the way from Johannesburg to Oudtshoorn takes approximately 14 hours, and I did not think the kids could sit in a car that long. On the first driving day, we drove from Johannesburg to Kimberley (South Africa). You may ask what the options for Kimberley accommodation are, here is where we stayed.
We also stayed in Kimberley on our way back – also to reduce the driving time for one day. The Protea Hotel Kimberley was available both nights, so we booked it thinking it was the best option for Kimberley accommodation.
The location of the Protea Hotel Kimberley
The Protea Hotel Kimberley is right next to the Big Hole of Kimberley. If you walk towards the back of the hotel’s property, you can see the Big Hole, but not look down into it. On the one side of the hotel is the old mining town and if you stay at the hotel access is free. Opposite the hotel is an antique store, but other than this and the old mining town there is not much to do or see near the hotel.
The hotel has plenty of parking, and it is secure since you need a token from the security guard at the entrance gate, which you need to return on your way out.
As we walked into the hotel foyer, we realised what a beautiful hotel it is. The decor is fitting for the old mining town that Kimberly used to be. Ceiling-high wooden bookcases adorn the walls. The furniture is definitely what you would expect from a 4-star hotel with comfortable lounge chairs and couches everywhere.
The dark wood finishes of the bookcases and the stairs added to the luxurious look of the reception area. In the lobby there are free juices and bottled water.
The reception staff were friendly and efficient at both visits. In fact, when we returned for the second night, the receptionist remembered us from the previous time we stayed there even though it was two weeks previously. Perhaps we had made a memorable impression. Check-in took less than 5 minutes both times.
The first time we stayed in the main building and the second time in the building to the back. Both times we had family rooms comprising two double beds. The rooms are fairly standard and had a television, shower and bath and coffee/tea-making facilities. Uncapped Wifi is also provided free of charge, which the kids appreciated.
Eating at the hotel
There is an on-site restaurant offering an a la carte menu and also a buffet supper and breakfast. Room service is also available. We did not have breakfast at the hotel the two times we stayed there because we left very early to get most of our travelling done before the roads get busy. Both nights we stayed there, we enjoyed supper in the on-site restaurant. The cost of R100 per child and R200 per adult for a buffet dinner seemed reasonable. The selection of food comprised a variety of salads (5/6 salads), two choices of protein, two vegetables and starch. Dessert comprised two pies and a variety of smaller desserts, such as mousse.
The swimming pool
The pool is next to the restaurant and bar area. The pool is unique and looks like a farm dam next to a windmill/windpump. Swimming-towels are available from reception on request. The pool is not enormous, but both times when we were there hardly anyone else swam. From the pool, one can see the big hole towards the end of the hotel’s property. I doubt that we would have had such a beautiful view from any of the other Kimberley accommodation options.
We found the hotel and its grounds beautiful and the staff friendly and helpful. The rooms were quite comfortable. Even so, we did not sleep much the two nights we were there. The first night someone in the room down the passage was playing loud music till late without the staff asking them to turn it down. We thought maybe we had just lucked out and that the second night would be better. The second night we had a connecting door to the room next to us, and our neighbour was on the phone till late and was sick in the middle of the night. It would be useful if the hotel could soundproof their rooms. Although this hotel was lovely to look at and the amenities were enjoyable, we will not stay there again since we had so little sleep while staying there. We will consider alternative accommodation in Kimberley the next time we drive through.