Hotel Review: OR Tambo Johannesburg, Protea by Marriott
Since we were arriving around 9pm into Johannesburg and leaving the next morning around 10, we figured that it would be best if we just grabbed a quick and easy airport hotel for the night. Luckily, with the Marriott acquisition of Protea Hotels, there was a cheap and unique option in the OR Tambo Protea Airport Hotel.
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We collected our luggage and headed our a walkway to a small shuttle terminal where the airport shuttle buses collect clients. It’s a short 2-3 minute walk from the baggage claim, and there were lots of airport staff available to assist us.
Once onboard the shuttle, a quick 5 minute hop over to the hotel and we were there. The entire hotel is airport themed, with old shipping crates, airport maps, and even the hotel staff is dressed in reflective vests like ground staff at an airport.
We proceeded to the check in desk, but once she realized we were platinum guests, she moved us over to a special section on the other end of the lobby. We were seated, offered a refreshing beverage, and went over the formalities. As a Platinum guest, we didn’t have to provide a deposit at check in, rather they would take that as we departed. A nice touch, nonetheless.
The room itself was pretty tiny, but well appointed. The bed was very comfortable, and the shower was in the middle of the room. A curtain on the other side of the glass protected your roommates from checking you our while you lather up. There was also a bathtub incase you wanted to go for a soak.
Since it was February 13th, there was a welcome bottle of South African Rosé in the room with some rose petals.
The letter was cute …”Welcome onboard Cupid’s Coaster. We hope you’ll have the pleasure of falling in love with us today!”
On a personal note, I HATE it when hotels do not offer a channel guide in hotels. I really don’t want to spend all my time flipping through channels, usually in languages I don’t understand, just to find CNN or Sports. Thank you Protea, for providing a channel guide to help me out. The problem? None of the channels actually matched up to the actual offerings. Oh well. A for effort.
The next morning we headed down to the lobby for the breakfast. We booked a rate including breakfast (as it was only $8 more for the both of us) so that we could give you guys a good review.
As I stated before, I love the décor of the hotel. Check out the atrium walls.
The breakfast was quite complete, and had a wide offerings of both hot and cold options. Here’s some of the fruit spread:
Breads and Jams:
Sausages and Bacon:
Pancake Machine (ala Alaska Airlines)
Cheese and cold cut options (Yes!!!)
Also they had a few interesting options, such as fish, stirfry, beans, and ground beef.
And, my personal favorite, the made to order omelette station
Shortly after this we proceeded to checkout and grab the 9AM shuttle to the airport.
Since Marriott acquired Protea, a lot of properties are available for not a lot of points. Most hotels are considered a category 1 hotel (7500 points, and the lowest category) and the majority of the other hotels are category 2 hotels (10,000 points). With the US$ being so strong against the South African Rand, we opted to pay cash for this stay, considering the price was 920ZAR ($62 US) and Marriott was running a bonus promotion of 2,000 points for each paid stay.
As a reminder, Marriott points can be easily accrued using Ultimate Rewards points transfer partners from all your Chase credit cards (Sapphire, Freedom, Ink, etc…) or directly from the Marriott Credit Card, also offered by Chase.