The Marriott Category 1 Protea Hotel Stellenbosch is located a few miles outside of Stellenbosch town. Stellenbosch has become a major tourism draw because of its many scenic wineries that do wine tastings and offer gourmet food at seemingly impossibly low prices. A wine tasting in one of the best wineries here can be had for $2, for five generous pours of excellent wine. The same easily costs $50 in Napa Valley, where you will be hit with plenty of rude attitude for the high price tag you pay, too.
This Marriott hotel is at the end of a technology business park development that stretches above the hill. Check-in was a total mess, with the agent getting it all wrong – my name, my reservation, my payment type, the Marriott Rewards benefits and even the WiFi code. The only thing that worked was giving me the room key. He did not swipe my credit card, but instead just took a copy of my driver’s license. It was 3PM and the other two front desk agents just kept chatting away, unable (or unwilling) to help their coworker.
The property is pretty new and each room is actually a full one bedroom apartment. Once we found our apartment, we loved the way it was set up, with a huge living room and bedroom in modern colors. In terms of interior quality, this was on the same level as a Westin Resort.
The sofa was firm and huge and the bed (like with my other recent Protea stays) was of fantastic quality, with plenty of high-quality linens.
The WiFi would work slowly for a few minutes and then stop, only to come back with 0.1 Mbit; it would have been better to tell me that the WiFi was broken than to have me keep trying all the time. The AC (which was in the bedroom) worked well, but was annoyingly loud, so I couldn’t sleep with it on. Stellenbosch can get really hot in summer (though thankfully it did not during our stay).
This property does not extend breakfast to Marriott Rewards Gold elite members – they don’t have to, so that’s OK.
There is plenty of free parking and a swimming pool at the property. For your enjoyment, at least a dozen wineries are within a two-mile radius (and they usually serve excellent food as well as wine).
The Protea Hotel Stellenbosch posts rates of $200 for most days in summer, while the Marriott Rewards redemption rate is just 7,500 points, which is the much better deal.
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About the author: Torsten is a serial entrepreneur who started almost a dozen ventures on four continents. Torsten's love for travel has brought him to 130+ countries and travel with most of the world's airlines. You can reach Torsten at [email protected]
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