Hotel check: Radisson Blu, Port Elizabeth

873

Background

The Radisson Blu Hotel, Port Elizabeth first opened its doors in 2010 ahead of the FIFA World Cup, and in doing so became the first international 5-star hotel in the city. Radisson Blu is one of Carlson Rezidor’s hotel brands, and there are further Radisson Blu properties in Johannesburg and Cape Town.

Where Is It?

The hotel is on the beachfront, about a 10-minute drive from Port Elizabeth International Airport. It is located across the road from the beach and a short distance from the Boardwalk Casino & Entertainment Complex and Bayworld, which houses the oceanarium, snake park and museum. Humewood golf course is a five-minute drive away.

Rooms

The hotel has 173 sea-facing rooms and suites, consisting of Superior, Standard and Business Class rooms, and Suites – junior suites, family suites, one bedroom and presidential suites. Room service is available all day, every day, and my suite was fantastic, with floor-to-ceiling windows, which meant I was treated to the sight of a pod of dolphins swimming across the bay as I walked in. The bedroom had a king-size bed, flat-screen TV and en-suite bathroom with separate bath, shower and WC. It also had a range of high-quality soaps, shampoos and creams and just oozed luxury. The suite was nicely designed, with a small lounge/study/office area, which had its own TV set. One thing that often irritates me in hotels is the lack of plug points, and I must say that the desk layout allowed me to plug in my computer and other devices, and get working easily. The hotel offers free high-speed wireless broadband Internet access, and getting onto the hotel network was seamless. The Wi-Fi network operates at excellent speeds and connectivity was reliable and consistent. Elegant touches in the suite included a Nespresso coffee machine, mini-bar, fluffy bathrobe and slippers, and the delivery of a daily newspaper in the morning.

Restaurants & Bars

Radisson Blu’s Tabu Grill, Bar and Lounge seems to attract an eclectic group of people and is one of the ‘it’ spots in PE. The chic cocktail lounge leads off from the restaurant and spills onto the impressive pool deck. With its view over the ocean, it is the perfect spot to enjoy a pre-dinner drink. Tabu has a broad selection of select tipples and I found their single-malt range more than acceptable. I did not have dinner in the hotel as I had an appointment elsewhere, but the breakfast at the Radisson is a veritable spread. There are many options and the staff were attentive, willing and ensured that all my needs were met. I ordered poached eggs with my breakfast and they were done to perfection. I have previously lunched at the hotel and the cuisine is excellent with a wide range of options.

Meeting & Conference Facilites

The Radisson Blu has 633m2 of floor space dedicated to meetings and events, with eight multi-functional event rooms. The conferencing and banqueting staff were helpful, interested and professional, and even though my presentation was to a group of about 30 individuals, the hotel can accommodate up to 180 people for a seated dinner in the ballroom, which is 337m2 in size.

Leisure

The hotel also boasts a comprehensive wellness centre with complimentary access for hotel guests. The well-appointed sea-facing gym has Powerplate machines, exercise bikes and treadmills. The rim-flow pool which looks out over the ocean is a huge temptation on a hot day. If you need to have your body pampered, visit the Camelot spa which offers a wide selection of treatments.

Verdict

Excellent business travel-focused addition to the PE hotel scene, and one that can double nicely as a leisure option for those who like to holiday in comfort. I was particularly impressed with the service, which was exceptionally efficient, professional and welcoming.

Lance Rothschild

Contact
Address: Corner of Marine Drive & 9th Ave, Summerstrand
Tel: +27 41 509 5000
Email: info.port-elizabeth@radissonblu.com
Web: www.radissonblu.com