In the weeks before my trip to the Summerstrand Hotel in Port Elizabeth, I went onto the review site hoping to see what the hotel had to offer, and what I should be cautious about.
Amid the comments were some terrible ones, claiming the hotel smelt like “stale water” and looked “run down from the outside”.
Expecting the worst, I arrived at the hotel on Wednesday at 11pm, tired from the almost 18-hour bus ride from Durban.
I was pleasantly surprised to see the hotel was not even a bit shabby as portrayed online - and it did not have a stale smell.
As my Uber driver drifted into the night, I walked into a quiet hotel lobby.
It is strange how eerie hotels get at night. However, luckily for me, I was not alone.
One of the front-desk employees gave me a big welcome smile, and checked me into one of their upgraded rooms.
Being the tired mess I was, I took a long sleep and started afresh in the morning.
The beautiful sunrise woke me. The view from the hotel room was spectacular with Summerstrand beachfront, one of Mandela Bay’s eco-friendly beaches, stretched out in the distance.
For a three-star hotel, it was a heavenly stay.
The soft and dark colours in the room complemented each other.
That, coupled with friendly staff, made my stay memorable.
Despite the number of five-star establishments around, notable were many foreigners and families making the Summerstrand Hotel their accommodation of choice - and with good reason.
What I found lovely was the convenience it brought for travellers. If you are a beach person, then this place is ideal for you without breaking the bank.
A stroll takes you to the beach, and many of the amenities such as shops, restaurants, and activities are minutes away.
The airport is also a 10-minute drive from the hotel.
And with the great food offerings, guests can enjoy some divine meals at affordable prices.
Do not worry about overindulging as a jog or walk on the promenade will help you to stay fit without having to find a gym nearby.
Choose the Summerstrand Hotel for a lovely break, especially if your stay in Port Elizabeth is more than three days. The establishment is affordable and does not compromise on comfort.
Summerstrand Hotel marketing manager Nicolette Saayman said the hotel was carrying out soft refurbishments to enhance the appeal of the venue to attract new visitors.
“As with any hotel you need to look at your product and at what your clientele expectations are. We decided that the hotel needed a little bit of an update
“We have updated our restaurant, lounge area, men’s public bathrooms as well as started work on some of our bedrooms. We have done a few sample bedrooms and are now in the planning stages for the rest of the rooms,” she said.
She said travellers enjoyed Nelson Mandela Bay as a leisure and business destination.
Many of the visitors chose the hotel for business trips as it was near the Humewood Golf Course and the beach, which made it great to unwind during their free time.