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Hotels for overnight at OR Tambo - near Emperor's Palace?

Hotels for overnight at OR Tambo - near Emperor's Palace?

Jun 15th, 2009, 12:46 PM
  #1  
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Hotels for overnight at OR Tambo - near Emperor's Palace?

I have looked at various threads about this topic, but I'm confused a little about the hotels at the Emperor's Palace casino complex. The Metcourt Laurel looks interesting, but sometimes it appears to be the same hotel as the Peermont Metcourt?? We will arrive at the airport at 5 p.m. and leave on a flight to Kruger the next morning at 10, is it worth it to go to this casino complex for some variety in restaurants, etc? It seems to be a little pricey, but looking at some of the other options close to the airport are confusing me. The Southern Sun looks nice, but perhaps this casino complex would be fun (we are not Vegas fans, however, but we tolerate it if we have to). We will be pooped and jet lagged after 21 hrs. of travel from California.

I could use a fresh batch of hotel suggestions to unconfuse me a bit, thanks.
gigib is offline  
Jun 15th, 2009, 03:23 PM
  #2  
 
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Interesting/good question I've faced the last five years and again this year (Sep).

From what I see the Metcourt Laural and Peermount Metcourt are different hotels. The Peermont being new, completed this year. I think, somebody correct if wrong. In Sep 2008 I stayed at the Met Laurel and it was very nice with a great buffet breakfast, cost was about $130. Now seems that Met Laurel cost has gone up and the Peermont is the lower priced one. The Emp Complex has several small and large restaurants but I stay there because of the convenience and rates.The Emperors complex is just a short 10 min (free) shuttle ride from JNB. You catch the shuttle just across the street from JNB International terminal next door to the Intercontinental Hotel.

The Intercontinental Hotel is just outside JNB proper, easy little walk. But it is $$$$, probably around $350 now. The Southern Sun Intercontinental Hotel (you mention) is a short 5min shuttle ride away and very nice but I think about $250 night. (The So Sun Int. is not in the Emp Complex). If a few more $$$ is ok with you, I'd stay at the Southern Sun (over the Emp Complex). I just want to chill out and sleep before continuing on.

Coming in from CA, huh. Me too, from beautiful sunny southern CA, Orange country. This Sep will be my fifth trip into JNB for safari. And each time like you stayed near JNB to catch a flight out the next day. Only 21 hours? This time I'm flying LAX to Frankfort, Frankfort to JNB. Total time from LAX to JNB about 26 hours I believe. Total time my home front door to JNB hotel about 30 hours. The rigors of getting to Africa, can't wait and thinking about 2010!!!

Where are you flying to "Kruger"? One of the safari camps in Sabi Sand or Timbavati Reserves?

regards - tom
cary999 is offline  
Jun 15th, 2009, 04:00 PM
  #3  
 
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We have stayed at the Mondior Concorde several timmes which is also at Emperors Palace. It is a nice hotel with a great breakfast, cost between $160 and $190 per night. I did check out the new Peermont Metcourt. It looks like it was designed for large tour groups. The bathroom /shower was separated from the rest of the room by a curtain. Strange!! The advantage of the Emperors Palace Complex is the choice of restaurants for dinner and you can walk around the casino and shops after sitting on the airplane for 20 hours. While the Southern Sun is a good hotel the restaurant for dinner leaves a lot to be desired.

cj
KIBOKO is offline  
Jun 15th, 2009, 04:10 PM
  #4  
 
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A couple of weeks ago we stayed at the D'Oreale Grande in the Emperor Palace complex, attached to the casino and food court area by a walkway. Had all amenities, very comfortable beds, probably the most luxurious in the complex. It was a hoot! We had fun, gambled away 100R just so we could experience the casino, ate a pretty good dinner at Tribes.
FromDC is offline  
Jun 15th, 2009, 07:56 PM
  #5  
 
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My two bobs worth, the Metcourt is the cheapest of the 3 hotels, and for over night is more than adequate, and as Kiboko says there are several restaurants in the food court.
A hint for you though, if you do stay there, after you pick up your baggage, go straight across the hall and out the doors across the street to the complex across the road. Walk through the building to the Transit Centre, and wait for the big black bus, it will take you to the Emperors Palace for free.
We also stayed at the Southern Sun and didnt like it at all, and the Emperors Palace is across the road from the airport.
You can download directions to the transit center from their website.
Cary999 the Peermont is finsihed and my understanding is that it's more upmarket than the Metcourt, I'd stay at the Metcourt Laurel.
sallysaab is offline  
Jun 16th, 2009, 12:08 AM
  #6  
 
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Well, it's as clear as mud to me. Spent some time trying to figure it out on the net. The Emperors Palace complex is called a "Peermont Resort". That is, at the Emperors Palace, was the Peermont Metcourt formerly the Metcourt Laurel? Or, is there a new hotel called the Peermont Metcourt. And Metcourt Laurel is still there? And sometimes it is called the Metcourt Suites!! Anyone know for sure? I need to make a reservation in a few weeks. Every time I try to inquire of Metcourt Laurel I end up at Peermont Metcourt.

Dug out my Emperors Palace brochure from my stay last year and found their web site http://www.emperorspalace.com/
It is perhaps clearer, listing two hotels, Metcourt and Metcourt Laurel. I think the Metcourt (Peermont) is the new one. The rate for Metcourt Laurel being about $50 per night higher than the Mecourt. Wonder which one it was I stayed at in Sep 2008?

FWIW, we stayed once at Southern Sun and it was fine. Restaurant there good but a bit pricey. It is a shorter shuttle ride (from JNB) than the Emperors Palace. I believe the Emperors Palace is not exactly across the road fromm JNB, more like about three miles, 10 minute shuttle ride.

regards - tom
ps - here's more info on the Emperors Palace complex - http://www.emperorspalace.com/PDF/Em...Fact_Sheet.pdf
cary999 is offline  
Jun 16th, 2009, 12:20 AM
  #7  
 
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That Emperors Palace Fact Sheet - http://www.emperorspalace.com/PDF/Em...Fact_Sheet.pdf
Has a lot of general info about the complex, describing the four hotels, restaurants, casino, theaters, and location map of the complex. I now understand that the original Metcourt is the Metcourt Laurel, 80 rooms. The Metcourt is new, 248 rooms, set up more as a convention/meeting hotel.

regards - tom
cary999 is offline  
Jun 16th, 2009, 11:16 AM
  #8  
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Excellent info, thanks! I'll let everyone know what I end up with.

Tom, I spent lots of time looking at flights from LA to Frankfurt or London, we were thinking about spending a night in a hotel there to break up this LONG journey, but we got a Delta flight that goes LAX to Atlanta, stops in Atlanta 1.5 hrs., then FIFTEEN HOURS NONSTOP from Atlanta to JNB. I hope we survive. Good fare, we paid $1283 but I noticed it was down to $1170 last week. We kinda decided that we would just as soon get the travel time over with; our trip to SA is rather short. We live in Topanga, about a 45 min. drive to LAX, so at least that part isn't too bad!

We are renting a car at the Nelspruit airport, driving to Djuma Bush Lodge in the Sabi Sands for 2 nights, then spending 9 nights all in Kruger at the restcamps, including a 3 night wilderness trail. It's a very economical way to see the African animals, something I have wanted to do my entire life!
gigib is offline  
Jun 16th, 2009, 11:44 AM
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gigib - that is excellent Delta fare LAX-JNB. I'm using frequent flyer miles this trip. I do not like to have an over night stay on the way, like to just plow through it all ASAP.

Kruger is fun, been there twice before, will be there Sep for 7 nights before other camps. Renting Avis car at JNB, driving to Kruger, after Kruger leaving car at Kings Camp. Avis agent will collect the car at Kings Camp. Still have to make that Avis reservation. A "high" car with large windows, you want nice wide open viewing. Which you will be astonished with at Djuma. When are you going? When you get back I have a question that I don't want to ask until after you have safaried.

regards - tom
cary999 is offline  
Jun 16th, 2009, 12:57 PM
  #10  
 
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Tom, we stayed at the Mondior & Metcourt last March/April. They are doing the whole place up, and from memory, the Peermont hadnt long been open. You have to go over there to use the internet.
From our window at the Metcourt we could see the tails of the planes, but of course it's not like you can walk across the road.
The restaurant area (Piazza) is also being done up with more take away food type shops that may well be open now.
sallysaab is offline  
Jun 16th, 2009, 01:28 PM
  #11  
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Holy Smokes there are a couple of nasty TripAdvisor reviews about the Metcourt Laurel/Peermont! Southern Sun OR Tambo is too much money but their Garden Court OR Tambo may be OK? Says "nominal" charge for an airport shuttle, has some nice TA reviews. I'm thinking we may not have the energy for wandering around a casino.

Tom, we leave LA on Aug. 30, get to JNB on the 31st, fly to MQP on Sept. 1, pick up our rental car and head for Djuma, jet lag and all! Our car budget may only allow a Corolla or something similar. My next project is spending hours on the Sanparks forums reading about which animals were sighted on what road. Kruger looks like it is going to be great, my husband and I love wandering about on our own. I figure the first 2 nights at Djuma will give us some lessons in looking for creatures!
gigib is offline  
Jun 17th, 2009, 08:46 AM
  #12  
 
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I've stayed at the City Lodge-Jo'burg Int'l Airport several times and been very satisfied with the price, room, breakfast and availability of a shuttle. I think the place rates well at Trip Advisor. The hotel is not far from a shopping area so you can order in from nearby restaurants, assuming you'll be totally pooped by the time you get in.

Good luck, Steve
sdb2 is offline  
Jun 17th, 2009, 12:47 PM
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gigib - we may cross paths in Kruger. We leave LAX Aug 28. Aug 31 to Sep 4 in Kruger camp Letaba then Sep 4 to 7th in Olifants. Sounds like the time you will be there!! You have made Kruger camp reservations, yes? Some camps fill up so I would not count on walking in and getting a place to stay. Like said before, we really like Kruger. Although we have never seen leopard there and lions rarely. But elephants are great and other grazers and browsers. It's fun just to drive slowly along the back gravel roads never knowing what may pop out.

I'm going to make reservation at one of the Metcourts. The Metcourt Laurel was very nice last year, I stayed two nights before moving on. They had a wonderful buffet breakfast included with the room.

About 5 years ago we stayed overnight near JNB in a private guest house, it was nice, included breakfast and ride to/from JNB. Also about half $$$ of other places. www.dovesnest.co.za

regards - tom
cary999 is offline  
Jun 18th, 2009, 11:09 AM
  #14  
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Hi,

I sure did make reservations, last October, as soon as we had our dates picked! We are at Lower Sabie the 3rd & 4th, Berg en Dal the 5th, Bushman trail 6, 7 and 8, Satara 9 and 10, then back to Berg en Dal on the 11th. We had Olifants for the 11th, but I was afraid of a long drive all the way down to Nelspruit on our last day. We'll just have to drive up there from Satara and look at it!

I CAN'T WAIT!!!

Question: The tap water at the Kruger camps is safe to drink, right? What about the tap water in Jburg? Might you know what we should tip our guides at Djuma?

Ended up making a res at the Peermont Metcourt, it came to only $135 with breakfast. I figured we may want a casino to wander around in after that 15 hrs on the stupid plane...
gigib is offline  
Jun 18th, 2009, 02:31 PM
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Sounds great!!! I have not been to the lower camps, but I've heard they are probably the best. Next time . If you can drive up/north to Olifant area, maybe 100 miles/3 hours there is a long bridge over the very wide Olifant River. You can park and GET OUT of the car and look at the elephants, crocs, hippos all around beneath you. It is one of our favorite places in Kruger. I don't know how it compares to Crocodile Bridge further south where you will be.

If you don't already have a good Kruger guide book and map this is the one we use "Kruger National Park" by Globetrotter and it has included a separate excellent fold out detailed map. From Amazon only $10, add a couple of camera cards (or book) for order total over $25 and shipping free. Also no sales tax. http://tinyurl.com/oa8b9c

Tap water in South Africa is safe but we usually drink bottled water mostly from habit when traveling. I also love diet Coke And a G&T is great on safari camp drives!!!

Tipping, I'd say for your Djuma guide/ranger $10 per day per person. For the spotter/tracker with him/you, $5 pppd. And for general camp staff, $5 also. I usually add the tips to my room bill at the end and it goes on my credit card. I also then tell the guide-tracker that I've left something for them on CC in the office. Quite alright to simply give them cash if you want. I also tip in Kruger like in USA.

I have to make resv yet for our first night in. Thanks, $135 good rate for two with breakfast. Probably do that.

Although we will indeed be in Kruger overlapping times, looks like we are not going to be close at camps. We leave Olifants when you are still way south at Bushman Trail. However, anyway, if you do happen up north a ways call one of our camps and perhaps we can meet somewhere. My name is Tom Graham, and email is tdgraham at sbcglobal dot net.

Just two months till safari!!!!

regards - tom
cary999 is offline  
Jun 18th, 2009, 02:40 PM
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Oh, and those 15 hour flights usually go like this- After 10-11 hours you are afraid you are going to die. After another hour, you wish you would!!!

regards - tom
cary999 is offline  
Jun 19th, 2009, 09:24 AM
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gigib,

I think you've got an awesome trip planned--a little bit of the private reserves, a good piece of Kruger, and my favorite, the wilderness trail!

I did the Wolhuter trail last year and really enjoyed it. It was my 2nd trail, and I think I liked the Bushman/Wolhuter area more than Napi--I like the mountains. We stumbled into a pride of lions during one of our walks! We also saw lots of elephant while on foot, and a couple of honey badgers on the road to the trails camp (I think Wolhuter and Bushman share the same road to camp).

I've taken that ATL-JNB flight twice--be glad that your ATL-JNB flight is non-stop. They used to stop in Cape Verde or Senegal in the middle of the night, waking everybody up. What a drag.

I've not had any problems drinking the water from Kruger.

Tom--Crocodile Bridge is not something you can drive over, and thus you can't get out there. I think the Olifants bridge is the most southern "get-out" bridge in the park, but I'm not sure. You're right, it is a great spot. I like that Satara-Olifant route.
Gritty is offline  
Jun 19th, 2009, 09:34 AM
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We usually stay at Garden Court OR Tambo when we come from Botswana and stop for overnight there for the SA part of our trip. It´s reasonable priced, food is okay and they do offer shuttle to airport (just 5 min away) every 15min, if I remind correctly.
Thomas
Tomsfries is offline  
Jun 20th, 2009, 08:39 AM
  #19  
 
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We stayed at the Dove's Nest last year for 2 seperate nights. They were close to the airport, picked us up and dropped us off.

The rooms were clean, safe and very comfortable. It is gate guarded, and there was a guard. The neighborhood seemed safe, but nowhere to walk to for food, not a problem unless you are a fussy eater. They serve dinner at a small extra cost, wine at a small extra cost, and breakfast is included. They stored our extra luggage for a week for free. The whole thing cost next to nothing and is a good choice if you don't care about having stuff to walk to.
LynnieD is offline  
Jun 20th, 2009, 08:41 AM
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Just consulted my trip report: we paid 640 Rand for each night: 2 persons, 2 dinners, 4 glasses of wine, plus the free transport, breakfast and luggage storage.
LynnieD is offline  

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