Our features writer Fundiswa Nkwanyana spent a night at the Protea Hotel Fire & Ice in Melrose Arch, and tells us all about it.
On arrival, a doorman in a suit ushered me in and directed me to the reception desk for check in. As I walked in, I was intrigued by the black and white floor tiles, paisley wallpaper and translucent staircase. I also loved the bouquets of fresh red roses that adorned the reception desk. Even though I arrived in the afternoon, the dark-themed decor made it seem as if it was already in the evening as there was minimal natural light flowing in. The guest relations officer was friendly, explaining the services offered by the hotel. After checking in, a porter helped with my luggage.
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I loved the yellow flower petals painted on the carpet as I walked to my room; they added some much-needed colour and vibrancy. My open-plan room was spacious with a king-size bed, big screen TV and glass shower that could be covered with a white curtain for privacy. The room was decorated with more paisley wallpaper and old-school framed black and white pictures of women. It was comfortable and cozy, and I enjoyed the view from my room, which was of the hotel’s swimming pool and courtyard with beautiful flowers. I was disappointed by the limited TV channels and that there was no Netflix; I ended up watching a series on my laptop with the unlimited Wi-Fi.
This hotel’s eatery and bar was elegant with glitzy crystal chandeliers as well as luxurious chairs and tables with a glass finish. Sitting at the bar, I was impressed by the clean dark marble counter tops and wall mirrors with silver and black finishes. The staff was friendly and efficient. I also loved the outdoor sitting area that was laid back compared to the inside area. It had comfortable patio furniture with round hanging light fixtures against the lush and green courtyard and sparkling pool. It was a pity that I could not sit near the pool as the furniture was wet because it had rained the night before. The buffet breakfast spread was impressive with a wide variety of cold and warm dishes to choose from. The breakfast staff was helpful, and my meal absolutely delicious.
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The old-school Hollywood glam decor throughout the hotel gave the space a dated atmosphere that made me feel like I was in a different historical area; I found this fascinating. I feel that the hotel is suited for the more mature customer who wants a quiet, luxurious and safe space to relax in.