Protea Hotel by Marriott Kruger Gate – Reimagined and Revitalized
January 2020: Taking full advantage of its perfect location on the banks of the iconic Sabie River, right at the Paul Kruger Gate, the Protea Hotel by Marriott Kruger Gate has reimagined traditional safari lodge hospitality through a R100 million revitalization.
Beloved by generations of South Africans, and on the bucket-list of international travelers, the Kruger National Park is South Africa’s top attraction, world-renowned for its spectacular natural landscapes and exhilarating Big 5 game-viewing. Set in beautiful riverine woodland with immense African trees and rich birdlife all around, the newly renovated Protea Hotel by Marriott Kruger Gate now delivers an optimal, upmarket Kruger experience for today’s traveler.
Under the soft-green shade of giant Jackalberry and Marula trees, guests can relax on the spacious deck edged by a stunning infinity pool. Chances are, they can see Elephant, Hippo, Buffalo and a number of antelope species. The Pool Bar serves a la carte lunches which include pastas, pizzas, wraps, flame-grilled burgers and sharing platters. This is also a cool spot for sundowners after a long day on safari, and a cocktail menu is on offer for those who want a laid-back time overlooking the river.
Key facilities of the hotel such as the Kudyela restaurant and the Lapa have also been expanded and modernized. Generous, buffet-style breakfasts are served both in and outdoors at the Kudyela Restaurant; and memories are made, in the glow of stars and wood fires, as sumptuous dinner feasts are served in the outdoor Lapa, inspired by African tradition and accompanied by local marimba bands, dance troupes and local choirs.
With the room count expanding from 96 rooms to 138 rooms, there is now a range of accommodation to choose from, from standard to large guest rooms and from the executive to presidential suites, all set in the tranquil natural woodland where gentle Nyala antelope graze. With refined Africa-inspired décor, all rooms have en-suite bathrooms, air-conditioning, free wi-fi and in-room dining.
At the safari office you can gather all the advice you need for self-driving excursions or book morning, all-day, afternoon and night game drives that take you into the best game-rich reaches of the southern Kruger National Park.
Soaring wooden walkways and elevated decks radiate from the open-sided reception area, creating the hotel’s special treetop ambiance. New features include a specialty coffee shop where guests can meet and relax while enjoying an excellent espresso or cappuccino. There’s a convenient all-day choice of cakes, muffins, sandwiches and quiches, so that you can grab-and-go as you prepare to set off on safari into one of Africa’s greatest wilderness destinations.
The addition of executive suites and the presidential suite brings an all-new dimension of glamour to Protea Hotel by Marriott Kruger Gate. Executive groups, whether family or a corporate team, can now have an exclusive, private experience of all the hotel and its location has to offer.
This year, Protea Hotel by Marriott Kruger Gate will also open a sensational African-inspired Spa overlooking the Sabie River, as well as revitalized conference and event facilities.
“The refurbished amenities have been a labour of love, drawing on local artisans to create a uniquely South African experience,” says Francois Meyer, General Manager of Protea Hotel by Marriott Kruger Gate. “During the rebuild, all labour was sourced locally. At times we had up to 120 local bricklayers, plumbers, painters and other craftsmen on site.”
But the upmarket hotel’s passion for its location doesn’t stop there – only a small portion of the property is developed, with the balance dedicated to conservation and providing a habitat for indigenous fauna and flora.
Reducing the property’s carbon footprint is a major part of our conservation efforts, says Meyer.
“Over the last five years we implemented several energy saving initiatives which have amounted to a 22% saving in electricity. This effort to reduce our footprint is apparent throughout our new expansion, with technology introduced to continue improving our energy and water efficiency. In addition, all wet waste is recycled, and all grey water is cleaned and returned to the river,” he says.