Go Back  FlyerTalk Forums > Miles&Points > Hotels and Places to Stay > Marriott | Marriott Bonvoy
Reload this Page >

Protea Hotel Kruger Gate, Skukuza, South Africa [Master Thread]

Protea Hotel Kruger Gate, Skukuza, South Africa [Master Thread]

Old Feb 21, 17, 12:26 am
  #1  
Original Poster
Marriott Contributor BadgeAccor Contributor Badge
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Programs: AAdvantage, United MP, Marriott Rewards
Posts: 975
Protea Hotel Kruger Gate, Skukuza, South Africa [Master Thread]

Did anybody else receive deposit mails when booking Protea hotels? Where they marked as phishing and what did you do about that?

The full story:
Made a booking (through Marriott.com) for the Protea Hotel Kruger Gate.
The booking can be cancelled for no fee until the day of the stay, my credit card is on file as a guarantee. No deposit is mentioned or taken when I made the booking.

A few hours later I receive a mail from reservations-at)proteahotel-dot)com.
This mail is marked as a phishing mail by Gmail. It seems legit though as it mentions the name of the hotel, the date of the stay and the number of nights. The deposit amount is almost the complete amount for the stay (a few dollars off)

---

I find it a bit odd to receive this mail as nothing about a deposit was mentioned on the Marriott site. It makes me wonder if the booking is truly fully flexible, never had to pay a deposit with Marriott before on these types of bookings.

If I get a refund of the deposit when I cancel I don't mind paying the deposit but as the mail is marked as phishing every time (I received a reminder mail with the same problem) Gmail removes the link to pay the deposit. So I can't pay, even if I would like to.

Can they cancel a confirmed reservation if you don't pay the deposit?

UPDATE: I tried replying to the reservations mail but nobody seems to monitor that address. I reached out to Marriott Customer Care through Marriott.com.
kcaluwae is offline  
Old Feb 21, 17, 9:08 am
  #2  
Used to be highman123
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 2,650
This hotel is odd - they even claimed that they do not participate in Marriott Rewards while the front desk is drowning in 'Join Marriott Rewards' stickers. If you have the option book with 7,500 MR points - better deal and no troubles getting the booking done/ making changes online.
MightyTravels is offline  
Old Feb 21, 17, 10:09 am
  #3  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Florida
Posts: 27,297
We stayed at Kruger Gate twice in Sept 2016 on points, sandwiched a 4 days stay at the various rest camps inside Kruger Park.

The front desk could not be any nicer on both stays. At check out they made friendly jokes about how much we owed, like 100000 ZARs for a good laugh.

The only issue to us is the restaurant on the portch closes really early in the evening, leaving the big restaurant which seems to cater to group tours in buffet style the only option for evening dining other than room service.
Happy is offline  
Old Feb 21, 17, 6:04 pm
  #4  
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Fort Lauderdale, FL
Posts: 2,281
Originally Posted by kcaluwae View Post
If I get a refund of the deposit when I cancel I don't mind paying the deposit but as the mail is marked as phishing every time (I received a reminder mail with the same problem) Gmail removes the link to pay the deposit. So I can't pay, even if I would like to.
This part sounds like a problem with Google, not Marriott. Marriott has no control over how a third party program marks emails as SPAM/phising.

It does sound like Marriott needs to clarify the deposit requirements for this hotel. But, I wouldn't expect them to be able to fix your Gmail. That's between you and Google.
writerguyfl is offline  
Old Feb 22, 17, 3:04 am
  #5  
Original Poster
Marriott Contributor BadgeAccor Contributor Badge
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Programs: AAdvantage, United MP, Marriott Rewards
Posts: 975
Originally Posted by MightyTravels View Post
This hotel is odd - they even claimed that they do not participate in Marriott Rewards while the front desk is drowning in 'Join Marriott Rewards' stickers. If you have the option book with 7,500 MR points - better deal and no troubles getting the booking done/ making changes online.
Unfortunately no availability with points on our dates, otherwise I would have chosen a points redemption for sure.

Originally Posted by writerguyfl View Post
This part sounds like a problem with Google, not Marriott. Marriott has no control over how a third party program marks emails as SPAM/phising.

It does sound like Marriott needs to clarify the deposit requirements for this hotel. But, I wouldn't expect them to be able to fix your Gmail. That's between you and Google.
Gmail has 1 billion users (that was beginning 2016, probably more by now). I would expect that a multi-national company tests how their mails are being treated by the major e-mail clients. I have no special settings in my Gmail account, this is not a plugin, this is just basic Gmail functionality. I cannot alter this behavior. It would have been good if Gmail included some 'This is not a phishing mail' functionality but they didn't.

UPDATE: There's an option to show the original mail as plain text. There I see the link but if I copy/paste the link it still does not work, I get a timeout on loading the page...
kcaluwae is offline  
Old Mar 2, 17, 3:06 pm
  #6  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: home = LAX
Posts: 23,991
Originally Posted by kcaluwae View Post
Did anybody else receive deposit mails when booking Protea hotels? Where they marked as phishing and what did you do about that?
I got one (four times) for the second of my two stays at Protea Hotel Hazyview (a couple dozen kms from the Protea Hotel Kruger Gate). I did not get one for either my first stay at Hazyview (two days earlier, but booked a couple weeks earlier), nor did I get one for my one stay at Kruger Gate, nor did I get one for my stays at several other Proteas.

What I did about it was contact Marriott (by phone), which contacted the hotel, said the hotel would get back to me about the issue (which got a case number), but the hotel never did contact me about it.

I got a total of 4 emails at the exact same minute every day for 4 days, the last one which said it was the "final" and that if I didn't pay the "deposit" my stay would be cancelled.

But not only was the stay not cancelled, I was still able to change it (shortening it from 2 nights to 1 night) on the day of arrival, as promised, without penalty.

And since the stay I was getting these emails for was a 2 night stay, the term "deposit" seemed misleading to me, since the amount of "deposit" they were asking for was the full amount of payment for both nights! (Usually to me "deposit" means partial payment, and it's "prepayment" that's the term used if it's going to be a full payment.)

But, OTOH, it seems that maybe all emails coming straight from Protea come up as phishing/spam? Because the other day I got a marketing email from Protea, and it also ended up in my Spam folder.

Still, these "deposit" requests are something that seems to originate from a Protea computer which has not been updated to know about the acquisition by Marriott, and that reservations made through Marriott should not be subject to different Protea terms. (I have no experience with Protea before Mariott took it over, so I don't know if this goofy system of requiring a "deposit" but asking for it separately from booking time "legitimatly" existed in the Prokard days or not. [Prokard was the Protea-specific loyalty program before Marriot Rewards came in as a result of Marriott taking over Protea.])

Btw, I'm using AOL Mail (with puts such messages in a folder called Spam). So GMail is far from the only one marking them this way.

Last edited by sdsearch; Mar 2, 17 at 3:14 pm
sdsearch is online now  
Old Mar 2, 17, 3:12 pm
  #7  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: home = LAX
Posts: 23,991
Originally Posted by Happy View Post
We stayed at Kruger Gate twice in Sept 2016 on points
All the money rates at Kruger Gate seem to say "breakfast and dinner included". The points rate, when available (it wasn't available for my dates), makes no such mention. Did it include it either for you?
sdsearch is online now  
Old Mar 2, 17, 6:11 pm
  #8  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Florida
Posts: 27,297
Originally Posted by sdsearch View Post
All the money rates at Kruger Gate seem to say "breakfast and dinner included". The points rate, when available (it wasn't available for my dates), makes no such mention. Did it include it either for you?
Yes, the cash rates are half-board.
The point booking does NOT include any meal plan.
I laughed when reading some blogger claimed how much a big value it was with the cash rate and only 7500 pts. He obviously has never stayed at Kruger Gate on points.

If you get meals at Kruger Gate with point booking then you are lucky because somebody at the front desk has made a mistake. (the person who granted this might have to pay it back out of his or her own pocket - I sure dont want such thing happened with the South African workers who seem to earn very little.)

On another subject, I dont know why some people would make such a big deal about emails ending in SPAM folders of email clients.

I have many important emails being dumped into Gmail's spam folder / Yahoo spam folder / Comcast spam folder. The interesting thing is, each email client apparently uses different criteria to classify how an email being a SPAM - because they are all different emails.
Over 60% of AMEX emails are dumped to SPAM by Google. Per the logic of the complainer, AMEX should have known / tested so their emails would not be treated as SPAM by Gmail. :roll eyes:
Yahoo, surprisingly, has made the least mistake in wrongly classified SPAM.
Comcast has never failed to dump a monthly email from an overseas government to the SPAM folder.

All one needs to see the content of the SPAMed email is just to reclassify it Not A SPAM, that email would immediately return to your inbox and then you can open it normally. I dont know why the poster makes such a big deal about it just because s/he does not know how to use the email function of the provider.

Last edited by Happy; Mar 2, 17 at 6:17 pm
Happy is offline  
Old Mar 9, 17, 6:16 am
  #9  
Original Poster
Marriott Contributor BadgeAccor Contributor Badge
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Programs: AAdvantage, United MP, Marriott Rewards
Posts: 975
Originally Posted by Happy View Post
Yes, the cash rates are half-board.


On another subject, I dont know why some people would make such a big deal about emails ending in SPAM folders of email clients.

All one needs to see the content of the SPAMed email is just to reclassify it Not A SPAM, that email would immediately return to your inbox and then you can open it normally. I dont know why the poster makes such a big deal about it just because s/he does not know how to use the email function of the provider.
I would advise you to read my original post thoroughly before you jump to such conclusions. Never in my original post did I mention that the mail ended up in Spam. I mention it is marked as a phishing mail. That is something completely different.

You cannot alter Gmail's behavior on this (see my second post). It's not like a mail that ended up in spam where you can just tell Gmail this is not spam.

The mail stays in the inbox but links and images are removed because Gmail thinks the mail is intended to steal information. I attached a small screenshot that shows you how the mail looks like.



Originally Posted by sdsearch View Post

...
But not only was the stay not cancelled, I was still able to change it (shortening it from 2 nights to 1 night) on the day of arrival, as promised, without penalty.
...
Thanks sdsearch for your very elaborate answer. Unfortunately I did pay before I read your answer and I did have to shorten my stay afterwards. I now hope I will get a refund. Marriott forwarded my request for a refund to the hotel, I hope I will hear back from then soon but it has been a few days already...
Attached Images  

Last edited by kcaluwae; Mar 10, 17 at 12:31 am
kcaluwae is offline  
Old Apr 2, 17, 2:00 pm
  #10  
KRS
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: SVG
Programs: Gold: Club Carlson/A3/IHG, Plat: SPG,Marriott, Diamond: Hilton,SAS
Posts: 1,133
I have received a similar email after booking the Protea Hotel Franschhoek.

I think it is a legitimate request, but I don't see the need for this as they have my credit card on file on my profile...
KRS is offline  
Old Apr 3, 17, 8:09 am
  #11  
Original Poster
Marriott Contributor BadgeAccor Contributor Badge
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Programs: AAdvantage, United MP, Marriott Rewards
Posts: 975
Originally Posted by KRS View Post
I have received a similar email after booking the Protea Hotel Franschhoek.

I think it is a legitimate request, but I don't see the need for this as they have my credit card on file on my profile...
I have been in contact with the hotel in the meantime. The mail is genuine indeed, they confirmed they received the money.

It does seem like a bad integration of the Marriott system and the Protea system where deposits are taken from the protea system and aren't managed through marriott.com. (In some cases even for bookings where marriott.com doesn't mention any deposit at all...)
kcaluwae is offline  
Old Apr 4, 17, 8:42 am
  #12  
 
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: OKC
Programs: DL DM/2.5MM, Global Entry, PL_Marriott, GHertz
Posts: 6,154
Yesterday, I made a reservation at one of the Protea Hotels in Stellenbosch, SA for my visit there in October.

Moments ago I got an email - which Gmail and Outlook did not mark in any way - with three pdfs. They are wanting to confirm a guarantee for the reservation. One pdf is an invoice, the second has bank data, the third asked for credit card info.

This is not a prepaid reservation but one that can be cancelled on the day of arrival. Marriott has my office credit card on file and I never remember a Marriott related hotel responding in this way.

I do not want to confirm this reservation in any other way as part of the stay is uncertain since I must go to JNB and a friend in CPT may take me in for some of those days.

Do I call Marriott or do I try and respond to the "individual reservations agent" who sent this email to me?
Xeno is offline  
Old Apr 5, 17, 6:44 am
  #13  
 
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: OKC
Programs: DL DM/2.5MM, Global Entry, PL_Marriott, GHertz
Posts: 6,154
For the benefit of anyone else with a query like mine, I called Marriott and was told to ignore the email from Protea Hotel in Stellenbosch. The Marriott phone agent said Marriott considers the reservation confirmed with my cc on file.
Xeno is offline  
Old Sep 23, 17, 10:14 am
  #14  
A FlyerTalk Posting Legend
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Programs: UALifetimePremierGold, Marriott LifetimeTitanium
Posts: 66,239
With kcaluwae's permission, I'm posting his short review in this, the property thread, as it's a recent stay. He has silver status.

Protea Hotel Kruger Gate : The hotel is really next to the Paul Kruger Gate, really good location. Public area's of the hotel are exactly like you would find them in a lodge in Sabi or the likes. Really loved how they did this. The room is basic hotel room, it would have been great if they made this a bit more 'safari-like' but this is a minor remark, you don't spend much time in here. We usually went to sit at the bar were you might be able to spot wildlife in the Sabie river. I really would recommend this hotel for your safaris. From here you can do safari's in Kruger as well as in Sabi Sands (with elephant herd) No recognition of elite status. One night on points, one paid night. No problem to stay in the same room and to switch our dinner (included in the paid rate) to the free night. Dinner in the lapa restaurant was actually quite good. Huge buffet and great dessert. :-). As for bfast we asked for a box to take with us on the safari.
SkiAdcock is offline  
Old Sep 24, 17, 9:36 am
  #15  
A FlyerTalk Posting Legend
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Programs: UALifetimePremierGold, Marriott LifetimeTitanium
Posts: 66,239
I have Happy's permission to post his review from the family-thread in this property thread. He had a recent stay.

"Protea Hotel Kruger Gate
This is our 2nd time staying here. So we know what to expect. Last year we had 2 nights, one each bookended our stays inside Kruger park. This year we stayed all 4 nights at the Protea on 4 separate reservations due to the hotel never released more than 2 consecutive nights. Our ever changing plan also means we would be better off to book individual night to preserve the flexibility. At check in the guy at FD could not find the reservation(s). He showed us another guest's check in card (not check in yet) and asked if this was us. Nope, despite it was an Asian's name. Eventually he located us in the system but for some reason he could not find the check in card. However he turned over the screen to show us, that indeed he located our reservations. We were given similar room like last year except on different orientation. We only needed to sign one check in card which was not a preprinted one as he could not locate it. He told us to just get our keys reprogrammed each evening when we returned to the hotel. It worked like a charm. They brought small amenities and the Vivreau water on first night but subsequent nights only the Vivreau water.

We did not eat at the hotel. We had bought foods at the Spar at Malelane where we entered Kruger park in midday. We had meals at the rest camps inside Kruger park. Though on our first night it was Saturday, there were some big tour groups coming to stay, and the dining room had some big performance which we did not see any notice about such. Must be special arrangement. It was quite noisy for about an hour. Nothing on Sunday and the remaining 2 nights of our stay. Had we not bought foods we would go to the buffet on Saturday as the performance sounded quite exciting. "

Cheers.
SkiAdcock is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread