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Highlands Country House
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Kenilworth
Reviewed 15 July 2013

We stayed at Highlands for our Wedding Anniversary recently, and would return again in an instant... Our room was magnificent, a very spacious room on a corner, with a lovely private balcony and beautifully fitted en-suite bathroom, decorated in palest blue/green and cream and with some lovely antiques... A soothing, peaceful space, and one which we didn't want to leave for long... In fact we nested for the entire weekend and only came downstairs to eat! On the subject of eating, the breakfasts were lovely, and the dinner on both nights was SUBLIME! We were given a complimentary bottle of Cap Classique bubbly on our Anniversary night, and a lovely private alcove table, scattered with rose petals. This lovely Establishment surpassed all our expectations, and we so look forward to returning... If you love history and atmosphere and retreating into the grace of yesteryear, with service to match, go and stay at Highlands.. You will not regret it!

Room Tip: Corner room with balcony, upstairs...
  • Stayed: May 2013, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Camilla M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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55 - 61 of 99 reviews

Reviewed 10 June 2013

We recently stayed for three nights at Highlands Country House, a beautiful Boutiquehotel in the Southern Suburbs of Cape Town. It was part of our honeymoon trip and especially Carole the owner and Monica the waitress made this stay very special. Our room was very tastefully decorated and the breakfast a real treat in this lovely English mansion. The place was ideally located for our excursions and unfortunately we couldn’t stay longer – but we will certainly come back during our next trip to Cape Town!

  • Stayed: April 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank KatharinaMichael
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 April 2013

I am making a complaint about the above lodging regarding its five-star rating. For the Easter weekend, my dear parents arranged for my son and me to fly from Joburg to Cape Town and spend a special few days with them – a real treat at a luxury lodge! On arrival we were impressed with the beautiful gardens and exterior while a very helpful and attentive employee, named Prosper, greeted and assisted us with our luggage.

We were shown our respective ‘suites’ which were not so sweet at all. In the room for my son and me a cat was sleeping on the bed. Later taking a shower the water started running cold for the second person. My parents had trouble getting the water to flow in the shower of their ‘luxury suite’. The TV stations on offer (a small DStv bouquet) were randomly selected, controlled and arbitrarily changed according to requests from different guests, from a main TV in a cupboard downstairs (we later discovered).

We went to the bar for drinks and chose a wine from their extensive list. It wasn’t available, so we chose another one, Jordan Tranquille and told: “Sorry it hasn’t been chilled". So we chose an alternative – that wasn’t available either! We opted for the very mediocre house wine per glass. For dinner we had to get the half bottles of chardonnay that were in the mini bars in the rooms.

And now for the cherry on top! We had pre-ordered dinner from their small menu (two choices per course). There was a leak and potato soup for starters priced at R55 – it finally arrived … lukewarm and it tasted like packed soup from a Spar, with stale bread on the side. Our main course of fish, cob, took 45 minutes to arrive – two servings first and then another person’s later – cold fish! Shockingly presented with couscous that was more like pap – with some cold beans with a few wedges of coloured peppers on top! My son’s chicken tempura resembled pieces of chicken nuggets from a McDonald’s – probably worse! And there were no noodles as per the menu. The price for each dish was R115, (later removed from the final bill).

We asked Prosper (who seemed to be the only person at the helm doing his utmost best) what was up. He said the chef had ‘gone home’ and left the cooking for the receptionist to handle.

The fee is around R2500 per person per day. Incidentally, the Mount Nelson Hotel charges this kind of rate for superb accommodation.

The main rooms and verandah area at the five-star Country House are shabby and tired with stains on couches, in the bar is a large contraption for the cats to scratch on, the main sitting room is airless and smelly … the list goes on. And I won’t go into full detail about the breakfast, of which some elements were okay but overall a two-star B&B in the Midlands does better! A pathetic buffet was on offer while the cooked selection – eggs, bacon, sausage, toast – gets five out of 10. The woman serving us, like Prosper, did her best under the circumstances.

My father, being the gracious person he is, didn’t complain to the owner on our departure. She did apologise for the dinner and “hoped we would return one day”. Highly unlikely.

I suggest that the Hotel Grading Board inspect Highlands Country House – it is simply a rip-off and should have one star removed.

  • Stayed: April 2013, travelled with family
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1  Thank Kristine M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Honey40667, Owner at Highlands Country House, responded to this reviewResponded 15 April 2013

Dear Kristine M,
Thank you for your review and your comments. I am extremely sorry that your stay was not the spoiling experience that our guests regularly enjoy. I apologised unreservedly to your father for the dinner and the unacceptable behaviour of the chef, whom I hasten to add, is no longer with us. Praise for the other staff who tried to "save the day" has not gone unnoticed and they were rewarded. There should have been sufficient wine chilled and 3 bottles per wine list item is our stock indicator for reordering. The Chardonnay half bottles are only available in the mini bar.
I was totally unaware of any problems concerning the hot water/ showering, we have a plumber a phone call away and our policy would be to offer you an alternative room immediately. All the geysers in the house are new, heat pumps were installed and are regularly maintained.
Not all rooms are equipped with their own decoders and dvd players, a central system services additionally 4 dstv channels to other rooms. The high speed broadband wireless connectivity is first rate and many overseas guests utilise this service too.
Despite your reservations about revisiting us we would love to have the opportunity to show you that we are worth our 5 stars. Please contact us on your next Cape Town Trip for a hopefully totally different experience on us.
Sincerely Carole

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Reviewed 20 March 2013

Stayed overnight during a business trip. Grand old but well kept house in a good location. Pleasant staff and good service. Would have been nice to have tea/coffee station in the room, but when ordered the service was prompt. Will visit again.

Stayed: March 2013, travelled on business
Thank Mark L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 March 2013

Currently staying at Highlands Country House in Cape Town. If you have a busy agenda in Cape Town and want an oasis of calm at the end of the day, or even during the day just to chill out, this is a wonderful place. It is a boutique hotel in a quiet suburb of Cape Town situated slightly out of the busier town centre area but still within easy reach of everywhere. Well equipped rooms, two beautiful swimming pools, quiet nooks and crannies for sprawling around to read a good book. Attentive and exceptionally friendly staff who go out of their way to help you and look after you. This feels more like staying at the wonderful country house of a good friend. Thank you for a lazy, relaxing stay whilst we were here for the Cape Argos. I have to admit to writing this whilst lying by the pool having just been served tea! Guy

Stayed: March 2013, travelled on business
Thank derosa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 January 2013

My partner and I have just returned from five nights at Highlands and were delighted with our stay - as were the friends we were travelling with. This is a genuine Country House experience. It is a winning combination of a glorious (and architecturally significant) house, stunning gardens and the most wonderful staff. The owner, Carol, is one of the most charming and hospitable people I have met in years of travelling and staying in top rated hotels. She is very hands-on and nothing is too much trouble when it comes to her guests (even to the point of lending us her own laptop for hours on end when the guest PC went down). She has so many attributes as a hotelier but perhaps the greatest is her ability to put together a winning team. Here the personal touch is paramount. Every member of the team plays their part but special mention goes to Jane at the front desk who is so helpful and generous with her time; lovely Monica who is a ray of sunshine and Ruben who is an absolute gentleman.

The hotel is well located - far enough from the centre to ensure peace and tranquility, near enough to be able to enjoy all that Cape Town has to offer. Our bedroom (No 1) was very large, stylish and comfortable and we had a large balcony overlooking the gardens and a huge bathroom. The public rooms (drawing room, library, dining room) are light and airy and are luxuriously appointed in grand country house style. Breakfast on the terrace each morning was a real treat. It's also very good value for money. All in all, a great find on the part of our travelling companions!

  • Stayed: January 2013, travelled with friends
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Thank SL-SouthKen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
HighlandsCapeTown, Owner at Highlands Country House, responded to this reviewResponded 11 January 2013

We cannot always identify who posts the reviews, in this case the laptop gave it away ! It was a pleasure having such gentlemen staying and thank you for your kind words which of course will be passed on to Monica, Reuben & Jane.... and when you are back in Cape Town please visit us at Highlands again.

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Reviewed 9 January 2013

This is not a traditional hotel experience - and all the better for it. It is more like staying in the rather grand country house of a rather smart aunt. Edwardian splendour and space aplenty. And everything works on a trust basis. And there is no end time for breakfast - this place is run for the convenience of the guests, not the owners.

The landscaped gardens are faultless and there are two pools as well as other little corners with benches to pause and read a book. If the weather should be inclement there is a library, a drawing room, a conservatory and a covered veranda furnished as a sitting room, so you would not feel cooped up.

Others mention the attitude of the staff as being exemplary - and it is. Owner Carol is that exemplar and she shares tips out equally amongst all the staff so there is genuinely a feeling of a joint enterprise.

Location is perfect - minutes from the M3 to whip you into town or down the Cape, or you can hop over the mountains via Constantia into Hout Bay and Camps Bay. Great shopping nearby in Little Chelsea in Wynberg.

Don't hesitate - just book.

  • Stayed: January 2013, travelled with friends
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Thank lovingmyholidays
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
HighlandsCapeTown, Owner at Highlands Country House, responded to this reviewResponded 11 January 2013

Thank you, thank you. It is wonderful to read that this beautiful old property "Highlands" is so appreciated. As for the service , well that's thanks to our wonderful staff, visit us again ( please) and you will see many the same faces. We are so glad you enjoyed your stay.

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Additional Information about Highlands Country House

Address: 36 Tennant Road, Kenilworth 7708, South Africa
Region: South Africa > Western Cape > Cape Town > Kenilworth
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Room Service Shuttle Bus service Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Kenilworth
Price Range: £87 - £190 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — Highlands Country House 5*
Number of rooms: 14
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Highlands Country House is the perfect venue for your weekend away, well deserved holiday, intimate wedding or even that (second) honeymoon. At Highlands a warm friendly welcome awaits you where good old fashioned excellent service is the order of the day. 14 individually appointed rooms are generously proportioned and all en-suite. Meals are individually prepared by the resident chef and the menu changes daily to suite your wishes. On request we can even host your own private dinner party, complete with place names, flowers and all the trimmings. Built in 1900, the Sir Herbert Baker house is set in the peaceful surroundings of formal gardens which boast 2 pools, a private spa and many secluded areas to relax and enjoy this home from home retreat. Afternoon tea is served at the pool or in the conservatory and of course the scones are homemade. Loose yourself in a book in the library or lounge or catch up on the news from home on the guest PC. Retire to your freshly made room and chill..... before dining in or out (of course we can arrange the transport), enjoy a pre-dinner drink in the bar or on the terrace and feel yourself transported from the everyday to the extra special. Highlands Country House - country tranquility in the heart of Cape Town. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Highlands Country Hotel
Highlands Country House Kenilworth, South Africa - Cape Town

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