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“A Hotel that will "put it right", not "get it right"”

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Belmond Mount Nelson Hotel
Ranked #11 of 110 Hotels in Cape Town Central
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 4 April 2013

The Mount Nelson is undoubtedly the best long stay Hotel in Cape Town but the levels of service in food, housekeeping and reservations are all sub standard in comparison with the 5 other Orient Express Hotels I have stayed in. On check in the room assigned to us was not as specified, it was of a lower grade despite written confirmation being provided - the late check out agreed on the first day had not been recorded and this caused some hiatus later. The account proffered at the end of our stay forgot to include the 10134 rand deposit which had been pre paid.

The room housekeeping was slap dash, the duvet was stained and dirty and was only changed when we pointed out the stains on it. The towels and soaps differed daily according to the maid servicing the room and the bathrobes were constantly missing.

The food at breakfast supervised by Robin with only 4 months experience was constantly cold and each day had to be taken back to the kitchen to be re heated. The tables were always missing an item of cutlery or crockery. The food from other outlets was at best average and often inedible on first presentation.

All of these things were "put right" when attention was brought to staff members, but it made the holiday hard work for 3 weeks. All in all the staff were mostly pleasant but they were inept and inexperienced. Core staff on all services needed to be more experienced to achieve international standards. The Management needs to address the problems as soon as possible as it seems to us staffing had been pared down to provide only a sub standard service.

There was little evidence of any middle management staff with experience in the Hotel generally, except for the Car Pool Desk where Joe was excellent and the Planet Bar where Benson did a good job. Jo-Anne on the Concierge Desk was also very helpful and efficient. Moreover the General Manager was also conspicuous by his absence as he did not make himself known to us during a 21 day stay. Perhaps he was hiding from the torrent of complaints we heard from other patrons concerning poor and declining service standards. We noticed that the Hotel has fallen to number 10 of 100 Hotels on Trip Advisor and we are not surprised.

All in all we are not saying we would not return as the Hotel had a pleasant colonial feel to it, the gardens and pool areas were lovely and the afternoon tea excellent, but if you are expecting the high end standards of service present in other Orient Express Hotels then you will be very disappointed.

Stayed: March 2013, travelled as a couple
Thank R101
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Xavier L, General Manager at Belmond Mount Nelson Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 1 May 2013

Thank you for your continuous support of the Mount Nelson Hotel and other Orient Express properties.
All your points are well noted and I am sorry that I did not have a chance to meet you or speak to you during your visit. I will contact you directly, and hopefully, if you do return, I will make sure that I spend some time with you.
Best regards,

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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1,007 - 1,013 of 1,624 reviews

Reviewed 4 April 2013

Stayed here for 5 nights in February. Having heard so much about the hotel there were a few things that let it down (although there were also lots of wonderful things).
The food was nice, especially the planet restaurant which was fantastic but the overall service in the bar was pretty poor. On a few occasions we waited 5 mins for a menu, another 10 to order and then one time we waited 20 minutes for the drinks to arrive (gin and tonic, not very complex to make!). There were no where near enough staff which was the main problem.
Afternoon tea was not as good as the reviews I had heard, the selection was smaller than expected and there was a large party of school children there the day we went which led to a constant scrum around the food table. Service again wasn't great.
The rooms were attractively decorated but my parents had a problem with the drains in their bathroom and it took 3 days and 4 complaints before anyone actually took any notice.
The gardens and the pools are beautiful and were the highlight of the stay, it was a very relaxing place to sit and read or just watch the world go by.
Fantastic location. Breakfast was fine but nothing special - except the croque madame which was delicious but took ages to come out.

  • Stayed: February 2013, travelled with family
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Thank Katie L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Xavier L, General Manager at Belmond Mount Nelson Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 12 November 2013

Please accept our sincere apologies regarding the services issues that you encountered during your visit to the Mount Nelson Hotel. 20 minutes for a simple gin and tonic is far too long...no doubt. Efficiency is key. Apparently it was not the case during your stay. We will continue to work to improve this. Thank you for staying with us.
Kind regards,

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Reviewed 1 April 2013

Know Cape Town well and have had drinks in Mount Nelson over the years but had never stayed there.We booked 2nights to fill in between other accommodation. We got a. very good deal on the Internet but were even more delighted to be upgraded to a Classic De luxe room.We were welcomed by Chad at reception and he was most pleasant and helpful in showing us round.
The room was super with a lovely view. The grounds and pool area were excellent and the breakfasts in the Oasis room top rate. We were joining friends for afternoon tea. This was a lovely experience.
The Hotel is so convenient to walk to restaurants nearby in Kloof Street and Kloof Nek.
Definitely one of the finest hotels we have stayed in and a wonderful experience

Room Tip: Any room and hope for an upgrade
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  • Stayed: March 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank John M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 30 March 2013

This is the perfect place for relaxation in the heart of Cape Town, the staff are very friendly and always greet you by name with a warm welcome. The garden grounds are what makes this hotel so special - it is a mini oasis with great views of Table Mountain.

The afternoon tea is amazing and the bar has a great atmosphere. The main pool is very nice and gym is located in its own house which is open 24hrs.

For night life you are only a stones throw away from Long street with a comfortable 10 minute walk.

The Mount Nelson definitely has the right balance between buisness and relaxation. My wife joined me on this trip and said it's one of the best hotels she's ever stayed at.

Room Tip: Do not miss afternoon tea or breakfast. Ask for a room in the Oasis wing the rooms are newly renovat...
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  • Stayed: March 2013, travelled on business
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Thank gavwell
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 30 March 2013

We enjoyed our 2-week stay at the Mount Nelson in November 2012 so much that we decided to come back for another 2 weeks in March 2013. The Mount Nelson is undoubtedly one of the best hotels we have ever stayed in with gorgeous rooms, excellent facilities and lovely grounds. In a hotel of this standard it would be very easy for the service to become a bit formal and stuffy but that's certainly not the case at the Mount Nelson. While the staff are of course professional, efficient and helpful, they effortlessly blend that with a warm and friendly manner which instantly makes guests feel comfortable and "at home".

We were upgraded to a Deluxe room (276) in the Oasis wing of the hotel which was newly refurbished just a few months ago. Our room was gorgeous, furnished in the colonial style which suits the Mount Nelson so well but incorporating all the modern comforts which today's traveller expects (efficent/quiet air-conditioning, free/fast wi-fi, decent shower, etc). One particularly thoughtful addition was a row of international power sockets so that gadgets with UK/US/continental Europe/etc plugs could be used without a travel adaptor. The room also included the most cleverly disguised television we have seen anywhere!

The only negative thing was the service in the Oasis restaurant at breakfast which didn't quite match up to the high standards everywhere else in the hotel.

In summary, this is a wonderful hotel which we expect to visit many more times.

  • Stayed: March 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank ShetlandGirl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 March 2013

The hotel was a perfect choice in the centre of Cape Town. Everything was to our satisfaction and of high standard. Will definitely visit again. Breakfast excellent! Can recommend to visitors as it was a superb stay and relaxing with our friends. Dinners was also very good and the rooms and interior catching.

  • Stayed: March 2013, travelled with friends
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Thank Alet B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 March 2013

"Afternoon Tea" at this hotel is a lovely way to spend an afternoon. We sat on the verandah, which was probably not a good idea on this particular afternoon, as it was very hot - well over 30°. With hindsight, we should have reserved our table inside, close to the buffet, as it is air-conditioned, but this by no means affected our enjoyment of the afternoon. We started at 14.30 with glasses of bubbly and then went on to tea and a superb spread of sandwiches, small quiches and cakes afterwards. Very good selection of fillings for the sandwiches, and also lots of different kinds of cakes, both small and large. Have a light breakfast on the day you go and don't have lunch! It really is a 'must' when in Cape Town, as there are so very few places where one can indulge in the traditional afternoon tea, so this is very special.

  • Stayed: February 2013, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Dodynic
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Belmond Mount Nelson Hotel

Address: 76 Orange Street | Gardens, Cape Town Central 8001, South Africa
Phone Number:
Region: South Africa > Western Cape > Cape Town > Cape Town Central > City Bowl
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beverage Selection Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#1 Business Hotel in Cape Town Central
#2 Family Hotel in Cape Town Central
#4 Spa Hotel in Cape Town Central
#9 Romantic Hotel in Cape Town Central
#11 Luxury Hotel in Cape Town Central
Price Range: £306 - £571 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — Belmond Mount Nelson Hotel 5*
Number of rooms: 198
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Welcome to Belmond Mount Nelson Hotel, in Cape Town’s buzzing heart. We invite you to relax in our iconic pink buildings, airy rooms and dreamy gardens. Enjoy imaginative local cuisine, nourishing spa treatments and eye-catching artworks. Captivating visitors since 1899, Cape Town’s iconic resort hotel is a tranquil hideaway just moments from the city’s buzzing heart. Our 198 individually designed rooms and suites and a host of fabulous facilities appeal equally to romantic couples, families or adventurous groups. Stroll through our expansive gardens, take a tree tour or browse the outdoor sculpture exhibition. Discover the hotel’s history, art and culture on self-guided tours. Enjoy imaginative cuisine in our restaurants and soothing bliss at the spa. Just beyond our gates lies the pulsating city, with stunning beaches and historic hotspots moments away. Forever watching over the hotel is Table Mountain, another wondrous Cape Town landmark. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Mount Nelson Cape Town
Hotel Mount Nelson
Belmond Mount Nelson Hotel Cape Town, South Africa

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