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“Mixed emotions for the Mount Nelson”

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Belmond Mount Nelson Hotel
Ranked #11 of 110 Hotels in Cape Town Central
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 10 January 2014

This was out first trip to South Africa, we usually go for contemporary hotels but decided to make a change and the mount Nelson seemed to have good reviews.
Where I do think it has some good points it also has equal bad points
Pros :
The cottages by the pool are lovely and spacious and nice and quiet.
Byron is very knowledgeable
By far Wayne and Ben who are drivers (Wayne is also the supervisor for the drivers) are wonderful and very knowledgable , if you want to go to Stelenbosch Ben is the best driver to have.
We arrived early morning and was told check in would not be till 2pm, fine standard practice , but by 1030am we had our rooms , super.
Unfortunately I didn't get there names but the two barmen are a fab act together and great entertainment .

Cons
Everything and anything is run for the guests that return year after year, now I know it is good to recognise repeat customers but this hotel seems to run solely for them, you can't get a table or a place round the pool if you haven't been coming for 10 years plus, so much to the fact it became our saying of the holiday 'but have you been coming for 13 years' .
The adult pool does not have enough loungers for the amount of adults that want to use it, and the repeat cux reserve blocks of seats for their entire stay no matter if they are coming to the pool or not. Thankfully Eve the fantastic pool guy runs a great show there and he was very accommodating and managed to get us some seats , Eve works alone and is very efficient I hope the hotel recognises his hard work.
Breakfast another seating disaster , you can walk in and the place is empty yet the staff just seem to not know whee to sit you just in case Mr and Mrs so and so who have been coming for 10 years might want to sit there. You repeatedly have to ask for butter, salt pepper etc to be on the table.
Afternoon tea , on other reviews people rave about it, oh no, I wouldn't recommend it at all, the only items that are covers are the finger sandwiches everything else is uncovered and swarming in flies, no signs/labels so who knows what your eating. Afternoon tea in England is served to the table and not buffet, this is the traditional way.
You are constantly reminded not to get in a taxi and the hotel does run a free car service but it's not bootable , so getting out is Esau but trying to return to your hotel is hard , I'm dreading my phone bill from calling the hotel to try and arrange a car, in the end we did get taxis and it was fine.
We dined one night in 'planet restaurant' where overal the food was generally fine, but on being given an amuse bouche we were not told what it was, it was a dark colour and thick, asked one waiter who said it was vegetable then asked another Who said minestrone , perhaps staff need to be told what they are serving .

Overall it wasn't a bad stay but I wouldn't also rush back.

Stayed: December 2013, travelled with family
2  Thank Kelly C
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 15 January 2014

Thank you for having stayed at the Mount Nelson Hotel during Festive Season. The hotel is extremely busy during this period with, as you mentioned, a number of long-term repeat guests as well as new guests. Our goal is to convert our new guests to repeat guests and I understand from your experience that you faced challenges. Let me try to clarify a few points.
The Mount Nelson Hotel has two swimming pools, one of which is an adult only pool. We have +/-60 lounge beds by the adult pool and 200 by the Oasis pool. Therefore we have 260 lounge beds for a possible 400 guests on property. This is a much higher proportion than most of our competitors in Cape Town. Our pool attendants do try their best, and thank you for mentioning Yves who really does a fantastic job, to find lounge beds for all our guests. The tricky days are Xmas, Boxing Day and New Years Day when there are a number of activities that are closed.
I was sorry to hear about the breakfast issues.It is true that some tables are reserved, especially for large families, but that is no reason for the staff not to know which tables are available.
Due to the popularity of the afternoon tea, it has been decided to serve it "buffet style". We have two pastry chef that are by the buffet and replenish the buffet on a regular basis and they can also answer any questions guests may have regarding the food. However, your point regarding the labeling does make sense and is something that we will be implementing shortly. Please also note that we also serve a traditional morning tea from 9:30AM to noon and where the food is served on a three tiered stand.
During Festive Season, we offer four possible transportation methods.
1) Complimentary shuttle service at set times in a mini bus to and from the Waterfront.
2) Complimentary courtesy car to Waterfront, Camps Bay and the Table Mountain cable car. This service is on a first come basis and cannot be reserved.
3) Sedan transfers at a cost where reservations are available.
4) On property taxis - at a cost.
Finally, regarding the Planet Restaurant, we offer a mise en bouche, especially if one orders a main course without appetizers. In your case it was a Minestrone soup which is an Italian vegetable soup. You are absolutely correct, our waiters should use the same terms to avoid any confusion.
Your review was very constructive and will be shared with the staff. There are some areas where we need to improve and input from our guests certainly helps to tighten up our service.

We hope to have the pleasure of welcoming you back to the hotel.

Kind regards,

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840 - 846 of 1,575 reviews

Reviewed 10 January 2014

If you enjoy first-class service and being wrapped in cotton wool and treated like a v.i.p. - this is the place to stay.
For such an imposing hotel it has a warm and friendly atmosphere; The staff are exceptionally good at anticipating your requirements; The deluxe rooms are a good size and very tastefully furnished.
The Planet restaurant serves fine fare as good as the best in town, with service to match.
Why would you want to go anywhere else when in Cape Town?
(p.s. we didn't try the spa on this occasion)

Room Tip: We has a deluxe room over The Oasis (breakfast/lunch dining area) which looked across the pool, whic...
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  • Stayed: January 2014, travelled as a couple
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Thank Habibisambo
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 14 January 2014

Thank you for posting your review and for your continuous support. We look forward to seeing you again on your next visit to Cape Town.
Kind regards,

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Reviewed 7 January 2014

Fantastic stay at the Mount Nelson hotel where we we're put into a new deluxe room. The food was fantastic. My only issues were the teething problems they seemed to have with the room which we were compensated for and check in/handing over the keys was a little fraught and protracted after a 12 hour flight

Beautiful grounds

The best bed and linen I think I have stayed in !!

Stayed: January 2014, travelled with friends
Thank Peace&Harmony
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 9 January 2014

Thanks for visiting the Mount Nelson Hotel. Sorry about the longer than expected registration but glad to hear that you had a fantastic time. Thank you for sharing this.
Kind regards,

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Reviewed 6 January 2014

I am spending my Christmas holidays in Capetown . It's the first time in my life that I visit South Africa. What a country !! The Mount Nelson hotel it's a pure pearl of traditions and class in a fast changing world. The staff, the food, the rooms , the guests are simply magnificent . One of the best hotels I have been in my life.

Stayed: January 2014, travelled as a couple
Thank Paolorisso
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 9 January 2014

Thank you for posting your review. Let's hope your first visit to South Africa will not be your last! Looking forward to welcoming you back on your next visit to Cape Town.
Kind regards,

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Reviewed 5 January 2014

If we'd had the weather we'd hoped for - it would have been a perfect place to stay on our last night in South Africa. The grounds looked beautiful (we couldn't explore because it was pouring with rain our entire stay) and the pool looked to be a of a good size. The room was large, comfortable and well appointed, even if the bathroom was a little 'tired' looking. And the balcony was also a nice size.

On the plus side - the staff are courteous, efficient and professional. We were given a complete tour of the hotel and room by the front desk clerk (although this didn't stop us getting lost, because of the quirky layout). The spa is a real sanctuary - and the therapists of a high calibre (I would definitely recommend making a booking for one of the treatments). And when I did not enjoy my dinner in the dining room, this was dealt with in a way you would hope and expect of such a high class establishment.

The afternoon tea - while not of the standard you'd experience in an English hotel (it was self service; the tea was made not using boiling water and none of the food was labelled so it was 'pot luck') - was a nice way to spend time in the hotel.

On the negative side - and this was not helped by the torrential rain on the day of our stay - if you are not taking afternoon tea, it is difficult find somewhere to sit. Service at breakfast was not of the same standard as in the dining room - we waited to be seated, and while a table was being cleared for us, another diner was seated there with no apology - and we had to go and find someone to serve tea and coffee, following which no one came to take our order for a cooked breakfast. The shops in the hotel were also not of a particularly high standard either.

  • Stayed: November 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Thank Veggiemel
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 7 January 2014

Thank you for visiting the Mount Nelson Hotel this November. Unfortunately, this November was little more wet than usual.
Sorry to hear about a few service issues that you encountered during breakfast. Seating is perhaps a little more tricky when it rains as we cannot use our terrace.
Thank you for visiting and I hope that if you do return to Cape Town, you will have better weather.
Kind regards,

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Reviewed 2 January 2014

We stayed here at the end of November and it was awesome. This is a beautiful, classy hotel that really welcomes you and takes good care of its guests. I had just finished a very busy spell at work and was feeling worn out. When I checked into the Mount Nelson I felt like I'd arrived in a haven of peace and tranquility - it's like a stress rehab clinic! I felt so relaxed and special staying in this elegant hotel.

We were given champagne on arrival and taken for a walk round the grounds by a kind and friendly member of staff. Our room was gorgeous with an amazing view of table top mountain. I had to pinch myself when the curtains were drawn in the morning - the view was worth flying eleven hours to see.

Afternoon tea is a must and the best that I have ever had. Little extras like the champagne on arrival, fresh roses in our room, a courtesy driver on hand to take us shopping and an ice bucket with our water at the pool all made it feel extra special.

I have travelled a lot and this is my favourite hotel in the world, it's just charming and timeless.

Thank you to all the staff at the Mount Nelson for looking after us so well, it was a real privilege to stay here and I hope I will have an opportunity to return in the future.

Stayed: November 2013
1  Thank GlasgowTraveler
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 7 January 2014

Thank you posting this positive review. If we can make life a little less stressful for our guests, then this is wonderful. It is true that the lovely gardens and our two swimming pools make the Mount Nelson Hotel a great place to relax. Hope to have the pleasure of welcoming you again on a future visit to Cape Town.
Kind regards,

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Reviewed 30 December 2013

When grand ocean liners have sailed for 30 years or so they get sold for scrape and a new modern ship is built to replace them. It might offer modern amenities but will certainly lack the elegance, style and charm of the ship being replaced. Fortunately when Grand hotels grow old the owners prefer to refurnish instead of building new, thank goodness.

The Mount Nelson might be over a hundred years old but Orient-Express have for many years been skillfully refurbishing to ensure facilities are up to date but the hotel still retrains it's old world charm. Bedrooms have new drapes and furnishings with wonderful modern bathrooms, the lounge still in the style of a grand English country house, yet the planet bar and restaurant belong to the 21st century. Yet the old traditions and service of yesteryear are still in tact.

Like myself many guests return year after year looking forward to a style of hospitality few hotels can match. When the car drew up at the main entrance Winston was there with an enormous smile on his face to welcome us back. The warmth of the three staff at reception was genuine, not like staff of chain hotels who are taught how to smile and say 'welcome'. When it was time for afternoon tea in the lounge ( an absolute must do), Paul was there overseeing making sure all runs smoothly. How he remembers which tea is your favourite and later in the evening which wine you like to drink is a mystery, but he does. Next morning at the Oasis restaurant Margaret and Katie both rush to greet us and welcome us back 'home' . Another star of the hotel is Byron the concierge who always seems to be on hand to book a table at your favourite restaurant or organise a trip out.

Should you decide to spend a few days simply relaxing by the pool, you have two to choose from, now how many other city hotels can even offer one pool?

After staying at the Mount Nelson so many times l really don't think any other hotel can match its style. Well appointment bedrooms, very large garden, two swimming pools, combined with the courtesy, warmth and professional attitude to service of the staff. Words don't adequately convey the unique quality of the Nellie (only to be found in Cape Town), you need to stay yourself to find your perfect 'home from home'.

Room Tip: Prefer rooms in the main hotel.
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  • Stayed: December 2013, travelled with friends
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    • Sleep Quality
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2  Thank pullmantravellers
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 2 January 2014

Thank you for posting this very nice positive review. It is a true pleasure welcoming you back to the Mount Nelson each year. Thank you very much for your ongoing support and look forward to seeing you next year. Happy New Year!
Kind regards,

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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
#3 Family Hotel in Cape Town Central
#3 Spa Hotel in Cape Town Central
#9 Romantic Hotel in Cape Town Central
#11 Luxury Hotel in Cape Town Central
Price Range: £296 - £606 (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):
Belmond Mount Nelson Hotel is a timeless and authentic resort hotel located in the heart of Cape Town. With a unique legacy of service excellence based on authentic Cape hospitality, the hotel remains a destination of choice. The hotel's convenient location makes it easy for guests to explore the city centre and its surrounds, and some of South Africa's best beaches. The garden estate setting is an urban sanctuary, complete with two heated swimming pools, rolling lawns, a palm lined avenue and secluded Rose gardens which lend themselves to romance. The abundance of secure wide open space makes families feel at home and encourages children to run free and explore. Several distinctive accommodation wings offer a variety of 198 individually decorated, elegantly appointed rooms and suites. No two rooms are exactly the same, and each annexe offers unique views, mood and style. Belmond Mount Nelson Hotel has played host to countless weddings and milestone celebrations. The glamorous and contemporary Planet Bar and Restaurant offers guests a true South African gastronomic dinner experience, and the newly refurbished Oasis Bistro offers guests a Mediterranean inspired al fresco breakfast and lunch menu overlooking the family pool and gardens. A daily Afternoon Tea served in the hotel lounge is a signature and not to be missed experience. Extending the emphasis on pleasure is Librisa Spa - a destination day spa boasting eight oversized treatment and shower rooms, separate manicure and pedicure rooms, and a sun-splashed conservatory. Treatments are based on the healing power of touch and incorporate products containing local ingredients. ... 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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