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“First impressions can be deceptive.”

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Belmond Mount Nelson Hotel
Ranked #11 of 110 Hotels in Cape Town Central
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 6 February 2014

It was the middle of a hot Sunday afternoon in early February; and it was bedlam in reception. The Mount Nelson is famous for its afternoon tea and most of the tourists in Cape Town had arrived or were arriving to enjoy a cucumber sandwich and a cream fancy. The hotel felt huge, impersonal and intimidating…. and we hated it A fierce and humourless lady on the reception desk told us that the hotel was “at 100% occupancy” and they had no room ready for us- so we would have to wait in the lounge. We did as we were told. But when we tried to sit down in the lounge we were shooed away by an equally fierce “Maître d” - who said that he was fully booked for afternoon tea and, whatever the receptionist had said, he wasn’t going to let us sit down and spoil his seating arrangements.
So we were left to our on devices - happily the bar was more accommodating. We still felt rather forlorn and disorientated but at least I was able to buy myself a welcoming drink! By then my wife wanted to go back to Franschhoek… and we considered making a hasty departure, but just in the nick of time, and by a miracle, a chap called Patrick took charge; made up for the misery of the arrival by sorting us out a lovely room (OK a suite!) and made us feel (for the first time) genuinely welcome. And (first receptionist and Maître de afternoon tea aside) the staff were all like that; warm, hospitable, welcoming and genuinely friendly. They were all “Patricks” – nothing was too much trouble for them!
It’s pointless waxing lyrical about the room because we must have been given an upgrade to end up in the room that we did; and all the rooms are different (the more you pay the better the room!). For what it’s worth- the air conditioning is quiet and efficient – the beds are very comfortable and the plumbing works.
This is the epitome of a Grand Hotel. There is a concierge who will – without fuss- sort you out with cars and reservations (as concierges should). There are plenty of very agreeable paces to eat and drink in the hotel, handsome gardens and two superb swimming pools. A larger “all ages” pool and a smaller “adults only” pool. The “adults only” pool was nearer to our room so we chose to use that. The “adults only” pool is beautiful; it's next to Sydenham Terrace (a pretty row of mock Edwardian cottages with roses in the gardens). The only drawback is that some of the regular users (Daily Mail readers to a man) were treating the pool like a private club and had a rather proprietorial attitude to the loungers and sun umbrellas. But there are plenty of them (loungers that is- not Daily Mail readers) and the attitude of the “regulars” was more amusing than irritating. We felt sorry for a family of geese (mum, dad and seven baby goslings) that had the temerity to use the pool for a swim… and earned the opprobrium of the “regulars”. The geese (who were very noisy and not at all respectful of the “regulars”) reappeared next morning. One of the “regulars” pronounced them a danger to health, life and limb (second only apparently to the squirrels) and then the geese mysteriously disappeared!
We were only there for three days – but, once we became familiar with the hotel and the staff, we enjoyed it more and more. By the time we came to leave we were really sorry to go and we look forward to going back for a longer stay. And we solemnly promise not to sit on the reserved loungers!

  • Stayed: February 2014, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank BridgeBunch
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 February 2014

Thank you for writing this positive review. I will of course pass on your compliments to Patrick who has been doing a fabulous job at the front desk for the past two years.
I am glad that we were able to win you over after the first negative impressions.
Yes, we do have a number of regular, or as I prefer to call them loyal guests. Some of them have been coming for generations and we just celebrated the 50th annual visit to one of our guests. Many of them stay for a couple weeks or more and they do tend to enjoy having their reserved lounge. Luckily for us, we have two heated swimming pools and have over 250 lounge beds. Therefore, not finding a lounge bed is seldom an issue as you mentioned.
Our mission at the hotel is to treat all guests equally as it is our goal to convert all new guests to regular or as I prefer to say, loyal guests. I sincerely hope this will be the case for you.
Thank you for your review and for visiting the Mount Nelson Hotel.
Kind regards,

PS. I have not seen the Egyptian geese recently....they often share their time between Company Gardens and the Mount Nelson Hotel....that also goes for our the squirrels.

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873 - 879 of 1,624 reviews

Reviewed 5 February 2014

The hotel is a showcase of luxury -An oasis in the middle of the city!
The service that everyone provided was outstanding from the porter to the Management -and always with a smile and eager to go the extra mile for you.
The rooms are elegant with top notch amenities -and the view of the mountains and of the city are magnificent.
The location is perfect for the old, young and in-between and for the traveler that likes to be pampered; within walking distance to many historical sites.
The High Tea event was very unique with an array of gourmet food and with fantastic ceremonial tea offeerings.
Dr. Mary Kramer, California, United States

  • Stayed: January 2014, travelled on business
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Review collected in partnership with this hotel
Thank Mary K
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 February 2014

Dear Mrs. Kramer,

Thank you very much for your nice review. We are glad that you enjoyed your stay at the Mount Nelson Hotel.
Thank you also for your personal note and picture. Let me know if can be of any help in the future.
Kind regards,

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Reviewed 5 February 2014

Treat yourself to High Tea at the Mount Nelson. It is a beautiful setting and the cakes and savory items are really special. Try one of the imported teas. The spa at the Mount Nelson is also of a very high standard and the setting is very tranquil. Just allow enough time, as you will not want to leave soon afterwards, and it is great to relax a bit longer.

  • Stayed: February 2014, travelled on business
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Thank Emarie B
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 10 February 2014

Happy to hear that you enjoyed both our spa and afternoon tea. Please note that if you have children, you can drop them off at our Kids' Club while you are enjoying your spa treatment.
Thank you for posting your review and we look forward to seeing again at the Mount Nelson hotel.
Kind regards,

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Reviewed 31 January 2014

Stayed here for 4 nights mid January. Expected 5 star facilities and service and were not disappointed. This truly is an amazing hotel with lovely gardens and pool area and beautifully furnished and maintained rooms. We could not single out any one person for praise as everyone there was so helpful and always smiling. We used the courtesy car for Table Mountain and The Waterfront and this was a bonus with the drivers, again, being so helpful. Breakfast was plentiful and varied and the croissants were my favourite. The only criticism would be that the already prepared food, e.g. scrambled eggs and bacon, were only just warm. Although this can often be a problem when large amounts of food are being kept warm over a low heat. However, if you were prepared to wait a couple of minutes, the chef would willingly make fresh omelettes, etc. If you really want to spoil yourself then there could not be a better choice and it really is a case of you get what you pay for! We will certainly stay there again on our next visit but for longer!

  • Stayed: January 2014, travelled as a couple
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Thank ColchesterJohn
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 February 2014

Thank you for posting this positive review. Our baker, Togare Nabharani, does bake delicious croissants. Will look into the issue regarding the pre-cooked food on the buffet.
Look forward to welcoming you back on your return visit to Cape Town.
Kind regards,

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Reviewed 27 January 2014

We stayed here for 3 nights and had an amazing time. We were upgraded to an Oasis Wing room, overlooking the pool. The staff were very helpful and always made you feel like you were coming back home and greeted you by name. Margaret in the dining room is a legend in herself! The hotel is well located for restaurants in Kloof Road and Long Street and all the museums by Company Gardens. Would return here like a shot.

  • Stayed: January 2014, travelled as a couple
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Thank silverwedding
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 31 January 2014

Thank you for your nice review. Please note that we will be offering the possibility of renting electric bicycles starting mid-February. This will be a fantastic way to discover Company Gardens and the surrounding area. Look forward to welcoming you back soon.
Best regards,

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Reviewed 19 January 2014 via mobile

A grand "old lady " where people return year on year to meet up with old friends in a warm friendly environment. The smiling staff greet one on arrival which is reminiscent of a bygone era.
The rooms and public areas are beautifully decorated and the pool areas and gardens are magnificent. Problems, and there are problems as the Nellie is over 100 years old, are dealt with quickly, efficiently and with a smile.
We're eagerly looking forward to our next visit
Bev Chertkow

Stayed: January 2014, travelled as a couple
Thank 911Bev
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 20 January 2014

Thank you for posting this nice review. Look forward to seeing you next year.
Kind regards,

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Reviewed 17 January 2014

After visiting Cape Town for many years my husband and I decided to mark our wedding anniversary with a stay at the Mount Nelson. As it is an Orient Express hotel our expectations were high, but I can honestly say they were more than exceeded on every level.
From our limousine pick up at the airport through to the speedy check in, our arrival was seamless. We were delighted with our beautiful room that had the elegance and sophistication that is synonymous with the Mount Nelson. From the quirky lift to the wide sun filled hallways, everything about the hotel oozes old world charm, and we felt we have been whisked back in time to a more glamorous era.
The hotels central location means you are only a short drive from many of Cape Town’s attractions, and the complimentary taxi service provided makes a trip out tempting, but often we found it impossible to drag ourselves away from the delights of the hotel! We did of course try out some of Cape Towns many acclaimed restaurants, but none compared to the fine dining experience that can be enjoyed at the Planet Restaurant, enhanced in no small part by Restaurant Manager Emmanuel, who along with sommelier Pearl and the rest of the team make every meal feel like a special occasion.
We started our evenings in the Planet Bar, generally taking a table on the veranda. This has to be the best place in Cape Town to enjoy a cocktail. If you get bored with people watching, you can soak up the delights of the garden. Where else in such a busy city, could you enjoy the buzz of a sophisticated bar whilst watching local birdlife strut across the lawns? The bar staff are wonderful and strive to make everybody feel welcome, but the advantage of being a guest in the hotel is that they recognise you immediately. On one particularly busy evening, I was resigning myself to the fact that there were no tables available outside when Clinton appeared with one balanced on his head and created a space for us in seconds!
I’ve never much cared for buffet breakfasts, but this one changed my mind. There was a vast array of the most tempting breakfast items you could ever think of (and more besides!) We particularly loved the fresh berries, but have to admit we didn’t stop there!
The pool at the Mount Nelson is full sized and has the advantage of being heated, so we enjoyed swimming, in between sunning ourselves and being pampered by the pool staff!
Every aspect of our stay was wonderful, and all of the staff friendly and efficient, from the maid who serviced our room, to the knowledgeable drivers, the courteous reception staff who always remembered our names, and of course the amazing bar staff and waitrons.
The hotel is beautiful, but what made our stay exceptional, and what will keep us returning year after year, are the staff who are the heart and soul of this great establishment.
Don’t even think about staying in this hotel, just book it. You won’t regret it.

  • Stayed: December 2013, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank ceilidhsmum
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 20 January 2014

Thank you for posting this nice review and complimenting our staff....no doubt, they are the heart and soul of the Mount Nelson.
Hope to see you again on your next visit to Cape Town.
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
#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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