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“A very good Hotel with many very positive features but a few issues too.”

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Belmond Mount Nelson Hotel
Ranked #10 of 109 Hotels in Cape Town Central
Certificate of Excellence
London
Level 4 Contributor
28 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
“A very good Hotel with many very positive features but a few issues too.”
Reviewed 11 February 2014

We stayed at ‘The Nellie’ as she is affectionately known as, from 19th January to 26th January 2014. This was our first visit and we were curious as to how this most prestigious hotel would live up to its reputation. Overall it is fair to say we were not disappointed but that is not to say there are some aspects that we felt could do with improvement. More of that later; the positives were:
• Check in was very professional and we were upgraded from a deluxe double to a Superior Suite. Our room was spacious and very well appointed.
• The quality of housekeeping was excellent and our room was kept spotless with timely make up in the morning and turn down at night. The housekeeping staff were always very pleasant and accommodating.
• We used Room Service several times. It was very efficient and professional and the room service waiters were excellent.
• The gardens are beautiful and well kept.
• The hotel has good facilities with two decent sized pools. One is reserved for adults only and we much preferred as more private and the water was more pleasant.
• The staff on the gates were always very friendly and pleasant – this may not seem much but is actually important because this is the first impression anyone will get of the hotel.
• The tennis professional, Barkie Mckrea, I found to be a very astute coach. I am an experienced player but always looking for improvement and I found Barkie had some very good insights in to how to make one or two adjustments. He is an asset to the Hotel and I was surprised that more is not made of the tennis facilities on the web site. It does not even mention there are two tennis courts.
• The concierge was excellent; very professional and helpful at all times.
• There is an excellent complimentary shuttle service to the centre of Cape Town which would otherwise be a taxi ride away.
• Parking and Valet Parking is completely free. Many top class city hotels in Europe will charge for this.

On the negative side we found:
• Food quality in the Conservatory area for dinner was somewhat erratic. We did bring this to the attention of management at the time and to be fair we were not charged for one meal where we were particularly dissatisfied. There did appear to be issues in this area while we were there (other guests had also been complaining) and the management did appear to take our concerns seriously. After this experience we did not eat dinner in the hotel again. Maybe we should have given them another chance but there is an excellent choice of restaurants in Cape Town many of which are much more reasonable so this was not a great hardship.
• Service at Breakfast was patchy. Some mornings it was excellent and we were greeted and seated as soon as we arrived; other mornings when it was particularly busy the staff seemed to be struggling to cope. It looked to us as if they were understaffed to cope with peak demands. Also if you want to eat breakfast outside on the terrace, my advice would be to get there early!
• We struggled to understand the system for allocating sun beds. In all other top class hotels we have stayed at it has been ‘first come, first served’ with no nonsense about placing towels etc. However at this hotel there appears to be a clique of regular guests who have sun beds reserved for them by the pool attendants but frequently leave them unattended for most of the day or sometimes reserve more than one each so they can move in and out of the shade. We found this mildly irritating although to be fair it was never a great problem for us because the hotel was not full.
• While we were there the Oasis pool was too hot and not pleasant to swim in.
We enjoyed our stay at The Mount Nelson; the plusses considerably outweighed the minuses and we would not advise people to stay away on the basis of our experiences where maybe they were just having a bad week in one or two areas. On the other hand an honest review cannot just gloss over these aspects.
Overall however it would be churlish not to give this a top rating and the negatives would not stop us from coming back.

  • Stayed January 2014, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank Robin G
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 review, 12 February 2014
Thank you for sharing your comments on Tripadvisor. I will not go over the positive comments except for your point about our tennis coach, Barkie McKrea. It is true that having two tennis courts is quite unique in Cape Town and none of our competitors have this luxury. These courts are lit and therefore on hot summer days one can play in the evening when it is cooler. Barkie is quite a character and he has been doing a fabulous job in the past few years. You are probably right, we do not highlight the fact that we have tennis courts enough.
Regarding your negative points - you are right mentioning that we have had some services issues in our lounge for dinner. I discussed this a couple weeks ago with our food and beverage manager and we have added a few staff in the evening on certain days and have modified our scheduling to become more efficient.
Regarding breakfast service being "patchy", I think that this may have been due to having a rather large group at the hotel on a few days during your stay and we most likely did not manage or staff as well as we should have.
Finally, concerning our lounge chairs by the pools - The Mount Nelson Hotel has +/- 250 lounge chairs for a possible 400 guests at the hotel. We do have a number of regular, or as we prefer to call them "loyal'' guests. Many of them have been coming for over 20 years and they return each year for couple of weeks and some for the entire summer and spend three months with us. These guests do have dedicated lounge chairs reserved for them. This is something that also happens on a number of hotel beaches in the French Riviera or in Biarritz. In any case, it is our role at the hotel to treat all our guests equally and it is our goal to convert as many new guests to future loyal guests.
Thank you for your visit and we hope to have the pleasure of seeing you again on a future trip to Cape Town.
Best regards,
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Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Level 4 Contributor
28 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed 11 February 2014

Another Orient-Express hotel - old world elegance and grace at it's very best. A surprise upgrade to a magnificent suite was a great way to arrive in Cape Town indeed. The hotel is well located just out of the CBD and close to Table Mountain cable car and the great restaurants and beaches of the Camps Bay Area. The staff were very attentive and the service through out our 3 day stay was first class. I would recommend this hotel to anyone considering a visit to Cape Town in the future.

  • Stayed January 2014, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Nick M
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 review, 12 February 2014
Thank you for visiting the Mount Nelson and for recommending our property. This is very much appreciated. Thank you for your support and we hope to see you again on a future visit to Cape Town.
Kind regards,
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Copenhagen, Denmark
Level 3 Contributor
16 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed 10 February 2014

We loved the hotel, very friendly staff, wonderful gardens (we could even play footplay with our youngest som on the lawn), great pool area, although the service in the pool area was very slow. We had breakfast at the hotel every morning, it was brilliant. Nice local area, away from the waterfront, which is a plus in this city. If you can afford it - stay here!

Room Tip: Main building definetely has the most charm. We had connecting rooms facing the "back" of...
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  • Stayed December 2013, travelled with family
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Thank Per2100
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 review, 12 February 2014
Many thanks for posting your nice comments on Tripadvisor. Glad to hear that you enjoyed your stay at the hotel. You stayed at the hotel in December during our Festive Season when rates are higher than the rest of the year. Would love to see you again at another time when rates are perhaps more affordable. Thanks for visiting.
Kind regards,
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london
Level 3 Contributor
17 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 9 February 2014

This hotel should be number 1 on trip advisor! Our first stay at the hotel and it won't be the last. It has to be one of the best hotels that we have stayed in. The grounds and gardens are amazing and beautiful to relax by the pool. The hotel is old world charm and luxurious. The staff are so friendly and make you feel at home and can't do enough for you to make you enjoy your stay. . We know why people go back year after year to experience this and we are already planning on going back each year for some winter sun. We had a late flight on our last day and the staff let us stay in our room until 8pm so we could really relax and make the most of the last day. We also ate at the Planet restaurant in the hotel and we loved the quality of the food and the wine!

Just wonderful and we came away from our holiday with amazing memories and experiences - thanks to the Mount Nelson for making it so wonderful

  • Stayed February 2014, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank custard405
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 review, 11 February 2014
Thank you for visiting the Mount Nelson Hotel and for taking the time to post your review. Very happy to hear that you enjoyed your stay and look forward to seeing you again in the Mother City. Thank you for choosing the Mount Nelson as your home in Cape Town.
Kind regards,
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Cape Town
1 review
Reviewed 9 February 2014

A fantastic hotel in a great location with superb rooms, grounds, food, all backed up by an outstanding team who always exceed your expectation. Having stayed a other Orient hotels which were great for us the mount Nelson is the standout. A great hotel, great team with loyal staff who put you first.

  • Stayed February 2014, travelled as a couple
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Review collected in partnership with this hotel

Helpful?
Thank Kevin J
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 review, 10 February 2014
Thank you for your continuous support for the Mount Nelson Hotel. You enjoy our loyal staff and we love seeing our loyal guests return. Looking forward to seeing you on your next visit.
Kind regards,
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bigfork, Montana
1 review
Reviewed 7 February 2014

The Mount Nelson is now one of our very favorite hotels. Liz at the concierge desk arranged two day outings with Darrol Lee who is without doubt the most interesting guide as well as a lovely person. Liz also came to our rescue with some last minute necessities for my daughter who was entering a volunteer program. The food was fabulous from the breakfast buffet to dinner in both restaurants and tea of course. The grounds were beautiful with everything blooming. Our spa treatments were great. The larger pool was a perfect temperature. The staff was welcoming and accommodating contributing to the relaxed atmosphere. Our balcony was delightful. It is truly a beautiful hotel. Our only regret is that it is so very far from home we cannot visit regularly.

Room Tip: We had a junior suite with a balcony overlooking an open courtyard with flowers and a fountain. Onl...
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  • Stayed January 2014, travelled with family
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Helpful?
Thank SWP2014
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 review, 10 February 2014
Thank you for posting your review and happy to hear that you enjoyed your visit to Cape Town and particularly your stay at the Mount Nelson Hotel. Please do not hesitate to contact us if your daughter needs help during her stay in South Africa.
Kind regards,
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Harrogate
Level 2 Contributor
9 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
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
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
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 review, 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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Additional Information about Belmond Mount Nelson Hotel

Property: 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
#10 Luxury Hotel in Cape Town Central
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££££
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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