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.
- 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