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“Decent stay with a significant hiccups”

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The Westin Cape Town
Ranked #24 of 106 Hotels in Cape Town Central
Certificate of Excellence
Level Contributor
18 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
“Decent stay with a significant hiccups”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 20 December 2010

Stayed here on a business trip on the Starwood Preferred Guest floor in Executive Club room for almost a week. The location made it easy to cross the walkway to the convention center and also take the complimentary shuttle to the nearby Waterfront. It's also near one of the stops for the city tour bus (hop on and off at your leisure). Even walked to a nearby market during the day.
The rooms here are nice and the breakfast buffet was quite lovely and extensive. The restaurant "37" wasn't as memorable - both my companion and myself decided to dine on the Waterfront rather than return.

Unfortunately what could have very easily been a perfect stay was marred by more than a few negative impressions. While I could forgive these individually - having them occur all during one stay was a bit trying.
* While in meeting ballrooms, multiple colleagues stupidly left phones on the table to take a coffee break only to return and discover them gone (and only hotel staff present).
* During turn down service, our housekeeper tried to "help" by removing items from the room that were NOT in or near a trash can. This has never happened to me - most staff are trained to err on the side of caution to avoid misunderstandings. I brought items in plain boxes/bags for easy of packing and organization but came back to a room with the boxes all gone (ie. velvet jewelry box for cuff links, plain box for cumber-bun storage, etc).
* The alarm clock provided in the room did not even keep correct time by the end of the day it was hours ahead. And then to top it off, the requested wake up call was not provided.
* Hotel gym/spa is nice but the gym is VERY small considering the amount of rooms in the hotel. While I appreciate the beautiful view of the harbor, I'd rather be in a basement if that meant more machines to avoid always having to wait (even during "non-peak" times) and not having to hunt down a staff member to restock the towels.

I realize most guests won't encounter many of these same problems - but as a business hotel these sorts of things shouldn't be a concern.

  • Stayed October 2010, travelled on business
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Muckity_Muck
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
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London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
35 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 13 December 2010

In Summary, The Westin Grand is a great place to stay. It's located perfectly on the border of the V&A waterfront and the city centre, with good access to both.

On arrival, the staff were not overly friendly but were pleasant enough. I wasn't expecting a grand welcome from a country where apartheid ended only 20 years ago. Most people say Cape Town is beautiful but never say the people are friendly. I was only visiting South Africa because I was attenting a wedding. However, the staff at the Arabella spa at the hotel were especially helpful and friendly.

The room we stayed in was very comfortable. It was a nice size and the bathroom was very nice.

The best thing about the hotel was the location and the food. From the ploughmans lunch with springbok I had on my first day to the linguini bolognese I had for dinner and the excellent breakfast, I found no fault with the food. Their wide selection of juices at breakfast are also to die for.

The Westin Grand is a good place to stay.

  • Stayed December 2010, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank Alazne30
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
The_Westin_Grand, General Manager at The Westin Cape Town, responded to this review, 11 January 2011
Dear Alazne

Thank you for your positive review of the Westin Cape Town.

We are pleased to hear that you had a good stay.

Your comments with regards to our check in agents have been passed on to the Department Head for action.

For reference the Westin Cape Town offers a free shuttle service to the V&A Waterfront which leaves every 15 minutes from the Hotel, should you wish to explore the city.

We hope to welcome you back when next your travels take you to Cape Town.

With best regards
Friedrich Schaefer
COO / General Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
114 reviews
54 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 146 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 6 December 2010

Immediately after being taken to the hotel, the bellman enthusiastically and attentively welcomed me and whisked my luggage into the hotel. Reception was warm and informed me of the many activities available to me at the hotel along with the complimentary shuttle to/from the V&A Waterfront. My room far exceeded my expectations for the rate I had paid. It was a generously-sized corner room, which overlooked the V&A Waterfront, mountain (just awesome views and scenery, save the loading port & cruise ship area).

Pros: hotel security is great -- you need to swipe your key after exiting the elevator just to enter your floor's hallway; the hotel added personal touches, which made it seem less corporate/sterile (i.e. a note on my room's desk welcoming me & including specifics to my stay); room service is quick (guarantees delivery under 30 minutes or your meal is free); staff are extremely attentive to requests; complimentary shuttle service to the Waterfront; if in town and attending a meeting at the convention center, it adjoins the hotel; great facilities/amenities both in-room and at the business center for business travelers; spacious, VERY comfy rooms and tastefully decorated -- the choice of blackout or minimized light shades, along with lighting features and convenience to them was well-thought out...in general, the rooms are chic, but do not sacrifice comfort; housekeeping is extremely quiet and non-intrusive; great views from the lounge & restaurant on the 19th floor and, if allowed access for drinks, etc. from 5-7, it is a nice way to settle into the evening; convenient hair salon on premises (also 19th floor); spa offers a great range of treatments. Cons: Check-in often seemed understaffed with a long queue forming; part of the view of the waterfront -- the cargo area -- is unsightly, but made-up with views of the mountain, lively V&A Waterfront area with lighted ferris wheel; 1 concierge was a bit dismissive; while it is great that the hotel advertises its own dedicated tour and travel desk, the two people with whom I dealt acted somewhat sophomoric, unaccommodating toward what I had thought would be a full range of tour AND travel services, and heavily promoted 1 tour company (Jarat) that was significantly higher in price than competitors (I recommend the Red & Blue tour buses); and I found the ground floor plan to have been poorly planned -- the bellman's entrance and guests' entrance needs to be better marked...the tour and travel desk, along with SA wine shop (which is a nice touch, given the country's robust variety of wines) is practically hidden behind the elevator area, and the business center should be a bit more private from the open floor plan around reception. The location of the hotel is on the periphery to where a lot of the action is, BUT the hotel works hard to overcome that and accommodate its guests' needs.

To reiterate, the majority of staff were enthusiastic to make my stay enjoyable, and it felt genuine and homey rather than merely staying in a chain hotel -- even a higher-end hotel -- and being fed rehearsed corporate-engineered PR lines verbatim. The bed truly is heavenly and the room is quite comfortable. All the facilities the property had to offer were exceptional and only added to my wonderful first stay in Cape Town -- and Africa. Thank you.

  • Stayed December 2010, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
3 Thank Trekkingtheglobe_10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
The_Westin_Grand, General Manager at The Westin Cape Town, responded to this review, 13 December 2010
Dear Trekkingtheglobe_10

Thank you for the positive review of our hotel. We are very happy to know you enjoyed your time at the Westin Cape Town and we hope to welcome you again for your next stay in Cape Town.

Sincerely,

Friedrich Schaefer
General Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Brussels, Belgium
Level Contributor
47 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 December 2010

I stayed at the hotel last week for my second time. After looking at some of the other top hotels in Cape Town, there is no reason to stay anywhere else.

The location is perfect, close to downtown, and a few minutes from the Waterfront. The hotel shuttle is a perfect and convenient way of getting around, although, you can walk everywhere.

The staff reminded me of being in Asia. They were just that good.

The rooms are fantastic. Stunning views, and uber comfortable beds.

The breakfast was incredible.

The pool/spa was amazing. A great way to relax after a long day of exploring this amazing city.

Overall, it's one of the best hotels I've ever stayed in, and certainly the best hotel in Cape Town.

  • Stayed November 2010, travelled with family
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank DKNY74
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
The_Westin_Grand, General Manager at The Westin Cape Town, responded to this review, 7 December 2010
Dear DKNY74

We were delighted to hear that you had a wonderful stay with us at the Westin Cape Town.

Thank you for taking the time to post your positive review on this website and we sure hope to welcome you back to our property when next your travels bring you to Cape Town.

Wishing you and your family a peaceful festive season and happy holidays.

With warm regards
Friedrich Schaefer
General Manager
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aber
2 reviews
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 December 2010

We stayed at the Westin for 4 nights in November and it was really good. The food and service were excellent. The room was great and looked out towards the Waterfront. We took full advantage of the bus service from the hotel to the Waterfront, it was very useful. All the staff couldn't do enough for us, it was an excellent stay.

  • Stayed November 2010, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank AberTraveller21
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
The_Westin_Grand, General Manager at The Westin Cape Town, responded to this review, 7 December 2010
Dear AberTraveller21

Thank you for your positive review of our Hotel.

We are happy to know that you enjoyed your stay with us a the Westin Cape Town and we hope to see you again very soon for your next stay in Cape Town.

Wishing you and your loved ones a peaceful festive season.

With best regards
Friedrich Schaefer
General Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
San Francisco, CA
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 30 November 2010

My husband and I began our honeymoon to South Africa and Seychelles at the Westin Cape Town. We had a number of hotels to choose from in Cape Town but chose the Westin because we've been staying at Starwood properties for a while (for leisure and business) so we thought it would be reliable and consistent and because we got a great deal with our starwood points (as an ex-consultant, i had quite a few!) and plus who could refuse a heavenly bed!!! We were so confident with the "Westin" brand that we also chose the hotel to end our 2 week vacation.

Both my husband and I had emailed the hotel to tell them that we were going to be at the hotel and asked them if there were any special thing they could help us plan for our honeymoon. Neither of us got a response yet (we stayed at the hotel about a week ago).

Then came our experience. We arrived at the hotel in the morning. Nobody there to help us with our luggage or point us to reception. After pulling all our bags into the hotel we found the line to check-in. Still nobody to help us with our luggage. Then we realized a man and then a woman cut in front of us in the line! One person at reception saw and asked the man to wait in line. He looked around pretended to wait in line and then proceeded to cut in front of us again. Both the woman and the man got served by the receptionists before we did even though it was blatent that the two had cut. Now I don't expect Westin to be able to control people who cut in line, but the receptionists had seen this and didn't say anything about it. Then we checked in and we were there early so asked if we could check in a little earlier since we had just gotten off a 36 hour + trip. The lady rudely told us that there was no room available till 3pm, the normal check in time (we ended up getting our room at 1pm though). That was fine so we asked to freshen up in the spa. There were very polite and friendly there, though they didn't give us a locker key until we had to go out and ask again and I must say for a 5 star spa, it was pretty bad. the lockers kind of smellers (and the steam room, sauna and hot tub were a bit gross). There were also No amernities in the locker room. I think there was soap and shampoo and that was it. Not what i was used to for Westins.

Anyway, we had a few other small little things happen that weren't so great in between, but at about 9:30pm at night, my husband and I were about to sleep and the housekeeper decided to provide us with turndown service! Who does turndown at 9:30pm? We tell her we're already about to sleep so she just hands us 2 bottles of water rudely. I saw a little thing of chocolate on her cart. So about 30 seconds after, I opened the door again and asked her if I could get a piece of chocolate and she looked back and said "None for you, you didn't want turndown!" I was a bit shocked. Oh well, no chocolate for me!

Overall, I would say that the hotel is very new, well built and comfortable. There were some great staff there, including the person at the spa, the executive club restaurant and some of the other hotel staff. It was great value and a pretty good location (shuttles to V&A waterfront). Free internet access. Great beds. The only thing I wish they could improve on was the level of service. We really had hoped to start out our honeymoon on the right foot, but were disappointed. But the rest of our trip has been great so far. Not sure if we want to end our honeymoon at this hotel (in a few days) anymore, but I guess at this point, we don't have much choice.

  • Stayed November 2010, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank echeerios
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
The_Westin_Grand, General Manager at The Westin Cape Town, responded to this review, 11 January 2011
Dear Echeerios

it is with great dissapointment to have received such feedback with regards to your recent stay at the Westin Cape Town.

I regret that you were subjected to personal service delivery that falls short of our high expectations and those dictated by our parent company Starwood.

Your comments with regards to the poor service delivery from our check in agents have been noted and passed on to the relevant Department Head for action and I am truly sorry that you were not able to experience the usually high standards we set ourselves.

The Arabella Spa lockers provide basic ammenities, however any special requests can be made at the Spa reception.

I thank you for bringing these inconsistencies to our attention and hope to be able to welcome you and your husband back to the Westin when next you visit Cape Town.

With best regards
Friedrich Schaefer
COO / General Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Central
Level Contributor
45 reviews
33 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 28 November 2010

Stayed in Executive room. Great choice for a stay in CapeTown at a higher end price level. Large, modern room and bathroom. Room well set up for working - large desk with great views of the city if you are on the higher floors. Secure access to floor as you have to swipe your room card on your floor opening sliding door. Hotel next to Convention center and close to all town sites. Service always with a smile but can be a bit spotty. At breakfast, we made specific orders and no one would come back. We would have to ask a couple of times. Also heard this from other colleagues. A very minor issue however. I would definitely go to this hotel again.

  • Stayed November 2010, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank BenPrairies
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
The_Westin_Grand, General Manager at The Westin Cape Town, responded to this review, 29 November 2010
Dear BenPrairies

Thank you for your positive review of the Westin Cape Town.

We are happy to know that you had a wonderful stay with us. However I did make a special note of your comments with regards to the service levels and have passed these on to the relevant Department Heads for action.

We are looking forward to welcoming you again in Cape Town.

Wishing you a wonderful festive season.

With best regards
Friedrich Schaefer
General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about The Westin Cape Town

Property: The Westin Cape Town
Address: Lower Long Street | Convention Square, Cape Town Central 8000, South Africa (Formerly Arabella Sheraton Grand Hotel)
Region: South Africa > Western Cape > Cape Town > Cape Town Central
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#10 Spa Hotel in Cape Town Central
#16 Business Hotel in Cape Town Central
#17 Family Hotel in Cape Town Central
#24 Luxury Hotel in Cape Town Central
#25 Romantic Hotel in Cape Town Central
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £££
Hotel Class:5 star — The Westin Cape Town 5*
Number of rooms: 483
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Set in one of the most popular destinations in the world, at the gateway to the historic V&A Waterfront, The Westin Grand Cape Town Arabella Quays is only minutes away from excellent shopping, vibrant city night life, historical monuments and museums, iconic Table Mountain, and the pristine beaches of Clifton and Camps Bay. The hotel offers unlimited complimentary shuttle transfers to the V&A Waterfront. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
The Westin Cape Town Hotel Cape Town Central
Westin Cape Town
Cape Town Westin
The Westin Cape Town South Africa

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