What can I say, but we made a mistake and will never do it again. The end of our 10 person group excursion to South Africa ended in May 2013 with 6 nights at the Peninsula. The group was 8 adults and 2 children so we booked a 2 beroom and a 3 bedroom suite to accomodate the 10 of us.
Positives - The view. Located right on the waterfront, our view was simply spectacular and I have attached photo's to show the same.
- The bar staff. Can't remember both of their names, but they were trully brilliant.
Before I start on the negatives, we travelled from Australia so our exchange rate was 1 AUD to 10 Rand (10.13 to be precise on arrival). The 3 bedroom suite cost us 1800 AUD for 6 nights, or a whopping 18,000 Rand for 6 nights, or in simpler terms, about 300 AUD or 3000 Rand per night.
Negatives - I will start in order of check in.
- The entrance gate wasn't working properly on check in and the single desk operator had to juggle a faulty electronic key and the phones to let us in. After waiting at the front gate for 3 minutes, we finally made it to the entrance inside.
- The parking at the Peninsula is at a premium (which you pay for I might add even as a guest who parks your own car at 45 Rand per night). We stopped at the entrance inside the gates to check in. I left my wife and kids in the car (thinking this process would only take a few minutes) how wrong was I. The parking area at the Peninsula when you check in allows one car to park at reception. No other traffic can pass whilst the car is at reception, so the 15 minutes it took for me to check in resulted in a steadly line of (somewhat irate) guests being backed up behind us. Apologies were made and we had the ported take our bags to our room.
- The porter (nice chap), then proceeded to spend 10 minuites opening every door, drawer, turning on every light, turning on the television (at an unbearable volume), turning on all airconditining systems and steop by step explaining how everything worked. As an educated man in my mid 40's, I kind of know how to turn on a light switch and honestly don't need to be shown how to turn on all 17 light switches in the room. Anyway, I tipped him and off he went.
- The hotel in general. We were advised that this place was built 25 to 30 years ago. They must have decorated it back then in a very art deco fashion and nothing has changed since. I beleive reception was renovated recently, but it reminded us very much of faulty towers.
- 3 bedroom suite. Master with double bed, ensuite and the usual. In Australia, this room alone would just scrape in at 3 stars. I have travelled a lot, and this is honestly the highest rating the mater bedroom would achieve. Then we moved onto the other 2 rooms (to sleep 2 adults and 2 children).
- Second and 3rd bedrooms were of an equal size. Both supported 2 single beds (at 5 foot 10, my feet fell off the end). There was a small nightstand and cupboard, but not a lot else. There was a further powder room which had a WC and basin and then another bathroom. This is where things became very interesting.
- The second bathroom had a basin, WC and bath come shower with a plastic shower screen. I mentioned I am 5 foot ten, well I am certainly not overweight to the obese standard and there was no conceivable way I could shower without standing sideways. The bath spout extended into the bath tub to such an extent, you bashed your leg everytime you showered and the cold curtain rubbed and stuck to your body everytime you moved.
- The room looked as though it had not been painted since it was built and when we tried to sit at the dining room table, the chairs wobbled to such an extent that we decided to eat on the sofa instead for fear of breaking something. As we had only been in the room for a couple of hours, we thought we would sample the bar and facilities. At this stage, the room and hotel was not much higher than 2+ stars on an international scale.
- The Bar. Picture a glass room that at capacity could fit 20 people. Picture this space filled with furniture. Picture low lighting and the stale smell of cigarette smoke (if you need more of a picture, drop me a line). The waiter / bar tenders as mentioned were actually very good, polite and had that special knack of remembering ten peoples different orders without writing anything down and getting them all spot on (thanks alot guys).
- Dinner. We only ate dinner twice at this place even though there was nothing much in close proximity. The first night we were there the food was actually palatable. Nothing special but after a long dayb travelling and a few Black Labels under our belts, we were satisfied and went to the room to sleep.
- Ambience. The crashing of waves on the rocks is enough to send anyone off to sleep. Then, the screeching of car tyres, revving of engines and general road noise shattered the crashing of waves on the beach. We were on the sixth floor and it was cold so all windows were closed. This only lasted until about 11pm each night we were there.
- Breakfast. Our room included 2 free breakfasts for the room each day. Not sure how that works when you have 6 people in the room, but alas, that was the deal. The standard fair for breakfast (all you can eat and coffee) that we experienced in our trip from Pretoria to Cape Town and most places in between was about 7-8 Rand per person. Our family of 4 never spent more than 30 Rand and we even managed to walk away at Jeffrey's Bay on extremely full bellies for the grand total of 22 Rand. The Peninsula had 2 breakfast options, each one 8 Rand per person. If you want cold food, that's 8 Rand. If you want hot food, that's 8 Rand per person. If you want one cold selection and then hot for the rest or visa versa, fork out 16 Rand please and don't bother asking if you can just have bread and bacon (that's 2 selections or 16 Rand.
We opted for the hot breakfast and we only did it once. The food was almost inedible. I love my bacon, eggs and hash browns. I didn't even pick up the hash browns as they were soggy and looked like they had been neglected by every guest in the past year. My wife had poached eggs that had so much ninegar in them, she was almost sick.
Dinner- The last point on food was the service. The Peninsula has numerous menu options. Being the classy place that it is, the waitress approached us on the 2nd and last night we decided to eat here and explained each menu. Sfter explaining the menu, she (one at a time) placed the menu in a pile in front of my wife. At the end of this, my wife sifted through the menues like a pack of cards to see what she could order. Would it surprise you if I said the 2 items she wanted from the 4 menues were not available. Needless to say, dinner was had elsewhere from this night on.
- Smell. I have unfortunately left the worst for last. We awoke during the second or 3rd night to a smell of dirty ashtrays and vomit wafting through the room. As none of us are smokers and certainly none of us were sick, we scoured the room to see where the smell was coming from. Alas, all searching failed to locate anything and we surmised tgat another guest must have been ill in the foyer during the night.
On returning the next evening, the smell in the hallway was still there. We advised reception in person of the odour and ststaed it appeared to be coming from a cleaning closet located right next to our room. We were assured that this would be attended to. That night, the smell continued to waft into our room and we were forced to puit a bath towel rolled up at the bottom of the door to stop the smell from coming in.
Needless to say, several conversations with reception and several nights later, the smell was still there. It actually became a joke amongst us all and the kids were putting jumpers over their heads just to get into and out of the room. We played a game whereby whoever lost had to take the room key and run to the door on our return to have it open for us all to run into (I am not joking).
Summary. This hotel appears to be primarily time-share. Alomst all of the guests look as though they bought time share 30 years ago and management has not been willing to spend a singkle cent on refurbishment or maintenance. I have reviewed a lot of hotels and have been to manby more without review and I can honestly say, this is the worst hotel I have ever stayed in. They proudly promote a 2012 trip advisor certificate at 4 star near the lift. I have no idea how they achieved this, but the niko pen on the last 3 cirles did look a little fresh.
Please drop me a line if you want more information on this place. If you are traveling from abroad, please consider other options.
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- Also Known As:
- The Peninsula All Hotel Cape Town Central
- Peninsula Cape Town
- Peninsula All Suite Hotel
- Cape Town Peninsula
- Peninsula Hotel Cape Town
- The Peninsula All-Suite Hotel Cape Town, South Africa