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“Give me Dr Jazz (brunch)”

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Winchester Mansions
Ranked #30 of 109 Hotels in Cape Town Central
Certificate of Excellence
EAST SUSSEX, UK
Level Contributor
86 reviews
46 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 40 helpful votes
“Give me Dr Jazz (brunch)”
Reviewed 5 November 2013

What a pleasant way to spend a Sunday morning/lunchtime. Excellent and plentiful buffet/brunch with more than most could manage. Great music and totally relaxed atmosphere. Bookings essential. Would definitely recommend.

  • Stayed October 2013, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank PIGASIMU
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Cape Town, South Africa
Level Contributor
126 reviews
28 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 71 helpful votes
Reviewed 4 November 2013

Firstly, let me start by saying that I love the Winchester Mansions for its location, grandeur and electric atmosphere on week-ends, however that is where it ends for me. I am a Capetonian and pop in here often for a coffee/light lunch and have never had good service. I've often had to go inside in order to find a waiter to take a coffee order.... Then i might wait for over 15 minutes for that order, then a further 15 minutes for my bill and so it goes... I find it appalling that The Winchester allows smoking inside the bar!! Their is no clear division between smokers/non smokers and when I asked management why the smokers were not completely separated from the non-smokers he pointed to a decorative screen (with holes in) as the divider! Really! I was trying to enjoy lunch with friends and had to endure smoke wafting through the screen! This is firstly illegal and secondly, disgusting for non-smoking patrons! Bottom line, the service is shocking most of the time and as I've tried to address this issue with the hotel and never got a response, I turned to Trip Advisor. Such a pity as it is such a lovely hotel and has so much to offer!

  • Stayed October 2013, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank SammyKim
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bianca K, Marketing & Events at Winchester Mansions, responded to this review, 5 November 2013
Good Afternoon

Please see below response from our Food & Beverage Manager Niall Bruyns:

Firstly let me apologise for the service you have received. We are going through a large recruitment and training drive at the moment, to turn-over some old habits and bring in some fresh new faces. This process may well be overdue, but we are committed to bringing our service level up to the point we strive to maintain. I would like to address your comments further with my management staff and get some further detail from you, I would greatly appreciate it if you would either contact me on nbruyns@winchester.co.za or post your contact details online that we may discuss further.

On a separate note, I apologise for the misunderstanding regarding our smoking area. Yes, the Entire Bar area is our designated smoking area. This leaves our Sea-facing restaurant and the Courtyard, which are both entirely non-smoking (as is the rest of the hotel). As this area forms less than 25 % of our service area, it is within our legal limits. Even so, in an attempt to offer those guests who are non-smoking and would still like to sit in the bar, an alternative, we do keep the smokers to one side of the bar. When seated in the first area, or close to the bar itself, you are still in the smoking area, but there will not be anyone smoking at your table. Please feel free to join us on the Sea-facing terrace, inside Harvey’s Restaurant, or in our sunny Courtyard should you wish to be in a non-smoking environment. I am also more than willing to offer the bar menu in these areas during lunch should this be what you are looking for.

We hope to see you again, when you do join us, please feel free to ask for me at reception, I would appreciate another chance to discuss your sub-optimal experiences face to face.

Niall Bruyns
Food and Beverage Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Tewkesbury, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
309 reviews
93 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 158 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 November 2013

OK do not book if you think it is near the V&A waterfront as its quite a distance and you cannot walk (well you can in the day!) The hotel is well presented and the rooms are nice and large. Staff are friendly and helpful. The breakfast was adequate, but we did have one day when there was a long queue - We were told most people arrive late on the weekends - to be fair though it was only 9am.... not too much of a lay-in!
Do not venture out at night unless it is via taxi.

  • Stayed January 2013, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Thomo61
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Cape Town
Level Contributor
39 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
Reviewed 29 October 2013 via mobile

I have been to this hotel twice in 6 months, both times for business purposes. The hotel is lovely, refurbished but still retaining its classic charm. Service was better the first time round, but I would have no hesitation recommending this hotel to visitors, be it for business or pleasure. The food is excellent, (small) conference facilities very good, and the location is very convenient, as is the free shuttle service to the waterfront.

  • Stayed September 2013
    • Value
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    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank CathAndrew
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Esperance, Australia
Level Contributor
6 reviews
Reviewed 27 October 2013

My brother and I stayed for two nights in separate rooms in July 2013. I would have been happy to stay longer.

The rooms were wonderfully spacious, clean and equipped with all the usual hotel parphernalia. The bed was comfortable and the sheets a joy to fall into at the end of the day. The breakfast buffet was perfectly acceptable, with a good variety of foods and an egg station where the chef cooked eggs or omelettes to order. Breakfast overlooking the ocean was a great way to start the day.

The bar downstairs was a lovely spot to watch the sun set over the ocean. The range of drinks and prices (from an Australian perspective) was very good. We were even serenaded by a rather talented busker who sang 'Nessun Dorma'. Get there early if you want a seat, however - it filled up at least an hour before the sun set.

The hotel was slightly unorganised a couple of times - my brother received a phone call to say his tour guide had arrived. We thought it may have been our uncle so went downstairs to greet him. It turned out to be a genuine tour guide who was looking for another Wilson. The next morning I was woken by a staff member wanting to collect my bags for checkout. Wrong Wilson again.

Despite these issues, the staff were unfailingly courteous and friendly. The hotel was beautiful with views towards Table Mountain and the ocean. I deeply regret not taking my bathers for a swim in the heated, outdoor pool. Next time. . .

  • Stayed July 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank eadlin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Forsinard
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 25 October 2013

I will have to admit to being pretty fussy and overly critical when it comes to hotels , something about parting with hard earned cash. (OK I have no life!). I have actually stayed in hotels considered “icons” some costing thousands a night including for the 7 star in Dubai the Dorchester in London The Hotel Bel Air in Los Angeles, so I have an idea what a good hotel has to offer. Obviously in some respects the Winchester may not compare to some of these BUT in many important respects it does, it really does!

I stayed there for 7 days checking out last Monday in room 220 with views of the Lions Head and as a bonus from the hall way and the bathroom limited sea views!. The Hotel is colonial style with a full height courtyard with bougainvillea growing up the walls and trees growing in the courtyard , a great place to have your meal. The Hotel is situated a few hundred metres from the South Atlantic the view obscured only by Palm trees
.
So would I stay there again ?…… NO QUESTION ABOUT IT!!! Why? Well I am happy to share !

I found the attention to detail more than a little impressive in everything, from the daily pitcher of Ice water placed in my room with a small decanter of lime cordial, the immaculately turned out room with an impressive collection of help yourself beverages , even the sand bowls for stubbing out cigarettes had the pattern of the hotels emblem moulded onto it.

The staff were amazing!, helpful and friendly to a fault nothing was too much trouble. My introduction to the room was personally undertaken by a member of the reception staff who carefully outlined the room and its features . All were first class from the Kitchen staff, the serving staff in the restaurant and the Bars, the absolutely brilliant team behind the reception who listed among their services to me chasing down a Golden Arrow bus making it stop to permit me to board it. The managers that I met were calm friendly well informed and very professional and the hotel driver who took me on a few trips around Cape Town and finally to the Airport a great person to chat to about the city I was visiting.

If you need access into the city or the V&A Waterfront, its really easy, the latter is a 10 rand trip on a 20 minute interval Golden Arrow bus its about 40 Rand for a Taxi into Town (the reception will organise this for you), their courtesy bus is usually available but if its not then 20 minutes is not long to wait.

The restaurant is excellent with world class cuisine and very decent wines. Breakfast, not a meal I would usually go for was not missed. I usually went for the freshly cooked (While you watch) scrambled eggs, smoked salmon, washed down with champagne and some fresh Orange juice in the juice cooler.

I have read other reviews which cite problems, I can report that no hotel on earth runs without them. I found the Winchester Mansions charming , beautifully decorated, the staff a total joy to deal with it is in a great location and it is GREAT value for money. One thing I would recommend ( to my travel agent as well) is that you book a room with a sea view, my room (No 220) was a corner room on the rear elevation, second floor and it was great, but the idea of watching the sun dissolve like liquid gold into the South Atlantic from your rooms large window is an attractive one. Next time I stay and there will be a next time I will make quite certain I stay in one o them

Enjoy your stay !!

I can certainly see why they got the 2013 Trip Advisor award.

Room Tip: Get one with a Sea View
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  • Stayed October 2013, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank fresgoe H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, England
Level Contributor
107 reviews
36 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 104 helpful votes
Reviewed 22 October 2013

We stayed here for 3 nights and got off to a bad start when one of our suitcases went missing on the way to the room. Eventually I happened to find it abandoned outside the wrong room! Although it has interesting colonial architecture, it did not feel very welcoming. This was our first visit to Cape Town and we expected the hotel to have been nearer the V&A. Instead you had to book for the hotel courtesy bus - if it was available - and even after we had specifically booked a pick up at a certain time with the reception AND the driver, he didn't turn up. After waiting over half an hour I had to phone the hotel twice and then wait for him to come and get us, which on a tight schedule was more than annoying.

The buffet food was not of a very high standard and on the first night we ordered a bottle of wine to have with our meal and waited for over 40 minutes before being told it wasn't available - although it was their wine of the month! Eventually we settled for a carafe of house wine, but the meal was almost over by then; very disappointing. Had we been in a restaurant we would have walked out but because we were with a group there was little we could do.

Not having free internet in the rooms is also very annoying, this should be included in a hotel of this standard. Breakfast was OK but nothing special. Staff on reception were a bit hit and miss, it depends who you get, one young girl didn't know what she was doing and yet another older lady was very helpful with doing my online check in with SAA. They also tried to charge us for vodka and tonic in the bar we hadn't had, so check your bill carefully.

Our room was at the back, so it was certainly quiet but there was no view at all, only a block of flats. Also beware of taking rooms 111 and 211, there is a generator that runs all night beneath these rooms. Friends of our moved after the first night, but as we had unpacked and didn't discover this until the 2nd night, it did not seem worth changing.

The only redeeming feature was the heated swimming pool, which was really welcome for a dip after a day on the road.

Sorry, I would not recommend this hotel.

Room Tip: Avoid rooms 111 and 211, no idea about the others!
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  • Stayed October 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank bellamanning
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Winchester Mansions

Property: Winchester Mansions
Address: 221 Beach Road | Sea Point, Cape Town Central 8005, South Africa
Phone Number:
Region: South Africa > Western Cape > Cape Town > Cape Town Central
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#13 Spa Hotel in Cape Town Central
#18 Business Hotel in Cape Town Central
#27 Family Hotel in Cape Town Central
#30 Luxury Hotel in Cape Town Central
#31 Romantic Hotel in Cape Town Central
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:4 star — Winchester Mansions 4*
Number of rooms: 76
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Winchester Mansions is an iconic building on the seafront in Cape Town within close proximity to the V&A Waterfront and Cape Town International Airport. Free shuttle service to the Waterfront, free wifi internet access in public areas are standard. This landmark hotel offers classic elegant rooms, many boasting stunning sea views. Facilities include a heated pool, relaxing treatments in the Ginkgo Spa, signature dishes from award winning Harveys Restaurant & Bar as well as full service conferencing. Cape Town's most famous and longest running Jazz brunch is hosted at Winchester Mansions every Sunday of the year. The monthly Grapes, Gourmet and Gallery evenings draw large numbers of food & wine lovers and art aficionados. Winchester Mansions - Part of the Journey ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Winchester Mansions Hotel Cape Town Central
Winchester Mansions Cape Town, South Africa

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