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“Not so good as last time”
Review of Spier Hotel

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Spier Hotel
Ranked #5 of 17 Hotels in Stellenbosch
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 23 February 2011

We had a wonderful stay at Spier in January 2010 and had no hesitation in rebooking for this February. Some of the recent negative comments on Trip Advisor had us a bit concerned and to be honest, were right on the mark!

Service at breakfast was dreadful... so slow and with no consistancy. Tables were either not laid with serviettes or salt and pepper, the butter was left from one set of diners to the next and in the heat, was often rancid ,as was the milk in the jugs left on the table. Every morning we had to ask for fresh milk and butter and it took ages to get tea and coffee. Flies were all over the buffet and there really should have been some way of keeping the yogurts, cheeses etc cold. It also took a long time for tables to be cleaned between diners.

Housekeeping was another grey area. The rooms are very nice but could definately do with being cleaned a bit more thoroughly. Our floor was filtly and we had to resort to wearing socks to keep our feet clean.

The main swimming pool is very nice but there are by no means enough loungers for the size of pool deck and the number of people wishing to use the pool. We often had to ask for more pool towels and the drinks/food service was non-existant most of the time.

On the plus side, we found all the staff to be extremely pleasant and very helpful and always willing to put things right. It was such a pity that they weren't right in the first place.

Spier has a beautiful setting and is a lovely place but is just lacking in some of the details that a 4 star hotel should have. Things could so easily be put right with some good management ,as they are mostly minor but added together make for some frustration.

We would recommend Spier to people but with a few reservations.

  • Stayed: February 2011, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank Traveller from UK
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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1,734 - 1,740 of 2,063 reviews

Reviewed 10 February 2011

After reading some recent reviews on here we were not sure what to expect on our arrival. However, we were pleasantly surprised. The staff were polite and helpful and the rooms were good but could have done with a bit more attention to detail in the cleaning. We ate in the Hotel restaurant and had an excellent meal that was good value. The breakfast was typical buffet style fare but very good and when asked they cooked scrambled egg to order. We also ate at the Eight restaurant and that was exceptionally good with knowledgeable staff and good service. The grounds are very pleasant and peaceful. Overall a very pleasant last two days of our holiday. I recommend that you go and see the Cheetah's and have a Cheetah Encounter- amazing experience.

  • Stayed: February 2011, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank DWHandMJH38
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 February 2011

Stayed here in Jan 2011 for two nights.. room was large and airy with air con and ceiling fans. Disappointed that the swimming pool closes at 5pm each night when the sun doesn't even start setting until 8pm.

Don't come here for a wine experience... there are much better estates locally where you can enjoy tastings in peaceful and serene surroundings. When we were there, the tasting session we witnessed resembled a free booze up in a student's bar.... therefore gave it a miss. Hotel restaurant was very good, if a little pricey. Lots going on on-site, but seemed to be a bit of a tourist trap. Would recommend hotel to friends looking for a base to tour the Cape winelands.

  • Stayed: January 2011, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank markdroitwich
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 January 2011

The whole resort idea is great, we loved that you could go for a wonder after dinner and the atmosphere was fabulous, one night we took a rug and sat out under the stars with a bottle of wine which was simply divine, but unfortunately the detail was completely overlooked.

The staff at the pool were generally slow but accomodating and pleasant and always cheerful

The lounge area was divine, loved the artwork and the detail that was available in that respect, the bar staff were very accomodating, sometimes slow, but I think that was because there was just not enough of them, especially as they served cocktails which take a time to prepare. Bar/pool snacks were good and it didn't matter that they took a while,

My daughter and her friend went horse riding which they said was fantastic.

Loved the Deli, where we got a light lunch on occassion and sat out in the tress, where it was good to get away from the sun

On the last day we ate lunch at eight which was divine, unfortunately it is not open for dinner.

The following are the main points of our dissappointment

Reception staff were highly unknowledgable and not interested
Service in restaurant was extremely slow, and second night for dinner, my boyfriend was served raw chicken and I had very bland pasta that I just could not eat, though the first night we ate there our food was divine
Rooms are shabby with chipped tiles and not cleaned well
Breakfast service was awful, it took ages to get Tea and Coffee, I thought they would be better with self service
I wasn't bothered that the pool was small, but was bothered that it was such a chore on occassion to get towels, a stack of towels that you could help yourself to would have been far preferable

  • Stayed: December 2010, travelled as a couple
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Thank JerseyJoanne
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 January 2011

I am not one to accept shoddy service, and I, in most circumstances, will complain if the need arises.

Portia is the receptionist who i via email and telephonically made my booking! She was so quick to respond and a great asset to the company. She made my booking at Moyo and attended to my every need. When we arrived there, we were greeted with smiles. Everyone was most helpful! The room service was timeous, the rooms were clean and so spacious. The pool was warm and clean! The grounds are more beautiful than I have ever seen. There were lovely fluffy white dressing gowns and we dined and acted like we were royalty!

The food was pleasant. Only three things that I was not 100% happy with: 1. When we went to Moyo for dinner on the second evening, the hotel did not do a turn down and clean for us before bed. the first night they did.
2. The Capresce salad is R68 and included 3 or 4 pieces at the most of buffalo mozzarella and 4 slices of a tomato and three pieces of watercress! What a rip off, I duly returned it!
3. At breakfast, the service is not the best when there are so many people! they may need to improve on dealing with lots of people at once.
Overall, a worthwhile experience overall!

  • Stayed: January 2011, travelled as a couple
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Thank queensheroda
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 January 2011

First the good -

This is an excellent choice for families with young children. Whilst it is certainly no Club Med style family resort the on-site facilities and attractions will keep young children, in particular, occupied (Children's playground & sand pit, main pool plus small additional pools, walks in the countryside, Cheetah experience, Eagle experience, large duck pond with more playgrounds and picnic opportunities).

For adults there is the above plus the opportunity for wine tasting (pay for the more expensive option) and an excellent bistro ("Eight") which suffers from inexperienced staff but produces good value, good fresh food. If only it was open in the evening (see below).

The hotel looks very good - it is modern/colonial blend that gives a calm inviting feel to the whole place. The rooms are an excellent size but a little dated, but were clearly well styled initially so they now have character and personality.

Aside from what is said below the staff are friendly and anxious to help and do a good job.

Now the not so good -

The pool is rather small and suffers from a ludicrous shortage of loungers. There is space for them but apparently no appetite to buy them. Should a hotel of this one's ambitions compel its guests to camp on the grass around the pool? Bad, bad, bad and easy to remedy.

The restaurant is poor (pasta that had apparently been simmered for 30 mins or so and, on another occasion, the intentional addition of honey to pesto - euuuk) Avoid for all save a very basic lunch (but even then go to Eight instead). There are many opportunities to eat a short drive away so do that instead.

The bar staff appear sullen, inefficient and lazy. A cull is urgently needed pour encouragez les autres. Service was criminally slow in a really rather quiet hotel bar. The bar staff could be heard complaining that too many people were ordering cocktails (early evening, height of summer) and began removing the cocktail menus from people. The solution the next night was to abolish all fresh ingredients to save them the effort - Mojito now consisting of ice, rum, soda, lime cordial, sprig of mint. Much easier than the hassle of squeezing the lime and adding the gomme syrup.

All this seems to stem from inadequate management. I am convinced that the Manger of the Day is appointed by raffle first thing each morning. There is a sense of rudderless panic that pervades the hotel's operations which somehow stagger through each day reasonably successfully. The one issue that we had (which that day's manager promised to deal with immediately) was left unresolved with no response until we challenged the bill at check out (and then the response was a professional and pragmatic one from the receptionist). There had clearly been a problem with breakfast as a panic stricken letter appeared in our room - all rather perplexing as the breakfast had been to our eyes really very good (particularly the egg chef who has the dexterity, customer service and multi-tasking skills that the management lacks).

Overall the hotel is a relaxing place to spend time and the problems are such that you may get through without noticing anything is wrong. I suspect that training and sound management could turn (or return?) this hotel to a slick and desirable destination.

The decision to recommend the hotel only applies to those with young children.

  • Stayed: December 2010, travelled with family
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Thank Rabbski
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 January 2011

My wife and I spent 2 nights here as we started our tour round the garden route and were very impressed. There is loads to do here, cheetah sanctuary, eagle sanctuary, wine tasting, etc.... The wine tasting was a particular highlight as I was keen to learn more about different grapes and what to look for in different wines... From reading other reviews there seem to have been some issues with service, thankfully we experienced no such problems and had a great stay.
Only slight disappointment was Moyo, very touristy and cliched and the food was only average..

  • Stayed: December 2010, travelled as a couple
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Thank IrelandTravelmad
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Spier Hotel

Address: R310, Stellenbosch 7599, South Africa
Region: South Africa > Western Cape > Stellenbosch
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #5 of 17 Hotels in Stellenbosch
Price Range: £90 - £183 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Spier Hotel 4*
Number of rooms: 153
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Spier, in the heart the famous Cape Winelands, is more than a hotel. It is a destination in itself. One of the first hotels in South Africa to be Fair Trade in Tourism certified, Spier offers visitors a variety of authentic experiences - from food and wine to outdoor activities - in beautiful surroundings. ... more   less 
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