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“Great location, poor service”
Review of Devon Valley Hotel

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Devon Valley Hotel
Ranked #5 of 16 Hotels in Stellenbosch
Certificate of Excellence
Loughborough, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
11 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
“Great location, poor service”
Reviewed 23 January 2008

We stayed here for several nights as part of our independantly arranged tour of the Winelands, Cape town and Hermanus. The location is idyllic with sensational views over the vineyard with the mountains as the backdrop.
On checking in - 4 adults in 2 double rooms, we found one room in the main block and one in the cellar block. The room we occupied in the main block - whilst nicely furnished, clean, large bathroom with free-standing bath and huge shower cubicle, had only the A/C unit for any breath of air. It appeared to be the only room in the main block that did not have outdoor access in the form of patio doors and whilst having a window, albiet the view into the side of a hill,we were unable to open it. Seeing that our friends in the cellar block had their own patio furniture and magnificent view, we asked to move room. No rooms were available in the cellar block, but very many were clearly vacant in the main block with outdoor space. The young receptionist thought that this would not be a problem but it did appear to be when greeted by the Duty Manager. She explained that the rooms were awaiting arrivals and would be occupied for one night only, with further one night bookings for the remaining nights. It became apparent that these rooms were not occupied until late evening and vacated by very early morning by organised coach tours bringing in large parties of guests. Thoses guests would not even have seen the view at the times of their stay and clearly the Hotel felt more obligated to pamper these large parties, rather than smaller bookings such as our own.
Our friends in the cellar block room did say that they had no A/C and the room was needing refurbishing soon.
The bar was lovely and relaxing, but the service very dependant on the demeanour of the bar tender. Diet coke handed over in an unopened can, we had to ask for a glass and all this after waiting 15mins for service in a empty bar! The next evening we had the most jovial of bar tenders who was happy in his work and intended to cheer his guests too.
Our only evening meal in the Flavours restaurant was extremely disappointing - despite the reviews on the food here, it has to be the worst meal we ate during the whole of our stay in SA. My food was bland in colour and taste and I swear the boiled potatoes were straight from a can! One of our party had a spicy Moroccan chicken dish which was the better choice but on the whole, extremely poor. The service was equally as poor - no smiles, no pleasantries, removing plates as soon (or before) you had finished and made us wish we had made a reservation for dinner elsewhere.
Breakfast from a choice point of view was fine - again served by staff who need a damn good lesson in customer service!!! Eggs offered on the first morning to be cooked to our choice but subsequent mornings we had to ask, and it was met with the feeling that we were inconveniencing these staff!
The receptionists were super, knowledgable,friendly and interested.
The facilities generally in the Hotel are great and once more, the location perfect.
Ask for a room in the main block WITH patio doors and book a table for dinner in Stellenbosch!

Stayed November 2007
1 Thank LovedSA
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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English first
Level Contributor
5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 5 January 2008

We stayed here over new year to attend a friends wedding.
The setting was fantastic and food excellent. The staff were very friendly and the service superb.

  • Liked — Scenery, Service
  • Disliked — Cant think of anything
  • Stayed January 2008, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Thank rjsellers
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
158 reviews
66 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 88 helpful votes
Reviewed 27 December 2007

Overall we had a very pleasant experience at the Devon Valley Hotel. Small but comfortable rooms, great breakfasts and a friendly hotel in a great location. Beyond the excellent breakfasts and yummy salads the rest of the food was a little disappointing.

  • Stayed October 2007
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank NickiG
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
23 reviews
22 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 48 helpful votes
Reviewed 14 March 2007

Two types of room - main block (not used by us, but which according to others in our group are extremely good, clean and well appointed) and an annex of 8 cottage/lodge style. These latter are adequate but getting a bit tattered and could do with re-furbishment. They also lack air-conditioning, so if you are particularly troubled by high temperatures the fan might be a little inadequate. However, for a brief stay they are perfectly acceptable and are more appropriate for a genuine 'africa experience' rather than being cocooned in an artificial bubble of american style immunity to prevent you making contact with the country you are visiting
The food is very good quality - although the menu is a trifle pretentious - but service is rather haphazard. The staff have clearly been trained quite well, but there is a feeling their hearts are not fully in the task, and they are not as happy/cheerful as staff we encountered in every other South African hotel in which we stayed. However, the dining room seems popular with local residents, so maybe we were unlucky with the staff serving us.
Also, for evening dining, try to get as far away as possible from the live piano (electonic) playing, which if you are too close, makes conversation almost impossible.
Other staff, particularly on reception, are very good
The setting is idyllic and peaceful and the location is ideal for visiting Stellenbosch

  • Liked — Peaceful setting
  • Disliked — Annex rooms rather tatty
  • Stayed March 2007
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
1 Thank Charlemaine
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Cumbria, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
82 reviews
48 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 87 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 March 2007

If you are looking for a quiet hotel in tranquil, yet beautiful, surroundings the Devon Valley hotel could be for you. It is about ten kilometers from the vibrant university town of Stellenbosch and is located at the end of a quiet country lane.
The setting is idyllic, on a hill with open views from the front across countryside to the distant mountains. It boasts two outdoor pools plus an outdoor dining/bar area and is set in attractive gardens. It is a good base from which to explore the Winelands and about an hours drive from Cape Town.
However, make sure you are not allocated a room in the annexe where rooms are numbered C1 to C8. These are definitely sub standard with cramped bathroom and storage facilities, no air conditioning, room safe or phone. Access is across a very dusty carpark and along a narrow shared verandah on which each room is allocated a table and two chairs making passage to the further rooms unnecessarily difficult. I was allocated C8, furthest from the main hotel building and I could not have been more disappointed with it. The room was long and narrow at the end of which was a tiny bathroom filling one corner and small wardrobe in the other. The bath and toilet were clean but grey and very scratched from many years of over exuberant cleaning. Small flies were everywhere. The washbasin was in the bedroom area wedged between the bathroom wall and the wardrobe thereby blocking access to half of it.
Daylight could easily be seen right around the entrance door which opened onto the verandah. In my view, any hotel with all its rooms like this would struggle to justify 2 star status.
However, after complaining, next day I was moved into room 12 in the main building which had become vacant. It was everything that C8 was not. Clean, airy, newly decorated, large shower room with washbasin and WC, air conditioned and with a safe - seemingly a necessity in South Africa. It was comfortable without being excessively so. After C8 the fact that it was at the back of the hotel with no view was not important. It is disappointing that both these rooms are classed as standard and charged at the same rate.
Other standard rooms face the front, some of which have a private external seating area and superior rooms are also available. A good sign is that local people seem to book wedding and other functions there.
Breakfast is good value with a choice of continental or cooked though it is slightly spoiled by the fact that the hotel obviously refills the otherwise branded jam/marmalade pots.
You need a car if you don't want to dine at the hotel. Meals at dinner time do not excell. We sent one back cold and received no apology. It does not seem important to the waiting staff that couples/groups actually want to eat at the same time so delivery of food is not always synchronised. Plates are cleared as soon as cutlery is put down, a common occurrence in Sth Africa, so again, one person may be eating alone and generally you feel rushed through courses.
The bar staff are fairly disinterested in serving guests yet over zealous in presenting a bill giving the impression that in the bar you are not particularly welcome. Best to order from your table or from the outside area.
Reception staff are great. Eager to help, anxious to please. So start with them and get the right room.

Stayed February 2007
3 Thank exkgs
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Highcliffe, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed 24 November 2005

We Stayed at the Protea Devon Valley Hotel in November. The hotel and staff were truly wonderful. The rooms have been newely refurbished and are of excellent quality. We loved the walk in wet room style shower, great after a days wine tasting. The food and service at the hotel is first class. The staff have an extensive knowledge of the winelands and can even organise wine to be sent home from your choice of wine estate. Nothing is too much trouble. If you want to stay in the heart of the winelands away from it all I would recommend the Devon Valley hotel. The photos on expedia really do not do it justice.

6 Thank Catharinesnow
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Devon Valley Hotel

Property: Devon Valley Hotel
Address: Devon Valley Road | Devon Valley, Stellenbosch 7600, South Africa
Region: South Africa > Western Cape > Stellenbosch
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#2 Family Hotel in Stellenbosch
#4 Luxury Hotel in Stellenbosch
#6 Romantic Hotel in Stellenbosch
#7 Business Hotel in Stellenbosch
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Hotel Class:4 star — Devon Valley Hotel 4*
Number of rooms: 50
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The award-winning Devon Valley Hotel is hidden away in a shady, green and peaceful corner of the Stellenbosch Winelands showcasing breathtaking views of the olive groves, vineyards and majestic Helderberg Mountains, while offering the finest in authentic ‘handmade hospitality’. ACCOMMODATION: The Devon Valley Hotel’s 50 stylishly furnished suites reflect the contemporary colonial feel of the hotel while enjoying unobstructed views of the mountains, vineyards and olive groves. The spacious Luxury rooms and Executive suites in the Manor House are the hotel’s premier offering, ideal for a romantic escape or a rejuvenating retreat. Comprehensive Overview: The Classic Rooms are situated in the historic Cedarwood building and have been tastefully refurbished to reflect the contemporary colonial feel of the hotel. The valley-facing rooms each have their own private decks and the north-facing rooms open onto private courtyards with wonderful views of the vineyards and olive groves. The Manor House is the hotel’s luxury offering. These stylishly decorated rooms are the ultimate in luxurious Winelands accommodation. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Devon Valley Western Cape

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