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“Totally Disappointing”

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Le Franschhoek Hotel & Spa
Ranked #9 of 11 Hotels in Franschhoek
Cape Town
Level Contributor
26 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
“Totally Disappointing”
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 23 April 2011

What was meant to be a special couple of days away with my husband for his surprise birthday treat, turned out to be a total shambles and disappointment. Upon booking one of the Deluxe rooms, I had stressed that it was my husband's birthday and that I wanted everything to be perfect. I had requested and pre-arranged with Liezl that on our arrival on the 20th we have:
- a welcome bottle of bubbly and/or bowl of fruit in the room on our arrival
- a small birthday cake after supper on the day of our arrival (as we were dining at the hotel)

Upon arrival, we were informed that the formal dining area was being renovated and therefore supper would be served in the picnic area. No mention of renovations was made when I was doing the booking.

As for welcome bottle of bubbly and / or bowl of fruit .... there was nothing - a bare empty room with the basics and a rather tiny bathroom with a dirty floor greeted us - our welcome to a "Deluxe" room. The small birthday cake I had requested after supper also didn't materialise! Instead I received a bumbled apology and that they would make sure that there would be a birthday cake in our room or on the terrace (our choice) after our spa treatments the next day. Dinner was served in a conservatory area, that was filled with smoke from the fire place. We left smelling like we'd been visiting a zulu kraal after dinner and were greeting by cheap, lumpy pillows back in our room.

It seems as if communication is not a prerequisite for staff at Le Franschhoek, as my husband received a 'rushed' SLICE of cake after breakfast the next day, on the 21st, as we were about to leave the breakfast area to head off for our spa treatments. The bubbly and orange juice, was presented as a bottle of bubbly with no orange juice - I had to ask for a jug of orange juice.

The bottle of bubbly / bowl of fresh fruit in the room never materialised at any time during our 2 night stay.

Unsurprisingly our spa treatment was interrupted midway by what sounded like the sanding of a floor. The rest of the day was punctuated with hammering and drilling. ie: it sounded like we were plonked in the middle of a contruction site and not an upmarket 5 star hotel. My numerous complaints, including to the general manager, seemed to be ignored as the noise stopped for all of 5 minutes and then merely resumed. The reception staff and general manager's attitude was not what I would have expected either - their curt and somewhat arrogant responses indicated I was clearly being a somewhat annoying guest.

Our order from the mini bar, which wasn't stocked at all on our arrival, was a complete disaster with incorrect items being brought, out of stock items and no glasses. The 'order card' which in fact turned out to be a 'restocking' card(?) that was 'meant' to be in the fridge was missing. Our order was eventually corrected after numerous tiresome staff trips to our room and an apology - the bottle of wine we ordered would 'be on the house' due to the inconvenience caused.

The following morning, we were woken up by the sound of children shrieking, slamming doors and running up & down the corridor outside our room ... oh ... and some more hammering. We discovered that the towels we had used the previous day and hung up to dry had been folded wet for re-use and were therefore still wet. On presentation of the account when we checked out, I found that the 'complimentary' bottle of wine had been billed to our room and so had the other drinks we had ordered but not opened. The unopened drinks remained in the unstocked bar fridge. Perhaps the next lot of guests in that room would care to enjoy them with our complements! :-) Hopefully with any luck the bathroom floor would have been cleaned, as it remained dirty the 2 nights we were there.

Will we be returning for another visit any time? Highly unlikely, although I have just received an apologetic telephone call from the GM with a conciliatory offer, as a result of my feedback on their rate card. His offer shall be considered. Perhaps if there is a next time, we should opt for one of the villas - away from any construction going on at the hotel, away from resident noisy children and perhaps better quality pillows and a bathroom that's clean and marginally bigger than a postage stamp! As for the service ...

  • Stayed April 2011, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
5 Thank RoadTrippinCape
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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630 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 bubbles
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Johannesburg
Level Contributor
158 reviews
80 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 94 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 20 March 2011

Beautiful hotel, a town with stunning food ! well worth the visit.

  • Stayed October 2010, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank BushFreak
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
LeFranschhoek, General Manager at Le Franschhoek Hotel & Spa, responded to this review, 4 April 2011
Glad you enjoy your time. Franschhoek is truly a treasure.
Eben Lassen
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
50 reviews
41 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 76 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 19 February 2011

We stayed here for 4 nights and had an excellent stay, location and views are magnificent, room (top flor with exposed beams etc..) was very cosy, clean and comfortable, with all fittings in perfect working order.

I would not go as far as descriping the room as luxurious, but more like subtle luxury, high quality furniture, fabrics and ameneties. The whole property seemed to be in very good shape and had the same feeling of understated luxury.

We found the service to be outstanding, from check in, spa booking (ecellent by the way), directions and suggestions, booking tables in town, arranging transfers etc., all was done very swiftly and with a smile - we had no problems at all.

Breakfast was of good and decent quality, we had dinner one evening in the Le Verger restaurant - right on the edge overlooking the valley, I was very surprised of the food quality, wine knowledge of the staff - all in all a very nice and memorable dinner.

The grounds are really beautiful and well kept, only downside was that the pool was freezing cold, that there seemed to be a lack of lounge chairs and not really any pool service (drinks etc.) but no problem for us but missed revenue for the hotel.

Actually the whole pool layout is a mystery as it does not properly take advantage of the magnificent views, some more lounge chairs on the area above the pool could be a good solution and strange to palce some fan kind of machines in the area.

Would not mind to stay here again, but would probably try out one of the wineries with accomodation instead next time around.

NB. we had free internet (WiFi) but I am not sure if that was intended.....

  • Stayed April 2010, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Ole L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
LeFranschhoek, General Manager at Le Franschhoek Hotel & Spa, responded to this review, 6 April 2011
I am glad that you enjoyed Le Franschhoek and hope that we see you in our region again.
Your idea on the pool loungers is a good one. We have been thinking about leveling the garden area above the current lounngers to create more space with mountain views.
Happy travelling!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Minnesota
Level Contributor
30 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 February 2011

Everything, and I mean everything at this hotel is used within an inch of its life. The carpets are stained and worn, the linens are shabby and the towels are frayed. Poolside, the cushions are dirty and the chairs are coming apart. This is not a 5 star property but has the pricing of a 5 star. It appears that the owners have enjoyed the profits over the years but have not reinvested any in the property and it shows. If coming to this incredible area stay at Le Cartier Francaise as we have in the past. Maybe a few more rand but well worth it. You'll see us back there as well but never here again unless we hear of a renovation plan of significance.

  • Stayed February 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank jjfMinnesota
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
LeFranschhoek, General Manager at Le Franschhoek Hotel & Spa, responded to this review, 6 April 2011
Thank you for your comments. You'll be happy to know that we have already replaced the sisal carpeting on the main staircase. Yesterday I met with a designer to plan our soft refurbishment of our public areas that will be taking place over the next few months.
Happy traveling!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Johannesburg, South Africa
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 12 January 2011

We had reservations for the 22 December and arrived on a day with a slight drizzle. After driving for about 9 hours all I wanted was a comfortable room and 5-star service as we were paying 5-star rates over the busy festive season. On arrival we were greeted by a miserable front desk receptionist and staff to the extent that I commented saying "You could put a smile on your face!" We were asked to put our luggage onto a golf cart after which I enquired whether we should not just drive to our room as this was quite a far distance away. All the luggage was then placed back into the car. No guests were seen in the public areas. No atmosphere. Cold reception. No tour of facilities. We had booked a luxury suite. We were placed in a disabled room without prior consultation. The room had not been prepared as one would expect at a five-star establishment - no welcome letter, no lights on or curtains opened. No mirrors on any walls except for the bathroom. I am in the hospitality industry and have stayed at may five-star hotels around the world and this establishment does not live up to its brand or advertising. We immediately checked out and will not recommend this hotel. Lovely setting, disappointing experience!

  • Stayed December 2010, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
2 Thank Lakwela
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Walton-On-Thames, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 5 January 2011

A wonderful find, we came to the Winelands for a friends wedding and wanted a hotel in Franschhoek.
Our room was huge, it was in the top of the hotel and was double aspect views over the mountains (which had been charred due to recent fires) and vineyards. We could see the restaurant below that had tables in greenhouses in the garden a very romantic setting for dinner. The room had the beams of the thatched roof structure which was amazing to see the construction. There was also a balcony to the room.
A good breakfast buffet. Comfy lounge area to relax in the afternoon.
The spa that is within the hotel grounds is well worth a visit, but booking ahead as it does get busy.
The only downside is that the hotel is located a good distance from the centre of Franschhoek where other fabulous restaurants are located but the hotel can easily book you a taxi.

  • Stayed February 2010, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank mapgal78
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
UK
Level Contributor
6 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 January 2011

Of the several hotels we stayed in on our trip to SA this was the only 5* and it was by far the worst service and fell far short of the 5* standards. Poor maintenance or the room, inconsistant staff, charges for services that were said to be complimentary and a spa the is little more than an average rate beauty salon. Try somewhere else and enjoy Franshhoek which is well worth a visit.

  • Stayed November 2010, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank PogoDancer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Le Franschhoek Hotel & Spa

Property: Le Franschhoek Hotel & Spa
Address: 16 Minor Road, Franschhoek 7690, South Africa
Region: South Africa > Western Cape > Franschhoek
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beverage Selection Business Centre with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#2 Business Hotel in Franschhoek
#5 Spa Hotel in Franschhoek
#9 Luxury Hotel in Franschhoek
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:4 star — Le Franschhoek Hotel & Spa 4*
Number of rooms: 63
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Located in the world famous Cape Winelands, Le Franschhoek Hotel and Spa has become one of the most romantic getaways in its class. Capturing the essence of luxury, the impeccably appointed Le Franschhoek offers unparalleled views of the Franschhoek Mountains & is the perfect setting for a taste of the legendary Cape Wine Routes. Features include a destination Camelot Spa & world class conference facilities. Included in Le Franschhoek Hotel & Spa's many accolades are * 2007 AA Travel Guide- Gold Achiever * Conde Naste's top 130 New Hotels of the world- 2006 Hot List * Diner's Club Award- 2006 Wine List * Diners Club Wine List award Gold 2009. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Le Hotel Franschhoek
Franschhoek Le Hotel

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