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 ...
- 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