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“Bringing out the best - review by Character Stay” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Rodwell House

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Rodwell House
5.0 of 5 Guest house   |   Rodwell Road, St. James 7945, South Africa   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #4 of 7 St. James B&B and Inns
Pietermaritzburg, South Africa
Top Contributor
57 reviews 57 reviews
57 hotel reviews
Reviews in 43 cities Reviews in 43 cities
80 helpful votes 80 helpful votes
“Bringing out the best - review by Character Stay”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 11, 2013

It is great fun finding a grand character building which represents the quintessential local architectural style of a quintessentially characterful area. The 1930’s Rodwell House in classical St James, Cape Town, not only rivals its neighbours in representing the typical architecture of the area, but it is situated in the most enviable position, overlooking the famous brightly coloured wooden huts of St James Beach. The house is set well back from the busy main road, and views over the estate’s pool and St James Tidal Pool beyond, stretch far out to the sea beyond. The house backs onto an impressive mountain and there are striking vistas up the cliffs to the bluest of skies above.

I stay in the elegant Rodwell Suite, the scale of which is difficult to capture on camera. There are two seating areas and an indoor fireplace. A bank of windows maximises the fabulous views, as does the balcony onto which a private entrance opens. The suite has plush beige carpets, cream curtains with matching upholstered chairs, couch and headboard, and a trendy leather reclining chair. The look is very grown-up without being in the least bit staid. It has clearly been prepared by someone experienced in providing the best that accommodation establishments can offer.

What I love about Rodwell House:
The house itself is typical of the St James vernacular – a solid square stone double-storey building with deep arched verandahs and two perfectly symmetrical wings.
The setting over St James beach is softened by the long garden in front of the house, with a full length swimming pool, flanked by green covered pergolas on either side.
The entrance boasts a grand staircase and the main house and suites are full of antiques.
The House is also an art gallery and beautiful pieces of 20th-Century richly-coloured art work are displayed throughout.
The impressive lounge has a fireplace, deep red walls and matching patterned rugs.
Fabulous local cuisine is served in the bistro, or if it is quiet and cool intimate tables are brought into the lounge with a lit fire.
The service is warm, attentive and kind, and one is soon made to feel that this is one’s very own private estate.
The suites are spacious and stylishly decorated, with thoughtful attention to comfort, and with calm matching colours.
The bathrooms are beautifully modern, also managing a balance between being spacious and warm.
An enormous bath is gently back-lit with stylish lighting, reflecting down onto the large cream ceramic floor tiles and glossy fittings.

Accommodation Experience:
Sometimes once the initial excitement of a character stay settles, one also quite simply wishes for a good night’s sleep. I spread out in my huge soft bed, one of the most comfortable I have ever lain in. While I am reluctant to turn out the lights of my gorgeous suite, when I finally do I am pleased to find that the thick curtains are properly lined with blackout backing – yet another sign of thoughtful attention about the needs of perhaps a more mature traveller.

I lie there musing that some luxury accommodation brings out the worst in us – making us feel entitled, arrogant or even inferior. But other times, when we find a combination of elegance, kindness and warmth, it makes us feel humbled and deeply grateful. This is what I experienced at Rodwell House, which encouraged me to be a better version of myself. Who could have thought that my day and attitude could have been turned round so completely in only a few short hours – going from resentful and sorry for myself to feeling one of the luckiest people alive to have the privilege of staying in such a lovely place.

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled on business
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sally B, Manager at Rodwell House, responded to this review, June 24, 2013
Thank you so much - it is especially gratifying to receive a lovely review written so eloquently!
Our team here at Rodwell House are very happy that we were able to help you relax, and would love to welcome you back here again in the not to distant future, so that you can experience summer in St James. With warm regards, Sally
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64 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (11)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
  • Any
English first
Cape Town Central, South Africa
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 29, 2013

We won a prize for a 2 night stay including breakfast. It is small botique hotel located in the False Bay side of Cape Town. About 5 kilometres from the start of the M3 Highway which runs directly to the Waterfront and Cape Town CBD (about 20 - 30 minutes by car dependin on the traffic). The hotel is a beautifilly restored victorian mansion dating back to the early 1900's, with all modern and comfortable amenities, yet it doesn't lose that old world charm. Our suite was very big with a full bathroom (double basin, bath big enough for 2 people, a huge shower and separate toilet), as well as a private balcony, couches and lounger, ample closet space with tea and coffee making facilities. Sea view from both the room and patio. Breakfast was amazing. I had the best ever eggs benedict, and this is what I always order if on the menu. Sally, our host for the weekend, was amazing with offering coffee, aranging the breakfasts, advising on restaurants in Kalk Bay and being very friendly. You can go out the garden gate on foot, walk across the Main Road (which runs at the bottom of the garden but you cannot see it as there is a high wall and lots of trees), through a small subway and then you are on the beach where there is also a tidal pool. Don't miss the schools of dolphins which we saw on both mornings and I believe you can see every morning. And when it is whale season from May to October you sure will see some whales here as well.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
joannemcgilvray, Manager at Rodwell House, responded to this review, May 3, 2013
Thank you so much for sharing your weekend with us, and your very kind words. Our team at Rodwell House are thrilled that your weekend was such a success, and that you both left with wonderful memories of St James!

With warm regards
Sally
Manager
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Atlanta
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 19, 2013

Ren and Joanne and their team made my recent stay absolutely wonderful I had a world wind weekend on the Cape and they artfully arranged tours, drivers, dinners and anything else I needed. The inn is a delight and I would have loved to stay longer and just relax in the many sitting areas and by the pool. When my flight out was changed late on a Sunday night, they helped me re-arrange the morning driver and ensured I was ready to go at first light, even though they both had the night off. Thank you for a great experience and your kindness.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled solo
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
joannemcgilvray, General Manager at Rodwell House, responded to this review, February 22, 2013
We thank you for choosing Rodwell House and are really pleased that we managed to assist when your flight time was changed.

We look forward to welcoming you back to Rodwell House, hopefully in the not too distant future.

Best regards

The Rodwell House Team
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Toronto
Top Contributor
124 reviews 124 reviews
88 hotel reviews
Reviews in 92 cities Reviews in 92 cities
150 helpful votes 150 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 8, 2013

Stayed here for 5 nights and would have stayed longer if there was availablilty.
This is a small boutique hotel in the quiet town of St James just a 15 minute drive from Cape Town.

It faces the Ocean which is a few seconds walk away. There is a wonderful walk along the beach on a small paved route to Muizenberg 15 to 20 minutes away. Once in Muizenberg you can walk for miles and miles along the beautiful beach.

This hotel has wonderful large updated bright accomodation with a very distinct emphasis on personal hospitable service. Thanks to Ren and Kate who made our stay so special.

Beautiful garden with a relaxing pool.

The food and wine is excellent. Location is wonderful for relaxation and all the attractions of Cape Town and the surrounding wine areas which are within a 30 minute drive max from here. I would recommend having a car or driver if you want to take in all the sites.

Would not hesitate to recommend this hotel and we look forward to returning next year.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
joannemcgilvray, General Manager at Rodwell House, responded to this review, January 10, 2013
Thank you so much, Family Tokalosh! We very much look forward to welcoming you back to Rodwell House again one day, hopefully soon.
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Atlanta, Georgia
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 18, 2012

I stayed for five days, or my entire stay in the Cape Town area, and it was a great place to stay. The home itself was a 1920's, 30's mansion and has been perfectly restored and updated while retaining that sense of luxury. The room and the facilities were perfect and the staff went out of their way to make me feel at home and help with transport and dining options. The hotel is in a great and quiet coastal area, the views from the balconies are awe inspiring, breakfasts on the patio watching the ocean in particular was enjoyable. There are a number of great shops and restuarants down the road in Kalk Bay, a short walk ot taxi ride from the hotel, while the center of Cape Town is about a 30 minute ride away. I personally liked being somewhat removed from the city center though. The hotel can also help organize a wonderful experience in the nearby wineries, which I highly recommend

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
joannemcgilvray, General Manager at Rodwell House, responded to this review, November 21, 2012
Thank you! It was a great pleasure for us to have been able to host you at Rodwell House and look forward to hopefully being able to do so again in the future.
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Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Top Contributor
51 reviews 51 reviews
20 hotel reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
25 helpful votes 25 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 2, 2012

We stayed at Rodwell House for 8 days as part of a broader South Africa trip, and this place truly exceeded all of our expectations.

Being a family of four, we were allotted adjoining rooms segregated from the rest of he rooms which meant we could freely move between rooms as required without disturbing the other guests. Not mentioning the fantastic views over False Bay and the Stellenbosch ranges, we loved the comfy sofas and art works in the rooms. It is so refreshing to have some real pictures on the walls compared to the standard mass produced decorative prints, scattered with pieces of old furniture. We even saw pods of Whales frolicking in the bay from our room and while having breakfast in the Sunroom.

Nothing is too much trouble for the staff, from arranging restaurant bookings, outdoor BBQs to cook locally caught fish, or helping us deal with a sick child.

We loved it so much we would love to come back.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
joannemcgilvray, General Manager at Rodwell House, responded to this review, October 4, 2012
Thank you so much. One of the greatest aspects of the business is getting to meet people from all over the world and it was an absolute pleasure to host you and your wonderful family at Rodwell House.
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2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 11, 2012

Roswell House is a wonderful hotel on the Cape Peninsula. Incredibly attentive staff, beautiful rooms, lovely facilities and a great overall feel. I highly recommend it.

  • Stayed April 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
joannemcgilvray, General Manager at Rodwell House, responded to this review, April 12, 2012
Thank you so much for your very kind words. We endeavour to make our guests' experiences as pleasurable as possible and really do appreciate your feedback. It somehow makes it all worthwhile!

We look forward to welcoming you back to Rodwell House.

Kindest regards
Joanne McGilvray - General Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Rodwell House

Address: Rodwell Road, St. James 7945, South Africa
Location: South Africa > Western Cape > Cape Town > St. James
Amenities:
Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #4 of 7 B&Bs / Inns in St. James
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:5 star — Rodwell House 5*
Number of rooms: 8
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
This is the kind of boutique hotel that would make Gatsby weak at the knees. Everything at Rodwell is exclusive, stylish and luxurious. Trimmed lawns, sea views, mountain fed swimming pool, and entertainment terraces throughout. Each of the 8 suites have sea views and balcony access and modern open plan bathrooms! The best is the professional tasting room linked to the 15 000 bottle private wine cellar and the Masters Art collection throughout the house. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Rodwell House St. James, Cape Town, South Africa

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