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“A cut above the rest” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Belmond Mount Nelson Hotel

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Belmond Mount Nelson Hotel
5.0 of 5 Hotel   |   76 Orange Street | Gardens, Cape Town Central 8001, South Africa (City Bowl)   |  
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Ranked #13 of 103 Hotels in Cape Town Central
Belfast, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
60 reviews 60 reviews
28 hotel reviews
Reviews in 36 cities Reviews in 36 cities
117 helpful votes 117 helpful votes
“A cut above the rest”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 21, 2006

Quite simply the best five star hotel I have ever stayed in. The room was spacious with all mod cons, a safe and minibar. As we were on honeymoon we had complimentary champagne waiting for us in our room and when we arrived back in the evening the bath had been filled and had rose petals and candles floating in it. We had a snack in the Planet champagne bar which was very tasty, but not as nice as the cocktails which were delicious and only about £1.50 - £2. In fact we closed most nights of our stay with a couple of cocktails and without fail the bar manager would come over to our table for a chat and some sightseeing advice. Breakfast was extremely tasty and could be enjoyed inside the oasis restaurant or outdoors on the terrace. There was a large choice for either continental or fried options and since both options were self service you could eat as much or as little as you liked. We had one dinner in the Cape Colony restaurant and found the food and service to be exceptional and inexpensive and of course we sampled the legendary afternoon tea which lived up to our expectations and was a lovely way to relax on our last afternoon in the city. We managed a fair bit of sightseeing on our trip and although we never felt unsafe in Cape Town we always felt that bit more relaxed when we reached the Mount Nelson whose gardens really are an oasis of calm in the heart of the city. On our last day we chose to relax by the pool, and again and have a few drinks and again the service was attentive but relaxed. All things considered, a fabulous hotel and if you don't believe me ask Russian President Vladimir Putin who stayed in the Mount Nelson on his visit to Cape Town during the same week as our visit. You could easily spend a week within the boundaries of this hotel if it weren't such a waste to miss out on the beauty of Cape Town - 10 out of 10

  • Liked — The service
  • Disliked — Expensive internet access in business centre
  • Stayed September 2006, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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830 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    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 (153)
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Saudi Arabia
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 28, 2006

As always, all was perfect at the Mount Nelson with that wonderful colonial atmosphere but I have to say the staff were far better dressed than some of the visitors. Such a genteel dining room does not lend itself to half dressed tourists wearing jeans and trainers, neither does space allow for dumping large backpacks on the floor. All this was completely incongruous and a dress code should be introduced for anyone wishing to take tea, it is all part of the experience. I am a jeans and trainers gal myself but not at the Nellie for tea, it is just not appropriate.

  • Liked — Understated luxury
  • Disliked — Backpackers in the tea room!
  • Stayed July 2006, traveled solo
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Scotland
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
32 helpful votes 32 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 4, 2006

Have been to SA loads of times and always promised myself to do 'tea at the Nellie'. Finally, after 10 years I managed to do it. What can I say, well worth the wait. Very posh but staff made you feel so welcome. Very relaxing afternoon, full of sarnies with crusts cut off, tiny quiches and pastries, cakes and scones to die for, whilst the piano was being played in the background. I think it worked out just about £10 each. Ideal opportunity for a touch of luxury for those of us who can't afford to stay there.

  • Liked — The Luxury
  • Stayed July 2006, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, UK
Contributor
19 reviews 19 reviews
18 hotel reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
70 helpful votes 70 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 27, 2006

The Mount Nelson Hotel has managed to retain its colonial charm, whilst still providing all the modcons. My room was spacious, and had a balcony overlooking the gardens and main pool (if possible do try and get a room with a view of either the gardens or Table Mountain). The gardens are beautiful and a treat for horticulturists and nature lovers alike, being filled with exotic plants and birds.

The food was fantastic, and the extensive buffet selection at breakfast has to be seen to be believed. I unfortunately didn't get the chance to sample the much celebrated afternoon tea, though wandered though the salon where it was being served to soak up the atmosphere... cucumber sandwiches and wonderful looking cakes accompanied by music from a grand piano. Don't plan to go out for dinner afterwards!

The staff were incredibly helpful, especially those behind reception who were very patient with my various requests for SA nokia phone charger's etc. I was staying at the Mount Nelson for a conference and as a delegate was well looked after, though it was a shame our seminar room didn't have any natural light.

The only real negative to the hotel were the showers serving its leisure facilities. These were dated and dirty and there were no towels or shampoo provided. That said both the pools were well maintained and the gym equipped with all the latest cardiovascular technology.

  • Stayed March 2006, traveled on business
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London
Senior Contributor
24 reviews 24 reviews
24 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
109 helpful votes 109 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 18, 2006

The Mount Nelson is certainly the best hotel I have ever stayed in. Beautiful scenery, stunning surroundings excellent service and the food and drink is as near perfect as you get.

My stay was in one of the Cottages by the swimming pool at the back of the old part of the hotel and it was a great location within the hotel.

The Cape Colony restaurant serves stunning and imaginitve dishes and obviously great local wine.

The Mount Nelson is great from everything from a business stay, through to part of a honeymoon. There was absolutely nothing wrong at all during our stay, and we will return.

  • Stayed January 2006
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bournemouth, UK
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
27 helpful votes 27 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 11, 2006

Make no mistake, if you are visiting Cape Town the Mount Nelson should be your hotel of choice. Yes, it is expensive, but it is worth it.

My wife and 12 year old son spent 6 nights here in the week leading up to Christmas. We had booked one of the top suites the hotel has to offer, and we were very pleasantly surprised when we were shown to our room by the general manager to find they had upgraded us to The Royal Suite!!

A fantastic abode by any standards, opulent yet modern, a huge space of luxury and indulgence.

The hotel itself is very Ritz-like, colonial and of a bygone era. Think Orient Express, think service, think perefection, this hotel is charming, sophisticated and elegant.

The gardens were a blitz of colour, quite beautiful.

Staff were excellent, attentive yet unobtrusive.

Breakfast and lunch on the terrace was good, but not great, and dinner in the Cape Colony restaurant was somewhat dissapointing only because it was empty bar one other table, giving us that feeling of being watched over by the waiting staff.

The pool area is very nice, and of course there is the famous afternoon tea for which we had a complimentary voucher. If sipping a cup of tea and eating a few sandwiches floats your boat then I'm sure it's a gas, but for me it's just that, a cuppa with a skinny sarnie, so no big deal!!

There is a fleet of shiny cars to whisk you to wherever takes your fancy, and for the record the journey time to the V&A waterfront is approximately 10 minutes.

We had drinks (and a good nose around) the two 5* hotels on the Waterfront - the Cape Grace and the Table Bay hotel's. To be brutally honest, nice as they both are, they are as nothing compared to the Mount Nelson. I am not being unfairly biased, afterall we had stayed in the Grace hotel in Johannesburg (sister hotel to the Cape Grace) but they really have only one single feature the Mount Nelson doesn't have, and that is their location on the Waterfront. To my mind that's no great advantage, indeed I would say it's a drawback, because they have no grounds to speak of, no lush gardens, no space. They are simply room, a restaurant, a lobby and a front door out onto the street!

Cape Town itself is overated in my opinion. It's rather an ugly place in fact, in essence just a great big shipping and cargo port. The V & A Waterfront is a collection of very nice restaurants and bars, plus the huge shopping mall, but that is pretty much that. It's quite buzzy and vibrant and certainly very busy at the time of year we were there but after a few visits we tired of it. That said we used Cape Town (and the Mount Nelson) as our base camp to visit the following amazing places:-

Table Mountain
Penninsular Tour to Cape Point and back (hire car)
Stelenbosch and Franschoek (spelling?)
Boulders Beach (penguins)
Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens
Cage Diving with Great White Sharks
Spier - including interacting with Cheatah's

To conclude then, my wife says Mount Nelson is her favourite hotel in the World. In it's class or type I'd agree. If you are not into the Colonial, Ritz or Raffles type style then maybe it will not be to your taste, but we certainly loved it.

  • Stayed December 2005
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
West Yorkhire, UK
Top Contributor
51 reviews 51 reviews
26 hotel reviews
Reviews in 31 cities Reviews in 31 cities
182 helpful votes 182 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 1, 2006

We have just returned from a glorious two and a half week trip to South Africa. I hasten to add that we booked most of our hotels online following reviews that we had read on Tripadvisor. We feel for once that we really ought to contribute to this valuable website as we have found it so useful, not just for this holiday but for several others previously.

We flew to Cape Town, then went on through the wine districts, Route 62, the Garden Route on to the Eastern Game Reserves, then back to Cape Town. In summary, we stayed at the following hotels:

Lagoon Beach, Milnerton, Cape Town (3 nights)
The Village @ Spier, Stellenbosch (2 nights)
De Opstal, near Oudtshoorn (1 night)
Whalesong Coastal Lodge, Plettenberg Bay (3 nights)
Sandals, St Francis Bay (1 night)
Shamwari Game Reserve, Patterson (2 nights)
Mount Nelson, Cape Town (3 nights)

Mount Nelson, Cape Town

This was our final stop in South Africa and we stayed here for 3 nights. We were upgraded to a luxury room from a superior room and because it was our wedding anniversary they had gone to a lot of trouble to make the room special. There were rose petals on the floor leading into the bathroom, floating candles in the bath, a red rose on each side of the bed, fresh fruit and a bottle of sparking wine on ice. After an aborted take off from Port Elizabeth and a fairly frightening journey, arriving some 3 hours late, this really boosted our spirits.

This is the first time that we have had two complete bathrooms in a hotel, each with bath, separate shower and twin basins. There was also a separate dressing area and extensive storage. Everything was immaculate and we would like to know what the rooms in even higher categories were like.

Our only complaint at this hotel was over the organisation at breakfast – plates for hot food were always cold and the heaters were not always switched on so the ‘hot’ breakfast was luke warm at best. It is odd that this was a consistent problem in a hotel which in all other respects was exceptional.

We had dinner twice in the Cape Colony restaurant and this was a lovely dining experience. There was live piano music which added to the ambience and the staff were very attentive. Unfortunately, it was the same menu both evenings so a few additional ‘specials’ changing daily would have given greater variety. However, what we did have was lovely and beautifully presented. The food would not be considered cheap by South African standards but coming from the UK we were surprised by how competitive it was.

There were two pools, a large one close to the main building and then a little gem (though not that small) closer to our room. What we particularly liked was that this one was child free and the policy was rigorously enforced. Even the service from the pool boy could not be faulted. He arranged our loungers, provided ample towels and brought drinks and food if required. I am fair and need the shade. When I dozed off, he even discretely moved the sun shade to cover me as the sun moved round. Now that is service.

Apart from the luke warm breakfasts we could not fault this hotel. The service is impeccable and the staff are friendly and helpful. There is not much that they cannot sort out for you. They will even do an internet check in for you for your flight on departure so that you can leave the hotel as late as possible. Most Cape Town hotels charge for parking. The Nellie does not and the staff are keen to park your car for you should you desire.

This was a lovely end to a memorable holiday. We are so glad that we stayed here at the end of our holiday. If we had stayed at the same hotel that we used for the first 3 days we would have left with an altogether different view. Conversely, if we had stayed at the Mount Nelson first we would have been disappointed with any other choices along the route. We would definitely use this hotel again. In fact, on the TV in the room they have a channel dedicated to other hotels, ships and trains in this group (V&S Orient Express Hotels) and this has whetted our appetite for future holidays on the strength of the comfort and service that we found here.

Was this review helpful? Yes 17
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Belmond Mount Nelson Hotel

Address: 76 Orange Street | Gardens, Cape Town Central 8001, South Africa
Phone Number:
Location: South Africa > Western Cape > Cape Town > Cape Town Central > City Bowl
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beverage Selection Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#2 Business Hotel in Cape Town Central
#3 Spa Hotel in Cape Town Central
#7 Family Hotel in Cape Town Central
#10 Romantic Hotel in Cape Town Central
#13 Luxury Hotel in Cape Town Central
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:5 star — Belmond Mount Nelson Hotel 5*
Number of rooms: 198
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Set in the vibrant heart of Cape Town, Mount Nelson Hotel offers easy access to all that’s happening in this dynamic city. Enjoying a superb location at the foot of Table Mountain, and just a short stroll from downtown, Mount Nelson Hotel offers the perfect combination of leafy tranquillity and contemporary buzz.Whether dining on exotic Cape cuisine, soaking up the sun on any of the stunning beaches nearby or getting ready to stroll down fashionable Kloof Street, guests have the ideal central base from which to discover this exhilarating city. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Mount Nelson Cape Town
Hotel Mount Nelson
Belmond Mount Nelson Hotel Cape Town, South Africa

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