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“Good accommodation in a noisy area” 3 of 5 stars
Review of The Charles

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The Charles
3.0 of 5 Guest house   |   137 Waterkant Street | De Waterkant, Cape Town Central 8000, South Africa   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #91 of 151 Cape Town Central B&B and Inns
Senior Contributor
37 reviews 37 reviews
25 hotel reviews
Reviews in 24 cities Reviews in 24 cities
25 helpful votes 25 helpful votes
“Good accommodation in a noisy area”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed 1 week ago

I liked the look of The Charles. Small collection of rooms in an old house and the rooms were large and comfortable. They were pretty well serviced. I had a rook at the top so had a large terrace which I could access form my room which had a spectacular view of the CDB area of Cape Town and the port in the distance. I went on a stay 4 and pay for 3 special so this was exceptionally good value for a Cape Town hotel. However, 3 factors let this place down: The breakfasts are pretty dire (cold every morning - with warmish toast but stone cold eggs and sausage). it is also not a great place to stay over a weekend as the bars and clubs (Cafe Manhattan in particular) pump till the early hours. And there is nothing worse at 2 am to have women screeching drunkenly at outside tables). And on the top floor, it is next to a "library" which has adjacent to it a linen room. So the staff gabble at market place decibels morning and evening loudly so lie ins and siestas are out! The rooms however do have tea making facilities (though the coffee was never replenished and I do not mind tea) and a small fridge - and there is a huge super market 5 minutes away so great to have a bottle of wine and some nibbles available for post work chill outs. Pity about the lack of wi fi in the rooms - only available downstairs in a corner of a draughty courtyard.

Room Tip: Ask for a room away form the main streets and avoid staying here at weekends if you are looking for...
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  • Stayed April 2015, traveled on business
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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33 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (7)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Any
English first
Johannesburg, South Africa
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed 2 weeks ago

This was my first time staying in Cape Town, and I was really happy that we stayed at the Charles. It's in a very vibey, central area, within walking distance to a lot of great restaurants and bars.

Rooms were neat and had everything I needed. Would be great to extend the wifi to the whole hotel, and not just one central area, but as I was on holiday, this wasn't too much of an issue.

Can't compliment the staff enough, they were all so friendly and helpful. Really world-class service from everyone! Keep it up!

  • Stayed April 2015, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Kampala, Uganda
Senior Contributor
26 reviews 26 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
34 helpful votes 34 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 2, 2015

This review is of the service provided and not as the quality of the rooms.
The rooms themselves are well appointed, good beds, clean linen, good bathrooms so as far as room amenities, things stack up they are very acceptable.
There is no in room wifi unless you buy it !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!, or maybe there is, we were just shoulder shrugged at so I am not sure, but you can buy it.
From the above you can see the personal attention you receive though is somewhat less helpful, we planned to stay for 3 nights and when requesting twice and confirming twice to extend a night, we were told yes yes, but you know when you get that feeling, well yes, I was right another half done job, no they had given the room away. They did try and offer us a room in the corner, which when shown was small and cramped, the curtains fell off the rail and all in all not a good experience.
Add to that they did not come and clean the room for 2 days and then only after being asked, it all went a pear shaped.
If you stay here and there is no real reason not too, as the the location is first rate.....plan on paying for internet, plan on paying for a decent breakfast in the cape quarter, several great breakfasts there, make sure your stay is in the computer and good to go, and if you need to extend get a written confirmation.
Oh, parking is a chore, ditch the car or at least park and walk as getting a park is like getting the 6th lottery number, mysteriously difficult.

  • Stayed February 2015, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 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.
New York city
Senior Contributor
42 reviews 42 reviews
18 hotel reviews
Reviews in 20 cities Reviews in 20 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 5, 2015

This place is quite fine, with friendly, forthcoming staff, safe and clean accommodations, good maid service, spacious outdoor decks, and reasonable rates, especially if you’re ultimately paying in dollars. Billed as a “luxury guest house,” it’s in reality just one of many other collections of rental rooms, studios, and cottages, squeezed into the De Waterkant area, once a neglected, dicey area of town, then the quaint so-called “gay village,” and now an over-developed, increasingly anonymous retail area (many fine restaurants in De Waterkant have closed due to the exorbitant rents, and there are far fewer dining choices now than 10 years ago, with the few that are left being fairly mediocre; however, Beluga, which I recently reviewed, is a safe 10 minute walk away, and is a perfect place to dine in the area, even more than once.). I stayed in Studio 11, which was very comfortable and is exactly as it’s depicted and described on the guest house’s website, with a nice view of the mountain. There are also single rooms of various sizes, which appeared likewise comfortable and as on the website. My only "complaint" is that in-room wifi requires prepayment (as is often the case with other properties in the area), but there is a small area off of reception where wifi can be accessed free-of-charge. I would definitely return.

  • Stayed January 2015, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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London, England, United Kingdom
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 11, 2014

Thank you to everyone at the Charles for a lovely stay last week. Everyone was really helpful and friendly, particularly Jakob, who couldn't do enough for us. The room was really nice and comfortable and the views great. We felt looked and after and very safe at all times, so don't believe everything you read about that. Lots of shops and bars close by. I give Charles 10 out of 10 for the amazing staff and the comfort for the price. Hope to see you all again.
Michael & Mariana

  • Stayed December 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 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.
Top Contributor
116 reviews 116 reviews
94 hotel reviews
Reviews in 47 cities Reviews in 47 cities
91 helpful votes 91 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 10, 2014

On my first visit to Capetown I stayed here for 5 nights and was really happy with the choice. As mentioned in other reviews, the location is really wonderful. Very easy to walk to any other parts of the city you'd want to visit and easily accessible to the Mycity bus system. (Very simple to get here from the airport as well.)

The things I really liked:

Room #6: Huge "loft" style room at a very reasonable price. Very comfortable with a great shower and huge bathtub. The room is really private and doesn't share any walls with any other rooms. There's a huge deck with great views right outside as well. 5 Huge windows for light. Nice coffee kettle, fridge, comfortable bed and bedding. The wall shelving system is brilliant. I brought a lot of "stuff" on my trip and there was room for everything on it. A warning for couples! The bathroom has NO walls, so privacy is out the window here. Perfect for a solo traveler though.

The breakfast. You get a voucher for breakfast at The Village Cafe down the street. It's a brilliant little cafe, that makes excellent food and has really wonderful service. The voucher "almost" covers a full breakfast, though. You have til 3 pm to redeem each day.

De Waterkant neighborhood is really a wonderful place to stay. Lots of great shops, bars, restaurants and coffee shops.

They were able to get me a couple of extra hours late checkout, which was prefect and I really appreciate,

HOWEVER! There are some things that were kind of annoying:

This is an old building so they still use the old Skeleton key. This looks charming for a few minutes but after you spend 5 minutes each time you use the door to get the key to work, the charm wears off.

The security code to enter the back gate after 11pm. Just a little inconvenient to find and remember the code.

NO WIFI IN THE ROOM!! Only in the courtyard. This is just silly in this day and age. Luckily for me, Room #6 is just above the office where the router is located, so I was able to get a decent signal for e-mail.

Maid service was kind of spotty. sometimes they would forget to refill the coffee packets or forget a towel. Not a big deal.

Finally two managers who run this place are really excellent and gracious hosts, including the Hotel's namesake, Charles. Their service with a smile was much appreciated.

All in all, this would be a fabulous choice for anyone looking to stay in De Waterkant.

  • Stayed December 2014, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Harare, Zimbabwe
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 18, 2014

Interestingly, the majority of terraces in De Waterkaant utilise their rooftops, adding a cool vibe to the heights of the village. It was nice kicking back on the benches of The Charles rooftop observing other rooftop-ers sipping some bubbly while the sunset (cheese).

The guesthouse is at an awesome location, quiet enough for you to sleep at night, loud enough for you to still feel a part of the action - Manhatten cafe is right across the road, Long St (party central) and the Waterfront are both about a 20min walk, the Cape Quarter and other cute cafes/restaurants are literally 2 steps away.

The guys at reception were so friendly and accomodating. Hit them up with any question, and they'll find out for you. Wi-fi in public areas, comfy beds, clean bathroom, breakfast coupons to Village Cafe (it was yum). We requested Room 7 im advance - they gave us Room 7 (direct access to balcony rooftop, king bed, bathtub, massive room).

Some constructive criticism - our toiletries weren't replenished. The room contained one of those box tvs, not that we watched tv but a box tv automatically makes u think old, perhaps an upgrade is in order?

Stayed October 2014, traveled as a couple
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
DeWaterkantVillage, General Manager at The Charles, responded to this review, 2 weeks ago
Thank you very much for your valued, honest feedback. We are glad that you had a great time while with us. There are always mixed feelings from various clientele about our "box" televisions. :) . We get some that say it complements the vibe of the area and the furnishings in some of our units. We also get a fairly similar response to the one you express about them.
Upon your next return, perhaps you could try one of our other apartments for a different feel? This way you might find the one you most prefer.

We look forward to welcoming you to De Waterkant Village again soon!
Wishing you a fantastic season ahead!
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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 The Charles

Address: 137 Waterkant Street | De Waterkant, Cape Town Central 8000, South Africa
Location: South Africa > Western Cape > Cape Town > Cape Town Central
Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #91 of 151 B&Bs / Inns in Cape Town Central
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3 star — The Charles 3*
Number of rooms: 9
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Perfectly positioned in the very heart of De Waterkant Village, The Charles is a private, intimate and original guesthouse. From the roof decks of The Charles, guests can enjoy beautiful city views, especially late afternoons when the city lights up and the evenings come alive. Positioned opposite the gorgeous al fresco styled Cape Quarter piazza and the flamboyant crowd at Manhattan's Restaurant and Bar, The Charles can be described as being 'The Spirit of the Village' in a town that surely is 'The fun Capital of Cape Town.' ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
The Charles Cape Town, South Africa

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