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“Start of SA holiday” 5 of 5 stars
Review of River Manor Boutique Hotel & Spa

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River Manor Boutique Hotel & Spa
4.0 of 5 Guest house   |   6 The Avenue, Stellenbosch 7602, South Africa   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #37 of 106 Stellenbosch B&B and Inns
Uckfield, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
61 reviews 61 reviews
30 hotel reviews
Reviews in 20 cities Reviews in 20 cities
43 helpful votes 43 helpful votes
“Start of SA holiday”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 17, 2012

Had a fantastic few days at River Manor nothing was too much trouble All staff couldn't do enough and Justin was a great help when selecting restaurants.We had room 6 which was at the back and overlooked one of the pools

  • Stayed January 2012, 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 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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317 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (38)
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English first
Edinburgh, Scotland
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
21 helpful votes 21 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed January 10, 2012

We visited Stellenbosch on a 2 week holiday in South Africa as part of my dad’s birthday celebration. Stellenbosch itself is a lovely place and I’d highly recommend a visit, though I’d probably advise to stay elsewhere. Our stay at river Manor was quite disappointing given the price that is charged, and the standard that the hotel bills itself at. I notice all the other reviews are very positive, so perhaps we were just unlucky, but I wanted to share the information with everyone so that you could make up your own mind given the prices that are being charged.

There were 6 of us, staying in 3 rooms, and from our arrival there were a catalogue of minor things which left us unsatisfied with our stay there. The building and grounds are very nice, though in November the pool was too cold to swim in so we only used the outside loungers for sun-bathing. The rooms we got were nice, with generally good décor, though the furnishings could do with a revamp (broken bits on the wardrobe, and sun-faded blanket on the bed). The first sticking point came when my mother was checking the cleanliness of the bedding (she won’t sleep otherwise) and found that the pillows were dirty beneath the pillowcases. This was the case in 2 of the 3 rooms. We reported this to the staff, and at first, only the pillowcases were changed, but when we clarified, the manager did immediately go and get new pillows. We were satisfied with this, and the manager, Justin, was very helpful throughout our stay.

The garden rooms can be a bit noisy in the morning if you have the ones near the breakfast area, and when it rained, the carpet in the garden room got a bit moist - you could see the outline of the tiles underneath where the grout was obviously soaking up the water.

In general the hotel is fine, I think we just resented paying the high price when there were so many little things that we were unhappy with. There wasn’t anything majorly wrong with the hotel, it just feels as though they are running it down for closure or something – it could do with a spruce up really (both in detail orientation and interiors). All the ‘detail focus’ that you would expect in a 'boutique hotel', was missing. When we ordered some ‘homemade tomato soup’ it turned out to be Heinz tomato from a tin (you can tell the difference when you are used to eating Heinz back home in the UK). At breakfast, we made a request for croissants that did not have cheese on them for the next morning, and they agreed this was fine, but it was seemingly forgotten about. I could go on, but don’t want to be too pernickety! As I say, the hotel is fine – but for this price, or less I do think you would be better at one of the B&B/hotels nearby (the location of the hotel is excellent). The hotel bills itself as a boutique hotel but it has really made me question, in this case, what the difference is between a boutique hotel and a B&B. I’ve stayed in much nicer B&B’s and also the boutique hotels I’ve stayed in are a different class from this.

Once again, all credit to Justin for trying to make up for the hotels failings. We even got a keyring as we left (this made us giggle ,I must admit) but it was the gesture that counts, right?.....

All in all, definitely visit Stellenbosch, but perhaps hunt around for somewhere that offers higher quality at the same price.

With regards Stellenbosch – It’s a really great place, with a lot of students. I felt like I’d stepped into an Abercrombie and Fitch advert a few times, but not in a bad way! For good and authentic Chinese massage, the house of massage just off Church St is excellent. Also worth a visit is ‘the Big Easy’ restaurant (owned by Ernie Els) and Osetra is great for a cocktail and some tapas. We also went to a lovely coffee shop called ‘Dipped’ in the courtyard off Church St. The food and drink here is fantastic, and the Spier winery is also worth a visit nearby – it has a whole days worth of things to see and plenty wine to taste too!

  • Stayed November 2011, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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.
Rivermanor, Owner at River Manor Boutique Hotel & Spa, responded to this review, February 6, 2012
To Whom it May Concern

RE: River Manor Owner reply to reviewer Jadesy on TripAdvisor

Over all the years of both owning and managing River Manor it has been our pleasure to receive constructive feedback from our guests.

We appreciate the balanced tone of this review and that there has been no malice intended. However there are points raised which are purely personal opinion, which the reviewer has been honorable enough to admit to, and which we see no need to take further. The reviewer has stated that they can understand that their experience may be an exception and not the rule. We are most proud of our of Management Team and the manner in which they attended to the points raised from these guests, and value that this was kindly mentioned in this review. It is in our best interests to ensure that guests have the holiday which they feel they deserve, regardless of whether at River Manor or not, and perhaps this could have been achieved if they had requested our assistance to find a more suitable alternative for them.

Our sincere thanks for this opportunity to provide our comment as owners and we wish this traveler happy holidays into the future.

Kind regards
Leigh Baker Swanepoel
Owner
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Quebec City, Canada
Senior Contributor
34 reviews 34 reviews
15 hotel reviews
Reviews in 25 cities Reviews in 25 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 7, 2012

My brother and I spent 1 night here in june 2010 (World Cup). The room was nice and the staff were quite helpful. Well located in a quiet neighborhood. Very nice fireplace in a our building to enjoy and relax our stay there. Not far from local market and amazing wine tasting tours.

  • Stayed June 2011, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
UK
Senior Contributor
23 reviews 23 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 2, 2012

My family and I stayed here for a few days before Christmas. Justin and his team were exceptionally welcoming and hospitable. Nothing was too much trouble, and Justin was very helpful with sightseeing tips etc. Our rooms were large, as were the bathrooms, stylishly furnished and equipped, and the decor was in an old colonial style. Everything was very clean and the service was perfect. A very relaxing place and also very conveniently located: just on the edge of Stellenbosch so that you could easily walk in for shopping/sightseeing/dining. For us it was absolutely perfect and I would recommend it to anyone. Well done, Justin and his team, and thank you.

  • Stayed December 2011, traveled with family
    • 4 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.
Glasgow, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
17 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
25 helpful votes 25 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 28, 2011

What a little relaxed gem! Stellenbosch is chilled, historic and relaxed!
Stayed at this hotel on a one night break organised by The Winedeskwaterfront in Cape Town. What a place, the town is great. The hotel is understated and efficient. It occupies two old private houses on 'The Avenue' down by the river. It is within easy walking distance of anywhere you would want in Stellenbosch. There are two small swimming pools catering for both houses and rooms within the houses or built around the pools.
Justin and Jo'vene made us feel very very welcome on arrival. The rooms are well appointed and room 8 has it's own little private area beside the pool.
Overall, there is a relaxed, efficient atmosphere set in a relatively unique boutique setting. This is one of the better small hotels I have stayed in over the last year. I thoroughly recommend the River Manor to anyone as a little slice of tranquility, especially when visiting the wine ands of the Western Cape.

Room Tip: Don't just stay here for 1 night on an organised tour - book for at least two you won't regr...
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  • Stayed December 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 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.
Hayling Island, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
26 reviews 26 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 21 cities Reviews in 21 cities
28 helpful votes 28 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 17, 2011

We stayed here for two nights on our tour of the Garden Route. Justin was very helpful to give us information required for sightseeing/winetasting etc. The Hotel is in easy walking distance to the lovely village of Stellenbosh for restaurants and many local style shops.
Rooms were very spacious, large bed and huge Victorian style bathroom.
Justin booked us on Cape Wine and Leisure Tour - A very good day out, highly recommended. Breakfast was cooked to order, and a great start for sightseeing.
Very friendly staff, made our stay enjoyable. Thank you. Cathy & Bill John Portsmouth UK

  • Stayed November 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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.
Chilliwack, Canada
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 12, 2011

I can recommend River Manor with great confidence to any visitor to Stellenbosch. Justin and his staff were just excellent and VERY helpful in any way. They made sure that we were comfortable to the maximum. River Manor is very well located in downtown Stellenbosch and you can walk easily to the downtown. The interior is very relaxed and made you feel like you are at home. The breakfasts under the trees there, with the friendly and competent staff, were a delight.
Erica, Chilliwack, CANADA BC

Room Tip: All the rooms are pretty good.
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  • Stayed December 2011, traveled with family
    • 4 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.
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Additional Information about River Manor Boutique Hotel & Spa

Address: 6 The Avenue, Stellenbosch 7602, South Africa
Location: South Africa > Western Cape > Stellenbosch
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free Parking Restaurant Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #37 of 106 B&Bs / Inns in Stellenbosch
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — River Manor Boutique Hotel & Spa 4*
Number of rooms: 16
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
River Manor is nestled in the heart of Stellenboch and the Western Cape Winelands. Set across from the Eerste River, in a peaceful avenue of Oak trees, just a short stroll from the village centre, with its museums, street cafés, and galleries, allowing guests to delight in a truly unique Stellenbosch experience.Elegantly furnished in a Contemporary Colonial Style, with personal service and attention to detail - the, wrap-around verandas, two swimming pools, a Studio Spa and secluded gardens, exude an atmosphere of luxury and privacy allowing for relaxation and comfort. A light and seasonal menu is offered at “Taste” enjoyed in the shade of the garden or in the Conservatory, complimented by a charming “Garden Bar”.Stylish rooms combine the conveniences of home with superior comforts, fruit details, bathrobes, Port and Sherry trays and evening turndowns, an experience of a bygone era. Not forgetting necessary modern conveniences of minibars, in room safes, tea and coffee trays, Wifi, overhead ceiling fans and air-conditioning.After leisurely poolside breakfasts, guests may enjoy guided Wine Tours departing daily from River Manor, or take a self drive through the majestic countryside to nearby golf courses, Franschhoek, Cape Town or Hermanus - to return to the sunny terrace to view a beautiful African sunset. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
River Manor Boutique Hotel Stellenbosch
River Manor Boutique Hotel And Spa

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