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“Brilliant”

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Grand Africa Cafe & Rooms
Ranked #6 of 13 Hotels in Plettenberg Bay
Certificate of Excellence
London
Level Contributor
65 reviews
41 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
“Brilliant”
Reviewed January 7, 2009

We stayed at the Grand over Christmas 2008. Unfortunately only two nights. It was absolutely brilliant. Enjoyed every minute. Staff was exceptional helpful.

Love to go back.

  • Stayed December 2008, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank kiboko
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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366 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (60)
Date | Rating
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English first
Perth
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed October 17, 2008

Myself and my partner drove from Port Elizabeth, having spent a day at Addo National Park, we wandered into Plennerberg Bay - at around 8pm, very tired and no booked accomodation.

So we checked out a hotel or two, and landed at The Grand, my boyfriend bumped into the owner, who advised there was a room free at a reasonable price.

The moment i walked into the room i was gobsmacked, every inch of tiredness left me as i had to discover this room.
It was my dream room, and it is exactly the room i want to wake up in every morning.

It oozes romance, i read prior review mentioning TV, the last thing you would want to do in this room is watch TV.

I did not want to leave, nor do i want to write this review as i fear too many people will stay now in my ROOM!! I will certainly return especially to stay in this exact room and for much longer next time, you can't help but fall in love with the romance! Beautiful and high recommendations XX Geraldine (Ireland)

  • Liked — romance
  • Disliked — Price
  • Stayed September 2008, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
2 Thank PerthJeri
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London
Level Contributor
13 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
Reviewed February 16, 2007

We arrived at the Grand with high hopes but became gradually increasingly disappointed over our stay. It's true that the place is striking with a very strong style throughout but we found the constant branding, which is a major part of the look, tiresome and pretentious (there is a 'newspaper' which is produced by the accommodation with gushing articles about the accommodation and more visuals from their brand... also all the artwork is basically advertising for the hotel). To us, it felt like there was too much effort put into the brand and not enough on the little things that are important. For example:

- We arrived on a Sunday lunchtime in high season hoping to sit down to lunch but the restaurant was closed (it was supposed to be open according to the literature) so after a long drive we had to walk around the town.
- There were double sinks in our room but the taps weren't attached on one and came away in your hands.
- The rooms are really dark with low lighting - in line with the 'style' of the place - which meant you can't actually see inside your suitcase in the evening
- Crucially our room (no. 6) had no fan contrary to what is advertised which made sleeping comfortably impossible
- The towels look lovely with nice tassles (again, the 'style') but feel cheap, thin and rough.
- The supposed views are blocked by trees
- The small plunge pool looked dirty and uninviting
- The darkness of the rooms hides tatty decor with unpainted plastering

Our stay wasn't disasterous - indeed the beds are comfy and the sofa was a welcome spot - but it felt like form over function and if you can't sleep at night, use the pool, see the view or eat in the restaurant, it starts to grate. Finally, in that 'newspaper' one of the articles retells a story where the owner turned a customer away from the restaurant because of their 'look' as they obviously didn't belong. This doesn't surprise me as you king of get that feel from the people and the place and I think that the fact they pride themself on this and print it in their own publicity sums it up for me.

  • Liked — The beds are comfortable
  • Disliked — Form over function
  • Stayed February 2007, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank LondonDebster
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Melbourne
Level Contributor
7 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
Reviewed January 17, 2007

I read a review of this property in a SA magazine and decided to stop in, just for a look, on my Garden Route trip. I fell in love as soon as I walked in the doors but unfortunately wasn't able to stay. But I did go back for two nights a few weeks later. As another guest said, the place just 'hugs you'. The decor is divine glamour, the food sensational, the views fabulous and the whole feel of the place is enchanting. Sydney (the manager?) is a legend. I saw several of the rooms, but stayed in an upstairs room, overlooking the pool with a two french windows - one in the bed area and one opening up the views from the bath. I felt like a 1950s hollywood starlet (given the decor, you could equally say harlet...in the nicest possible way) soaking in that tub. I just wish it was my home...I want one too!

  • Stayed November 2006, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank traveladdikt
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed January 13, 2007

I was really looking forward to mine and my husband's stay at the Grand as part of our SA holiday, after looking at their gorgeous website, reading the reviews here, and also dealing over email with their helpful proprieter, Steve. However, at the end of it, I couldn't help feel they'd let their eye off the ball somewhat...OK, here goes.

The Good
- The cafe and rooms certainly ARE beautiful. Quirkly, stylishly decorated,with a wonderful view and exquisite touches, like free mineral water, snacks, shampoo and conditioner etc in all the rooms.
- The staff, despite not being brilliantly organised (see below) were very friendly and certainly tried to be helpful.
-We had to cancel our last night's stay there due to family reasons, and they kindly didn't charge us a cancellation fee.

The Bad
- I'd chosen our room (number 1) on the recommendation of Stevie, the owner, who'd flagged up its separate bath house as a reason to take the room, one of the hotel's most expensive. When we arrived, the bath house looked AMAZING - the bath itself was the size of a small pool. Happily, we tried running a bath, only to have the hot water run out when it was about an inch deep. Many hours of patient waiting didn't produce anything near enough hot water for a bath to be run - rendering the luxury bathhouse totally pointless as you couldn't take a bath in it!
-What's more, room 1 was the ONLY room in the place inexplicably, not to have a TV. I'm not suggesting that having a TV is essential to a good hotel, but every other room had them, plus DVD players, and the lack of a TV was never mentioned to me when I'd booked the room (which it certainly should have done.) Upon asking the staff why, they mysteriously told us that 'the owner doesn't want a TV in that room.' Um, OK. But what about the customer?
- The ever-changing staff doesn't help with communication. When one told us we could move rooms to another with a working bath and TV, another told us there wasn't a room free. When (after much complaining), they kindly agreed to move us to the top room for our last night (and charge us off-peak rates), another member of staff attempted to charge us the full whack for that room when we checked out. All problems were eventually sorted, but it took so much explaining and re-explaining because the same member of staff 'in charge' was never the same, and they didn't seem to leave messages for each other. Steve, although friendly and welcoming when we arrived, wasn't present in a manager/director capacity, which certainly would have helped.
-The french shutter doors (again, in room 1!) didn't open properly as they were stuck together. It took much pushing and shoving to get them to open. Also, the outside light for room 1 was broken, and despite the staff claiming and electrician was coming to fix it, none did.

So, what's my recommendations? The Grand is still a special place to stay and overall, I did enjoy it. But don't stay in room 1, until they've rectified the bath problem and installed a TV (if that's important to you- it was to us on a rainy night in Plett!), and don't expect world-class service - it was a bit shambolic, although well intentioned.

However, we both felt it was a slight let-down, especially considering the prices, which are very expensive for SA.

  • Stayed January 2007, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
4 Thank becs78
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
NYC NY
1 review
Reviewed January 2, 2007

This is the finest boutigue hotel I've stayed in anywhere in the world. BAR NONE. THe food is the stuff of the Gods. Run by the South Africa equal of the Royal Tennenbaums. This quirky family and their equally ecelectic staff saw to it that I had the greatest time I've every had outside of NYG. The propritress [Who I believe is named Gail} runs this establishment with her son and his fiance as if it were an extension of her own dining room and the bedrooms [each unique distinct and remarkably beautiful- like the Portobello in London gaze over views which will leave you thinking of the Riviera in the 50's] and all so comfortable and well tended that they to seem like just more bedrooms in the owners petite Chateau. 4 or 6 nights a week the family hosts a table of their good friends, other restraubtors from town [always a good testiment to kitchen and by the end of those nights everyone in that room feels they too are part of Gail's large and loving family and as if they've just lived through Broadways hit "You can't take it with you". A must stay destination, worth twice the 22 hour flight even if for a 5 day stay. And don't leave this planet wihout meeting and staying in this one of a kind insane asylum you will leave drunk with love from the magically hilltop whose food is only topped by its view and by the size of the hearts of it's owners and staff>>>

  • Liked — Charm and graciousness
  • Disliked — not enough rooms, tried them all and would have hoped for more
  • Tips/Secrets — Take the second floor room over the pool
  • Stayed April 2005, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
Thank NewYorkSnob
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
cape town
Level Contributor
8 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed April 3, 2006

I have been to the Grand Cafe and Rooms twice in three weeks, and felt welcomed back as a friend by all the staff. The Cafe name is a misnomer, as the food is excellent, the service attentive, and the prices are most reasonable. They have wireless internet, are located at the end of the main road, so in walking distance to all the shops and other restaurants, and have a magnificent view over the Lagoon and Lookout. Their selection of music in the Cafe is fantastic, with classical music for breakfast and jazz for dinner. The 8 bedrooms are large and generous, with little treats. Steve and Sydney run an excellent show.

  • Stayed March 2006, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank whale1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Grand Africa Cafe & Rooms

Property: Grand Africa Cafe & Rooms
Address: 27 Main Street, Plettenberg Bay 6600, South Africa
Location: South Africa > Western Cape > Plettenberg Bay
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#6 Romantic Hotel in Plettenberg Bay
#6 Luxury Hotel in Plettenberg Bay
#7 Family Hotel in Plettenberg Bay
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — Grand Africa Cafe & Rooms 4*
Number of rooms: 8
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
There are few places that can transport you somewhere else in time & emotion. One of these is the Grand Africa Rooms, where a sense of elegant and worldly charm reflects upon its setting over one of Africa's most beautiful bays - Plettenberg Bay. Grand Africa Rooms, with her 8 uniquely styled rooms, presents a beautifully appointed deck, our Leopard Lounge and a pool all exclusively for our Hotel guests. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Grand Cafe And Rooms Hotel Plettenberg Bay

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