Call it a case of over-promising and under-delivering: this was the last of four hotels we stayed over two weeks as part of a tour package, and based on other TripAdvisor reviews and the hotel website photos, we were sure this was a five-star property compared to the prior four-star hotels. Indeed, upon arrival, we were impressed with the decor and ambiance of the lobby and our hallway; and the one-bedroom suite and bathroom appeared meticulous and with lovely lighting.
However, things started to get worse the day after our arrival. The biggie: after our daylong excursion, upon returning to our room, we discovered that a "do not disturb" sign (that we didn't place) was on the door, the door was unlocked, and the bathroom towels were gone. Puzzled, we also noticed that a plastic piece on the in-room safe where you enter the master key to open it was also broken off. Thankfully, nothing was stolen, but the apparent failed break-in attempt gave us discomfort during our remaining stay in Cape Town (out of five days) and certainly put us on heightened alert when dealing with the housekeeping staff. From this episode, I do want to emphasize that the response we received from Mr. Petrus Brandt, the operations manager, was excellent. He acted immediately and launched an investigation into what happened.
In terms of the rest: I always felt that what separates the five-stars from four-stars is the meticulous attention to service. Cape Royale appears to have them at a first glance from the bustle of concierge and service staff at the lobby, but the execution was off a lot of the times, or was at least inconsistent. In particular, the morning in-room breakfast service (included as part of our tour package) was late by at least 15 minutes every morning; oftentimes up to 30 minutes. We learned to put in a time on the door card keeping that into account. (For some reason, they never refilled the breakfast door card; we had to keep calling concierge to request it each night.) Also, the free shuttle/taxi service is a nice touch, but on our last morning in Cape Town, we asked for a ride to a market with a pickup time of 11am, and the driver didn't show up after 10 minutes so we ended up getting a taxi back. That is a definite no-no when one's watching their time. Finally, when checking out, when I asked a concierge member (whom I dealt with the most during my stay) about the results of the break-in investigation, I noticed that she was rolling her eyes talking to a colleague afterwards, which confirmed my impression of her general aloofness and forced politeness in our earlier interactions--I recommend that she should do a much better job of hiding her disdain for guests in the future.
Overall, the physical aspects of the property are definitely of five-star quality. And many of the service staff--if not all--do indeed seem to try their best, including one bellman who personally escorted us to a nearby ATM one night. However, even without the attempted break-in to our safe, I would say that Cape Royale has some ways to go to become what it aspires to be.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- This luxury 5-star hotel is located in central Green Point, just a 10-minute walk from Cape Town Stadium and the V&A Waterfront. It offers bright rooms with free capped Wi-Fi, a rooftop pool and gym. Cape Royale Luxury Hotel features spacious suites with a Juliet balcony and includes a well-equipped kitchen, large living and entertainment areas. All rooms have a flat-screen satellite TV, a CD and DVD Player. Guests of the luxury Cape Royale have a choice between 5 dining options including a pool bar offering views of Cape Town Harbour and Table Mountain, as well as a modern gym featuring state-of-the-art cardiovascular equipment. Cape Royale's concierge can offer suggestions on local activities and can arrange a complimentary shuttle service that can transport guests within a 5 km radius of the hotel. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Cape Royale Hotel Cape Town Central
- Cape Town Royale
- Hotel Cape Town
- Cape Royale Luxury Hotel Cape Town, South Africa