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Reviewed August 31, 2011

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.

Room Tip: Best views are from higher up facing the waterfront.
  • Stayed: August 2011, traveled as a couple
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Thank faceoff93
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 29, 2011

Excellent stay all round, the Suite (Apartment) was huge it had great views and it was superbly appointed. The complimentary Wifi was excellent and the speed and signal consistent. The staff were incredibly friendly and helpful and nothing was too much trouble.

  • Stayed: August 2011, traveled on business
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Thank Brad G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
TerriMallett, Manager at The Cape Royale, responded to this reviewResponded September 5, 2011

Dear Mr Glenn,

I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for taking the time to write this comment on Trip Advisor. It is a pleasure to receive such positive feedback. Please be assured I will pass all comments along to our staff. Once again, Thank You.

I look forward to welcoming you back to Cape Royale Luxury Hotel & Spa in the not too distant future.

Kind Regards

Terri Mallett
Rooms Division Manager

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 20, 2011

I stayed at the Cape Royale for three nights as part of a two week trip through South Africa. I really enjoyed my stay, and found the Cape Royale to be a comfortable base for exploring the Cape Town area.

What I Liked:

The service all round was outstanding. I saw in some previous reviews that people were dissatisfied with the service, but this was not my experience. Every member of the staff I encountered, from the reception staff, bellman, and butlers to the restaurant staff, were all very warm and friendly.

The car service is an excellent hotel offering. It was especially helpful for getting to restaurants in the CBD at night, when I didn't want to drive into neighborhoods with which I was unfamiliar. The driver was always prompt and courteous, and provided me with tips about the city during the ride. I cannot praise the value of the service enough.

The room itself is very spacious, modern, and well decorated. It really feels like you have your own designer flat in the city. I especially liked the fact that there was a combination washer/dryer in the suite, allowing me to do some laundry before I left.

The hotel spa, while small, is very luxurious and a very good value. I took advantage of a head, back, and shoulder massage, and the therapist was fantastic. I felt I should have taken advantage of another massage before I left.

The hotel, while not exactly on the waterfront, is in a good location for exploring the city.

What I Disliked:

I think others have commented on this fact in posts. Although I did like the suite, the bedroom area was very small and box-like. Getting out of bed at night, on occasion I would bump into the wall.

While the property itself was very clean, I thought the bathroom could use a more thorough scrubbing. I was signs of grout stain in the shower, which is just something that irks me personally.

I realize I was there in the winter, but the room had the tendency to be very drafty. Even though I turned the thermostat up, I could never get the room to be very warm.

Things to Consider:

Do take advantage of the car service during your visit. It's complimentary and can save on cab fare throughout the city.

While the hotel is close to V&A Waterfront, the walk is somewhat long, I'd say 3/4 km or so, even though it looks adjacent on the map. During the day it's a very fine walk, but at night I'd take the car service.

Visit the rooftop bar, especially on a clear day. It offers fantastic view of the surrounding waterfront and Table Mountain.

Room Tip: Ask for a room on a higher level facing toward Table Mountain.
  • Stayed: July 2011, traveled with family
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1  Thank JTears
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 16, 2011

After looking at hotels in the waterfront area and finding them both expensive and poorly reviewed I decided to look further afield. The cape royal is perhaps a 10 -15 min walk to the waterfront but walking is unnecessary as there is a complimentary car service that is excellent. The hotel impresses with it's facade and lobby and the rooms are a great size. Staff were great in helping us organise car hire and day trips and any issues that arose were dealt with quickly and results exceeded expectations.

  • Stayed: August 2011
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Thank mayek
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 11, 2011

The hotel made a very good impression from check-in all through to check-out. Staff at all levels was friendly, helpful and professional with can-do attitude. We booked a studio which turned out to be a very well appointed one-bedroom apartment. Top-end furniture and appliances with tastefully modern decor. We regreted we only had one night there. Breakfast was equally outstanding. A sumptious buffet catering for breakfast tastes from all parts of the globe was served by delightful staff. Their expressos were high-end coffeeshop standard.

Room Tip: Ask for the quiet side of the building. Room above the night club can be noisy.
  • Stayed: July 2011, traveled with family
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Thank safdave
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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