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“Nice hotel BUT beware if you booked through a broker.”
Review of Taj Cape Town

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Taj Cape Town
Ranked #15 of 111 Hotels in Cape Town Central
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed November 23, 2013

Good and bad to say about this hotel.
Lovely building in an exciting part of Cape Town. Away from the touristy waterfront. Lovely restaurants in the area and different shopping experience to the waterfront.
Some staff were amazingly friendly but the reception staff were off the worst I have ever experienced in a five star hotel. They were icily courteous and obstructive rather than facilitative to any requests that we made.
We stayed at the Taj for 4 nights having booked a good deal through ebookers. The public spaces are well appointed, the pool is in-doors but nice to have a few laps in, the gym does what it says on the tin and the restaurants are very good. Breakfast has all the standard fare and efficient staff.
We were assigned a "luxury" city view room - see photos. The room was luxuriously appointed and spacious but the view was the back of a concrete tower block with a hint of blue sky if you crooked your neck in the far corner of the balcony. Also a noisy air conditioning unit below. We complained about the room and were told the hotel was full - maybe tomorrow something would be free. We were also told "this is the room you booked" and it was inferred to us that because we booked through a broker you get a less desirable room. The next morning at reception we were told we could get another city view but the view wasn't guaranteed, so we asked for an upgrade to a mountain view. We were told this would be R1000 and thrice checked if this was per night or for the three remaining nights - we were told the 3 remaining nights. That room had a better view but was still interior to the mountain view we had expected. The worst was being charged at check-out R1000 per night and having to argue this with reception as "you must have mis-heard". Having looked at the hotel's website since our return to the UK and checking availability over various dates during the next few months the biggest differential I can find between the city and mountain view is R400 and at times even less! Why they decided to try and charge R1000 on the day beggars belief. This bill was also automatically taken from my credit card with no discussion or checking on my part! They also charge a return airport trip despite telling them three times we only wanted a one-way trip.
The redeeming feature was the staff - Faith at breakfast was the nicest and bubbliest person to start the day with and seemed generally interested in her customers. She is an asset to the hotel and I can see her going places - I hope she gets headhunted for a bigger and brighter post. The door staff were generally nice and friendly, the cleaning staff efficient and quick but oh dear, let's not dwell on the reception team.
I would stay here again but make sure to book a mountain view room to guarantee a view of something other than a office block. Also I might avoid booking through a broker and the hotel seems to treat this group with a different attitude and as second class citizens.

Room Tip: Don't book through a broker. Get a higher floor - over 12 for the city view and over 6 for the...
  • Stayed: November 2013, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank escholte
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
MIPCapeTown, General Manager at Taj Cape Town, responded to this reviewResponded December 22, 2013

Dear Valued guest
Thank you for taking the time to share your experience. Please accept our sincere apologies for failing to deliver on the Taj Standard that we pride ourselves of. Whilst the apology may not restore your confidence in our offering, I ask that you please contact my office
We look forward to hearing from you
With renewed apologies
Michael Pownall
General Manager

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed November 18, 2013

I chose this hotel based on other reviews that had raved about the beautiful Table Mountain views. Unfortunately, as I booked it as part of a package through Expedia I was unable to secure a room with a mountain view even though I specially requested this when booking it and had even been assured by one of the hotel's reservation agents that they would "try their best" to assign such a room. What I didn't expect was the horrible view I got instead of towering office blocks with lots of office windows looking on to our room (the room was called 'luxury city view'!) This was hugely disappointing especially as I had booked the hotel for a special occasion. Therefore, if you are going for a special occasion I would recommend that you book this hotel only if you can be guaranteed a Table Mountain view.

Having said this, the room itself however was beautiful, with a huge comfortable bed and spacious bathroom and excellent facilities (big flatscreen cable TV/ ironing board /hairdryer/ tea-making facilities etc) Housekeeping attended twice a day and provided a good service apart from never cleaning the shoes I had put out to be cleaned (which they had advertised as a 'complimentary service'). The free WIFI was very welcomed although the broadband speed was relatively slow compared to other areas in Cape Town that we visited.

I also chose this hotel based on other reviewers who had said that the staff were very friendly and called you by your first name. Well, although I found the staff polite and professional at all times I would not say they were at all as friendly as what I had been led to expect. Firstly, the lady who checked us in on our first day (Monique) came across as frosty and insincere and not warm at all. Secondly, we stayed at this hotel for a total of 13 nights/14 days and in all this time not one person addressed us by our names even though we were in the hotel bar/lobby almost every night! However we learned not to particularly mind this as they were still professional when conducting their duties.

Breakfast had a huge selection and was always plentiful but one major criticism is that the 'hot' breakfast items were always cold by the time we arrived (we enjoyed the nightlife as well so tended to arrive after 10am towards the end of breakfast). It was a real shame that they could not keep the breakfast warm until the official closing time of 10.30am. Again we learned not to mind this as we started opting for the cereal and continental breakfast options which were delicious.

Despite these few criticisms overall we did enjoy staying at the hotel - it is very modern and beautifully decorated throughout with an excellent hotel bar and leisure facilities. We loved hanging out in the lobby and cigar room and although I mentioned the staff weren't as friendly as I had hoped they were still always professional and provided excellent service. The concierge were also excellent and were always keen to help if asked.

The hotel is very centrally located and provides an excellent base for exploring the surrounding areas and is an easy location to be picked up from for tours. Long Street has excellent local nightlife and is only two blocks away. We found it was safe to walk to there after dark as we were still in eye distance of the hotel's concierge up to Long Street, but if going anywhere else after dark we learned to take licensed and well-known taxis only as the city centre is generally not the safest area at night. I'm still glad however that we chose to stay here and not at the Waterfront as we found the Waterfront to be very touristy and more like being in the U.S. rather than in South Africa. So for a luxury experience in an authentic part of Cape Town, I would recommend the Taj, and if you can get a Table Mountain view then you will love it!

Room Tip: If you are coming for a special occasion make sure you are guaranteed a mountain-facing room otherwi...
  • Stayed: November 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank Ellie D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
MIPCapeTown, General Manager at Taj Cape Town, responded to this reviewResponded December 22, 2013

Dear Ellie D
Thank you for taking the time to provide feedback. We are concerned that you did not have a good experience for which we are truly sorry. We can assure you that the issues mentioned have been addressed with the various Heads of Departments and corrective measures have been put in place to ensure all the guests are given VIP treatment. When planning your next trip to Cape Town, I ask that you contact my office to make all your reservation, so we give you the true Taj experience that we pride ourselves on.
We look forward to the opportunity of restoring your faith in the Taj Cape Town.
Kind regards
Michael Pownall
General Manager

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 18, 2013 via mobile

Disappointing service overall for a hotel of this purported caliber. While there were certainly some bright spots, like the lovely breakfast staff and friendly bellmen, the front desk staff and concierge were largely indifferent and unaccommodating. They were unable to combine our two reservations for some reason, requiring us to change rooms mid-stay and repeat the entire check-in process to an inferior room (rooms in back of hotel suffer greatly in comparison to front rooms; back rooms face a building with bars on the windows and receive little natural light). Would not honor published rates for rooms, demanding 1000 r/night to move back to an upgraded room, while current widely available rates were just ~150-200 r/higher. Concierge service was brusque bordering on rude and unfortunately, incompetent. After she insisted on a restaurant we were hesitant about, we arrived at the appointed time only to find no record of our reservation and a full house. In addition, the recommended restaurant was exactly the type of experience we were looking to avoid - bus after bus of tourists taking photos; it felt like Epcot Africa. Wi-fi service was wildly inconsistent and worked about 30% of the time at best, a mere annoyance since we were here on a leisure trip, but business travelers beware! Rooms themselves are well-appointed and the hotel is well-located in the city center, but the level of service would lead me to book elsewhere on a return trip.

Stayed: November 2013, traveled as a couple
Thank Kglabs
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
MIPCapeTown, General Manager at Taj Cape Town, responded to this reviewResponded December 22, 2013

Dear Valued Guest
Thank you for taking the time to provide feedback. We are concerned that you did not have a good experience for which we are truly sorry. We can assure you that we have addressed the concerns about the concierge with the Front Office House Manager, to ensure the corrective measures are taken. When planning your next trip to Cape Town, I ask that you contact my office to make all your reservation, so we give you the true Taj experience that we pride ourselves on.
We look forward to the opportunity of restoring your faith in the Taj Cape Town.
Kind regards
Michael Pownall
General Manager

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 17, 2013

We took a room on the 16th floor, and one that overlooked table mountain. Its certainly a spectacular view to wake up to - and its never the same with the change in weather and cloud formations - sometimes it just dissapears, and other times you can watch the clouds drape over it like a table cloth!
The rooms were fabulous and comfortable - if a little cold - so we were constantly adjusting the temp. Otherwise great. It has a gym and pool that can be used, and changing room/ shower faclities that oyu can use when you have an early check-out and need to freshen up before you leave for the airport.
We had a little entertainment with the key cards not working one day - which meant I had to run up and down on the elevator 3 or 4 times - but otherwise the service was great with very friendly and helpful staff.
We only ate at Mint, and the food was pretty good. Tried Ostrich for the first time! V. nice.

Room Tip: Balcony room with a view overlooking table mountain a must!
  • Stayed: October 2013, traveled with family
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Thank PurplewallLondon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
MIPCapeTown, General Manager at Taj Cape Town, responded to this reviewResponded December 22, 2013

Dear Valued Guest
Thank you so much for taking the time to share your experience. We will certainly convey your comments on to the entire team. We would however like to apologise for the inconvenience you were caused with your key card that did not work. This is clearly not a standard that we are Taj Cape Town practice. We look forward to welcoming you back to Cape Town and more importantly Taj Cape Town.
Kind regards
Michael Pownall
General Manager

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 13, 2013

This was my first trip to South Africa and after a two day journey from Florida, I arrive at the Taj Cape Town and was immediately greeted by warm smiles and staff who could not do too much for me. I opened the window curtains and early the next morning was greeted by fresh "linen" over Table Mountain.

The location was in the center of town, the food was wonderful, the staff greeted me by name every time I came into the lobby and restaurant. The room had fresh flowers and chocolates and the room was always welcoming. You'll love this place! I stayed five nights....worth every penny and more.

Room Tip: Ask for a higher floor room with a good view of Table Mountain!
  • Stayed: October 2013, traveled with friends
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Thank Pat G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
MIPCapeTown, General Manager at Taj Cape Town, responded to this reviewResponded December 22, 2013

Dear Pat G
Thank you so much for taking the time to share your experience. We will certainly convey your comments on to the entire team. We look forward to welcoming you back to Cape Town and more importantly Taj Cape Town.
Kind regards
Michael Pownall
General Manager

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 11, 2013

I was only here for one night but I enjoyed it immensely. Huge King size bed with a sort of African theme with dark furniture give it a real classy feel. Bathroom with shower, tub etc was really classy as well.

Lovely breakfast at the Mint Restaurant with a great variety of eatibles.

  • Stayed: October 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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2  Thank bubmarley
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
MIPCapeTown, General Manager at Taj Cape Town, responded to this reviewResponded December 22, 2013

Dear Valued Guest
Thank you so much for taking the time to share your experience. We will certainly convey your comments on to the entire team. We look forward to welcoming you back to Taj Cape Town.
Kind regards
Michael Pownall
General Manager

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 9, 2013

I stay here often for business and having stayed in many hotel in a number of countries, this is always one of the best experiences. Rooms are clean, wonderfully decorated with fantastic bathrooms. Great gym area and indoor heated pool. The staff are exceptional and every staff members greats you by your name, very very impressive.

Stayed: October 2013, traveled on business
Thank Jelli67
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
MIPCapeTown, General Manager at Taj Cape Town, responded to this reviewResponded December 22, 2013

Dear Valued Guest
Thank you so much for taking the time to share your experience. We will certainly convey your comments on to the entire team. We look forward to welcoming you back to Cape Town and more importantly Taj Cape Town.
Kind regards
Michael Pownall
General Manager

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Taj Cape Town

Address: 1 Wale Street | corner St Georges Mall, Cape Town Central 8001, South Africa
Phone Number:
Location: South Africa > Western Cape > Cape Town > Cape Town Central
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#2 Business Hotel in Cape Town Central
#6 Spa Hotel in Cape Town Central
#15 Luxury Hotel in Cape Town Central
#19 Family Hotel in Cape Town Central
#22 Romantic Hotel in Cape Town Central
Price Range: $238 - $716 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — Taj Cape Town 5*
Number of rooms: 176
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Taj Cape Town welcomes guests to the vibrant heart of the one of the world's most scenic and desirable cities, Cape Town. The hotel is a combination of rich history and elegant contemporary architectures. Originally home of the South African Reserve Bank and Temple Chambers and later the Board of Executors (BOE), it successfully combines the heritage of the old with the luxury of the new - a 100 years in history! This luxury hotel is perfectly located in the centre of historic Cape Town at the entrance of the famous pedestrian precinct, St George's Mall. It's prime location ensures a blend of fascinating history, exotic culture, soulful art, lively entertainment and delectable cuisine. - Within walking distance to most tourist attractions, monuments, museums, shopping, restaurants, markets and nightlife. Adding to this grand yet welcoming atmosphere are the two dining experiences, the Indian fine dine specialty restaurant, Bombay Brasserie and Mint, a relaxed all-day dining restaurant. Both are warm and welcoming and serve outstanding cuisine. Alongside this you'll find wonderful Champagne and tapas bar known as The Twankey Bar which is exceedingly popular with both locals and guests alike. Rooms are located in both the heritage buildings and the contemporary tower wing, but all continue to seamlessly merge history and modernity. Luxury Rooms have spectacular city or breathtaking mountain views overlooking the famous Table Mountain and the Taj Club Rooms and suites offer all the benefits of the executive Club Lounge including butler service, evening canapes, cocktails and private breakfast. One and Two Bedroom Suites are also available, perfect for the discerning traveller or for families. The award winning Jiva Grande Spa is one of its kind in Africa with unique and authentic wellness treatments and experiences. Also on offer is complimentary use of all wet areas, heated pool, and a high tech gymnasium. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Taj Cape Town Hotel Cape Town Central
Taj Cape Town South Africa

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