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“old fashioned service and charm but very far from faded”

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Belmond Mount Nelson Hotel
Ranked #11 of 112 Hotels in Cape Town Central
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed March 4, 2011

Enjoyed a 4 night stay in a lovely room overlooking the pool and gardens. A great colonial feel about it ( and one or two old colonial buffers around as well !! ) but good rooms, superb service and although not cheap, good value for money. Breakfasts exceptional, Planet restaurant outstanding and staff very friendly and helpful. Recommended for a relaxing stay and as an antidote to modern international 5 star hotels.

  • Stayed: February 2011, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank rsm47
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,298 - 1,304 of 1,676 reviews

Reviewed March 1, 2011

I've been staying at the Nellie for years and it has certainly seen changes, both for better and for worse. Upon entering the lobby, we were struck by how much brighter it was -- a welcome change from the heavy darkness that once permeated the place. Clearly the idea is to appeal to a less stodgy, younger crowd as the old clientele literally die off. It's just the reality of a change in generations. Gone are the once lavish brunches...though what is offered nowadays is still quite nice. Gone are the rock bottom prices at the spa, but a much needed upgrade has taken place so you pay a premium for services at the new, more spacious Librisa spa. We are staying in a deluxe room on the second floor that we've had before. The new decor struck us as a bit too cold and modern, and though it is convenient, its also hideous having the flat screen TV smack dab at the foot of the bed with spaghetti electrical cords everywhere. The old units that would hide the TV away at the touch of a button really make a difference. Still, given the grounds and gardens here, and the feeling of being able to escape the city in an outdoor setting, this place still can't be matched.

  • Stayed: March 2011, traveled as a couple
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Thank ajajeffs
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 24, 2011

My husband and I had the pleasure of spending five nights at the Mount Nelson in
September 2010. The hotel was wonderful. Every need was met with a smile. Within
a few hours the staff called us by name. The breakfasts were delicious, the staff so
accommodating and the grounds beautiful. The view from our room was wonderful. There were flowers all over the garden even though it was early spring. The hotel is very near Company Gardens, however, you feel you are in your own oasis. The location is so
convenient to the center of town and the wharf. We would definitely stay at Mount Nelson again and would hight recommend Mount Nelson to everyone.
Jan
San Francisco

  • Stayed: September 2010, traveled as a couple
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Thank janm923
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 17, 2011

My wife and I stayed at the Mount Nelson in late December 2010 in one of their suites. We decided to cap off a month's holiday which included a brilliant week in Paris, great times and excellent service along the Garden Route and then Cape Town. Our trip had been fabulous up until the time we arrived at the Mount Nelson. The situation started unraveling on our first lunch at the Oasis restaurant which is next to the pool. There were a few dozen youngsters between 10 and 13 years of age who had just participated in a tennis tournament (set up by their parents so that they could get them out of their hair for a few hours). On arrival at the Oasis the youngsters proceeded to open bottles of champagne and started spraying each other and a few unsuspecting guests who did not take kindly to this rowdy behaviour. To our amazement the kids then proceeded to drink the alcohol in front of many astonished guests. The gasps and whispers could be heard from many tables but nobody said anything. I summoned the manager of the Oasis restaurant and was told that there was nothing he could do because the parents had "given their consent". I was appalled and reminded the manager that it was against the law to allow under-aged drinking to carry on - still nothing was done. I took the matter up with one of the ladies working the front desk and was told that the manager would be in touch. I never heard a word. I observed that many families were holidaying at the hotel and the parents were very keen to have their au pairs or tag-along nannies look after their kids and to keep them entertained and out of the way. There were so many unruly kids running around that it reminded me of a cheap cruise liner holiday with deck sports! Please do not get me wrong, we have kids in their early teens and we are not fuddy duddies by any stretch, it was just that the lack of discipline and consideration shown by these spoiled brats was nauseating and annoying. We wanted a peaceful and serene time, what we got was screeching kids. This was not where it ended, it gets worse. We found the service in the lounge area appalling. For 15 minutes the Indian gentleman who runs the area looked right past us and eventually I got up and asked him if I was "transparent". He said "no why" and I said because he had been looking right through me for 15 minutes and never once came over to our table to offer us a drink, snack or any other item. He apologised but it left a bitter taste in my mouth. The next day my wife went to the high tea and was amazed to see the most inappropriately attired people in the area. People in speedos, hairy topless men with big gold chains and bathing costumes, it was just so not the Mount Nelson. For a "glamorous" 5 star hotel there should be a dress code and people in states of undress should not be allowed to be in certain public areas. I got the feeling that the management of the Mount Nelson was so petrified of upsetting the applecart and so subservient to all the Euro trash staying at the hotel that they would rather not say anything. What this does is ruin it for those who have a set of standards and are willing to shell out for the superior experience. Well, let me tell you this, it was no superior experience and I "know" this because I have stayed in hundreds of the worlds best hotels. So, to summarise, the Mount Nelson was Essex-on-sea (or so it seemed), the service was bad, people were walking around eating areas in hardly any clothes and the couldnt care less attitude of the management was apparent. Could it get any worse? Oh yes it can! We went to the Oasis restaurant for dinner and my wife ordered a Caesar salad. When it arrived it looked a little odd and on closer inspection we discovered that the Pancetta was RAW. I kid you not, it was raw. We called the manager and he was very apologetic (and in all fairness to the Mount Nelson, the food and beverages manager did make the effort to approach us the next day at breakfast and apologised profusely - he was a nice guy and offered us a free night - we, understandably declined this offer as our return trip was planned). My wife and I started to think that this was one of those stays where everything went wrong - and believe it was. To cap it all off, we had booked the New Years Eve dinner but were told that if we had children under 16 we would have to have the dinner at the Oasis restaurant instead of the proper 7-course dinner at the Planet restaurant (which we wanted). We reluctantly booked for the second prize understanding that the Planet was going to be an "adults only" affair. Can you imagine our astonishment and disappointment when we finished our (terrible buffet) dinner and walked up to the Planet restaurant to find all the families (with many kids under 16) having a whale of a time there. I was enraged. I had just had the worst New Year's Dinner of my life thinking that it was the "rules" only to find out that those rules didn't apply to every other family. I was pissed. I complained to the front desk and was assured that the "manager" would speak to me. No such luck. They must have thought that I was a South African schmuck who didn't need servicing - what a terrible error of judgment that was. Oh and did I mention the tired room? Our "suite" (room 323 I think) had damp on the skirtings, chipped paint on the woodwork and the balcony was so dirty that I ruined my pants when I sat down outside on the chair not knowing it hadn't been wiped down in weeks. Need I say more? Think twice about staying at this "old fart" of a hotel that peaked in the 20's and has never reached those heights since. And by the way Management, I am still waiting for that "courtesy" call promised me by the front desk lady! Me thinks you were hoping I will just go away and it can be brushed under the carpet along with all the dead bugs I found under the one in my room. How disappointing this experience was.

  • Stayed: December 2010, traveled as a couple
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13  Thank richskye
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
MountNelsonHotel, Manager at Belmond Mount Nelson Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded March 8, 2011

Dear Sir,

I refer to your recent Tripadvisor comment and must sincerely apologise for the problems you experienced during your stay with us.

This is certainly not the standard of service that sustains our reputation and we were horrified to read your feedback.

Rest assured, I have taken my management team to task and instructed them to immediately implement remedial action and I thank you for bringing these shortfalls, in our operating procedures, to my attention.

A few of the corrective measures we have recently introduced include a dress code for our Lounge area, which will be strictly policed, and anyone inappropriately dressed will be asked to leave.

Children will no longer be permitted to drink alcohol on our premises, no matter what their parents say.

They will also not be permitted to enter the Planet Restaurant, under any circumstances, on New Year's Eve.

We are working on retraining all staff in our service outlets to ensure no other guests have your experiences.

The upgrade of our rooms will continue this year and we will step up our day-to-day maintenance programme to ensure the problems noted are addressed.

Again, we apologize that you had such a disappointing experience at Mount Nelson Hotel.

With kind regards,

Nelson Rodrigues.
Resident Manager
Mount Nelson Hotel

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 11, 2011

We visited the Mount Nelson recently (December 2010 & February 2011) & have stayed here several times in the past 10 years.
The guests are a mixture of: Young famlies, Media types, quite old & very old..basically a real mixture, great breakfast, Buffet Lunch & a great garden with shade & a large pool, staff are gorgeous (a little obsequious, but aren't most 4* & 5* Hotels?) Large rooms, with so so wifi & generally great showers.
Kloof Street (out the back of the Hotel) is great for 'quick eats' & shops & seems pretty safe to walk about there day or night. A bit further down Kloof St (walking N E) is Long St, good bars & a great Burger/bar eatery they even do a Vegan Burger :-)! another place to eat & or drink is Dunkley St Square (between wandel St & Barnett St) it's short walk out the front of the Hotel, more a place for a coffee & snack.
If you really want to go to Cape Town then March, April & May seem to be the months that the dreaded wind is all but gone, enjoy.

  • Stayed: February 2011, traveled on business
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Thank TigerandScruffy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 11, 2011

There is nothing negative that I can say about this hotel. The surroundings are magnificent, the hotel truly beautiful and never in my life have we been treated better by the staff who were the height of professionalism, friendliness, helpfulness and courteousness.

You really feel that you are staying somewhere very special and I wish that we were still there!

  • Stayed: February 2011, traveled as a couple
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Thank Beth503902
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 8, 2011

We stayed for two nights at the end of our holiday, wished it was longer. We were upgraded to a wonderful room with balcony over looking Table Mountain. The staff cannot do enough for you. Everything from afternoon Tea, which we ate twice, to the Planet Bar in the evening. Breakfast on the terrace over looking the pool is lovely. Will definitely be back for a longer stay next time.

  • Stayed: January 2011, traveled as a couple
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Thank CollinsHols
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Belmond Mount Nelson Hotel

Address: 76 Orange Street | Gardens, Cape Town Central 8001, South Africa
Phone Number:
Location: South Africa > Western Cape > Cape Town > Cape Town Central > City Bowl
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beverage Selection Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room 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:
#1 Business Hotel in Cape Town Central
#2 Family Hotel in Cape Town Central
#4 Spa Hotel in Cape Town Central
#9 Romantic Hotel in Cape Town Central
#11 Luxury Hotel in Cape Town Central
Price Range: $459 - $895 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — Belmond Mount Nelson Hotel 5*
Number of rooms: 198
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Welcome to Belmond Mount Nelson Hotel, in Cape Town’s buzzing heart. We invite you to relax in our iconic pink buildings, airy rooms and dreamy gardens. Enjoy imaginative local cuisine, nourishing spa treatments and eye-catching artworks. Captivating visitors since 1899, Cape Town’s iconic resort hotel is a tranquil hideaway just moments from the city’s buzzing heart. Our 198 individually designed rooms and suites and a host of fabulous facilities appeal equally to romantic couples, families or adventurous groups. Stroll through our expansive gardens, take a tree tour or browse the outdoor sculpture exhibition. Discover the hotel’s history, art and culture on self-guided tours. Enjoy imaginative cuisine in our restaurants and soothing bliss at the spa. Just beyond our gates lies the pulsating city, with stunning beaches and historic hotspots moments away. Forever watching over the hotel is Table Mountain, another wondrous Cape Town landmark. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Mount Nelson Cape Town
Hotel Mount Nelson
Belmond Mount Nelson Hotel Cape Town, South Africa

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