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“Be prepared to have a good time here (if you are able to ignore the poor reception staff).”

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Winchester Mansions
Ranked #29 of 109 Hotels in Cape Town Central
Certificate of Excellence
Bristol, United Kingdom
Level 5 Contributor
68 reviews
32 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 90 helpful votes
“Be prepared to have a good time here (if you are able to ignore the poor reception staff).”
Reviewed April 1, 2013

Our 3rd stay that the Winchester Mansions - still happy to recommend the place albeit with qualifications (see below).

What's good?
The wonderful greeting and ongoing service from the ladies in the restaurant in particular:-
Happiness - who was as her name suggests a joy & for the last 3 mornings chose breakfast for us.
Ayanda- who has one of the most wonderful laughs in the world.
Jazz Brunch - can't even start to describe how good this is - concerned that you can't stand jazz - don't worry - you'll love it but worth booking in advance.
The location - fab-u-lous. A viable walk into the V&A (and back in day time). The excellent city tour bus has a stop right outside the hotel.
The bar very popular for late afternoon sun set (the waiting staff in the bar are fine but are habitually let down by the guys behind the bar).
The shuttle bus & Shaheed who is a gentleman and really cares about his guests but was let down by his colleagues (see below).

OK - What's not so great?

In a word RECEPTION - logic would suggest that as this section is generally the 1st point of contact for guests and as 1st impressions count for a lot then it would be sensible to resource it with capable, experienced members of staff. In this instance the staff were lacking in both departments. Checking in was laborious (asked for our name 3 times over - mentioned that we had stayed before and should be on the computer system - didn't register at all - welcome back? hah! not a prayer). Checking out- we had an early evening pick up and weren't able to keep the room (nobody's fault - busy hotel) - we were offered use of the shower room by the pool which would have been fine if they could find someone that had the keys to the laundry even had to phone the head housekeeper at home (20 minutes later we had towels). So a bad start and a doubtful end - the bit in the middle was ok apart from the reception staff not mentioning to Shaheed that we had booked a 10pm pick-up from the V&A - an apology would have been in order.

Summary - would we come back? absolutely yes. Partly to see the long standing employees that make the hotel what it is and partly in the hope that there will be a rotation and some fresh blood on the reception desk.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank DavidandKatie3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
NilsHeckscher, Manager at Winchester Mansions, responded to this review, April 3, 2013
Dear DavidandKatie3

Thank you for taking the time to write a review and thank you for seemingly forgiving us the bad "reception"! I sadly cannot argue with the comedy of errors that you experienced. We had some personnel changes at reception as you will have noticed. These changes did indeed translate into some challenges. Some important appointments have been made to rectify the situation and I assure you that we'll be back to normal in no time! We look forward to having you back to your favourite hotel, as you wrote in 2011! Stay well! Nils Heckscher
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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (223)
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English first
Basingstoke, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed March 29, 2013

In a group of animals, (usually a litter of animals born in multiple births), a runt is a member which is smaller or weaker than the others.

Now I don’t know what the word is for the hotel room equivalent of a ‘runt of the litter’, and I am not sure that room 321 was in fact their ‘runt’ , or a representative example of what Winchester Mansions classify as a ‘Modern Classic’ room. However, this room is not representative of any of the pictures/descriptions on their web site. To address this I have posted some photos for you to reach a more informed opinion. I am absolutely confident that no one who has stayed in room 321 would award Winchester Mansions the “Travellers Choice 2013 Winner” title.

It has one small dormer window which is overlooked by a much larger block of apartments very close by. Dark, cramped and pokey, with a third of the room encroached by the sloping ceiling, and virtually no practical storage facilities. Definitely not somewhere you would want to spend any more time than is absolutely necessary. Certainly not worth £264/night. (Price based on 2014 room price quoted at booking.com for similar period as we stayed in 2013)

Given management’s response to my wife’s polite and cogent complaint about the room, I would suggest it would be safest to recommend that you avoid any ‘Modern Classic’ rooms in this hotel. Our planned itinerary compelled us to spend 5 nights there. Because of management’s attitude and response, we spent as little time in the hotel as possible. Apart from breakfast and using our dingy room , we didn’t use any of their facilities. The breakfast was the only good thing I can find to say about this hotel. We certainly saw more of Cape Town and it’s environs because of Winchester Mansions.

Room Tip: Rooms on the left hand side (looking from the front) are close to and overlooked by a large apartmen...
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
7 Thank Basingbaz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
NilsHeckscher, General Manager at Winchester Mansions, responded to this review, April 9, 2013
Dear Basingbaz
thank you for taking the time to write a review, I would have of course preferred a more positive one. We have already engaged via your agent, which I don't want to repeat here. The room you showed has "hosted" many happy and satisfied guests over the past 10 or so years of its existence. However, the fact that it did not live up to your expectations concerns me of course. It is the entry level of our loft style rooms in the roof space, and agreed, not as large as the modern junior suite your co-travelers where fortunate to have been upgraded to. This was silly of us, I apologise for that. I believe we tried to move you but were full at the time of your stay. As a hotel which is located in a city one can of course not expect only seas views, which we do offer from our sea facing suites. Why you did not enjoy the rest of the hotel I can however not understand. Again, I am sorry that your stay was not what you had expected. Maybe you will give us another chance and we will try again. i would really welcome that. Nils Heckscher
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Tucson, Arizona, United States
Level 6 Contributor
107 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 45 helpful votes
Reviewed March 25, 2013

We recently stayed at WInchester Mansions in Cape Town as part of a South Africa tour. We were booked there without knowing anything about the property. Our stay was in mid March. This place is a great property that is has a very distinguished quality with a great waterfront location overlooking the waterfront. They have a shuttle for the 10 minute ride to the "waterfront" where all the restaurants and mall are located. What really separates this place is the staff. We felt so welcome there and the front desk to the maid staff were the best. If we had a question, they were there to answer. They helped us with our wifi stuff. They could not have been nicer. The breakfast service was outstanding. They had several people in training at the front desk who were awesome. We cannot say enough about this place. While we did not get the ocean view room, the second floor #120 was nice and quiet and lovely. Great bar with excellent service. Highly recommend.

Room Tip: Upgrade to ocean view (you are never there) or get rooms on the back of the property for quieter sle...
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Dave G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
NilsHeckscher, General Manager at Winchester Mansions, responded to this review, April 9, 2013
Dear Dave G
many thanks for such a wonderful review. I am happy to hear that your trust in your agent was not disappointed, I hope this agent will send many more guests to us! ;-) When we get a detailed review like yours we use it as an opportunity to re-look at our offering, so in this case I am glad to hear that the complimentary shuttle service is appreciated. And of course that our busy bar is also liked by in-house guests. Please come back soon. Nils Heckscher
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bedfordshireclanger
Level 6 Contributor
123 reviews
36 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 54 helpful votes
Reviewed March 24, 2013 via mobile

We stayed only one night on a tour. The hotel was lovely and ideally located. The room service was very efficient and the food well prepared and nice. Everything was spotless. We had the Jazz brunch on the Sunday which was in the open court yard. The group were top notch and again the food was excellent. We had prepaid months ago, but there was no tie up between reception and jazz brunch staff which meant we were chased through reception for payment as they thought we were running out without paying. This was soon resolved and of minor consequence as I could produce receipts. All in all a very nice place to stay.

Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
Thank Bedfordshireclanger
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
NilsHeckscher, General Manager at Winchester Mansions, responded to this review, April 9, 2013
Dear Bedfordshireclanger
thank you very much for your kind review! Apologies for the mix up with the payment, we obviously have to do some homework! I am happy to hear that this did not spoil your stay and hope to have you back real soon! Nils Heckscher
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Johannesburg, Gauteng, South Africa
Level 2 Contributor
7 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed March 24, 2013 via mobile

A 5 day conference was the reason for my visit, however I felt like I was on holiday. I had a wonderful 5 night stay and was overwhelmed by the friendly service, brilliant food and cosy atmosphere. I'll certainly be recommending this hotel to all my family, friends and colleagues. Well done to management and staff!!!

Stayed March 2013, traveled on business
Helpful?
Thank Caryn J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
NilsHeckscher, General Manager at Winchester Mansions, responded to this review, April 9, 2013
Dear Caryn
it was great for me to see your lovely review you posted recently. I always get excited when we have local travellers with us who "discover" us for the first time. In the world of us standalone hotels to get a chance to build customer loyalty is key. I am delighted that we managed to live up to your expectations. As Joburg is only two hours away, I hope we have you back a few times still this year! ;-) Nils Heckscher
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England
Level 5 Contributor
63 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 69 helpful votes
Reviewed March 19, 2013

We recently stayed for 4 nights at the Winchester Mansions. We were upgraded from a classic room to sea view suite which was a fantastic start to our holiday. The hotel is bright and spotless. Breakfast was very good with plenty of choices and an egg station where eggs were cooked freshly to your preference. The breakfast staff were very helpful and friendly and we always had plenty to eat to see us through the day. When it is warm breakfast is served in the courtyard under umbrellas which is lovely. We took advantage most evening of a pre dinner drink in Harvey's bar. Wednesday is free cocktail and a rose for the ladies which was a lovely touch. The atmosphere is very friendly, frequented by lots of locals too. We were always given two free pots of peanuts too. The concierge offered free shuttle service to and from the V & A Waterfront. We used this several times and we only needed to ask in the restaurant for a call to the hotel to arrange a pick up when we wanted to return to the hotel. Usually ending with a nightcap in Harvey's. All of the staff were helpful and pointed us to the best places to see and booked table reservations for evening meals too. We cannot praise the hotel high enough and would not hesitate to recommend a stay here.

Room Tip: Sea view suite was great.
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank wiganduo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Swansea, United Kingdom
Level 6 Contributor
107 reviews
58 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 54 helpful votes
Reviewed March 14, 2013

We stayed 2 nights at this hotel after visiting the Zulu Battlefields in Natal although our booking was for 3 nights. Having deposited our luggage at 10.30am, we were told that check in would be 2.00 pm.
We accepted this and used our hire car to visit attractions of Cape Town and lunch at the V & A Waterfront.
When we returned at 2.00pm, we were told that our room was NOT available due to flood damage but more likely overbooking.It seems that a large US party had arrived and the front office staff were unable to cope with the volume of guests!
The hotel offered alternate accomodation at The Pepper Club ( 5 star ) in central Cape Town.We left our hire car at Winchester Mansions knowing that we would return after breakfast the following day.Transfers to and from the Pepper club were arranged free of charge by Winchester Mansions.

Our guest bedroom was excellent with side sea view. We also were given a complementary dinner on the evening of our choice due to the orginal mistakes.

The ambience at the hotel was very good with sundowner drinks on the veranda bar. Many locals also seemed to frequent the hotel - a welcome change.

The hotel is situated on the level with a large grass area in front of the hotel ( where hang-gliders land from their start point on Signal Hill above the hotel ) It is an easy 10 minute drive to the Waterfront with car parking charges only 10 Rand.

Both breakfast and dinner at this hotel was very good.Pepsi our waitress at dinner was excellent.
The building is Colonial Style - Dutch Cape and offers the visitor true holiday style.

YES - MISTAKES WERE MADE AND REMEDIAL ACTION TAKEN but we shall certainly return again - HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank mumbles10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Winchester Mansions

Property: Winchester Mansions
Address: 221 Beach Road | Sea Point, Cape Town Central 8005, South Africa
Phone Number:
Location: South Africa > Western Cape > Cape Town > Cape Town Central
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#13 Spa Hotel in Cape Town Central
#18 Business Hotel in Cape Town Central
#27 Family Hotel in Cape Town Central
#29 Luxury Hotel in Cape Town Central
#31 Romantic Hotel in Cape Town Central
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — Winchester Mansions 4*
Number of rooms: 76
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Winchester Mansions is an iconic building on the seafront in Cape Town within close proximity to the V&A Waterfront and Cape Town International Airport. Free shuttle service to the Waterfront, free wifi internet access in public areas are standard. This landmark hotel offers classic elegant rooms, many boasting stunning sea views. Facilities include a heated pool, relaxing treatments in the Ginkgo Spa, signature dishes from award winning Harveys Restaurant & Bar as well as full service conferencing. Cape Town's most famous and longest running Jazz brunch is hosted at Winchester Mansions every Sunday of the year. The monthly Grapes, Gourmet and Gallery evenings draw large numbers of food & wine lovers and art aficionados. Winchester Mansions - Part of the Journey ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Winchester Mansions Hotel Cape Town Central
Winchester Mansions Cape Town, South Africa

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