There are many things to like about Barry Hall but I have to say I was a little bit disappointed with some aspects of our stay here. There are some very simple things that they could do to take the experience from 'good' to 'excellent'. I'll start with the good...
Firstly the apartment we stayed in was large and well layed out (apartment 2). It had good sized rooms and was very comfortable. There was a large living room, comfy sofas and a large table to spread your stuff out on.
The location was handy. Literally just down the road from the beach area, minutes from Woolworths (one of the best shops in town for great food and clothes etc), and close to banks, chemists etc - everything you need when travelling. All of which are important if you are planning on cooking a few meals at home and just unwinding after a long day of sight seeing.
The service was friendly and booking the room was easy (via email) and the rates were very reasonable. The free Wifi was definitely a bonus and was one of the main reasons why we booked Barry Hall in the first place.
The decor was stylish with high white ceilings, decorative cornice, marble fireplace, wooden floorboards and warm, inviting persian rugs (exactly my style). But here is when things start to get a little rough... on closer inspection I noticed the walls had been poorly patched in places which they hadn't bothered to paint over. The blinds were missing parts and the lights on the wall were slightly lop-sided. All of these things I admit are small grievances and I'd be more than willing to forgive them given the overall charming vibe to the place but there are a few other fundamentals which weren't quite right.
Firstly there was no air-conditioning which meant that in an attempt to get cool at night we opened the windows and were then eaten alive by the mosquitoes (thankfully malaria free in Cape Town!). The bed was hard and uncomfortable and by the end of our stay I was glad to heading back to my own bed. The TV was small with a very poor selection of cable TV. We stayed for two weeks so there were times when we just wanted to chill out in front of the TV and I'm afraid the selection (mainly sport and news with some movies) just didn't do it for me.
Also there was no washing machine or dryer although there was a laundry service available upon request. I would have much preferred to just wash and dry things as I go.
Another thing that made our stay slightly uncomfortable (and this is the biggest negative for me) was the fact that I felt a bit unsafe on the ground floor. The security seemed a lax (compared to other places we had stayed - this isn't our first trip to Cape Town). The front gate was loose and the windows only had the old fashioned swivel latches to lock them with and no security bars (usually standard in Cape Town). Also we seemed to be the only people who abided by the 'under no circumstances is the front door to be left unlocked' rule. It was constantly left unlocked by the other guests and this could be easily have been avoided by fixing a lock that automatically locks when you close the door. As we were on the ground floor we would be the first apartment targeted had someone broken in (thankfully they didn't while we were there). This slight sense of unease wasn't helped by our taxi driver who gave us a friendly tip to make sure we avoided walking the Main Street (just meters away) at night.
Overall I would have to say that our stay was good but not as good as it could have been. The addition of air-conditioning, a washing machine and dryer, a more comprehensive satellite TV selection and better security would have made all the difference. But the ambiance of the place, the cleanliness, the friendly service and the convenient location were definitely positives.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Barry Hall has 4 Large selfcatering Apartments and a garden cottage located in Fresnaye on the Atlantic Seaboard.This historic Manor House with its modern Scandinavian interior is suitable for corporate and leisure travelers and anyone appreciating lots of space combined with friendly daily service. The apartments are fully equipped and includes all modern facilities including free internet connection, and has a cozy courtyard garden, including a barbecue facility. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Barry Hall Luxury Apartments Cape Town, South Africa