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“Perfect Choice”

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Nova Constantia Boutique Residence
Ranked #1 of 5 Hotels in Constantia
Certificate of Excellence
Rogaland
1 review
“Perfect Choice”
Reviewed October 28, 2009

Selecting a boutique hotel is not without it's pitfalls, but the payoff for taking the risk, is finding a place like the Nova Constantia. We stayed here in Sept 2009 and were looking for a quiet base from which to explore the Cape area.

From the moment we were welcomed with the friendliest check-in we have ever experienced, to the not-a-problem, late checkout, we could not have been better looked after. The hotel is set in landscaped gardens with pool and tennis court and is finished beautifully throughout. Our room was fantastic with luxury bath, wet room shower and jacuzzi on the balcony.

Breakfast was as you wanted it, when you wanted it. Help with bookings was made efficiently and intelligently and all advice was given honestly and freely. The service was exactly what we were after, not in your face, yet always available.

Constantia is a beautifully quiet suburb and was a perfect base to access both Cape town and the areas east and south. The hotel is very close to a number of good restaurants, among them one of SA's best, the lovely (and surprisingly inexpensive) La Colombe.

We would not look to stay at any other hotel if we ever get the chance to visit again.

  • Stayed September 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank SmokeyJoeWebb
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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S Wales
1 review
Reviewed September 9, 2009

Having already been to Cape Town on three previous ocassions, and stayed in several hotels, including the Twelve Apostles, Mount Nelson and Radisson Watefront, we wanted a change and were looking for a high class hotel with a more personal touch. We cerainly found it. From our arrival on the 11 August to our departure on the 22 August at the Nova Constantia we were not disappointed.
The hotel was safe, peaceful, and luxurious with an emphasis on attention to detail. No request was too much - wheteher it was to borrow a pack of playing cards, put the floodlights on for an evening game of tennis, or arrange for a meal to be delivered to our room.
All the staff were very friendly, professional and competent. The owners and general manager were very helpful and knew everything about Cape Town - where to go, what was on, how to get there, what wine was in and what wine was out etc.
After our stay at the Nova Constantia we spent a few days at the Western Cape Hotel and Spa and the Mount Nelson. This was most pleasant but we preferred the Nova Constantia and very much look forward to returning to this little gem.

  • Stayed August 2009, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank martinph1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cape Town Central, South Africa
Level Contributor
95 reviews
36 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 108 helpful votes
Reviewed April 26, 2009

The website and copy for the newly opened Nova Constantia reads like a dream. It promises much, but the delivery does not quite meet up to the heady expectation. Boutique Hotels are quite the fashion in SA, and we have been caught out many times with website promises and a quite different reality. However, the Nova Constantia looked so tempting, that we decided to give it a try.

The positives are as follows:
1) Beautiful landscaped gardens with lovely large pool. (Chilly, although it can be heated). There are two smaller 'sub' gardens (called 'tranquility' areas) where you can happily relax in peace and quiet.
2) Large rooms with high quality decor
3) Friendly staff and genial hosts
4) Small gym area

Our stay however, was not a very happy one, for many reasons. The problem with boutique hotels is that the decor is so stylised that if it's to your own personal taste, then all well and good,. However, it would be fair to say that the dark but trendy decor was not really our cup of tea. But in itself, this would not be enough for us to be put off staying at a particular hotel if most other things worked well. Our real issues were as follows:

Firstly, we had a problem with access. Unlike other smaller hotels where we have stayed in South Africa, we were not given a beamer or key to come and go into the Hotel as we liked. This meant driving up to the badly positioned intercom outside the security gate, and more often than out, getting out of the vehicle to press the buzzer and wait (sometimes for quite a while) before someone would come and open the gates. Having just read in the local newspaper an article about a spate of crime in this very well to do area, made me feel very vulnerable indeed - even my South African husband agreed with this.

Secondly, we had a major problem with the location of the hotel and the lack of in-house dining facilities. (Only breakfast is served). After a whole day out, we did not always feel like driving another 10 minutes or so to find the nearest restaurant. (And there were not so many to choose from in this time frame - to find a better range, a drive of at least 20 minutes is required). The only in house offering was a list of take away/home delivery and one experience with this was simply enough. Cape Town is full of great eateries - who wants to eat lukewarm home delivered pizza? This coupled with the anxiety of gaining access back into the hotel after a night out did not make for an exactly stress free evening out.

Our room was a combination of real hotel room with a very well (and expensively equipped) self catering kitchen area, complete with dishwasher. Perhaps this was installed as an alternative to eating out, but I was rather unsure how this fitted in with the concept of being a 'boutique' hotel.

Thirdly, the Hotel was not staffed after 7 pm in the evening. Sometimes it was difficult to track down the reception staff to ask questions for our next day activities, but we devised a system of leaving notes on the desk when we came home, and they would be answered in the morning.

Finally, as were were the only guests for the first three days (we were then joined by a German couple), there was absolutely no atmosphere of ambience about the place. It was completely dead. However, if you are looking for an out of the way oasis of total peace and tranquility, then this is the place. We had some other smaller issues which were as follows:

1) A pervasive musty smell in our basement room which was already showing small signs of damp.
2) Not enough hot water, although we were told that there were two large geezers and that there should be adequate water. There wasn't, and we eventually stopped asking always being told that there should be enough hot water.
3) The shower cabinet leaked heavily onto the bathroom floor, soaking whole towels and seeping under the newly installed thick pile carpet in the hallway. We were told that it would be sorted, but it wasn't. The bathroom floor was sometimes like an ice rink.
4) No ventilation systems at all in the bathroom - compounding futher the damp issue.
5) A faulty socket in the bathroom wall which would work with some tweaking and a plug being left to dangle half way out.
6) Past their sell by dates tins of soft drink in the expensive mini bar - my coke tasted like it had just come from the tin mine....
7) No vanity area - ie somewhere to sit/stand and dry your hair, etc. After I complained about this, the hotel did provide a small dressing table with mirror in our room, which I appreciated. However, my feeling was that the bathroom was lacking a little in thought as regards the practicalities - style certainly more than substance.
8) A DISASTER with the laundry. We had a bag full of washing which was not meant for laundry - it was our own collection bag. A well meaning staff member took the bag (without our consent or filled in laundry form) and washed everything together in a hot wash. A very expensive silk shirt with huge sentimental value was completely destroyed as were all our white clothes. I actually wept. The owners offered fair financial compensation and a bottle of champagne, but the point is that the damage was done. It was very upsetting. Absolutely not what we would expect from a hotel trying to pitch itself at the more 'discerning and seasoned' traveller.
9) The concierge service is a Misnomer. Lovely staff, and very helpful, but no more than you would expect from an average hotel. Especially when the concierge post is unmanned from 7 pm!

Overall, the Nova Constantia is a new hotel, trying to find it's feet. It's not clear if it is an up market self catering outfit, or a chic little hotel. Whilst it is certainly a very stylish, more time needs to be spent on the basics and getting them right. You absolutely need to have a car, and as a base for travelling to the Constantia Wineyards, the hotel is in an ideal location. However, it is a good half hour drive to the Waterfront and the other mainstream tourist attractions - be prepared to drive. The aspirational copy of the website and brochure is pretty much that, although the hotel certainly does have its good points. It is fair value for money, with larger than average rooms. However, to find the type of concierge service and experience which it aspires to deliver, there are many other boutique/chic hotels in this competitive market who do it so much better. It was a learning curve at our expense.

  • Stayed April 2009, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Maija63
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Nova Constantia Boutique Residence

Property: Nova Constantia Boutique Residence
Address: Corner of Welbeloond Rd & Muscat Lane South | Western Cape, Constantia 7806, South Africa
Location: South Africa > Western Cape > Cape Town > Constantia
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 Luxury Hotel in Constantia
#1 Business Hotel in Constantia
#2 Romantic Hotel in Constantia
#2 Family Hotel in Constantia
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:5 star — Nova Constantia Boutique Residence 5*
Number of rooms: 8
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
At Nova Constantia we pride ourselves on not just offering a fine boutique hotel in the heart of the historical Constantia Valley but rather a private residence that exceeds the expectations of even the most seasoned traveller. The hotel is situated in a quiet yet accessible leafy suburb of Cape Town, known as the Constantia Valley, which evolved from the very first wine-producing farms established in the Cape, as early as 1685. This idyllic location provides the perfect setting to relax and rejuvenate with peace and privacy as the ideal. Nova Constantia is a generously well designed space of architectural grandeur. Its African Chic contemporary style reflects the best of what South Africa has to offer. The large private manicured gardens allow you to benefit from the alfresco lifestyle of the Cape and the design theme expands outdoors into several secluded tranquillity areas allowing guests to relax in privacy cocooned in sheer luxury. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Nova Constantia Boutique Residence Cape Town, South Africa

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