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“High hopes but could do better”

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Constantia White Lodge
Ranked #8 of 40 Constantia B&B and Inns
Reviewed January 11, 2013

We had high hopes of White Lodge in Constantia (a four-star rating), where we were staying for the last two nights of our South African trip. The reviews were good, Rachel had been very helpful when booking our room and a couple of restaurants. She had taken the trouble to call us at home in England a few weeks beforehand to ask if we could check in between 10 am and 11 am as it was Boxing Day and the staff were having their Christmas lunch. Of course, we said, and set off early from our beloved Akademie guest house in Franschhoek to arrive on time. Surprisingly, our room was not ready. OK, we thought. Rachel explained she only had a skeleton staff, everyone else had a day off. Not a problem for us. Then, looking for pool towels, which were supposed to be in the cupboard, but weren’t, we found loads of stuff left over by a previous occupant: a Kindle, adaptors, medicine, clothes… We gave them to the maid on duty.

The room (room 7) is large and airy, accessed by a wooden staircase. It has tea and coffee making facilities, a large bed, a sofa and is painted in muted tones of beige. It was a very hot day and the temperature in the room was over 30oC so we decided to put the air conditioning on. It tried for a while to bluster some coldish air then died. We asked the duty manageress (a lovely young woman who was very caring), she said one had to shake it, which she’d done and it worked. We tried but it still didn’t work. A young man came up and scratched his head. Still not working. In the end, we had to switch it off and hope we’d manage to sleep with the door wide open.

The next day, Rachel assured us an engineer would be around to look at the air conditioning unit but also told us that they ‘don’t advertise air conditioning’. What a strange statement: if the unit is in the room, it should be in working order. Was she implying that because AC is not advertised as being available, then, if it does not work, it’s OK and when it does, it’s a bonus? A few hours later, she told my husband the unit was not an air conditioner but a dehumidifier.

The next evening (which was much cooler), we were given a fan which I understand had been bought for the occasion, which was a nice gesture. When we came back from dinner that night, we found the ‘dehumidifier’ completely unplugged with a hole in the wall where the connection hose was. The label on the side of the unit read ‘mobile air conditioner’ with a cooling capacity of 9,000 Btu/hour.

We had an uncomfortable first night’s sleep. The bed was not a double bed but two singles pushed together – leaving that unmissable and uncomfortable ridge in the middle. A group of four Brits were playing a Trivial Pursuit-style game right underneath our room by the ‘honesty bar’ and were rather noisy for a couple of hours. The plumbing is also quite noisy and every time someone was running water, it woke me up (when I had finally managed to get to sleep). The walls are thin and you can hear people’s conversations (and coughs and worse) from other rooms.

There is no fridge in the room but there is one in reception, from which you can help yourself to drinks, writing down your consumption in a book. Sadly the fridge did not stock any water when we arrived (it was re-stocked by the time we left). The room contained a jug of water which was warm, because of the weather but useful for making coffee. The prettily packaged biscuits and cupcakes we were given on Boxing Day’s evening were a nice touch.

The bathroom of Room 7 is in need of a spruce up: two cracked floor tiles, mould on the grouting, mould and dirt at the bottom of the shower tray. The towels are new and good quality but there are no facecloths A magnifying mirror would useful. No soap (some of us are not terribly fond of liquid soap and 2-in-1 shampoo). The loo could do with a new seat and the bathroom dustbin lid was pitted with rust.

The Wifi signal was weak and I could not download even the simplest of emails nor get into my Yahoo account unless the place was empty and then only after several attempts. It took me over 20 minutes to log in the first evening.

Breakfast is OK (good pancakes and cooked breakfast but packaged orange juice and cheap jams). The lady who served breakfast was very pleasant and friendly.

The pool is small but there is a great gazebo under which you can sit and read away from the sun. Parking facilities are secure and the area is pretty and easy to get to from Cape Town.

Rachel very kindly offered a very late check out time on our last day which was a really helpful - and much appreciated - gesture as we were flying quite late. It allowed us to spend the day in Cape Town and have a shower and change before going to the airport, and we are very grateful to Rachel for this.

Room Tip: Ask for a ground floor room if you have mobility problems
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  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank caratania
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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64 - 70 of 159 reviews

Reviewed December 12, 2012

Not only are the rooms stylish with atmosphere the surroundings are as well. Being situated in Constantia, the White Lodge is central for both private as well as for business trips. Rachel and her Husband as well as Tina make you feel welcome and at home. There is always the personal attention you will be getting when needed.

Room Tip: Whereas the upstairs rooms are a little bit noisier, the view is breathtaking.
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  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled on business
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1  Thank Dirk S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 4, 2012

If you don't wish to stay in the city centre then we can recommend Constantia, which is a beautiful area just south of Cape Town. We stayed at the White Lodge, which was run by Rachel and her husband who were English. The rooms were immaculate, light and airy and the bathrooms were very spacious. We had a super breakfast brought to us in the morning in the dining room downstairs. There was an honesty bar, if you fancied a drink after everyone had gone home for the evening. We spent one day at Kirstenbosch, which was literally ten minutes by car from the accommodation. Highly recommended! Rachel couldn't have been more helpful and obliging. She drew us maps and lent us her sat nav too!

  • Stayed: November 2012, traveled with friends
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1  Thank misbehaviour999
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 22, 2012

We spent our first 2 nights of our holiday at White Lodge. It was just perfect. We had room 8, which was an upstairs room. It had everything we needed and a lovely table outside to enjoy the afternoon sun. Rachel had helped with restaurant bookings before we got there and even had a nice bottle of our favourite sauvignon blanc chilled in the honesty bar for when we got there.
The service was exceptional from all the staff - from Rachel helping us plan our day, to the girls serving breakfast, housekeeping and Mitch organising taxis for us. Other places should learn from them!
The gardens are beautiful and I just wished we had been there longer to enjoy the pool - maybe next time
If you are looking for somewhere in Constantia, that is very good value for money, and delivers exceptional service in beautiful surroundings, then White Lodge is the place for you

  • Stayed: November 2012, traveled with friends
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1  Thank lisasplaces
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 9, 2012

My husband and I spent our first night as a married couple at this lovely establishment. As the blushing bride, I was allowed an early check-in and the owner even offered to chauffeur me and my sister to the church in her shiny Mercedes. The lodge booked our restaurant for the evening and drove us there and back, so we could really enjoy our evening without any hassle. They even had the restaurant offer us complimentary champagne and dessert. Back at the lodge, the attention to detail is superb, the amenities are of a high standard, our room had a stunning mountain view, and the service is warm and friendly - more like a stay with good friends than a stuffy hotel. The staff really do go above and beyond to make sure the stay is memorable. You won't regret making this your first choice when staying in the area.

  • Stayed: June 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Thirtygirl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 25, 2012

Our first time in Cape Town. At White Lodge Rachel, Midge, Jack and all the staff made us very welcome. We stayed in room no 2 which has a little sitting area outside with a very comfortable couch overlooking the patio towards the gardens and the back of Table mountain. There is a nice secluded swimming pool. In the rather cool evenings, we still managed to sit outside our room. We stayed in a couple of nights and relaxed with our own bottle of wine, delicious food that we bought in the nearby supermarket and a good book. We could use the fridge in the kitchen and they brought us glasses, plates etc. Make sure you make restaurant reservations (lunch and dinner) and reconfirm on the actual date. Rachel, Midge and Jack are always very helpful and do their utmost to get you a table (even when a restaurant is fully booked!!!). Ask them for their driver, it's so much more relaxed than having to drive yourself. It takes at least 20 minutes to get to Cape Town, but all the wineries are nearby.

Room Tip: Room no. 2 has a very comfortable couch looking over the patio towards the garden.
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  • Stayed: March 2012, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank BarbaraTheHague
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 12, 2012

The Chaplins, W. Australia

Rachel, Jack & their staff our welcoming, friendly, efficient & unobtrusive in the professional care of their guests. Rooms are spacious, airy & well appointed (ours with balcony looking to the back of Table Mountain). We would have liked a small fridge, though. But open, self service bar/lounge with honour system a good idea. A lovely area of Cape Town to stay in, with the Constantia Shopping Mall only 10mins walk.

  • Stayed: March 2012, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank Rennie C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Constantia White Lodge

Address: 28 Evergreen Lane, Constantia 7806, South Africa
Location: South Africa > Western Cape > Cape Town > Constantia
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #8 of 40 B&Bs / Inns in Constantia
Price Range: $139 - $163 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Constantia White Lodge 4*
Number of rooms: 9
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Constantia White Lodge is wonderfully located, nestled in the heart of the Constantia Valley, one of South Africa’s most famous and picturesque wine-growing regions. The residence is set in tranquil, park like grounds, with an abundance of natural bird life and beautiful mountain views. Constantia White Lodge is located within easy access of Cape Town’s bustling city centre, major tourist attractions, as well as beaches, wine-estates and world-class golf courses, making it the ideal address for the discerning holiday or business visitor. Three of the top 50 restaurants in the World lie only 5 minutes from our door. A shopper’s heaven is a 4 minute drive away to Constantia Mall, where you will find an abundance of chic boutiques, fine jewelers and stylish café bars and restaurants. Guests are accommodated in luxurious king/twin rooms, each with its own private entrance and on-suite bathroom, beautifully decorated in relaxing and tasteful designs. The rooms offer quality beds, cri ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Constantia White Lodge Cape Town, South Africa

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