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“Pleasant mid-week break”
Review of Sante Hotel & Spa

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Sante Hotel & Spa
Ranked #10 of 14 Hotels in Paarl
Cape Town
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Pleasant mid-week break”
Reviewed November 1, 2011

I'm interested to read the negative review posted by VeraJayne. We also did the "Amazing 5-star spa getaway" Daddy's Deal, and chose to make it a two-night getaway. We were greeted with great courtesy on arrival, handed welcome drinks, and escorted on a quick tour of the facilities. Then we were taken to our room, with which we were very impressed. It was clean, and very comfortable. There were some glitches: no adapter for the hair-dryer, a stingy supply of teabags and coffee, and I thought the provision of Cremora was unacceptable for an upmarket establishment - there's a mini fridge, use it to keep some real milk cold! It would have been nice to provide matches for the candles in the room, and the bath plug needed help to stay closed. We did turn the TV on, but the reception was poor, and there wasn't anything more than MNet. But we didn't go to watch TV so it wasn't an issue!

The service was excellent - every staff member we encountered was friendly and polite and helpful.

The little dam outside our room was a bonus, and my husband's stay was greatly enhanced by being able to fly fish at no cost with his own rod!

The food was good, generous breakfast buffet, and the dinners were good but a bit expensive, as were the drinks. Waitering service was very good.

The spa was beautiful, excellent service, lovely change rooms and shower facilities. We had great treatments. There is a couple's room (upstairs), maybe it was already booked when VeraJayne tried to book her couple's massage?

We really enjoyed the indoor pool and jacuzzi area, and were impressed at the provision of towels and blankets. It would have been nice for the pool bar to be actually stocked and selling drinks and snacks or light meals. The iced water was very welcome, but at no point were we offered anything else to drink or eat.

Considering the price we paid, I think it was a good value for money deal. I did email the hotel to point out the room glitches, and got what is obviously the standard "we'll take this up at the management meeting" reply. However, I do intend to follow this up! But overall we were impressed, and would go there again!

  • Stayed October 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Philippa L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (55)
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English first
Somerset West, South Africa
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed October 25, 2011

So the blurb on the voucher read "Amazing 5-star spa getaway for 2 at the magnificent Santé Hotel, incl breakfast & 2 spa treatments for only R799 – valued at R3 650". Firstly, someone should inform Kulula, the purveyor of this 'amazing' deal, that this establishment is officially 4 star - and even that really is pushing it. I've been to 3 star hotels that would put this place to shame.

It started off badly with us and a few other couples left hanging around in the reception area (so we assumed it to be - there was no signage and no formal desk), unguided and ignored and eventually having to resort to jostling each other to get to the desk to be assisted, to check in. Okay, a minor glitch, we thought – this can only get better. How wrong we were. We were escorted to our room – and there the downward spiral of disappointment began. There was not even water to drink in the 'mini-bar'; we had to go down to the bar and pay R25 for the privilege of a bottle of water. The room was dirty. There was no 'satellite TV' or 'music stations' as advertised. The printed spa info was out of date and misleading. There was no information at all next to the telephone. We were told that dinner was at 6pm – we got to the dining area only to be told it was actually at 7pm.

This was supposed to be a treat for our honeymoon; we wanted to turn around and go home within half an hour of arriving. Our friends who had been to the resort before (and had to ask for another room on arrival) raved about the coffee machine in the rooms. All we got was a plastic kettle, two tea cups – not matching - and one teaspoon, and the standard instant fare. Which wasn't even replenished the next day. Our special 'turn down service' was housekeeping coming to the door at dinner time with a tray of four lots of nuts / dry biscuits sprinkled with icing sugar (one for each room in the spa suite complex we were in), and asking if we wanted one or both beds 'turned down' – literally, the duvet corners turned down. When we tried to inform housekeeping of some of our grievances we were told that we must make a complaint. Erm....

The bath leaked, the shower reeked (alleviated temporarily by a regular kettlefull of boiling water down the drain), the shower was hairy, the towels were dirty, the one and only bath robe in the room was holy, one duvet had what appeared to be a blood stain on it, the bathroom windowsill had a nice thick layer of dust on it, the floor hadn't been vacuumed (dust monsters and hairballs attached to shoes)... The 'private patio' was bedecked in bird poop and cigarette butts, and old squeaky wooden furniture. Other delights included a noisy air conditioning unit emitting strange noises in the night, and the room telephone, which we uventually unplugged, ringing on and off at all hours.

On the plus side, breakfast provided a pleasing selection of fresh foods and juices and a good variety to suit all – besides the awful dishwater-like coffee. The buffet dinner on the Sunday night was bordering on superb, spoiled somewhat by the overcooked steak and fish. We did notice, however, that the salmon roses were recycled to Tuesday morning's breakfast. Service was a little slow but not bad. The spectacular mountain views and setting cannot be faulted, and the rooms are spacious.

The Simply Spa was also rather underwhelming. The 'indoor hydro pool' (what other kind of pool is there?) was not clean – my husband lost his wedding ring in the pool and we spent a few hours searching for it so got a pretty good look at what was floating in the water. Insects, worms, bird poop (again), unidentifiable floaters etc. The 'pool bar' was unmanned and unstocked save for a jug of water and some plastic glasses on the counter. The spa staff were friendly and professional, but not overly helpful when it came to assisting us in our search for the lost ring, which we never found. The spa treatments were good but also not as advertised – they cannot accommodate couples having treatments together, which was kind of the point; only one person per treatment room.

We did inform management of our grievances at checkout, and received an apology and a promise that the issues would be raised in the 'management meeting' and that we would receive an email the following day – well guess what, we are still waiting. I just wish we'd had a look on this site before making our booking – can you believe it, on your hotel bill they actually invite you to post your review here! Brave or stupid? You decide.

  • Stayed October 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank VeraJayne
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers are raving about these Paarl hotels

Cape Town Central, South Africa
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed October 17, 2011

First of all, I must say that the setting and facilities were beautiful, and we had a lovely view from our room. However, from the moment we arrived the poor service and lack of attention to detail really spoiled the mood!

First off we had to wait almost an hour for our room, and then when we got there we had to remind our host about the complimentary bottle of wine which was part of our special offer. The wine eventually arrived, but without a corkscrew. We were hoping for a drink of water but alas the mini-bar was completely empty! What really upset us was that no-one really seemed to know what was going on, and we constanly had to ask about services or activities which were supposed to be included in our stay! Maybe its just me, but when I come to a wellness centre for the weekend I would expect to feel welcomed and relaxed from the word go.

The buffet dinner was tasteless and some of the dishes were really strange (steak & corn?).

A place with so much potential, but management really needs to raise the service levels.

  • Stayed October 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Ddotcom
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cape Town
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed October 16, 2011

I have seen some negative reviews about Sante on this web page and elswhere and honestly don't know why. We have stayed there in October 2011 and perhaps previoulsy things weren't so great. (I know Fidentia previously owned the hotel and Fidentia went bust so ownership changed.) In any event, I can honestly recommend the hotel. We stayed in a Spa Suite and they are enormous. The spa indoor swimming pool is fantastic and the restaurant OK. However, the natural beauty and views of the winelands and and surrounding mountains is the jewel in the crown. I can honestly recommend it.

Room Tip: I guess if you choose a room inside the main building you are closer to the spa itself if that is im...
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  • Stayed October 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank janrabie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
cape town
Level 3 Contributor
16 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed October 9, 2011

Considering we were there for only 2 nights and using a discounted rate, one cannot complain! If however, we had paid full price for the so-called 5 star establishment, we would have been sorely disappointed! The Tuscan theme dominates, both in and outdoors. The huge room with enormous beds and attention to detail was in a picturesque spot next to the water with a stunning view of the distant mountains. Small things missing like gowns, soap, shampoo and tea cups, showed lack of training or staff. Once requested it was delivered speedily enough. Our suite was not serviced until way passed 3 o'clock, and a request for them to do so. Once again bringing the standard at the hotel into question. The staff tried very hard to please.

Room Tip: The value was only average due to the discounted rate, otherwise it would have been outrageous to pa...
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  • Stayed September 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank sweet63capetown
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London
Level 4 Contributor
44 reviews
44 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 43 helpful votes
Reviewed September 27, 2011

The Sante resort is the ultimate manifestation of South Africans' love affair with all things faux-Tuscan. It is grandiose and could be great, but the service is extremely bad in all respects, management are feeble when challenged and the whole place is just a bit underwhelming. The spa/wellness facilities are good, though, the rooms are huge (if kitsch), and the setting is nice. The hotel ranks Ok for value for money only because they are discounting heavily, it appeared, to drive occupancy so it was hard to feel ripped off, all things considered.

  • Stayed September 2011
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Skibummer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cape Town Central, South Africa
Level 2 Contributor
9 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed September 13, 2011

We had a much enjoyed stay at Sante Spa, Hotel and Resort. The breathtaking views ensure one's awe and wonder for nature are maintained during the whole of the visit. Something noticeable was how the hotel aims to better itself continually - almost all of the negative remarks made in the previous entries have been corrected. I appreciate it that someone has the courage, time and energy to maintain and grant access to the public again to such a breathtaking property. The initial owner obviously went further and beyond in terms of everything, from the vastness of the place to the decor - and to find owners willing to take over the baton in rebuilding this place up to its former glory is commendable. The spa area is fabulous, with every treatment you can think of. We had slightly cold weather and thus enjoyed the sauna and the steam room. Breakfast is good and tasty (although not the usual large spread one would see at 5 star hotels), more than enough and leaves one satisfied. Given the specials running at the moment, I will definitely consider Sante in the near future again for a romantic break. Situated just before Paarl, with a short drive (prob about 2km) on a gravel road, it is a great getaway without driving too far. We enjoyed a protracted wine tour the following day, with some world renown winefarms in very close proximity to the estate.

Room Tip: The spa suites are spacious, and comes with own kitchenette. Ask for one right on the water, to ensu...
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  • Stayed September 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Ilkevz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Sante Hotel & Spa

Property: Sante Hotel & Spa
Address: La Bella Vita Wine Estate | Simonsvlei Road, Paarl 7646, South Africa (Formerly Sante Winelands Resort)
Location: South Africa > Western Cape > Paarl
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#6 Luxury Hotel in Paarl
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — Sante Hotel & Spa 4*
Number of rooms: 61
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Flanked by the majestic Simonsberg Mountains in the picturesque Franschhoek Valley, Santé Hotel, Resort & Spa is situated on a working wine estate. Only 40 minutes from Cape Town International airport, Santé has it all - a luxurious hotel, outstanding conference facilities and an award-winning Spa & Wellness centre. The hotel’s fine dining restaurant serves gourmet meals with international flair and inspired by local delicacies - many sourced from its own organic gardens. The rooms are stylish and luxurious, with marble finishes, deluxe bathrooms and offer sweeping views of the mountains, lakeshore and vineyards. Three types of accommodation are available: Manor rooms – in the main hotel, Spa suites, and the Villas. Santé means ‘health’ and this simple message is carried through every aspect of the guest experience - from the décor of the luxurious and spacious rooms, through to the rejuvenating spa treatments and the thoughtful attention to detail. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Sante Hotel Paarl
Sante Hotel, Resort And Spa
Sante Winelands Hotel

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