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“New management does not equal better management”
Review of Sante Hotel & Spa

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Sante Hotel & Spa
Ranked #11 of 14 Hotels in Paarl
Reviewed April 13, 2012

I tried to redeem a voucher and at the time of my first call the staff was on training. Things looked promising as there seemed to be space for the day that I wanted. However, back and forth we went, I left messages, I even tried to book via email (I'm still waiting for a response....and waiting....) just to be finally told (when I had to call them YET AGAIN as no one bothered to return my call) that the date that I requested is not available. So if this is the level of professionalism of the reservation staff, then I can only imagine what the rest of the service is like. I haven't even stayed at this place and I'm already disappointed!

Room Tip: Don't bother
  • Stayed: April 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Service
1  Thank CarmenD285
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Orionsante, Manager at Sante Hotel & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded July 24, 2012

Dear Sir, Madam

Thank you for your feedback on Sante’. We honestly welcome and appreciate your feedback and are excited that we have this forum to address our guests concerns and highlight issues that our new management team may have missed or need to address...

Sante’ has been through a rocky path to get to this point in time, the previous management company was unfortunately put into liquidation and we took over the reins on the 01 of April 2012. At this point we took over a barely functioning shell that was neglected and completely understaffed, preventative maintenance was non-existent and we knew at this point that we had a task on our hands to return this property to its former glory.

We are truly sorry to hear that your experience did not match up to your expectations and are working hard to ensure standards are met and exceeded, unfortunately with any new property it takes the management team a few months to recruit and train staff in order to bring levels back up.

We are happy to say that most of these issues have been resolved and our staff compliment is back to the level a property of this standing requires. Sante is firmly back on track and our new management team would love to have the opportunity to show you that the property is coming into its own as one of the winelands premier Hotels.

Thank you again for your feedback and we look forward, with your feedback to making the star of the winelands shine brightly.

Sincerely

The Management Team

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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155 - 161 of 189 reviews

Reviewed April 12, 2012

Sante has travelled a rocky road having been part of the Fidentia liquidated estate and is presently still in the hands of the financial services board, but there is hope! -

A new management company took over on the day we arrived, I understand they have signed a ten year lease with the option to purchase.
Midst the chaos of hand over, we were warmly welcomed and shown to our spa suites which were very spacious, comfortable and clean..
The huge property is surrounded by beautiful scenery - bird life abounds - there is a small lake where we even spotted a fish eagle, it is sheer peace and serenity.

Unfortunately with its financial difficulties over the past few years, little money has been spent on what may have been considered "unnecessary maintenance", and sadly it shows.

It was however, the two most wonderful relaxing days - real therapy for the soul - we loved our spa treatment the staff were very courteous, helpful and friendly and to our surprise after expecting average dining, we enjoyed a superb dinner in their restaurant - Congratulations to the chef.
If this is the standard they are trying to set, they have a strong chance of getting Sante back to its original excellent standard.
I can recommend Sante, and will go back again, I will however suggest for the moment until they regain their star rating, guests should look for their special deals and go with the flo.

Room Tip: We stayed on the ground floor - of a two level unit - I would imagine the upstairs suites would capi...
  • Stayed: April 2012, traveled with friends
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Thank DELAYEDBAGS
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Orionsante, Manager at Sante Hotel & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded July 26, 2012

Dear Sir/ Madam,

Thank you so much for your post on Tripadvisor, we are always happy to see positve comments that reflect a positive outlook for Sante's future...

We as a new Management Team are looking forward to making Sante shine brightly

We look forward to seeing you back at Sante soon

Sincerely

The Management Team

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 10, 2012

We booked to go to the hotel as we were going to a wedding in Stellenbosch on the Saturday – we thought we would make a romantic weekend out of it and used 4 vouchers which I bought for just under R4000 to stay for 2 nights - vallues at 14,200 ZAR!

When I made the booking I made it clear that it was for a romantic weekend and would have liked a room with spa bath in it - as per their images on their website - at the value of the above i would expect no less...

Upon arrival and during our stay we had a number of disappointment’s – which after a while just got hysterically funny – and the truth of it is that my perception of Sante is that it is far from Luxurious or at any standard close to their competitors within the region or anywhere quite frankly. Let me explain our exact experience.

We arrived at the hotel at around 3.30pm on the Friday afternoon – being taken to our room were surprised that:
a. The were two double beds rather than a king bed (which I could accept)
b.The fire place was not functioning as the hotel did not have a fire safety certificate as there was a fire recently
c. The spa bath didn’t exist (well there went my thoughts of romantic weekend).
d. There was a non-functioning bar fridge (i.e. it was broken!) – and no mini bar
e. We looked for room service menus and had to call for them to be brought to the room (I was asked to give the leather covers back – but when I explained there was nothing in the room in the first place it was ok to keep them).

We then went for a dip in the indoor spa pool at around 5.30pm:
a. When arriving there I looked for spa gowns as again nothing was in our room. I went to reception asking for some and was told they would bring me towels. I stated that other vistiors had them and I was not going to walk back all the way to SPA suite 238 in a towel, and was then told I would have to use the gowns from my room. I would have it there WERE any in the room! I then finally received the spa gowns.

3. We went back to our room and later decided to order in room dining
a.We ordered the Fillet and the Sirloin that was on the menu at the time with a side of fries. Much to my disgust we were delivered two plates with just the steak and fries – DRY, unseasoned steaks with no sauce, basting or any effort to make the plate look attractive – no veg, no salad, no "jus or lentils" as per the menu.
b. The tray itself didn’t even have salt or pepper to try and make the meal tasty – no ketchup, mayonnaise – NOTHING – worst room service I have ever had in my entire life (and I travel globally frequently!)

At 9pm we got a knock on the door, I had just come out of the shower at the time. My husband when to the door and it was the lady delivering water (at 9PM????), my husband asked her to put the water on the side of the kitchenette as we had just gotten out the shower– instead she walks directly into the room!

The next morning – we go to breakfast – no eggs in sight….told that there are poached eggs in the kitchen if we would like …not to be expected at a buffet!

We go to have a spa treatment (which was the only positive of this weekend) and once finished, I ask my husband to request that they bring an iron and ironing board to the room as I had a couple of creases in my dress for the wedding which I just wanted to quickly press. I also had to request a hairdryer (which hotel room does not have a hair dryer??).

Anyway, a gentlemen comes to the room (and by the way this is at around 1pm and still the room has not been serviced) and brings me a box of tissues and a spray can of insect spray saying that that was what was requested! I say no, I requested an iron and ironing board and hairdryer. I then get told that they cannot bring me the iron as they only have one in the hotel ??? I insist and he says he will see if he can bring it over quickly for me to use.

a. I ask for him to leave it in the room as we were going to go to Fairview for lunch – he replies that I am to please wait as there only have ONE KEY FOR OUR ROOM.
b. He finally brings it with an ironing board….to my hysterical laughter once again – the ironing board was just a piece of metal – no cover….
7. Anyway – we leave the key at reception as it being the only one according to the guy from housekeeping I figure that is why they did not come service the room.
8. We go to Fairview and arrive back at around 4.30 pm (needing to get ready to go to the wedding) – at reception they can’t find the key and ask me why I left it there in the first place. I was like….um because I was told this was the only one and housekeeping needed to service the room. They eventually find it and I return to the room.

At this point I loose it completely – almost 5pm and the room has STILL not been serviced!!! Where is the luxury here! I call the manager and he apologises and said he would look into things – while chatting to him housekeeping arrive, where I sent them away as I now wanted to get ready to go to the wedding and they can come back later.

At around 1.30am we arrive back from the Wedding…..much to our surprise our sliding door is wide open!!! My husband tries to lock it but for some reason it will not lock – at that point we just want to go to sleep so we can go home the next day – this stay has just been hysterical to say the least. We had to put the coffee table up against the door – to ensure we could sleep safely throughout the night as the room is on an estate far from the main hotel.

The next morning – I suddenly wonder….did they break into the room to clean it?? And low and behold – I go to the door and can see markings from them breaking into the sliding door in order to get in – the key we had WAS in fact the ONLY key for room 238!

Just before checking out – I ask the manager – who’s bright spark idea was it to break into the room – he tells me “yes, we had to do some maintenance on the room!” Um BREAK THE SLIDING DOOR LOCK AND LEAVE IT OPEN AND UNLOCKED FOR ANYONE TO BE ABLE TO COME INTO THE ROOM AT ANYTIME DURING THE NIGHT or STEAL OUR POSSESSIONS! ARE YOU KIDDING ME ! ON A ESTATE AWAY A FROM THE MAIN HOTEL!

After complaining and stating that this was all just too shocking for words - the manager stated that I would not have to pay for my incidentals – which was two wraps, 4 cokes, the shocking steaks, cheese platter and a bottle of nail polish from the spa and 1 bicycle hire. While I appreciate that my small bill (around maybe R800) was refunded.

I still find it completely shocking – and to be quite honest everyone that I have told this story to, thinks it’s completely unbelievable.

The best is I emailed the owner -"Hans" - who didn't even have the decentcy of replying himself but sent his "Guest Services Manager" to reply to me - who I believe is the same person who dealt with us when we were there (i.e. breaking into the room) - who offered to upgrade my room should we wish to come back - ARE YOU KIDDING ME - i must pay to come back - oh and they would provide me with a free dinner (excluding beverage!). They ruined a VERY expensive weekend in low season and i must still pay to come back to get a room upgrade - HA!

Room Tip: Don't stay there!
  • Stayed: September 2011, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank leezv
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 8, 2012

We spent two days at the beginning of April in a Manor Suite, which was very spacious and comfortable and had wonderful views of the surrounding mountains, vineyards and vlei area with it's bird and insect life. This place is so peaceful and tranquil and there is a general sense of quiet in abundance everywhere - around the pool, in the restaurant, at the spa, around the grounds etc - it feels as if you staying at someones villa or mansion rather than at a Hotel. the Spa facility is glorious with very helpful and professional staff and I enjoyed both my treatments, as well as the general facilities. I did in fact have a truly rejuvenating time doing hardly anything but listen to music on my mp3 player, read my book and just laze around, basking in the hot weather, which is exactly what I was looking to do in this scenic location. I would recommend it to those wanting the same, however do not bring active children here, which one or two people did, as it is really not suited to them or anyone who wants more action and activity. I thoroughly enjoyed the experience but must admit that the food was average at best, nothing to complain about or rave about and yes the breakfast buffet was lacking for an establishment of this standard - there was also a certain X factor missing from the rooms and general Hotel that would make the place wow! and a certain sterile atmosphere pervaded the place. But it is impressive nonetheless and possibly the new management taking over the running of the Hotel will help to give it that X factor and make it an unforgettable, which it just aint yet! Worth considering though.

Room Tip: The Manor suites are close to everything and within easy walking distance of the spa and restautrant...
  • Stayed: April 2012, traveled with friends
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1  Thank stuartgood
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 30, 2012

We had vouchers for accommodation at Sante, and I wasn't too sure what to expect, as sometimes one is treated as a bit of a second-rate citizen with vouchers. However, it could not have been a better experience. We absolutely loved the hotel and the spa, found it incredibly relaxing and I think it is the nicest place I have ever stayed in in South Africa (which includes some pretty decent places!).

I enjoyed the architecture, which is spacious and cool; the room was well-appointed, everything worked well, and the beds were comfortable. The restaurant was decent and fairly-priced, and the spa is very pretty; our treatments were great, especially as the therapist actually listened to my requests. One of the best things for me was that the staff of both the hotel and spa, while professional, helpful and friendly, were very unobtrusive: they were right there when you needed them but otherwise we could have been alone in the place. It's definitely on our list and we can't wait to go back!

I have given an average rating for the breakfast, which while fresh and good was not exceptional for a hotel buffet; our dinner was more interesting. I have also given an average rating for cleanliness, for only one reason: that we were a little bothered by fruit flies during dinner, which can probably be resolved by rinsing out wine bottles before disposal and so on. Everything else was extremely clean.

Room Tip: We were in the main hotel, overlooking the front pool and lawn; the rooms have a small balcony and t...
  • Stayed: March 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank 312578Gogg
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 7, 2012

Very happy with the hotel and the location is amazing.

  • Stayed: February 2012
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Thank Namean
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 5, 2012

Arrived after a 12 hour flight and a long drive to an utterly disappointing experience here. We checked-out within one hour. Why? Following an unfriendly weird reception we were escorted through the dining rooms and past a dirty kitchen to a low energy unkempt apartment that was very dirty. The fixtures and fittings were terrible, lights hanging off the wall, bird mess on the Walls, filthy carpet stains, thick dust on the window sills, a broken chair, make-up around the sink, a cracked mirror, and just a feeling like the place was derelict. The last straw was the gush of water out of the bathroom sink when I washed my hands, flooding the bathroom floor. We checked out the spa and found it very odd. It took about 10 minutes before anyone greeted us and staff were arguing in the corridors, and the vibe there was bizarre. Needless to say we did not stay here and thankfully we had someone in south Africa arranging things for us, so she found us something fantastic very quickly. The only saving grace about this place is the situation -the views are exceptional. My advice, stay away from this place.

Room Tip: Don't stay here
  • Stayed: January 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank 1foodielove
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

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:
#7 Luxury Hotel in Paarl
Price Range: $124 - $208 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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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