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“Stolen personal items, disgraceful customer service”

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Asara Wine Estate & Hotel
Ranked #8 of 16 Hotels in Stellenbosch
Certificate of Excellence
Level Contributor
48 reviews
41 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 53 helpful votes
“Stolen personal items, disgraceful customer service”
Reviewed May 5, 2013

Hotel Asara is a picturesque hotel perfectly situated to explore Stellenbosch and the surrounding area but our two-night stay was ruined by the fact that personal items were stolen from our room. To make matters worse we have received appalling customer service since - as bad as I have experienced anywhere in the world.

When my girlfriend and I came to check out I realised that my electric razor, which was bought for around £200, was missing. I hoped that it had accidentally been swept up with used towels and called reception to ask if the cleaners had handed it in. They hadn't and the head of security came to our room to tell us he would be launching an investigation.

Five days later I emailed the hotel manager to ask for the result of the investigation and to enquire how they planned on compensating me for the missing razor. I received a reply from the security manager saying that the investigation was ongoing but that whatever the result, I would receive no compensation because I should have locked my razor in the safe in our room. This safe was about the size of a shoebox and I made the point that we couldn't possibly have fitted every item of value in it - not to mention the fact that I didn't consider locking a razor in a safe as normal practise!

Upon returning to Cape Town my girlfriend realised that her hair straighteners had also been taken during our stay and I emailed the hotel manager again to inform them. I received no reply.

A week ago (three weeks since we checked out of the hotel) I emailed the hotel manager again to find out how they planned on dealing with the fact that their staff are stealing personal items from guests and questioned whether they were taking the matter seriously. Again, I received no reply.

At no stage have I had any response, let alone an apology, from the hotel manager. The only person who has responded to me is the security manager, and that was to tell me the fault lay with me for not locking my razor in a safe.

I find it incredible that a 5-star hotel treats customers this way and doesn't take the issue of thieving staff seriously. If you are planning on staying at Asara I would strongly urge you to reconsider.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
8 Thank JEH_1985
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
AsaraManagement, Manager at Asara Wine Estate & Hotel, responded to this review, May 7, 2013
Dear Mr Harman
Thank you for your comments.
As discussed in detail with you at the time of you reporting the incident, I set out the path which the entire investigation would be taking and would like to reiterate the following:
I understand that your stay in South Africa may have been marred by this incident, but I can assure you we take this very seriously and endeavor to resolve this issue by doing our own internal investigation.
In cases such as this one, we always investigate the matter thoroughly in order to ascertain whether there was any evidence of criminal acts or negligence on the part of the hotel or any of its staff members.
We at Asara pride ourselves in the level of guest security and comfort; our reputation is the best in the Stellenbosch for good reason, we care!
The following observations have been noted and made:
1. No unauthorised entry to the room was found.
2. A full key report of your room door lock has been drawn and nothing out of the ordinary has been recorded and/or found.
The following investigation has been completed:
1. Both associates, recorded on a lock reading report from your room door lock, who had entered your room have been questioned regarding the incident and they could not supply any positive leads or be connected to the incident.
2. They were both subjected to polygraph tests and no deception was found.
3. All associates are body searched on a daily basis including any handbags, rug sacs, tog bags etc. which they may bring to work as well as their vehicles and public transport picking up those without their own transport and nobody was found in possession of your property on that particular day or the evening prior to you reporting the matter.
I would like to give you my assurance that we have taken this incident very seriously and have exhausted all efforts in order to conclude this investigation on a positive note.
We at Asara take our guests safety seriously and work towards giving them that peace of mind at all times during their stay.
I would also like to clarify to the readers that I informed you that our insurance does not cover the loss of your items as all valuable items are to be kept inside the in-room safe which is available in all our rooms. In defense of any insurance company, I am sure it is fair to state that the reasonable man would classify any item valued at R4 500, 00 to be named a valuable item. This is not the ordinary run of the mill, R10, 00 throw away razor, but a sophisticated piece of machinery.
The General Manager has been kept in the loop regarding your issues and is sure that this will resolve everything.
Should you ever return to Stellenbosch we would like to invite you back to Asara to hopefully change your outlook of our hotel and services.
Once again my sincere apologies for your inconvenience.
Chris Bruyns
Head: Safety & Security
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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English first
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
155 reviews
27 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 66 helpful votes
Reviewed April 28, 2013 via mobile

Recently stayed here for 2 nights on a trip to SA and I am glad we picked here. I have stayed in a number of 5 star hotels all over the world and value for money wise the Asara is up there!

We stayed in Room 219 which is at the end of the block of rooms and has fantastic views over the wineyards and surrounding countryside, the rooms are spacious and comfortable with a level of luxury and a colonial style finish with doors which lead out on to a large balcony to relax on! The bathrooms are large and again to a high quality.

The hotel overall is very comfortable and of a high standard with options available for eating and drinking. We had drinks in the bar and enjoyed the sun going down then moved in to enjoy the log fire before moving to the restaurant.

The choice in the restaurant was good and was decent although not the best food I had in Stellenbosch or the surrounding area, the wine again was good and excellent value.

There is also a deli on site where you can enjoy an afternoon or morning snack and breakfast comes as part of the room and has a decent number of options from continental to fully cooked or eggs benedict for example.

The staff were warm and accommodating throughout from the moment we arrived and were greeted with a glass of wine to checkout and assistance with all of our luggage.

Next time I am back I will be sure to stay on Asara again! Thanks for a wonderful visit and I only wish it was longer

  • Stayed April 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Craig M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Durban
Level Contributor
156 reviews
72 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 94 helpful votes
Reviewed April 22, 2013

Stayed here for one night over a weekend. Large and very comfortable room, with a lovely bathroom. The property and views are absolutely beautiful - made even better by the lovely sunshine we had. All the staff we dealt with were excellent. Asara is a high standard establishment, we highly recommend it and hope to return for a longer stay!

Room Tip: Rooms overlooking the dam have the best view
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank knowthegoodstuff
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cape Town Central, South Africa
Level Contributor
26 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed April 21, 2013

What an amazing Hotel! I was lucky enough to be treated to a night away at Asara for my birthday.
We stayed in the Vineyard Suite on the ground floor. It had a wrap around balcony and a separate lounge area.
When we arrived we were greeted by friendly staff and a glass of amazing white cab wine, my husband had the red. Amazing! The room had a king size bed and a cot was made up for our son. The bathroom was large and a big bath tub with a separate shower. Under floor heating, air con, kettle, coffees and teas. There is also free WIFI. (there is also an adjoining room great for a bigger family)
When we arrived in the room there was chocolates, fruit and wine. What a way to start my birthday weekend.
Dinner was 5 star! Delicious food, beautiful view and attentive staff. The chef also made a special order of chicken nuggets and mash for our son.
Breakfast was also wonderful, great variety hot and cold. AGAIN delicious.
We will def be coming back with our parents and nieces and nephews.

Room Tip: Vinyard Suite
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
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    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Nalisha910
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
uk
Level Contributor
66 reviews
33 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
Reviewed April 20, 2013

Lovely setting in a relaxing environment with great service to match as we enjoyed our 2 night stay after a hectic few days in central Cape Town.

The room 201 we were allocated was very spacious and after cramped conditions in Cape town a bathroom to die for!

The main restaurant is used for breakfast and as there are limited table on the lovely balcony overlooking the lake so choose the right time to go. Our evening meal was excellent in Raphaels although the experience in Sansibars was not as good partly due to the time of year we travelled. This also applied the swimming pool set in the grounds which was very cold for an afternoon swim.

There is wine tasting until 6pm every day and we were given an enlightening tour of the operations

Room Tip: rooms on the second floor have a better view
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
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    • Service
Helpful?
Thank steveandjenUk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed April 19, 2013 via mobile

So glad we paid a bit extra to stay here, make sure you stay in one of the vineyard view rooms, the views are stunning. We were lucky to have been put in one of the top floor corner rooms and were the last to see the sun at the end of the day. Great breakfast, one of the best we've ever had. Dining room is stunning, great place to have dinner. Five star service at this place, meeting us at the door when we arrive with a welcome drink and accommodating our every need. The staff give great service at all times. We hope to come back some day. Wine tasting a must.

  • Stayed April 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Olinda D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
21 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
Reviewed April 19, 2013

We came here after a family wedding, a group of 12 adults, including the happy couple who stayed in a suite over looking the Lake and Mountains. Our other 5 rooms were just as nice and over looking gardens and the Mountains, all with balconies with sun loungers. The rooms were well kept and comfortable. The grounds were beautiful and well kept by an army of grounds keepers. The room maids were very happy and friendly, as were the waiting staff in all areas. The wide range of food at breakfast was amazing, the lunch and evening menu were the same, good quality but if you stayed on site all the time to eat it would become a problem. The Impala meat on the menu is a must for all to try. The wines complimented the food. A 3 course meal and two bottles of wine for 2 people cost around £48.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Janet E
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Asara Wine Estate & Hotel

Property: Asara Wine Estate & Hotel
Address: P O Box 882, Stellenbosch 7599, South Africa
Location: South Africa > Western Cape > Stellenbosch
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#2 Romantic Hotel in Stellenbosch
#4 Family Hotel in Stellenbosch
#5 Business Hotel in Stellenbosch
#6 Luxury Hotel in Stellenbosch
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:5 star — Asara Wine Estate & Hotel 5*
Number of rooms: 40
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Asara is a 5-star hotel, set on a 180-hectare wine estate, in the heart of the Cape Winelands. The hotel offers warm hospitality, luxury accommodation, and the finest in food and wines - at highly competitive rates. A major feature of the hotel is its unique location on the Polkadraai Hills just outside of Stellenbosch, which affords stunning views of the surrounding vineyards and mountains, and creates a relaxed, get-away atmosphere. Asara is situated just 4kms from Stellenbosch and 25kms from Cape Town International Airport, making it ideal as a base from which to discover and explore the fabulous Cape Winelands, and further afield in the Western Cape. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Asara Wine Estate Hotel Stellenbosch
Asara Wine Estate And Hotel

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