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“Absolutely Not a 5-Star Hotel, With A Touch Of Fawlty Towers.”

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Coopmanhuijs Boutique Hotel & Spa
Ranked #2 of 16 Hotels in Stellenbosch
Certificate of Excellence
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
36 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
“Absolutely Not a 5-Star Hotel, With A Touch Of Fawlty Towers.”
Reviewed February 26, 2013

This establishment appears to have a serious identity crisis; it is certainly not a 5-star Boutique Hotel, but should probably best be described as a 4-star Townhouse Hotel, though on the amazing experience we had there this month two stars is generous. We arrived for the final three nights of what had been an excellent South African vacation, having reserved a "Deluxe Suite with two en suite bathrooms". On arrival we were shown to a small, dark and noisy double bedroom, with a single bathroom. Fortunately I had the detailed booking confirmation with me, and the bewildered front desk staff were able to print-off an identical confirmation from their system, yet the reality is that this hotel does not have any suites ! In fact the biggest issue at Coopmanshuijs is that they have tried to create too many rooms, with the result that none of them, despite some good bathrooms, are 5-star ! The GM was absent, so the front desk staff tried really hard to find us alternative accommodation in the area, but with no success, so we were stuck with making the best of it, and picked the best room that Coopmanhuijs had available; this was a considerable improvement over the first offering, but was still probably not more than 33sq,m. including a 9sq.m bathroom. Most rooms I saw were relatively small, dark and/or noisy. Late in the afternoon the GM arrived, and was effusively apologetic, blaming her marketing department and the booking system; I demonstated that the room I had supposedly booked was through the hotel's own Website, and had been offered for a year or more. I even pursuaded her to go into the Website in my presence, where it still boasted that "Three of the 14 bedrooms have their own small lounges ...." In fact, as I write this report, the Website has still not been amended, despite her assurances, and this is truly unacceptable practice ! There are actually 16 rooms in the hotel, so maybe one might draw conclusions as to where the extra two rooms came from ? Incidentally, I had even been charged a deposit based on an apparently fictitious rate which was 150% of that for the best room that actually exists ! Whatever, we had no alternative but to make the best of it with our new room, and set out to enjoy Stellenbosch Town, for which the hotel is indeed excellently located. I am fully aware that Coopmanhuijs has received a lot of favourable ratings, but tend to think that some guests are not really benchmarking true 5-star establishments, possibly because, once you eliminate the non-existent suites, Coopmanshuijs does not charge 5-star rates. 5-Star means getting it right from the moment you enter the premises, not dropping the ball and then mounting a charm offensive. 5-Star also means that you might expect used glasses, bottles and towels to be removed from the pool area, something that did not happen for an hour or more while we were there. 5-star means not reprimanding junior staff in front of guests. 5-star should probably mean having freshly squeezed juice for breakfast, or cornflakes available, or traditional marmalade, or a toaster that can produce toast in less than 6 minutes per slice. The 'Fawlty Towers' tag came unprompted from another guest after witnessing the daily toast debacle, but it truly fitted our experience here. The front desk staff certainly did their best to recover things, and junior staff are all friendly and helpful, but somehow there's a poor atmosphere and apparently little to smile about. This hotel has masses of potential, but the owners need to decide what to make of it. It can be a 5-star boutique hotel, but that will require remodelling and reducing the number of rooms, jacking-up the service and putting-up the prices. If it is to be a 4-star Townhouse hotel with small rooms, then make that decision, drop the pretention, and improve the atmosphere. I regret to write such a bad review, but we are experienced international travellers, including within South Africa, and this was a debacle of extraordinary proportions. The fact that the Website is still unamended is unprofessional, inexcusable and speaks for itself.

Room Tip: Do not trust the Website ! Call the hotel and get an exact specification of what you are actually...
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
9 Thank Peter H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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752 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
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Shandon, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
135 reviews
25 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 124 helpful votes
Reviewed February 20, 2013

Real olde worlde cape charm , well located in central Stellenbosch. Nicely furnished room and bathroom ,quaint little garden and pool area ,to use after a full day's sight-seeing . Decent breakfasts too. We had a very good dinner here as well-they have a good resident chef. Staff led by Ilzebet were all very friendly and helpful, and we enjoyed our 3 night stay here very much. John and Kirsteen Young

Room Tip: We had a nice room ,2 , overlooking the street.
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank tbonjour
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed February 13, 2013

We had four nights at the Coopmanhuis Boutique Hotel and found it to be warm, friendly and welcoming, front of house staff were excellent. Great location to explore the wine lands, golf courses and fabulous restaurants that the area has to offer. Small swimming pool and sun terrace a perfect place to relax after a day sight seeing. They are about to launch their restaurant for evening.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank Julia G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Barcelona, Spain
Level Contributor
44 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed February 10, 2013

The room, though a bit tight for space, was beautiful. The bathroom was large and gorgeous. We enjoyed a delicious Christmas Eve dinner in the restaurant. Wine selection seemed limited. Good breakfast on Christmas day and the perfect eggs Benedict was a treat. The sunflowers everywhere in the hotel was a joyful touch. We'll love to go back to this place.

Room Tip: our room was in the old part and we liked it.
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Lakshumi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
9 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed February 7, 2013

Coopmanhuijs is perfectly located at the heart of Stellenbosch, and is a warm and inviting property. But it wasn't the building or the rooms that blew us away, it was the service. General Manager, Ilzebet, went to extraordinary lengths to ensure that we enjoyed our stay and were looked after. Her enthusiasm for the town and the local area was infectious, and she helped us make the very best use of our time. She made our time in beautiful Stellenbosch extra special, and we'll be back for sure.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Oliver R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
George, south Africa
Level Contributor
13 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed February 7, 2013

We stayed for 1 night at Coopmanhuijs Boutique Hotel. Everything from the check in, the room and the breakfast were just perfect. The location is great. The decor is beautiful and the staff really make you feel welcome and cared for. I can really recommend this hotel.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank marliza
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Yamba, Australia
Level Contributor
26 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed January 23, 2013

What elegance,style and warm hospitality we enjoyed at this hotel.The actual room was a little on the snug side but with so many other places to sit,the bar, outside on the front patio, our room verandah, the sitting area downstairs and around the pool ,did not use the room except to sleep, .... in the most comfortable bed!
If you enjoy a bed and breakfast atmosphere then this is for you.
Centrally located,walking to lots of restaurants and shops.
The lunch in house is excellent and not expensive,breakfast is self serve and a la carte,excellent service.
Stellenbosch does not have taxis,but shuttle service can be arranged by the effervesent General Manager,Elizabet,
We would return perhaps take a larger room next time.

Room Tip: Check room size,as they vary.
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank janjazz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Coopmanhuijs Boutique Hotel & Spa

Property: Coopmanhuijs Boutique Hotel & Spa
Address: 33 Church Street, Stellenbosch 7600, South Africa
Phone Number:
Location: South Africa > Western Cape > Stellenbosch
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Spa Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#1 Business Hotel in Stellenbosch
#1 Romantic Hotel in Stellenbosch
#2 Spa Hotel in Stellenbosch
#2 Luxury Hotel in Stellenbosch
#3 Family Hotel in Stellenbosch
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:5 star — Coopmanhuijs Boutique Hotel & Spa 5*
Number of rooms: 16
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Built in 1713, Coopmanhuijs was one of the first grand residences in the heart of historic Stellenbosch, and is now surrounded by the town's many stylish shops, galleries and museums. The rooms in the Manor House and newly built rooms overlook a outdoor pool and a walled courtyard. Guests can enjoy meals from the Provencal kitchen and dine at leisure with a glass of fine Cape wine in the courtyard or in the intimate Helena's Restaurant. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Coopmanhuijs Boutique Hotel Stellenbosch
Coopmanhuijs Boutique Hotel And Spa

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