We were attracted to the Hotel based on its website. However the website is somewhat big on promise and the reality is short on delivery. It has a pool - it and the furniture around it are a bit tatty. The exterior of the property could definitely do with a bit of maintenance. The bar reminds me so much of a 1970's men’s public bar, but the lounge is good, comfortable and stacks of Karoo related books lying around for one to read, and some startling furnishing too. I get the feeling that management are trading on the eclectic and Karoo feel far too much. We experienced those in other places at a far higher level than here at the Hotel. Its veneer thin here.
The redeeming factor is the quality of the food. Plainly put, it’s excellent. But here again there is a disjoint . The food is out-sourced but the bar is run in-house. So the front of house staff may forget to offer you a wine list, and when you get the bill, you get two! One for the food and one for the bar, which you must pay for separately. It’s in the hotels interest to incentivise the caterer to sell their wine... they will reap the rewards thereof, and the most important thing is that patrons will witness a seamless and normalised dining experience. I would say that should the hotel lose the caterer and the quality of his cuisine, it would also lose the only real tangible attraction it has.
Our room typified the same mix of experiences throughout the rest of the establishment. Fantastic king-size bed and quality bed linen, nice old wooden chest of drawers and upholstered wingback chair - with a cheap and nasty veneer desk pushed backwards up against the wall. A huge bathroom, with a large shower with plenty of hot water, and a little basin on the wall (set too high for anyone but an adult to use), and a wooden bench. Good quality towels and soaps however! Separate loo, a bit basic, with insufficient loo paper which meant I had to go and fetch some from the public loos downstairs as I could not find any staff to assist me at 6.30am in the morning.
Our standard room looked out over the street which has a bottle store opposite. Each afternoon we have been entertained by inebriated locals, talking and shouting at each other, and using language which wouldn't go amiss in an army barracks - not the hotel's fault but something to be factored in by visitors.
The printed info note in the room basically states that the hotel is a work in progress. That's all well and good, but it’s not the message we got in the 'marketing blurb' on the website which initially attracted us.
So to end, and for the rates charged, we think management ought to be a tad more honest in the offering. It’s very average, except for bits and pieces of it which are great. Has potential to really achieve, but needs specific expertise and a budget to get there.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- This is the best country hotel in the whole of the Klein Karoo! An ideal stop-over between Cape Town and the Garden Route, a must-stay for any visitor! Best food and most comprehensive wine list in the whole of the Klein Karoo! ( Wine list has just been awarded a Diners Club Wine List Diamond Award - the highest award possible) ! Restaurant has just won the Klein Karoo Gourmand Award ! Loads of historic character. Most friendly staff. Rooms with balconies and views available. Character bar and great restaurant. Huge swimming pool for hot summer days. Many open fireplaces for the winter nights! Karoo hospitality. The hotel is an art gallery with many paintings by local artists on display and for sale .Some rooms with cable TV available. Staff are keen to share local things to do and to see with guests.We even have a private 40 seater private cinema for use by our guests! ... more less
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