Mount Nelson Hotel deal - take it?

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Jun 9th, 2005, 01:33 PM
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Mount Nelson Hotel deal - take it?

In searching hotel choices in Cape Town in late August I stumbled on a 2-nights-paid-third-night-free deal for the Mount Nelson, through both Expedia and Hotels.com. It would work out to around US$150 a night average for the 3 nights.

It sounds, superficially, like a great deal. However, there's a cancellation fee, so before I drop the penny as it were, has anyone stayed at the Mount Nelson lately and how was the experience? Is it stuffy, or overly "colonial" or as beautiful as it looks? Politically incorrect (gotta ask.) Thanks.
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Jun 9th, 2005, 05:27 PM
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Gardyloo,

On my first visit to South Africa in 2002, my wife and I stayed at the Mount Nelson. We stayed in a Junior Suite which was very nice. I did see the room description for a Superior Room and it looks very generously sized for a standard room at a minimum of about 500 sq. ft. I do, however, doubt that there will be much of a view from the Superior Rooms.

You should be aware that the Mount Nelson is in the City Bowl. It does get a little dicey in this part of town after dark. If you were to stay at the Cape Grace or the Table Bay Hotel you would be able to walk around all day and night.

Although my wife and I really liked the accomodations, we did find the food to be average, and we were not completely satisfied with the buffet breakfast.

Personally, I don't think I would stay at this hotel again. Although we enjoyed this stay, we probably enjoyed it more for the respect that it gained us when estate agents came to pick us up from the hotel. With the Rand at about 11.6 to $1 USD we were quite serious about buying property during our stay and did spend two full days looking at property all over Cape Town. Unfortunately, for us, when the Rand slipped down to about 11.1 a couple weeks after our visit, we backed out of a deal we had made on an oceanview plot of land in a gated community in Hout Bay. Who knew that the rand would get so strong?

Anyway, the Mount Nelson doesn't quite measure up, in my opinion, to the Table Bay Hotel or the Twelve Apostles Hotel, which are the only other two Cape Town hotels where I have stayed.

The high tea at the Mount Nelson is quite reputable, but honestly I thought the high tea at the Twelve Apostles was better. Plus, we did not much care for the buffet breakfast at the Mount Nelson and, quite honestly, there were some cleanliness issues. Plus, the dining area for the buffet breakfast is not at all intimate and it felt as if we were at a 3* hotel in Europe with far too many people all around. In comparison, at the Twelve Apostles, the buffet breakfasts were OUT STAND ING with a view to die for overlooking the Atlantic Ocean.

I would definitely rank the Cape Town hotels I have stayed at in this manner:

1. 12 Apostles
2. Table Bay Hotel
3. Mount Nelson Hotel

Better than all of these hotels may be the Cape Grace, but I am so happy with the 12 Apostles that I will either stay there again or at a very nice guesthouse.

As you have probably already seen, there are a few other really good deals for Cape Town hotels on Expedia:

CAPE GRACE - Stay 3 nights, get 4th night free. This works out to $327.58 per night. Not a bad deal, at all. If not for the Waterfront location, I would stay here in a heartbeat, but I do prefer the privacy of the Twelve Apostles.

TWELVE APOSTLES - Stay 3 nights, get the 4th night free. For a "luxury room", measuring 550 sq. ft., the price is an average of $262.28 per night.

TABLE BAY HOTEL - Standard room for $321 per night. I believe I stayed in a Standard room during my stay and found it quite acceptable. The location is perfect if you prefer the Waterfront, but at this price one would be better off at the Cape Grace, located within a 2 minute walk from the Table Bay.

THE COMMODORE - Average nightly rate for a standard room for 4 nights is $144.74 per night. I do think this is better located than the Mount Nelson.

The Mount Nelson is a very nice hotel, but there are better options out there. I did not find the hotel to be stuffy or necessarily overly colonial, and it certainly is a beautiful hotel, but even so, due to its location, average breakfasts and lack of great views, one would be best off staying elsewhere, in my opinion.
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Jun 10th, 2005, 07:43 AM
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I saw the same deal and had the exact same question. THANKS!!!
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Jun 10th, 2005, 01:10 PM
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I was not in the best position to say so yesterday, but I just successfully bid on a 4 night Luxury Link package at the Twelve Apostles in a Superior Sea Facing Room.

This is a 750 sq. ft. room with an amazing ocean view. Expedia does not discount this room, even with a 4 night stay, and it is a firm $800 USD per night.

Instead, on Luxury Link, I paid $1150 USD for a 4 night stay, including dinner one night, breakfast daily and a few other goodies. I am so excited!

This is the first place that I am making a return visit to in all of Southern Africa. I gave my wife a choice between Atlantic House guesthouse (for about $700 USD) or Twelve Apostles, and she wanted nothing less than the Twelve Apostles.

If they repeat this package, I would definitely recommend it to other Fodorites.
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Jun 10th, 2005, 01:42 PM
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Rocco -- Ah, but that's a far cry from when we & others were getting it for $535-$585 less than a couple of years ago! But I'm sure you will enjoy it all the same.
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Jun 10th, 2005, 03:07 PM
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Lisa,

If I remember correctly, I paid $570 for this package two years ago. Those of us who enjoyed the Twelve Apostles for those prices really hit the jackpot.

Still, even for double the price, I still thought it offered the best value and best experience possible for my 4 night stay this year.
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Jun 10th, 2005, 06:42 PM
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I was in Capetown in November and had a drink at the hotel. It is lovely...not close to the water...but very nice
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Jun 10th, 2005, 07:49 PM
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While the Mount Nelson may not be close to the hotel, take a look at this photo to see how the Twelve Apostles measures up. This is a profile of the hotel, and from those fortunate enough to be staying in a Seafacing Superior Room with a balcony, it is even closer to the water.

http://www.southafricasun.co.uk/twel...View%20ws2.jpg

For whatever it is worth, GQ Magazine voted it the hotel with the Best Views In The World.
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Jun 10th, 2005, 07:55 PM
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>>>While the Mount Nelson may not be close to the hotel...

hotel = ocean
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Jun 10th, 2005, 08:21 PM
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Thanks for the feedback. Unfortunately, our stay in Cape Town will occur close to the end of the main part of our RTW, so I'm anticipating that places like the 12 Apostles, no matter how nice, will be outside our budgetary comfort zone. The Mt. Nelson at the 3-for-2 price seemed a good alternative to lower-priced accommodation in the Holiday Inn class (with no disrespct to HI) but we will keep looking. Maybe the Commodore will be more our speed.
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Jun 11th, 2005, 06:19 AM
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The Commodore may be your best bet. It enjoys a better location, it is a nice modern hotel and has very good rates.

It belongs to the Legacy Hotels group, the same chain as the Michelangelo in Cape Town. I was very happy with my experience at the Michelangelo.
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Jun 11th, 2005, 06:20 AM
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Oops...I meant to say the same group as the Michelangelo in Joburg.
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Jun 12th, 2005, 02:14 PM
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Gardyloo,

Even at $150 per night the Mount Nelson Hotel is not worth it in my opinion. The hotel is a stuffy place which I like to call a "whisper joint" (i.e. you dare not raise your voice in the venue because you might just feel out)

The rooms are spacious and decorated in a very old colonial style however the Mount Nelso Hotel is definitely not known in our city for its service as a matter of fact in my opinion it borders on bad. The only events worth doing at the hotel are enjoying the history that exists in the hotel and there is no question that the high tea at the Nellie is the best in town, however you dont need to stay at the hotel to enjoy this.

I have been though this already on another thread on this board when I recommended that you should rather stay at a guesthouse relative to a hotel when in Cape Town however if you really want to stay at a hotel then when it comes to location and value for money the Commodore will take some beating.

I am not going to go into why I do not recommend the 12 Apostles as I have been through this debate over ane over on this board so in simple words let the pictures do the talking for themselves and you might see why I do not suggest that my visitors stay there

To see more please go to:

http://www.ilovecapetown.com/12apostles/12Apostles.htm

Enjoy our great city when you visit us.

Very proudly part of the wonderful nation of South Africa
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Jun 12th, 2005, 02:54 PM
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Selwyn,

Let me add that besides having a wonder exclusivity away from the busier Camps Bay and Waterfront, that the Twelve Apostles also has free shuttle service to each Camps Bay and the Waterfront. Then, when its guests tire from being surrounded by thousands of other people, they are able to return to the privacy of the Twelve Apostles.

So far, the other Fodorites who have visited the Twelve Apostles, have only heaped praise upon it, as have I.
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Jun 12th, 2005, 03:14 PM
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Roccco

Distance (shuttle or car) = Time

Most valuable function when travelling in a city where you only have lets say 3 days at your disposal = Time

Hence location is a VITAL function and as far as the 12 Apostles is concerned I have said my say and nailed my pictures onto the webwall in this regard after all pictures represent facts and not opinions.

I am not going to move into this debate again so thats my last say on this all in this thread.

Very proudly part of the wonderful nation of South Africa
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Jun 12th, 2005, 03:37 PM
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Selwyn and Roccco, thanks. Unfortunately the Commodore's prices for our dates are more than double what you mentioned, Roccco. It does look like a nice hotel, though.

Selwyn, I recall your advice and am grateful for your help. We are not as fond of "guest house" accommodations as many are (too many associations on my part with B&Bs in the UK in years gone by where £1.40 a night got you plastic sheets and fried bread in the morning. :-< )

We've tentatively booked into Les Cascades de Bantry Bay for 3 nights, for considerably less per night than most of the V&A-area hotels and/or the Mount Nelson. It looks quite comfortable and seems reasonably well located to us; we'll have a car and can either go into the city or south to the Cape, or just sit and stare at the sea if our energy reserves after six weeks on the go are low.

We've ended up with more days in the Cape area than we originally planned, so from there we'll probably strike off into the winelands or up the coast - or who knows - for another 3 nights before flying out.

Selwyn, you confirmed my suspicions about the Mt. Nelson - in our experience, 5-star places that offer "free" nights generally are trying to compensate for something. An old line about free lunches comes to mind.

Again, thanks to both of you for the advice.
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Jun 12th, 2005, 03:53 PM
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We saw Selwyn's interpretation of the Twelve Apostles.

Now, here are 20 more images of the Twelve Apostles:

http://www.12apostleshotel.com/defau...d=21&ImageID=1

Personally, I was very anxious when I did not see the Twelve Apostles listed on Luxury Link's auctions for a couple weeks. So anxious, in fact, that I put in a call to Luxury Link on Monday. They had informed me that the last time a 12 Apostles package had been listed was one month prior and that they could not promise than any others would appear.

So, it was to my delight, that on the very next day, I saw the Twelve Apostles 4 night package in a Superior Sea Facing Room reappear. By the end of the week I had submitted the winning bid of $1130 + $20 service charge. The cost, if purchased on Expedia, would have been $2,400 ($800 x 3 nights, 4th night free). So, for less than half price I was able to get the Luxury Link package.

There is a new Twelve Apostles 4 night package listed on Luxury Link that will close on Wednesday, June 15th at 4PM Pacific Standard Time. This is valid for stays between now to September 30th.

GQ Magazine voted the Twelve Apostles as the hotel with the best views in the world.

(Not quite possible to get the best views had it been squeezed in at the Waterfront or in Camps Bay.)
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Jun 12th, 2005, 04:14 PM
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Regarding hotels that give away "free" nights, I wouldn't worry about that too much. Even the Cape Grace gives away the 4th night free when you purchase it on Expedia and the Cape Grace is often considered by some travel magazines as the best hotel in Africa.

Also, CCAfrica, which runs celebrated lodges such as Londolozi and Phinda, also has similar specials...pay for 3 nights, get 4th night free.

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