Wealthy Families, Business Elite, Local Socialites
Reason to Stay
Historic Hotel, Central Location, Top Services
Straddling Table Mountain in the Gardens of Cape Town, Mount Nelson has been a hotel institution for over a century with starry management group Belmond (formerly Orient Express) having owned the property since 1988. We visited the property for New Year's after several of the city's more charming boutique hotels were filled to capacity, opting for more intimate properties over 200-room property where arrives comes through grand colonnade and along the perimeter of the ornate resort property dotted in well-curated public art and manicured gardens. A polite staff makes arrival seamless with old world lobby areas that open to a far grander terrace and grassy lawn with towering shade trees. The crowd includes moneyed families and showy locals that are far more dressed-up that international visitors that arrives for more of a holiday, enjoying the large swimming or more private adult's pool, sizeable gym and freestanding spa that are all well tended with staff and amenities. Formal dining comes at in-house The Planet restaurant - with reliable food but ho-hum ambiance. Morning breakfast can feel overwhelming with its buffet and endless tables, so opt for in-room or a short walk along Kloof Street with its great assortment of morning locales. After a 5-night stay, we found ourselves charmed by the quirks and creaks of this grand old hotel as well as its impeccable staff.
Upon check-in we were informed that only Superior guest rooms were available, to which we bemoaned our way to the 2nd floor to find a bright albeit compact room with head-on views of Table Mountain with well-sized wardrobe and white marble bathroom that compensated with grim plaster and painting with old world charm. Room service was prompt as well as daily housekeeping that also offers some of the most affordable laundry services of any Belmond Hotel. For those opting for upgraded rooms, look for the freestanding cottage suites or rooms located in the main building to minimize cross-resort walks that can be long if visiting one of the outlying structures.
Historic Hotel, Central Location
Restaurant, Lounge, Bar, Pool, Spa, Gym