Our Select team stays at the iconic Mount Nelson, built long before the popular Cape Town Waterfront. We find this Orient Express hotel seeped in history but still very much alive ...
At the top of an impressive palm lined drive, the hotel buildings ramble through a huge lush garden in a coat of eye-catching pink. This was the bright colour mixed to cheer people up after the first world war. In fact Mount Nelson dates further back to the Boer War…
|They still call it "Mount Nelson pink"|
In those days the Mount Nelson was owned by the Union Castle cruise line, and housed all the important travellers to Cape Town. Winston Churchill stayed here as a young war correspondent and British Dowagers sipped afternoon tea on the veranda….
You can still drink afternoon tea here under the whirling ceiling fans, with a difference. Once held away by apartheid, bright young professionals of the new South Africa are here to enjoy cucumber sandwiches and American cheesecake, side by side with international guests.
|Cheesecake & sandwiches from a totally loaded buffet ...|
It is a very social event. Mount Nelson is a vibrant meeting place at its three restaurants as well as a haven in the city amid fountains, perfumed flowers and stunning views.
|Peace, trees and flowers...|
|Table Mountain looms up above it, with|
the " table cloth” a mystic presence
after a day of 30 deg C
|Path through the vast hotel park to tennis courts below|
|A typical street of the old Cape Town - now the spa|
|Family pool at the Oasis wing|
Picturesque accommodation choices
|Garden cottages backed by Table Mountain|
Or you have your choice of fairytale suites, like the one we were upgraded to in the Helmsley Wing. The suites are MASSIVE and the furnishings full of old romance...
|A deluxe "Junior suite" in the Helmsley wing - the TV rises |
out of an antique cabinet when you press a button...
|The Helmsley was once a separate hotel, and has not taken the|
Mount Nelson pink due to its culturally protected status
If that is too dated for you, there are 30 newly renovated rooms in the Oasis wing, glittering with freshness – very light with white, silver and blue – in categories Deluxe rooms and Junior Suites.
|Newly renovated deluxe junior suite in Oasis wing|
|From the Oasis wing - towards Signal Hill|
|Lovely terrace of a suite in yet another separate wing|
|Could that be why this one is for adults only...?|
Cape Town is a laid back city full of sporty things to do – fun and festivals. It is also a deeply cultural city. If its museums you want, you are close to them here at Mount Nelson. Just a stroll down the grand palm lined avenue ….and you are in the historical areas of Cape Town.
Dining aroundFor waterside dining it is 10 minutes taxi to the Waterfront – and 10 minute to Camps Bay with a free shuttle. But if you would rather walk, browse and dine, the residential area of Gardens and Kloof Street is trendy, full of small low key eateries – very well priced.
|Marvellous breakfast at the Oasis restaurant|
Buffet of different toasted muslis, yoghurts, fruits plus an extensive choice of hot items. This pleasant Oasis Restaurant is tantalizing for lunch too – its old buffet concept has made way for an a la carte Mediterranean-inspired menu with some local classics like Cape Malay chicken curry.
Lunch at the lobby veranda restaurant was also excellent and very well priced :
|Vegetarian curry with the freshest taste of newly toasted |
spices, served with the lightest samoosas.
We also had smoked trout at that pleasing restaurant on the veranda – beside big tropical flowers reminding that we were ...
|...far from the snows of Stockholm|
In a nutshell209 rooms & suites, 3 restaurants, spa, gym, 2 tennis courts, 2 swimming pools including one for adults only, kids club, large gardens with sculptures, lawns, trees & flowers.
Who to stayDiscerning couples and families, especially if you appreciate the old Cape Town and Colonial traditions, mountain views and greenery and flowers around you - not to mention sculptures and corridors of art.
How to get to Mount Nelson20 minutes by car from Cape Town International Airport
Select added valueA local amenity in the room
Note: All images are informal in blog style