Trip to Cape Town, South Africa - March 2008
Review of Mandela Rhodes Place

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Our hotel Mandela Rhodes Place seen from Wale streetWe stayed at Mandela Rhodes Place from March 14th to March 18th 2008. Getting a hotel in Cape Town at Easter time can be a bit of a challenge. We were a bit late with the booking so the number of hotels were going down drastically. We have stayed at Sea point and Green Point before and this time we wanted to stay in the city bowl and we ended up booking a room at the Mandela Rhodes Place and we booked directly with them for 1750 Rand per night (235 USD)(or about 1150 NOK). At the time 100 Rand is 13.5 USD or 65 Norwegian Kroner.

 

We arrived at about 11 am and our room was not available at the time but the hotel kept our luggage while we took a look at the town. When we got back later on we got room W304 and check in was fast and efficient.

 

The room
Our room at Mandela Rhodes place was pretty bigWhen we reserved the room we saw pictures of some of the rooms online and we thought “Yeah, right - they are probably showing pictures of their best room”. But it turned out the Mandela Rhodes Place is a fairly new hotel and the reception and rooms are modern and slick. When we first came into the room I was impressed by the size of it to start with. It reminded me a bit about Lebua in Bangkok (where we stayed last year). We had a full kitchen at Mandela Rhodes PlaceThe room at Mandela Rhodes Places was pretty huge and it turned out to be more of a apartment room than a regular hotel room. Furthest in there were huge windows but not much of a view I’m afraid. Here there was a TV with a DVD/video player and a sofa, chair and table. In the middle section was a more or less fully equipped kitchen with a stove, oven, micro wave, fridge, water boiler, toaster, washing machine and a dryer. The only thing missing was the dishwashing machine :-) But the kitchen seemed to be fully equipped with pots, glasses, cutlery etc. There was an island in the middle with a nice granite stone top and a couple of chairs that could work as a kitchen table.

 

The bed at Mandela Rhodes PlaceThe bed was wide but a bit too firm for my liking and only a single duvet. Next to the bed was closets with a few hangers, a mini safe, an ironing board (the iron had to be brought from the reception) andThe bathroom at Mandela Rhodes Place a vacuum cleaner (!), The room itself was in a modern stile with light walls, lots of various lights in the form of down lights, nice decorations in the form of a stone wall and art work and dark wooden floor.

The bathroom was tiled with large light tiles in some areas and small white tiles in others while the floor was in dark tiles. The bathtub also had a shower option with a large rainforest and glass walls around the shower area. The only problem was that the glass area was too small and hence the water splashed on the floor. We also experienced that we ran out of hot water a couple of times and this is not good enough for a 4-5 star hotel!

 

Kitchen table at Mandela Rhodes PlaceThere were not many amenities - only the standard shampoo, shower gel and lotion that you get on all hotels. The shampoo and soap were not bad at all. The towels were huge and quite soft and there were bath robes for both of us. The real “problem” with the bathroom was that it was only separated from the room with sliding doors. This looks good on paper as you get a “larger room” feeling. But it is not that practical for various other reasons.

 

Breakfast and other services
Breakfast by the pool at Mandela Rhodes PlaceBreakfast was served on the 7th floor in the Synergy restaurant and next to the pool. The breakfast was not bad at all and consisted of a nice cereal selection (including sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, almond flakes, sweet and bottled figs and of course muesli, all bran flakes. There was also a selection of pastry, salmon, meat, cheese, fruit etc. It was also possible to get toast from the kitchen and order egg, bacon etc. When you get up to the 7th floor you realize that this is quite a cool structure. We could look down on the reception area below but on the sides it is actually open air and hence you get a lot of fresh air in when it is windy.

 

On the first floor there is a couple of stores but I would like to mention Winesense. This is a wine shop where you can taste a lot of various wines. The bottles are kept in machine and I assume they inject nitrogen to preserve the wine. You can get small tasting portions of the wine for 3-4 Rand per portion. A great option if you want to taste lots of various wines.

 

Location
The hotel is located more or less in the middle of Cape Town. Situated on Whale and Burg it is only a 2 second walk from the Slave lodge, the Company’s Garden, Long street etc. We ate out every night and we walked to all of the restaurants. You can see the location on this Google map that I have made. The hotel is marked with a yellow pin.

 

Conclusion
View down to the lobby at Mandela Rhodes placeThe Mandela Rhodes Place is a very nice hotel and the room was larger than we though and modern/slick. But there were also a couple of issues that might need some attention. The sliding doors into the bathroom is not the best option, the water splashing on the floor when you take a shower, the lack of hot water a couple of times, the toilet roll holder that is a bit too close to the toilet, the wind howling in the building due to the open roof structure when it is windy outside and the wall also seemed thin as we could hear the neighbour. Another small problem was the lift situation. Lobby/bar at Mandela Rhodes PlaceThere does not seem to be a service elevator and hence the lifts got quite busy with guests going to the 7th floor for breakfast and staff going about their business. Sometimes there was hardly any room in the lift because of the staff transporting cleaning trolleys etc. This is something that can annoy both guests and cause the staff to not be able to carry out their duties. As usually the internet service at the business centre was ridiculously expensive (1 Rand per minute). You can also get wireless access in the room but that was also quite expensive. If you go down the street you can get an hour internet access for 10 Rand.

 

The conclusion and summary might seem a bit focused on the negative issues. They are all minor issues where some can be resolved pretty easy (like the internet access). But all in all the room was great, it was huge, modern and slick, the location is in the middle of town etc. I would not mind staying there again and I would not hesitate to recommend it to others.

 

Please check out the hotel homepage for more information. Please check out TripAdvisor for reviews of the hotel.

 
 

 

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