’The Nellie’ as it’s known by many of the locals, sits like a wedding cake in the heart of Cape Town’s historic and cultural centre; near the trendy areas of Kloof and Long Streets, nestling at the foot of Table Mountain.
The Mount Nelson experience starts at their entrance, through the Prince of Wales gates and continues to the hotel where you’ll be greeted with a sea of pink walls and welcoming staff. Once you settle into the warmth and comfort of The Nellie, you won’t want to leave this wonderful five star hotel.
We arrived on a Saturday morning for a weekend break having already spent 10 days in Cape Town and the surrounding vineyards. We’d covered 400 km in a few days and were ready to enjoy the luxuries we knew The Mount Nelson would provide.
First things first – we left our luggage in our spacious Deluxe room and headed straight to the swimming pool to settle into our new luxury surroundings.
The outside swimming pool is unusually large for a hotel (it’s actually one of South Africa’s largest heated pools) and is a focal point for guests to kick back on sun beds and enjoy the sun, the mountainous scenery behind the pool and the resident ducks who have clearly claimed the pool as their own.
After so much travelling it was the perfect spot to put on our swimming costumes and enjoy a few gin and tonics, with frequent dips in the pool as the sun shone down on us. We even treated ourselves to a hot stone massage in the hotel spa, just to ensure we were fully relaxed!
The promise of a special stay as you arrive at the hotel gates just keeps on delivering as we immerse ourselves in Nellie’s charms over our two night stay – a grand but very comfortable experience. Our bedroom is a fantastic size, with a super king sized bed and the crisp linen adds to the feeling of decadence and comfort.
In particular the bathroom with a waterfall shower is a lovely way to cool off after the heat of Cape Town – only for two minutes of course with the ongoing water shortage!
Special thanks to Mount Nelson’s staff who kindly gifted us a bottle of red wine and notebooks that we’re now using to take our hotel notes.
One of our favourite events is enjoying a very pleasant Saturday evening at the hotel, whereas we would perhaps have normally ventured out – such is the appeal of Mount Nelson. We start with Inverroche Amber G&Ts with slices of orange, served at a table overlooking the garden as the sun sets.
So good was the Gin that we brought a bottle home with us!
After our Gin and Tonics we dress for dinner and take a seat to dine at the outside courtyard where we enjoy a superb meal.
For starters we share a bowl of mussels and for mains we enjoy a spinach and ricotta ravioli and chicken Durban curry over a bottle of Pierre Jourdan, Cuveé Belle Rosé from Frranschoek, which we’d visited only days before.
We pay £100 for our meal, which tends to be the average in Cape Town when when eating at other equally exciting quality venues.
Having finished our meal we move inside to play a competitive game of scrabble and finish off the evening with a glass of Baileys each.
After a very relaxing evening, despite the disagreements over potential scrabble words, we retire to our lovely deluxe room.
On Sunday we’re greeted by the most lavish breakfast buffet I think either of us have ever seen.
We start with oysters and bubbles, because, why not when you can? Breakfast is served on the terrace by the pool – a fantastic setting to start the morning.
It’s difficult to make a particular recommendation for breakfast but we test the pastries, cooked breakfast and fruit and muesli so that we can confidently approve the full variety!
After breakfast we’re shown around the rest of the hotel by Crystal Bock, a delightful staff member who exudes a passion and knowledge for the hotel; having worked at The Nellie for 20 years.
It was of real interest to learn that the hotel has just celebrated its 119th birthday; originally being founded by sailors who travelled for 13 days from Southampton, (only 30 mins away from where we live in the UK), to Cape Town and then decided to build somewhere nice to stay.
You can certainly feel the history from 1899 that permeates throughout the building and décor; yet it has been perfectly blended with a modern twist to keep it in touch with today..
For us, staying at the Mount Nelson came at the perfect time, having travelled around much of Cape Town for the previous 10 days; we wanted to finish on a high before flying back to the UK.
The ‘Nellie’ provided the perfect opportunity to leave South Africa feeling thoroughly spoiled. For those of you looking for a spot in Cape Town’s city centre and looking to treat themselves, then The Mount Nelson should be high on your list. It’s outstanding in many ways, not least of which because it’s part of the Belmond Group (of Orient Express fame) but you just can’t miss it anyway – we could still spot our pink palace, even from Table Mountain!
Olly and his partner Ruth are continuing The Luxury Couple tradition by travelling extensively and reporting on their experiences as part of our team of guest contributors.
We hope that you’ve enjoyed their insight into the Belmond Mount Nelson – we’re sure there will be more reviews to tempt you from these two!
If you’d simply like more information about the unique luxury Belmond properties, including the Mount Nelson that Olly & Ruth stayed in then see the link below – but why not ask us to arrange your own tailor-made travel throughout Africa?
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