More about Westin Grand Cape Town Arabella Quays
We've stayed at the Arabella Sehraton during a business and leisure stay of 6 days.
We had booked a non-smoking, double bed room and were given the exact opposite on arrival. The mistake was rectified but a couple of days later I saw another customer facing the same problem at check-in.
Rooms are spacious and clean and everything was in working order. House keeping service is very inconsistent with the amenities and what was provided/replaced was completely random for each day of our stay. (e.g., today mouth wash but not tomorrow, linen not changed despite request card left on bed, etc)
Buffet breakfast was superb, one of the best we've seen with lots of choice and reasonably good service.
Having coffee at the coffee shop was another minor point. We ordered coffee and cake. The coffee was brought immediately but we had to cancel the order and complain to the manager when after 20 minutes the cake didn't arrive. To be fair, we were offered the coffee "on the house" as compensation for the bad service.
The shuttle service every 1/2 to and from the V&A waterfront was an excellent plus.
In general this hotel is ok, but the service we experienced wasn't up to the Sheraton standards we're used to, hence the neutral rating.
I'd stay again if attending another conference, since its location attached to the Convention Center is ideal, but if we go for holidays I'll try another of the hotels at the V&A waterfront.
Excellent service and facilties
My main reason for staying at the Arabella was because I was attending a conference at the adjoining CTICC. Unlike other conference hotels, our expectations were exceeded.
To begin with, it turned out to be extremely simple to locate as the CTICC is well signposted. Secure parking beneath the hotel is available at resonable rates.
Check-in was welcoming and efficient.
Our grand deluxe room was wonderfully roomy and whilst the view of the docks / motorway is not exactly charming, Table Mountain is visible as is the sea.
The beds are very comfortable and the bathrooms well equipped - the underfloor heating was especially appreciated!
Free wireless internet access is available in the room and whilst not the fastest, is adequate and welcome.
Do not miss the hotel's heated lap pool on the 19th floor with its panoramic view of the harbour or the jacuzzi looking out on to Table Mountain.
The shuttle to the Waterfront was useful and it is a relatively pleasant walk into the city centre during the day.
What made the hotel exceptional was the intelligent and enthusiastic service. We could not fault the wonderful dining recommendations and the assistance with reservations. My wife is an exceptionally talented shopper and found the bell hops remarkable for their initiative and intelligence.
My wife won this trip through a Sales Incentive through her work,so our entire stay was free.
The hotel is very stylish and elegant and just oozes class. The food the one time we ate there was wonderfull. So much choice!!
Our room was not huge, but more than adequate and the pool on the top floor is to die for! It is not very big, but the view will more than make up for it!
Only slight down was the location. We have been lucky enough to have been to Cape Town before( free again!!), and we stayed at the Table Bay Hotel which is on the V and A Waterfront. That is a great location and you feel very safe.
It is about a 10 minute walk to the Waterfront and although it is safe, we did feel slightly uneasy with the people selling the Big Issue etc. You have to cross a very busy road and the lights can take a while. Felt a very long time with the nice young man asking us for money standing next to us!!
Do NOT walk this at night. The taxi's are fine.
Good hotel for business and combined business-tourism trips
This is a good hotel for business and combined business-tourism trips. Handy for waterfront and CBD. Well up to brand standard. My room had great and ever changing view of the mountain.
The Essence of Contemporiness
We stayed here for 5 nights in mid November 2006. Primarily this is a 5 star business hotel, but this doesn't mean that they don't take too kindly to holidaymakers. In fact, tourists benefit from the 5 star service and facilities that are provided to the business traveller.
The location is excellent, pretty much 15 mins walk from the waterfront, and around 10 mins walk to the historical centre of Cape Town. Having said this we didn't actually walk to the V&A waterfront as the hotel lays on a half hourly shuttle free of charge, which runs until around 11.30 at night.
We paid for an upgrade to a superior room, which meant we were on the 14th floor with great views of the waterfront. The room was very spacious and clean, the bathroom being amazing, with separate toilet and shower areas, and double sinks. All the usual cosmetics and toiletries are provided.
We didn't use the leisure facilities much, as we were always out and about touring the city and surroundings, but would say that the pool is a little disappointing. The views from the pool are great, but its a touch small. The other leisure facilities (sauna, steam room, jacuzzi etc) seemed fine.
We dined one evening in the Towers restaurant on the 18th floor, which had great night views of the Waterfront. For fine dining, this was a fabulous experience and relatively cheap if you are spending pounds.
Breakfasts are wonderful. Huge buffet, consisting of everything you could possibly want. Make sure you try their smoothies!
Possibly the world's best Sheraton!
This is an exceptionally good property - it could easily be a Ritz-Carlton. The staff, food and decoration are all of the highest quality, and the floor-to-ceiling windows give fantastic views over Cape Town.
Here are a few things to add to the other reviews: a) get a Grande Deluxe room. There are 3 per floor, 1 of 45 sq m and 2 of 52 sq m - bigger than the suites at many hotels! The best room is an XX17 room - I had 1517 - which is a 52 sq m Grande Deluxe facing the waterfront. b) think carefully about paying for the Club. After 7pm, the Club becomes a restaurant open to all, so there is no benefit to Club Room guests. There ARE free drinks and nibbles from 4-7pm, but if you are unlikely to be in the hotel at that time then the only Club benefit is breakfast and a good view from the high Club floors. Instead I would take a cheaper B&B rate instead and eat the great buffet downstairs. c) the restaurant and bar are very dark with very low lighting. This is quite atmospheric but makes it impossible to read - this is NOT a hotel where you can sit on your own in the bar or restaurant on your own and read a book or newspaper. I ended up taking room service just so I could read and eat. Even the lighting in the pool area is low, so you can't even read on the sun loungers after dark!
In general, this is a funky property which is a lot nearer to the V&A than I expected - under 10 mins walk. However, this is still a 10 minute walk too far on Cape Town's streets after dark, so you are still a little isolated unless you are happy hanging around for the shuttle. If I went back, and was happy to pay the money, I would go to the Table Bay Hotel which is directly linked to the V&A shopping, cinema and restaurant mall and has views of the ocean and waterfront area.
The Good and the Bad
The Good -- large guest rooms well equiped for business. Close proximity to The Waterfront and complimentary shuttle. Complimentary breakfast.
The Bad -- service is lacking. Staff forgets to refill in room tea/coffee and bathroom amentities. Food quality is poor. No outside area to relax or eat. Overall, expensive for what you get.
Summary - good for business but I would choose another hotel is you are planning a holiday. Try the Southern Sun Waterfront - great prices or plan to stay at The Cape Grace - best hotel in S. Africa.
Not for the First Class traveler...
My husband and I just spent two weeks in South Africa. We are both members of the Starwood Platinum program, and have stayed at various Starwood chains all over the world. While in Cape Town we first stayed at The Western Cape (member of the luxury collection) and a sister hotel to the Sheraton Arabella. The Western Cape was basically perfect - and we highly recommend it. We then went on to the Sheraton Arabella. It has left me with such a bad taste for Sheratons and for Cape Town. Instead of rambling, I would like to point out the specifics. I should warn you that we are very picky travelers. CHECK IN: Horrible. As Platinum members they have a special check in area - which they dont even use. The woman who checked us in did not bother to tell us one thing about the hotel. She was very quick and rude. We barely got a hello out of her. Our stay was during the New Years Holiday, so one would assume that most people checking in are not repeat business cutomers, but instead are on vacation. None of the facilities were pointed out to us, and no one even walked us to our room. CUSTOMER SERVICE via the Hotel Phone: Beyond Horrible. They have a special "i" button, where one can press this and then sit on hold for ten minutes (average time - we tested it) and then be transfered to your "E Butler" and then once you explain why you are calling (drycleaning, pool hours, taxi, dinner reservations) they then transfer you to the relevant person. So, what should take a couple minutes on the phone ends up being a good 20 minutes to a half an hour. CONCIERGE: Don't bother. We called five days before the New Years and asked them to help us make dinner reservations. Our requirements where; very nice and not neccesarily focused on the holiday, just a dinner. After three hours of phone calls with the concierge (they claimed they were wokring on it and had to call us back) they ended up booking us at a restuarant that A) was having a fixed price menu for a new years eve party B) took them no work at all - the hotel uses the restaurant to just "put" people it when it needs to. CHECK OUT: came too late for me! Again, as platinum members we have a guaranteed 4:00 PM checkout. As we were rushing back to our rooms to catch our flight and have a quick change - we realized they locked us out. They claim that everyones keys lock out at 11:00 AM. I don't think I need to explain that one. All in all, The rooms are great; modern, clean, brand new. BUT the hotel is greatly lacking in Customer service, has NO outdoot facilities to sunbathe or sit outside, has 6 computers to use for the entire hotel, has no knowledge of Cape Town at all (they consistently refer you to the V and A waterfront - and trust me Cape Town has so much more to offer).
Only to sleep in
We were on business and chose this hotel because the other hotel we normally stay in was fully booked. Arabella is defenitely a hotel you use to sleep in. No outdoor facilities or areas where you can relax. Defenitely not a hotel for people with young children. Rooms were ok, nothing special. Only problem we had was that you could not get access to other floors on the hotel. We were a big group of people that were placed on different floors. We could not walk easily to the other floors - we had to meet the whole time in the lobby. You are very restricted annd the first I have ever seen in a hotel. Defenitely a big NO NO. Service not good. Requestd staff to get my clothes for ironing as I had a meeting the following morning. Two hours later I had to phone again and a thrd time. Everytime they apologize but did nothing to get me helped.Food ok but restaurants very expensive. Location great as it is close to the Waterfront where everything is happening. Hotel offers a shuttle service between the hotel and the waterfront which was great. My room had a beautiful view of the mountain. Conference facilitieswere great. Will recommend hotel for business or conference but not for people with children.