Now, they say you can tell a lot of about a person based on the way they treat you when they first meet you, and I think the same is true with a hotel. When I arrived at the Mount Nelson, I was welcomed with the open arms of the impossibly happy bell staff as well as the brilliant reception crew. Knowing I wasn’t feeling too well after a bout with food poisoning, they did all they could to ensure I was alright, and then did exactly what I needed them to do: give me some quiet time.
My suite at the Mount Nelson was something out of an old-time film, but twisted in a perfect modern fashion. The room opened into a classic sitting room complete with desk, television and a coffee machine. Beyond that space, the massive bedroom opens brightly and is featured by a king-sized bed, flat screen television and yet another desk.
The bathroom is home to a deep pearl tub and stainless steel fixtures. The waterfall shower drips with the perfect amount of pressure and the water flows at just the right temperature. After months using bucket showers in West and Central Africa, I have become appreciative of a good shower, and this one is perfect.
Downstairs, the hotel’s lobby and restaurant area blends a classic and modern luxury together. Typically British lounge chairs sit around a flickering fireplace, the bar carries a soft light and seductive mood. Outside, old statues stand proudly within the greens of the hotel’s well manicured garden.
But for me, the best part of the property is the balcony and the views it provides. On one side of the hotel, the eye drags over the pastel pink cottages of the hotel and onto the wonder of Table Mountain which bakes beautifully in a red ochre at sunrise. The other direction, one peers over the garden and watches as the sun tumbles over the trees and town into the sea at sunset.
The Mount Nelson Hotel is an absolute classic. It carries so much of Cape Town’s history within its walls. It has a prestige to it that you can’t help but sense the minute you spin through the gold coated revolving doors. It’s a marvelous stay, and I only hope you have the chance to experience it as I did.