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Mount Nelson Hotel

"There was a special magic about coming to the Cape which was then the place where Africa met the world through its shipping. I loved my first visit to the hotel. And I loved the sea - it was like coming home. I've stayed at the Mount Nelson countless times since. And I remember the staff were always so good. I have traveled a great deal in the world - I've had to in my life - but my favorite hotel is the Mount Nelson Hotel in Cape Town." Sir Laurens van der Post, writer-explorer and adventurer.

 

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In the many years since she first opened her doors in 1899, the Mount Nelson Hotel ('Nellie' to her friends) has hosted an array of royal celebrities, world leaders, and artistic greats, including the Prince of Wales (in 1925), Winston Churchill, Cecil John Rhodes, Joseph Chamberlain, HG Wells, Rudyard Kipling, Agatha Christie, and John Lennon to name but a few. 'Nellie' is shrouded in a sense of history and romance that few hotels anywhere can match.

 

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Set in sprawling lush private gardens, and with Table Mountain as backdrop, the Mount Nelson is an oasis of tranquility and luxury in the vibrant and colorful city of Cape Town. The distinctive Edwardian exterior is remarked upon by many guests, but few are aware that it is the result of a specially-made paint formulated by experts to fade to just the right shade of pink between coats.

 

 

As the quote from Sir Laurens van der Post suggests, the 'Nellie' enjoys world renown for her level of warm, friendly, and professional service. This is evident in staff throughout the hotel, and is exemplified in the special meals that are prepared in the hotel's various restaurants (each with a very different theme and atmosphere). The Cape Colony specializes in an eclectic fusion of Thai and Mediterranean cuisines with a strong Cape Malay influence. Bistro-style al fresco dining is offered in the Oasis Restaurant, and famous Afternoon Teas are served daily. The stylish bar, Planet, provides the perfect setting for sipping champagne and cocktails under the African night sky.

 

From the communal areas to the bedrooms, the hotel exudes an aura of old world comfort and Victorian style. Each of the 201 rooms are individually furnished and provided with fully-appointed private bathrooms and air-conditioning. The Librisa Spa is housed in three original late Victorian buildings, eight treatment rooms and a sun-splashed conservatory. The hotel also boasts a swimming pool, two all-weather tennis courts, and a gymnasium, all within its grounds and for the private use of hotel residents.

 

The Mount Nelson can justifiably claim to be the 'Grand Dame' of Cape Town's hotels, with an unparalleled aura of mystique and romance, and a long list of accolades that she has collected over the last century.

 

        Conservation Dimension

 

 Mount Nelson promotes sustainable tourism through responsible economic practices and resource initiatives – from the recycling of organic matter to the use of environmentally-friendly products throughout the hotel to hotel management HIV/AIDS education for staff. Mount Nelson also supports community development through the funding of local trade, the building of houses in under-resourced communities, and the support of local civic organizations including schools, medical centers for children and the disabled, and animal rescue organizations.  

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