"I have travelled a great deal in the world ... but my favourite hotel is the Mount Nelson Hotel in Cape Town" - so wrote the late Sir Laurens van der Post. Founded by Donald Currie, the shipping magnate, in 1899 and still the favourite hotel of many seasoned travellers, the Mount Nelson provides a sense of history not often found elsewhere.
Earlier guests have included Lord Kitchener, Winston Churchill, the Prince of Wales (later Edward VIII), and numerous other luminaries. Painted in the famous "Mount Nelson's Blush", the rosy hue first mixed for the hotel in the 1920's, the building almost glows in the distance as it is approached via the grand Palm Avenue, which was planted in 1924 in honour of the Prince's impending visit.
A lovely pink rose in the same shade as the hotel, bred especially for the hotel's centenary in 1999, lightly scents the stunning surrounding gardens.
Once inside the hotel, the traveller experiences the gracious living and hospitality for which the Mount Nelson is famed. The strongest architectural style is Cape Georgian. The hotel is furnished in keeping with the period with rich woods and beautiful fabrics and has an intriguing collection of memorabilia from the days of the Union Castle Line, when passengers would disembark and rush straight to the comforts of the "Nellie".
Afternoon tea here is a Cape Town institution. The table groans with a sumptuous spread of elegant finger sandwiches, patisserie, fresh cape fruits, scones, muffins and fabulous gateaux, while a pianist tinkles on the ivories - not to be missed! Breakfast may be taken in the Oasis Restaurant with its lavender-bordered terrace, and dinner in the elegant Cape Colony Restaurant, voted one of the top ten hotel restaurants in the world, provides a true taste of the Cape with a cuisine inspired by French, Dutch and Eastern influences.
In addition to the main hotel building, accommodation is also in four separate, luxurious wings, all set in private gardens planted with lavender and iceberg roses. These wings are particularly good for those seeking added privacy and seclusion. The Mount Nelson provides wonderful service, a lovely location and a sense of history. Inspired by "Mount Nelson's Blush", once in residence you will see the world through rose tinted spectacles!
· Heated swimming pools
· Signature boutique and curio shop
· Hairdressing, health and beauty salon
· Fully equipped gym
· Golf, watersports, sailing and other sports easily arranged
· 24-hour room service and porterage
· Tennis courts
· Business services on request
· Doctor on call 24 hours
· Personal valet
· 226 bedrooms and suites
All rooms have:-
· Private bathroom
· Satellite television
· International plug points
· Hairdryer and safe
· International direct dial telephone
· Air conditioning