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The Bay Hotel
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Reviews (1,232)
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All reviewscabana roompremier sea viewcigar barcape townopposite the beachtable mountainbeautiful hotela mountain view roombreakfast servicebreakfast roomour honeymoonsuperb locationsun loungerspool decklovely roombars and restaurantssouth africa
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Reviewed 8 February 2016

This was our second visit and this time we stayed 6 nights in a lovely spacious premier room overlooking the front pool – thank you. However, we couldn’t get near it because the sunbeds were all reserved with towels being placed on them while we were at breakfast – yes, every day.

Clearly the location of this place is wonderful and its façade is one of being chic. However, I felt that things have changed since our last stay. The décor on entrance to the hotel is now mixed, with bikes and bowls and things for sale. It all seems at odds with the clean modern look of the hotel. The rooms are also now a little tired, especially the bathrooms, with mouldy grout.

The bed was comfortable, but the pillows really uncomfortable and the thinnest during our 3 week stay in South Africa. The room service was mixed too – the bed often not being made and bedding not changed on the 3rd night. We had to request this in the end. Turn down was random, especially if you were busy when they knocked at around 1800 hours.

On balance we had a lovely time and the hotel is very relaxing. It is difficult not to enjoy its superb location. The secure parking is a plus as well, even though it is not free.

PROS
Wonderful Location

Staff friendliness

Coffee in room

Facilities – the pool is excellent

Breakfast – vast choice and superb quality in a beautiful location, overlooking the bay

The adjoining Tapas bar

Flexibility with check out time and helpfulness of staff in looking in to what could and couldn’t be done to assist.

CONS
The weekends and the number of outside visitors who seemed to occupy most of the pool areas and drink alcohol all day

The demanding guests – most tables (even at breakfast are reserved) – there were a lot of unsmiling people around (appreciate this is not a fault of the hotel) and always someone moaning about something at reception

The comment above may explain the constant visits to the breakfast table by the staff asking if everything was ok. Seriously, 5 times during a bowl of bran-flakes is excessive.

Limited free Wi-fi

Reception – we asked for a taxi to be booked one day in advance – it did not turn up and it transpired it had not been booked. We were told that this often happens

Being charged for water taken from the mini-bar, even though it is free if you take it from the breakfast dining area

Traders Bar shutting at 2100 hours and the only other bar being a smoking one

Check Out itself – slow - and the receptionist turned and dealt with a more demanding guest just to book her a taxi without even speaking to me while I was mid check-out and in a hurry

The final Bill – it contained several items which were not ours – check yours carefully. To be fair, the receptionist didn’t even query what I said I hadn’t had and just took the items off the bill.

Room Tip: Higher rooms are best and provide the best sea views
  • Stayed: January 2016, travelled as a couple
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank HappySUPPER
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 February 2016

My wife and I have been coming to the Bay Hotel now for over 25 years - first as singles with our families - then as a married couple until we had kids. The hotel has had a no child policy for many years not permitting under 12''s and more recently not permitting 2-8 year olds. It's a policy I greatly respect and admire and agree with.

I view the The Bay Hotel as one of the best hotels in Cape Town and that's why it's been a tough review to write.

it's uniquely situated across the road from camps bay beach making it quite resort-like in a vast pool of Cape Town hotel options.

My wife and I were in Cape Town at another property which we did not like at all, and at the last minute decided to leave our booked and paid for accommodation at the first place and managed to get the last room at the Bay Hotel. It's been about 6 months since either her or my last stay here and my wife and I were excited to be back.

One of the best qualities of this hotel is that resort feeling you would have on a beautiful island but the amazing part is that beyond the walls there is sophisticated urban offerings that only really cool cities offer. Perfectly described here as the best of both worlds.

I find this property totally unique in Cape Town. All other hotels there is one compromise or another. The Bay: no compromise at all. Box ticked. Well - almost no compromise - read on.....

Another amazing positive -
Most of the staff still remembered us by name tand welcomed us back - a sure sign of that warm fuzzy feeling each time you return.

These were all good things though, but unfortunately there were quite a few minuses with were really disappointing for me.

Unfortunately when a hotel lets you down on one thing, you become critical of other lapses..... It's as if a seal is broken, and perhaps if dealt with correctly it would be overlooked in a review, but if not dealt with, every niggle becomes an issue.

The beautiful Long table in the reception - usually a showpiece for cool and beautiful floral arrangements - was now made to be tacky and cheap as a showpiece with wooden bowls for sale. For sale! Really???

Utterly disappointing. Whatever happened to taking pride in your hotel foyer and using it as the second chance for a first impression at a hotel??? (The first impression is the security guard manning the driveway entrance). I found it cheap and tasteless (even though ironically the wooden bowls were very, unnecessarily expensive). Surely this is an upmarket establishment and not foyer flea market??

Housekeeping were far below acceptable standards. Silly but small details - that I noticed - such as: in the bathroom - empty tissue boxes not being replaced or replenished after 2 opportunities to do so - turndown on the first night and then omitted again on room prep the next morning. Same said for bathroom amenities - shampoos, conditioners, shower gels etc - again - not replenished. Not making the tv remote accessable or visible - on or next to the bed after evening turndown. I hate playing 'hunt the remote'.

Does no one from management bother to check the rooms any more? Is there no pride? No penalty for dropped standards? No reward for exceptional standards and staff performance?


Additional great disappointment to me however at time of my telephonic booking (the day prior to check in) I informed the registration staff member During my reservation chat, that we were staying to celebrate our belated anniversary. I asked if they could do something special for me to surprise my wife and I was told that they would do a special 'romantic' (whatever that means) turn down of our room. However, much to my disappointment - this did not happen. I would have been happy to pay for any additional effort they would have gone to, but no payment was asked and after being told something would be done, and none is done, it's rather disappointing.

In terms of the room - we had a great room 201 - which lead directly to the pool area. For me, I would typically prefer a higher room so you get the unobstructed beach views but this came a close second especially since it was the last room the hotel had available.

Overall the hotel requires another refurb. There are cracked tiles In bathroom shower - which is a personal pet hate of mine.

Drawers that have the glassware next to the minibar need to be repainted inside. They are scratched and the paint is lifting.

I know these are small things but when you pay for a 5* hotel and you pay 5* prices (around US$400 per night) you expect certain levels of compliance as a given

Another slight irritation is that my wife and I have a special rate booking code at this hotel which we use due to volume of nights taken throughout the year (we go down fairly often on business) but when I requested the rate by using our code at time of booking I was very firmly told by the booking clerk that she can't offer or honor that rate as she has no authority to offer any rate but the one she did offer - which I did accept however did find it annoying.

For our last evening - we had invited guests back to the hotel for and after dinner drink. This turned out to be an embarrassing situation for us. We wanted Irish coffees, port and a lemon tea.

We were told they could only serve us a port there and sent us to the downstairs restaurant saying it was 24 hours and we could order anything there. We went down and there we were told that they were closed!!! They did say we could order room service. Not an ideal response when you have guests with you. Eventually the allowed us to go to the breakfast room upstairs and order post dinner drinks from room service, there. What an unnecessary run around.

So - the acid test as usual - would I go back there? Hmmm I deliberated over this for some time and thought to myself: All of the issues I encountered - are they fixable? I analyzed them all. They are all fixable. And they are easily fixable. Management just need to jack up a notch: Better staff training; Better systems and controls in place and better monitoring of what their staff are doing. After all - how difficult would it be to randomly or methodically check rooms?

So that's it - warts and all. I sincerely hope they get their act together. A nip and tuck here and there and I'll once again be happy at the Fantastic Bay Hotel.

Room Tip: i prefer rooms on the higher floor, with a sea / pool view
  • Stayed: January 2016, travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank marc-hirschowitz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 February 2016 via mobile

We visited camps bay a couple of years ago and had dinner at the Bay Hotel - when we decided to come back to SA I felt that was the perfect place to stay. We were disappointed- the room we were in needed upgrading and the bathroom was not properly cleaned. It is a lovely location and has a lot going for it but they somehow fail to impress. The hotel managed to charge us twice for the full cost of the visit - having said when we arrived that they hadn't charged us. We realised after 1 day but it took them 3 or 4 days to process the credit!! It is a fabulous location but they need to improve on their overall service. One person that stood out was the bar tender - he had been in service for years - great guy and great service from him.

Stayed: January 2016, travelled as a couple
Thank ShoshoEdin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 February 2016

Excellent views, multiple infiniti pools, fun beach party pool with good house music. Multiple bars and easy to walk to the main strip of Camps Bay. Tons of restaurant options right outside! Service at the Pool Bar was so-so and the rooms were a bit small and outdated. It took them 30 minutes just to come get our drink order and they only came over because my husband asked them to come. It wasn't a very busy say either. HOWEVER the drink was excellent and quite possibly worth the wait- we found slow service to be a common theme in SA. Breakfast buffet came with an unforgettable view! would highly recommend this hotel to any and all looking for luxury and FUN! It was just a tad too busy for my Husband and I as we prefer more exclusive/quaint feeling.

Room Tip: Cabana Rooms felt like we had our own huge deck- small rooms but view is worth it!
  • Stayed: December 2015, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Service
Thank Ashley B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 February 2016

Had a great first three days of our SA holiday at the Bay Hotel. Superb room with mountain view, excellent breakfast, relaxed atmosphere. Friendly and helpful staff. Location is perfect, too! Will definitely come back.

  • Stayed: January 2016, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Service
Thank Safariverskrik
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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