This hotel is an 8-suite niche offering during the high season (November through the end of March) in Somerset West, South Africa. It is situated in the middle of a hill on a private, secure compound at 16 Prunus Street in the Heldervue area of Somerset West. Located in the heart of the wine country, visitors will find themselves surrounded by endless choices for wining and dining — literally — on the road to Stellenbosch and many nearby areas.
The entire hotel and grounds, inside and out, are beautifully appointed and welcoming. It’s a French Colonial-style villa refurbished by Swiss-American couple owners a few years ago. Full service operations run from November to the end of March.
The suites are 1 or 2 bedrooms. All include TVs, DVD players and free WiFi. Most have kitchens. Some suites offer exposed-brick walls, fireplaces, balconies and terraces. And there’s a variance in style from unit to unit. Each unit has it’s own name and distinctive brand if you will.
Inside the general reception area you’ll find the office, kitchen, bar-lounge, and dining areas. There’s a walkout from these areas to lawns, outdoor seating areas, a pool, spa, and separate, small building that is a workout area. The latter offers a treadmill, rower, and stretching area.
There’s ample, private parking on the compound lot. Got a rental car? No problem. It’ll be secure at this place.
Prices for specialty lodging in the high season in South Africa are high. And this place is no exception. We were fortunate enough to enjoy a lengthy stay for reduced pricing during the winter months.
These are self-catering (self service) suites. If you wish, you can shop for supplies and prepare meals at home.
Waterstone village mall is minutes away by car. You can rent DVD’s from a store there if get a letter from management indicating you are a resident for more than a short stay.
Cucina de Giovanni’s, the #1 rated restaurant on Trip Advisor, is located in this mall. It offers formal sit down, casual sit down, and take out (take away) of any item on the menu. You can eat here during power outages. Malls in South Africa have generators. And Giovanni’s is experienced at offering wine bottles wrapped in tin foil with candles in them for quaint, old world era dining.
Pick N’ Pay and Woolworth’s, two well known and widely available grocery shopping outlets in South Africa, are also in this mall.
Need cellular service? Vodacom and MTN are in this Mall.
The much larger Somerset Mall is also a few minutes away. It offers expanded shopping options.
TRAVELERS NOTE: SPECIAL CONDITIONS — POWER OUTAGES
“Load shedding” is a fancy, softer expression used throughout South Africa to characterize the scheduled power outages throughout South Africa and approved by the Government. It’s an annoying, idiotic practice affecting travelers, business operations, and foreign investment. The damage to homes, businesses, and equipment throughout the country must be enormous. Apparently, the current Government either doesn’t care or grasp the negative impact this condition has on business investment and tourism. Short term travelers might find this practice to be quaint. But when you live in this country for a while — a month or longer — it becomes quite annoying. We experienced 12 2-hour power outages in a 6 week period living at this place. Most occurred between 1800-2030. The entire Somerset West area was dark spanning from the hotel area over to Gordon’s Bay. This practice increases during the winter months. But we experienced outages in the country in other areas during the summer months too.
The owners of the hotel, and countless residences and many businesses in this country, are victims of this idiotic Government policy. I feel sorry for them. But as of this date, there is no generator for the compound. During an outage, be prepared to sit outside (during the warm weather), or visit a local mall, until electrical service is restored.
For you, the traveler, it means “be prepared”.
1) Make sure you pick up a cigarette lighter, matches, and some candles at a nearby store. Each unit in this hotel has candles. But it pays to have spares.
2) Bring a flash light with you. It pays to have one in South Africa.
3) Bring a large, portable charging pad with you for your cell, laptop, and other electronic devices. Use it to charge your devices and re-charge it from the in-country electrical system to avoid power spikes.
4) UNPLUG your devices from the walls so they are not damaged by the power spikes when service returns.
The gate to the hotel compound runs on a battery. You’ll have no difficulty getting in or out of the compound during outages.
If you need something “quick” to eat, or need petrol for your car, the local service station down the hill on the corner runs on a generator during these outages.
TRAVELERS NOTE: SPECIAL CONDITIONS — INTERNET SERVICE
Wired Internet service throughout South Africa is horrible. There’s many reasons for this — poor planning, inefficency, and Governmental corruption according to our sources. It is what it is. And citizens are sick of it. Many editorials have been written about this topic in newspapers throughout the country.
If you need high speed Internet service, go wireless. Vodacom and MTN are two top providers. You can buy a 300 mps Vodacom wireless 4G router for about 4,000 rand and pay for data packages. Expect 3G-4G service in major areas and along many segments of the national roads not far from major cities. Otherwise, service reverts to E (Edge), SLOW service. And there's an advantage to using a wireless router here:
1) it's portable and;
2) You can use it during power outages
The hotel offers WiFi based on wired Internet service. This service was not working during our stay. Expect limitations.
Since our hotel was not open during the off season during our stay, I cannot rate service. The care we received from the interim manager was terrific.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The five-star Boutique Hotel is an early 20st. century French colonialstyle villa, situated five minutes from the Garden Route in Somerset West, just outside Cape Town.The estate is nestled within a 6000m2 garden paradise, just minutes from local wineries and some of the world‘s most prestigious golf courses and SA's best restaurants.The villa hosts eight spacious and elegant suites, featuring local and international art and décor.By day, enjoy breathtaking views of the Atlantic as well as the impressive Hottentots Holland mountain range. By night, take a moment to gaze out upon the millions of twinkling lights lining the local coastal towns on False Bay. ... more less
- Reservation Options:
- TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Booking.com and Priceline so you can book your Helderview Hotel & Suites reservations with confidence. We help millions of travellers each month to find the perfect hotel for both holiday and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
- Also Known As:
- Helderview Hotel & Suites Somerset West, South Africa - Cape Town