Soon after my community service (when I thought money grew on trees), I thought I would spoil my husband for his birthday with some luxury. So I booked a romantic weekend away at the Arabella Hotel and Spa in Kleinmond.
The hotel was indeed beautiful and luxurious, everything you would expect from a 5-star hotel.
The scenery around the hotel was breathtaking. It’s situated by a large lagoon and boasts one of the top ranked golf courses around Cape Town.
The rooms are very nice and spacious with an almost identical layout to some other 5-star hotels I have stayed at like The Taj in Cape Town and The Pathumwan Princess in Bangkok. A bit soulless but very appropriate.
Once you step out the room, you are greeted by stunning greenery and a rich blue lagoon. This place felt like a piece of heaven that was reserved for tourists and it felt great to get a taste.
You cannot review The Arabella and not mention the pools – they are fantastic! There’s a small, heated indoor pool inside the spa area. There is an outdoor heated pool and a massive cold pool. The outdoor heated pool is an ideal temperature- warm enough to keep you in there for hours without being too hot. The cold pool is beautiful but it really is very cold! It has a gorgeous waterfall feature and a bridge where you can dip your feet in. I could only stay in there for a few minutes to cool down but my husband enjoyed it.
The buffet breakfast had a wonderful variety – there’s an egg station, and pancakes and flapjacks can be made on request. The best part is that it is Halaal so you can eat to your hearts content. It is best to eat your fill and skip lunch as the restaurant is a bit pricey and there aren’t that many Halaal dining options in Hermanus either (you will mostly likely have to eat at KFC or Ocean Basket if you feel the need to explore).
There is also a cigar lounge that was mostly deserted, even though we were there during peak season.
A back, neck and shoulder massage was included in the package. The spa was beautiful with comfortable treatment rooms. The massage I had was average but my husband enjoyed his. I prefer a hard massage and it was too soft for me even though I requested more pressure. The therapist didn’t really tackle the knots in my upper back which was disappointing. My only complaint was that there were no relaxation rooms to unwind in after the massage. You’re basically kicked back into the real world. I suppose the indoor pool is meant for that. But therein lies the rub…
The resort is child-friendly which is great for parents but for couples looking for romance, maybe, not so much. We were there during school holidays so we expected that there would be children, but we had no idea just how many families go there! There were kids everywhere! I would advise any couple who wants to relax not to go during peak times.
The other problem is that on the first night we had noisy neighbours that were partying it up on their balconies next to ours into the early hours. It was the first time that I was the nasty “old” lady that had to call the hotel staff to ask the neighbours to quieten down. At 7 am, there were children running up and down the corridors shouting excitedly. We requested a room change the next day and the hotel swiftly obliged with no problems and Voila! No more noisy neighbours. Be aware that the rooms are not soundproof at all.
Other than these problems, I absolutely loved this hotel. I would highly recommend it to locals and tourists. Like I said before, try to go during the more quiet seasons. Be aware that they can be a bit pricey.
For more on Kleinmond and the surrounds see: What to do in Kleinmond, Betty’s Bay and Pringle Bay & the 3 Flavours Hotel, Pringle Bay
African Pride Arabella Hotel and Spa
On the Arabella Country Estate, R44 Kleinmond,
Hermanus, South Africa
+27 28 284 0000
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I booked the accommodation on the 26 October for a 1 night stay from the 18 December till the 19 December at the Arabella Hotel and Spa for my wife’s birthday. I also booked a spa treatment, Hot Stone massage for 2 people 2 weeks in advance for the 18 December at 5pm. After we had checked in on the 18 December, I received a call from the Spa at about 3pm to let me know that they would have to cancel my appointment, as the therapist could not make 1 of the treatments. I then asked them to accommodate me maybe the following day. They first said that they were fully booked and would need to get back to me. They called again and said they could make it for 3pm the following day on the 19 December, even though i had to checkout that day. I then got a call few minutes later to say that unfortunately that time slot is not available anymore as someone already made a booking in the time that we were speaking on the phone. So they made it for 5pm the following day on the 19 December. I then arranged for us to stay there till 5pm for the treatments at 5pm.
That same night while trying to sleep my wife and I experienced noises coming from the room above us. We called reception and asked them to have a look. After sending a staff member there they told us there were no issues there and that they would send a staff member to our room to experience the noises.30 minutes had gone by and we had to call the reception again. They then sent a staff member with a key card to say we can move to room 210. We moved to the room that night at around 11pm. The room was not even cleaned properly, the sliding door leading from the bathtub to the room was broken. The room was not equipped with all the essential toiletries at all. So we decided to move back to our room 421 after having been there for 30 minutes or so.
On the 19 December at around 4pm while waiting in the spa area using the facilities, I was told that they would have to cancel the treatment yet again as the therapist had left. You can understand my frustration with regards to having my appointment be cancelled 3 times. The day manager at the time said that he would give us a R1500 spa voucher and a free 1 night stay. He said they have my details on the system and they would contact me. I still have not received any word with regards to this. The person that helped us check in, his name was Junade.
All I have to say is that Arabella Spa and Hotel is not a 5 start hotel as this is pathetic service. I have spent a lot of money to make my wife’s birthday special and this is what we got in return.