Reviews of Constantia Uitsig
They do not necessarily represent the views of Expert Africa.
Constantia Uitsig review
We have visited Constantia Uitsig on quite a number of occasions to eat at La Colombe which is fabulous and their New Year's Eve party was first rate.
However, the experience is more of restaurants with rooms rather than a top hotel. The garden rooms are attractive but not luxurious. The pool area rather lacking and underserviced. Just a little disappointed with the service and attention to detail.
Fantastic food wonderful stay great location.
Large comfortable room, helpful staff and fantastic restaurant.
We ate twice in La Colombe, and found the food to be some of the best we have eaten. The staff were knowledgable and very friendly and whilst it was a bit expensive it was worth every penny. Great location with easy access to the various parts of Cape Town.
We would go back.
Pleasant stay in wine-buff area
The hotel appeared reasonably well occupied on the Saturday night of our stay, but almost empty on the next night. We arrived at noon on the Saturday, hoping that we could check in and hang up our clothes before exploring the south of the Cape peninsula. We were refused (it was too early for the hotel) - however, perhaps in recognition of this minor disappointment, we found ourselves upgraded to a superior room when we returned in the evening.
The hotel is best placed for wine-buffs (which we are not) - various old vineyards and related tours are within easy reach, but these were of little interest to us (having a tight schedule and having sampled many vineyard operations before).
The remoteness of its location does push one to dine at the hotel after nightfall. On our first night, we ate in one of its two formal restaurants - good, straightforward food and service, but priced to reflect an ambiance which we were not seeking. Unfortunately, the hotel's River Cafe, which might have suited us better in the circumstances, was closed for maintenance during our stay. For our second dinner we decided to eat out (and can recommend the cheery Toad-on-the-Road gastropub, situated some 10-15 minutes drive south, towards Lakeside.
In order to help fit in a visit to Hermanus, we had cut short our stay in the Cape Town area to two nights - from the suggested three. This worked well for us and, for those who might be interested in a similar abbreviation, set out below is a summary of what we fitted in, aided by good luck with the weather.
Arrived Constantia at noon. Snacked at Hout Bay waterfront. Drove South via Chapman's Peak toll road (beautiful scenery). Visited Penguin colony at Simon's Town (penguins outnumbered by tourists). Down to foot of peninsula through baboon blockages. Climbed to Cape Point lighthouse (with many other tourists), visited Cape of Good Hope (much less crowded) and admired wild ostriches roaming around there (perhaps escapees from the ostrich farm, not visited). Back to hotel, with brief forays into Simon's Town and Fish Hoek en route. Following morning, drove to Tafelberg and parked near lower cable station. Up Table Mountain via cable-car (fares pre-paid online at small discount, to avoid first queue). Two hours on top doing circular walk, taking in the Eastern Table and Maclear's Beacon (fantastic views on walk, in all directions; crowds diminishing rapidly away from Western Table and cable car station). On descent, transferred to hop-on, hop-off city tour bus (fares prepaid online at small discount), departing every 20 minutes (car left, with no parking restrictions or charges, at Tafelberg). Two or three hour break from tour at V & A Waterfront for exploration and refuelling. Back to car at Table Mountain, late afternoon, via remainder of city tour, then return to hotel. Next morning, left Cape Town promptly for our trip north to Clanwilliam, taking in, en route, the West Coast National Park with its Postberg Nature Reserve (latter not to be missed, during its short opening for the two month wild flower season - stunning combination of flowers, plains-game, birds, sea, seals, hills, granite formations and lagoon, all less than 2 hours drive from the city).
Constantia Uitsig review
Very disappointing and outrageously expensive for what was on offer. We had a pleasant room, but the loose covers on the armchairs were badly worn and the TV was dreadful - poor reception and very few channels, no Sky.
The only common facilities, apart from the restaurants, was a lounge in a stand-alone building, which they had the gall to close to resident guests on 3 out of the 6 nights we were there in order to accommodate dining parties from outside. We dined in only once, in the Constantia Uitsig restaurant, in a totally featureless room serving indifferent food.
Breakfast was served in part of the Colombe restaurant (alleged to be the finest eatery in the Cape). This again was without any character and was often cold because the sliding doors at either end were frequently left open. We were told by the staff that they themselves had lodged many complaints with the management about this, but that they had been ignored.
Poor breakfast selection. Compare all this with the Vineyard, which is actually cheaper, and one wonders why Expert Africa continues to send clients to Constantia Uitsig.
Expert Africa comments
The management at the Constantia Uitsig were disapointed to hear that these travellers did not enjoy all aspects of their stay; as were we.
The Constantia Uitsig are in the process of refurbishing all of their rooms and are doing this on a rolling schedule. They are sorry that some of the furnishings were in need of repair in the room these travellers opted for. After being offered one of the newly refurbished rooms, these travellers chose to stay in one of the rooms that is due to be upgraded soon as they decided that they would prefer the slightly older room as the natural light was better and the room therefore felt brighter.
As a gesture of good will the Constantia Uitsig have offer these travellers some compensation for the inconvenience caused.
Expert Africa really like the Constantia Uitsig, however while the refurbishment is taking place will we be using other accommodation in this area. Once this refurbishment is completed in early 2011 we will resume normal business there.
Pleasant hotel in peaceful surroundingsl
First impressions were very good. Garden cottage clean fully equipped great location. Unfortunately the weather was a problem.
24 hours of rain on First full day together with cool temperature making cottage cold and damp. Requested heating which was promptly provided but caused a power cut making us late for dinner at La Colombe.
This did not go down too well with restaurant who were stuffy and very unfriendly. Apart from the food I'm not sure why its so popular with locals. Reception staff were very helpful and efficient.
Their other restaurant Uitsig was much more relaxed and friendly excellent food and dined there twice out of the 3 nights
Constantia Uitsig review
After Ocean Eleven, you needed to ask what more you could expect from Constantia, and so we were, understandably a little disappointed - the rooms were old fashioned in comparrison, the bathroom needed up dating and the only wine in the room was 250 rands a bottle!
However, we ate in both restaurants where the different food was equally delicious - we thoroughly enjoyed being pampered - and the location was beautiful as were the views from the second restaurant.
Constantia Uitsig review
We loved the location of this hotel, as it had fantastic views and was in the heart of the Constantia wine area, which was one of the main reasons for choosing it. It had a very pleasant ambience with beautifully maintained gardens. However, the rooms were a little disappointing for several reasons:
1. The shower over the bath just didn't work that well, and the shower screen and curtain combo. still didn't prevent a flood each time we showered.
2. All the paths around the hotel for residents passed right in front of each room, so there was no privacy at all unless curtains were drawn (see point below)
3. Although there was a gauze curtain in the bathroom, there wasn't anything like that for the bedwoom windows, so you had to have the heavy curtains completely drawn so the room was in pitch darkness unitl you'd got out of bed.
We tried two of the restaurants here. We liked Constantia Uitsig and had a very nice meal there with good service. On our last night, we ate at La Colombe and had the taster menu. We were very disappointed by the whole experience. When we got to the restaurant well after their opening time, the bar staff weren't ready at all and were still setting up and had run out of basic ingredients for drinks on their cocktail list.
When we were shown to our table, we had been given the worst table in the restaurant, in spite of making the booking several days previously and being hotel residents. We asked to be moved, and were. After that, we ordered a pre-dinner drink at the table which took ages to come and arrived at the same time as our 1st course and accompanying wine. So, we spent 10 minutes tasting that, which put the waiting staff out as we hadn't started the 1st course when they wanted us to - but they didn't offer to take the course away and bring it out again when we were ready.
Apart from one course, the food was very good and we liked the wine pairings too, and thought all in all, the meal was pretty good value for money...but the service sucked.
Quiet seclusion to start a wonderful trip
Great location, sorry we did not take up 'wine tasting' opportunities here. Lovely friendly breakfast service.
Ate evening meal one night in restaurant - most impressed by oral presentation of all menu options. Delicious food