Prior to travel we highlighted our concerns about the online reviews of the Harbour Bridge Hotel Sadly our concerns re the bathroom without a wall, the service, the pool area and the position meaning getting into town / the Waterfront came to fruition. Trailfinders only suggestion was to lose the money we had already paid and book alternative accommodation either through them or independently. Hardly a choice.
The Harbour Bridge Hotel & Suites is certainly not suitable for people travelling without a vehicle. Taxis often don't know it and the area isn't very nice. The canal service finishes at dusk and on one occasion we couldn't get on a boat from the Watefront and were told there would be a 1/2 hr wait.
At this point I should point out Harbour Bridge is a combination of 40 hotel rooms and probably as many privately owned suites. Many of these suites are rented out by the owners through internet sites, thus making them a cheaper option than the hotel. Hence reviews on various sites combine both types of accommodation. One imagines the people saying that they are such good value etc are staying in privately (relatively cheap) rented apartments rather than the hotel rooms. On our first evening we called to enquire the time of the last boat, were given the wrong time so that when we got down the last boat had long gone....although reception seemed unsure, surely a hotel relying on the passing boat service should at least know the times? To walk into the V&A you have to walk back into town and, in our case, pass people sleeping rough, as two ladies this was not acceptable. On another occasion the hotel could not get us a taxi. Our room was booked in the wrong name and we were given a double bed rather than two singles, despite reception confirming the room would be a twin when we checked in. Plenty of fruit at breakfast, the toaster was however inefficient and we were only told on the 4th morning you could order egg items from the kitchen.The shower was very efficient. The room suffered noise from the motorways either side of the canal, one of which was visible from the room.The only light in the bathroom shone through the (fore-mentioned) blind, causing the bedroom to be floodlit. The room lighting was poor. Housekeeping service was spasmodic. On arrival you receive 2 biscuits on the tea tray, this is for your entire stay. Rather mean considering the room rate was the same throughout. On our second night (of a 6 night booking) we received a call at4:30am telling us our taxi was waiting and the receptionist insisted we were going to the airport. The pool area is limited. The pool measures only 8 x3m, there is no shade and only 10 sunbeds. This is for the use of 40 rooms plus all the privately owned suites. The pool was dirty and had mould on the tiles, and on the two occasions we visited the area there was litter on the floor. The steps accessing the pool were wobbly. The pool area was unusable to us due to the complete lack of shade. We were led to believe (and the stars are outside to confirm) this was a 4* establishment: the level of service, ambience and attention to detail didn't match the other 4* we'd stayed at in Cape Town. There seemed an issue with a lack of staff training, and we didn't feel the staff had the same 'happiness' we experienced everywhere else in Cape Town.
We took up the matter up with Trailfinders, who we also notified of our concerns during our stay. Despite several letters of communication Trailfinders only offered us a 50% refund on our 6 night booking, of which we stayed 4 nights.
Having now been to South Africa I can’t understand why Trailfinders got us to stay in a similar area to our first stay in Cape Town, on our return. Why not one of the lovely suburbs such as Stellenbosch, Camps Bay, Constantia…to name a few. They did say that their usual accommodation was all full, but they compromised our holiday by booking us the Harbour Bridge, what could have been worse.
For our next trip to Cape Town we will book independently, rather than pay an agent who wouldn’t even admit they got it wrong nor seemed to be well knowledged in the area, especially the hotel.