The Protea Hotel Mowbray in South Africa’s Cape Town is the only Marriott property in the southern suburbs. The area is usually considered safe and is a favorite residential area for Cape Town residents. The property is comprised of several historical buildings which are simply called ‘country style’ in South Africa.
The buildings indeed look pretty and the whole compound is all whitewashed buildings and green areas.
Check-in was fast but, annoyingly, I could only get my room once I pre-paid. There is no authorization (and then charges when you leave) – you have to pre-pay. I found this especially annoying since I had a multi-night reservation, but at this 12.30AM check-in I wasn’t in the mood to complain much.
The property honors Gold membership and we were given a free upgrade to a one-bedroom suite; it was huge and was a full living room with a mini kitchen and large bedroom.
Like other Protea hotels, the bed was excellent and with perfect linens. The bathroom was functional, though not pretty in any way.
The air conditioning was a small unit in the living room; it barely cooled down that area or the bedroom and it was noisy and vibrated – there is no way anyone can sleep with that thing switched on. Cape Town nights are not terribly hot, so not a big deal, but a working AC would have been nicer.
As you would expect with a Protea, the internet was dysfunctional at best and didn’t work at all most of the time. I suspected that the room was too far from the router and called the front desk, who noted it but never did anything about it. I inquired at check-out and was told that, “The issue has been noted”, but that no repairs could be done over the weekend and that it would take at least two weeks. Thank you very much!
As Marriott Gold, the property also extended to us the complimentary breakfast. While the breakfast area looked superb, the actual spread was terrible and we found no reason to go there after the second night.
Just about 11.30PM on the second night, housekeeping entered the room after just one quick knock. They didn’t wait for an answer before the door was opened (and we had not requested anything). I was flabbergasted (and asleep). I loudly said, “Wrong room”, but the staff still stayed in the room for a few more seconds until I yelled loudly, “Leave the room NOW”.
The Protea Hotel Cape Town Mowbray provides free parking in a secure area, which has cameras but no night guards.
In sum, I found the hotel a letdown. It’s a beautiful property, with nice rooms and a great location. However, the rude front desk staff, terrible breakfast, dismal WiFi and the useless AC are all major drawbacks.
The hotel posts rates around $100 or you can redeem 10,000 Marriott Rewards points per night. It is a good deal if you can forget about the flaws.
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About the author: Torsten is a serial entrepreneur who started almost a dozen ventures on four continents. Torsten's love for travel has brought him to 130+ countries and travel with most of the world's airlines. You can reach Torsten at [email protected]ls.com.
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