Five star rated hotels conjure up images of being whisked away on a cloud of luxury, where your every need is attended to while you lounge on a cloud op almost-impossible comfort – if you’re prepared to pay for the privilege, of course.
The Grande Roche Hotel promises just that and more: Nestled at the foot of the magnificent Paarl Rock is a small, luxury hotel like no other. Its website describes “a place where history interacts with modern comforts…where the atmosphere of a bygone era brings a sense of gracious, unhurried living”.
The property is beautiful, restored to its Cape Dutch splendour in the early Nineties, with lush gardens enveloping you in a cocoon of tranquillity. The rooms are spacious, with comfortable furnishings – the bed made a comfortable resting place after a hard day tasting and analysing more than a 100 wines!
Sadly all the other elements that make you feel special; those little “cherry-on-top” add-ons that we all expect from a five star establishment, those are absent. No valet parking, no porter service for our luggage or even an offer thereof, no room induction – the service was friendly enough, just absent minded. Even the décor in the rooms seem tired, out dated and sometimes even mismatched; like the 60-year old plastic surgery victims dressed like 20-year olds, I often see prancing around on the Promenade. They have gold plated taps in the shower – straight out of an 80’s porn movie! We have stayed at older hotels before and love the air of elegance these properties with such a gracious history impart.
The food offering was perfectly adequate but then again, who looks for “adequate” at a 5 star hotel? Even when supplying your own wine, you do not expect to get served corked wine. Requiring more than 3 requests to set up a table for breakfast cannot be expected from any person before the first cup of coffee (or glass of wine). For the record: the poached eggs I ordered every morning were just perfect.
The Grande Roche is a beautiful and stately grand dame; sadly, her petticoat is hanging out just a tad and it’s yellow with age.
021 863 5100