Freephone an expert 01306 744 656

Send Enquiry
Opening Times
10am - 6pm
10am - 6pm
10am - 6pm
10am - 6pm
10am - 6pm
10am - 2pm

Call 01306 744 656 or

For other destinations and types of holiday, visit Kuoni
For other destinations and types of holiday, visit Kuoni 

Things to do in South Africa

Mount Nelson: lose yourself in an oasis in the lee of Table Mountain

Guests always say how much they love the hotel gardens. We’re surrounded by nine acres of greenery…

By Gabriella Palmer Bolton
Gabrielle Palmer Bolton, PR manager for Belmond, Southern Africa

The Mount Nelson is over 100 years old and is woven into the fabric of this city. Many things set the hotel apart  but its location, under the watchful gaze of Table Mountain, is second to none. One moment you’re in Kloof Street, one of the buzziest parts of Cape Town, and the next you feel like you’re in the countryside.

Our guests always say how much they love the hotel gardens. We’re surrounded by nine acres of greenery and some of our trees are over 200 years old. With its swimming pools, picnic spots and opportunities for alfresco dining, the hotel lends itself to the outdoor experience Cape Town is known for, and gives our guests a sense of place.

The staff here are like family. Our resident tennis coach has been instructing our guests for 15 years and head chef Rudi Liebenberg has also been at Mount Nelson for 15 years. Rudi was a pioneer in his zero-waste approach to food and has recently created a five-course Chef’s Table menu from food offcuts. He sources his produce from a community township farm. Jimmy, our dapper pianist, is very popular with guests. You’ll know him by his fedora, and he plays beautifully.

I’m excited about some of the new activities coming on stream. These include a ‘junior safari’ garden glamping experience, with storytelling by a professor of astrology, and a marine biologist-led trip to coastal kelp forest, for rock pooling and snorkelling. We’ve also invited some musicians from the Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra to play in our garden.

People often ask us why the hotel is painted pink. At the end of WW1 the general manager, Aldo Renato, wanted to cheer things up a bit, so he painted the hotel a delicate shade of pink. A ‘Mount Nelson pink’ has now been developed by paint experts who have formulated a shade that fades to a specific colour between coats.


  • Food & Drink
  • History
  • Places to stay
  • Scenery

Available in these itineraries…

Alfred & Gabriella Palmer Bolton

Gaby has been creating distinctive and inspiring leisure experiences for Belmond’s hotels and lodges in Southern Africa for over a decade, and is constantly on the lookout for ideas. Fortunately, in the destinations where Belmond operates, she is spoilt for choice. When not working, Gaby enjoys a morning dip in Dalebrook tidal pool, a stroll along Sea Point Promenade and watching the sun sink over Camps Bay from Table Mountain's Kloof Corner Ridge.

Plan your holiday withAlfred&

Your journey will start with one of our UK team – someone like Laura, who's travelled extensively in South Africa. They’ll shape your ideas into the trip of a lifetime. But they won't do it alone. They'll draw on the expertise of our contacts on the ground, connecting you to the people who'll make your holiday one you'll always remember - ex banker who can show you the hottest foodie spots in Cape Town, the award-winning young sommelier who can introduce you to Stellenbosch's finest wines and the walking safari ranger who can guide you to the best game.

Freephone an expert 01306 744 656

Subscribe to Newsletter

Let us inspire you with holiday ideas, exclusive event invites and travel offers from our network of contacts around the world.