Combating the Cape Drought

We are delighted to share the latest announcement from the City of Cape Town. Cape Town has pulled together to cut water consumption by 57% and thus avoid the prospect of municipal water cuts taking place this year.

Belmond Mount Nelson Hotel continues to maintain its water-saving initiatives and it may be useful for you to be aware of the following efforts, as well as our extensive water-saving contingency plans:

  • The hotel places a letter in each guest room alerting them to the fact that the Cape is experiencing a severe drought. In the letter, guests are requested to take the situation into consideration when using water, for example not to leave taps running unnecessarily and to take a two-minute shower instead of a bath.
  • We have taken away all removable bath plugs from guest rooms - they are available on request only.
  • We have aerated all the bathroom taps, showers and toilets in the hotel.
  • We have placed several “water saving” notices in the bathrooms of each guest room, as well as in all the hotel’s public restrooms.
  • We have placed bottles of hand sanitisers in all our public restrooms which can be used to wash hands instead of tap water. We have also placed disposable towels in the public restrooms for guests to dry their hands, rather than using cloths which need to be laundered.
  • We wash guests’ linen every third day, unless specifically requested not to do so.
  • We have converted all our water-cooled chillers to air-cooled chillers for the hotel’s air-conditioning system, which saves between 8 000 to 10 000 litres of water per day.
  • We are making guests and booking agents aware of the critical water situation in our reservations letters. When guests are roomed, they are informed of the water situation by our reception staff.
  • We are fortunate enough to have a Table Mountain spring pass through our property on its way into the sea and we can use this non-potable water for our laundry and for irrigating the gardens. This we have been doing for over one-hundred years. We also use this spring water to top up the pool and to flush the toilets in the Oasis Wing and Main Building.
  • We have installed water tanks with storage capacity of 214 000 litres of back-up water should our water supply be cut off.
  • We have sunk a borehole which provides a constant supply of water at 150 litres a minute.
  • We have locked our 11 municipal taps in the gardens and instead we access the spring water taps which we use responsibly.
  • We have switched off the steam rooms at Librisa Spa.
  • We have donated 25-litre water containers to each member of staff for their personal use in order to collect water for their households should the need arise.
  • We do not wash our vehicles.
  • In the kitchen, we have switched off all ice machines except for one machine and the leftover water from ice buckets is used to water the gardens.
  • Washing up basins are only filled up half way, and fresh produce is rinsed in bowls rather than under a running tap.
  • Our staff are fully aware of the critical water situation – they have been informed at staff meetings and notices have been placed in the staff canteen, changerooms and the staff entrance. Staff showers are being fitted with a two-minute showering time device.

Belmond Mount Nelson Hotel is dedicated to encouraging responsible tourism through the conservation of natural resources and has long had various environmental initiatives in place, including those relating to water conservation. Learn more >

We look forward to continuing to welcome guests at Belmond Mount Nelson. We would like to take this opportunity to thank you and our guests for your valuable support.

Updated May 2018.