FRANSCHHOEK, SOUTH AFRICA
“Wine Country is a favorite holiday and discovery destination for us, thus we’ve stayed in many magical properties throughout the world – however, La Residence is the most special. Set in a 30-acre estate in charming Franschhoek, tucked into its own vineyard, this contemporary chateau will make you feel like you’re visiting royalty. Spend the late afternoon relaxing by the infinity pool, mornings & afternoons wandering the rose garden, bike rides, horseback rides, wine tasting, cheese tasting – anything and everything can be organized by the hands-on staff. The décor is to die for gorgeous. A real recharge and relax kind of place that always feels supremely private.”
- Trusted Friends: David & Betsey Weiss, Miami
(Date Experienced: December 2013)
Getting out and about and enjoying the South African sun with your romantic partner – part of a longer trip in other areas if possible!
Returning from a small exclusive vineyard visit arranged by the hotel team to the most decadent afternoon tea, enjoyed outside with extraordinary views and the smells of flowers and herbs wafting our way from the garden.
Best time to go
Spring or Autumn when it’s not too scorching to get out and about on the surrounding wine estates.
Interiors are a bit over the top! Many have the idea of more simple or rustic as the other well-known places to stay in the area are. It is simply, tastefully gorgeous.
Classic décor abounds in the impressive interiors. The 11 suites are full of chateau-style furnishings and all are individually decorated with beautiful accessories including Persian carpets, objets d’art, crystal chandeliers and breath-taking mountain views. Keeping things contemporary are splashes of bright colors in the fabrics, and even in the furniture. For a very private stay, ‘Frangipani’ is particularly tucked away, and decked out in white and gold with a magnificent four poster bed. Bedrooms and bathrooms are very spacious, with high and authentic ceilings. Any vacant rooms are left open, and taking a few minutes to walk through is encouraged by staff.
Service & vibe
Very polished, yet friendly and relaxed. Evokes the South African style of hospitality without missing a beat. Knowledgeable & connected in the area. Met at front door by many smiling faces and provided with a crisp & cool Crouchen Blanc and a quick tour to familiarize us with the many benefits available to us during our stay.
By night, the lobby becomes an elegant dining room opening out onto the terrace. The daily changing menu showcases local, seasonal produce accompanied by wines from La Residence’s own cellar. We were amazed how competently the kitchen handled food sensitivities and likes/dislikes.
Price per night
From $655 per person Bed & Breakfast or $750 per person Full Board
To Do & See
Explore your surroundings. There are over 22 vineyards in the Franschhoek Valley, and the town itself has a history dating back to the 19th-century. French-style architecture abounds, along with streets lined with antiques shops, galleries and cute cafes – take at least an afternoon to wander. The hotel can arrange local wine and cheese tastings, as well as plenty of activities (see below...)
Sport & Activity
Request the staff to fix you up with a day’s trout fishing, quad-biking, helicopter trips, paragliding, hot-air ballooning or a horseback tours on one of the neighbouring estates. We ventured to the cheetah outreach and were able to pet a full grown male cheetah as well as two cheetah cubs – amazing. Also enjoyed was a tour of the local chocolate factory – packed full of history, making/demonstrations, tastings, and even some to part with.
Spa & Grooming
There are spa services available and located on the property, from massages and facials to pedicures. The environment is quiet and tranquil. Some services are performed by other local professionals, though the coordination is handled on your behalf and treatments are still on property. Services are provided in their treatment area or in your room (or balcony).
Franschhoek is home to eight of South Africa’s top 100 restaurants – so no shortage of yummy places to eat! Staff recommended the lovely Ryan’s Kitchen (www.ryanskitchen.co.za; +27 (0)21 876 4598) – cosy setting and delicious contemporary South African dishes. Alternatively, try the French, African and Malay-inspired menu at La Petite Farm (www.lapetiteferme.co.za; +27 (0)21 876 3016).
NB: While there are many critically acclaimed restaurants in town, we cancelled some reservations after we experienced how amazing the food was at La Residence – and without ever having to leave the beautiful environment and stellar staff.
Lots of cute shops line the town’s streets. Pop in for original South African art and sculpture from Bordeaux Street Gallery (+27 (0)21 876 2165), or the Gallery at Grand Provence (www.grandeprovence.co.za) and try the yummy foodstuffs such as local olive oil and sun-dried and salted olives from 3rd-generation Greek-run The Olive Shack (www.allora.co.za).
Local info can be found at www.franschhoek.co.za
Elandskloof Private Road
Goole map →
Approximately 45 minute drive from Cape Town. Detailed directions from Cape Town and Cape Town International Airport (CPT) are available on La Residence's website.
We recommend to have a hired driver take you to the property. Whilst there, one doesn’t need a car — with the combination of walking, biking and if necessary the hotel can drive you to nearby places.