- Style Cape château
- Setting Magnificent vineyard vistas
A South African Winelands estate with a private palace feel, La Residence hotel resembles a miniature Versailles and overlooks the valley of vines in Franschhoek. The façade may be modern, but inside is all colonial romance: historic paintings, romantic antiques and Persian rugs fill every nook and transport you in both time and place.
Need to know
- Rooms 11 suites, including four superior suites.
- Rates Double rooms from $781.47 (ZAR8,070), excluding tax at 14 per cent.
- More details Rates include full American breakfast. The property can be booked in its entirety (to sleep 22), from R73,200 a night.
- Facilities Swimming pool, gardens, courtyard, library, free WiFi, laundry, parking. In rooms: flatscreen TV, DVD/CD player, minibar, Molton Brown and Charlotte Rhys toiletries, underfloor heating, walk-in showers and separate baths.
- Poolside The outdoor infinity pool set in the expansive gardens is surrounded by attractive sunloungers covered in fluffy luxury towels.
- Check–out 11am, but flexible whenever possible. Earliest check-in, 2pm.
Children This hotel is aimed at grown-ups in need of a little spoil-me time, so under 12s are not accepted (unless you're booking the property in its entirety). Older children are welcome, but you’ll need to book them their own room at the full rate.
- Eco‐friendly The daily set menu features fresh seasonal local produce and – of course – excellent South African wines; La Residence recycles as much as possible (including waste water).
- Also In-room spa and beauty treatments can be arranged with reception. Smoking is only permitted in the designated areas. No pets allowed.
In the know
- Our favourite rooms Every one of La Residence’s beautiful suites is different, but they're all large, with gorgeous views and a lavish mix of art and antiques. We loved white and gold Frangipani, the most tucked-away of the ground-floor suites, for its monumental marble four-poster, 18th-century French dressers and mirrored ‘Versailles’ bathroom, complete with chandelier, roll-top bath and chaise-longue. The Armani Suite’s muted Whistleresque palette gives it a more contemporary feel; we love its oversize ballet painting, distressed sideboard and Moroccan bathroom chest. The feminine Disa Suite is all delicate pinks and pretty greens, with a balcony looking over the pool to the mountains beyond, an unusual grass-green four-poster and mirrored deco-style sink cabinets. There are spellbinding views from the pond to the peaks from pink-hued Hibiscus; the ground-floor Chambre Bleu has two private verandahs, for those days when you don’t know what sort of view you fancy; and the exotic Indian-themed Maharani above it has two balconies.
- Packing tips Jodhpurs or jeans, so you can ride through the vineyards; bikini for poolside lounging; headache tablets, because the wine is so tempting, you’re bound to overindulge.
- Also All the unoccupied rooms are left open for you to peek into, which makes you feel even more like a privileged guest in a stately home or palace.
Food and drink at La Residence
- Hotel restaurant The vast black-and-white tiled reception room doubles as a dining room (for hotel guests only), opening out onto the verandah where tables are set for breakfast or lunch. By night, regal red velvet wing-backed chairs are pulled up to white linen-draped tables, softly lit with candles. A sommelier will help you match wine from La Residence’s cellar to the daily changing set menu of seasonal, local produce, such as Franschhoek cheeses, lamb shank, roasted quail and line-caught trout.
- Dress code South Africa is relaxed, but this place will make you want to dress like holidaying royalty.
- Top table The alfresco tables all have panoramic mountain views; and at dinner, it’s more a case of choosing which richly upholstered chair you prefer.
- Last orders As you wish: around 2pm for lunch, and 8pm for dinner.
- Room service There’s no room service, but staff will help you out as much as possible, and there’s a well-stocked minibar in every suite.
- Hotel bar In a tucked-away ‘beverage room’, you’ll find a selection of cigars and drinks of all kinds; you can help yourself but a member of staff is always on hand to serve you or help you pick something from the impressive cellar. Take your drinks wherever you please: in the library, on the terrace, in front of the huge fireplace, or to your private verandah or balcony.
Also worth knowing
- Weddings This property is suitable for weddings. More details