La Residence Bath With A View
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Celebrate love in South Africa’s romantic winelands

The Cape Winelands area of South Africa is a wonderful place to visit for an intimate gourmet meal or romantic couple of nights away to celebrate Valentine’s Day, a wedding anniversary, or a special birthday. The mix of beautiful countryside, outstanding food and drink, and warm hospitality make this a firm favourite with both locals and visitors from overseas.  In fact, many years ago, my wife and I spent our first wedding anniversary in Franschhoek whilst we were living in Cape Town and establishing our travel business.  This place will always have a special place in our hearts, and these are a few of our favourite hotels and restaurants in the area. Le Quartier Francais Set in perfumed gardens with mountain views, Le Quartier Francais (the French Quarter) is a 32 room romantic boutique hotel situated in the village of Franschhoek, in the heart of the Cape Winelands. The emphasis here is on ultimate luxury and charm, combined with the priceless gift of privacy, tucked away in the centre of the village. LeQuartierFrancais The sunny Garden Room is a beautiful, inviting space that opens up onto a manicured courtyard through wide glass doors. The renowned breakfast buffet is on offer from 07:00 to 11:00, so there’s no need to rush out of bed for fear that you’ll miss it! The breakfast buffet offers home-made granola and pastries, plenty of seasonal fruit, freshly squeezed fruit and vegetable juices, and infused teas. The Bar at Le Quartier Francais is a trendy, sociable space with a wood-burning fireplace. Outside seating creates the perfect spot to relax over a drink and watch the activity on the main street. Savour signature craft gin cocktails or create your own G&T from the menu of delicious ingredients. There’s also a selection of classic cocktails, some with a unique contemporary twist, as well as delicious non-alcoholic versions. For guests luck enough to be able to stay overnight, the sophisticated suites and rooms are located in peaceful scented gardens and feature the ultimate in luxury fittings, fabrics and finishes, complemented by artworks by local artists. Mont Rochelle Set on the slopes of the majestic Klein Dassenberg Mountain Range, the 5* Mont Rochelle is a stunning 26 bedroom hotel and vineyard not far from Le Quartier Francais in Franschhoek. Mont Rochelle Cellar Door Unlike some other hotels in the area, Mont Rochelle is a working winery, and sixteen hectares of the 39 hectare farm is under vine and boasts several wine varieties. They offer daily activities including private wine tasting and cellar tours, as well as walking and mountain biking trails and horse-riding. Dining at Mont Rochelle is memorable – whether it be fine gourmet cuisine or a simple sandwich, guests will not be disappointed in the quality of the food served. We would poarticularly recommend enjoying a romantic picnic on the estate – the kitchen can arrange a well-stocked picnic basket with a chilled bottle of wine or 2! Mont Rochelle Terrace Lanzerac Hotel and Spa Steeped in a history dating back to 1692 and nestled in the foothills of the idyllic Jonkershoek Valley of Stellenbosch, the 326 year old Lanzerac Wine Estate is the epitome of old-world charm and rich Cape heritage. Lanzerac Manor Just 5 minutes from the historic town of Stellenbosch, the estate boasts endless rows of lush vineyards, hectares of gardens shaded by giant oak trees, and is surrounded by the dramatic Helderberg mountains. Home to the world’s first bottled pinotage, the range of award-winning wines maintain the excellent quality Lanzerac has become known for. Enjoy a guided tour of the working wine cellar, and a complimentary wine tasting either in the comfort of the well-appointed tasting room, or the veranda with views of the vineyards. Lanzerac Manor charcuterie board The hotel’s rooms, restaurants, bar, lounge and facilities are all located in the estate’s 300 year old Manor House and out-buildings, amidst 10 hectares of award-winning landscaped gardens featuring numerous ancient oaks, some over 160 years old. Franschhoek Country House & Villas Franschhoek Country House is an elegant 5* boutique hotel situated on the outskirts of the foody paradise of Franschhoek Village, and is well known for its excellent restaurant and luxurious rooms. Franshhoek Country House The acclaimed Monneaux Restaurant at Franschhoek Country House is considered among South Africa’s top restaurants, and serves an inspired contemporary take on the classics. This is where Tracey and I celebrated our first wedding anniversary, and it was one of the very best meals we have ever had in Franschhoek. Lunch is enjoyed on the fountain terrace under a spreading pepper tree while dinner is served in the elegant but relaxed dining room in the original manor house. Both settings are wonderfully romantic and complimented by outstanding food, and excellent service. For guests able to stay overnight there is a choice of accommodation located inside the original country house building, or alternatively there are a number of luxurious villa suites set in the beautiful grounds of the property. Franshhoek Country House Lunch In The Garden It is only a short walk from the hotel into the village where there are a wide range of bars, restaurants, delicatessens and other places to explore. Back at the hotel, there are 2 swimming pools for relaxing around after a day of sightseeing and wine tasting, and the spa offers a wide range of treatments including massages, reflexology, facials, manicures and pedicures. Grande Roche Hotel The celebrated 5* Grande Roche Hotel is a place where history interacts with modern comforts and where the atmosphere of a bygone era brings a sense of gracious, unhurried living. Grand Roche The essence of the Grande Roche Hotel experience lies in the unique, individually named suites spread over landscaped gardens in the midst of a working wine farm with its inimitable style and unsurpassed excellence in service.A proud member of Small Luxury Hotels of the World, this is the ideal base from which to explore the Cape, relax at the pools, and amongst others, enjoy some golf on the nearby courses. From the moment you arrive, you are warmly greeted by the Guest Service team, offered a welcome drink and escorted to your suite through the beautiful gardens. The 18 Terrace Suites are in groups of 3, scattered around the estate. All are built in the original Cape colonial style, with thatched roofs, shutters and trailing vines over the private outdoor terrace. Whether you are relaxing in the lounge or enjoying a lazy morning in the bedroom, the view from each room is spectacular. Imagine looking out on the mellow mists of autumn or the bright green vines flanked by roses in the summer, this is the place to be whatever the season. Grand Roche Room Interior La Residence La Residence lies at the heart of a private 30-acre working farm, complete with vineyards, plum orchards, a dam and fragrant manicured gardens. The majestic mountains that surround the idyllic Franschhoek Valley provide enchanting views in every direction. La Residence Space is in abundance with panoramic views from every suite, and personalised service is the order of the day. In addition to the deluxe decor, La Residence has a reputation for world-class dining. Haute cuisine is served in the baronial dining room or on the tranquil patios. A 5 minute drive from the charming curio shops and galleries of Franschhoek village, the hotel provides complimentary transfers so guests can explore at their leisure. There are excellent village restaurants to try as well as a range of activities from horse-riding to chocolate-tasting. With sublime views, diverse pastimes, crisp mountain air and the stillness of the serene valley, this is an unparalleled luxury retreat. The 11 opulent bedrooms open onto generous sunny balconies and verandahs, which offer the perfect place to relax, admire the view, and marvel at the synthesis of beauty and tranquility. They incorporate antiques, Persian carpets, fine fabrics and an eclectic mix of objects d’art. La Residence Bath With A View On hot days, the shimmering infinity pool beckons. Sip drinks under a shady umbrella, or relax with treatments in the Spa. In addition, the air conditioned gym caters for the more energetic! A stone’s throw from La Residence in a tranquil vineyard setting, there are 5 vineyard suites which offer privacy and space for families and groups of friends. There are stylish rooms for dining and relaxing, and luxurious bedrooms with marble en-suite bathrooms. All have private terraces and gardens; while 4 have their own pools. La Residence - exploring the lake Paul Campbell is a Co-founder and Managing Director at Travel Butlers. Travel Butlers are specialists in tailor-made safari and beach holidays to Africa and the Indian Ocean. If you would like to be a guest blogger on A Luxury Travel Blog in order to raise your profile, please contact us.

Paul Campbell

Paul Campbell is a co-founder and Managing Director at Travel Butlers, specialists in tailor-made safari and beach holidays to Africa and the Indian Ocean. Paul’s love of independent travel was first cemented when he spent 9 months doing the classic back-packing route across Asia, Australia, and North America when he was 20 year old. Over the following 30 years or so he has returned to these destinations many times, and also travelled for extended periods in central in South America as well as making countless trips to destinations across Europe. His first trip to Africa was nearly 20 years ago, and he fell in love with the continent instantly. After a few more trips (including spending a month training to be a field guide in the Sabi Sands), Paul and his wife Tracey decided to leave their jobs in marketing to form Travel Butlers. Their aim was to provide a friendly, professional, and knowledgeable service to help visitors find the very best experiences in Africa. The company was formed in 2003, and initially focussed on just South Africa and Namibia. Over the years they have taken on more staff and expanded to cover a dozen countries in Africa and the Indian Ocean. They still travel regularly to Africa both to find new destinations and experiences to offer their clients, and to check-up on old favourites.

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  1. I probably shouldn’t be having such mercenary thoughts on Valentine’s Day but for those of us from Britain, once you get to South Africa you really do get value for money even though getting there can be a bit costly.

    Getting back on message for this day of love it helps if you can stay in fabulous places, eat fine meals and drink superb wines without having to worry too much about the final bill. Even love is better in luxury.

  2. Hi Rob,

    You are of course correct – South Africa offers fantastic value for any kind of romantic or luxury treat…I think the on-message way of looking at this is that you can get more romance/luxury for your money rather than trying to spend less!


  3. It’s the small touches I often find so memorable and appealing when staying somewhere, like the first one here displaying art from local artists in the rooms, that’s a really nice thing to be able to do. The Mont Rochelle has some amazing views, I love the sound of a picnic there. I’m not sure how you’d pick one out of these, unless I suppose you want a specific location. They all look incredibly tempting.

    I get the sense these places are so chilled out and relaxed, and I think them being out in the open with rolling greenery around helps. There can be a lot of pressure when travelling to do things, to be a tourist and go exploring and be continually busy, but actually sometimes you just want to get away and enjoy the quiet downtime more peacefully, to appreciate what’s around you without needing to constantly be ‘doing’.

  4. This was such a treat to read … I’ve always dreamed of visiting South Africa. Thank you for sharing such wonderful information about Cape Town and Franschhoek. It was great reading about the wine culture down in South Africa, too! It looks like such a beautiful room at the Grand Loche Hotel. Phrases like “unhurried living” and “enchanting views” will be hard to forget as well. Beautiful post.

  5. I once visited Lanzerac on a wine tour and was fascinated with its history. The many antique pieces and the restoration that took place is really what makes it amazing. Plus, I also learned the Manor House was designated as a national monument. The lobby is also grandiose with its lofty wooden ceilings, gleaming marble floors, and gold-framed portraits. I would guess there are many such heritage houses in South Africa’s wine region. It would be good to visit again soon. Love this post.

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