THE BACKGROUND: This is an independent owner-managed boutique country hotel with 14 manor house rooms and 12 luxurious villas suites spread over expansive grounds.
WHERE IS IT? Franschhoek is an easy 45-minute drive from Cape Town, one of several small towns that comprise the Western Cape’s self-drive wine trail. The Provençal-style property is located on the edge of town, with views of the surrounding picturesque Franschhoek Valley.
THE ROOM: I stayed in a 100 sqm boudoir Villa Suite. Butler-serviced, it has a lounge, fireplace and balcony with loungers. The bathroom's floor and shower-for-two has under-floor heating. There's also a large standalone bath.
THE RESTAURANT: ‘Franschhoek Country House and Villas' Monneaux Restaurant is regularly listed among South Africa’s finest restaurants, fitting in a town that attracts gourmets and gastronomes. It serves up a range of classic and contemporary dishes with style and flair. The winelist promotes new vignerons as well as the more established South African wine estates. Although a haute cuisine restaurant, the beautifully presented fare consisted of the extremely generous portions South Africa is known for.
THE FACILITIES: Lunch on the alfresco fountain terrace was a delight. There's also an extensive wine cellar, lounges, a cool pool, a heated pool and a spa treatment room. The complimentary internet and transfers into town were most welcome.
HIGHLIGHT: The Franschhoek Valley is framed by omnipresent mountains with verdant vineyards at the foothills. The estate’s many water features, rambling roses, ceramic pots filled with lemons, and lavender bonnets leave a scented Cape bouquet that linger long in the memory.
RECOMMEND TO: Honeymooners and those celebrating a special occasion. The Garden Cottages are well-suited to families while the smaller Manor House Luxury Rooms are still excellent value for those on a budget.
THE COST: Rates for Luxury rooms (pictured above) start from around £95 pp pn, with breakfast. Villa Suites start from around £199 pp pn, including breakfast. A three-nights-for-two offer, valid from April 12-May 31 2010, can be booked through a number of tour operators such as Exsus, Rainbow Tours and African Pride.
THE DETAILS: PO Box 328, Franschhoek, 7690, Western Cape, South Africa; Tel: +27 (0)21 876-3386
Set in a beautiful location, Franschhoek Country House and Villas has an all-round classy feel. It is the perfect base from which to kick back and explore the Cape Winelands.
Editor, Selling Long Haul