La Residence Villas. Franschhoek. Winelands. South Africa
Why we love it
La Residence is in the Franschoek Valley, fringed by wonderful mountains and vineyards producing some of the finest wines, and a quaint village with some of the best restaurants in South Africa. La Residence Villas continue Franschhoek's tradition of excellence with original interiors full of beautiful antiques, persian rugs and luxurious fabrics that create a mood of pure indulgence. It is part of the highly regarded Royal Portfolio - a mark of the very best levels of service.
What to expect
There are 5 individual Villas, each of which have between 1 and 5 en-suite bedrooms. Decorated by one of Cape Town's top inteior designers, you can expect opulence and generous spaces with a central living room and bedrooms containing beautiful antiques and indulgent fittings. It's ideal for families and friends to connect together. The open kitchen sets the tone, as you chat to the chef over a glass of wine and watch dinner preparations unfold. There's also an outside terrace for al fresco dinning and a private swimming pool with wonderful mountain views. The villa has a chef, host, housekeeper and night watchman. It is also possible to visit La Residence Hotel for a change of scene.
What to do
La Residence can arrange private cheese and wine tastings and cellar tours at the surrounding wine estates., where you can learn about the wine-making process and gain an understanding of what makes South African wine so special. Venture into Franschhoek - the cutest village in the Winelands - and choose an award wining restaurant for a memorable meal. For those looking for outdoor adventure, La Residence can arrange, golf, tennis, trout fishing, quad biking, helicopter trips, paragliding, hot-air ballooning or horseriding from one wine estate to another. On cooler days, bask in the warmth of the open fire, watching a DVD or enjoying a glass of wine. A trip to the Franschhoek Motor Museum is also recommended.
A whole range of children's activities are on offer, from baking cupcakes and pizza to painting. The surrounding area is full of great places to visit, with Butterfly World a delightful experience, or come face to face with crocodiles. Some of the activities kids enjoy at La Resience Villa include, fishing, hiking and riding. The chefs will cater for your children's tastes and needs and prepare delicious meals to be enjoyed in the central Terrace Room or in your own Villa, at the dining table or picnic-style beside the pool. A babysitting service is also available.
The Good news
Le Residence has earned a great deal of awards and is ranked by many as one of the top hotels in the world.
When to go
Summer days range from warm to hot and are rain free. July and August are the wettest months, but create pleasant sight-seeing and wine tasting against a backdrop of snow-dusted mountains. Cultural highlights include the Franschoek Literary Festival in May, Bastile Festival in July, Classical Music Festival in October and Champagne Festival in December.
How to get there
Le Residence is a short walk or 5 minutes drive from the centre of Franschhoek village. Franschhoek is one and a half hour's drive from Cape Town and 45 minutes from Cape Town International Airport.