It's strange how the world works: you think you've experienced the most luxurious hotel on earth and then another pops up to top it. But La Residence, deep in the Franschhoek winelands, will take some beating and it will be a while before you find better.
Surrounded by a view of vineyards and mountains, La Residence is your own private Ritz with just 11 rooms and every possible whim taken care of. Its also a rather down-to-earth hotel with guesthouse manors - you might find yourself chatting with the chefs in the kitchen over your morning coffee - giving you a rare combination of five-star luxury with intimacy of a family-run inn.
The décor is a rich and earthy mix of antique pieces, Persian rugs, crystal chandeliers, barnyard beams, Louis XV chaises and artworks worth more than South Africa's national debt. The rooms are enormous with views all round, plenty of light, sumptuous bathrooms and more than a hint of decadence.
The food matches the quality of the service and each course of fresh locally grown and sourced ingredients is paired to perfection by the sommelier. The wine cellar features some of South Africa's finest vintages.
Service is impeccable with attention to details you never knew existed. You simply arrive. Forget about parking your car or unpacking your clothes. Just arrive. Oh and take the proffered glass of bubbly on your way through the gathered throng of staff assembled for your benefit and your benefit alone.
Few people on earth are treated like royalty but, for a couple of grand, you can have a taste of it at La Residence.
The list of what they don't offer would be shorter. 11 enormous rooms dwarf the four-poster mahogany beds, the bathrooms would dwarf an average-sized hotel room and if you want for anything either they'll have it or they'll find it for you.
La Residence is a place of peace and tranquility so any activities involving more than a gentle stroll around the grounds takes place in nearby Franschhoek village or the winelands that make up your stunning views. Fine dining, wine tasting, horse riding, golf, nature walks, art galleries, jewellers, African craft markets and gentle country living are what makes sleepy Franschhoek such a popular destination.
Page last updated: 14 Dec 2010