Paarl, The Winelands, South Africa
At a Glance
Dine at one of their superb restaurants
Go wine tasting around the estate
Sit and relax by the pool marvelling at the views
Head into nearby Stellenbosch or Franschhoek for some shopping
Enjoy the impeccable service and hospitality
Best time to Visit
Good time to visit
Average time to visit
The Winelands are a wonderful year-round destination and enjoys a mild Mediterranean climate, somewhat like the South of France, which is what makes the area perfect for grape-growing. Summer is the reverse of the Northern hemisphere. The best season visit is September to March when it is hot, sunny and dry. From April to August it cools down with some rain.
To start planning your vacation to Grande Roche
Located in the heart of the Cape Winelands and only an hour away from Cape Town, Grande Roche offers 34 luxurious rooms and suites set in the estate's own vineyard, nestling beneath Paarl Mountain. It is also home to award winning Bosman's Restaurant.
Grande Roche has a long history in the Winelands and today is the only 5 star hotel set on a completely restored working farm. Part of the estate building is designated a national monument dating back to 1707 and the 300 year old chapel can still be used for weddings.
Following extensive refurbishment in 2006, the hotel offers a truly luxurious base from which to explore the cape’s world-famous vineyards and enjoy the region’s stunning scenery. Among the area’s many excellent eateries, Grande Roche’s own Bosman’s Restaurant ranks as one of the best, serving delicious and imaginative creations using South Africa’s finest produce. The estate will soon be producing its own wine and currently you can enjoy tasting a variety of local wines with the hotel’s highly experienced sommelier.
Guests also have the choice of eating at the relaxed Bistro Allegro on the poolside patio or ordering room service. 18 terrace suites offer spacious bedrooms and bathrooms with a well equipped living room and private terrace on which to sunbathe or enjoy a glass of wine while watching the sun set over the mountains.
Grand Roche offers guests 18 Terrace Suites, five Duplex Suites, five Junior Suites, one Honeymoon Suite and five Executive Rooms. Room amenities include complimentary flowers, fruits and mineral water on arrival, air conditioning, under floor heating, satellite TV, an electronic safe for valuables, minibar, tea/coffee making facilities and Molton Brown toiletries in the bathrooms.
Children over the age of 12 years are welcome at Grande Roche but there are no specific facilities. Attractions kids will love in the Winelands area include Bugz Play Park, the Franschhoek Motor Museum, Stellenbosch Botanical Gardens, the Stellenbosch Toy and Miniature Museum. For a chance to see some of South Africa's abundant wildlife the Giraffe House, the Cheetah Outreach Facility and Eagle Encounters are the best places to visit.
Facilities at the hotel include a restaurant, two outdoor swimming pools (one heated), two floodlit tennis courts, gym and spa featuring massage facilities, sauna and steam room.
The hotel offers complimentary use of the tennis court, swimming pool and gym. Wine tasting and spa treatments are charged additionally. Other activities include the rejuvenating relaxation at the Kraal Fitness Center, cycling through historic Paarl, golf, jogging, hiking, horse riding, parachuting, hot air ballooning, helicopter flights, fishing, scuba diving and a variety of water sports.
Louisa Verney (Staff)
This first class hotel has changed hands since I stayed in 2007 but at the time it won our prize for best restaurant of a two-week vacation during which we ate out almost every night. The Cape has a well-deserved reputation for world-class dining and Bosmans still managed to stand out. They also had a fantastic Norwegian sommelier who gave us an excellent and informative private tasting one evening before dinner. The rooms themselves were spacious and well-appointed though a little stark. They could have done with warmer colors and maybe the odd rug on the hard floor. The views over the Franschhoek Valley were lovely and it was great to be surrounded by live, working vines when staying in South Africa's wine capital. There is also a big, walled outdoor pool in which children under a certain age are not allowed. This makes it very much a couples, rather than a family, hotel.
Dine at Babel
A trip to the Winelands is not complete without visiting Babylonstoren. A walk through the gardens is a fantastic experience, time your visit to take advantage of Babel's opening times. Lunch here is not to be missed!
Dinner reservation at Tokara
This evening we have booked you a table at Tokara.
Le Quartier Lounge Bar
Le Quartier Lounge Bar is a recently opened, stylish cocktail bar at Le Quartier Francais in Franschhoek. Mixologist, Matthew Roberts is quickly making it Franschhoek's evening 'hot spot' with his unique, African-inspired cocktails.
Private guided Winelands tour - Full Day
Exploring the Winelands with a private guide comes highly recommended. Not only do you avoid the question of who's driving, but you'll be taken to some hidden gems you'd never find in a guidebook, and the tour can be completely tailored to your interests.
The Garden at Babylonstoren
Take the opportunity to explore the wonderful acres of Babylonstoren's gardens. Team up with the gardeners for a fun and interactive experience.
Waterford Wine Estate Wine Drive Safari
Waterford Wine Estate, in the heart of Stellenbosch offers a range of tours for visitors, including a Wine Safari Tour in a safari style Land Rover, a Wine and Chocolate Tasting Tour and a Reserve Vintage Tasting Tour.
Wine at Babylonstoren
Enjoy an interactive tour of a working wine farm. Babylonstoren take you from the grape to the finished product. The enthusiasm and commitment to the Babylonstoren ideal shines through on this tour.
Location & directions
Paarl, The Winelands, South Africa
The Grande Roche Hotel is situated on the site of the historic De Nieuwe Plantatie farm in the quaint town of Paarl, Drakenstein Valley, Cape Winelands, South Africa.
How to get there
The Cape Town International airport is a 1-hour drive from Paarl and it is recommended that the valley be explored by vehicle (which can be collected at the airport or alternatively delivered at the hotel).