Franschhoek, The Winelands, South Africa
At a Glance
Opulence and elegance
Stunning views of the mountains
Incredible infinity pool
Private Vineyard villas for families
Beautiful rose gardens
Grandeur and opulence in abundance with peacocks strutting around the grounds to top it off
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 in Franschhoek 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.
Call us on to start planning your holiday to La Residence or take a look at our itineraries to The Winelands
La Residence is a spectacular hideaway in the Winelands with eleven individually and elegantly decorated suites and five vineyard villas. It is a wonderful place from which to explore the Winelands or just relax and soak up the beautiful scenery.
La Residence lies at the heart of a private 30-acre working farm, complete with vineyards, plum orchards, a dam and impeccably manicured gardens.
From an exotic Tibetan suite, with oriental antiques and hand-painted screens, to French boudoirs, with Provencal antiques and mirrored dressers, the ten individually decorated suites are simply gorgeous. Rooms open on to generous balconies and verandas, which offer the perfect place to relax and admire the panoramic views.
The elegant dining room is reminiscent of a country manor hall with its chequered marble flooring, enormous fireplaces and a magnificent four-metre chandelier, which all open onto wide terraces bordered by roses, perfect for alfresco summer evening meals.
The hotel has a stunning infinity pool and you can indulge in a range of spa treatments in the privacy of your own room or balcony. For the more adventurous, the hotel will be happy to arrange a round of golf, trout fishing, quad biking, helicopter trips, paragliding, hot-air ballooning or a horseback tour of the surrounding wine farms. A more relaxed excursion is the horse-drawn carriage ride through the local village and vineyards.
La Residence offers guests 11 gorgeously decorated suites with king size four poster beds, ornate antiques, plush Persian carpets and an eclectic mix of artworks and palatial bathrooms. Every suite opens onto a terrace or balcony, with magnificent views of the mountains, hills and vineyards. There are also 5 Vineyard Suites offer privacy and space for families and groups of friends.
Each suite is luxuriously decorated and has a large double bed (some can be made into twin beds) All the suites have beautiful balconies with lovely views of the mountains and vineyards below.
There are 5 luxurious villas which have two en-suite bedrooms, private terraces with lovely views.
Children under the age of 12 years are not accepted in the main hotel and there are no specific facilities, however they are welcome in the new Vineyard villas. Attractions kids will love in the Winelands area include Bugz Play Park, the Franschhoek Motor Museum, Stellenbosch Botanical Gardens and the Stellenbosch Toy & 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 top places to visit.
Facilities at La Residence include a spa, swimming pool, an elegant dining hall serving regional cuisine, bar and library.
The hotel has a stunning infinity pool with superb views of the surrounding area. You can also indulge in a range of spa treatments in the privacy of your own room or on your private balcony. For the more adventurous the hotel will be happy to arrange any of the following: a round of golf, trout fishing, quad biking, helicopter trips, paragliding, hot air ballooning or a horseback tour of the surrounding wine farms. A more relaxed excursion is the horse-drawn carriage ride through the local village and vineyards.
Sian Frost (Staff)
La Residence is quite hard to describe; opulent, eclectic, old fashioned, elegant with Moroccan, African and Oriental touches. It is a blend of so many different styles but the designer has, amazingly, made it all work. You cannot get bored wandering around the beautiful hotel, especially considering its spectacular backdrop. Above all they are excellent at the finer details with all of your favourites already stocked in the mini bar on arrival.
Object of desire The location is utterly swoonworthy, tucked beneath the Franschhoek mountains with sweeping vistas of endless, emerald vineyards. The bedrooms are vast, peaceful and filled with fascinating objets d'art collected from around the world - one is like a sun-filled Provenal villa, the next is a moody-red Oriental boudoir. All are basically romance on a stick.
Sexiest spot Slink around on the terrace at sundown with something chilled in your hand, and gaze out over the little lake bathed in a honeyed light while swifts swoop overhead.
Worth getting out of bed for The food is sensational. Opt for the chef's table and get pleasantly sozzled at the skilled hands of the ebullient sommelier, while the chef knocks out dish after dazzling dish: a grilled kingklip with scallops that sings of the sea; hand-made pasta with vegetables so fresh they might have just vaulted out of the kitchen garden.
Cool off With a walking tour of the local vineyards - not exactly sobering, but then this is wine country, so bottoms up.
Anna Hearn (Staff)
We were lucky enough to be able to spend a night at La Residence, just outside Franschhoek. As we drove up the sweeping driveway we were amazed to see a herd of springbok, happily grazing away (one of these later escaped and was seen doing circuits of the lake). Parking next to a red Ferrari, our welcome was warm and effusive, and we were shown into the wonderfully opulent main area think Downton Abbey with a modern, slightly contemporary twist, and a tithe barn ceiling the mix of styles was eclectic to say the least but it worked! The main building houses the dining and lounge area, and outside there is a manicured lawn leading down to an infinity pool with incredible, uninterrupted views of the mountains. Our room was nothing short of incredibly opulent not one but two chandeliers, and rich fabrics with an African theme. The bathroom size would rival any one bedroom flat in London! We were lucky enough to be in a lake facing room, and the manager sent G&Ts to us to enjoy as the sun set over the mountains. La Residence prides itself on its cuisine, and our supper that night was delicious the menu is relatively minimal, but every dish is prepared with enormous care, and the waiter is happy for guests to try as many wines as they wish before selecting one. As a final treat, when we returned to our room to sleep, a sherry was awaiting us as a nightcap.
Dominic Atterton (Staff)
Outstanding in every way, thats the only real way to sum up La Residence. It feels very much like a hotel yet is small enough to feel like a home having only 11 suites stretching around its lawn filled courtyard and infinity pool. Every room has its own terrace looking out across the hotels vineyards and olive groves from where they produce their own wines and olive oil. The rooms share a common theme of incredibly ornate furniture, colourful fabrics and ridiculously large bathrooms. Immediately on entering you feel like royalty and its not hard to see why this is Elton Johns hotel of choice in Franschhoek. It is unashamedly showy and because of this may not be for everybody.
They themselves call their elongated entrance hall the Mile of Opulence and its here that beautiful breakfasts are served up to enjoy out on the terrace. What really stands out about its location is that although walking distance from the main drag in Franschhoek you feel completely isolated on the property.
In addition to the rooms they also have private villas each with its own pool. These are excellent for families and there is also a main hub with the villas with lounge and kitchen so that families and honeymooning couples are able to stay out of each others way. Franschhoek is home to over 200 different hotels and La residence is at the top of the pile.
Sarah Clegg (Staff)
La Residence is sheer OTT, in a great way!! I couldn't help but laugh at the opulence on walking into my suite, it seemed like the right thing to do. Afternoon sunlight poured through the glass doors bouncing off the mirrored surfaces, shimmering on the mother of pearl and warming the acres of marble... This 'hotel', although only a 5 minute drive to Franschhoek town centre, sits out on it's own in the vineyards giving guests a feeling of splendid isolation, with every comfort you could wish for. There is so much to do in and around Franschhoek, be sure to tear yourself away from the palace to experience some of it!
Swing your pants in an excited fashion. New to this South African pleasuredome are six private villas: a colourful explosion of Caran dAche high drama. Liz Bidens hotels are the most famous in South Africa, and this must be the most expensive hotel in the country. You cant believe it works, really the chequered marble flooring, the lime-green curtains, the chandeliers so large theyre like intergalactic UFOs. And yet there is a reason why Christian Lacroix and Elton John love it here. Set apart in the gardens, surrounded by vines and apple and plum trees, this is heady stuff. It aint no barefoot chic, peeps its a riot of glory, with massive roaring fires, four-posters and roses. The GM, Edward Morton, lives, eats and breathes the place; staff at a ratio of 10 to one, or at least it certainly feels like it are impossible to match. One Indian billionaire who insists on travelling the world with his own staff has said its the only place where he doesnt need them, and revisited three times in 12 months.
LocationFranschhoek Valley, South Africa
Louisa Verney (Staff)
La Residence is ultra spoiling and so over the top that it's hard not to fall in love with. The entire setting just screams elegance and grandure. From the moment you walk into the double-height hallway, you just know you're in for a treat. Every little detail is thought of and the staff are discreet but friendly and very efficient. The 11 opulent individually-designed bedrooms are huge and completely different to the next. I saw Room 3, in which was a four-poster bed made out of marble and a bathroom that's bigger than the entire floor space of an average London flat. The walls in the bathroom were lined with mirrors, which might not be to everyone's taste but it's definitely stylish. The hotel is often frequented by very well known celebrities, and it's easy to see why. It's nestled away on a hillside in Franschhoek where no one will bother you or even know you're there. The infinity pool overlooks such stunning scenery that it's hard not to get wrapped up in the ridiculous theatrics of it all. It is over the top and verging on the sublime but it's wonderful and there is nothing else quite like it.
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 Estate Vineyard 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
Franschhoek, The Winelands, South Africa
La Résidence is situated on a private 30 acre working farm, a 3-minute drive from the centre of Franschhoek, South Africa.
How to get there
La Résidence is about a 1-hour from Cape Town International airport. Transfers can be arrange on request.