Whether you prefer delicate whites, full-bodied reds or award-winning méthod cap classiques, indulge in the best food & wine Franschhoek has to offer while you relax in a hotel perfectly suited to your every need.
In a dream valley of rolling vineyards, ancient oaks and Cape Dutch homesteads, Franschhoek has some of South Africa‘s best wine cellars, from quirky boutique wineries to big names – think Boshendal, Dieu Donne and Vrede en Lust – that all offer tours and tastings. The valley has also naturally become a haven for foodies, with world-class restaurants alongside the irresistible food at the Village Market. Check out our list of the best places to stay and personalise every step of your trip.
Ingrid and Bertil Postema fell for the village location and the understated contemporary style of Vive la Vie on a visit, and then two years ago, they bought it. The residence offers three king suites and two queens, lit by natural light through big windows and glass doors. Enjoy your breakfast under the gaze of a watchful cow – one of a number of original artworks – and after a day exploring, dip in the pool, or order a Mobile Spa treatment in your room, before hitting the nearby restaurants.
Sir Richard Branson was another to lose his heart to the valley, taking over this classically thatched, white-walled 26-bedroom hotel and vineyard. Enormous stylish modern suites in natural colours and textures, with local stone and unvarnished wood, open entirely to the view. Lunch on local produce on the terrace of the Country Kitchen, or ask for a gourmet picnic and sprawl under an oak. Dine at MIKO, sampling the house wines with the likes of Franschhoek salmon trout buckwheat blini with dill crème fraîche.
This contemporary take on a French village, complete with lake, fountains, statues and a wedding chapel, features unabashedly opulent suites – think velvet drapes and brocade armchairs – in colours reminiscent of the wines from the area. Options range from a pale gold Champagne Suite to a richly-hued Pinotage Suite, all equipped with balconies and a spectacular view. There are also one- and two-room villas, some even with private pools. The Restaurant at L’Ermitage has a seasonal à la carte menu featuring local wines, and will give you the option to enjoy the meals in your own room.
The individually-styled suites under the snowy white Cape Dutch gables of Leeu House – Lion House – are subtly suggestive of wildlife, from tawny colour throws and spotted cushions to the textures of the sisal carpets, giving an overall relaxed and earthy feel. Mullineux & Leeu wines, produced both at the Leeu Estates and in the Swartland, have won awards, and the tutored tastings offered, complimentary for staying guests, are widely renowned.
This is a historical French-style farmhouse on a working fruit and wine farm, its lanes lined with plum trees. The nine suites are stylishly decorated around wood-burning fireplaces, kingsize beds and Blu-Ray disc players – there’s a complimentary library at reception. Our tip? Look no further than Suite 8, which features a private deck and plunge pool, and where with prior arrangement you can even take your fluffy best friend to be by your side. Café BonBon is also an on-site delicacy and serves organic produce from its own food garden, sustainable seafood and free-range meat.
A dozen quietly bespoke rooms with every mod-con you may need, look on to the Franschhoek Mountains from a central position perfect for exploring the high-end boutiques, art galleries and fine-dining restaurants of the village. Helpful staff will direct you to the owners’ five favourites: Roca at Dieu Donne, Orangerie at Le Lude, Big Dog Café, La Petite Colombe and Pierneer à la Motte. Few would argue.
The carefully renovated 19th century Cape Dutch homestead at Rickety Bridge vineyards and winery has accommodation as charming as its name, with yellowwood-beamed ceilings and pine floors. Ask for the serene long suite under the sloping thatched eves and make sure to book a cellar tour and wine tasting, cycle or play boules in the vineyards, go on a park run, and dine deliciously at Paulina’s restaurant.
Set in a garden with lavender, roses and indigenous trees in the centre of the village, this little hotel is steeped in history. Built as a Mission House in 1880, it became a village school before being turned into a hotel. New owners have given it a loving renovation, combining heritage designs with local artworks and hand-picked furnishings. We think it’s a great base to explore the village and surrounding valley, and it even has a pool to cool off in.
This sophisticated 32-room hotel includes two villas in the hot heart of the village. They’re furnished in bold colours with lavish fabrics and finishes, and there are fireplaces for the winter time, a pool for summer, and a great casual restaurant, Protégé. Here you can dine al fresco or watch the young chefs at work in a show kitchen, whipping up delicacies with Asian, French and Italian flair. Ask for the trendy small plates menu, perfect for sharing.
The Roggenbach family from Berlin bought Ashbourne in 2014. The eight rooms in bold checks and florals are a fresh take on colonial style, and reflect Nadine’s flair and care for guests’ comfort. Special touches include a heated pool in the lush garden, complimentary afternoon cake, and the free use of two bicycles – plus, you can also self-cater. Ashbourne is a short stroll, or even short bike ride, from the eateries, bars and galleries of Franschhoek Main Road.