A Home away from Home….Not quite
Imagine the unimaginable and you may just have an inkling of what to expect at La Residence Hotel.
On entering the hotel, magnificent is the first word that comes to mind, followed by luxurious…heavenly…sumptuous…Even the grand entrance is an explosion of beauty and grandeur and hints at what’s to come. La Residence prides itself on it’s beautiful collections of art and furniture and presents them against an exquisite backdrop of white and black checked marble tiles, glittering Indian chandelier, large gilded mirrors, elegant antiques, Persian rugs, luxurious fabrics, eclectic objects d’art and fresh flowers (everywhere) and the result is an opulent feast of colours, texture and shape. Old sits next to new, French next to Chinese, a wonderful marriage of different influences to create the most spectacular space. It’s all in the details, and the guests are encouraged to stop and gaze. It’s sophisticated and quite striking but, more importantly, the atmosphere is welcoming; the tone, relaxed and informal. It’s all about slowing down and taking time out…and that’s what we did.
From lying by the infinity pool, to having a signature massage in the privacy of our room, to reading books in the library and taking leisurely strolls across the grounds…our stay was made up of swimming, relaxing, reading books in the library and taking leisurely strolls across the grounds…our stay was made up of swimming, relaxing, reading and eating…in no apparent order. There really are a number of perfect spots for some “me” time. La Residence’s surrounds are truly uplifting and soaking up the views can take several hours. Majestically positioned at the foot of mountains, amidst a private 30-acre estate, imagine lush green fields, winding vines and wondrous orchards of olives and plums, and you have captured the pure unbridled beauty if the Cape in one simple location.
We also spent much time in our decadent rooms, happily wrapped up in a cocoon of comfort – seeing really is believing – and it was hard to leave…The hotel is charmingly divided into an East Wing and a West Wing, with all the rooms opening onto the manicured lawns complete with deck chairs and parasols. The 11 suites have been lavishly decorated and are particularly unique in their decor and fittings, which makes choosing a room almost as much fun as staying in them. The Honeysuckle Suite is a golden orange eruption, comprising a mahogany four-poster king size bed and a private verandah. The Frangipani Suite is renowned for its glamorous bathroom, which is reminiscent of Versailles Hall of Mirrors. The Chambre Bleu Suite is all done in French blue, complete with an elevated four-poster bed with footstools to assist ascent!, while the Maharani Suite is simply exotic; India from yesteryear, with unashamedly opulent decor and two balconies varying views. Definitely the piece de resistance.
La Residence also has a number of villas for a truly exclusive and private getaway, boasting stunning views, and a number of rooms with their own pools, ideal for families and groups of friends.
As for the eating part…Franschhoek is well known in foodie circles as being in gournet haven and La Residence certainly competes. Light, tasty and seasonal fare and only the freshest ingredients; mostly straight out of the garden. They pride themselves on the use of regional produce , so expect anything from springbok to locally caught fish. Yummy handcrafted cheeses, homemade preserves and breads and local berries are all on offer. We enjoyed cocktails and canapes in the Loggia while the sun gently sank and experienced amazing delights in the Persian Alley; think bubbling brooks, heady scented florals, and a warm breeze. The chef was also on hand to explain our meals and its beginnings and a gourmet lesson in cuisine was born.
There is also plenty to see and do in the area, so if you can tear yourself away from the bosom of La Residence, you will find the delightful arty town of Franschhoek just around the corner; a great place for shopping, lunching and people watching. Private cheese and wine tasting can also be arranged and for the adventurous, there’s golf, trout fishing, quad biking, paragliding, hot-air ballooning and horseback riding. Even the Cape’s glorious beaches are only a 45 minute drive away.
We on the other hand, much preferred to continue our mantra of swimming, relaxing, reading and eating…in no particular order.