Opulence and sophistication are the hallmarks of La Residence, a boutique hideaway nestled against the mountains in the picturesque village of Franschhoek. While discrete service is an important part of the property’s offering, there’s very little else that’s subtle about it – in the best possible way. A stay at La Residence is a bold statement, with sumptuous décor, bold flavours from the kitchen, an astounding wine list and eye-catching views.
As one of South Africa’s premiere arts, culture and gourmet centres, Franschhoek is a hedonistic playground that’s home to more than 40 wine estates which offer an array of opportunities, from concerts to art exhibitions and cellar tours to tutored tastings. The tiny village is also home to as many as 8 of the country’s top restaurants at any given time.
The village’s sybaritic bent is reflected in the styling of the 16 rooms at La Residence, split between six Luxury Suites and five Superior Suites around the main building, and five multi-bedroom Vineyard Suites that lie a short walk away. In true boutique hotel fashion, each room is individually decorated to a theme – from the Tibetan Suite in deep oranges and plush maroons to the Armani Suite that takes inspiration from the fashion brand with chic neutral furnishings presided over by a mammoth painting of a ballerina. The Frangipani Suite houses a bathroom that wouldn’t look out of place at Versailles and the sumptuous Maharani Suite is all crystal sconces and a bed surrounded by marble steps. The Vineyard Suites are more family-friendly and private, with many having their own plunge pools and bespoke service offering the opportunity to operate them almost completely independently of the main hotel. They front up to the property’s own Cabernet Sauvignon and Shiraz vineyards, which produce a limited quantity of wine each year, named for owners’ family members.
Art is a major theme at La Residence – as it is across all properties in The Royal Portfolio – thanks to founding owners Liz and Phil Biden’s passionate relationship with the works of local and international artists. There are plenty of commissioned works to complement feature pieces from as many as 35 different artists, with works rotating through the property from the Bidens’ own collection, on a regular basis.
In keeping with the area’s culinary reputation, dining at La Residence is a five-star experience, with many of the elegant dishes emanating from the kitchen of Chef Lennard Marais built on fresh, local ingredients – many of which are grown on the estate itself. While there are plenty of menu options available to suit every taste, across each of three daily sittings, consultation with the chefs is encouraged to help tailor menus for each guest’s preferences and dietary requirements. The dining area – known as The Great Hall – is dotted with dazzling chandeliers and spills out onto the al fresco ‘Persian Alley’, so-named for its strip of gorgeous Persian carpets. An in-depth Ricardo Roux-curated wine list focuses on the regional influences on South African wine by the glass and bottle, with an extensive list of vintage champagnes.
The list of inclusions at La Residence is extensive, with only meals outside of breakfast, reserve wines, spa treatments, curio shop purchases and off-site activities, incurring additional fees. There’s even a complementary shuttle service into the town.
Suites at La Residence are charged at R5 700 per person, per night, depending on season and room class. Children aged four and below stay free in Vineyard suites with a charge for those aged five and older. Children older than 10 are welcome in the Superior & Luxury Suites.
Book a Chef’s Table experience to gain an intimate understanding of the lengths the kitchen team go to, to produce the stunningly-beautiful meals at La Residence. Take a stroll through the estate gardens to select fresh, seasonal ingredients with the kitchen team, who will tailor a four-course menu according to your selection and tastes. At dinnertime, the meal is prepared right before you, with the chef explaining each process and combination – all complemented by a perfect wine pairing.
Suites at La Residence are charged at R5 700 per person, per night, depending on season and room class.
Elandskloof Private Road,
Elandskloof Farm, Franschhoek