Claire recently visited the amazing Franschhoek Boutique Hotel
Franschhoek has a multitude of accommodation options to choose between. From private and secluded cottages set amongst vineyards to luxury guesthouses and B&B’s in charmingly restored historic houses. Over the years we’ve had the pleasure of staying in a variety of the above, but our most recent visit to Franschhoek offered a completely new experience at the Franschhoek Boutique Hotel.
Set on a corner just back from the Main Street, this small six-roomed hotel has been cleverly designed to offer both views and privacy while essentially being a few steps away from the centre of town. The rooms are built on the third floor of the building, all alongside each other in traditional hotel style, and from their elevated position they offer a surprisingly lovely view across the rooftops of the pretty streets below and towards the vineyard covered mountain slopes beyond.
We were welcomed at the reception area on the second floor (where breakfast is served and where guests can relax on comfy sofas in front of the fireplace) and shown to our room on the floor above. Don’t be fooled by first impressions, the very unassuming facade definitely doesn’t do the rooms justice.
Each of the six rooms is uniquely decorated and the space has been expertly used to create a luxurious hotel room with full en-suite bathroom, loads of cupboard space, a desk area, a Morso freestanding fireplace and large double doors opening onto a Juliet balcony. There was also a tea and coffee station, mini wine cooler, bar fridge and flat screen TV.
We were in the Hestia room which was decorated in dramatic shades of grey with bold accents of yellow. The king size bed made up with crisp white linen and draped with luxurious throws was the perfect vantage point for gazing out at the beautiful Franschhoek mountains. During our stay, the temperature in Franschhoek peaked at 42 degrees and we were beyond grateful for the highly effective air-conditioning. Coming back to our ‘chilled’ room after a few hours of wine tasting and exploring was blissful.
There were a couple of things that really impressed us about the room. The first was the attention to detail and quirky little design elements. Everything was where it should be – including ample plugs (of the 2 and 3-prong variety!) as well as USB plugs for charging the multitude of devices we always seem to be hanging on to. The second was the very clever bathroom. I’m a big fan of luxury bathrooms on holiday - and while an open-plan bathroom can be lovely, there are times when everyone just wants a bit more privacy. Hat’s off to whoever came up with this unique idea – frosted glass stack back doors which slide open to transform the bathroom into a wonderful open space, or can be kept closed if you’d just rather not. Opening the doors gave the gorgeous freestanding bathtub a mountain view which was enough of a reason for me to jump in and enjoy a wallow (suitably shallow with our severe water restrictions in mind).
During our stay we got up and headed out for early morning walks before the extreme heat of the day kicked in. No need to drive anywhere, we simply headed out the door and went wandering. One morning we made our way through the pretty residential streets before finding ourselves on a track leading through vineyards and along a little river bank. Such a great start to our day.
Back at the hotel we were served a really good breakfast in the downstairs reception and dining area – another beautifully decorated space. A continental buffet spread, as well as hot breakfasts to order were available. We were impressed with the quick and friendly service and the very nicely prepared and presented breakfasts. My poached eggs were done just right and the portions were generous without being overwhelming.
We were surprised by just how much we enjoyed being in the centre of town. It was a few minutes stroll to the fairly new Heritage Square where we took great pleasure in an ice-cream tasting at De Villiers Cafe. De Villiers are one of only a few producers of single origin Bean-to-Bar chocolate worldwide and you can sample their chocolate, coffee chocolate and ice-creams and sorbets (which are gluten-free and free from any artificial colourants, flavourings or stabilisers). If you’re up for something seriously decadent, try the Mocha Trilogy – a short glass filled with a shot of molten chocolate, a shot of espresso and topped with cream. Definitely worth a visit when you’re next in Franschhoek.
Over the road the bright green and yellows table of the Tuk-Tuk Microbrewery caught our eye. We visited later that evening and relished sitting outdoors as the day finally cooled off. A tasting of both their Tuk-Tuk and CBC brews was a fitting way to end the day, along with a couple of the tapas style dishes from the menu. Also, highly recommended.
It’s worth mentioning that the highly popular Franschhoek tram departs throughout the day from just outside the hotel – where you can hop on and off at various wine estates throughout the valley. Read more about the wine tram here.
Our stay at Franschhoek Boutique Hotel was really very private and very luxurious and while you may not have the masses of space and grounds that some other properties offer – you literally have all of Franschhoek on your doorstep. We loved it – and would love to return for a winter breakaway to try out that Morso fireplace!
** Please note that the rooms are only accessible via a staircase.
** The neighbouring property is currently under construction which means there is some noise during working hours.
To book your stay at Franschhoek Boutique Hotel, click here.