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La Residence Review: Step Inside One of The World’s Most Luxurious Hotels

Located in Franschhoek, a small town in South Africa’s breathtaking Western Cape region, lies La Residence, an opulent boutique hotel on a private 30-acre estate encompassed by vineyards and mountains. To understand the beauty of this place, perhaps you must first understand the charm of Franschhoek itself. One of South Africa’s oldest towns, the stunning region is home to centuries-old vineyards that weave elegantly through the open plains. The name itself is Dutch for ‘French Corner’ and was named so when the Dutch gave the land to the French, who introduced their expertise in viticulture to the area, and today, it is known to be one of the best wine regions in the world. The French influence is also clear in the town’s culture, architecture and charm. It is a truly special place with picturesque vineyards and mountains all around, so before La Residence even opened its doors in January 2008, it was already off to a great start.

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Image: La Residence

Getting There

A mere 45 min drive from Cape Town, a visit to Franschhoek valley should almost be a no-brainer as part of your South Africa travel itinerary. And for the ultimate luxury escape, look no further than La Residence. For an effortless arrival and departure, the La Residence staff can assist you with arranging transfers to and from Cape Town. Alternatively, you can also book an Uber. We arranged an Uber Black at the very reasonable rate of R1,100 (just under $100 with the current exchange rate).


From the moment you drive through the big gates to enter the estate, you know something really special awaits. Pulling up to the entrance, we were warmly greeted by the friendliest staff and welcomed with a glass of La Residence’s very own rosé made from grapes grown on site. When walking into the entrance hall, we’d say it’s almost impossible to not have your breath taken away by the opulence of the interior and the beauty of the rolling green vineyards and mountains that follow. After we were given a brief overview and tour of the property, we were shown to our room…

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Image: La Residence

The Luxury Suite

If I had to describe the suite in one word, it would be palatial. The décor is exquisite, the room size is incredibly generous at approximately 85 square metres and the big double doors (in both the main room and bathroom) open up onto a large balcony with scenic views of the surrounds. I can imagine that this is similar to what a suite in the Palace of Versailles would look like. You might even mistake the panorama for that of a chateau tucked away between the mountains in the wine country in the South of France.

Then there’s the included minibar that’s abundantly stocked (and is restocked daily) with cold beverages, whisky, brandy, gin, red wine, white wine and a bottle of Method Cap Classique (MCC), the South African sparkling wine made in the style of champagne. A personal favourite room feature is the luxurious freestanding bath in front of two big glass doors, which might just make this the bath with one of the best views in the world. Add a glass of red wine to the mix, and that right there is what we call living.

The Infinity Pool & Other Facilities

By now it may sound like a broken record, but as with everywhere else on the estate, the pool overlooks the most stunning landscape. This was one of our favourite past times, lounging by the pool for a few hours, enjoying the beauty, the tranquillity and that 5-star La Residence hospitality. Other facilities include a gym and spa. While we didn’t hit the gym whilst there, we can highly recommend indulging in one of their relaxing spa treatments. You can also wander the property, walk through the vineyards, the olive groves and other parts of the impeccable grounds.

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Image: La Residence

Food & Drink

We found the drink offering quite impressive, with most of it included as part of your stay. In your room, you’ve got the complimentary minibar, by the pool, there is a “help-yourself” bar cart, and when you lounge around at sunset, you are also offered an array of drink options.

With a farm-to-fork philosophy, the onsite restaurant is nothing short of sensational. An indulgent breakfast is included for all guests with a choice of continental offerings or a freshly made a-la-carte hot breakfast. We loved being at the hotel so much, that we had dinner at the restaurant both nights we stayed – one night in the restaurant, and the second night we ordered room service, because there’s just something about room service that makes you feel like you’re truly holidaying like an A-lister.

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Image: Man of Many | Denise Barnes

Attention to detail

The level of service and attention to detail at La Residence is a benchmark for what luxury hospitality should be, not just in South Africa, but in the world. Everything is impeccable and considered with the overall experience being a sum of all its “above and beyond” individual parts. For example, when you go out for dinner at night, you’ll come back to a freshened up room, with a neatly placed bedside mat and slippers, a glass of water and a biscuit on your bedside table and curtains closed for the evening. Or if you go for a sundowner by the lake, you’ll be served with drinks of your choice accompanied by light snacks like olives, nuts and crisps. If it’s cold, you’ll also get a blanket to keep you warm or you can go inside to relax next to the fireplace. Not to mention the beautiful, fresh floral arrangements all throughout the property. Everything is so well thought through, and no request is too big.

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Image: La Residence

Overall, the La Residence experience is second to none – the superb location, the 5-star service, the stunning interior design, the spacious rooms, the unmatched tranquillity and the 5-star facilities are all fit for a royal – and as melodramatic as it may sound, we really did feel like kings and queens, even if just for the two nights we were fortunate enough to stay.

Check it out

The author of this article, Denise Barnes, stayed as a guest of La Residence.

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Image: La Residence

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Image: La Residence