“A luxury guesthouse and restaurant on an award-winning vineyard beneath the stunning Franschhoek mountain range”
Most of the suites are set on the ground floor of the main house, beside the Zen water garden, but there's a fourth suite with its own kitchenette (the Franschhoek River Suite) on an upper floor within a separate annex. All have super-kingsize beds, or 2 three-quarter beds which can be made up into one.
Expect exposed thatched roofs, polished terracotta floors, subtle greys, restrained lighting and comfy sofas. All suites are delightful and strike a calming mood, with plenty of African art (we especially liked the Karin Miller pictures), but our pick of the bunch was set up some stairs near the entrance: the Oliphant Mountain Suite. It has a breathtaking view across the vineyards to the dramatic mountainscape. It also has 2 bedrooms, so it can sleep up to 4 adults.
The suites have big bathrooms with walk-in rain showers (the water pressure is excellent) and extra-large tubs (the exception is the Franschhoek River Suite, which has a shower only). Twin sinks, swish modern taps, tea-light candles and toiletry goodies from Africology complete the picture. Each suite also has a log fire to keep you cosy in winter, and an intimate terrace (except the Oliphant Mountain Suite) which looks onto the lawns and surrounding vineyards (ideal for summer sundowners).
Breakfast is served in Holden Manz's dining area or beside the lawn. Light comes pouring in from tall picture windows overlooking the lawn and lake. Much of your breakfast’s content will be homemade or home-grown: juices, fruits and jams from the orchard, freshly baked breads, muesli, blue-gum honey harvested from local estate hives. The housekeeper, Lameck, showed us how to make a superb hollandaise to go with our poached eggs, which was a real highlight.
For lunch and dinner, the Holden Manz restaurant, Franschhoek Kitchen, is across the vineyard, a 10-minute walk or quick ride away. Open every day except Monday (and serving lunch only on Sundays), it has a frequently changing menu with ingredients sourced from the farm and surrounding valley - fresh fish, seafood, a variety of well-aged meats, pastas, home-grown garden salads, traditional South African dishes. It's a cool and swanky setting. We loved the spicy Portuguese squid with a lychee and rocket salad, and couldn't fault the delicious chocolate mousse roulade. Try a wine tasting as the wines now win awards (their "Big G" won Decanter magazine's gold medal), but whatever you do, don't miss taking one of the picnic baskets down to the river. They're exquisitely packed with tasty goodies prepared in jars and wrapped up in brown paper. In this setting, it was our best picnic ever.
Eating out, you're spoilt for choice. Franschhoek, a 5-minute drive away, offers many great restaurants, such as Reuben’s for a spicy mix of Asian fusion and traditional Cape recipes. For mouth-wateringly fresh and delicious dishes, also try The Kitchen at Maison.
Holden Manz is more suited to adults than children, but there are cots available and extra beds can be set up in the bedrooms.
The Oliphant Mountain Suite has 2 bedrooms and a large walk-in wardrobe. The Franschhoek River Suite has a useful butler's pantry.
Baby cots are available on request
Remember baby and child equipment may be limited or need pre-booking
The lake and pool are unfenced, so keep a watchful eye over young children