Leeu House

Franschhoek, Cape Winelands & West Coast, South Africa Book from Book from £380 per night

Luxury boutique hotel with a delightful pool and garden in the heart of Franschhoek
The foodie village of Franschhoek is a buzzing place these days, and Leeu House sits at the centre of the action. Step off the main street, stroll up the manicured garden and walk past bronze lions to enter this peaceful haven. Intimate and calm, there are 12 rooms, immaculately designed with honey colour schemes and glam chequerboard bathrooms. Expect clever sculptures, intriguing paintings and friendly staff to smooth your stay and help you arrange your Wineland adventures.

The hotel is part of Analjit Singh's Leeu Collection, a stable of luxe properties, restaurants, an award-winning winery and a microbrewery. While all 3 of their hotels in Franschhoek are beautiful, Leeu House is our favourite. You get the best of both worlds: tranquillity and a central location, with boutiques, art galleries and some of the region's best restaurants, bang next door. You can hop between each of the properties via a free shuttle service, and within 10 minutes you'll be at their fabulous spa or enjoying wine tasting or sundowners gazing across the valley. Leeu takes its name from the Afrikaans for Lion, and thanks to the elegant design and golden service, this is indeed one beautiful beast.

Highs

  • Fantastic location in Franschhoek, close to boutiques, vineyards and some exceptional restaurants
  • A large pool and lawned garden for relaxing - unusual in the centre of town
  • Beautifully designed rooms with wonderfully comfortable beds and gleaming bathrooms
  • Access to a spa, gym and wine tasting at sister property Leeu Estates overlooking the village - they run a free shuttle service
  • Delicious breakfasts served wherever you like, and excellent curries at Leeu's Marigold restaurant across the street

Lows

  • Sometimes the best things in life aren't cheap, but we still think Leeu House offers value for money
  • Most of the guest rooms are on the ground floor with limited views - request one of the 3 upstairs rooms for the mountain view

Best time to go

As is the case with the Garden Route, the Winelands get most visitors during the South African spring and summer months - from October through to February. For the rest of the year, the town is much quieter and the relatively mild winters mean that you should have a really great stay any time between April and September.

Our top tips

Ask the hotel to reserve you a table at Protégé restaurant next door, and make sure you book in for a treatment up at Leeu's spa.

Great for...

Foodie
Honeymoon
Spa
  • Boutique Hotel
  • 12
  • Restaurant
  • All ages welcome
  • Open all year
  • Heated Pool
  • Spa
  • WiFi
  • Pet Friendly
  • Disabled Access
  • Beach Nearby
  • Off-street Parking
  • Restaurants Nearby
  • Air Conditioning
  • Guest Lounge
  • Terrace
  • Garden
  • Gym
  • Bicycles Available
  • Laundry service
Room:

Rooms

The 12 bedrooms are styled in neutral and calming taupe colours. You'll find sisal carpets, natural linens and beautiful bedside lamps that double up as animal or bird sculptures. Beds are super comfortable and we loved the bespoke high thread-count bed linen. The bathrooms sparkle with their chequerboard marble tiling, colonial blinds and large walk-in showers (some also have a claw foot bath). Expert tilers were brought over from India to ensure an exceptional finish.

Rooms are mostly on the ground floor set around the neatly kept garden. With similar decor in all, the differences come down to size and whether they have a terrace. The 3 first-floor rooms have mountain views. Note that 2 of the smaller Classic rooms don't have bathtubs. We loved our ground-floor Deluxe with Terrace (No 5), which had a small garden area and enough space to swing a lion. Complimentary half bottles of Leeu's own Bas wine, homemade snacks and a Nespresso machine were nice touches, and we appreciated the quiet air conditioning at the height of summer.

Features include:

  • Air conditioning
  • Bathrobes
  • Coffee / tea making
  • Coffee maker
  • Hairdryer
  • Minibar/fridge
  • Phone
  • Radio
  • Safe box
  • Satellite TV
  • Toiletries
  • WiFi

Eating

When it comes to food, you're spoilt for choice. At the hotel, you can eat in The Conservatory, by the pool, on the terrace or in your room (available 24/7). Picnic baskets can also be arranged if you want to head out. Aside from this, you have Franschhoek's amazing array of restaurants on your doorstep.

Breakfast is a spread of pastries, fresh berries, freshly squeezed juices, cold meats, and pots of thick yoghurt with homemade granola. Cooked options are made to order. We couldn't fault anything: the Eggs Benedict was perfect, the waffles with crispy bacon and syrup were delicious. Other guests were raving about the home-baked seeded bread. The simple all-day dining menu features light options - our raw vegetable spring rolls with a zingy sweet and sour sauce by the pool really hit the spot. For afternoon tea, there's a selection of finger sandwiches and sweet treats, such as bonbons, scones, chocolate ganache, and white chocolate creme diplomat with crispy tuile.

When it comes to eating out, you can't really go wrong. Opposite the hotel is Marigold, which is also owned by Leeu and specialises in fine Indian curries; next door is La Petit Colombe, one of the country's top 10 fine dining experiences. You could also take the free shuttle to The Dining Room at Leeu Estates, where we had sundowners and yummy chimichurri chicken with slaw whilst overlooking the valley. But our best experience in Franschhoek was at Protégé, which serves exquisite little dishes inspired by the chef's travels in a casual setting - the tuna tataki, Korean fired chicken and lamb rib roti were truly delicious.

Features include:

  • Bar
  • Breakfast
  • Children's meals
  • Coffee / tea making
  • Coffee maker
  • Minibar/fridge
  • Restaurant
  • Restaurants nearby
  • Room service
Eating:
Activity:

Activities

  • Chill. Recline by the pool in the garden with a glass of local wine
  • At Leeu Estates you can indulge in spa treatments, energise yourself in their high-tech TechnoGym or do a tasting of their highly rated Mullineux & Leeu Family Wines
  • Take the Wine Tram to taste some of South Africa's finest wines. Everyone told us they loved it and you're just a quick hop away from dozens of top wineries
  • Browse the boutiques and galleries along Franschhoek's charming main street. Leeu House has a partnership with Everard Read gallery next door where you can view contemporary sculptures from local and international artists
  • Eat! Franschhoek has some of the world's best restaurants and you'll enjoy fabulous food for half of what it would cost back home (see eating for our recommendations)
  • Cycle. Complimentary bicycles allow you to explore the area or head for the hills and vineyards
  • Pack a picnic and head out on one of the trails - through vineyards along a river bank and up into the foothills of the mountains
  • Go trout fishing in the dams and rivers in the Franschhoek Valley, or swim or fish in the Berg river

    Activities on site or nearby include:

    • Cycling
    • Fishing
    • Hiking
    • Museums / galleries
    • Shopping / markets
    • Swimming
    • Well being
    • Wine tasting

Kids

The hotel is geared towards adults, though all ages are welcome. We think it's best for older children, who will enjoy the pool and gardens. A number of the larger rooms have sofabeds. Our daughter loved the range of spa treatments for children (aged 6-12) on offer.

Best for:

Children (4-12 years), Teens (over 12)

Family friendly accommodation:

Four of the larger Classic and Deluxe Rooms with Terraces have double or twin sofabeds that can sleep 2 children, plus space for a baby cot. Two of the Classic with Terrace rooms can also interconnect.

Baby equipment:

  • High chair
  • Baby bedding
  • Bottle warming

Remember  baby and child equipment may be limited or need pre-booking

Children's meals:

The Conservatory offers an all-day children's menu that includes baby burgers, pasta and toasties. They also offer an enticing children's afternoon tea with cupcakes, scones, brownies and mini sandwiches.

Kids Activities on site:

  • Kids DVDs
  • Kids books / toys

Kids Activities nearby:

  • Drawing and crafts in Franschhoek
  • Pigcasso in Franschhoek
  • Nearby animal attractions such as Butterfly World, Le Bonheur Crocodile Farm, Lion Park, Giraffe Park Wiesenhof Adventure Park

Distances:

  • Airport: 73km, 60 minutes
  • Hospital: 30 minutes
  • Shop: 1km
Kid Friendly:

Location

About an hour's to drive from Cape Town, Leeu House is in the culinary capital of South Africa - Franschhoek - in the Cape Winelands.

By Air
Fly into Cape Town International airport (70km), a 45-minute drive away. Airport transfers can be arranged.

By Car
Most guests self-drive so they can explore the Franschhoek valley and Winelands (however, there is a Wine Tram for those who prefer not to drive); see our car rental recommendations.

Detailed directions will be sent to you when you book through i-escape.

Airports:

  • Cape Town International 70.0 km CPT

Other:

  • Beach 50.0 km
  • Shops 0.1 km
  • Restaurant 0.0 km

Our guests' ratings...

Based on 1 independent review from i-escape guests

10/10
Room
10/10
Food
10/10
Service
10/10
Value
10/10
Overall

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