Mont Rochelle Hotel

Franschhoek, Cape Winelands & West Coast, South Africa Book from

Reviewed by Nikki Tinto
Luxury hotel and wine estate with stunning views, just 10 minutes' walk from Franschhoek, the Cape's gourmet hotspot
Set on a hill above the historic village of Franschhoek, Mont Rochelle is a luxurious hotel and winery with fabulous sweeping views of the surrounding vineyards and mountains. Fruit and wine have been cultivated here since the 18th century when French Huguenots (many of them winemakers) fled to the Cape to escape religious persecution in France.

The thatch-roofed property was taken over by Sir Richard Branson's brilliant team in 2014, and given a complete makeover. We're yet to revisit, but all early indications are that this beautiful and relaxing retreat is more amazing than ever. With 100 acres of grounds, 22 stylish rooms, 2 restaurants, a spa with a hammam and a heated pool, it has everything you'd want from a top-class hotel. You can relax, wine and dine in style, and for those who are more active, the region offers wine tours, horse riding, hiking, biking, trout fishing and golf. A superb wine cellar among the vineyards and orchards offers an excellent venue for special occasions and functions.

Highs

  • Awesome views (the best of any hotel in the area)
  • Fine cuisine and first-class wines, both at the hotel and close by; Franschhoek is the gourmet hotspot of the Winelands
  • A superb level of service
  • Spacious and supremely comfortable rooms with free minibars
  • Less than an hour from Cape Town and its airport, and ideally placed to explore the Winelands

Lows

  • The track up to the property is rather pot-holed
  • Half a mile from the village centre so you may need to drive or taxi to and from other restaurants
  • Some may not like the open-plan bathrooms
  • The spa seems expensive

Best time to go

The most popular time is October to April, when the weather is warm and dry.

Our top tips

Dewdale Farm dam offers excellent fly-fishing for trout.

Great for...

Foodie
Honeymoon
Spa
  • = Recommended
  • = Best in region
  • = World favourite
  • Boutique Hotel
  • 22
  • 2 restaurants and bar (open daily)
  • 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
Room:

Rooms

The 22 rooms (including 6 suites) all offer wonderful views of the mountains, vineyards and the Franschhoek Valley. Each one is different but all are spacious and stylish, decorated in a clean, modern style, with restrained splashes of colour.

Beds are kingsize (twinned on request), with Egyptian cotton sheets and down pillows. Egg-shaped bathtubs, soft towelling bathrobes and swish toiletries add to the comfort, as do complimentary minibars. Many of the ground-floor bedrooms have French doors leading out to the gardens.

The Cabernet Rooms have the best terraces, overlooking the valley. For families or those seeking extra space, the Pinotage Suites have a separate sitting room with a sofabed. The top-end Cap Classique Suites have private plunge pools.

See full details of the room types here.

Features include:

  • Air conditioning
  • Bathrobes
  • Central heating
  • Coffee tea making
  • Complimentary minibar
  • Cots Available
  • Dvd player
  • Extra beds
  • Fan
  • Hairdryer
  • Phone
  • Safe box
  • Satellite tv
  • Terrace
  • Toiletries
  • Tv
  • WiFi

Eating

The hotel's gourmet Miko restaurant promises to be one of the best in the area; quite a claim in such a foodie hotspot, but due to the quality of Sir Richard's other hotels (including Kasbah Tamadot), we feel confident they will deliver. Early feedback is excellent.

An a la carte menu is available for lunch and dinner, plus there's a tasting menu. Start your meal with a cocktail on the terrace as the sun sets (we love the whimsical astro-turf armchairs and roaming wire sheep!), then treat yourself to fine wine to accompany your meal. The selection of Cape wines is extensive and includes the estate's own produce - Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc.

If you fancy something a little more relaxed, try the Mediterannean-inspired menu at Country Kitchen, which is located in the vineyards. The menu changes daily to incorporate fresh and seasonal produce. Dishes include beetroot carpaccio, spicy beef spaghetti with cherry tomatoes and rocket leaves and sirloin steak. Picnic baskets can also be arranged.

Franschoek itself is brimming with amazing restaurants for a change of scene. Ask reception for their top tips.

Features include:

  • Bar
  • Breakfast
  • Coffee tea making
  • Picnic baskets
  • Restaurant
  • Restaurants nearby
  • Room service
  • Vegetarian menu
Eating:
Activity:

Activities

  • Relax by the heated pool or on the banks of the trout dam and admire the fabulous views. For those in need of pampering, there's a spa with a hammam

  • Vineyard trails or cellar tours can be arranged for you with Mont Rochelle's own winemaker. The other main wine centres (Stellenbosch, Paarl and Somerset West) are all within half an hour's drive

  • Enjoy a hike through the hills and valleys with Franschhoek's eco-guide

  • Horse riding - winetasting tours on horseback can be arranged, as can trail riding by the hour

  • Stroll round Franschhoek - the village offers a variety of bistros, galleries, interior décor and antique shops

  • Mountain biking can be arranged 5 minutes away from the hotel

Activities on site or nearby include:

  • Cycling
  • Fishing
  • Golf
  • Hiking
  • Horse-riding
  • Mountain biking
  • Private guided tours
  • Swimming
  • Wine tasting

Kids

Children of all ages are welcome. There's plenty of space outside and a swimming pool, but don't expect a games room or laid on activities, although there are DVDs and games consoles to borrow.

Best for:

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

Family friendly accommodation:

The Pinotage Suites have a separate sitting room with a sofabed, which can sleep 2 children. Cap Classique Suites can fit 2 single beds in their sitting room. Shiraz Rooms can fit a baby cot.

Babysitting:

On request

Baby equipment:

Baby cots available on request

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

Kid Friendly:

Our guests' ratings...

10/
Rooms
9/
Food
10/
Service
9/
Value
10/
Overall

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