The heaven that is Mont Rochelle
Franschhoek is one of those places I keep going back to. I simply have to. This small town deep in the Winelands of the Cape, just about an hour from central Cape Town, is known as the food capital of South Africa. For good reason – there are certainly more restaurants than you can possibly eat in on one visit (or even several!). And there’s even more wine to taste. A serious gourmet heaven in the most beautiful of surrounds.
Today we’re heading for the paradise that is Mont Rochelle. This intimate 26-room hotel is part of Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Limited Edition Collection. It’s set in expansive grounds just outside the centre of town with fabulous views across the vines and valleys towards the majesty of the distant mountains.
Here’s what I loved about it.
The welcome and the service
You’ve barely stepped foot out of your car when you’re enveloped in the warmth of Mont Rochelle. Peter is waiting to enthusiastically welcome you and before you know it you’re on the verandah taking in the breathtaking view with a glass of bubbles in your hand! I certainly felt instantly at home.
All the staff are friendly, helpful and knowledgable without being intrusive. Some of the best service I’ve ever encountered makes Mont Rochelle an even more enjoyable experience.
The beautiful suites
Having finished our bubbles, we were escorted to our Cap Classique Suite in the Vineyard Wing. And some suite it turned out to be, too! An enormous bedroom, ensuite bathroom with spacious shower and deeply inviting bath and large lounge area with inclusive mini bar make up the interior. It’s certainly breathtaking.
Gotta love an expansive bathroom. Unfortunately due to the dreadful drought so I didn’t have the chance to luxuriate in this mega-bath. Think it’s worth going back for that alone. Not that I need an excuse.
And then you go outside. The double verandah leads to a private, heated plunge pool and looks out across rich green vineyards and valleys towards the towering mountains in the distance. This is the sort of place you’re never going to want to leave. Like ever.
Mont Rochelle give all guests a signature duck, so cute. Here are mine chilling by my plunge pool.
Beds are turned down and scattered with rose petals while you’re out exploring the delights of Franschhoek.
The main pool has even more spectacular mountain and valley views. It’s heated and lined with plenty of comfy loungers with a bar at one end for a reviving poolside cocktail or a glass of the local wine. The perfect place to soak up the sun and relaxation in luxury.
Our suite also had its own heated plunge pool, twinkling invitingly in the sun with more fabulous vineyard and mountain views.
The stunning design and art
As well as being set in fabulously beautiful natural surroundings, Mont Rochelle is stylish and packed with quirky art. And there are plenty of surprises in store with myriad nooks and crannies to explore. Like this beautiful fountain.
The picturesque fountain and beautiful valley views
And the Mont Rochelle rhino looking majestically across the valley.
And also the clambering goats in the restaurant. I really wanted to take one home.
The feast at breakfast time
Start off your day with a wonderful selection of tropical fruit, pastries, cereals and other cold delights. Passion fruit is my favourite and these were real beauties.
Before moving on to ponder the delightful cooked options on offer. A full English is always hard to resist and this was a substantial plate complete with all the favourites.
I treated myself to a twice baked cheese souffle with mushroom sauce, crisp bacon and creamed spinach. What an indulgent start to the day.
Beautiful Franschhoek town
As hard as it is to tear yourself away from the luxuries of Mont Rochelle, Franschhoek also has a lot to offer. The best way to explore the picture perfect town and taste the incredible range of local wine is on the legendary Wine Tram. You can read all about my hedonistic day of wine tasting here.
And finally, explore the lovely, individual shops, stop for a coffee at Sacred Ground (my favourite name for a coffee shop), and certainly try out one (or some) of the amazing, high quality restaurants. I’d particularly recommend Marigold in the main street for fabulous Indian cuisine. You can read about our dinner at Marigold here.
Of course in a foodie heaven like Franschhoek there are always new restaurants opening. So there’s just the excuse I need for another visit. Bring it on!
Mont Rochelle is at Dassenberg Road, Franschhoek, 7960, South Africa.