Iconic Africa has for many years, enjoyed a great relationship with the highly respected and well-renowned Royal Portfolio.
With an incredible collection of outstanding properties it’s difficult to choose just one! However, this month we would like to pay special tribute to the property voted Travel & Leisure Magazine’s Worlds Best in 2016, the crown jewel of the Franschhoek valley, La Residence.
Watch the video below to get a feel for the magic that awaits at La Residence.
Here are a few reasons why this property stands out for us this month:
Perched amongst the vineyards, on the slopes of the beautiful Franschhoek Mountains is the pinnacle of luxury and unrivalled piece of heaven – La Residence. Voted Conde Nast’s No 1 Hotel in the World in 2013 amongst a myriad of other awards, La Residence is a must for any bucket list. The sprawling green lawns speckled with majestic springbok, the private dam complete with island, rowboat and soft flowing willow trees, instil an awe-inspiring sense of peace. La Residence opened its doors in 2008 and as a flagship property of the illustrious Biden family-owned Royal Portfolio, has been embracing and astounding guests with an unparalleled level of luxury ever since.
A Luxurious Wineland Wonder
Tuscan inspired, the horse-shoe shaped manor wraps around an exquisitely manicured courtyard, decadent pool and endless panoramic wineland backdrop. Regal outside and in, the décor is unapologetically opulent and laden with colossal mirrors, massive Persian carpets, eloquent vases, contemporary works of art and antique statement pieces. The tranquillity of the hotel flows throughout as the vaulted ceilings and stately arches blend inside with outside inviting you to fully appreciate the breath-taking setting.
While the ultimate in refinement and sophistication La Residence retains a welcoming and comfortable nature. Relax with a book from the library in one of the sublime lounges or on a plush day bed on the patio. Put your feet up and lie back under a perfectly manicured palm and enjoy the warmth of the African sun. The sound of soft jazz will waft over you and transport you into another world! If you are in the mood, wander off to the sensational spa for a Swedish massage or even an out-of-this-world deep cleansing Pinotage facial.
If you can tear yourself away from the tranquillity that is the heart of the hotel, to go back to your room I assure you you won’t regret it. Although they are all extraordinary in their own way, our favourite of the 11 individually fashioned rooms is the Nomatemba Suite. Inspired by the African sun, the eclectic energy of this suite is overwhelming. With hues of orange, peach and buttercup yellow the king size bed, antique bedside lamps, lavish couches and exquisite African artwork provide the perfect sanctuary to take in the exquisite panoramic blues and greens of your surroundings. Why not have a bubble bath in the swanky free-standing bath or sit outside on the balcony and watch the activities of the neighbouring vineyards and plum orchard while sipping on some of La Residence’s flagship Rose – the Rosemary Jane 2008, which in keeping with the family values is named after the Royal Portfolio’s Managing Director, Matthew Biden’s wife – Rosemary Biden.
The staff at La Residence are the epitome of true African hospitality and their wholehearted commitment to excellence is impenetrable. There isn’t a request they haven’t had from guests and they oblige willingly with a smile and laugh. The staff will direct you to the best restaurants and wine farms the valley has to offer, so be sure to ask them as the infinite choices will no doubt overwhelm you.
Any meal at La Residence is a wonder to behold. Seated either under the tremendous terracotta arches overlooking the lawns, pool and mountain or in the classical dining room on a burgundy winged-back armchair you are in for a revelation. The menu is specifically crafted each day and so you will never have the same dish twice. For lunch we recommend the Croque Madame with a side of the Gorgonzola salad – a treat for cheese lovers. Dinner is equally as magical an affair. Begin your night with a glass of the Graham Beck Brut – the very same Cap Classique that both Nelson Mandela and Barack Obama toasted with, on their inauguration dinners. Supper is equally complimented by South Africa’s infamous Meerlust Rubicon. The seared prawns, braised pork loin and red wine poached pear is a combination that comes highly recommended!
La Residence is a 45 minute drive from Cape Town but only seconds after entering the extensive 30 acre estate you inevitably feel like a celebrity in a world you can only but wish was yours. Whether you are a wine connoisseur, a mountain biker or a food enthusiast the Franschhoek Valley is for you and if it is the ultimate in luxury and homeliness that you desire, La Residence is the place for you!