A sophisticated vineyard hotel, I recently had the opportunity to experience its charms first-hand by spending two nights in one of their Suites with my colleague, Cayleigh.
Driving to Mont Rochelle, Arrival and Covid-19 Protocol
Following a Friday lunchtime drive on Cape Town's scenic N1 national road, we arrived in Franschhoek. After passing Mont Rochelle's security checkpoint, we soaked in the gorgeous views of Franschhoek's lush vineyards framed by dramatic mountain ranges surrounding the property.
The staff welcomed us to the reception area that features a stylish bar. Leading out onto a terrace, it overlooks Mont Rochelle's perfectly manicured grounds. After checking our temperatures as part of their standard Covid-19 protocol, they handed us the check-in forms, accompanied by a glass of chilled bubbly.
Our hostess offered to take care of our restaurant reservations over the next few days and informed us of the complimentary shuttle service to and from the town.
Welcome to the Cap Classique Suite at Mont Rochelle
The Cap Classique Suite we stayed in is located towards the back of the grounds, so we walked past the spa, Miko restaurant, gym, (with a spectacular view!) and wine cellar.
The small touches such as handwritten welcome cards, complimentary sanitisers and custom-made Mont Rochelle face masks really made all the difference to make us feel welcome.
The Cap Classique Suite is Mont Rochelle's premier offering, with only two Suites available on the property. It is spacious and modern, featuring a lounge and dining area, two balcony areas with sun loungers and hanging chairs, a large bedroom, an impressive bathroom with a free-standing bath, and a large shower. The highlight for us was the (heated) plunge pool overlooking the incredible valley and mountains.
Mont Rochelle's Accommodation Options
Mont Rochelle is one of the more exclusive hotel options, offering only 26 rooms. Guests can choose between the Cabernet, Merlot, and Shiraz Rooms. Or, if you're looking for something with some extra flair, the Pinotage and Cap Classique Suites.
Each of these come with their own charm and highlights. Scattered across the property, every accommodation option also has a unique perspective of the estate and surroundings.
The décor is modern, soft and romantic, reflective of the peaceful, green surroundings. All rooms have luxury finishes and amenities such as a complimentary minibar, Bluetooth speaker, air conditioning, Wi-Fi and a Nespresso machine.
The estate also houses a private Manor House that can accommodate families travelling together and includes a personal chef.
Exploring the Estate
The Mont Rochelle estate has many treasures. There are endless spaces and nooks to explore and relax in, ideally with a glass of wine and a novel. The grounds are quite extensive, allowing for long walks, and feature various lawn games to enjoy. There is also a well-equipped gym with a mountain view, a tennis court and a tranquil heated pool area.
There are two onsite restaurants. The Country Kitchen, which has a very impressive food and wine cocktail menu, and the modern Miko. We dined at The Country Kitchen on Friday evening, and the experience was fantastic. The food and wine at Mont Rochelle is definitely a highlight. They use only the freshest, quality ingredients and all dishes are prepared with the utmost care. We enjoyed breakfast in the Miko restaurant, where a glass-front overlooks a spectacular mountain range. Everything at Mont Rochelle comes with a view, it seems!
The Art of Hospitality
The staff have perfected the art of hospitality. With a warm and welcoming demeanor, they are also very efficient and organised. James, the general manager, was always aware of our schedule, checking in on us at mealtimes, asking us about our day and whether he could assist us with anything. The staff are also very flexible and accommodating and often make suggestions for activities and experiences.
On Saturday evening, we experienced the individual wine tasting at the bar area after enjoying the gourmet picnic on our suite’s lawn. They also offer this in-room or even at the estate’s dam.
We appreciated the boutique hotel feel, where guests receive individual and personalised attention. Touches such as room refreshes and nightly turndowns also make you feel taken care of.
Franschhoek as a Destination
Mont Rochelle is in the ideal location. Just a few minutes’ drive from the Franschhoek town centre, you can explore endless food and wine spots, boutiques, art galleries, and a craft and food market.
However, the estate has so much to offer that we found ourselves reluctant to leave the property. We did eventually — you simply cannot visit Franschhoek and not stroll through the idyllic French-inspired town.
We visited the popular Franschhoek Market on Saturday. Here you will find anything from artworks to jewellery and clothing, with prices ranging from wallet-friendly to boutique. There is also a wide selection of food and drinks available. You'll find anything from local South African food to Asian and Lebanese cuisine, gin cocktails, wines, pancakes and sweet treats, and more.
Franschhoek has endless things to do. It's perfect for foodies, with restaurants such as La Colombe and Reuben’s being crowd favourites. It's also home to several superb wine estates and the famous Franschhoek Wine Tram. Boutiques and art galleries allow for great shopping and window shopping experiences.
After another superb breakfast and tour of the hotel, we left Mont Rochelle on Sunday feeling incredibly refreshed.
It's very apparent why the Virgin Limited group is held in such high esteem. They sure know what they are doing — making guests feel at home and very well taken care of.
You could visit Mont Rochelle for a weekend and never have to leave the hotel. It truly is the perfect Winelands escape.
Experience Mont Rochelle Yourself
To experience the perfect Cape Winelands escape in Mont Rochelle, get in touch with one of our travel consultants who will ensure that your stay meets all of your unique needs and requirements.
South African Residents Special
Mont Rochelle is currently offering incredible special rates for local South African residents, which include breakfast and a complimentary minibar, with up to 70% off your stay! This is limited to weekends (starting on Fridays). The special is valid until the end of September 2021 or until further notice. So what are you waiting for? Let’s start planning your Winelands escape!
Header image: Mont Rochelle
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