Franschhoek is seemingly awash with small boutique hotels and guest houses, but how do you tell the wheat from the chaff in this adoringly picturesque village?
If you want to be within walking distance of the numerous restaurants and boutiques which line the road, you shouls as near to the main street as possible. Also, spacious gardens with a large, heated swimming pool are important, (many of the properties in Franschhhoek have swimming pools which are little more than plunge pools), as is personalised service, a good breakfast and a decent quality bed.
You can find at Leeu House by using above tips – the smallest child of the Leeu Collection of hotels, whose family also includes the renowned Le Quartier Francais and the palatial, and very much new-kid-on-the-Franschhoek-block, Leeu Estate.
Leeu House is situated smack bang in the heart of village on Franschhoek’s main road. The house has 12 rooms and suites, all of which are kitted out with beds, bathrooms and fittings of the very highest quality. Half of the rooms have an outside terrace, but those without can make full use of the hotel’s large garden, sun loungers & pool bar. Spectacular paintings and pieces of art, many of them unique, are scattered throughout, and beautiful statues of Nelson Mandela and Mahatma Gandhi, (a nod to the owner’s Indian heritage), welcome guests on the front lawn.
The lack of a gym or spa is more than made up for by guests being able to use sister property Leeu Estates’ magnificent facilities, as well as those of the next-door Le Quartier Francais.
The small restaurant does not welcome outside guests so as a result it can be very quiet and lacking in atmosphere in the evenings, but there are a huge range of eateries right on the doorstep. Those wanting value-for-money will note that the room rate includes the mini bar, free local telephone calls, laundry service, local spirits, house wines & soft drinks, as well as a complimentary wine tasting at Leeu Estate.
Our top tips would be to spend a little extra and to stay in one of the rooms with a terrace, to perhaps eat out in the evening, (there is a massive choice), and to make full use of the world-class facilities at Leeu Estate, (where the rooms are twice the price!)