We got the impression that the owners are passionate about the property and do everything they can to promote excellence. Creating and running La Residence required more than the desire to run a hotel or make money. Rather, it appeared to be an on going labor of love that inspired staff to exceed expectations and won us over as guests.
We enjoyed the hotel’s over-the-top décor, quiet and elegant yet relaxed ambiance, gourmet plated meals, fun and tasty cooking demonstration, WiFi connectivity, service oriented staff, and beautiful rooms with a view. Due to the mostly rainy and cold weather in the area during our early spring visit we spent more time on site than we might have otherwise. The facilities, amenities, delicious meals and friendly staff countered the disappointing weather, allowing us to have a rewarding stay and long to return at the first opportunity to further discover the lovely village and the outdoor facilities of La Residence in the sunshine.
Class Of Accommodation Luxury small hotel
Connectivity To use the phone in the rooms it was necessary to request that the line be unblocked. WiFi connectivity was excellent in Room 7. The connections in Room 4 and in the Library weren’t working on my arrival. The staff lent me a computer to quickly check urgent messages. By the early evening, one of the staff members had sorted the WiFi connection in my room and it worked seamlessly until our departure.
General Manager Edward Morton
Handicapped Access No
Length Of Stay Two nights
Location Within Elandskloof Farm, a 30-acre working farm estate in the village of Franschoek, about 45 minutes by car from Cape Town.
Managed The Royal Portfolio
Owned Liz and Phil Biden
Pets Allowed No
Size There were 11 rooms in the two-story, three building hotel.
Year Opened-Renovated A new villa was built on a larger scale from the original structure that was on the site and in the same style as its predecessor. Highlights of the new property include floor to ceiling, hand carved doors over three meters high. It opened October 2007.
There was original artwork scattered throughout the property including work by Sasha Hartslief (Sitting Room and Sunken Lounge), Ken Howard (Sitting Room), Claude Jammet (Sunken Lounge), Beezy Bailey (Sitting Room), Kevin Roberts (Sitting Room), and Dylan Lewis (porte cochere); and 18th Century French mirrors, gilded 18th Century salon chairs, Russian desks, and hand cut Indian chandeliers. The reception was located, unconventionally, beyond the main building. Tucked away in a corner the single room combined reception and gift shop.
The dining hall and living room with checkered marble flooring, walk-in fireplaces and a four-meter chandelier, leading onto terraces with roses and a fountain for alfresco summer evenings were designed to resemble a manor hall. Vineyards, plum orchards, a small lake and manicured gardens surrounded the hotel.
Room 4: A partial wall and double wood doors divided the bedroom and bathroom areas. The center of the bathroom was occupied by a bathtub and Persian rug. A toilet with a partial view of the vineyards was to the left against the wall. To the right of the entrance there was a green walk in-closet with ample shelf and hanging space and an electronic safe. In the center of the closet there was an armless chair facing a make up table and large framed mirror. On the other side of the room, against the wall, there were twin sinks set on mirror covered bases. Above the sinks there were long wood framed rectangular mirrors. A small table with toiletries sat in the far corner and an oversize glass door open shower occupied the other corner.
The room was toasty warm in spite of the chilly outdoor temperatures thanks to underfloor heating (there was a wall air conditioner for warmer seasons). Favorite features of this room were the marble with pale pink veins and Indian chandeliers as well as the charming pond view best enjoyed from the covered terrace the width of the room furnished with a lounge chair and table. Although it was too cold to sit outside for long during our late winter stay, I imagined how lovely it would be to spend time there during a slightly balmier season.
Room 4, a Luxury Room 93.5 square meters large, was on the second floor of the two story building on the right side of the property. It was the first guest room at the top of the stairs. A left side entrance through double wood doors led to a small foyer that was home to a minibar, sink and loveseat. The main area of the room was two steps up facing the property’s adjacent vineyards. The first noticeable feature was the lime green and psychedelic pink decorative accents such as the green four poster bed (slightly creaky at night) in the center of the room and the pink divan on one side. There were two night tables with pink ostrich leather covers (there was a similar table with lime green ostrich leather next to the bathtub). There were also two green silk armchairs (an armless matching chair occupied the space between the matching bathroom sinks) and a green glass topped wood table to the left of the room near an oversize window that filled the room with light.
Beige marble floors were covered by Persian rugs throughout the entire room. High beam ceilings with gran chandeliers added a sense of spaciousness to the bedroom and bathroom. Wood and glass French doors led to a covered 10-foot wide terrace the width of the room furnished with a lounge chair, a table with two wood chairs and a love seat. Lime colored thick curtains filled the room with color, provided privacy and blocked the sunlight in the early morning.
Framed prints with African flora and fauna motifs and oriental themed colorful art hung on the walls. A flat screen television hung on the wall (with a nearby and DVD player) above a wood dresser. A wood inlay desk and armchair occupied one corner of the room facing the bed. On it there was a lamp and a vase filled with fresh pink and lavender flowers. Behind it there was a rectangular mirror with elaborate gold framing.
These items were on offer at lunch one day during our stay: For starters the options were Tomato and Red Pepper Soup or Homemade Pickled Fish (we tried the soup). For mains we could select Chevin and Tomato Quiche with Green Salad or Chicken Cordon Blue, creamed Spinach, Potato wedges and a cheese sauce (we had one of each); and for dessert there was Sliced Fruit and Mint Sorbet or Vanilla Panna Cotta (we had one of each).
One dinner for starters there were Tiger Prawns, Papaya Salsa, Dhania and Almonds or Spiced Pears, Young Salad Leaves and Blue Rock Dressing; Sweet Potato and Leek Soup was served before mains; for mains there was Salmon Trout, Cauliflower, Brown Mushroom, Snow Peas and Lemon Butter Sauce or Rack of Karoo Lamb, Barley, Pea Shoots, Chives, Butternut Squash and Lamb Jus; there was Chocolate Mousse Cake and Strawberries or Preserved Plums with Passion Fruit Ice Cream for dessert. The wine options were for white La Chataigne Kastanje and for red Grande Provence Cabernet Sauvignon 2006, a winner of the 2009 Concours Mondial de Bruxelles, Brussels Gold Medal Award.
Facilities There was an outdoor pool, massage room, library and indoor dining room.
Pool The outdoor infinity pool had the following dimensions: Length of 18.1 meter, width of 5.7 meters and depth of 1.5 meters. There were 24 lounge chairs scattered along the lawn and in front of the infinity pool.