If I'm honest, I was more nervous about this hotel than of any of the seven places I booked on our two week tour. They were slow getting back to my email inquries, and were the only hotel to deduct the full charge for two nights before we'd even left the UK. We booked the FCH as our final two nights to have a bit of luxury before coming home to the grind but actually we didn't feel very relaxed there.
First off, if you are expecting a country house, don't. It is on the busy main road just outside town, and with a working vineyard behind it (tractors at dawn!). I booked standard deluxe and going by their rack rates we were upgraded to a cottage. Don't stay in a cottage. There are two, and they are right by the main (gravel) carpark so we were woken both mornings by supplier vans doing what sounded like handbrake turns right outside our window.
I read another December review by someone who stayed in a villa and was disappointed. Interesting, because the villas are the newest part, top-end price-wise and very much at the forefront of their marketing. They even get satellite TV in the villas, which we didn't, so we still couldn't catch up with the news, though that was probably no bad thing! Made us feel a bit second class, though.
The pool is in the middle of the lawns in the centre of the hotel with sunbeds ranged squarely around it. Having once had the body of a goddess I am now supremely conscious that I no longer do, and given that the hotel was very quiet when we were there, there was no way I'd have used it. Far too exposed!
The room was on two floors with a little sitting room upstairs. No complaints, although the terrace upstairs did jut out over the electric fence so it wouldn't have taken a mastermind to get in if he wanted to. So it really was slap up against the perimeter. The room was very nice and spacious, well furnished, good linens etc. Nice robes - but no slippers...
Other positives - fantastic breakfast buffet, though the hot options, other than the ubiquitous full English, were slightly offbeat. Staff - utterly lovely, couldn't do enough for us. And they extended our check-out time very generously to 5pm before we left for our flight, for which we were unbelievably grateful.
They did all they could to encourage us to eat in the restaurant but it's not our style so we ate both nights in town, the first night at Bouillabaisse, a great fish and sushi place and the second night at Reubens, opened by the same Reuben who made his name at the FCH's restaurant. By the sound of the other review, we made the right choice.
It's been fitted out beautifully, but it doesn't quite live up to the expectation it sets.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Surrounded by enchanting vineyards and majestic mountains, this small Boutique hotel is set on the outskirts of the town of Franschhoek, in the Cape Winelands less than an hours drive from Cape Town. Offering a selection of standard, luxury, garden cottages and the exclusive villa suites. With a top rated award winning restaurant, guests can relax and enjoy the hospitality, laze at the pool, enjoy a massage or stroll on the world-renowned charming town of Franschhoek. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Franschhoek Country House And Villas
- Franschhoek Country House & Villas Hotel Franschhoek
- Franschhoek Country Hotel
- Franschhoek Country Boutique Hotel