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“Not what it says on the tin”

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Franschhoek Country House & Villas
Ranked #4 of 11 Hotels in Franschhoek
Certificate of Excellence
Hampshire
Level 3 Contributor
17 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“Not what it says on the tin”
Reviewed 10 December 2009

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.

Stayed December 2009, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
1 Thank GlendaHampshire
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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London
1 review
Reviewed 5 December 2009

After reading mixed reviews on the tripadvisor we where scared of what we where going to get. I love the interior of the house, the staff where all friendly and had good knowledge about the area and restaurants as we heard that franschoek is the Food and Wine capital of South Africa. I must agree that it's very expensive compared to other establishments we stayed in that was just as good and pretty.

  • Stayed October 2009, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank lisa98London
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
london
Level 5 Contributor
40 reviews
30 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 41 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 December 2009

The rather mixed reviews for Franschhoek Country House hotel were not a good sign, and unfortunately we are more inclined to agree with the negative rather than the positive reviews having stayed there! We were in a superior room in one of the villas near the bar and dining room. Although our room was of an acceptable standard for a 2 night stay, there was a rather old-fashioned, jaded feel to it. The bathroom had the functional , dated air of a 2 star city hotel. The communal sitting room on the ground floor of the villa was pleasant, with an open log fire, candles and comfortable seating. Our main complaint would be the quality of food and the lack of professionalism among the staff. They were not rude or unpleasant, but totally lacked the level of professionalism expected of a 4 star hotel.
We had dinner at the hotel on our last night and my main course was deplorable! I must admit that the restaurant manager dealt with this unfortunate situation in a sympathetic manner and immediately suggested an alternative dish. The previous Chef at Franschhoek Hotel a few years ago may well have been an impressive one, but currently the quality of food here is totally underwhelming, and anyone who is interested in good food only has to look at the weird combinations on the menu to realise they are in for a rocky ride! When signing for our dinner bill, our pleasant but amateur waitress requested that we give her a tip direct as she was only casual staff! Not professional!
The sight of chambermaids passing through the bar with bundles of bed linen under their arms at 8pm in the evening is also not professional. I will not add any further justifiable negative comments .....just beware of 'glamorous' websites...they don't always live up to expectations! Perhaps our visit seemed even more unattractive due to the unseasonable heavy rain and grey skies! The gardens are pretty and had we had the opportunity of using the swimming pool and enjoying an evening drink on the terrace we may have felt less irritated by the disappointments. On the positive side, the hotel's complimentary shuttle service into town is very welcome. We dined out on our first night (Le Bon Vivant...very good!) and a lift to and from town in the heavy rain, leaving our car at the hotel, certainly made the evening much more relaxing!

  • Stayed November 2009, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank gillilondon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Worcester
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 9 November 2009

We have stayed at Franschhoek Country House three times now for four or five days each time. It has been a wonderful experience. We have stayed in a Villa Suite which is spacious and comfortable with an excellent bathroom and comfortable bed.
The longe is well furnished although we found the TV difficult to understand but the staff were very patient and came and explained how to use it.
The staff were friendly and attentive and all the staff greet you with a warm smile and a cheery greeting.
The breakfasts were extremely good with a wide range selection of foods. The Monneaux resteraunt had a main menu with a good selection of daily specials. The whole ambience of the hotel is relaxed and we just love it .

  • Stayed October 2009, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Cockshot
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London
Level 6 Contributor
129 reviews
55 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 164 helpful votes
Reviewed 30 October 2009

I was very worried by some of the previous reviews, but we really enjoyed our night at this hotel. We received a complimentary upgrade from standard to luxury as the trip was celebratory, and the room we were moved to was stunning - huge, with a large seating area, wraparound windows looking out onto the grounds, a fireplace (which they lit for us in the evening) a massive and very comfy bed, and a lovely bathroom, and was right next to a beautiful sitting room which seemed to be shared between only a handful of rooms. The decor was romantic and stylishly OTT - perhaps a little feminine for some tastes, but we loved the opulence of it. The room was also blissfully quiet - a big prerequisite for me.

Breakfast was amazing - the best we had on the whole trip (and SA hotel breakfasts are generally excellent). Their cold buffet spread was extraordinary, with endless kinds of fruit, breads, cheeses, muffins and so on. We didn't have room for anything cooked!

And service was very nice - the upgrade was extremely kind, and the offer to light the fire much apreciated, and they offer free lifts into town and pick-ups from it, which is great as it's a little far out of the centre. Pretty much all our contact was with one member of staff, which added to the feeling of personal service

The reason I say I can imagine how others might have had a less good experience is because the room we were originally allocated was above the bar and restaurant, and pretty cramped. I'm very glad we were moved, and I think we might have had a disturbed night otherwise. I think this place may be the kind of hotel where the standard rooms are miles behind the quality of the others, and that must be why the reviews on here are so polarised - either excellent or awful. However, I was concerned when I read some of the reviews that everything but the villa suites was awful - I would disagree, and highly recommend the luxury rooms.

  • Stayed September 2009, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank LondonAlicat
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London
Level 3 Contributor
20 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 27 October 2009

We stayed for four nights in spring where the weather varied from lovely sunny and hot to cool and wet. When the weather wasn't so great, the staff lit fires in the lounge areas of the accommodation (we stayed in beautiful large deluxe rooms in the grounds of the house) which just added to the overall magical ambiance of the place. We felt as though we had the place to ourselves. The rooms are a little tired but well looked after and felt homely. The views were gorgeous from our room onto the pool and the mountains beyond. The spa was ok but the hour long treatment I booked only lasted 50 mins which I thought was a little naughty. We enjoyed one meal during our stay at the Monneaux restaurant in the hotel - it was very good. The breakfasts were even better!

  • Stayed October 2009, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
Thank Absoluters
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
England
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 17 August 2009

Cant recomment it highly enough. Everything was just perfect and the staff made it special. Nothing was ever too much to ask. Relaxed and easy going. We will definitely return and can highly recommend it!

  • Stayed April 2009, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
Thank jackjillEngland
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Franschhoek Country House & Villas

Property: Franschhoek Country House & Villas
Address: Main Road, Franschhoek 7690, South Africa
Region: South Africa > Western Cape > Franschhoek
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#1 Spa Hotel in Franschhoek
#1 Business Hotel in Franschhoek
#4 Luxury Hotel in Franschhoek
#4 Family Hotel in Franschhoek
#5 Romantic Hotel in Franschhoek
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £££
Hotel Class:5 star — Franschhoek Country House & Villas 5*
Number of rooms: 25
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

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