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“A fabulous guesthouse tucked away in an amazing location!!!” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Akademie Street Boutique Hotel and Guest House

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Akademie Street Boutique Hotel and Guest House
Ranked #1 of 11 Hotels in Franschhoek
Certificate of Excellence
LONDON
1 review
“A fabulous guesthouse tucked away in an amazing location!!!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 8 December 2009

We very much enjoyed our brief stay but would definatley go back when we next visit South Africa. The staff were so friendly and helpful and even managed to arrange an emergancy dentist appointment for me, which was very much appreciated. Nothing seemed to be too much trouble. The pool room that we stayed in was beautiful and the bathroom was amazing - we had seen nothing like it before. I would have no hesitation in recommending it to friends and family.

  • Stayed December 2009, travelled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank GunnerBrowne
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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1,106 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (211)
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UK
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 7 December 2009

The weather was unseasonably cold and wet during our stay but the welcome at Akademie Street Guesthouse could not have been warmer. We stayed in Vreugde - a lovely cottage with self-catering facilities, a private garden, and pool. In warmer weather it would have been delightful to sit in the sunshine and enjoy a few glasses of local wine. Nevertheless we enjoyed our stay. Franschhoek is in a beautiful area and tours of the local wine estates are a must. There are plenty of delightful restaurants in walking distance of Akademie Street or just a short drive away and the town's reputation as the gourmet capital of South Africa is well deserved. Owners Katherine and Arthur are very friendly and welcoming. They shared their extensive knowledge of the area with us at breakfast which we took in the main house. Their personal approach makes Akademie Street a great place to stay in a beautiful location! We certainly hope to return.

  • Stayed November 2009, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Lion1Wycombe
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Crawley,West Sussex
Level Contributor
264 reviews
75 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 153 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 7 December 2009

Great welcome into someone's home with wonderfull art and a real homely touch from Cathy and her team. 1 night is just not enough ! Loved the gardens and the peacefullness of it all

  • Stayed December 2009, travelled with friends
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank AndyDave
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London
Level Contributor
125 reviews
26 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 64 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 6 December 2009

My wife and I stayed 3 nights at Akademie (Uitsig) and had a wonderful stay. It's a great location, just a short walk from the main street, but quietly secluded so that you can enjoy the private or communal spaces to the full.

The owners and staff are so friendly and cannot do enough to help you. They have a superb little guide book with plenty of suggestions if you're new to the area, and have a wealth of knowledge that they are only too happy to share.

Breakfast is outstanding. Delicious home-made museli, the freshest of fruits with light yoghurt, fresh smoothies, great coffee and smashing cooked brekky if you can make room (you should!).

Our room was huge, had an enormous bed with soft pillows and linens, a lovely bathroom and was kitted out with every convenience we needed (including a good sized fridge and a proper steam iron and ironing board - I'm a stickler for this, so it was great to see as standard). The complimentary mini bar was replenished daily which was super, and the bottle of Graham Beck brut on arrival was a lovely, lovely touch. Free wifi worked all the time.

I would, and will, recommend Akademie highly to friends and family. Book with confidence!

Toiletries were first class. The

  • Stayed November 2009, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank TJF1976
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Muenchen
2 reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 December 2009

Kathrine and Arthur are wonderful hosts in a wonderful site. Although we only stayed for two days we will not forget the interior, the garden and the outstanding style of this guesthouse.

  • Stayed November 2009, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank PetervonWifling
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Johannesburg, South Africa
Level Contributor
57 reviews
39 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 40 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 December 2009

Arthur and Catherine (the owners) are very, very good at what they do. They have a long history in the tourism industry in Franschhoek and they have practically perfected the art. Clever details abound - and I would like to suggest that it goes as far as "farming" Tripadvisor by firstly being very good, secondly being simply very nice people and then asking guests to review Akademie St using special little cards in the rooms and follow up emails to all guests - note how many more reviews they get than other Franschhoek establishments, and how many are from first time Tripadvisor contributors.

Nothing wrong with all of that - except that they pitch Akademie St as a 5-star "guesthouse and boutique hotel" and price it accordingly. I'm sorry, but in my view you have to take a step up from being an excellent 4-star establishment to calling yourself a 5-star boutique hotel. We stayed in the Oortuiging Cottage - to my mind neither the main suite bathroom nor the self catering kitchen were 5-star. In particular I felt the kitchen was poorly equipped - even if it was to achieve a rustic look.

Also although there were plenty of heaters and ceiling fans, I would expect a 5-star establishment to have air conditioned bedrooms (although we did not need them at the time). I would also expect a 5-star "boutique hotel" to have some flexibility around meals and meal times. Akademie St only serves breakfast (albeit a very good breakfast) in the main dining area between 8am and 10am. No dinners if requested, no light lunches at the pool? Surely a boutique hotel keeps its kitchen open and offers a bar service of some kind?

Perhaps I am being hyper-critical, and perhaps the other rooms are better, but I believe that you could get a very similar experience at a multitude of 4-star establishments in Franschhoek at a much reduced price.

Having said all that, you won't go wrong booking in to Akademie St, but perhaps on a second visit you should try somewhere else. Akademie St is excellent, but I have to rate it as only "very good" as I believe that claims to be something it is not.

  • Stayed November 2009, travelled with family
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank CIVUH5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
AkaFhk, owner at Akademie Street Boutique Hotel and Guest House, responded to this review, 7 December 2009
We would like to thank the reviewer for taking the effort to post feed-back about Akademie Street on Tripadvisor.Com.

Only in the last four weeks have we started to send out e-mails to all our guests once they leave us asking them to review us on Tripadvisor. Com. This is on the urging of Tripadvisor.com who believe that many, and recent, reviews give prospective guests a better idea of what to expect than just a few reviews, many of which are old.

We might be unfair to suggest it but would believe that many accommodation establishments will not follow this advice from Tripadvisor as they will be scared of inviting a bad review. As we say in our letter to our guests we welcome bad reviews as they sharpen us up and give us a very strong incentive to continue to perform. In fact the thought of a bad review frightens us to death.

Incidentally almost all the 140 odd reviews to date were received before we put out cards and started to mail.

We do not “pitch” Akademie Street as Five Star. No one can decide on their own star grading. The grading is done by the Tourism Grading Council of South Africa after very strict annual audits, to specific criteria. To achieve Five Star status one has to achieve a minimum score of 95% or above against those criteria. Ever since we started we have been graded as a Five Star by them. If the reviewer has a problem with our star rating they need to talk to the Tourism Grading Council.

We do not do lunches and dinners. This is made very clear on our website and in all our communications with our guests. Franschhoek has a plethora of very good restaurants many within an easy walk of us. All of them are run by better cooks than us. Most of our guests want to explore them and very few would stay at Akademie for lunch or dinner and for us to employ extra staff to hang around for the one in a hundred who might stay would only push up our prices further.

We are not a self catering establishment. The kitchen in Oortuiging is simply a “nice to have.” How many hotels and guesthouses give you that as well? It is fully equipped but is kept looking rustic as we believe guests want to see an authentically old building look authentic.

Oortuiging is a cottage built in the 1860’s and like many of the old buildings in the Boland was designed with coolness in mind. We have ceiling fans throughout and no one has ever wanted air-conditioning yet even on the hottest days. All our other buildings have the most modern air-conditioning plants.

For the same reason Oortuiging is colder in winter than our other buildings and for that reason it is has been more than adequately electrically heated and has its own fire place as well.

We are indeed sorry that this reviewer thought that they did not get value for money. We understand that “value for money” is in no way related to the actual cost of providing the product experienced but rather it is what the buyer perceives he or she is getting as against what they have had to pay for it. At Akademie Street we do not make great profits.

Our other rooms are not better than those in Oortuiging they are just different. In fact all our places are very different. Perhaps it is Oortuiging’s style that was not what this reviewer expected or wanted? Unfortunately all our other places do not have two en-suite bedrooms rooms, a kitchen, a living room and a small dining sitting area and so we can only accommodate a couple with very small children in Oortuiging.

We agree with the reviewer that the main bathroom in Oortuiging needs to be upgraded. Everything works beautifully but it is not “modern” enough. The big problem is how to modernise it to meet the modern taste without ruining the authentic feel.

The re-build of this bathroom is on our schedule for next August when we will not be so busy.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hampshire
Level Contributor
5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 28 November 2009

Aurthur and Katherine are the most wonderful hosts Their knowledge was invaluable and certainly helped to make our stay more enjoyable. Our room was exquisite, there was nothing to fault. They have managed to think of everything. Absolutely 5 star!

  • Stayed November 2009, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank stylishexplorer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Akademie Street Boutique Hotel and Guest House

Property: Akademie Street Boutique Hotel and Guest House
Address: 5 Akademie Street, Franschhoek 7690, South Africa
Phone Number:
Region: South Africa > Western Cape > Franschhoek
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 11 Hotels in Franschhoek
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £££
Hotel Class:5 star — Akademie Street Boutique Hotel and Guest House 5*
Number of rooms: 7
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Number of rooms: 6 suites. Akademie Street Boutique Hotel and Guest House in Franschhoek offers luxury five star accommodation in five unique buildings all situated on the same beautiful property in a quiet area of the village in the heart of the Cape wine lands. There are four swimming pools and four gardens. This hotel and guest house is in a quiet area within easy walking distance to the restaurants. - Owner Managed ... more   less 
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