Experience the Magic of Mont Rochelle, Franschhoek
There is something about the smell of thatch that just instantly whisks you away to the countryside. Being surrounded by lush vineyards, rolling greenery and spectacular mountain views also helps and, at Mont Rochelle in Franschhoek, they have all of these in abundance. We recently visited this beautiful property to experience all that is on offer.
Virgin Limited Edition Group
Mont Rochelle is part of Sir Richard Branson’s exclusive Virgin Limited Edition group and includes other properties such as Necker Island, The Lodge in the Swiss Alps and Ulusaba Game Reserve locally.
The properties exude the utmost in luxury but maintain that signature Virgin spirit.
It shows that high end doesn’t have to mean stuffy and embodies the group’s principles of adventure and above-and-beyond experiences, something that really shone through during our stay.
Mont Rochelle is set just a short drive up from the main town of Franschhoek. The views are hard to encapsulate in words or images really, they are the kind that make you sigh internally with a sense of peace.
The gardens of Mont Rochelle are part of what make the views so spectacular; perfect lawns lead to hedges surrounding the property that are trimmed with lavender, fynbos and local succulents in an array of colour, just begging to be Instagrammed.
We spent quite a bit of time just wandering around the gardens and enjoying the natural beauty. With the recent, much-needed rains we’ve had, they are truly abundant.
Keeping things fun
Immaculate grass lawns, complete with croquet set, lawn boules and outdoor games sets make for plenty of fun to be had. We tried our hand at all of them and decided that croquet is a lot harder than it looks!
There is a lovely turf tennis court with rackets and balls just waiting for you to perfect your forehand. You’d be hard pressed to find a court with a more impressive view or surroundings and you’ll be forgiven for missing that perfect return, as it’s really easy to get distracted by everything around you.
Even though there is a really well-equipped gym facility on site, we opted to harness our inner Djokovic and Williams and play a few games as our exercise for the weekend. There is no doubt that lungfuls of fresh country air does wonders for the soul.
Accommodation at Mont Rochelle
The rooms at Mont Rochelle are separated into three sections; there are rooms located in the main hotel building under a gorgeous thatched roof. Top floor located rooms have the benefit of the beautifully slanted roof and we were lucky enough to be staying in one of these. The doors of the two balconies in our room opened up to reveal the Franschhoek valley in all its glory.
The room was beautifully decorated with fun touches like colourful bulldog ornaments and vases of fresh proteas.
The bed was super comfortable, and in fact, provided the most comfortable night’s sleep I have had in ages. A gorgeous Victorian bath (out of use for now due to the drought) and a spacious walk-in shower with Africology amenities (my favourite) complete the bathroom.
There is a second set of rooms located below the tennis court area, under the gardens. These rooms are the last word in luxury and privacy. Beautifully decorated with hand-picked finishings, mini private pools for dipping when things heat up in summer and views over the valley. They are a truly an exclusive way to escape and enjoy the valley.
The final area is located a short drive from the main hotel – The Manor House is an exquisite 4-bedroomed private villa, which benefits from its own pool, gym and entertainment areas. The whole villa is immaculately appointed and every need possible will be met by the team during your stay.
The Spa at Mont Rochelle
No one ever needs to convince me of the benefits of a spa treatment and at Mont Rochelle the spa is small, which makes the experience there lovely and personal. Bronwyn, the head therapist will look after you and make sure that you have a wonderfully relaxing time.
A specialty Africology Cape Malay Spice Journey treatment has been created specifically for Mont Rochelle and is only available here. It consists of an amazing wrap with kaolin mud that has been infused with spices that you and your therapist will select together. Part of the treatment takes place in the hammam with twinkling lighting, which creates a genuine feeling of tranquillity.
If you’re in need of some skin rejuvenation I highly recommend the deluxe facial, which is what I enjoyed. In a cocoon of quiet and heavenly scent, my skin was cleaned exfoliated, massaged and moisturised. It was thoroughly relaxing in every way.
There is currently a fabulous special being offered at the Mont Rochelle spa – for R1290 you can enjoy any spa treatment of your choice, plus a 3-course lunch at Miko Restaurant. This is a great value for money deal that allows you to experience a slice of Mont Rochelle magic.
You can opt to combine with the current winter accommodation special – South African residents receive 30% off the published hotel rate and a wine tasting is included as part of the stay.
Mornings at Mont Rochelle
We woke up to the most beautiful country morning at Mont Rochelle; dew brushed grass, clear skies and the smell of fresh pastries at Miko Restaurant (which also serves lunch and dinner).
Because we knew breakfast would be a feast, we had to assuage some of the guilt with a morning round of tennis and after that, sat down to enjoy.
Breakfast was a selection of fresh fruits, yoghurt, pastries and a cooked option. We sat overlooking the valley and marvelling at the beauty. It definitely is a restorative way to begin the day.
All about the people
One of Sir Richard Branson’s guiding principles in creating the Virgin brand is investing in people. Creating a working environment that nurtures talent is key and this is certainly evident at Mont Rochelle.
We were looked after by Peter, the Guest Relations Manager at Mont Rochelle, whose role it is to ensure that you have a great stay. Nothing is too much effort for him and his big, friendly Kenyan personality embodies Virgin completely.
In fact, everyone we dealt with at Mont Rochelle carried this spirit and are a credit to the Virgin experience.
Why you should book your stay at Mont Rochelle
There are plenty of amazing places to stay in Franschhoek, of that there is no doubt but a lot has to be said for personal attention and service. The Virgin Limited Edition group of properties is about creating more than just a place to lay your head in the evening.
Whether this means a wine tasting at the tasting room, a picnic in the vineyards, or simply just relaxing by the pool with a cocktail in hand, they’ll make sure you enjoy everything that they have to offer, infused with a little Virgin magic.
Dassenberg Road, Franschhoek | 021 876 2770 | email
Be sure to look out for special events happening at Mont Rochelle; current,ly there are two upcoming music evenings with James Stewart happening on Wednesday 22nd August and Tuesday 25th September.
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