Set over 39 hectares of vineyards, boutique hotel Mont Rochelle in Franschhoek is serious about wine. The hotel produces four varietals on-site; house labels can be sampled throughout the property and guests can tour the cellar. Rows upon rows of vines create a scenic backdrop for walks, lawn games and poolside lounging. Grapes factor into the food, drink and even spa treatments, too. Rooms are named for the four estate-grown varietals – Cabernet Rooms each have a private valley-facing terrace – so guests can drink and dream about sensational South African wines. Like what you see? Stay here while on one of our South African adventures…
All rooms are spacious and bright, and most are named after locally grown wines. Of them, the Cabernet Rooms stand out: all look out over the verdant valley, and each has a private terrace and a head board made from local fabrics. For complete privacy, the Manor House, a short walk from the hotel, is a sprawling villa with four suites, a kitchen, a lounge, two pools and a dedicated gym.
Surrounded by sunloungers, the heated outdoor pool has prime views of the Franschhoek Mountains.
With two treatment rooms and a hammam, the Mont Rochelle spa uses eco-friendly local products by Africology, made with natural plant extracts and essential oils. The Cape Malay Spice Journey lets guests select their favourite spices and herbs from a dedicated apothecary for bespoke treatments.
Bring walking shoes: the hotel has horizon-brushing grounds for guests to explore on foot or with the hotel’s two, free-to-hire mountain bikes.
The hotel maintains immaculate gardens and rolling greens with walking trails that are ideal for pre-breakfast strolls. In the afternoon, tackle garden games like giant chess and croquet.
All ages welcome. The hotel has games available for children and can organise child-friendly tours; however, the space is romantic and best suited to couples.
On balmy nights, take a table on the terrace at Miko for views of Klein Dassenberg Mountain.
Keep it casual with khakis and wrap dresses. Mrs Smith should wear wedges for pre-dinner strolls on the greens.
Mont Rochelle has two dining options. Miko, which has front-row views of the nearby mountains, specialises in international dishes with a South African accent and exceptional regional ingredients. Dishes include lamb with wild garlic and pan-fried kingklip (a fish caught off the western coast). The restaurant has a superlative wine list – of course – showcasing local vintages. The more casual Country Kitchen, a short stroll from the main hotel building, is ideal for easy lunch and dinner, with salads, local cheese and roosterkoek, a traditional griddled bread served with dried beef and gorgonzola. Staff can also prepare a picnic basket with charcuterie, sandwiches, salads and desserts.
The bar is open throughout the day for drinks and light bites, with a terrace that’s perfect for icy white wine in summers and warmed by a fire pit on chilly winter evenings. Order a classic cocktail or sample the house wines, including the Miko Red, a blend produced only using top vintages in honor of Miko Rwayitare, a former owner of Mont Rochelle.
Miko serves three meals a day; the Country kitchen is only open at lunch and dinner. Breakfast is available from 7am to 10am, lunch from noon to 2:30pm and dinner from 6pm to 10pm.
Sandwiches, salads, burgers and local delicacies are available 24 hours a day.
Mont Rochelle is in Franschhoek, in the Cape Winelands.
Cape Town International (www.capetown-airport.com) is the nearest major airport, an hour’s drive from the hotel. Direct flights from London arrive here, and flights from most major cities connect via Johannesburg. The hotel offers transfers for up to four guests for ZAR1,100.
The drive from Cape Town is pretty and takes about an hour on the N1 road, following signs for Stellenbosch and Wellington, then Franschhoek. The hotel’s car park is by the entrance, and it’s free for guests.
Worth getting out of bed for
South Africa’s wine country lures oenophiles from around the world for sips of its famous tipples. Mont Rochelle grows sauvignon blanc, chardonnay, merlot, shiraz and cabernet sauvignon; and if you’d like to explore more wineries and varietals, including the region’s renowned pinotage and chenin blanc, hop aboard the Wine Tram, an old-fashioned rail car that travels Franschhoek's valley and stops at eight wineries. The region’s beauty spots include Stellenbosch and Paarl. Explore wine country on foot with a hike through the hills and vineyards around Franschhoek; the hotel can map out routes, depending on your desired length and intensity, ranging from three to eight hours. Guests can hop on horseback and ride through the region, and – if you haven’t drunk your fill – you can add on a wine tasting at the end.
Succumb to 10 courses of locally inspired food with La Petite Colombe at Leeu Estates, a 10-minute drive away. The menu includes local meat, foraged herbs and tableside preparations, all best enjoyed with area wines. With a background in foraging, Chris Erasmus uses unexpected plants, wild mushrooms and edible flowers to create innovative and beautiful dishes at Foliage, a five-minute drive from the hotel. Specials include kudu, a regional antelope.
Every hotel featured is visited personally by members of our team, given the Smith seal of approval, and then anonymously reviewed. As soon as our reviewers have returned from this boutique hotel in Franschhoek and unpacked their wine and croquet sets, a full account of their countryside break will be with you. In the meantime, to whet your wanderlust, here's a quick peek inside Mont Rochelle in South Africa’s winelands…
Raise a glass to South Africa’s scenic winelands at Mont Rochelle. Set amid the expansive vineyards of a hilltop winery, the hotel keeps local wines front and centre, naming room types for the house varietals and encouraging guests to spend time meandering through the vines. Set in a renovated, traditional Dutch farmhouse, the hotel is surrounded by manicured gardens, with mountain views in the distance. Less than an hour from cosmopolitan Cape Town, Franschhoek offers exceptional local food and easy access to the untouched greenery of the Cape Winelands Biosphere Reserve. The hotel’s two restaurants showcase the bounty of both regions, serving fish reeled in off the western coast and meat, vegetables, fruit and herbs from the farmlands around the valley. Naturally, each has a perfect wine pairing. Match regional dishes with estate-grown vintages at Miko restaurant; or return to your private terrace overlooking the vines, to drink in Mont Rochelle’s and the wine country’s beauty.
Whenever you book a stay at a Smith hotel or villa, we’ll invite you to review it when you get back. Read what other Smith members had to say in Mont Rochelle’s Guestbook below.
The view of the mountains and the vineyards.
Stayed on 7 Sep 2019
The whole welcoming ambience –nothing was too much trouble. From the booking of restaurants to the shuttles up and down to Franshoek village, everything was done to ensure you relaxed.
A lively vibe or boisterous nights.
BySamuel James Alan, BlackSmith
Stayed on 15 Nov 2018
What an incredible weekend we had at Mont Rochelle! The hotel itself is beautiful and the staff were amazing – genuinely friendly and helpful and nothing was too much for them! The grounds of the hotel are exceptional and there is plenty to do: laze by the pool, a spot of tennis, wine tasting, hiking, cycling, to name just a few. The room (we stayed in the Merlot room) was stunning and we loved the fact that the mini bar was all inclusive. Mont Rochelle is really one of the best hotels in which I've stayed.
Stayed on 11 Aug 2018
The room, the views, the service, the privacy. Tasting and lunch at Country Kitchen, and tasting at lunch at Moreson, were both fab.
Stayed on 30 Mar 2018
Everything. The welcome; the attentive, thoughtful and sincere service; the delicious breakfast buffet; the view from our room; the pool area and the grounds in general; the wine tasting and picnic.