We defy you not to vote for La Residence as the one of the most beautiful country hotels in Cape Town, nay, on the planet! Wham, glam, thank-you, Ma’am. Grab a bottle of wine from your complimentary stock, settle on your terrace, and let your eyes drift across the velvety vineyards, sweeping up to meet the craggy valley walls. Liz Biden’s boutique hotel is lavish, to say the least, and is the kind of place you can’t help but keep picking up your camera to capture the sense of awe her magpie eye inspires. Each suite is an opulently themed cocoon-from the classically-sophisticated Huguenot and chic Armani, to the Indian ornamentation and step-up porcelain bed in Maharani (Elton John’s favourite), and the smouldering Oriental boudoir atmosphere of Tang-there’s hardly a space that doesn’t benefit from the eclectic combination of authentic, reinvented antiques, contemporary artworks and pretty, shiny things. Access to numerous historic wine estates is easy, as is the gastronomic fanfare of Franschhoek’s main drag, but you’ll be hard-pressed to leave at all. And when it’s time to check out, you’ll be forgiven for kicking and screaming.
What is a country hotel?