Sunday, December 9, 2012

A weekend at the beautiful La Residence in Franschhoek


Living the TRAVELIFE in South Africa last month

This morning I finally opened my folder of photos for my stay at the beautiful La Residence in Franschhoek, South Africa.

I'd been putting this off for a while, because I know that looking at these photos again will make me feel like planning a trip back to Africa -- and I was just too busy until the weekend to even think about my trips for 2013, although I've been spinning these around in my head and mentally making tentative itineraries.


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WATCH OUT FOR TRAVELIFE'S PICKS
FOR THE BEST OF SOUTH AFRICA

in the December 2012 - January 2013 issue 
and the February-March 2013 issue

Holiday issue on sale everywhere
from December 15

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Our first view of La Residence from the car

And this is why I've not written about La Residence in this blog yet -- because I just know it'll get me going and thinking about our amazing trips next year.

But now, I'm in planning mode for a TRAVELIFE 2013, and so I've summoned up the courage to look at my photos and be mesmerized by Africa all over again.

A HOTEL LIKE NO OTHER

One of the many sitting areas in La Residence

We booked a stay here for a weekend, during our two weeks in South Africa last month, and I'd chosen La Residence specifically because of the unique experience it offered its guests.

That day, we'd had a long lunch at a beautiful winery with an amazing Dutch heritage -- read more about this winery in the December-January issue of Travelife Magazine, on sale from December 15 -- and we'd driven for about an hour to get to the lovely town of Franschhoek.

A warm welcome at La Residence -- champagne again...
and that's me in the mirror far away.


A VERY WARM WELCOME

La Residence is located outside the town, but the road is complicated. Fortunately, I'd called the hotel on the mobile and they'd guided us literally to their doorstep in real time.

Champagne to start...


When we drove up to the front door, there was the hotel staff all ready to greet us, and with very welcome glasses of champagne to kick off a lovely stay.

I've already written in this blog about how we were practically having champagne at every turn and opportunity. Now you know I'm not kidding.

...and a bunch of roses as I entered the door.


When I walked though the door, there was a nice lady waiting as well, to give me a nice little bouquet of roses.

What a beautiful hotel this was.



Every corner needed a photo because it was all like a well-composed painting. I tried to visually ingest everything as I walked around with my champagne and my roses, but it was truly a sensory overload. Wait till you see the gorgeous photos coming out in Travelife Magazine.

MY GORGEOUS SUITE

My suite at turndown

And I loved my suite, at the very end of the second floor. It was a room inspired by and designed for Elton John, so I'm guessing this room is where he stays when he's at La Residence.



Elton John is a great friend of the owners, and when he was asked how he would like this suite decorated, he requested that it be inspired by the painting of a maharani from India. He has a signed photograph, in fact, on the study table of the room.

Elton John's signed photograph in my suite
at La Residence


So my suite was very Indian in flavor. It was also the best suite in the hotel, as it had double exposures and massive terraces that opened up onto the most beautiful views of the area.

The beautiful views from one of my terraces


A TRIP OF THE BEST OF SOUTH AFRICA

Every hotel we stayed in in South Africa was best of breed, unique and interesting. Each of them had a story -- read more about them in the upcoming issues of Travelife Magazine. But from a design aspect, this was my favorite hotel by far.

If you find yourself in South Africa and you're into design and interiors, you really must stay here for a weekend of luxury.



And, yes, just as I feared, it's certainly prompted me to get my travel planning staff back to work on a trip to Africa next year, and on my trips for 2013...


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