What We Love
- Poolside afternoon tea with dramatic mountain views
- Stonewalled spa offering treatments inspired by ancient Asian traditions
- Reading about the art of winemaking next to the wood-burning fireplace in the elegant library
- Exploring Franschhoek’s fantastic food and wine scene
What To Know
- Franschhoek village, an hour’s drive from Cape Town, is minutes away from the hotel
- Most of the area’s wineries are within a 15-mile radius
- Wi-Fi is available
- The spa includes a gym offering yoga and pilates tuition
Leeu Estates is part of the Leeu Collection of upscale boutique properties, owned by Indian-born magnate Analjit Singh, who has become a champion for South Africa’s art and architecture—not to mention its wines. To renovate this traditional Cape Dutch building, he hired Cape Town-based designer Beverley Boswell to create 21st-Century classic interiors filled with sumptuous textures in shades of grey and taupe. The property—a main manor house with six rooms and 11 cottage suites—is surrounded by gardens conceived by local landscape artist Franchesca Watson and working vineyards overseen by winemakers Chris and Andrea Mullineux. Most of the elegant furnishings were custom-made by acclaimed South African craftsmen Pierre Cronje and James Mudge, but what really stands out is the handpicked collection of African art that includes large-scale sculptures of goddesses and mythical figures. In the restaurant, chef Oliver Cattermole prepares a short seasonal menu that features local flavors as well as British classics. Also not to be missed: Leeu Spa, a stone-and-glass sanctuary offering treatments that use indigenous botanical oils.
In the Area
Franschhoek, just over an hour’s drive from Cape Town, is a scenic 17th-century settlement that has evolved into one of the world’s top wine and food destinations. On your way there, you’ll pass Stellenbosch, a pretty town whose oak-lined streets are dotted with cafés, boutiques, and art galleries. Stop for a breakfast of brioche French toast at the rustic-chic Schoon de Companje. If it’s already lunchtime, drive on to Pierneef a la Motte in Franschhoek, a restaurant set among La Motte estate’s famous vineyards whose elegant interiors were inspired by artist Jacob Hendrik Pierneef’s South African landscapes. Other must-see wineries include Tokara, an excellent source of sauvignon blanc, and the gorgeously landscaped (and impeccably decorated) Delaire Graff Estate. A stroll around Franschhoek village is also in order. Start at the top of Huguenot Road to see the Huguenot Monument to religious freedom built in the 1940s, then stop at the Holden Manz Collection to admire its impressive contemporary African art. The team behind Leeu Estates recently opened Tuk Tuk Microbrewery in town, where you can observe the beer-making process while munching on tacos and other Mexican bites.
How to Get There
Most beautiful scenic views of Franschoek valley from outstanding manicured gardensBeautiful curated artworks. Friendly and helpful staff catering to all your needs. SPA outstanding. Trendy and comfortable accommodation. Cuisine top notch.
The estate is very well managed and luxurious. The staff is very attentive to all requests. The rooms on the ground floor have a nice outdoor seating area overlooking the vineyard. The vineyard from which the wines are offered for tasting is not the one in the estate, but from further away, but that is immaterial. Their vineyard is very small but have been getting good ratings last few years. They also offer a free shuttle to take around to town. The breakfast spread is small but nice
Amongst many places which we have visited, some stand out as needing a return visit. This is one of them. Leeu Estates definitely ticks all the boxes. The location in the valley in the centre of the vineyards, the Reception by a very welcoming friendly staff into a beautiful building lined with numerous excellent paintings of so many different life scenes was the start; the room was excellent, comfortable, especially as we were kindly given an upgrade; the food was beautifully cooked, the breakfast a mixture of buffet and menu, a wide spread; it was taken in the conservatory, looking down onto the manicured gardens. Dinner was in the main dining room, which gave the whole experience as being a home, not a hotel. This is located just outside the town, and they have a regular shuttle bus into the town, 5/10 minute trip. We were able to see the other properties, and they all look impressive, and we enjoyed walking around the town. Included in the stay were a visit to their award winning wine studio, which was very informative. There is a lovely spa, which unfortunately we did not have time to use, only to look at this time. Because we had a busy schedule, we will definitely return, just to spend time relaxing in Leeu Estates, ambling round the gardens, going down to the river, sitting out in the gardens, and taking in the beauty of the place, and to enjoy the service. Many thanks to everyone at Leeu Estates.
A beautiful establishment with luxury all around. It has beautiful grounds and plenty of sculptures and art to see.the rooms are very comfortable and nice with lovely bath rooms.for the restaurant We were not too happy with their choices and the food is not so great,it’s a pity for such an establishment not to have great food but if you don’t mind driving a short distance then there are plenty of restaurants in Franschouk.
Overall a great experience and I certainly will come again
We were there for afternoon tea, the setting quite spectacular. The tea and nibbles served were very good but the service was not. All rooms are beautifully appointed but the conservatory room we were in was practically empty. A row of thin round tables for 2 put together in a line for our group of 12. Not comfortable, not friendly which is a pity as the grounds are amazing!