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
Everything about our stay was special. Great artworks spread throughout the hotel and estate.
Excellent rooms. Excellent breakfast. Friendly staff. Free transport to the centre of Franchhoek.
We would highly recommend this hotel which is in an excellent location.
This is a special hotel, in a beautiful setting. The artwork in the hotel and around the grounds is really unusual and makes for some interesting discussions, especially the ‘dummy’ of the woman in the sitting area! See photo. The staff are all excellent, very attentive, welcoming and friendly. The room and bathroom are top end and the bed the most comfortable I have ever slept in. The courtesy car back and forth to Franschhoek is really convenient. I would love to come and stay again!
Top location. As good as you get with staff and food excellent. Will be back again , well done to staff. Pool is great and both restaurants are high standard. Location is within walking distance of everything.
We had a wonderful stay at Leeu Estates. Nothing was too much trouble, from the time we arrived until our departure, there were smiley faces everywhere. The setting is beautiful and Franschoek is on the doorstep.
Afternoon tea content was good but was let down by the service despite the number of staff available and the fact that the restaurant was not very busy. Had a voucher for afternoon teas and 2 glasses of bubbly but the staff didn’t acknowledge it and we had to ask for the bubbly after our tea. Then on leaving we were asked to pay for the bubbly - no one seemed to be in control despite the comments “I will be looking after you” - it didn’t happen and several people seemed to look after us without knowing what we had covered in our voucher! It was a special gift to us on our visit here and while we enjoyed the food we did not like the service not recommended