My first reaction when I arrived was: this is amazing! Sir Richard has carried out a total transformation, inside and out, and has made this into a completely unrecognisable boutique hotel. I really like the mix of the original style of thatchroofed Cape Dutch house, with the more contemporary and lighter interiors.
As you would expect from Virgin Limited Edition, little quirky touches have been added throughout, from a line of colourful ceramic dogs across the fireplace, to Andy Warhol-esque images of Mandela and fun felt sheep in Miko (the main restaurant named after its late proprietor – the first black vineyard owner in South Africa). The Franschhoek Uncorked Festival, now in its seventh year, takes place during the last weekend in September, where a number of wine farms open their doors for free tastings of the new vintage.
At other times of the year, the Wine Tram tour is ideal – Mont Rochelle is one of its stops, and rightly so as the quality of the wine here is incredible and exceptionally good value. Wine tasting with resident sommelier, Enrico, in the lounge is not to be missed. Indulge even further with the unique Cape Malay spice spa treatment, where you choose three different spices to mix in with the mud – Luanne the Spa Manager is excellent.