Spending a Night at the World’s Best Hotel — South Africa’s La Residence

Posted by - February 21, 2014 | Category: Hideouts

La Residence, Franschoek, South Africa

La Residence Hotel & Villas recently captured the coveted #1 spot in Condé Nast Traveler’s Top 100 Hotels and Resorts, but is it really the Best Hotel in the World?

La Residence Hotel & Villas, Franschoek, South Africa == World's Best Hote

I’ve stayed in some pretty swanky digs in my day, but swanky doesn’t even begin to describe this place. La Residence Hotel & Villas in South Africa’s Franschoek Valley is perfection personified. And plenty of others agree. It captured First Place in the Top 100 Hotels and Resorts from Condé Nast Traveler’s Reader’s Choice Awards. And who am I to argue with that. 

La Residence Hotel & Villas Franschoek South Africa, world's best hotel reader's choice awards

I couldn’t find any fault with the place. And believe me, I tried. Remember my 7 Habits of Highly Ineffective Hotels? I do tend to find flaws where they exist. Purely for sensational journalism purposes of course. 😉

La Residence Hotel & Villas Franschoek South Africa, swanky opulent bathroom

The Wi-Fi? Like the True North, it’s strong and free (any Canadians in the room?)

Suite, La Residence, top hotels and resorts, readers choice awards, conde nast, cntraveler, Franschoek South Africa 006

The food? It’s included. And superb. And you can even go help out in the kitchen if the urge to create (or just observe) strikes you. Since the hotel can be booked as all-inclusive or as a bed and breakfast option, you can stuff your gob at will too.

opulent swanky hotel room, best hotel in the world, La Residence Hotel  Villas Franschoek South Africa

Well there’s gotta be screaming kids right? Nope. Adults only in the main house. If you’ve got kids in tow, you’re welcome to one of the villas; they’re larger, family-friendly, and have their own pool. 

La Residence Hotel Villas Franschoek South Africa purple room

Stuffy butlers treading underfoot? This ain’t Downton Abbey. While you can pretty much get anything you want with a phone call, and the staff are superbly attentive, they also understand that most folks just want to be left alone. 

Living room, La Residence Hotel Villas Franschoek South Africa 016

In naming it the Best Hotel in the World, Condé Nast Traveler described La Residence as a place that “appeals to those who wish to be close to the action but out of  the limelight.” That’s an apt description. Nestled above Franschoek on a private road less than an hour from Cape Town, La Residence benefits from both its proximity to the city bustle, and its foundation in a quaint, arty village that also just happens to be the food and wine capital of South Africa.

Top 100 Hotels and Resorts, Condé Nast Traveler, La Residence bedroom suite

Plus it’s got the nicest bathrooms in the southern hemisphere. The one below was mine — it’s in the Huguenot Suite. 

bathroom at the best hotel in the world, La Residence Hotel Villas Franschoek South Africa

“Look Ma, I’m a Huguenot!”

Each of the 11 suites and 5 villas has its own distinct vibe, colour scheme, and high-end furnishings you’d expect to find in the world’s best hotel. But La Residence doesn’t take itself too seriously. There’s plenty that’s quirky about this place too. Like this oversized chair.

large oversized chair personal sofa

You should see the size of the TV.

And plenty of quirky art adorning the walls. Like this piece of gold I like to call “Rockin’ the Hi-Top Fade.” 

hip hop woman high-top fade hairstyle urban streetwear

And this piece of gold, which I think may be actual gold.

naked woman statue candle holder golden

La Residence is classy, not snooty, and that’s one of the big things it’s got going for it. Well that and views like this…

La Residence Hotel & Villas Franschoek South Africa -- pool with mountain view

And rooms like this…

Best hotel in the world, La Residence, lounge area

And this…

Dining room, world's best hotel, La Residence Hotel  Villas Franschoek South Africa

World's Best Hotel, top hotels and resorts, Conde Nast, La Residence, Franschoek South Africa

La Residence embodies what a luxury boutique hotel should be. The only fault I could find was my own — I only stayed for one night.

What are your thoughts? Is La Residence the World’s Best Hotel? 

 Note: I was a guest of La Residence during my time in South Africa, but the oohs and the aahs are all my own.

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14 comments - add one
  1. I’d definitely like to visit this hotel and will definitely plan to stay atleast for 3-4 days, whatever may be the cost. I already started saving for another tour but, this is my priority now.!!!

  2. I dont travel a lot, but from the outside it issnt much to look at. The inside? Good grief, thats spectacular. Its nice but not all gilded (although some oddness here and there) It looks like it was someones palace or something at one point. Thats outrageous an I cant imagine the cost per night.


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