A STAY AT THE BEST BOUTIQUE HOTEL IN THE WORLD
AKADEMIE STREET BOUTIQUE HOTEL – RECENTLY BESTOWED AS THE WORLD’S BEST BOUTIQUE HOTEL AND AFRICA’S MOST ROMANTIC BOUTIQUE HOTEL BY LONDON BASED, WORLD BOUTIQUE HOTEL ASSOCIATION TRULY STANDS OUT, EVEN IN FRANSCHHOEK WHERE THERE IS NO SHORTAGE OF LUXURY HOTELS.
Comprising six buildings, four pools and eight luxury suites, the hotel is a labyrinth of intrigue. On entering through the understated front stable door, guests are immediately wowed with an array of furniture and collectibles from around the world, personally curated by the hotel’s European owners over many years. Each one has its own unique story behind it, including the vintage grand piano bought by a South Africa family in London in 1929.The hotel even has the train ticket the family bought from Oxford to London to select the piano.
Conveniently, Akademie is literally a stone’s throw from Franschhoek’s main street. But you might find it difficult to leave the hotel at all – with complimentary sun hats, towels, and sunscreen beautifully laid out by the pools each morning. And when a chill sets in, guests can enjoy a soak in their own private wood-burning hot tub under the African night sky. The eight suites are all decorated differently, drawing inspiration from the various buildings they are housed in. Several take inspiration from the days of African exploration and are decorated with campaign furniture and artefacts, including the hotel’s Heritage Cottage which was built in 1865 and used as the British Army recruiting office during the Boer War.
While the furniture may be from a bygone era, Akademie has not forgotten about modern conveniences. Your smartphone, which is yours to use throughout your stay, is pre-programmed with the numbers of Franschhoek wine farms and restaurants, and can be connected to the vintage style gramophone to listen to your own tunes. Each suite also has a remote controlled flatscreen TV that pops up from inside vintage style luggage chests carefully positioned at the end of your extra length king size bed.
Breakfast time at Akademie is an extravagant affair and purely table service. It starts out with a fresh fruit platter, along with homemade granola, local yoghurts and freshly made smoothies. There is also a selection of hot breakfast options, with several signature dishes. And to finish off, there is a range of pastries to satisfy those with a sweet tooth.
To work off the epic breakfast spread, Akademie offers vintage bicycles on which to explore the town.The Huguenot Monument is just a short ride from the hotel, as well as a selection of art galleries, cafés and shops.
Back at Akademie, one can get ready for dinner in your suite’s expansive bathroom. At 18h00 each evening the hotel offers complimentary cocktails and a selection of its own labelled wines to sample. Enjoy your pre-dinner drink to the sounds of the hotel’s resident pianist in its Cape Dutch Orangerie.
Staying at Akademie, it is easy to see and experience why it has been recognised as the Best Boutique Hotel in the World – Akademie is a lavish place, without losing its homely charm.
For more information, visit www.aka.co.za.