This week we are ‘traveling’ (virtually) to another exclusive Virgin Limited Edition property - Mont Rochelle in South Africa. Lyndsey Balog, Regional Sales Executive with Virgin Limited is taking us for a saunter through the vineyard and stunning property of Mont Rochelle, Sir Richard Branson’s boutique hotel outside of Cape Town. We’ll enjoy a virtual wine tasting of some of their very own wines - bonus!
I love my job because not only do I get to represent these stunning properties in various locations around the world, but Sir Richard Branson has done such a wonderful job to help the communities surrounding these beautiful locations.
Each of the properties work on different projects to support local communities and encourage guests to get involved. Additionally, it’s important to Virgin that luxury doesn’t have to come at the expense of sustainability. The entire team at Virgin Limited Edition works around the clock to ensure one doesn’t compromise the other and that shines through tremendously.
When she’s not talking about their collection of hotels and retreats, you’ll find Lyndsey planning her next adventure or unwinding at the yoga studio. If you’re based in the Midwest, Northeast, Texas and the Carolinas, or simply have questions regarding the stunning Virgin Limited retreats, Lyndsey is more than happy to assist.
65 Bleecker Street, 6th Floor
New York, NY 10012
T: +1 (914) 610-5288
F: +1 (212) 497-9051
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Mont Rochelle was purchased by Sir Richard Branson in 2014 and joined the exclusive Virgin Limited Edition collection which includes Necker Island in the British Virgin Islands, Kasbah Tamadot in Morcocco, Mahali Mzuri in Kenya, The Lodge in Verbier, Son Bunyola in Mallorca and Ulusaba Private Game Reserve in South Africa. After an extensive period of refurbishment the hotel began welcoming guests in September 2014.
FROM THE GROUND UP
The area around Franschhoek, which in the Afrikaans language means ‘French corner,’ was as the name suggests once a French enclave when over 300 years ago a group of Huguenot settlers arrived fleeing religious persecution. That influence, nestled right alongside the larger Dutch-speaking community, is what gives the region such a rich and varied history, and unsurprisingly, a taste for fine food and wine!
KICK UP YOUR HEELS
The grounds at Mont Rochelle cover about 100 acres. A favorite activity for many of guests is picnicking on the estate – the kitchen can arrange a well-stocked picnic basket with a chilled bottle of wine (or two!). There are two restaurants, a cozy bar, a spa, a gym and an outdoor pool. That’s not forgetting a beautiful vineyard and wine cellar, of course.
There are two restaurants at Mont Rochelle. The Country Kitchen which adjoins the wine cellar is an ideal place for a light lunch, a delicious lunch or a wine tasting. Or if you’re after something a little more formal, MIKO is the flagship restaurant boasting a prime location, with impeccable 180-degree views over the Franschhoek Valley and surrounding vineyards and mountains. Start the evening off with a refreshing cocktail from the bar and find a comfy space on the terrace to watch the sunset.
Wine of your choice
- Turn on some enjoyable music (we recommend these Spotify playlists: Relax & Unwind, wine time, and the soundtrack from the upcoming Netflix show Wine Country.
- Place your phone on Airplane mode (or, turn it off completely. No, seriously, it has an off button! Who knew?)
- Slide on your most comfortable outfit - ours is something like our drawstring ‘Thanksgiving pants’ and a butter-soft sweatshirt.
- Pour wine into glass. Or red Solo cup. Or just insert a straw into the bottle. No judgments here.
Mont Rochelle is open year-round for visitors, and their 26 rooms and suites can be booked for any length of stay. Buyouts are welcome!
Manor House is a luxury villa located a short walk from the main hotel and just a stone’s throw away from the Country Kitchen. The perfect option for a family group or guests looking for a more private retreat, the Manor House features four beautifully appointed suites, kitchen, lounge, two swimming pools and gym. Manor House is available for exclusive hire all year round and can accommodate up to eight guests sharing, plus bunkroom for up to six children.
Nearby Cape Town is one of South Africa’s most historically important cities. It was here, in the Mother City, where the first European colonists set foot in South Africa—which also marked the beginning of the South African slave trade. It was home to perhaps the world’s most famous political prisoner—Nelson Mandela—who was held on the tiny Robben Island in Table Bay. Visit the Sanbi-Kirstenbosch Gardens, the V&A Waterfront, take a ride on the Table Mountain Aerial Cableway, or simply stroll through the vibrant neighborhoods filled with arts and culture.
Kelly McAlister, Maui Jim
Kelly McAlister of Maui Jim will be with us on the calls each week as judge and jury to see which planner really goes all-in with the theme. So engage, be creative, and have fun... and you may be the winner!
She’ll be doing some gifting that will surely lift your shelter-in-place spirits!