Holden Manz Country House

Last weekend the husband and I escaped for a two night stay at Holden Manz Country House ( a 5- star guesthouse, tucked away in the Franschhoek wine valley).

Here's a bit about it...

The Country House

We arrived on a rather gloomy day, but as as soon as we entered the Holden Manz wine estate our spirits were lifted by  the lush setting and a running river (thanks to all the winter rain). We were greeted by a friendly staff member and given a mini tour of the country house.

Stepping inside I was instantly impressed by how tasteful and beautiful the decor was. I also liked that even though it's a luxury guesthouse, it still  felt very relaxed and comfortable -  which I think is partly due to the fact that it is also where the owners of the estate live.

One of the first things you notice in the country house is all the art - mostly contemporary. Even in our room we were surrounded by artworks and all of them are for sale. We really liked this concept, as it's a nicer way to see art (as appose to generally sterile art galleries). There is also a small gallery on site, in case you want to browse some more.

Our Suite

After our tour, we were shown to our king suite.... and it really was king sized!

It had super high thatched ceilings, a huge bed (which was so comfy), a little seating area,  a spacious bathroom (with bath & shower) and a  private patio. It was a all fantastic - BUT, since we were there on such a chilly weekend, our favourite features had to be the wood-burning fireplace and underfloor heating (which definitely kept us extra comfy and toasty).

We also were given a complimentary bottle of Holden Manz wine to enjoy in our room... and it didn't take us long to get a fire lit and pour a couple glasses of it.

With only Five suites, there is a feeling of privacy and exclusivity about staying here. You feel like you have actually managed to get away from it all.... and it's blissful.

The Surroundings

The country house is set on a beautiful estate. There are vineyards, orchards, rivers, a swimming pool and a koi pond.

A lot of effort has been put into allowing nature to be part of the Holden Manz experience. The whole estate feels like a countryside haven.

A five minute drive from the Estate is the Franschhoek village, where you will find plenty of dining options and shops. If you are wanting to try loads of wine in the valley, there is a wine tram tour available (it leaves from the village centre and is well worth doing).

The Wine

The wine tasting room and restaurant are just a short walk from the Country House. There you can have a sit down meal, picnic or sample the large range of the estate's award-winning wines.

We obviously went to go and try as many wines as we could. From light rose to red reserves, the estate makes something for every wine lover. I really loved the vernissage red blend and the chenin blanc - both were budget friendly and very easy drinking.

Bonus -  If you are a guest at the country house, you get to taste all the wines for free.

The Franschhoek Kitchen

Being a sustainable family farm, the restaurant (aka The Franschhoek Kitchen) tries to use only seasonable and home grown ingredients. A lot of the fruit and vegetables served are grown on the estate. So, the menu changes depending on the time of year and what is available.

We had a dinner there and really enjoyed the food and how creatively it was presented.

The restaurant also has a large fireplace in a smaller dining room, for the quieter and more wintery months (which is a nice touch).

Overall  thoughts:

After two nights at the country house I can honestly say I felt more relaxed and rested (falling asleep to the sound of a crackling fireplace on a giant bed is something I could really get used to)

The fact that it was winter definitely meant that everything was much quieter and enjoying outdoor activities was not really an option (it rained a lot), BUT I did not find that this took away from the experience. When booking in the colder months, it is good to remember that winter is down time in Franschhoek and it is better for couples wanting alone time (think romantic fireside snuggling and intimate dinners) or for someone needing a quiet retreat. Another good thing about winter is the pricing - nearly everywhere has off season rates.

The breakfast, which is included in the stay, is fantastic (see the photo below of ours).  The honesty bar is also a nice touch (help yourself to a wide selection of drinks and leave a note)

As for the staff, they were wonderfully helpful and attentive (but not too attentive). Special mention to Brandon, who was a wonderful host, and Marius.

Would I go again? Yes, and even again in winter (as I really enjoyed being able to hibernate in such pretty surroundings).

Next time though I would love to try out their spa and visit when there is a bit more sunshine, so I can arrange a picnic.

For further information or to book a stay at Holden Manz, you can visit their website HERE

Please note: My accommodation was complimentary - but all opinions and thoughts are my own. 


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