The bathroom in room three at Franschhoek’s celebrity luxury hotel, La Residence, is done for mouth-opening, awe-inspiring, OMG-ing. Look at it, says the gal. This is a marble palette – the nickname for room three is Marble – with a freestanding tub, next to which stands a chaise longue with piles of three sizes of thick towels (fluffy but they also dry, note the ‘but’). You can also reach the towels from the open sided shower, which has a protective glass half-wall. Along one side of the big room, French doors open to your private lawn, with working vineyards beyond.
In fact all the views, looking in or looking out, are sensational. Room three has a marble-pillared four-post bed, its thick columns soaring to the ceiling (you could almost say this is a sculpted marble bed that happens to have walls built around it. Behind the bedhead is a long table that is the desk. Sit there and you look through and over the main bed, out of your French windows and into the already-mentioned private lawn. It is all so secluded; no-one ever looks in. You put out a red tassel for privacy but somehow it is not needed. I took my mushroom-silk tasseled key with me everywhere only because the door was self-locking.
Back to the beginning. The car drove up to the outer gate, where a quick-as-a-leopard woman darted out to open the barrier once she ascertained my name. In five minutes, no more, we arrived at the main door of La Residence, and there was the management team, waiting in welcome. I was offered a glass of La Residence Rosé, and a small nosegay of fresh flowers. Now comes the thoughtful part. When we got to room three there was a small glass flower vase waiting, exactly the right size for the nosegay and it already had water in it. I have said before and will again, luxury today is thoughtfulness.
Room three is filled with art, mostly big gold panels inscribed with Chinese calligraphy, but also an orange panel with a gold ogee shape on it and Arabic signage within. The entire luxury hotel, in fact, is integral with art. I love this panel of a pasha, looking oh so dapper. Who is he, I wonder?