If you asked us to describe what our ideal boutique hotel experience would be, it wouldn’t be far away from our experience at Akademie Street – style, charm, service, food, facilities and location.
Firstly, we would want a hotel with individual style. Akademie Street delivers that in spades. It is truly like no other. The hotel is in a traditional Cape Dutch manor house, with connected buildings, including cottages and its very own Orangerie. The carefully curated original furniture and collectibles would remind you of something only otherwise found at Sotheby’s Auction House. But, they have all been introduced so carefully that you would think they had been there forever. This hotel will continue to challenge your perceptions. Depending on which room you stay in, you may experience Cape Dutch design, campaign-style living, mid-century luxury or country-chic charm. It’s up to you….
The next thing on our tick list would be un-apologetic excess. Again, Akademie Street hits the spot. From the complementary mini-bar, to local artisanal chocolates, its own curated wines and bean-to- cup coffee, Akademie Street has thought of everything. But excess doesn’t come at the expense of essentials, each room has hand made linen bedding, organic toiletries, wood burning stoves and even a free smartphone, with local restaurants pre-programmed on speed dial.
A crucial component of our dream hotel would also have to be the facilities. For most, this may simply be a communal pool, but for Akademie Street this means a private pool and wood-burning hot tub for each cottage! In addition, the hotel offers guests classic-style bicycles with shopping baskets, petanque on the boulodrome, an extensive library and vintage board games to enjoy.
Any hotel is only as good as the service it provides. The staff at Akademie Street are genuinely kind and helpful, striking the perfect balance between efficiency and sensitivity. If you don’t have a restaurant booking, they’ll get one for you. Then you’ll be provided with the hotel’s own hand drawn street map (designed by a local artist) with precise directions – it’s these touches that make Akademie Street stand out! Additionally, there is a complementary laundry, and even hats and sun cream at the poolside. Service at Akademie Street also extends to a daily cocktail hour, made even more special by the hotel’s resident pianist. It doesn’t get more romantic!
Another tick box would have to be the food. On this, Akademie Street truly delivers. No buffets here, instead Akademie Street presents guests with a carefully thought out breakfast menu, boasting dishes made from locally sourced ingredients. Options include freshly made vitamin juices, a platter of local seasonal fresh fruits, homemade smoothies, sandwiched with a course of Akademie Street’s own granola, topped with Western Cape eucalyptus honey. Then, finally you can indulge in one of the cooked options, including Akademie’s legendry full breakfast.
Added to all of this is, of course is the hotel location – less than an hour’s drive from the hustle and bustle of Cape Town, but also right in the centre of gorgeous Franschhoek, where the wooden tram leaves to take you wine tasting throughout the numerous nearby vineyards, and within walking distance of the numerous art galleries, boutiques and world-class restaurants.
Akademie Street is merciless in its quest to deliver perfection, and this hotel comes as close as any in achieving this. The hotel’s ethos is a “luxurious home from home for all our guests”, but the reality is that nobody‘s home is really quite this perfect! When can we go back?