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IMAGINING a stay at one of La Clé des Montagnes remarkable bespoke Villa’s is to dream of what the Italians call il dolce far niente: the profound sweetness of doing nothing. A masterpiece of plush opulence, created by the impossibly talented Cape Town interior designer, Sarah Ord, in the heart of Franschhoek, each of La Cle’s “4” custom-designed homes offers something long-thought beyond reach in the most upmarket village in all South Africa.

A five star home from home that not only turns relaxation into a fine art but raises the bar for the long-established competition.

GAZING upon your own private pool from a hermes-yellow sun-lounger or tipping a lazy, half-closed, eye over your kimble from a soft Egyptian Cotton hammock, it’s easy to just sigh contentedly, pour another glass of chilled Cap Classique, and stare up at the sky as grey heron’s swoop below cumulonimbus clouds.

But there is something about La Clé des Montagnes that draws you from the velvet comfort of your personal villa into the countryside laid out before you like a watercolour: which isn’t perhaps surprising when you consider the name of this new and remarkable spot on the Winelands enviable five star map translates simply as: “The key to the mountains.”

The colours of the late afternoon sun bleed through the ancient oak trees that enshrine this well-heeled corner of the Franschhoek Valley. In my humble opinion precisely 7am or 4 pm is the finest time of day to emerge from your luxury bolthole to meander gently through the heart of the verdent landscape that blends conveniently and seemlessly into La Cle’s private citrus orchard – a haven of plum tree’s bordered by giant camphor and great oak’s that throw circles of shade under blue skies.

Don’t get me wrong: Location isn’t everything here. It is Le Cle’s stunning interiors, glistening pools, log fires and thoughtful luxurious touches of home that will undoubtedly keep you confined for much of your stay. But where La Clé des Montagnes comes into it’s own is its proximity to nature. Snuggled quietly and privately on the outskirts of the village all four villas offer you another Franschhoek altogether – a vista shaped by high crags, scented valleys, vineyards and gleaming stucco farmhouses with swooping gables and thatched roofs.


Coffee Table Book:
La Cle’ des Montagnes is one of the hideaways featured in our Perfect Hideaways in South Africa coffee table book.

This book celebrates hideaways, identifying precisely what it is that makes a holiday home ‘perfect’. From bush to beach, from city to wilderness, Perfect Hideaways in South Africa features a range of holiday homes that, by virtue of the peculiarities of their locations and distinguishing interiors, offer varieties of experiences.

Click here for more details.



Sleeps 4, 6 and 8 depending which house you book.

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  Beautiful village with a French feel and excellent dining

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Make the most out of your Hideaway and book the Wellness in the Wild Mobile Spa. For the price list click here