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A Taste of Saint-Tropez in Africa? S’il Vous Plait

Where These Worlds Meet, You Find Ukubaleka

Once a miniscule fishing village, Saint-Tropez has always been a go-to playground of oligarchs, rappers, and supermodels. Its old fashioned, quiet charm with dreamy vineyards and Provençal countryside climbing the Massif de Maures, retains everlasting appeal.

12,300 kilometers south-east of the French Riviera, near the tip of Africa, uber-chic Franschhoek nestled amidst the Drakenstein Mountains and Franschhoek Wine Valley has garnered a similar reputation. Originally a seasonal breeding ground for elephants, then a settlement for 17th century French Huguenots, it’s now regarded as one of the world’s leading food and wine capitals.

Linking these two worlds, Fleur du Soleil guesthouse is a flamboyant oasis gifted with the art of forward-thinking, old-school hospitality. Between its walls, the guest experience truly is a work of art – perhaps the double masterpiece of merging a Monet with a Kentridge.

Here the extraordinary becomes everyday.

Meaning escape in the local dialect Xhosa, what this French-inspired guesthouse offers by means of ukubaleka is a wholly authentic African experience. Underpinned by the familiarity of European refinement, it takes the concept of far-flung holidaying into the realm of recouperation and rejuvenation.

The detail in every one of the five Baroque-meets-Haussmannesque suites – from the light fittings to decorations, fabrics to linens, artwork to furniture; from the dining cutlery to staff uniforms, down to your complimentary bathroom toiletries – everything is locally sourced, created by Franschhoek artists, designers, and craftsmen. The result is the perfect blend of La Francais et L’Afrique.

When it comes to intuitive service, indulgent hospitality, abundance of sunshine, location, catering, amenities, and nearby attractions, the small team at Fleur du Soleil curate every minutia, every precious moment, making you the very centre of their world. Your stay is tailored around personal preferences, tastes, and lifestyle habits as provided ahead of your arrival.

Unique offerings include:

  • Full spa menu
  • Art installations by local artists
  • Mini bar choc-a-block with local sweets, snacks biscuits, and beverages. Delights like macadamia nougat, fruit chutney crisps, Crunchie, Flake, and locally baked rusks
  • Full breakfast served with just-picked seasonal fruits and organic produce hand-selected from neighbouring farms and sustainable producers
  • Freshly baked croissants room-delivered daily, served with mouthwatering handmade artisanal preserves

In terms of blended travel, should your workation find yourself in the Cape Town-Stellenbosch Corridor, South Africa’s very own ‘Silicon Valley’, your stay at Fleur du Soleil not only includes high-speed internet access but the concierge team will gladly assist you with any business-related amenities. This is new-level bleisure – home-away-from-home comforts, tech-ready.

For any guest, Franschhoek and surrounds offer these sometimes-hair-raising, always sublime, authentic African experiences:

  • Barbeque or ‘braai’ and salad buffet with fluffy roosterkoek at Klein Goederust Boutique Winery (notably the first black-owned vineyard in South Africa)
  • Cage diving with crocodiles at Babylonstoren
  • Hot air ballooning with sunset cocktails over the Cape winelands
  • Wine and local music pairing at Black Elephant Vintners & Co.
  • Limited edition carvings, prints, and paintings showcased at African Hands Art Gallery
  • Hiking, kayaking, and biking at any of the Drakenstein’s designated (and gorgeous) nature spots


The joy at Fleur du Soleil lies in the multitude of invisible details painstakingly attended to by the owners and staff. This heartfelt precision leaves you, their guest, free to feel valued and most importantly – cared for.

When you find your footing between two cultures, you get the best of both worlds.

Ubomi obuhle, it’s a beautiful life!

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