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Announcing the arrival of Leeu Collection

Leeu House bedroom
The newly-created Leeu Collection is to open two boutique luxury properties – Leeu House and Leeu Estates – in the Western Cape winelands, just under an hour’s drive from Cape Town and its International Airport, later this year. Leeu Collection is the first wine tourism initiative in South Africa’s history by an Indian investor, namely the entrepreneurial industrialist Analjit Singh. Leeu is the Afrikaans word for lion, as is Singh in Sanskrit.

It all started as a personal journey for Singh. Captivated by the Western Cape’s exceptional beauty and vibrant energy during his first trip to South Africa for the 2010 FIFA World Cup, he acquired Klein Dassenberg farm in late 2012. It was originally destined to be a family home, but before long the seed was planted to transform it into a world-class hospitality and winemaking destination called Leeu Estates. Six months later, he purchased a property in the heart of Franschhoek that will be known as Leeu House.

Leeu House, opening in the last quarter of 2015, will be an exclusive five-star 12-room boutique hotel. An oasis of comfort and luxury, Leeu House’s appeal lies in the fact that although it feels like a country guesthouse, it is situated on the main road in vibrant Franschhoek, within easy strolling distance of award-winning restaurants, art galleries and boutiques, as well as the village’s many other attractions.

The stylish interiors of Leeu House are a contemporary take on the traditional Cape Dutch heritage, with a nod to the French Huguenot architectural style that is quintessential to Franschhoek. Though small, Leeu House is perfectly formed, with The Conservatory, The Terrace, The Lounge, and the serene and secluded gardens with a 15-metre heated outdoor pool, as well as complimentary use of bicycles, providing guests with plenty of opportunities to relax. Guests will also have access to the spa facilities and grounds of Leeu Estates, via a complimentary shuttle service.

Leeu Estates, which will open shortly after Leeu House, will be a bijou 20-room five-star boutique hotel set in 68 hectares of vineyards, landscaped gardens and fynbos (indigenous) vegetation in the valley of Franschhoek, between the mountain and river, just a 5-minute drive from Franschhoek village.

At the heart of Leeu Estates will be the meticulously refurbished 19th century Manor House with six suites, as well as The Library, The Living Room, The Dining Room and Garden Terrace public areas. The other 14 guest rooms will be located close by, adjacent to the Amala Spa, and in cottages dotted throughout the gardens. Many rooms will have their own terraces and fireplaces, and all will have stunning panoramic views of the valley.

The Amala Spa, Amala meaning pure in Sanskrit, is a wellness sanctuary offering authentic massage and holistic treatments inspired by centuries-old Asian traditions; it will have a 15-metre heated infinity pool and a TechnoGym-equipped fitness centre. There will also be a Tasting Room, where guests will be able to sample the handcrafted premium wines made on the estate by Mullineux & Leeu Family Wines. Other activities include walking the nature trails that meander through the estate and using the hotel’s complimentary bicycles to explore the surrounding area; a free transfer gives guests a chance to venture into the village of Franschhoek.

Leeu Collection has put together a world-class team to manage the properties. Hector de Galard, President of Business Operations for Max Ventures, Leeu Collection’s parent company, who has been overseeing the local investments on behalf of Singh, is a highly experienced hotelier with an eye for detail who has opened no less than seven luxury resorts around the world, from Mauritius to Mexico and Morocco. Major brands he has worked with include Amanresorts, CampbellGray Hotels and the One&Only group, with all the hotels being members of the prestigious Leading Hotels of the World or Relais & Châteaux portfolios.

Matthew Smith, General Manager of the two Leeu properties, has a background in hospitality, having run hotel magnate Sol Kerzner’s private property and spent eight years at Ellerman House in Cape Town, which is part of the exclusive Relais & Châteaux collection.

“Analjit Singh is passionate about South Africa, its energy and sense of place,” concludes de Galard. “The team involved in the Leeu portfolio share this excitement and are set on creating world-class experiences in a luxurious environment.”

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