WORDS Gina Dionisio PHOTOS fotohuys.co.za
If you’re looking for a luxurious weekend escape in Franschhoek, a stay at The Belmont is the perfect base to explore the “food and wine capital” of South Africa.
Nestled in the heart of Franschhoek lies The Belmont – a charming heritage house which has been transformed into a luxury 7-suite boutique hotel.
For owners CJ and Jean-Marie Stander, walking through the doors of The Belmont for the first time evoked a sense of nostalgia. “In 2012, we packed up our lives in South Africa and moved to Ireland, where CJ pursued his professional rugby career, culminating in more than 50 international matches for our adopted country. In 2017 we bought our home in Castleconnell, Ireland, located on a street named Belmont Hill. The house had hardwood floors, high ceilings and dado rail mouldings. It was our first home as a married couple and also where we started our family,” says Jean-Marié. When the couple saw the same hardwood floors, high ceilings and dado rail mouldings in The Belmont it was love at first sight. “She just needed a bit of TLC to restore her to her former glory,” says CJ.
The beautiful old home had been neglected over the years and needed a complete overhaul to allow the ‘old lady’ to breathe again. “Think patchwork paving, weeds growing everywhere, temporary built-in cupboards blocking half the beautiful arched hallways, chipped tiles, small dark showers, and more,” says the couple.
CJ and Jean-Marie entrusted internationally acclaimed interior designer Tammy Holmes of Ivy Decor and Design to translate their vision for The Belmont. “I wanted to create a warm, stylish home-away-from-home for guests from around the world to enjoy the incredible Franschhoek valley,” says Tammy.
For Tammy, having the opportunity to completely overhaul a historical building with such incredible bones, structure and detail such as original hardwood floors, arches, and high ceilings, was a dream come true.
“I wanted the space to feel layered. I filled the house with consciously gathered, sourced and produced pieces that reflect the history of the beautiful building,” explains Tammy.
For more information or to book a stay, visit The Belmont on Instagram.