“Acquire” Sells Mont Rochelle Hotel & Vineyards to Sir Richard Branson
Thursday 10 April 2014
Virgin Limited Edition, Sir Richard Branson’s luxury collection of award-winning retreats is excited to announce that it has reached a preliminary agreement to purchase a new property – Mont Rochelle Hotel and Mountain Vineyard in South Africa, which would become the latest addition to the already eclectic portfolio.
Sir Richard Branson commented on the news: “I’m thrilled to be able to announce that we are in the process of purchasing Mont Rochelle and what I’m sure will be a ‘must visit’ winelands experience in South Africa and a fantastic addition to the Virgin Limited Edition portfolio.”
Whist already a stunning property, following final purchase proceedings it’s proposed to close the hotel to undertake some refurbishment with a view that Mont Rochelle will re-open in the summer. In an area internationally renowned for its winelands and stunning scenery, Mont Rochelle boats a unique hilltop setting and private vineyard encompassing 40 hectares. A picturesque 22 bedroom hotel set against a mountain backdrop, in the heart of Franschhoek and just 45 minutes from downtown Cape Town in South Africa; it will attract food and wine lovers visiting the world-famous wider Cape Town region and offer the perfect extension to a stay at Branson’s Ulusaba Private Game Reserve.
Tara Whiting and Marius Botha of Acquire Africa who handled the sale of Mont Rochelle to Branson, believe this is further evidence of a renewed confidence in South Africa. Tara Whiting, said: “The South African Wine Industry is becoming more attractive to foreign and local investors as they see the potential of the premium wines being made here. Well capitalised buyers can add significant value to vineyard properties and increase the global marketing exposure for South African wines as a whole. Wine Tourism is seeing huge growth worldwide. In the Western Cape Tourism contributes approximately 18 billion rand to the Cape economy and employs more than 150,000 people. The Virgin Limited group and Sir Richard Branson will create something magical in Franschhoek and I am sure will attract even more tourists to this part of the world.”
A look inside Richard Branson’s newest but most understated South African boutique hotel, which is well-deserving of a fanfare
Looking at the first buds forming on the rows of vines that surround Mont Rochelle, it struck me that, of all Richard Branson’s projects, Virgin Limited Edition (VLE) is the most grounded.
VLE contains Necker Island, Branson’s home in the British Virgin Islands, The Lodge in Verbier, Kasbah Tamadot in Morocco, and two safari lodges in Africa.
It’s the only Virgin company wholly owned by Branson, and his newest boutique hotel, Mont Rochelle, in the wine-growing region of Franschhoek in South Africa, opened last year with little of the usual Virgin fanfare.