April 2014: Virgin Limited Edition, Sir Richard Branson’s worldwide luxury collection of award-winning retreats has entered into 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 says: “I’m thrilled to be able to announce that we have entered into a sales agreement for 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.”
Mont Rochelle boasts a unique hilltop setting and private vineyard encompassing 40 hectares. The property comprises a picturesque 22-bedroom hotel set against a mountain backdrop, in the heart of the Franschhoek Valley and just 45 minutes from Cape Town.
Previously owned by Miko Rwayitare, a visionary entrepreneur and Erwin Schnitzler, a German hotelier, Mont Rochelle Hotel and Mountain Vineyard will offer the perfect extension to a stay at Sir Richard’s Ulusaba Private Game Reserve, near the Kruger National Park.
Hotel to undergo refurbishment
It is anticipated the hotel will close to undergo refurbishment and re-open for business in the summer.
Tara Whiting and Marius Botha of Acquire Africa who facilitated the preliminary agreement of sale of Mont Rochelle to Virgin Limited Edition, believe this is evidence that South Africa is thriving as a tourist destination.
Tara Whiting commented: "We’re positive that Virgin Limited Edition and Sir Richard Branson will create something magical in Franschhoek with their future plans for Mont Rochelle, and will attract even more tourists to this beautiful part of South Africa.
Wine and Culinary tourism is a growing niche sector of the tourism market worldwide and South Africa is certainly gaining recognition as possessing some of the most beautiful winelands and wines that measure up against the best in the world."