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“Quaint place to stay in the heart of Franshoek” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Realou Guest House

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Realou Guest House
4.0 of 5 Guest house   |   29 Cabriere Street, Franschhoek 7690, South Africa   |  
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Hotel amenities
Ranked #40 of 58 Franschhoek B&B and Inns
london
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“Quaint place to stay in the heart of Franshoek”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 11, 2010

My husband and I booked Realou for a couple days to experience the famous Franskhoek wineries. Before booking, the brochure looked like the rooms might be a bit tired. But they really just need to update it because the place is lovely! It's not 4 or 5 star, but it's perfect for a great room and great location.

The service we had was fantastic. We had the Realou book a wine tour for us. Ask for Andre, he was absolutely fantastic, nice, incredibly knowledgeale about the region and very laid back. The people we spoke to at the Realou were friendly and accommodating to any of our requests.

We stayed in the Cape Dutch room - I loved it! There's a great bathtub (although the water pressure in the shower was very poor), the decor is light yellow with very dark oak furniture - a very comfortable place to relax. Outside there's a small pool and jacuzzi to relax near, and very comfy couches on the patio to chill out in.

The location is fabulous, just one minute from all the restaurants so I didn't have to drive and could drink. It was a great couple of days and we would definitely recommend this to anyone.

  • Stayed January 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ReaLou, Owner at Realou Guest House, responded to this review, August 26, 2010
Thanks for the valuable input about the Realou Cape Dutch Suite Hot water supply

Spa baths and many other deep Victorian baths and an Outside Jacuzzi ( No other Guest house has this ) on site has provided us with extraordinary hot water supply challenges within the Electricity Restrictions in South Africa. Unlike normal Spa baths , all these units are kept drained until they must be filled with new clean hot water. We also recycle all our bath water to the garden in a complicated underground water recycling system.

We use a solar Geyser system to supplement our Electric hot water supply and then use Gas to fill in the Gaps that all these Baths and Jacuzzi Create. The Gas , although perfect to top up a Spa bath with boiling water had created an aperture restrictions. We have now built a bypass to this problem and the water flows unrestricted. We intend to bring more gas heaters online as well as additional solar geysers.

Hope this helps

My best

George
MD Realou
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63 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (7)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • German first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
Yorkshire
Top Contributor
50 reviews 50 reviews
24 hotel reviews
Reviews in 26 cities Reviews in 26 cities
44 helpful votes 44 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed November 13, 2009

We hadn't booked ahead and the places that were recommended by friends who live in Cape Town were full, so we picked this one from a list. It was a good location, around the corner from the Main Street,and the owner was very friendly.
The room (Honeymoon Suite) was decorated in the old dark wood, heavy furniture style which suits some places but is not my taste. The worst thing was that the room was dominated by a big old fashioned TV at the end of the bed, and as the bed is facing you as you walk in the room it is the first thing you see. It would be much better set on a table to one side - after all, how many honeymooners want to watch TV??! And South African TV is pretty much rubbish anyway.
The room was very well equipped with bathroom items, (lovely spa bath) and tea/coffee etc as well as bathrobe and slippers. Breakfast was buffet style but with the option of freshly cooked of your choice. The pool area looked lovely but we were unable to use it due to inclement weather! The region looks like the Alps in the sunshine and Wales in the rain!
Franschhoek is charming, probably gets very busy in season, but good for the wineries and restuarants.

Stayed November 2009, traveled as a couple
Was this review helpful? Yes 14
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ReaLou, Owner at Realou Guest House, responded to this review, August 26, 2010
Many thanks for taking my wifes side about the TV and the Bed. My wife now wins and we will be moving the TV to the side . BTW we have two Satellite Channels, a French News channels in addition to the " rubish South African Channels .


My best

George
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Dublin
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 20, 2009

The owner of the guesthouse was helpful and location good but we were disapointed nonetheless. Much of the decor is dated, the room musty thus giving the guesthouse a tired feel. We stayed in lodges of a much better standard for the same rate.

  • Stayed March 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 9
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ReaLou, Owner at Realou Guest House, responded to this review, August 26, 2010
I wish I knew what room this guest stayed in so I could comment but all the rooms are completely different

Spa Room
Honeymoon room ,
Harley room
Sun Room
Family room
Cape Dutch Room
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The Midlands
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 10, 2008

Realou was in a great position and literally round the corner from the main street of Franschhoek.
As honeymooners we stayed in the Cape Duch room which has the most magnificant 4 poster bed and antique bath within the bathroom. Our room was at the front of the house therefore giving us our own front door which lead out onto the street, the hire car was parked here and safe throughout our stay.
We were informed on arrival that breafast was served at 8.30am but on day 1 it as clear that staff were still setting up and finally got all food out at 9.00am, breakfast was continental and a Full English was extra which we were not informed on booking. This didn't matter too much as there was plenty to eat from fresh fruit, yoghurts, fresh bread and cold meats, cheese to croissants,homebaked muffins, toast etc. Day 2 we arrived at 9.00am for breakfast and everything was ready.
The only downside of the accommodation was that the walk in shower leaked over the bathroom floor and that the room itself didnt have alot of natural daylight. It was a shame that this room didnt open onto the stunning patio/garden area at the back of the house.
The owner of the property was onsite throughout our stay and very knowledgable on which wine estates to visit. We took his advice and the Cabriere Estate on a Saturday morning at 11.00am is a must.
Franschhoek itself is breathtakingly beautiful and has some of the most amazing restaurants. The French Connection is a gastronomic delight for Dinner and Petit Blanc cant be missed for lunch.

  • Liked — Location
  • Disliked — No mini bar or area within the guest house where you could puchase drinks
  • Stayed October 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
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ReaLou, Owner at Realou Guest House, responded to this review, August 26, 2010
Thanks

We finally got the opportunity to replace the leaking shower.
Being a national monument ( -1860 ) we are unable to modify the facade of the building to provide more windows and sunlight.

George
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Kildare
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
21 helpful votes 21 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed November 14, 2008

We were really looking forward to staying here as the description in the Property Portfolio brochure made it sound really nice. I''ll start with the positives...The location is great - it's just off the main street. Our room was big and really nicely furnished (it was the honeymoon suite as that was all that was available when we booked). There is a small swimming pool with a few sun loungers around it which would have been lovely to use had the weather been a bit better while we were there.

Now the negatives...I can't really put my finger on it but I felt a bit uncomfortable when we were there, it was as if we were an inconvenience. For example, breakfast was served from 8.30 till 10.30 (I think) but on both mornings when we arrived for breakfast at 8.30 the buffet wasn't ready and really wasn't fully set up until 9. They also have an extra charge for a cooked breakfast which we weren't told about when we were booking (and it really wasn't worth the extra cost). The shower leaked out onto the floor so we had a flooded bathroom every morning.

Franshhoek itself is beautiful though and we had a great meal in French Connection and an absolutely fantastic meal in Le Quartier Francais.

  • Liked — Spacious room, location
  • Disliked — Staff
  • Stayed October 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ReaLou, Owner at Realou Guest House, responded to this review, August 26, 2010
Many Thanks for your valuable input .

I understand how the breakfast timing issue would make you feel unwelcome.
This has been stopped and all guests now tell us what time they want breakfast.

Now the negatives...I can't really put my finger on it but I felt a bit uncomfortable when we were there, it was as if we were an inconvenience. We also include a full continental and hot breakfast in the Price of the stay. We have also replaced the shower. We had to wait until winter to do this as we are always so busy.

If you ever come to Franschhoek again I insist that you stay one night for free at Realou

My Best

George Bester
Managing Director
Realou
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London
Top Contributor
59 reviews 59 reviews
31 hotel reviews
Reviews in 37 cities Reviews in 37 cities
38 helpful votes 38 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 31, 2008

We found this guesthouse on wheretostay.co.za which was the source of most of our accommodation in South Africa. It was very reasonable so we were pleasantly surprised. The main house and cottages were set around a lovely pool, there was a lovely patio where you had breakfast (which was also excellent) and the owners couldn't do enough. It was also extremely well located just a few minutes off the main street.

  • Liked — Location
  • Disliked — No air con
  • Stayed March 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ReaLou, Owner at Realou Guest House, responded to this review, August 26, 2010
Thanks for confirming for us that Airconditioners are needed.

Yes I have decided that I can, in our 100 amp Electrical Power Plan , and using the latest energy saving aircons and time switches equip all the rooms with aircons

Watch this space

George
Realou
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London
1 review
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed October 31, 2007

The location of the ReaLou and George the owner were great, but when we arrived he informed us that they weren't really open right now as they were working on renovating the garden and some of the rooms. Ours had recently been done out, which was promising, and on first inspection it seemed quite nice. But it was the little things that I found off-putting and made me not enjoy my stay as much as I could have done. Call me vain, but there were no mirrors in the room ie: where you could do your make-up or dry your hair - you could only check your appearance in the bathroom, however that wasn't easy as the mirrors were normally steamed up as there was no ventilation to let the steam out. We seemed to virtually be the only people in the guest-house and were left alone in there at night. We felt that there should have been someone there 24 hours in case of anything that may have come up. This all might seem a bit fussy but I can't help but compare it to other places I stayed in Cape Town and elsewhere that were so much better than this place for around the same price. It was simply lacking that something extra, particularly as it was described as a four-star. I guess it is early in the season - they just didn't seem to be all systems go.

  • Liked — Friendlyness
  • Disliked — attention to detail
  • Stayed October 2007, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 16
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ReaLou, Owner at Realou Guest House, responded to this review, August 26, 2010
As explained this guest was a "walk in" and we where not prepared for Guests. I should have found you alternative accommodation instead.

Sorry for that - no excuses. The staff where on Leave ( only time is in winter ) and as explained I was renovating the Guest House. We always normally have somebody on duty who is on site.

I should have warned you that I could not stay as I had prior arrangements.

However we now have a very sophisticated Intercom System that allows anyone to call .me , the manager or the duty room who sleeps on site , if their is an emergency, I am never more than a few minutes away

My Best

George

BTW - I have now installed mirrors
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Additional Information about Realou Guest House

Address: 29 Cabriere Street, Franschhoek 7690, South Africa
Phone Number:
Location: South Africa > Western Cape > Franschhoek
Amenities:
Business Center with Internet Access Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #40 of 58 B&Bs / Inns in Franschhoek
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — Realou Guest House 4*
Number of rooms: 5
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Realou is a small private Guest House dated back to 1868 and situated in one of Franschhoek's oldest area's located right in the middle of Franschhoek Village next to famous restaurants and shops. Realou stretches across a block on both van Wijk and Cabriere Str on the bottom exclusive vineyard half of Franschhoek Village. Realou is a historical monument painstakingly restored with yellow wood beams quarry tiles, Oregon Flooring, Corrugated Roofing and Cape Dutch Gable. Each suite has its own private outside entrance so your comings and goings are unrestricted. Each Suite has a selection of satellite TV channels and for those with their own laptops free WiFi Access is available on the veranda. Some of the rooms have their own Spa baths but all have walk in showers. Realou has a swimming pool with an Outside Jacuzzi (weather permitting) set in a private lush garden. It has all the comforts one could need to provide a peaceful and restful environment for enjoying the many Gastronomical and Aesthetic delights of this quaint little countryside village situated in the heart of the Wine lands. Safe, secure and private Guests can feel at home while sunbathing next to the pool or having a barbecue with their friends. This is just the escape needed to recover from ones hectic travels or a busy City lifestyle. Realou Franschhoek is a block away from Franschhoek best restaurants & shops and within walking distance to at least three of the Franschhoek wine farms and wine tasting venues. Franschhoek, only 80 km or 45 minutes from Cape Town, is ideally placed en route if you are traveling on the R62 Route, to or from the Garden Route, Hermanus or over the Mountain Pass. It is also less than 30 minutes from Stellenbosch and Paarl. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Realou Guest House Hotel Franschhoek

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