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If you’re looking for accommodation in Franschhoek then look no further than the LAB Lifestyle in Franschhoek. While the high-tech capabilities provide endless entertainment, the knowledge that the guesthouse uses only the most eco-centric methods, will make you feel like you are doing your bit for the environment.
The LAB Lifestyle accommodation offers contemporary décor enveloped with huge welcoming smiles. It’s only a few minutes walk from the main tourist area in Franschhoek, so a great location for those wanting to enjoy all the wonderful things that Franschhoek has to offer.
We thoroughly enjoyed our stay at the LAB Lifestyle Franschhoek Guesthouse. From the delicious food, to the super fun electric scooters. Sadly, it was winter so we didn’t get to enjoy the fabulous pool, which I guess is reason enough to go back again when the weather heats up!
Whether you are looking for a honeymoon spot or a family holiday, I describe everything we found in the following The LAB Lifestyle review below.
LAB Lifestyle Franschhoek Guesthouse Review
Arriving at theLAB Franschhoek, we were given the warmest of welcomes by the fabulous manager, Gerald. He gave us a tour of the facilities and then took us to our room where we were introduced to the voice-activated room automation system known as ECHO. I was instantly in love with her capabilities and couldn’t wait to test her to the full.
Gerald then asked us for a 4 digit code, which he programmed into the pushbutton lock system for our door. The same password would also unlock the front door of the guesthouse.
The guesthouse has a clean white modern look with touches of luxury to make for a comfortable stay. This contemporary style is perfectly in sync with the high-tech features and the eco-centric ethos.
TheLAB comprises of 3 buildings. The main guesthouse with 10 rooms, an annex across the road with 3 rooms and a self-catering annex around the corner with 4 rooms. Breakfast is available to all guests and is served is the main guesthouse.
The crowing jewel of your experience at theLAB Lifestyle is the room automation system. Fondly known as ECHO, she can complete a myriad of tasks to make your stay more comfortable.
ECHO appears as a box on the wall and is activated by saying her name, followed by your request. Each room comes with a laminated card listing all the possible requests such as:
- Blinds up
- TV on
- Lights off
- Lights red
- Make coffee – yes, she can even activate the coffee machine!!!
As with all technology, it sometimes takes a few goes for her to hear you correctly, which provides entertainment in itself. My favourite response was when I asked ECHO to make coffee one morning. Her response was…
“I am unable to perform that task at present, but I can provide you with a recipe if you’d like to whip something up!”
As you can imagine, that had us roaring with laughter!
ECHO is linked to Spotify so you can ask her to play any music you like, with additional commands for volume control. And if you’re a fan of general knowledge, you can literally ask her anything and she will give you an answer. Who is Donald Trump? What is the weather today? What is there to do in Franschhoek?
We definitely spent way more time in our room that we would normally have done, just so we can play with ECHO. She’s a truly fabulous feature of this clever high-tech guesthouse.
The minimalistic-styled rooms are a perfect match for the high-tech feel of the guesthouse. The clean white lines with touches of warm beiges are perfectly suited to showcase the stunning wildlife canvas’s on the walls. This modern style is also in line with the eco-conscious “green” ethos with the rooms all being powered by solar derived energy.
The rooms all come fitted with theLAB automations system, air-conditioners, WiFi, a flat-screen TV with Netflix, fridge with honesty bar and an automated coffee machine next to your bed.Some of the superior rooms even have a smart shower, a smart-film glass panel and a fireplace.
TheLAB is also has wheelchair accessibility and has two rooms specially designed for wheelchair use.
Most of the rooms come standard with King size extra length beds.
TheLAB is conveniently located to the centre of Franschhoek. A 15 minute stroll will take you to the heart of Franschhoek’s main drag. Don’t forget to stop on your way at the Patrysfontein reservoir to enjoy the bountiful birdlife.
If you have your own transport, there is lots of parking and there is even an electric car charger for those who have truly embraced the green way of life.
We stayed at theLAB Franschhoek, but there are 2 other guesthouses in the chain. In Cape Town, The LAB Lifestyle Tarragona in Hout Bay, and in Robertson, The LAB Lifestyle Rosendal.
TheLAB is bursting with amazing facilities! Laze around the swimming pool with a view of the glorious Franschhoek Mountains, soak up the bubbles in the jacuzzi or let things get steamy in the sauna. After a long day of sightseeing activities why not relax with a full body massage in the Garden Room Spa which is housed in a funky space age looking dome house.
Talking of sightseeing, what better way to take in the local sights than on an electric scooter or ebike? Both of these of available to rent by the hour or for the whole day.
The communal lounge has an enormous flat screen tv and while we were there, a huge fire was roaring to keep us toasty.
Ever played a virtual reality game? Why not try out the virtual reality headgear? Being the gaming freak that he is, Tai had a ball with this, arms outstretched pressing imaginary buttons and levers!
For those just wanting to relax, there is a state-of-the-art cinema or take a wander through the organic vegetable garden.
Eating & Drinking Options
The buffet style breakfast was absolutely delicious! Served at a high communal table looking out over the pool deck and available from 8am – 10am.
TheLAB has an extensive selection of wine for you to choose from and draught beer is available on tap. The staff are incredibly knowledgeable about the wines at the guesthouse, as well as wines on various winefarms. You can also use the high-tech touch screen to see a map of all the wine farms in the are and read about the wines available at each farm.
The touch screen also has a map of all the restaurants in the area with future functionality that will allow you too make a reservation at a restaurant of your choice online. We weren’t sure which restaurant to go to, but Gerald the manager gave us lots of advice and ultimately suggested the perfect restaurant for us.
TheLAB has a no-plastic-bottle policy and has a range of glass bottles available to be filled with on-tap filtered water.
Dinner is available on request.
TheLAB Franschhoek are pioneering a eco-centered way of life with their green initiatives. Solar panels proved all the electricity and water heating. Beer and wine are available on tap or in kegs and glass water bottles are available for water. This has dramatically reduced wasteful packaging. Only friendly to nature products are used in the bathrooms and in the spa and the lavender scent of these is blissful. The vegetable garden provides the organic produce used in the kitchen. The bikes and scooters are all electric and there is even a free electric vehicle charging system, free for use to guests. These initiatives along with their recycling, mean that the guesthouse is carbon neutral. This is what every accommodation establishment should strive for!
Although we didn’t make use of these, there are two conference rooms available. The smaller 8-seater and the larger 20-seater conference rooms. These are both high-tech rooms with 84” Microsoft Surface Hubs.
The rates include accommodation, the use of all the facilities and can include catering.
We had a fantastic experience at theLab Lifestyle in Franschhoek. The staff were incredibly hospitable and full of smiles. The high-tech options were lots of fun and I now wish I had an ECHO in my own home. What bliss that would be! The scooters were loads of fun and our breakfasts were amazing.
If you’re looking for a relaxing getaway, theLAB has it all, from saunas, jacuzzi’s, spas and cinemas to ECHO who will turn your shower on, you can literally put your feet up and really unwind.
I can highly recommend theLAB Franschhoek for anyone looking for a slightly different guesthouse experience.