The Lab Lifestyle in Franschhoek caught my eye after I had a similar experience with hotel room technology while staying at the Premiere Inn in Bricklane. The room featured electronic shortcuts on the headboard such as turning on/off lights, tv, etc. which were fun to try out.
I was intrigued when I saw the Lab offered similar services – particularly because South Africa often doesn’t have the usual standard of tech support so often required by these services.
In the words of Stormzy, “long story short” the Lab’s tech was far superior to the Premier Inn’s simply because they’ve taken their electronic services to the next level! But more about that later…
The Lab Lifestyle is nestled on the slopes of the Franschhoek pass in the gorgeous wine centric town. A home that’s been modernised enough to offer regular travel musts such as a bed and breakfast, pool and a lounge.
The hotel also features lifestyle technology including a MASSIVE Microsoft screen in the lounge, Alexas (voice activated electronics in each bedroom) and electric bikes waiting for guests to cruise around town.
The staff are incredibly friendly and helpful when teaching us how to use the electronics, so you aren’t alone if this is the first time trying out this new lifestyle tech.
Reasons to Stay at the Lab Lifestyle in Franschhoek
- Located in town which makes it easy to walk around after a few toots.
- Technology driven rooms which are convenient and fun.
- Modern amenities such as small mini fridge, smart TV, coffee maker.
- Comfortable linen and bed.
- Still or sparkling water on tap (literally) in reusable bottles.
- Spa, swimming pool, bikes, cinema and lounge with large TV.
- Breakfast included.
- Electronic keypads/access to rooms.
- Able parking outside hotel.
- Great for older people who may not want to fiddle with lights, Alexas helps.
- Excellent staff/reception/service.
- Extremely clean.
To Be Improved On
- The details of our room were rough: rushed paint jobs, odd cables hanging out, scuffed skirting boards, etc. Just needs to be refined a little bit.
We stayed in an en suite double bedroom. While simple, it was hands down one of the most fun beds we’ve ever slept in! Not only comfortable, but you can direct commands to the room’s appliances and set off an orchestra of electronic interactions.
“Alexa, launch Netflix.” “Alexa, lights off.” “Alexa, turn water on.” AND IT WORKS! So I was not only happy to have a very large bed with fresh, soft linen, but the added bonus of the electronics truly made it fun!
Each room has a command book should you need to look up the details again.
The bathroom counter had more than enough space for me to set out my things. I have laid everything out to illustrate the point. This makes getting ready in a new location much easier. The room also included hand lotion, liquid soap, moisture, etc.
The room provided a number of shelves and a decent counter for us to charge our electronics. Considering electronics is an important element to the hotel room, this was satisfactory. There was also plug points next to the bed for two prong plugs.
Due to the hotel’s location, 4G reception is available all the time. The hotel also offered free wifi, which worked perfectly. With a smart TV, this was important and it worked perfectly.
Conveniences (fridges, services, etc.)
This room was packed with conveniences! Who doesn’t want to lie in bed and say, “Alexa, open blinds” and it lets the morning light in? The Lab has totally integrated digital appliances into their room and it’s a lot of fun!
Other than the abnormal electronics, each room has an honesty bar, which includes a complimentary bottle of still or sparkling water that guests can fill up at any point from the kitchen “bar”.
The Lab Lifestyle kitchen is a lovely combination of a modern home with beautiful wood inlays. The 5m long wine rack is a perfect example of “brand art”, using the wine of the region to create artwork in the home/hotel.
Our breakfast was cooked by friendly, efficient staff and we enjoyed watching the other guests relax on the deck outside. The hotel is airconned so you can enjoy your breakfast before the Boland heat kicks in.
The Lab offers a small and, what feels like, a more private getaway. Guests can lounge around the pool while taking in the mountain views, enjoy a massage in an igloo spa around the back, relax in the sauna or head over to a second house to enjoy their mini cinema.
We really enjoyed our stay at the Lab and would definitely recommend it to anyone who wants to dabble with the electronics (or not – it’s not compulsory to use them).
Find the Lab at 15 Nerina St, Franschhoek, 7690.