Analjit Singh first came to Franschhoek on a whim. In 2010 the Indian billionaire, who was visiting South Africa as a spectator at the FIFA World Cup, took a side trip to the Cape Winelands—and fell hard and fast for the vineyard-lined town. Seven years later, he has created an assemblage of local hotels, wineries, and more that makes up his Leeu Collection (leeucollection.com). The group’s grand debut came with the 2015 opening of Leeu House, a 12-room hotel set within an old Cape Dutch guesthouse on Franschhoek’s charming main street, Huguenot Road. The property was just the beginning for Singh, who last year launched Leeu Estates, a 17-room luxury resort featuring a world-class art collection and South Africa’s first Ila spa. The Leeu Collection has also acquired the wine country’s most beloved jewel, the Le Quartier Français hotel and its famed Tasting Room restaurant, which have both been refreshed and revamped—though mostly unchanged, to the relief of their longstanding clientele. Partnering with the Swartland masters of Syrah, Mullineux, Singh has created the super-winery Mullineux & Leeu Family Wines; next door to Leeu House sits the group’s TukTuk microbrewery. Most recently, the Leeu Collection has opened an homage to Singh’s first home, an Indian restaurant. And up next is an art gallery, set to debut on Huguenot Road next month.
By Jackie Caradonio